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.

Internally Displaced Women Run restaurant in Syria’s north Aleppo Countryside

Along with three other displaced women, Zeyneb Battal, an IDP [internally displaced person] from the city of Afrin, northwest Syria, is busy preparing kibbeh (a fried ball of spiced ground meat, onions, and grain, popular in Middle Eastern cuisine) and other dishes in a small restaurant in the town of Fafeen in the northern Aleppo countryside.

Ecology in Times of War

In 2021, too, the war in Kurdistan has a great impact on the struggle for an ecological society there. So we need to take a closer look at how these two issues relate to each other and what an ecological stance can look like in times of war. To that end, Make Rojava Green Again conducted an interview with Kamuran Akın from Humboldt University in Berlin.

Turkey is reportedly depriving hundreds of thousands of people of water

The nation has been accused of breaking its agreement to ensure a flow of 500 cubic metres per second of the Euphrates flows through to Syria.

Women’s leading role in re-building Rojava economy: Women organised themselves for an ‘independent economy’

A member of the AANES Women's Economy Committee has shared information on the role of women's co-operatives in re-building a "free and independent" economy in northeastern Syria.

Syrian Women’s Leadership in a Fractured State

A novel Middle East Women Leaders Index, published by the Middle East Women Initiative, ranked Syria relatively low in women’s representation and leadership in the public sector. The data used (primarily from the World bank and UNDP) for the index covered the status of women in the Syrian government and areas it controls. However, the situation in Syria today is far more complex, almost ten years into the conflict.

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