Many of the refugees fled Syria to avoid the draft or to find work. The families stay in Domiz. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
From a distance, Iraqi Kurdistan's newly erected Domiz Refugee Camp is barely distinguishable from the surrounding desert. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Sherwan Abdul Karim, Domiz's head of security, says his biggest concern has been a few petty fights between refugees. Sectarian conflict is not present in the camp, whose few non-Kurdish refugees have come and gone. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
As the camp grows, new tents are erected just outside the fence. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
One of the camp's many Kurdish flags, a comforting reminder to the refugees that they are being cared for by a Kurdish government. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
An elderly man helped his son avoid being drafted into the Syrian Army by accompanying him across the border. He complains about having to pay the PYD (the Syrian branch of the outlawed PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party) money to cross. He plans to return. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A medical trailer showing one of the camp's many "no weapons" signs. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A boy plays on a metal slide by his family's tent. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Children are key in the day to day life of the refugees, and also blatant illustrations of the camp's short comings. Without schools or any of the routines of normal life, they are left to make their own fun or help their families.
A Syrian soldier who defected displays the doctor's note written for him after he fell from his guard stand. When he left the hospital he came to Domiz instead of returning to the army. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Amin, another defected soldier, chose to join the ranks of the Kurdish Regional Government's Special Forces. He vows to return to Syria to defend the Kurdish region there, from both Syrian forces and PYD-led Kurdish forces. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Women in the camp face a different set of challenges. While their husbands go to nearby towns to find work or join the KRG Special Forces, they take care of the children and try to recreate something close to a normal life. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
And elsewhere normalcy can't help but take root. Here a resourceful man has turned two tents into a convenience store.
His friends smile for visitors. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Elsewhere in the camp, a young woman has just given birth. To make her more comfortable, her family pooled money together to build a concrete house. It rises like a palace in the middle of the rows of tents. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A couple hours south of Domiz is Makhmour, a camp established 30 years ago for Turkish Kurds. In front of the camp's recreation center a lighted sign celebrates the birthday of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned founder of the PKK. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A tattered strand of Kurdish flags hangs over one of Makhmour's streets. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Here, the refugees are resigned to their status. They are unable to return to Turkey either because they fear arrest or because they simply have nothing to return to. Most have graduated from tents to homes made of bricks or concrete. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
In Makhmour, the children are part of a new generation, one born and raised in the confines of the camp. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Social life here is also political. The camp has a reputation for being a favorite for PKK recruitment and refugees are both bolstered by their politics and distracted from daily hardships. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Past traumas are vital to camp history. The local school is named after a young girl who died of dehydration when the camp was first founded. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A photo of Ocalan hangs in the local convenience store. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A shrine to refugees who have died in service to the PKK or as a result of PKK violence is the camp's largest concrete structure. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
The portraits celebrate their role in the the fighting. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A map of Kurdistan, which would include the majority-Kurdish areas of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, hangs in the memorial hall. It serves as a reminder of both who they are and where they want to be. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Ocalan also oversees lunchtime. A refugee describes progress in the camp this way: "Before we just had bread. Now we have bread and yogurt and tomatoes." Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
The guest house is outfitted with the PKK flag and portraits of guerillas. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
Just outside the camp a cemetery blankets a shallow slope. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.
A garage painted with the Kurdish flag serves as a reminder of the nationalism that has drawn Kurds of both Syria and Turkey to seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan,. Image by Jenna Krajeski. Iraq, 2012.

Domiz Refugee Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan offers a haven for Syrian Kurds fleeing violence and poverty in Syria. Here, they can go to nearby cities to find work, visit hospitals, join the army of the Kurdish Regional Government, or simply rest in the tent city. Like refugees anywhere, their future is uncertain.

One hundred and twenty miles south, the refugees of Makhmour camp remember well how they first arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan, pushed across the border by Turkish forces, although it happened 30 years ago. Today, they remain where they landed, fenced into a patch of inhospitable Iraqi desert, in concrete homes that long ago replaced tents. They take solace in the Kurdish nationalistic politics that offer them comfort and purpose, while making it impossible for them to leave.

Both populations of refugees feel at home in greater Kurdistan. But while those in Domiz camp can hardly see to tomorrow, those in Makhmour camp know all too well what tomorrow brings. Do Kurdish refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan trade mobility for nationalism? Is the future of Domiz apparent in the present of Makhmour?

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Iraq's Kurds are in business while Turkey and its own Kurdish population are at war. Will success in Iraqi Kurdistan ease tension in Turkey, or will it break an ethnic bond?

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