The Kanton Cizîre [Jazira Canton] was densely wooded until antiquity. No later than the Bagdad railway from Konya to Bagdad was built, more and more trees were burned. Nowadays the Kanton Cizîre is mainly embossed by agricultural land. Just single trees are visible. Under the Syrian regime it was illegal to plant trees, so there was no reforesting. That’s why the groundwater level constantly falls .
“The state didn’t even allow you to fix your own roof, you always had to pay a big amount of money. In the 1970’s the whole land was given to Arabs. All you could do was work as a mercenary on your own land. That’s why many people left Rojava to go to Damascus”, Cemal tells us, who is working at the nursery “Roj” nearby Dêrik.
“This nursery was founded directly after the revolution.” he explained. He shows the trees they raise there. There are mostly olive trees, pomegranate trees, fig, hazelnut and many different fruit trees as well as cypress and calibrate.
“The trees we grow here are trees which are naturally based in this area. Many commercial nurseries grow many plants, whatever is beautiful, but it’s not compatible with the local climate zone” Cemal explains. “Our goal is to make the region liveable and green again. We produce very favourably, because we don’t watch out for profit.”
From the beginning Cemal’s whole family was a part of the revolution.
“You can’t sit at home and do nothing if others bleed for your country. My older brother joined the Guerilla in 1988 already. He fell 1994 in Zagros. His name was Sadun Çira. My whole family supported the revolution from the very beginning. My sisters worked in councils- and communal structures. Nobody left the country” he proudly explains.
Cemal joined the YPG when the revolution started and was heavily wounded in the battle against Al-Nusra-Front “so I was sent here to the nursery by my friends” he says.
Now he explains to the Activists from “Make Rojava Green Again” how to prepare and plant the cuttings of olive trees. Also these trees will help to make Rojava green again.