Jijak, We are Brothers

03 November 2013

The Jijak, We are Brothers campaign was launched by the Kurdish Fraternity Coordination Committee on October 15, 2013. Along with other civil society organizations they aimed to respond to the heightened political tension between Arabs and Kurds. These frictions have resulted in armed clashes between radical Islamist groups and PYD militants in Arab-Kurdish mixed areas. The campaign hopes to “raise national awareness and to emphasise the fraternal links between Arabs and Kurds,” according to organizers.

The campaign is born out of the belief that Syria’s better future lies in the solidarity of its many peoples: Arabs, Kurds, or any other ethnicity or confession. The organizers hope to remind people that “what brings us together, as Syrians, is much greater than that which divides us.” The campaign asserts that “these divisions are weakening the nation, and solving them is a condition for building a brighter future.”

The campaign is aimed at all Syrians, regardless of their ethnic or religious background. But it is especially relevant for areas where Arabs and Kurds live side by side like in Aleppo, Manbij, Jarablus and Raqqa. The campaign, which is set to last for sixty days, was launched on October 15, 2013 with a celebratory activity for the children of the Ashrafie neighborhood in Aleppo, under the title: “Your celebration is my celebration.”

Other planned activities include:

  1. Screenings of films about the Kurdish participation in the Syrian revolution, accompanied by speeches by Syrian artists about the campaign.
  2. Photographic exhibitions about the revolutionary movement in Kurdish areas and the devastation wrought on it by the regime.
  3. An online campaign with posters and designs about the Arab-Kurdish fraternal ties through several revolutionary websites and Facebook pages.
  4. Distributing pamphlets about the campaign in relevant areas.
  5. Organizing visits to those, civilians or militants, injured by the clashes in hospitals.
  6. Reaching out to Imams to coordinate Friday prayers at mosques in relevant areas in support of the campaign.
  7. Wall graffiti and banners.

The main obstacles faced by the activists revolve around lack of financial support and extremist groups attempting to ban such campaigns. Nevertheless, the organizers are determined to take the campaign as far as their resources allow, because “it is important to highlight the role of Kurds in a revolution that represented the people’s hopes for change, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.”


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad