Hevrîn Xelef – a life for the women’s revolution and the freedom of the people of Syria

Hevrîn Xelef was born in 1983 in Dêrik. She grew up as a child of a social and political family. Four of her brothers and her sister Zozan joined the liberation struggle and fell martyr in the ranks of the Kurdish liberation movement. Her mother, Sûad, took part in many people’s assemblies with Abdullah Öcalan. What she learned there also had a great influence on Hevrîn’s upbringing and personal development. After Hevrîn had completed school in Dêrik, she studied agricultural sciences in Aleppo. After her studies, she returned to Dêrik.

At the beginning of the Revolution in Rojava, Hevrîn got involved in the works of the liberation struggle and the youth movement. Shortly thereafter, she began organizing the establishment of civil society institutions and took over managerial functions in the Economic Council in Qamişlo. With the proclamation of the Democratic Autonomous Administration, she took on the responsibilities of deputy co-chair of the Energy Committee in the canton of Cizîre. In 2015, she played an important role in the improvement and strengthening of the energy supply and ecological works in Cizîre. In these works, she devoted her attention especially to the economic needs of women and on the development of women’s ecology.

In 2018, Hevrîn was part of the organization and foundation of the Future Syria Party (Partiya Sûriya Pêşerojê – PSP), with the aim of working for the interests of all social groups and a democratic renewal for Syria. When the Future Syria Party (PSP) was founded in Raqqa on 27th March, 2018, she took on the role of General Secretary selflessly and with devotion. In a speech on the 8th anniversary of the popular uprising in Syria, she reiterated her conviction that the crisis in Syria cannot be resolved through war. She said “Eight years have passed. The popular uprising against the crisis and the struggle of the peoples of Syria have been carried out with great sacrifice, and have turned into a war. The lasting crisis in Syria, which has caused the expulsion and murder of the population, cannot be resolved without a political solution.”

In every speech, Hevrîn pointed out the importance of dialogue between the various Syrian political forces and social groups. She insisted that the people together determine their own future, and should shape their own political and social life. With her political struggle, she asked all circles of society and political actors to find a democratic solution for Syria all together.

Even after the Turkish war of occupation against the territories of the Democratic Autonomous Administration in Northern and Eastern Syria began on 9th October, 2019, she continued her struggle resolutely. On her way to visit civilians injured as a result of the Turkish offensive, she was executed by members of a jihadist gang allied with Turkey.

Hevrîn Xelef is an unforgettable part of the women’s revolution in Rojava and for the community of peoples living there together. To commemorate it means to defend the women’s revolution in Northern and Eastern Syria more resolutely than ever and to continue to ignite its spark in all countries of the Middle East and the world.

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