Category Archives: Middle East

PALESTINE: Sexual Violence, Women`s Bodies, and Israeli Settler Colonialism

Nov 17 2014 by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Sarah Ihmoud and Suhad Dahir-Nashif

[ [“Deaths.” Drawing by Suhad Daher-Nashif]

They not only invaded our home, took over our space, and evicted us—they even arrested me and took me to the Maskubya—the police station.  I was put in room number four, alone, for a long time.  Then, a big and tall man, a police officer, entered the interrogation room.  I was alone, and started shivering from fear as he closed the door, started moving things around in the room and examining me from head to toe.  I was terrorized, and my heart was beating so fast.  His eyes penetrated my body, as he was opening the drawers looking for something.  Then, he left the room and came back five minutes later holding a box.  He pulled out a pair of blue plastic gloves, and put one on each of his hands, while looking at me and saying “…Come here…” I must tell you that I was terrorized when they invaded the house and evicted us. I was extremely anxious when they arrested my son. But my fears of ‘you know what’…You know…being abused…being raped by his blue big hands and more…were the most terrifying moments of my life.[1]

These were the words of Sama, a thirty-six-year-old Palestinian woman who lost the intimate familial and physical space of her home, only to experience further terror with the threat of sexual abuse.  Sama’s narrative is not uncommon, as colonized women living under severe deprivation and dispossession are subject to daily attacks against their sexuality and bodily rights. Sexual violence is central to the larger structure of colonial power, its racialized machinery of domination, and its logic of elimination.  This is readily apparent in the history of settler colonial contexts, where the machinery of violence explicitly targets native women’s sexuality and bodily safety as biologized “internal enemies” since they are the producers of the next generation. Read the rest of this entry

Interview with the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum (KAF) about the situation in Iraq/Kurdistan

e8d77bd211a1002cfec789808c0daf20This interview was carried out by on 3rd September 2014. The English translation has been edited for readability by

ALB: How are you now ?

We are fine but like many of you extremely concerned about the current situation in Iraq in general and the Iraqi part of Kurdistan in particular. We are very active in the social media with respect to writing, making comments and discussing the current crisis that exists with different people and groups.

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The struggle for Kobane: an example of selective solidarity

By Leila Al Shami

comrades from DAF join the struggle to defend Kobane

comrades from DAF join the struggle to defend Kobane

The heroic resistance of the people of Kobane in fighting the onslaught of the Daesh (ISIS) fascists since mid-September, has led to a surge of international solidarity. A multitude of articles and statements have been written and protests have been held in cities across the world. Kurds have flooded across the Turkish border to help their compatriots in the fight despite being brutally pushed back by Turkish forces, and others including Turkish comrades from DAF (Revolutionary Anarchist Action) have gone to the border to support in keeping it open to help the flood of refugees escaping to Turkey. There have been calls to arm Kurdish forces and calls to support DAF and send aid for refugees.  Yet this solidarity with Syria’s Kurds has not been extended to non-Kurdish groups in the country that have been fighting, and dying, to rid themselves of fascism and violent repression and for freedom and self-determination. It’s often said incorrectly, that sectarianism lies at the heart of the Syrian conflict. It’s necessary to understand to what extent sectarianism plays a role in our response too. Read the rest of this entry

KURDISTAN/SYRIA: Anarchists join struggle against ISIS in Kobane

The city of Kobane has been under attack by Daesh (ISIS) fascists for a number of days leading to a mass exodus of Kurds from the city. But many Kurds are now returning to fight and defend the city despite being pushed back at the border by Turkish forces. Inside the border, Kurdish forces along with the Free Syrian Army continue to fight against Daesh.

Turkish and Syrian Kurds tear down the border fence to cross into Kobane in neighboring Syria. Photo:AFP

Turkish and Syrian Kurds tear down the border fence to cross into Kobane in neighboring Syria. Photo:AFP

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SRBS Statement against US airstrikes on Syria and Iraq

(French and Spanish and Arabic version follows)

No to US airstrikes on Syria and Iraq!
All support to popular movements in Syria and Iraq!

A statement by Syrian Revolution Bases of Support

As the US once more beats the drums for its “war on terror” we affirm our opposition to US/coalition airstrikes on Syria and Iraq. Such imperialist intervention will only lead to propping up the sectarian occupation regime in Iraq and the genocidal Assad regime in Syria. It will further pave the way for expanding US economic and strategic interests in the region (namely exploiting resources and supporting the Zionist State).

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SYRIA: لا نقبل الاحتلال حليفاً لثورتنا – The Occupation Is Not an Ally to Our Revolution

إلى كمال اللبواني: اسمع، لبشار لم نركع... وللصهاينة لن نركع تجمع أنصار الثورة- #حمص #سوريا

إلى كمال اللبواني: اسمع، لبشار لم نركع… وللصهاينة لن نركع
تجمع أنصار الثورة- #حمص

[Statement comes following visit of Syrian mainstream opposition figure Kamal Labwani to Israel]

[English and French follows Arabic]
لا نقبل الاحتلال حليفاً لثورتنا

كسر السوريون والسوريات جدار الصمت في ثورتهم/ن ضد نظام القمع الأسدي، وخرجوا شيبًا وشبانا يطلبون الحرية، فواجه النظام ثورتهم بكل ما أوتي من بطش وقتل ما يقارب 200 ألف سوري وسوريّة وغيّب عشرات الآلاف بشكل قسري إضافة لتهجير الملايين، ورغم هذا حافظ الشارع السوري على تمسكه بحقه في الحرية والعدل والكرامة كمطالب ثورته الرئيسة.
وعمل النظام منذ بداية الثورة السورية على وأد أهدافها التحررية من خلال الترويج لنفسه كنظام يدعم المقاومة ضد الاحتلال ومن خلال الترويج للتطرف وزرع بذوره في صفوف المناهضين لحكمه الاستبدادي الإجرامي حتى صار من السهل العثور على الكثير من أشباهه في أطياف المعارضة السورية. كانت الحركات الأصولية أول نجاحات النظام في تشويه أهداف الثورة السورية وها نحن اليوم بعد ثلاثة أعوام ونصف من مذبحة الأسد المستمرة ضد الشعب السوري نواجه شكلًا آخر للانحراف عن أهداف الثورة الرئيسية من خلال ممارسات بعض المعارضين السوريين الذين يحاولون التحالف مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي بحجة مواجهة المقتلة الأسدية، واستبدال نظام حكم قاتل بتحالف مع الاحتلال القاتل.
إن المشروع الذي يروج له ويمارسه المعارض السوري كمال اللبواني والمتحالفون معه إذ يُغلف بمحاولة التخلص من نظام الأسد الديكتاتوري فإنه يحمل في عمقه انحرافًا كاملًا عن أهداف الثورة السورية، وتفريطاً مجانيّاً بحقوق الشعبين السوري والفلسطيني الذين يناضلان للخلاص من حكم القمع والاحتلال، ولا يصب إلّا في خانة تجميل صورة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي قاتل الأطفال في غزة وكامل الأراضي الفلسطينية وشبيه النظام الأسدي قاتل الأطفال في سوريا.
إننا نؤمن أن لا كرامة ولا حرية ولا عدل في التحالف مع إسرائيل التي تحتل الجولان السوري منذ 47 عامًا بعد أن هجّرت غالبية سكانه وهدمت قراه وبيوته، وتحتل فلسطين منذ 66 عامّا في مجزرة مستمرة من القتل والتهجير وهدم البيوت. كما ونستنكر المحاولات الرامية إلى تبرير التحالف مع إسرائيل تحت شعار “لا صوت يعلو فوق صوت المعركة”، وهو الشعار نفسه الذي استخدمه النظام طيلة عقود من أجل قمع السوريين وثنيهم عن المطالبة بحقوقهم.
ومثلما نرفض استمرار حكم الأسد لسوريا بكل ما يحمله من إرهاب في دموية مفرطة وإبادة لمقومات الحياة الكريمة، فإننا نرفض الممارسات الإرهابية الشبيهة التي تُمارسها الحركات الأصولية ونرفض أن يكون البديل هو الاحتلال الإسرائيلي المؤسس الأول للإرهاب في شرق المتوسط، فالحرية والعدل والكرامة لا تتجزأ ولا يمكننا السعي إليها في سوريا وإنكارها عن فلسطين، الثورة ليست استبدال مجرم بمجرم آخر ولا استبدال حكم الاستبداد بالاحتلال إنما ثورة حرية وعدل وكرامة.

قواعد دعم الثورة السورية

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BAHRAIN: Imprisoned Bahraini Human Rights Activist Has Started A Hunger Strike


Flickr: irenakausiute

By Miriam Berger

Bahraini activist Maryam al-Khawaja has launched a hunger strike — two weeks after Bahraini police imprisoned the prominent human rights defender when she landed in the country to try to visit her father, also in jail and on a hunger strike at the time.

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SYRIA: Who’s Afraid of Razan Zaitouneh?

FreeRazanBy Karam Nachar

There was a time, not too long ago, when a young woman headed one of the largest networks of Syrian activists working against the Assad regime. She had blue eyes and uncovered blond hair; she spoke English and held a degree in law; and she was a staunch secularist. But Razan Zaitouneh was utterly uninterested in showcasing any of these ‘qualities’, or in becoming an international icon. She believed in the universality of freedom and human rights, but it was only through very local battles that she thought such values could acquire life and meaning. Read the rest of this entry

IRAQ: The possibility of breaking up Iraq

e8d77bd211a1002cfec789808c0daf20A few weeks ago, in one of our bulletins, we (the Kurdistan Anarchists Forum) expressed our opinions and attitudes regarding the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), its attacks on Iraq, and the religious and political struggle between the Shia and Sunni for domination. Here in this statement, we put forward our views about the political situation, the possibility of a divided Iraq, and the current war. Read the rest of this entry

The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes

Kurdish-1[NB. we caution against over-idealization of PKK/PYD by some western anarchists but believe there are many important struggles happening in Kurdistan worthy of support]

An interesting report by Zaher Baher of Haringey Solidarity Group and Kurdistan Anarchists Forum who spent two weeks in Syrian Kurdistan, looking at the experiences of self-government in the region 

What you read below is the experience of my visit, for a couple of weeks in May this year, 2014, to North East of Syria or Syrian Kurdistan (West of Kurdistan) with a close friend of mine.

Throughout the visit we had the total freedom and opportunity to see and speak to whoever we wanted to. This includes women, men, youth, and the political parties. There are over 20 parties from Kurdish to Christian, of which some are in the Democratic Self Administration (DSA) or Democratic Self Management (DSM) of the region of Al Jazera. Al Jazera is one of three regions, (cantons) of West Kurdistan. We also met the Kurdish and Christian political parties who are not in the DSA or DSM. In addition, we met the top people from the Democratic Self Administration (DSM), members of the different committees, local groups and communes as well as businesspeople, shopkeepers, workers, people in the market and people who were just walking in the street. Read the rest of this entry