Amid the horrors of the Syrian civil war and the continuing fight against terror groups such as Daesh emerge some incredible stories of strength, determination and passion for a brighter future.
The inspiring story of Asya Abdullah, the female co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Union Party, is one of the most amazing we have heard.
The Independent published an article about Abdullah last week, calling her ‘one of the most radical and effective revolutionaries in the world today’. And we could not agree more.
For Abdullah is spearheading not only the fight for Kurdish freedom but also women’s rights in an environment where women have long been oppressed and subjugated.
“The hallmark of a free and democratic life is a free woman,” she says.
Due to the chaos in her country, Abdullah has recognised that she has the opportunity to forge a new future for Kurdish women. That despite – or perhaps in part because of – the horrifying treatment of women and girls by Daesh, women can now rise up, united against terror and war and emerge stronger, more confident and more powerful than ever before.
Abdullah is a true revolutionary. The fact that her fight is happening during what’s widely perceived to be one of the worst civil wars in modern history is quite astonishing.
“Isis [Daesh] would like to reduce women to slaves and body parts. We show them they’re wrong. We can do anything,” she continues.
It’s a message that will resonate throughout the region: Women are strong. Women refuse to be oppressed any longer. Daesh has failed to repress us.
And in addition to Syria, Abdullah is taking that message into the outside world. She spoke in Olso at the end of 2016, at the ‘Rojava New World Embassy’ – a temporary building that was constructed in the city, and which represents, through cultural means, the ideals of “stateless democracy” developed by the communities of the autonomous region of Rojava, northern-Syria.
It’s being heard. It’s being reported. Women in the West are being inspired by it. Kurdish women in Syria are hoping to live by it.
Abdullah can see beyond borders. She can see the bigger picture.
“My message is that individual women around the world need to start paying attention to their own rights”she says.“That is what I ask. To understand yourself and the connection our movement has to women’s struggles all over the world. That’s what we fight for.”