Hawzhin Azeez

I am almost four years old. I am on horseback with my mother as our family is being smuggled from northern Iraq across the border on a clear spring dawn. It is 1988 and the Iran-Iraq War is at its final, gruelling, violent end.

A cool breeze blows against us.

I stare up at the sky tracking the sound of the planes and anticipating the familiar silence before the bang of exploding bombs shatter the earth. The planes circle overhead, but this plane is different from the other planes we’ve seen so often.

Amid the horrors of Syria’s multi-sided civil war, a ray of hope has broken out in the north.

Led by left-wing Kurdish forces in Rojava following a 2012 insurrection that liberated the area from the regime’s control, the Rojava Revolution aims to build a new system on the principles of women’s liberation, a multi-ethnic participatory democracy, ecology and solidarity.

Aleppo and the humanitarian crises has dominated international media in the past weeks. News articles with exceedingly dire headlines have increasingly dominated and many heart wrenching images have emerged of Regime brutality. 

This picture looks like any ordinary scenery from the Kobanê countryside. The idyllic villages and golden wheat fields with the sleepy little houses tucked away across the distance. But, it is more than that.

This is Ain Issa, an area of Tell Abyad and the frontline between the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and Daesh (Islamic State).

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