As if to Merely Survive is Enough for the Oppressed

Having lived in Rojava now for over two years somethings are becoming clear.

They say that for the oppressed to simply survive is a radical act; as if to just survive is enough.

Despite the regimes that are Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran who band together only when there is a Kurdish genocide to organize; despite the US manufactured and German supplied bombs, despite the chemical weapons tested on us, despite the snipers positioned in our neighborhoods, the NATO funded bulldozers and drones flattening entire cities and thousand year old monuments, despite the waves of rabid terrorists, despite the exoduses, despite the abduction of our girls and their sale in the markets of Raqqa and alleyways of Aleppo- as if the sacred mountains of Shengal still do not weep in endless loss and sorrow; as if we do not hear their lament in the diaspora- despite the erasure of our languages, our multicoloured culture, our now hidden histories, despite the assimilation, the Arabization and the Turkifications; despite our colonization and internalizations of self-hatred and loathings; despite the fractions, the lack of unity, the different visions; despite the betrayals, the mass graves and the gendercides, despite the Dersims, the Anfals and the Qamishlous, despite it all…

Or because of it all,

simply surviving is not enough. It is the bare minimum endowed on the oppressed, the marginalized.

It must be more, so much more…more than bare freedom, more than naked self-interest, more than narrow nationalism, more than a solitary march for freedom. more than a desire to exist simply for the sake of existing. more beautiful than the wailing, broken heart of the battered. refusing the sham, duplicitous crumbs of the oppressors. more than empty tokenism of the artificial nation-state that produces future Kurds by other names.

It must be more, so much more. Undefined, unnamed yet. But emerging, forming, rising from the ashes of what has been; so blinding, so bright to me that I imagine its like trying to glimpse the brilliant shine of the burning sun from the slivers of light escaping from the fingers of my raised hand.

It is that Kurdistan that I hope for; that Kurdistan I wait for.

Dr. Hawzhin Azeez

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