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Why Marivan? Why 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 (Mariwan), 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.
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See You in Kurdistan Team

Mina JazayeriCo Founder and Executive Director

Mina is a Tehran-native and travel enthusiast with a background in humanitarian design, pottery and is also working as a freelance documentary photographer. Her interest in Kurdish history and culture and Kurdish women's movement has led her to travel to different Kurdish parts of the world and has motivated her to live in this region to get a better understanding and to show the beauty of Kurdistan to others by starting the See You in Kurdistan project.

Navid YousefianCo Founder

Navid is a Tehran-native with a background in engineering, film studies, and social sciences. He's currently a Political Science PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sharmin SawtiReceptionist

I’m Sharmin, a Kurdish girl from Mariwan. I've always wanted Mariwan, this four seasonal city, to be seen by tourists, because it definitely worth seeing. I’m glad that See You in Kurdistan hostel makes it easier for foriegn travelers to see the landscape and get familiar with the Kurdish rich culture. I’m so grateful for this opportunity of working here as a part of this project to show the beauty of Kurdistan and of course the kindness and hospitality of Kurds to our guests from all around the world. So when you come here I'll be around to help you out with anything you need or you want to know 😉

Mokhtar BahramiTour Guide