Hostel in Marivan (Kurdistan)

The See You in Kurdistan (SYK) project aims to provide a more nuanced understanding of the Kurdish population, culture, and history by drawing direct connections between the locals and visitors/non-locals. Within the centralized linkages of capitalism, where the dynamics of center and periphery do not allow human interconnections, the multi-layered aspects of the everyday life in Kurdistan is being concealed and rendered as secondary. Even in the tourism industry, most independent travelers in Iran – more than 90% – choose the ‘classic route’, which unsurprisingly passes from the center of Iran. This accumulation of tourists, knowledge, representation, capital, jobs, and infrastructure is paid at the cost of other people’s marginalization from cultural encounters, social benefits, and economic advantages. See You in Kurdistan, hopes to facilitate socio-economic connections in the region through sustainable tourism as an instrument, and to bring Kurdistan back to domestic and international dialogue.
Three years after launching and successfully running the See You in Iran (SYI) organization, the See You in Kurdistan (SYK) team conducted a one-year project of research and networking in Kurdistan. Holding the idea that Iran should not be reduced merely to Tehran and other central/touristic cities, the See You in Kurdistan Hostel and Art Residency in Marivan emerged as the socio-cultural embodiment of SYI’s development ideas and functions as SYI’s sister organization. The hostel, consists of a cozy café, private rooms, a large dormitory, a communal kitchen, public bathrooms, an art room, and a large garden in a more than a hundred years old building. The Art Residency provides a room and a studio for international artists who are eager for artistic exchange with local artists. The project aims to combat the lack of artistic resources and facilities in Marivan and hopes to create a space for social art production and education.
About Marivan, Kurdistan
Despite the rich culture, openhearted people, fascinating socio-political history, and astonishing nature, the Kurdish parts of Iran do not attract much attention domestically or internationally. Through the same mechanisms that networks of power and representation have caused a sense of disconnection between Iran and the rest of the world, Kurdistan has experienced this disconnection in context with the rest of Iran. The marginalized population of Kurdistan, who are deprived from state-funded development projects and private sectors investments, have been suffering for decades from high levels of unemployment, unfair access to economic growth, public health, education, urban infrastructures, basic civil rights, and etc. However, the Kurdish identity and culture – falsely considered to be a national security threat to the central government – has survived over all these difficulties, and has remained a site of pure humanity, mixed with beauty and resistance.
Located at the heart of Marivan, one of the most beautiful and major cities of Kurdistan by the border, it offers a great opportunity for curious and non-mainstream travelers to meet and engage with the local people. The Marivan bazar (one-minute walk from the hostel), Zrebar Lake, and villages around it are among the main attractions of Kurdistan. In addition, Marivan is a great destination for hiking and village life enthusiasts since it neighbors the Uramanat District, embracing Uraman Takht, Bolbar, Zhiwar, and Slen, among many other stunning villages of Kurdistan. At the hostel, you can book local Kurdish tour guides who can accompany you to explore the hidden gems and the striking nature of the area, and to become familiar with Kurdish people’s culture, history, and the political distress they have faced in this region for decades.

Hope to See You in Kurdistan

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