“Life! Women! Freedom!” is the battle cry that resonates through northern Syria (Western Kurdistan) where freedom fighter groups go by names such as YPG, YPJ, PKK and Peshmerga, translated as “one who confronts death.” These groups are considered the most successful and efficient warriors of sovereignty (authority to govern oneself) of the geo-cultural region Kurdistan. These groups are some of the first to utilize female soldiers to their full capacity in war. The Kurds are boldly leading the fight against ISIS, a fight that affects us all.
Dear Female Fighters of Kurdistan,
Anything they can do, you can do bleeding.
A woman’s war is a lot like their love, it stretches her, revealing unbeknownst strength until she gives birth to freedom. However, you know, beautiful women, that you cannot do this alone and that this fact does not make you lesser than. You are martyrs, women like winter, minds like water, taking the shape of everything it touches. Beautiful and reflective, but it can also erode and destroy the things around it. It gives life but it can also take it.
You make a muse of yourself. You fight alongside your brothers and sisters of war like equals. You are not bound by a domestic space, nor are you by social conventions. You are a political figure. You are Kurdistan and beyond. And what do you do with a fearless woman with a fierce desire for independence? You follow her to the front lines where, because of the immense strides that are taking place, women like you can be a big part of the fight for their nations autonomy. Where, she is the commander of a whole unit of men, where all eyes are on the only woman in the room not because of her figure, but because she plans the next phase of assault of one of the most feared terrorist organizations in the world, where you fight for the same cause, you fight as equals, where there exist all female units, where men call their female fighting counterparts better fighters because they are good teachers, they know what they’re fighting for.
“They can not stand in front of our women. They are running from our women.”
You are as young as seventeen when you are ready to change the world and redefine me. Just like that I am as fast as a bullet. I am shattered glass, and recoil. I am creeping feet sweeping across dirt and sand, over rubble, driving out the monsters only fathomable in nightmares. The war so many wouldn’t fight.
Because of you, I am resistance. I am revolution. Kurdish girl, influential seeker, when you are as young as fourteen, you renounce relationship, family, home and any prospect of a normal life to volunteer to fight for your countries independence, for humanity. Freedom fighter fleeing domestic violence, you have chosen the right fight. University graduate, of your own volition, you are fighting an intellectual and physical fight for undefined lines in dilapidated buildings grinded down by air strikes. Where the road to peace is covered in blood and shrapnel, a song ascends from your throat that infiltrates preconception. Your fight is not a man’s fight. It is not a superior fighter’s fight. It is not a woman’s fight. I, beauty, am in the freedom taken on your terms. The freedom fight belongs to those willing to take it. I belong to you.