The Internationalist Commune
We, as internationalists from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europa, America and Oceania, have been working in different structures of the revolution in Rojava and Northern Syria for many years. Though we come from different political backgrounds, the Kurdish movement united and inspired us with a new revolutionary perspective going far beyond the Middle East.
In the beginning of 2017 we started to organise the Internationalist Commune of Rojava as a self-organized collective, working in coordination with the youth movement of Rojava (Cîwanên Şoreşger).
Until then, the internationalists working in Rojava were different people, from different countries, doing different things. But since that time we have been continuing with our works in a more organized way.
We wanted to remake the internationalist face of this revolution and facilitate the participation of other internationalists. To achieve these goals we work based on three principles – ‘learn, support, organize’.
We have completed the construction of the Sehid Helen Qerecox Internationalist Academy, and already the first turns of educations were done there. Here is a report about the education and our first year of work at the Commune.
In the beginning of the year 2018, we started the campaign “Make Rojava Green Again” together with the responsible entities within the self-administration for the ecological work. Several initial ecological projects, mainly the creation of a tree nursery, are in progress and we published a book about these works.
Members of the commune are working in different structures of the society, learning what this revolution means for the people and for the society. You can find out more about this work here.
Join the Revolution!
If you are thinking about coming to join the civil revolution here in Rojava, you may find answers to your questions below.
We would also recommend you read some of the other resources on our site to get a picture of life here in Rojava. You can learn more about us and about our three aims as internationalists – to ‘learn, support, organize’.
Who should come to Rojava?
We welcome anyone who has made an effort to understand the principles of the Rojava revolution, and is prepared to come here to learn, support and organize on the basis of these principles.
We are particularly hoping to hear from experienced activists and/or professionals who can contribute to our shared learning process in the projects we are currently working on.
– ecological activists, people with experience of permaculture and green/ecological autonomous projects
– engineers, hydrologists, agriculture experts
– language teachers, doctors and other medical personnel, translators
– people with experience of community organising
People who already speak Kurmanci, or who know Arabic, are of course also very useful here.
However, what is most important is that people come prepared to learn from the principles of the revolution and challenge their previous conceptions. We need more than just experts – we are looking for committed people with ideals.
What will I be doing?
A main principle of ours at the commune is to learn from the principles of the Rojava revolution and the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan, in both theory and practice. When you arrive you should expect to spend time studying the Kurdish language and Ocalan’s ideas, and to put these into practice during practical work at the Commune – for example physical work relating to the Make Rojava Green Again campaign.
In time, most members of the commune will go into society across Rojava to work in different civil structures. Members of the commune are currently involved in projects including the autonomous structures among Yazidi people in Shengal; autonomous women’s structures, the women’s village and the Jineology research centres; youth work; medical work; media work; English, art and boxing classes; ecological projects; and the Make Rojava Green again campaign.
But there is also space here to build and develop your own projects and ideas, in a liberated land free from the repression and constraints of the nation states. If you have ideas for new projects to contribute to our work we are happy to hear from you.
How long should I come for?
As a rule, you should be prepared to come for a minimum of six months – and preferable longer. This will allow you to learn from the ideology of the movement, improve your Kurmanci and approach the revolution with a long-term and committed perspective.
If this time-frame really isn’t possible, do get in touch anyway and we can find a solution together.
What should I do to prepare?
The most important step you can take to prepare is to study the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan and the principles of the Rojava revolution – you can find some resources to help you here.
It is not essential to become fluent in Kurmanci before you arrive, but the more you can learn the easier you will find it to engage with society and the local people and develop a deeper understanding of the situation in Rojava. You can find some language resources here.
The day-to-day working language of the commune is English, and education takes place in English or Kurmanci with English translation.
There are also many ways to become involved with the Kurdish movement in other countries across the world, particularly in Europe. If you aren’t already, it is very important to find out how you can contribute to the global struggle to support Rojava and spread the principles of the revolution.
How can I find out more?
If you’ve looked at the resources linked above and want to find out more or ask some more specific questions about joining the revolution here in Rojava, you can get in contact with us here.
We look forward to hearing from you!