Handcrafted delights

Kirkuk’s Nilofer festival showcases city’s cultural, artistic diversity

KIRKUK – The Nilofer Festival for folk Products has kicked off in Kirkuk, drawing attention with its beautifully curated display of traditional food and sometimes astonishing handicrafts. Running for two weeks, the festival not only showcases the city’s incredible cultural diversity, including its various ethnicities and languages but also highlights the youths’ passion and skill, notably in the art of rice grain calligraphy.

Ahmed Zangana, one of the organizers, told 964media, “These festivals we sponsor aim to highlight the creative energies of Kirkuk’s residents, demonstrating the strength and cohesion among its diverse communities.”

The festival features Kirkuk’s traditional dishes alongside a variety of Western cuisine, folkloric clothing, accessories, and decorative items, enriching the cultural tapestry of the event.

Civil activist Ibrahim Kanaan encouraged Kirkuk’s residents to visit the festival and explore its diverse and beautiful activities, praising the quality of both local and Western dishes available.

Participant Aisha Hazem shared her involvement, “I create handicrafts, including arranging illuminated flower bouquets, engraving accessories, and writing names on rice grains, as well as decorating tables for graduation parties.”

Ahmed Al-Bashdari, head of the Kurdistan Beekeepers Association, highlighted their participation from Erbil, showcasing honey produced in the Qandil Mountain range, known for its purity. “We offer a product called ‘natural honeycomb,’ used in treating various conditions like chest infections, sinusitis, and migraines,” he added.

Shahd, another participant, is serving Italian coffee at the festival, offering over 12 varieties at competitive prices.