Anticapitalist Economy in Rojava: The Contradictions of the Revolution in The Kurdish Struggle (Intro)

This is an English translation of the introduction to a book by Azize Aslan, published in 2021. A full pdf of the book in Spanish is available online.


This thesis looks into the anticapitalist economy and the organization of social relations in the context of the revolution and autonomy of Rojava (Kurdistan-Syria); it questions both the limitations and the historical problems of the phenomenon of Revolution as such, and the conflicts and contradictions that have emerged in this process.

This work also feeds off the conflicts and contradictions I have constantly felt as a “political subject” who wants to change the world, especially through my experience in the Kurdish struggle and the Kurdish Movement. For this reason, every question I ask and try to answer in this thesis—given that it refers to a certain extent to the Kurds, Rojava, and the world in general—involves my own subjectivity.

The idea/dream of revolution has been around ever since human history created systems of domination. In essence, revolution, meaning the liberation from systems of domination, has undoubtedly been one of the most discussed subjects in this history. There have been moments when the possibility of revolution has been clearer, and there have also been certain agreements on its content and on the path to get there; however, it has never been something utterly definable. And this is how it continues to be until today. This thesis does not intend to provide a definition of this great phenomenon either; it rather looks into the revolutionary practices that create emancipating realities within these processes, embracing revolution as an undefined, contradictory, and dynamic process. Although classic history has been written by the rulers, the history of social struggles has been and is still being created by many revolutionary and transformational processes, and the future is being shaped on the basis of desired revolutions and of the struggles that, equally, transform their own actors, the people. Therefore, the desire/search of the Kurdish people for liberation from the colonial rule of the nation-states of the Middle East—the subject matter of this thesis—has always been directly linked to the phenomenon of revolution.

Approximately a year after the beginning of the civil war in Syria, in 2012, the Kurdish Movement of Syria—which had adopted the ideas and objectives of the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan (in Syria, the armed struggle is represented by the YPG and the YPJ, and the political and social struggle by the PYD)—declared a de facto autonomy in the smallest part of western Kurdistan, Rojava, where contradictions and social conflicts have always been more intense. It then began to construct a democratic autonomy through military control in the regions inhabited predominantly by Kurds (Afrin, Kobanê, Cezîrê) and, from 2015 on, it extended the construction of autonomy to the entire region of the north of Syria until the Euphrates River, including Tabqa, Raqqa, and Deirezzor, where the Arab population is concentrated.

The process that developed with the declaration of autonomy in Rojava was defined as a “Revolution” by the Kurds, who resisted the division of their territory just as they resisted the colonization and negation of their existence for a century, in the face of which the Kurdish Movement defined the autonomy as the process of the “Construction of the Rojava Revolution”. One of the most significant debates of those days was “Is Rojava a revolution or not?” During the years I spent living in Istanbul, this question led to heated discussions between the groups of the Turkish Left and the Kurds who identified with the revolution of Rojava despite their different political positioning. In fact, a similar discussion took place in Syria too, where Syrian opposition groups accused the Kurds of betraying the Syrian revolution. These discussions/conflicts—in which I was directly or indirectly involved—were amongst the first and defining factors that made me feel the need to conduct this research. For us Kurds there was no point in discussing whether Rojava was a revolution or not; however, “What type of revolution was being organized in Rojava?” was the question that concerned us from the very first days. Therefore, this thesis intends to answer the question “What type of revolution is Rojava?” These discussions, which intensified with the revolution in Rojava and became much more concrete, were not new for us Kurds, for the Kurdish struggle has always been accused of being a nationalist and not a socialist struggle. In fact, similar discussions had paved the way for the separation of the socialist Kurdish movement from the Turkish Left and, later, the founding of the PKK in 1978, the most important Kurdish organization representing this movement. For me, the emergence of these debates was based on my discussions and feelings on issues such as whether “class struggle came before the struggle for national liberation” that took place within a Turkish left-wing group where I first became politically conscious at the age of 15, at the beginning of the decade of 2000.

When I was still 7 years old, my family was forced to emigrate because of the Turkish aggressions against our people, from Bakur (Kurdistan-Turkey) to a Turkish city in west Turkey. After almost two years of working in Turkish fields, living in a tent and working in servitude, we were able to save up some money and rent a house in the outskirts of the city that had no electricity and no road access. There were many Kurdish families such as my own in this neighbourhood, and, therefore, the Turks were a minority, only a few families. These Turks illegally sold state-owned land to the Kurds. We knew that they were Turks and that they were selling us land with no legal documents, but we had no other way of putting a roof over our heads. However, what we did not understand was why they called us “dirty Kurds, Kurds with a tail”. I was not old enough to understand.

According to the Turkish Constitution, all those who live in Turkey are Turks; that is, there are no Kurds. As children at school, however, we were forced to take an oath every morning which read “how fortunate are those who say I am a Turk!”. In other words, the Turkish state is shaped on the basis of negating different, non-Turkish ethnic identities; however, in practice, in everyday life, this is not so. What defined everyday life in Turkey was the conversion of the non-Turks. Wherever we went, it was obvious that we were Kurds; the colour of our hair, of our eyes, the fact that our skin was slightly darker than that of the Turks, it all revealed we were not Turks, and this was a great problem when we wanted to speak. That is why we would not speak Kurdish outside our homes (our parents told us not to speak it, besides the fact that it was banned); however, neither could we speak Turkish well, for our throat is not suitable for the phonetics of the Turkish language. As a result, when we began to speak, we would immediately give ourselves away. Once exposed, we would become the object of a racism that affected all aspects of our everyday life, a violence, humiliation, and fear that tried to convert us to Turks. The different forms of racism that have tried to negate us and render us uniform aimed at dishonouring our Kurdish essence. Our language, culture, family ties, history, roads and cities, our names, our work, all that we have and all that we are where the object of racist negation. This act of dishonour has always enraged me, ever since I was a child. Later on—I do not know why, maybe because of the birds, as Ahmed Arif [1] says—the idea of freedom entered my mind. Freedom was linked to dignity in every book and every poem I read, in every song I heard. Freedom, therefore, was a struggle for dignity. I was probably not aware of these definitions at the beginning; I was able to define them much later. At the beginning, freedom was an abstract, vague possibility; but when this possibility began to occupy its place in my life and in my thoughts, I had already initiated the search and the path which would lead me to writing this thesis. That is how I came to know the ideas and practice of the Left, and that is exactly how I discovered my own contradictions and conflicts. For how can we attain liberation if we do not acknowledge our contradictions and conflicts?

The first lesson I learnt on socialism, which is presumably the social system that follows capitalism, was that it constituted a transition towards a final objective: a communist society in which we would all be free; but, most of all, that we should transcend capitalism as a social and economic system. This required understanding capitalism and organizing ourselves to destroy it. Therefore, I became organized in a socialist party. My comrades told me that if I wanted to understand (!) capitalism, I should read Karl Marx for, how could we transcend capitalism without fully understanding it? This desire to understand capitalism inspired me to study economics, and I began to attend a university in Istanbul. I was very lucky in that, at a time when Marxism was disappearing in academia, I began to attend a university where there were still professors with a Marxist mindset. While I learned the laws of liberal economy (compulsory classes), I also attended classes that criticized this economy (most of these courses were voluntary). Furthermore, great comrades from the party in which I was organized were in Istanbul, many of whom originated from a traditional fraction of the Turkish Left. Apart from the economics classes I was attending at university, I read the works of Marx, Lenin, Engels, Stalin, Trotsky, so as to discuss “Revolution” and “What is to Be Done?” with said comrades. The party defined itself as a Leninist part and acknowledged the existence of Kurds in Turkey; even the party programme supported the struggle of the Kurds for their nation, which could only be achieved through a revolution of the working class and socialism. However, the prevailing opinion in the Left was that the Kurds were not fighting a class struggle, that they were fighting for their national rights and that their only goal was to establish Kurdistan. Even so, the Kurds should partake in the working-class struggle in Turkey and, once they had taken power, the Turks would acknowledge the right of the Kurds to self-determination. In fact, I agreed—and still agree—with the idea that the struggle ought to be a class struggle; that is why this thesis is about anticapitalism. But at that moment I could not perform an emotional synthesis. When Kurds who were organized in different left-wing organizations tried to speak of these feelings that we could not synthesize, we were considered nationalists or, in the best of cases, “nationalists of an oppressed nation”. We had either not read enough on communism or, if we had, we had not understood properly. Then the feminists began to express the same idea, that as Kurdish women we had not read enough on feminism or, if we had, we had not understood properly. But the same question kept repeating itself in my head: Why should Turks give us the right to self-determination? That is how I became aware of my first contradiction within politics: communists did not acknowledge the Kurdish dimension. What I wished for in those years was to be taken care of and to be accepted as a Kurd too. I was a communist, but I was also a Kurd, and my soul was scarred as a result of “being a Kurd”. I had not taken a beating at school because of being a communist; we were beaten for being Kurds or, rather, for playing in Kurdish. And we were not only beaten; we were taught Turkish by force, and our Turkish was never enough to satisfy them. I do not know what could be more difficult for one than enforcing and disciplining the mouth to speak with a force that had been learned well. In other words, to be a communist during that period was, in the best of cases, romantic; but there was nothing romantic about being a Kurd. To be a Kurd was to want and to not want to be a Kurd at the same time.

Just as I was experiencing this emotional conflict with the Left, on the 21 st of November 2004, a 12-year-old Kurdish boy called Uğur Kaymaz was murdered by the Turkish police in front of his house with 13 bullets, in Kiziltepe, Mardin; the city’s main state authority announced that two terrorists had been “annihilated”. On the following day, I learned the Kurds were to gather to read a communiqué for Uğur Kaymaz and his father. We suggested that we go to the meeting as a party, but that did not happen. Finally, only one comrade from the party, also a Kurd, and I went. Two communist Kurds went individually to protest the murder of a Kurdish boy. Once the public communiqué had been read, people began to take the megaphone to express their feelings against the murder. An old man then said: “To be a Kurd in Turkey is to die of 13 bullets at the age of 12”. These words hit me hard. 13 bullets at the age of 12! From that day on, when speaking of Uğur Kaymaz, his name is not mentioned; what is said is “13 bullets at the age of 12!” as a common name for Uğur and for all the other Kurdish children who have been murdered.

With Uğur’s murder, the classic narrative of the Left of “the worker’s revolution comes first and national liberation follows” had lost its meaning for me, for I believed this was a very absurd political stance in the face of the reality of constant massacre that a people, my people, were experiencing. In fact, I left the left-wing party a while later. However, this divergence did not have to do with left thinking or with the idea of organization; it was the partisanship of the Left that had led me to distance myself. Thus, for a short period of time, I became organized in the Kurdish youth movement.

The Kurds I met in Istanbul were not like the Kurds with whom I had grown up in the same neighbourhood; most were my friends from university had arrived to Istanbul directly from the Kurdish cities. They did not deny they were Kurds, they did not struggle to speak Turkish correctly as I did, and they even taught me that to speak Turkish badly was a form of resistance. I became acquainted with the experience of the commune which will be often mentioned in this thesis, as well as with the Kurdish movement, for the first time in these Kurdish student houses. We read Abdullah Öcalan, we described ourselves as a “youth movement”. No one declared it openly, but we knew we sympathized with the PKK. We were critical of the Left, but we always expressed that our struggles had common objectives, although we Kurds had certain specific political goals which required an organization of our own. This organization of our own and the community, student life, made me feel more integrated emotionally with the struggle, but that did not mean that I would feel no contradictions. In fact, I understood later on that to be in struggle is to be in contradiction.

The first part of this thesis, “the debates of the revolution and emancipation in the Kurdish struggle” consists of questions I pose correctly on the basis of these contradictions which emerged in the mentioned political spaces. For, in time, I understood that these are not only contradictions I have experienced individually, that they are not even contradictions experienced only by the Kurds; they are also experienced by the Maya in Chiapas or the Aymara in Bolivia as peoples in struggle. These contradictions are fuelled by a series of problematic and controversial areas on the issue of the socialist revolution, the political concepts and objectives of the traditional Left, the dominant perspectives, identity politics rooted in postmodernism, and the national struggles that are centred in the construction of the state. In the case of the Kurds, they were closely linked to how the Kurdish struggle is understood and discussed, especially in academia, where Kurds are discussed under the title of “The Kurdish Issue”. In very simple terms, the struggle is a “problem”. That is why the first section of this thesis speaks of the Kurds and the Kurdish struggles, and stresses that neither the Kurds nor the Kurdish struggles are homogeneous. The Kurds, whose territory was divided between the nation-states (Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria) that became established in the region after World War I, have risen many times and have been fighting in the four parts of Kurdistan for over a century. However, the movements and organizations of Kurdistan have always been controversial. What will the liberation of Kurdistan and of the Kurds look like, and what forms and methods of struggle will lead to emancipation? Until the beginning of the decade of 2000, a “united and independent Kurdistan” was seen as the only solution, both for nationalist and socialist movements. However, in time, the Kurdish movement led by the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan, which was initially launched with the objective of creating the socialist state of Kurdistan, was transformed. It performed a self-criticism as a party and concluded it had been wrong in considering the state as a solution towards emancipation. Thus, in 2003, it proposed democratic autonomy as a new horizon of struggle under the paradigm of democratic confederalism. The subject-matter and main question of the first chapter is why and how the Kurdish Movement, which had emerged as a Leninist party (PKK), gradually became a popular movement and underwent this intellectual transformation. To understand this transformation, an analysis was required of the revolutionary approach of the traditional Left, which focused on taking power, and of the 21st-century approach of the spontaneous revolution, which emerged following the negation of organization (the party). The transformation of the PKK is one that aspires to overcome both revolutionary approaches (purely hierarchic or horizontal) and to construct a revolutionary process in which the people are the subject. This section of the thesis makes numerous references to the Zapatista Movement. Despite their different social dynamics and histories, the observation of similar reflections led me to establish a reflectional relation between the Kurdish and the Zapatista movements.

The intellectual and organizational transformation of the Kurdish movement and, through this self-critical transformation, the adaptation of autonomy as a new politics of emancipation are not only the historical backdrop which led to the revolution of Rojava; they also define the present of Rojava. The fact that the Kurdish movement firstly problematized power, in the sense of breaking with the idea of the state, then experienced/realized—through its own experience of gender-based conflict within the movement—that power relations can emerge in all areas where the patriarchate is dominant, and finally turned criticism and self-criticism into a methodology of organization against the rise of powers, have led to a change that will allow the movement to always have a dynamic and transformative capacity. In this sense, Rojava is a revolutionary experience that combines this intellectual and organizational transformation of the Kurdish movement with a social transformation. Therefore, the autonomy that is expressed as the process of constructing revolution and how social transformation is produced are amongst the other questions posed in this thesis. However, before analysing the autonomy of Rojava, we believe it is necessary to tell the story of the resistance of Rojava so as to understand the social foundations of its Revolution and the subjectivities of the people who revolt. The second chapter, “The common history of resistance”, is based on a fundamental critique: the history of colonialism is always told through the actions of (colonizing) domination. While the colonized people have always resisted for their freedom, as in Rojava, historiography or social sciences do not see this resistance and treat these peoples as victims of colonialism. This viewpoint reproduces the dominant power of the colonizer. That is why the second chapter underlines the fact that the search for autonomy always walks hand in hand with this resistance and works into the common memory of resistance of the Kurds in Rojava.

In the third chapter, titled “The autonomy of Rojava as a movement”, we analyse democratic autonomy and democratic confederalism, which have been the concepts of struggle of the Kurdish Movement since 2003, in terms of theory and practice. The negation of power constitutes the foundation of these new objectives of struggle. The understanding of autonomy, which negates nationalization and all types of relations of domination between the state and society, points toward a new social, democratic and ecological organization and towards women’s liberation; it turns autonomy into a practice of coexistence and of decision making between different ethnic and religious identities with the standpoint and the practice of the democratic nation. Furthermore, in this chapter we highlight that the process of constructing autonomy in Rojava has not been defined in the seven years that have passed since the declaration of autonomy, and that autonomy transformed as its practices were being revealed. Therefore, it is an ongoing process; we discuss what tendencies exist within these practices and what is revealed by their transformation. The conditions of hot war and the policies against the insurgents render the institutionalization of autonomy compulsory, as well as the acceptance of the relations and forms of domination of the nation-state; that is why the process of transformation of the first popular assemblies in Rojava into the Federation of the North and East of Syria has unfolded under the risk of institutionalization, as has occurred with other experiences of autonomy. However, we assert that popular assemblies and the experiences of the communes can overcome this risk by creating practices that mobilize the peoples from below. Therefore, the possibility of the “Kurdish state” walks hand in hand with the revolutionary process and the construction of autonomy as an emotional contradiction, especially when there are very violent attacks against the villages. The main argument of this chapter is that Rojava, the communes, and popular assemblies have overcome the issue of representation and democracy, and the act of assembly has become a movement; the commune has become the everyday way of life in Rojava, and autonomy is the experience of the relations that organize life. The practices of popular organization, the creation of relations and spaces for collective decision making, and the capacity of the community to make decisions a reality are fundamental social transformations that motivate the autonomous government to deepen the autonomy by creating more autonomous practices, distancing itself from state or capitalist institutionalization. The fact that women participate equally (50%) in all these autonomous practices and have their own organization allows for the autonomy to advance towards an antipatriarchal terrain.

The last part of the thesis touches on the practice of anticapitalist economy in Rojava. Numerous revolutions undertaken by societies have been relegated to the pages of history because of their inability to organize an anticapitalist economy that liberates labour from the rule of capital. Also, many autonomous experiences have attained political autonomy but have not been able to become independent from global capitalism in that they produced a local capitalism, they were not able to bring about true social emancipation. In this sense, for this thesis, what determines the future of the revolution and autonomy is the capacity of liberation from the relations of capital and of the creation of a life guided by use value. This risk, that is, capitalization, is also present in the revolution of Rojava and in its autonomy. Therefore, in the last section we examine the capacity of the revolution and autonomy of Rojava to transcend and destroy capitalism, by focusing on the organization of an anticapitalist economy that is expressed as a “social economy” in Rojava.

The economy is one of the organizational dimensions of democratic autonomy; its goal is to socialize production and communalize property from two areas: as general (mixed) economy and as women’s economy (Aboriya Jin). From 2014, when the organization began in committees and later on through coordination, many different methods have been tried out to organize this dimension. While there are many customs and practices of the peoples in the main fields of life, spontaneous experiences arise. However, organizing a non-capitalist economy and ending capitalist relations is one of the most demanding areas for the Kurdish Movement and the autonomous government of Rojava. That is why all the experiences and problems of past revolutions become suddenly visible in the Rojava Revolution. The main reason for which it is so difficult to get rid of capitalism is the totality it has weaved with the state and the patriarchate, and now with constant war; however, it also has to do with the analysis of capitalism by the Kurdish Movement and the perspective of the communal economy shaped on the basis of this analysis. The main objective of this thesis has been to discuss the theoretical and practical limits of the communal economy against the totality of capitalism. Consequently, in the first part of the last chapter we focus on the contradictions between the perspective and the practice of the communal economy. We argue that the perspective of the communal economy can miss, and has missed, many of the experiences—revolutionary practices—that have emerged during the organization of the economy because the need for an anticapitalist economy is not sufficiently internalized and valued, neither by politics and political leaders nor by the peoples. Furthermore, we considered it necessary to perform a general reflection on cooperativism, for the perspective of the communal economy is based on the cooperatives. We conclude the chapter with the analysis of how cooperatives in Rojava are organized, as well as of their characteristics, dynamics, and limitations. This analysis shows that cooperatives in Rojava are experienced not as structures of production but as something relational.

My experience as a Kurd and as a participant in the Kurdish struggle for many years permeates this entire thesis; even more so, however, the last chapter, which is strongly influenced by the time I spent in the economics committee in Bakur, where we organized and supported cooperatives just like Rojava. Many of the questions and issues that I discuss in this last chapter originate in this experience and in the research I conducted in Rojava.

During the creation of this thesis, I visited Rojava twice—with an interval of approximately two years—and I conducted research in a broad field. My first visit took place between January and April 2018, and the second during November and December of 2019. Since 2011, the whole of Syria has been experiencing a situation of hard war; it is fair to say that the region of Rojava, although not deserted as other regions of Syria, is under constant attack. In fact, during my first visit to the Afrin canton as well as during my second visit, the regions of Serîkanîye and Giresipiye were attacked by the joint invasion of the Turks and the jihadists. My research work was conducted within the possibilities of this atmosphere of war. However, despite the war and the climate of insecurity, especially for women, one can observe that the peoples unite more and more each day around democratic autonomy; the existing resistance, hope, and social transformation, as well as the individuals that are being transformed, turning into subjects of the autonomy, have made me feel that to write on this revolutionary and transformative process is much more vital than the destruction and violence that the war has caused.

I have not limited my field research on a specific geographic region; the social diversity in Rojava and in the north of Syria has created a wealth in which each territory has its own subjectivities, even neighbouring villages. I did not wish to limit these differences to a geography that represents the region in scientific terms. I defined the field of investigation in terms of the relations created by the organization of the non-territorial economy. In other words, I conducted my research following the communities that are part of the organization of the social economy.

The research work consists of individual and collective interviews; participation in and observation of the meetings of the cooperatives, popular assemblies and communes, as well as visits to the cooperatives and different areas of the economic projects. Although the largest part of my field research has to do with the organization of the economy, I was able to conduct numerous interviews and observations outside the field of the economy. I met with the co-presidents of the autonomous government of the Jazeera region, as well as with the co-president of the economic council, and I attended the reunions of the cantonal assemblies of Qamishlo and Heseke as a listener and an observer. Apart from these interviews and reunions, most of which are recorded, many unrecorded interviews, reunions, discussions, and observations also fed into the argumentation of the thesis.

During my time in Rojava, I stayed in the commune houses of the women’s movement (Kongra-star) and thus had the opportunity to experience communal life and community processes. One of the most important experiences that impressed me in Rojava was that, beyond the commune houses, through autonomy, communal life in Rojava and in the north and east of Syria was expanded and became incorporated in the local culture of solidarity and sharing.

During my research I needed almost no money; I received an incredibly important support from all these networks, relations, and communal spaces. Wherever I went I was offered food and tea, followed by many discussions. The members of the coordination of the social economy of Rojava provided all the liaisons for my meetings; I personally chose the people I would interview, and being familiarized with the organization structure and the forms of the Kurdish Movement helped me choose them, creating a field of trust between my interviewees and myself. In my first visit I met with the leaders of the economic committees of TEV-DEM and Kongra-star, who organized the area of the economy, to understand the organizational structure of the social economy. I prepared the schedule of my visits to the cooperatives with the cooperative committee; thus, I met with the members of the cooperatives as well as with the houses of the cooperatives (Mala Kooperatifa). Apart from this, I had the chance to meet with innumerable communes following the popular congregations of “a cooperative for each commune” organized by the movement of cooperativism that the committee of the women’s economy (Aboriya Jin) had launched. On my second visit, I once again met with the coordination of the economy so as to understand the changes and transformations that had taken place since my first visit until the end of 2019. I also conducted visits in the area of the cooperatives, although many cooperatives I had visited in 2018 no longer existed. Furthermore, to understand how the field of the economy is linked and integrated with other dimensions of the autonomy, I met with the women’s movement, the academy of Jineoloji, the women’s village (Jinwar), the coordination of the municipalities and of the ecology, the autonomous government, and the co-presidents of the cantonal assemblies. I took part in numerous massive congregations, such as solidarity campaigns organized by the communes for the displaced populations of Afrin and Giresipiye-Serîkanîye; I also visited tree plantations, marches against the invasion, celebrations of Newroz, women’s marches. In this sense, although it is the social economy that is at the core of the research, the time I spent in Rojava was a process in which I experienced anticapitalist life and was able to experiment, observe, and—more importantly—discuss with people.

One of the most difficult situations I faced while doing this thesis was working within a process of constant change and transformation. That is why, in this text, you will not find final assertions on the revolution and the process of the construction of autonomy in Rojava; on the contrary, I tried to underline the tendencies of the autonomy, the collective efforts to overcome contradictions, conflicts, and time constraints. For, in Rojava, the revolution occurs through the experimentation of the peoples and is not ruled by any institution or predefined thinking.

I must point out that that my experience in Rojava walked hand in hand with the process of getting to know the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas during my stay in Mexico. The peoples of Mesopotamia and of the Land of the Maya once led civilization and the Neolithic revolutions thousands of years ago, and they continue to do so today. They continue fighting to make the world a better and more liveable place. When I became aware of the fact that their struggles have been going on for thousands of years and that democracy, to be fair and—above all—to be free is for these peoples not only a political quest but a way of life, I understood why, thousands of years later, these lands continue to be the global centre of hope. That is why, as a Kurdish woman from Mesopotamia, to touch the soul of the Maya lands is the most beautiful, hopeful and motivating experience I could have in this world. It is not an easy task for a thesis to describe the immensely rich totality of these experiences, for life is always more than a thesis, and the struggle is sometimes more than life itself; however, if it manages to create a thread for the bridge of hope that connects these two centres of hope, it will have achieved its objective.

“There are also birds, your honour
They are the reason for everything…
They put freedom into the mind of the people…
Look, they are flying like terrorists, terrorists…” (Poem by Ahmed Arif)