Yesterday she was named Kobane, today she is named Afrin

As Kurds we know the intimate violence of endless oppressors and invaders trying to indoctrinate and condition us into an ideology of suffering and hopelessness. They tried to colonize our minds and shroud us in the bleak haze of wretchedness; and as they bombed us, erased and massacred us, raining mortars, sarin gas and cluster bombs on us they told us that it was history’s righteous call, God’s design and destiny’s divine will. But they did not know that the more they oppressed and violated the stronger our roots grew with resistance and we became more resilient, more determined to search out freedom and heed her distant cries. So now when death knocks on Afrin’s door she responds and resists with the unyielding courage of an ideology born of love and humanity. And even as she resists she raises her voice and sings love songs of liberation and hope to the oppressed because she knows her own power, her own strength- because she is the embodiment of the chained woman finally freed from the burdens they tried to enslave her with; and as she walks she shakes the very earth; and the mountains, her sacred protectors, shed tears of joy and love having waited with endless patience for this day. Even history has dusted herself off from the bloody ruins of fascism and capitalism’s oppression and stands beside us- once again.

There should be no fear in our hearts. No anxiety, no self doubt because we are the children of Kurdistan, the offsprings of freedom, the love child of mist and mountains. We learned resistance in the womb of our revolutionary mothers. We were raised to the lullaby of rattling of windows and that rat-a-tat of weapons and to the screams of brothers, fathers, uncles and cousins tortured in the pits of prisons. We were carried on the shoulders of our revolutionary freedom seeking fathers across mountains. We were watered by the spirit of sacrificing love of thousands of fallen martyrs. We have known every cave and every unseen path on the sacred face of our battered but relentless land and her canyons and mountains that protected us as the world turned its face away in submissive acquiescence. We are the flowers that grew where the bombs and mortars of hate fell; and together we are the garden that emerged from the rubble and concrete remains of war’s death drums. And for thousands of years to come history will sing of the courage of our revolutionary freedom fighters- our YPG and YPJ- and rename freedom in their name and honor.

Yesterday she was named Kobane, today she is named Afrin.

Dr. Hawzhin Azeez

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