Inhumane images are coming out of the US-Mexico border with desperate people seeking asylum, including children and toddlers tear gassed by US border guards. Being a child refugee, growing up homeless and in camps in Rojhelat with my family, it was always deeply important and integral to my personal ethics that I visited refugee camps in Bakur, in Basur and Rojava during my years in Kurdistan. What strikes me as different is the vast gap in humanity, in ideological and collective perspective towards refugees and displaced people in Rojava.
The region Rojava, in this regard was an ideological border defining the line between humanity, democracy and coexistence in contrast to that of fascism and never an actual physical territory depicting Eurocentric values of land ownership by the dominant ethnicity, the Kurds. Consistently the presence of the idea of peaceful co-existence and habituation with people already sharing the land or those seeking refuge across Rojava was evident. Despite a 3 year long humanitarian Embargo imposed by Turkey, ongoing fight against ISIS, the Turkish invasion of Afrin, thousands of acres of farm land, orchards and livestock destroyed by ISIS, the crippled economy and hundreds of thousands internally displaced migrating to the northern Rojava region the doors were always open to refugees including thousands of Yezidis, Arabs and Christians coming from Iraq into Syria. It was never a question of IF seekers of refuge would be accommodated, it was always a matter of how best to serve the displaced while keeping the host communities safe from possible ISIS infiltrators which often hid within the waves of migrants.
There is much to be learned from Rojava in its show of humanity. There is much to be learned about the system of grassroots radical democracy striving there with neoliberal capitalist white supremacy. There is much to be learned about the imposition of artificial border under the system of the White Eurocentric system and that of Native, Indigenous, Aboriginal and Original inhabitants of shared lands.
Land ownership is a patriarchal, whitecentric, genocidal Western notion.
There are no “caravans” of evil people, no invading waves of “boat people”. This is only a figment of their media war machines, border policies, industrial war machines and neocolonial economic interests that cripples already destroyed economies and societies.
For this reason, those of us who are refugees, those of us who are progressives and Leftists, Feminists, Environmentalists, those who believe in the inalienable right to safety and peace must speak louder, so much louder than their lies. And we must do it IMMEDIATELY, grasping the urgency of the situation.