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.
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.
Of Democratic Confederalism’s three pillars—radical democracy, gender liberation, and ecological sustainability—I would argue that the latter is the most crucial, and sets the foundation for a truly democratic, inclusive and egalitarian society. A society cannot be democratic towards ethno-religious minorities or be truly gender progressive if it cannot first and foremost demonstrate an integral and profound respect for our shared land.
“In Rojava…I saw the strength and passion that the human being is capable of, I saw the will and determination to fight for freedom, justice and truth women and men are capable of. I saw the passion with which men and women are building a new society. I saw how a human being can overcome pain and suffering no matter how enormous and even when you think they will tear you apart so that you will never get up again.” (Orsola Casagrande)
There are several pistachio gardens now in Kobane and surrounding villages. Use and distribution are determined by producers' co-operatives.
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.