Travels in Rojava (part 2): Kobanê

Kurdistan, Syria
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Kobane city

“All religions have the same heart. We’re all one,” a man says to us warmly as we drink tea in his home.

We are in the city of Kobanê in Rojava, an autonomous and democratically run region in the north of Syria. In late 2014, Kobanê became the focus of the world’s media when ISIS attacked the city and surrounding villages. In response, the US eventually bombed Kobanê, flattening it in the process. As they fought ISIS, the bravery of the Rojavan YPJ and YPG fighters was all over the news, whilst their brother and sister PKK guerillas within Turkey’s borders were, and still are, branded terrorists by Turkey and its allies.

Travels in Rojava (part 1): Cizîrê canton

Anarchism & Activism, Kurdistan, Syria
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Walking to a commune meeting in Amûdê with friends

“We’re solidarity activists,” we say to a man who greets us as we cross the border into Rojava.

“You’ve come too late!”  he replies.

Nevertheless, he smiles widely, welcomes us and shakes our hands. In a way, I agree with him. We have come too late. We are only visiting Rojava when there has been a revolution; only after the people have successfully formed their own autonomous region. Where were we when the Kurdish population of Syria were fighting for their rights, for their own self-determination, under Assad?