“Rojava” is Kurdish for “West”. It refers to the land in the western part of Kurdistan (the land where Kurds live), in the north of Syria.
The Assad family has ruled Syria under dictatorship for 40 years. The official name for the country is the ‘Syrian Arab Republic’, formally denouncing the existence of Kurds and other minorities, despite the rich tapestry of cultures and languages that inhabit these lands.
In 2012, in the midst of the Syrian Civil War, the rule of the Assad Regime weakened in the Kurdish majority northern regions. The Rojava Revolution was announced on 19 July 2012.
An electric generator co-operative is a co-operative society that generates electricity for its beneficiaries, who become members by buying shares.
Adiba Tawoos moved from Aleppo to Qamishlo [Qamişlo / Qamishli / Al-Qamishli] seven years ago, and now she works in Şilêr Co-operative [pronounced Shi-lair]. We had an interview with her, she said, “We didn’t have work, but since the Rojava revolution we’ve been getting work opportunities to provide us with our daily bread.” Fifty-four year old Adiba moved to
Four women are working like a family in a dairy cooperative in Qamishlo [Qamişlo / Qamishli / Al-Qamishli], to develop the communal economy. Since the beginning of the Rojava Revolution, people have made big and important steps in organising and forming communes and cooperative societies. The communal life is the basis of developing the society; it is
Dirbêsiyê ─ With the start of June, agricultural and livestock co-operative Kasrek [Qesrik], the largest co-operative society of Jazira Canton [Kantona Cizîrê / Cezîre], began harvesting their rain-fed and irrigated crops. They will distribute the profits among 5,300 members. Kasrek Co-operative, a project of The Centre for Economy in Derbesiye [Dirbêsiyê / Al-Darbasiyah], is considered the largest co-op in Jazira
''Considering the economic situation, the deterioration of the living conditions and the lives of some of the people who live around the two communes, some steps have been taken to help them and support them financially. By letting people participate in the co-operative as members and workers who sell necessities at reduced prices, we help the people to endure the living conditions in the suburbs. There are some people who live in the neighbourhood working in the two projects, and that is reducing unemployment and creating a workforce. We are aiming to increase the economic projects around the commune in order to include more people, help them and cover their needs.''
The following article is based on my trip to Rojava in March 2016 where I interviewed Delal Afrin, Head of the Women’s Economic Committee of Kongira Star [Kongreya Star] (a women’s umbrella organisation, previously known as Yekitiya Star) and Hediye Yusuf, Co-President of Cizire Canton (now co-president of the Democratic Federation in Rojava and North
The peace committee talks with the families. If there is violence in a family, the woman can get help from the Asayiş. In Hileli meanwhile it’s socially disapproved for a man to hit his wife—that’s all but come to a stop. In other districts it’s still present in places. Here it was usual for the television to be on 24 hours in an apartment, with Turkish broadcasts in Arabic language—that was a big problem. But when the energy suddenly went off, so did the TVs, and people’s minds were cleared to do something else.
In early December an international delegation visited Rojava’s Cezire [Jazira] canton where they learned about the ongoing revolution, cooperation and tolerance.
Rojava seemed to me to be poor in means but rich in spirit. The people are brave, educated and dedicated to defending their revolution and their society. Their revolution is grassroots-democratic, gender equal, and co-operative. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The people of Rojava are showing the world what humanity is capable of.
In Kasrek [Qesrik] village of Dirbêsiyê [Derbesiye / Al-Darbasiyah], a co-operative society with 4,000 members started working on its economic, agricultural and livestock projects that will boost the community economy in the region. After a series of meetings of the people in the region, organised by the Economic Council in the Dirbêsiyê area, a new co-operative was formed
Akri Ibrahim – Ahmad Darwish The Economic Council of Dirbêsiyê [Derbesiye / Al-Darbasiyah] succeeded in making several socio-economic achievements in less than one year. The Economic Council of Derbesiye that was formed more than a year ago has managed to develop community economics in the region, and has made six economic achievements to date. 5,161 citizens participate in co-operatives. The Economic
Xalıd Şêxo, a manager of the Center for the Economy of Social Development in Dirbêsiyê, says “The aim of our co-operatives is to prevent internal and external powers from sowing seeds of division between the peoples.” Following the 19 July revolution in Rojava, there has not only been developments of a military nature. There are
The differences that this system presents is more clearly understood when one understands the reasons behind the revolution’s emergence and why it was necessary. Today the Rojava Revolution’s most important road map is the ‘Rojava Constitution.’ This constitution was formed and accepted by the Legislative Assembly of the Rojava Administration of Democratic Autonomy on January 6th, 2014 in the city of Amûdê in Rojava.
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.
The Women’s Office in east Qamishlo [Qamişlo / Qamishli / Al-Qamishli] has opened a bakery called Lilit to make pastries and manakish. The opening was attended by many of Qamishlo’s residents, as well as members of Kongreya Star [the women’s movement umbrella structure], local councils and institutions of civil society. We headed to Qamishlo’s eastern municipality to get more information,
Nisrîn Cooperative was established on 11th April, 2015. At that time, it consisted of five people, who each paid around 15,000 Syrian pounds (SYP), meaning they were able to raise 75,000 SYP between them. Their main aim was to help the poor and to break the traders' manipulation of the prices of food and detergents, because the prices in Nisrîn Co-operative are cheaper and more competitive than the central market, which is controlled by the traders.
An interesting report by Zaher Baher of Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum who spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan, looking at the experiences of self-government in the region against the background of the Syrian civil war and rise of Islamic State.