I eradicated Isis with my women comrades – now our aim is to spread feminism across the Middle East

Isis may have been destroyed – but the the fight for women’s liberation is far from over

I decided to join the YPJ in 2013. From the very start, Rimelan until Derik, Tel Kocer, Sere Kaniye, Manbij, Shengal, until now in Deir Ezzor, in every campaign, we went through so much. What I remember from the war against Isis is our will to rise up, our desire for life, and our connection as comrades.

Here in Rojava, a lot of women cannot live with dignity in their families because of their feudal approach to living. But with my decision to join YPJ, my life changed forever.

My decision showed how women can take their place in the fight for liberation. For a Kurdish girl, who cannot speak up in their own house to defend her rights, this is really significant. At first, my family were afraid I would end up in the hands of the enemy and be treated dishonourably. But after a while, they were proud of me. They saw how I struggled.

Six years is a long time. We were constantly in the middle of war and bloodshed, and as women, this was an education for us. We saw a different, wider view of what life was. Every step we took together was like a child learning how to walk, until it can stand on its own legs. The comradeship inside YPG and YPJ is really strong.

The first time we came under attack from Isis, I started to think: “Maybe we cannot fight against these enemies. Maybe we will die here.”

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