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Culture

Vice Fashion - Kurd Stars F.c

Photos by Alex SturrockStyling by Aldene Johnson

by Alex Sturrock
01 March 2007, 12:00am

PHOTOS: Alex Sturrock STYLIST: Aldene Johnson



Jacket by Kurd Stars

ZOZEK, 28

How long have you been in the UK?


I have been in England for six years.

How long have you been playing football?

I began playing ten years ago in Kurdistan. I played for a soldiers’ team because I was a police officer in my country. Each police district had a football team and we would play each other, it was fun.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing at times?

Not for me playing in the police leagues.

Who is your favourite Iraqi footballer?

I don’t have a favourite player but my favourite club is the Sulimaniyah club.

Do you still have family in Iraq?

Yes, but I’d like not to talk about them.
 
 

T-shirt by Satsuma, jacket by DrunknMunky

HALLOW, 21

Where are you from?


Kurkut.

How long have you been in the UK?

I have been here for one year.

How long have you been playing football?

I played in Kurdistan since I was in school for my school team and organised leagues. I have played for Kurd Stars for one year, as soon as I moved to England.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing football back home?

Sometimes in my country there are problems, but with football it was okay.

Do you have any aspirations to play for the national team?

Yes, if I was good enough maybe I would go back and play.

Do you support an English team?

I support Arsenal and Manchester United—they are the best teams.
 
 

Jacket by Onitsuka Tiger, football kit by Kurd Stars

SHALAW, 26

Where are you from?


I’m from Kurkut.

How long have you been in the UK?

I’ve been here one year.

How long have you been playing football?

I started playing football five years ago back home.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing at times?

The main one is money. It costs money to organise games.

Who is your favourite Iraqi football player?

Razi is my favourite Iraqi player.

Is football popular back home?

Football is very popular. They love it. It’s the number one sport.

Do you plan to go back to Iraq one day?

No, I want to stay in this county. I don’t want to go back to Iraq. I don’t want to say why I left.
 
 

Clothes model’s own

SARKAWT, 36

Where are you from?


I am from Kurdistan, the Iraqi part—Sulimaniyah.

How long have you been in the UK?

I have lived here for ten years.

How long have you been playing football?

I started playing organised football in 1997. This team is a year and five months old.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing at times?

The problem was that the country was at war the whole time. We never had a good environment to participate in sport and football. We were not supported by the Iraqi central government so never had sponsors or anything like that. It was left to us to organise championships and games.
 
 

Jacket by Fake London Genius, football kit by Kurd Stars

FERYID, 20

Where are you from?


Kurkut.

How long have you been in the UK?

Four and a half years.

How long have you been playing football?

I started playing for a team at the age of 12, but I have been playing since I was five.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you from playing at times?

Under the reign of Saddam, it was hard to play on a pitch sometimes. People would come and stop us, sometimes the police would come.

Do you plan to go to Iraq one day?

I don’t think so. I have lost contact with my family in Iraq. I have not spoken to them in a long time.
 
 

Football kit by Kurd Stars

SABUR, 27

Where are you from?


Me and my family are from Kurdistan, and they are still there.

How long have you been in the UK?

I have been here for six or seven years.

How long have you been playing football?

I started playing in Iraq in school. I started playing over here about two years ago. Kurd Stars are my first team, but I was always doing some sports, not necessarily in a team, but always sports. In Kurdistan, I played for my school and my high school team and then for my university. It was the Sulimaniyah University team.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing at times?

We were always allowed to play because we were under the Kurdish FA. Maybe under the Iraqi FA there would have been restrictions.

Is football popular back home?

In Kurdistan football is popular, it is probably the most popular sport. Many kids are into it.

Who is your favourite Iraqi footballer?

My favourite footballer is Hawar Mulla Mohammed. He is Kurdish but plays for the Iraq national team.

Did you ever have any aspirations to play for the national team?

Yes, it was my dream because at that time we didn’t have the independence in Kurdistan we have now. Today, maybe I would prefer to play for Kurdistan, but when I was younger, yes for Iraq.
 
 

Kit by Kurd Stars

SARKHELL, 30

Where are you from?


I am from Kurdistan.

How long have you been in the UK?

I have been here for ten years.

How long have you been playing football?

I started playing football when I was 12 years old. I played for a university team, Salahaddin, back home. When I got here, I played for an English team in the third division for five years.

Were there any restrictions that prevented you playing football back home?

You can only go to a certain level, playing professionally. After that, you have to sign to Saddam’s political party to be famous and to go higher. You can only play for your local team. If you want to go to a higher division, you have to be a member of Saddam’s party. Sport in Iraq was controlled by Saddam’s older son. The Iraqi National team went to the World Cup in 1986 and they lost. When they came back, Saddam’s son shaved all of their heads, except one because he scored one goal. He made them go on TV with shaved heads and in my country it’s rude because if someone has a shaved head, it means they have come back from prison or he did something bad. They were put on TV and made to sing for Saddam’s war against Iran.
 
 

Jacket by Puma, T-shirt by Onitsuka Tiger, jeans by Krew

REBEEN, 18

Where are you from?


From Kurkut in Kurdistan.

How long have you been in the UK?

I have been in the UK for two and a half years.

How long have you been playing football?

I played in school and high school. I have played for Kurd Stars for two months, the support for football here is good, better support than in Kurdistan. You have to put in a lot of effort in Kurdistan.

Do you support an English team?

I support Manchester United. I like Cristiano Ronaldo—he is fast like me.