Meet the First Kurdish Rock-balancing Artist
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Meet the First Kurdish Rock-balancing Artist

ERBIL — In the rural areas of Erbil Province, at the heart of Kurdistan Region’s stunning nature, a young Kurdish man is challenging the hard rocks, earth gravity and his patience to tower large stones in shapes that visually look impossible.

Safin Hussein, known as Jon Safin, has been working to become the first Kurdish rock-balancing artist for the past two years. Photographs of his works have recently gone viral on social media and received attention from the public, together with appreciation from people around him.

Hussein said in an exclusive interview with BasNews that when he was very young, he used to challenge himself by trying to balance different objects on his foot or hand, finding a special joy in every fall and rise.

“I later found videos on the internet about people working on something called rock-balancing… I found that interesting,” he said. 

However, he noted, it is not only about rocks, but every object that seems impossible to be balanced on another. “For instance, I spent 18 hours during three days to balance three eggs on each other.”


Some artists describe rock balancing as a type of problem solving or a skill in awareness. Some works have been described as magic trick for the mind.

Jon Safin said, apart from the joyous challenge in rock balancing, he always tries to put a message in the shape of rocks or the final work. 

“I never put a stone on another without a reason.”

For Hussein, the most pleasant moment, as he said, is when his work is finished and he sits in the location, looks at what once appeared impossible to him, now standing right before his eyes. “And the most painful moment is when I hear the sound of rocks collapsing after hours I devoted to balance them on each other,” he said.