writes Elif Kaya for Yeni Özgür Politika.he Rojava revolution has left nine years behind and entered its tenth year. A revolution, each step of which was full of great resistance and struggles; a revolution, which walked towards victory with great sacrifices; a revolution, which has managed to become a hope for the quest for freedom,”
On 19 July 2012, a magnificent resistance was born in a place, whose name, Rojava (Kurdish for ‘West’), was not heard by many back then.
But no one even asked “the west of what” was “Rojava the West” as the magnificent nature of this resistance inspired the world. This was the place, where the only power who managed to resist ISIS existed. ISIS who shocked the world with their brutality and nobody had a word to describe the name of this place. Who were these people? What was the place where they lived called?
People only heard that this place was called Rojava from the people who were fighting in the frontline sections of the trenches. They did not understand at first that Rojava was the name of a direction. Could a direction be the name of some lands?
It could with the Rojava resistance. Since the world Kurdistan has been disregarded in official literature and since the Kurdish people have long been using the name ‘Rojava’ as the short version of the ‘Rojavayê Kurdistan’ (Kurdish for ‘Western Kurdistan’), the revolution chose its own name by its very own nature: Rojava!
With its power to build a new life from the ruins of war, the Rojava Revolution has become a hope for the world showing what people could achieve with their own power when they wanted to. That is why since the beginning, especially the women and the oppressed took the side of the revolution. People embraced it, not only because of the strong battle it waged against ISIS and colonialist powers, but also because of the democratic-confederal social organisation model it achieved.
It showed that a new social order was possible, in which peoples, all humans could live in co-existence, shoulder by shoulder and equally. Utopia was shaped in flesh and bones with the Rojava Revolution. That is why it has turned into a place where people who have been defending an internationalist struggle have come flocking to the revolution. The Rojava Revolution has moved thousands of people, who has always believed that another world was possible. Some of them were martryed in the war, like Hêlîn Karaçox (Anna Campbell), Lêgerîn Çiya (Alina Sanchez) and Avaşin Tekoşin Güneş (Ivana Hoffman); some of them joined in the social communal work and worked with the people shoulder by shoulder; and some of them has endeavoured to communicate the voice of Rojava to the outside, to the world.
The revolution which started in a small spot in Western Kurdistan has spread through North and East Syria. Arabic, Assyrian, Turkmen, Armenian and Kurdish people have all worked together to develop the democratic-confederal system and organised themselves. This project was embraced not only by the people in the region, but also by millions of people around the world, because on these very lands a utopia of thousands of years old came to life. In the most fierce period of the war, 2014, 1st November was announced as the ‘World Kobane Day’ and all around the world people organised demonstrations to own and support the revolution. Millions of people took to the streets and showed their stance that they were taking sides with the revolution.
Despite nine years after the Rojava revolution, North and East Syria have no status that is recognised internationally. Such a state of ‘no status’ abolishes all access to international mechanisms, which would hold accountable the perpetrators of war crimes in North and East Syria and makes the revolution vulnerable to all sorts of attacks.
An important way to protect the revolution is to make sure that its international status is recognised. The social media campaign launched on the ninth year of Rojava Revolution with the hashtag #Status4NorthAndEastSyria is therefore very important. The fact that over 200,000 people shared this hashtag within a few hours reflects the demands of the people, because the Rojava revolution is a place of hope not only for the Kurds and peoples living across the region, but also for all forces who have anything to say against the system.
To keep the Rojava Revolution alive, is a mission requiring critical effort to make a utopia of thousands of years old live!