TESTIMONY. Hogir, Toulouse student, tells how he joined the Kurdish fight in Syria

the essential For a month, Hogir, Toulouse 29 years, joined the Kurdish resistance in northeastern Syria, to impose a political ideal built on ecology and equality between men and women.

Why this engagement in this autonomous Syrian enclave against the Turkish offensives?

I think there is an urgent need to change the system. In Toulouse, I was studying economics and then I took a BTS in accounting and management. A large distribution boss wanted to hire me for 1 200 € per month for 80 hours per week. I refused. After several trips abroad, I returned to France and participated in the yellow vests movement. I was not part of any political group. I think it was my reading that radicalized me, Chomsky, Deleuze, Foucault, Bourdieu, Bakounine…

Is it this anti-capitalist model that motivates you?

I consider myself an anarcho-communist-ecologist. Before coming here, I didn’t have a laptop or a computer. I think the revolution must first go through an individual stage. We have to sort out the really useful things and we see that the modern world always offers us more unnecessary things. I saw the resistance and the Kurdish revolution on TV and in the media and I found it formidable, especially against Daesh. Now the Western media have completely skipped it because it no longer concerns them. What is happening here is great, there is a real political awareness of people like the yellow vests. People are realizing that they no longer want to live in the capitalist and patriarchal system.

What did you see there, in Rojava?

There is an ecological and above all a feminist revolution here. This is what I am here for. I had hesitated with the Zapatistas in Chiapas who are also experiencing a real revolution, but I approached the Kurds. I’ve been here for a month. it is a real system D which is set up. A bit like in Cuba. Rojava is landlocked between Erdogan’s Turkey in the north, which exerts pressure, the Syrian regime of Bashar in the south and Iraq with the Kurdish regime of the Barzani family.

What do you do with your time?

We spend a lot of time training militarily and working to publicize the Kurdish project.

The political project gives a large place to women. What is it really ?

The role of women in Rojava is essential. Every time there is an election somewhere, there is bound to be a woman. They succeeded in taking up arms in particular with the YPJ (people’s protection units) whereas before the war was only reserved for men. There is a new subject at the school which they call “jineology” (jin in Kurdish means woman) it is the study of the history of women and what they have accomplished through the ages.

There are also victims in this conflict …

There were many more French people at the time of the fight against Daesh. Now most of the people who come here tend to have far-left ideas and are not here for the war even though we are undergoing military training. There were deaths on the French side in Rojava. Examples are Kendal Breizh and Gabar the legionnaire. They fell for the liberation of the Kurdish people.

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