Kobanî (also Kobanê, Arabic: كوباني, Classical Syriac: ܟܘܒܐܢܝ), officially Ayn al-Arab, is a city in the Kobani region of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. It lies on the border with Turkey.
Kobani was the place where the Rojava Revolution was first declared on 19 July, 2012.
In 2014, it was declared the administrative centre of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. It is in the Kobani Canton, which forms part of the Euphrates Region.
From September 2014 to January 2015, the city was under siege by Daesh [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]. Most of the city was destroyed and most of the population fled to Turkey. In 2015, the city was liberated by the People’s Protection Forces (YPG), despite most of the world expecting it to fall. Kobani is sometimes called “The Kurdish Stalingrad” because of this. Many of the refugees returned after the liberation and reconstruction began. Part of the city remains in rubble as an open air museum.
Prior to the Syrian Civil War, Kobanî was recorded as having a population of close to 45,000. The majority of inhabitants were Kurds, with Arab, Turkmen, and Armenian minorities.
In the predominantly Kurdish regions of Syria and Turkey, known respectively as Rojava and North Kurdistan, a groundbreaking experiment in communal living, social justice, and ecological vitality is taking place. Devastated by civil war, the Middle East is often seen as a place where little more than a cessation of hostilities can be hoped for. But Rojava and North Kurdistan have set their sights much higher. What started as a movement for political autonomy has blossomed into an attempt to build a radical pluralist democracy on the principles of communal solidarity — with food security, equality for women, and a localized, anti-capitalist economy at its core.
The economic sector has been reorganised anew in a more democratic way. For each canton an “assembly on economy” has been developed which consists of five sub-sectors: Industry, Trade, Agriculture, Co-operatives and Women's Economy.
The democratic autonomous model implemented in Rojava and the North of Syria has been presented at Terra Madre. Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an international gastronomy exhibition that takes places every two years in Turin. Organized by Slow Food, the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin, the event brings together food producers
Kurdistan is not a poor country; it is a country that is being made poor. The lack of Coca Cola does not make us poor. Capitalist modernity, as Ocalan defines it, makes us poor. It wants to belittle people’s own production and to impose on the society capitalist mass production. That’s why the co-operatives and the communes that we have been establishing made the state feel uncomfortable. Because this represents a logic of rupture from mass production and a move towards the use of our own resources. The state was losing its market in Kurdistan.
Do I think this system in Rojava is purely as Bookchin envisioned it? Not purely, but perhaps that may lie beyond the abilities of real human beings. But the people are wrestling with problems of implementation that Bookchin, as a theorist, never foresaw, and I think that even the mistakes that people in Rojava might make are relevant to the future importance of these ideas.
In Rojava, the significance of the co-operative system lies in efforts to democratise all sectors of society, including the economy. For this reason, creating alternative means and avenues that allow traditionally marginalised groups such as women to actively participate and engage with the market is an essential aspect of the radical democratic model.
It's been one year since the US bombing of Kobanê—then partly occupied by Daesh [ISIS/IS]—and most of the buildings are still in tatters. Kobanê is in Rojava (meaning 'West' in Kurdish), a Kurdish majority region in the north of Syria that declared autonomy from the Assad regime in 2012.