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The woman, who has become the centre of society, has made the greatest impression on the revolution in Rojava in recent years. Women who are resisting in the autonomous revolutionary peoples and society defense units – especially the YPJ – against the annihilation of the people through the fascist attacks of Turkey, as well as the attacks of Daesh, Al Nusra, FSA and many more, has become the hope of many people. It is the woman who has taken the lead here in north-eastern Syria – including Rojava – and is fighting for revolution with her whole life. A revolution that represents a perspective for the whole Middle East, beyond a state and an oppressed life.
Defence is understood in the revolution as a social reality, as a necessity. That the revolution in Rojava continues is also in the hands of every person, every family, every village. But the classically oppressed woman was deprived of her self-defense. Here in Rojava, all revolutionaries fight with this reality day after day to win a perspective, a freedom together.
To organize the defense of society in Rojava, people come together here and realize a variety of achievements. Education, meetings, discussions and ideas are brought together. In the face of Turkey’s attempt to destroy Rojava, the response of the revolutionaries can only be full determination, as Sehids like Arin Mirkan have shown. We see day after day all the efforts that many are making for the revolution.
We went to a weapons education in society, which was organized for the women of a village near Dêrîk and discussed with them how self-defense can be understood. We sat at the women’s side, talked and laughed with them, as some of them, one after another, learned to shoot with a Kalashnikov.
Each of them had different thoughts before going to education, but what they had in common was the attitude of wanting to know and being able to do everything necessary to defend the revolution. “We learn to defend our homeland, our revolution. The situation now is not like that here, but if the enemy comes, we won’t go.”
They are discussing about who should sing a song to cheer up the moral of all. Moral – the motivation – but also living in social, revolutionary values, is considered to be something of crucial importance.
Young women are also participating in the education. Many find it difficult to believe in themselves, but the group is insisting mutually that everyone will succeed. In the end, everyone is discussing the mistakes that were made, but also laughs about themselves.
In the revolution, women also organize themselves autonomously in every area, so they have the opportunity to develope their own methods and thoughts. Above all, it is important to create one’s own believe: “Sometimes we were told to stay at home, we could only do housework, but now we are learning other things. Now we can do everything. We can do housework, but we also learn to shoot. There’s nothing we can’t do as women.” And so it is with many women, who every day give all their efforts for the revolution. They take part in Meclis, the organization of communes, learn to defend themselves ideologically but also with weapons, and create a community in society based on freedom.
It is also discussed why the others in the village have not come to the education. There are many difficulties that have to be overcome. Some families do not want women to take part in the defence of the revolution. Others do not believe in themselves that they can learn it. One of the young women describes that it was a pleasure for her to see a military education because she saw what she could do and also because of the good relationship among the women. Many young women are still held back by their families and do not want to participate in the education.
Those who believe less in themselves, but who had come anyway, gain self-confidence through education. There is a truth in the revolution that we find here: the constant struggle with one’s own oppressed personality for the values of the women’s revolution. This is also the perspective that Abdullah Öcalan gave for the revolution in Kurdistan, but also in general: The most difficult struggle is the struggle with oneself, with the internalized oppression.
In many families there are already Sehids, martyrs, who fell in the fight against the fascist Turkish state or against Daesh or other attacks. The war has shaken North-East Syria for a long time and it will not remain quiet for a long time, if the revolution does not spread all over the Middle East and if the cursed knot, that the world has screwed over the Middle East, is not untied in a democratic way. As an internationalist from Europe, people here ask me everywhere: Why are you here? Why are you not fighting in your own country? But we can say that the solution of the Middle East for us also shows our own truths. Here in Mesopotamia, the cradle of humanity, we see women coming together again and deciding that it will be women who will be the solution.
When I say that the revolution is reality here and now and that there is a great search for a social truth here, then everybody accepts this as a reason for me to be here. The mothers, the young women, everyone here has a role in the revolution that will influence the whole world. We could hardly have imagined what it would be like to see our mothers so determined, ready to learn everything necessary to defend the achievements of the women’s revolution. But in Rojava it has become a reality.