MembersNo Holiday Cheer Living Under Occupation

The word “occupation” is almost exclusively applied to Israel, while genuine occupations are ignored.

By Edy Cohen | | Topics: Syria, Kurds
Turkish-led forces hang their flags from the local legislative building after conquering the Kurdish town of Afrin. Photo: EPA-EFE/DHA / DOGAN NEWS AGENCY

This year, there was no bonfire, no music in the streets, no effort to bring holiday cheer. The occupation had made it nearly impossible to celebrate. No, we aren’t talking about the Palestinian Arabs. We’re talking about the Kurds of northern Syria, who this year were unable to publicly mark Nowruz, the ancient Persian New Year holiday that the Kurds also use to commemorate their ancestors’ victory against Assyria in 612 BCE. 

Afrin is a district and city in northern Syria not far from the border with Turkey. In January 2018, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in which it conquered and occupied Afrin and surrounding areas. Turkey insisted that this was necessary to curb Kurdish aggression, and was assisted in the effort by the Free Syrian Army. 

Afrin is today a city living...

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