In this photographer’s home town, stepping out of the house is a risk

When people step out of their houses in my home town, they tell their loved ones, “I hope to see you again” — there’s no guarantee they will make it back. I started photographing Kirkuk in 2007. The security situation has been bad since 2003, but it took a turn for the worst with the war against the Islamic State. The war is very close to the city and people are scared. The economy worsened and there are fewer jobs. Arabs are suspicious of the Turkmen and Peshmergas and the other way around. There are still explosions and kidnappings. The city has long been a dangerous place, a flashpoint for Iraq’s many ethnic and sectarian conflicts.