As a group of internationalists from different places in the world, being involved in different structures in Rojava we were part of a tour in the region of north and east Syria, the region organized as the Autonomous Administration.
For little more than a week we had the chance to visit places, discuss with different people, collect experience, make impressions, feel and see at least some of the many faces of this complex social revolution. Of course the time frame of a week was way too short to get a very deep insight to all the processes in the region, but a longer time was not possible because of the very tense war situation. After the elections in Turkey, the AKP-MHP regime again started to threaten the region, while intensifying its attacks. In one town that we visited we had to stay inside because on the same day we arrived, two comrades were martyred in a drone strike by the Turkish state.
Despite this, we decided to do this tour in order to create a better basis to contribute to the various aspects of the revolution and not give in to aggression. Because this is what the Turkish state wants to achieve with its attacks: Spread fear among the people, bring life to a halt and break the revolutionary spirit. So we went to towns such as Heseke, a place that until today marks an important point of resistance against the fascism of DAESH (ISIS). Last year, for example, DAESH attempted to stage a large scale prison escape which only came to a halt after days of fighting, causing many casualties.
We also visited places in the majority Arab regions, cities liberated from the hands of Daesh, such as Raqqa, Minbic and Tebqa. The names of these cities have written a history of resistance, with the effort and unprecedented struggle of all who fought and fell Şehîd, so that freedom could be achieved in the region. Kobane is perhaps the city that represents the legacy of resistance in Rojava the most. It is a place where the revolution is remembered in every corner. It is a place filled with stories of people who fought and went through moments of hope, victory and liberation.
As we were walking, we asked – Questions that accompanied us on the way:
How to put in practice the dialectic of theory and practice? How can we learn from the experience, and how can we put the ideology into practice?
Undoubtedly, this is a never ending process, especially for revolutionaries. Learning from life experience is a value that has become weaker in western societies. Within the framework of the capitalist nation-state, the education system feeds us with positivism, which leads to an extremely narrow view of what and how we can learn something. By forcing the natural and holistic human learning process into analytical and efficient standards, we have unlearned learning.
As internationalists coming from different countries to learn about this revolution, one of our desires and duties is to educate ourselves. But how? Here in Rojava, together with many friends, we have begun to understand more and more what democratic and revolutionary education means. Another important aspect of internationalism is to contribute to the struggles with which we have built a connection. We are not tourists or guests, we want to be comrades of the resisting people in Northeast Syria. This means that we face the responsibility that comes with the possibility of being in a liberated territory.
Many of us will work in the society of Rojava and the education we participated in as well as the series of meetings that took place during the tour aimed to complement each other in order to help us understand better how we can contribute to the organization of the society. We joined an intense education in which we were confronted with our contradictions created by our life within the capitalist system that draws us into attitudes influenced by liberalism and attitudes that prevent us from building a revolutionary personality that fights for the revolution and that allows us to limit our search for comfort and not really strive to be one with society.
These contradictions were able to be fought during this tour by going into society, by understanding how the works are done, but even more by being able to be one with society and by trying to understand its pain. But we also learned what society expects of us as internationalists: As a mother of a fallen guerrilla fighter in Kobanê said to us, after becoming part of this revolution and sharing our memories in a common struggle, our task is to tell the whole world about the reality and the struggle of the people here in Rojava. On this behalf we are going to share more about our experiences in the following weeks.