The women of the Internationalist Commune in Rojava (North and East Syria) have released a moving medley in the Soranî, Persian and Kurmancî languages as a tribute to two Kurdish women whose deaths shook the region this year.
The song’s title, “For Jîna Amini”, refers to the 22-year-old woman, also known by the Persian name “Mahsa”, who died on 16 September after being beaten during an arrest by Iran’s notorious morality police.
Amini’s death has drawn mass protests, not only in Iran’s mainly Kurdish western provinces known as Rojhilat, but across the whole country. Women have led protests, unveiled in defiance of the Islamic Republic’s strict laws, in an uprising that is posing one of the biggest threats ever faced by the theocratic state.
The commune’s music clip includes a strong message of solidarity to the women of Kurdistan, Iran, Balochistan, and the whole world.
The song is also dedicated to Nagihan Akarsel, Jineolojî Academy member and activist who was killed earlier this month in an attack outside her home in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah. The assassin is widely believed to have been sent by Turkish intelligence, which is also thought to be behind the deaths of three other activists in the vicinity since last year.
These two women are central to the slogan “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî”, a Kurdish phrase meaning “woman, life, freedom” that rang out during the Kurdish struggle against the Islamic State, and has now become symbolic of the anti-government protests in Iran and anti-patriarchal movements across the world.
The young women of the commune wrote a message in tribute to the maxim:
“Jin Jiyan Azadî is an unstoppable fire, a melody every woman can find in herself. The attacks on women right now in Rojhilat, Iran and Balochistan are attacks on every woman in the world. The strength of the resistance of the women in these and all the other places around the world where women are taking action is a strength every woman carries. The fight against patriarchy is international and this is how we have to live it. Together we make this system burn, we are a Million songs becoming one. We are the song of life and life is what we create. Kurdistan, Iran, Balochistan – this is only the beginning.”
Watch the full video and listen to the song on Çay at the Women’s Front Podcast on Spotify.