Afrin (Afrîn / Efrîn‎)

Afrin (Arabic: عفرين‎, translit. ʿAfrīn or ʿIfrīn; Kurdish: Efrîn or Afrîn‎; Classical Syriac: ܥܦܪܝܢ‎) is the main city in the region of the same name in Northern Syria. It is considered part of Rojava (West Kurdistan).

The town and district are named after the Afrin River, which flows through the city, splitting it into two distinct halves. The olive tree is the symbol of Afrin. Afrin is a major production centre for olives. Olive oil pressing and textiles are some of the city’s local industry.

During the summer of 2012, shortly after the start of the Rojava Revolution, Syrian government forces withdrew from Afrin, and the city became part of the Rojava self-administration, eventually becoming part of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. 

On 29 January 2014, Afrin Canton declared autonomy. The assembly elected Hêvî Îbrahîm Mustefa as Prime Minister, and she appointed Remzi Şêxmus and Ebdil Hemid Mistefa her deputies.

In August 2015, the University of Afrin started teaching, with initial programs in literature, engineering and economics, including institutes for medicine, topographic engineering, music and theatre, business administration and the Kurdish language.

On 20 January 2018, Turkish Air Force dropped over 100 bombs on Afrin.

On 18 March 2018, on the 58th day of the Turkish military operation in Afrin, the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Arm (TFSA) and the Turkish Armed Forces captured Afrin from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Shortly after invading the city, TFSA fighters looted parts of Afrin and destroyed numerous Kurdish symbols, including a statue of Kāve. Turkish Army troops raised Turkish flags and banners over the city.

There have since been numerous reports of horrendous crimes being committed in the city and surrounding areas.

The total population of the district was recorded at 172,095 in 2005, including 36,562 residents of Afrin city.

A very thorough collation of information about Afrin can be found here.

The growing struggle of women in Rojava

Rojava women's struggle began with Yekîtiya Star and moved to a new stage on 26 February 2016 under the name of Kongra Star. 52 women's organizations have been getting organised more efficiently under the umbrella of the Women's Assembly of North-East Syria.

Agricultural projects of Kongra Star aim to empower women

The Economy Committee of the Kongra Star has launched a new agricultural project to support displaced women.

The democratic system of communes and councils in North East Syria

The society we strive for, is an ethical-political society, which means a society in which all people are involved and organized, and the ethical values of the society are being protected. We see this as a main mechanism against power regimes like capitalism and patriarchy which work to dissolve society and create a system of individuals without the glue of societal values.

Model organization for all women: Kongra Star [part 11]

The ecological structure is also destroyed in the attacks on Northern and Eastern Syria. The Ecology Committee of Kongra Star has protected nature with the spirit of goddesses. Rihan Temo, spokesperson of the committee, called on women, people, organizations and institutes and said, “Protect your lands, nature because our lands are rich. We want to create the mentality protecting ecology culture in society. We should protect our environment and trees.

Model organization for all women: Kongra Star [parts 9 and 10]

Women in Rojava improve economy Pointing out that the women have improved the economy in Rojava, Armanc Mihemed, executive of the Economy Committee of Kongra Star, said that they have achieved significant successes by realizing many projects.

Building the Women’s Revolution: Women’s Communes in Efrîn Canton

Before the Turkish occupation, Efrîn was a center of the ‘women’s revolution’ that North and East Syria has become famous for. Women’s institutions based on direct democracy and aimed at addressing gender inequality and other social challenges were active, and laws and policies mandating political equality had been put into practice. Efrîn Canton saw minimal