In February 2011, thousands of people came out on to the streets of Sulaimaniya, the second city in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Inspired by events elsewhere in the Middle East, they thought that people power could help end what they saw as decades of corruption by a small, powerful elite.
But, unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, the protesters in democratic Kurdistan proved no match for the authorities. After two months, the demonstration was quashed in a brutal fashion.
“I told him not to go out,” said Khuncha Qadir, standing over the grave of her 16-year-old son, Sirkew.
“I said to him, ‘Sirkew, I had a dream. If they start shooting, don’t go that way.'”
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