Arin Mirkan – Symbol of The Valor of Kurdish Women’s Resistance

They say that courage is often found in those who have experienced the most pain and suffering,- among the oppressed, the disenfranchised. And if this is true then Kurdish women have had to become some of the most courageous of them all. Their experiences of state terror, of homelessness, of bombs that shatter their lives repeatedly, of hopelessness and despair, of sexualized violence, of children killed in their arms, of rights denied has forced them into resisting by any mechanism possible. And the line of courageous women is thankfully long, very long. Those who have engaged in brilliant acts of humanity, valor and wonder- the Sakinas, the Berittans, the Viyans.

Yet, Arin’s courage represents- what I imagine to be like the first solar eclipse witnessed- a turn in time, a turn in what had always been the natural order of things for many of us. She represents the release of thousands of women bound by invisible corrosive shackles that were colored and rusted into a painful existence by history’s violent turns and injustices. She represents not only physical freedom but the mental freedom of thousands: the dismantling of colonized minds, the rupturing of a thousand and one cages- to what can only be akin to thousands of rainbow colored parakeets flying free suddenly, all at once until the eye is dazzled by the magnificent merging of colors, the vivid yellows, the brilliant blues, the emerald greens- that held back minds that can now roam free with a will of their own.

For many of us there is that demarcating line before and after Arin. And a knowledge that there is no going back to what was before, what had always been. In her we find the trajectory of history’s unbroken hidden veins of women’s liberation redefined, re-erupting, re-emerging. Remembering Arin, remembering women like her, refusing to forget is a radical act of love and support and decolonization of the feminine psyche. Remembering allows us, each and everyone of us to help keep that precious and still fragile trajectory of women’s liberation as bright, as vivid as it needs so that others may follow its guiding light towards freedom…

Hawazhin Azeez

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