We Celebrate Freedom In Kobane During Kurdish Newroz

Thousands of years ago Kawa the blacksmith set out to the mountaintops of Kurdistan to engage in an epic, mythical battle with the monstrous tyrant Zehak; and as his infamous hammer struck the wicked and violent Zehak, who spent his days drinking the blood of the children of Kawa’s people, the sound of freedom was heard for the first time across the lush valleys of an ancient land. To signify to his people that they were free Kawa lit a fire on the mountaintop that housed the fallen Zehak; his fire symbolizing freedom, signifying a new era, rebirth and renewal, and liberation from tyranny and oppression…

Thousands of years later Kawa’s people, divided and conquered, remain under the violent rule of different oppressors, but no different in essence to the Zehak of long ago; tyrants who continue to spill the blood of the innocent children of Kawa’s people. But some fires die hard, and some fires remain burning silently in the heart of the oppressed even as in time, across thousands of years that followed the simple act of lighting Kawa’s fire on Newroz was banned and made illegal. Hundreds and thousands have since died under the clutches of tyrants across time attempting to rekindle Kawa’s fire of freedom…

Now we light fires on the 21st of March, welcoming the spring Equinox, in memory of this ancient battle,whose meaning and message remains ever present in the lives and realities of the Kurdish people even as the promise of genuine and collective freedom remains tantalisingly near. Now we light fires so that we may remember that once, long ago we were freed from the most violent and monstrous tyrant, and that once again we can be free again so long as we continue to persevere undeterred, despite the horrors experienced. For the oppressed, the long silenced, the colonised and the marginalised everything is political, everything is symbolic, everything retains meanings that allude to possibilities of freedom, possibilites of a different reality, possibilities that continue to act as the glue that holds otherwise deeply suffering, yet preserving people together. This is what Newroz represents for the Kurds; this is why we lit fires today in Kobane, and this is why despite heavy threats of violence and terrorism the Kurds came out today to celebrate with a vengeance and to light not just one fire, but thousands and millions of fires across Kurdistan to symbolise and reflect the fires that burn in our hearts which lead us ever yearning, ever striving for freedom, and a different possibility of what could be…

Newroz piroz be.

Hawzhin Azeez

One thought on “We Celebrate Freedom In Kobane During Kurdish Newroz

  • February 8, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    You’re the most brilliant, soulful poet, story teller, and writer I know. Thank you for the story of Kawa, and delineating His relevance to this day.


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