A year ago today Daesh (Islamic State) re-entered the newly liberated Kobane and in a massacre that lasted more than 24 hours, engaged in a brutal, house to house massacre of civilians; men, women, children, babies in their cradles- no one was spared. Today we mark this tragedy in an endless list of similar tragedies and massacres.
In the dusty, sleepy little streets and alleyways of this little city I imagine the spectre of a evil remains like a dark shadow… it travels today across the sun weathered faces of a grandmother whose tears hide in the crevices of her pained face and her hand; her old, lined hands slap her knees again and again to mark her shattered heart’s struggle to continue beating in light of her pain, as tears fall silently, endlessly; and it travels from house to house whose doors remain closed in memory and in mutual heartbreak- somber, reflective, quiet, a sadness too deep for words; even the birds remain quiet today as if even nature itself understands what it had witnessed; and she too remains bowed by the gravity of this pain; and it travels further until it finds the three orphaned children whose lives were forever shredded by this day a year ago- and the eldest little girl only 9 now knows too well the pain of today- It has been a year since she had spoken or smiled; and now left with little fingers cut brutally by a YPG dressed Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist because she gave him the victory sign on that fateful morning; still it travels across the rubble and more alleyways to find the family who lost 11 family members in one day- and where and whom do you begin to even mourn for when the burden is so unbearable?!- but the spectre travels even more and finds the house that should have belonged to the newlyweds who had been married only 15 days before, but whose house remains now a sad, hunched little structure- as if it too feels the shame of this inhumanity and remains forever mute in protest; and still it travels further, carrying more swirls of dust as if wishing to wipe the unspeakable memories that overshadow this city but cling stubbornly to memories and corners and picture frames; and I imagine that it travels to the furthest corner of this city until it finds my most precious little friends- my five little orphaned angels- and it cradles these little ones who probably are too little to even understand but will be reminded painfully and endlessly today of what they have lost a year ago. They have nothing to hold now but a much held, much kissed picture of long lost parents I gave them not long ago…
Today a year ago 233 lives were lost but not forgotten. They remain ever present in this little city. They remain one of the most important reasons for the ongoing struggle- a struggle to rid this world of evils unspeakable, of acts of such great violence that they blur the lines of humanity and bleed it into an unimaginable place of no return… today is a reminder that we must never, ever, ever give up the fight and the struggle against evil and greed.
Complacency is not an option, not a luxury we can afford. There is a mother of two YPG martyrs that I know and visit regularly. Each time I travel to her beautiful little village there is a sign I see on the wall of a now long abandoned shop. The hand made sign says “forgetting is betrayal” -Abdullah Ocalan- a statement which should be our guiding philosophical light. My heart is broken today with my beloved little Kobane. Shahid namirin (Martyrs don’t die). They live forever in our hearts.
Originally published on the Kurdish Question.