Construction workers talk on the top floor of a new building rising along Erbil's rapidly changing skyline.
A Kurdish man walks past a new American muscle car parked in front of Erbil's ancient citadel.
"All of these skyscrapers and the expansion of the city started in these past 7-8 years," explains Dara Alia Khubi, Head of the Commission to rebuild Erbil's ancient citadel, "With our renovation of the citadel we are trying to bring back some habits, some cultures, some traditional life,"
Shoppers walk through the ancient marketplace of Erbil.
A woman wearing a headscarf rides the escalator to a walkway to one of Erbil's new shopping malls.
An elderly Kurdish man sells western style clothes to a young man in the center of Erbil.
Young Kurdish men dressed in traditional Kurdish clothes walk through a new shopping mall in Erbil.
Mala Fata has been selling traditional Kurdish clothes in Erbil's center since 1986. "These clothes are important to who we are," he says in front of his small shop, "There used to be a factory making them here in Erbil, but now they are made in China and India."
Young Kurdish women walk through a new shopping mall in Erbil.
"Since 2005 Erbil has started to boom in growth and things began to change so quickly," says Nehad outside his shoe shop in Erbil's ancient souk, "Many bridges and buildings were built, and the souk was renovated. All this happened in a very short period of time. Before everyone used to know each other, but after the changes a lot of foreigners came and suddenly the population also became something foreign where you don’t even know the people you’re living with."
A Kurdish man in tradtional dress walks past a construciton site in Erbil.
"I'm from Kobani," says Salah referring to the Kurdish village in Syria "but I ran when ISIS came and attacked us. I stayed for three days at the Turkish border waiting to cross and now I'm here (Erbil) working construction," he says outside the high-rise he is helping to build, "Erbil is good, but you only have one home. If Kobani is liberated then I will try and go back."
A construction worker prays during his break from work at a construction site in Erbil.
A Kurdish man in traditional clothes looks through the window of the new Jaguar dealership he guards in Erbil.
A valet parks a $200,000 sports car outside a restaurant in Erbil.
A man threads prayer beads at a market in Erbil.
A young Christian Iraqi looks at a leaflet of scripture at the Church where he and his family have taken refuge in Erbil. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have sought safety within Kurdistan since ISIS swept through broad swathes of Iraq in June.
Nisan is an Iraqi Christian who fled to Erbil after ISIS overran his village of Qaraqosh. "All the families here are afraid for the future of Christians in Iraq," he says while sitting on his bed in the tent where he and his family now live in Erbil, "If nobody can remove these outlaws (ISIS) from our villages than it will be better to go out to other countries. I’ll stay here for 3 or 4 months but if there is no result in that time than I’ll have to go out."
Young Kurdish men sit in a barbershop and wait for beautifying face masks to dry.
A new Lamborghini sits beside a stuffed Ibex in the garage of a home in Dream City - one of Erbil's gated residential communities.
"As one nation we Kurds have one single culture, but there are differences," Hama explains as he stands in one of the new shopping malls that has sprung up in Erbil over the last few years, "Many of the differences between us are because so many of us have had run to other areas and in that time have picked up some of their culture. Cultures mix all the time and this is happening in Erbil now as you have lots of new foreign cultures entering. I don’t think that means we will necessarily lose our own culture."
"Kurds have always shown that they can stand against oppression," says Karwan, "We have always survived. Our latest one is ISIS but we will continue to survive."
"I want to become a teacher in the future," says Ranj, "and to be able to explain to my students how the past of Kurds has been and what they have had to go through."
"The main ambition of every Kurd is to have an independent country of their own," says Kawa, "And the greatest wish is to have a Kurdistan joined from all four areas in Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey."