Students of the Australian National University have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the current situation in Rojava, in northern Syria. The campaign, “Stand With Kobane” aims to raise money to help rebuild the Kurdish city of Kobane.
Kobane made headlines this year when it was the first Kurdish city to successfully break Islamic State's siege. A successful counter-attack resulted in the expulsion of all the IS fighters from the Kobane canton.
Despite this success, more than 200,000 people fled from Kobane, most taking refuge in Turkey. Today, these refugees are denied many basic rights, especially those associated with their cultural identification and political expression. Kobane refugees want the freedom to return to their homeland, but it is estimated that 70% of their city remains completely destroyed.
Since May, Turkey’s border has been closed and aid workers are prevented from entering the Kobane canton.
The most active aid organisation operating inside Kobane now is the Kobane Reconstruction Board (KRB). However, because of its association with the socialist and communist parties of Rojava, Western nations do not provide aid and assistance to this organisation.
The ANU Middle Eastern Society (AMES) aims to break this trend by selling bracelets and raising donations, with proceeds going directly to the KRB.
A single donation of $10.99 will contribute to the financing of necessary equipment to remove the rubble that dominates the city of Kobane. Refugees cannot return home until the streets are cleared, houses are rebuilt and infrastructure is restored.
There has been an outpouring of assistance from locals and foreigners who have emigrated to Kobane to assist in its reconstruction. However, it remains burdened by its lack of financial capacity. The workers and citizens of Kobane are asking for your help to rebuild their homeland.
AMES has established contacts with locals and workers inside Kobane, including Swedish fighter, Jesper Söder. We call upon the readers of Green Left Weekly to show solidarity with the Democratic Confederalism project in Rojava and Kurdistan. Please consider donating to the Kurdish cause and help establish the free and autonomous region of Rojava.
If you cannot provide financial assistance, please contact AMES to learn how you can become a pen-pal with those wishing to learn English.
[Greg McLellan is president of the Australian National University Middle East Society (AMES).]