Iraq- For 50 Years, An Old Man Makes his Living by Knife Sharpening


Location: Sulaymaniyah – Iraq

Language: Kurdish 

Voice:  natural

Duration: 00:03:54

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 07-02-2022


For 50 years, Omar Abu Bakir has been roaming Sulaymaniyah streets with his 25 kg knife sharpening machine to make his own living. Omar learned knife sharpening when he was a child. Despite risks imposed by his profession which caused him injuries during the years, he insists on working in sharpening knives, claiming he would get sick if he ever stops.  He walks for long hours looking for butchers and owners of restaurants who want to sharpen their knives. Omar is held in high regard among residents of Sulaymaniyah.


-SOUNDBITE (Omar Abu Bakir- a knife sharpening artisan)

I have been working in this profession since 1972. It is my source of living. Throughout those years, 4 knife sharpening machines broke down, not to mention that while working I got serious injuries in my hand and my leg. This profession is an integral part of my life. I roam streets every day with a 25 kg sharpening machine starting from the early morning until evening.

-SOUNDBITE (Othman Rashid- owner of butcher shop

He has been working in knife sharpening since the 80s. I was a kid back then when I first saw him carrying his machine. He roams streets looking for restaurant owners and butchers. He is a poor man

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