Havrin Khalaf – A life dedicated to women’s revolution

This obituary of Kurdish Women’s Movement activist, economist and politician Hevrîn Xelef was published by ANF English on 16 October, 2019

Hevrîn Khalaf has played an unforgettable role in the women’s revolution of Rojava and for the unity of peoples. She was executed in an ambush by a jihadist gang allied with Turkey.

Havrin Khalaf, or Hevrîn Xelef, was born in 1984 in Dêrik city of northern Syria. She grew up as a child in a socially and politically engaged family. Four of her brothers and Havrin’s sister Zozan joined the liberation struggle and fell in the ranks of the Kurdish freedom movement.

Her mother Sûad participated in many popular assemblies of Abdullah Öcalan. What she learned here also had a great influence on the education and personality development of Havrin. After completing her education in Dêrik, Havrin studied agronomy in Aleppo. After completing her studies, she returned to Dêrik. With the beginning of the revolution in Rojava Havrin participated in the struggle for freedom and in the work of the youth movement. A short time later, she began organizing civil society development activities and took on senior roles in the Qamishlo Economic Council. With the proclamation of the Democratic Autonomous Administration, she took over responsibility as deputy co-chairperson in the Energy Committee of the Democratic Self-Government in the Canton of Cizîre. In 2015, she played an important role in improving and strengthening the energy supply and economic work in the canton of Cizîre.

Her work paid particular attention to the economic needs of women and the development of women’s economics. In 2018, Havrin participated in the process of setting up and founding the Syrian Future Party with the aim of advocating for the interests of all Syrian population groups and a democratic renewal of Syria. At the founding of the Syrian Future Party on March 27, 2018 in Raqqa she was selflessly committed to the task of Secretary General. Speaking on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the popular uprising in Syria, Havrin expressed her conviction that the political crisis in Syria cannot be resolved by war. She said, “Eight years have passed. The popular uprisings against the crisis and the struggle of the peoples of Syria have been widely sacrificed and turned into a war. The ongoing crisis in Syria, which is the reason for the displacement and murder of the population, cannot be settled without a political solution.”

In each of her speeches, Havrin emphasized the importance of dialogue among the various Syrian political forces and communities. She insisted that the peoples should determine their own future and shape their own political and social life together. Through her political struggle, Havrin called on all circles of society and political actors to participate in a democratic solution to the crisis in Syria.

With the beginning of the Turkish occupation war against the territories of the Democratic Autonomous Administration in northern and eastern Syria on October 9, 2019, Havrin resolutely continued her political struggle. In an ambush by members of a jihadist killer gang allied with Turkey, she was executed.

Havrin Khalaf has played an unforgettable role in the women’s revolution of Rojava and the community of peoples with her life and work. To commemorate her is to defend more resolutely than ever the women’s revolution in northern and eastern Syria and to continue her sparks in all the countries of the Middle East and the world.

The obituary for Havrin Khalaf was originally published on the website of the Women Defend Rojava campaign by the Kurdish women’s movement Kongreya Star.