There remained Dorşin’s comb and candies for children

In the middle of the night, a huge explosion rattles the walls of my room, and I fall out of bed. Hearing gunfire non stop day and night has been going on for months. The sound has become the constant rhythm of my life, so much so that my ears have become so accustomed to the noise that I’m barely aware of it. But this is a truly huge explosion.

In the morning, there’s not a trace left of the street. People shout and scream, one woman runs by crying there’s nothing left of her house. All her belongings have turned to ash. Those walls still standing are riddled with bullet holes. Just around the corner, where once there stood a large lorry there is nothing but ashes. It was attacked while loaded obviously, now it’s hard to tell it was once a lorry.

I push past people. My steps are heavy, I listen to the sorrow rising from them. I meet up with a group of people and we start walking together. Off in a corner near the mosque, we see a corpse, covered in blood. A female body lying flat on its face. We turn it over and realize it is Dorşin. Only yesterday, we were laughing together, talking about the future. Now we face her lifeless body, one of the hardest experiences in the world.

Dignified and sombre, Dorşin’s friends arrive a little bit later. They lift the body to their shoulders to prepare it for the funeral which is ready before long in the neighborhood square. Her friends hold a military ceremony for her. This is a first in Nusaybin. I haven’t come across other military ceremonies in civilian regions. In her memory, her friends pledge loyalty to the struggle.

I know it is hard to explain the inner dynamics of people in resistance, especially when every day brings another death. However, I would like you to know that there is something unexplainable and magical in life after every time that price is paid. And so, on the 23rd of January 2015, there was the announcement of another death in Nusaybin, the city in Mardin province which was hit hard by military operations. I found myself writing this article to the news agencies. I’ve lost count of the number of such article I have written.

It was that much harder for me to “cover” this story that we had spoken a few days earlier in an interview. She had postponed the formal interview for health reasons, but I had managed to talk with her. She had arrived in the neighborhood a few days earlier and this was her first public meeting. She was all ears, taking everything in with great attention. And through her loss, the entire town of Nusaybin – and not only her neighborhood – got to know her.

The blues hung over the neighborhood after she died. In the house, there remained only her comb, her watch, hair pins and the candies she always carried for the children. No one spoke. The children withdrew in their corners as if they had lost what they loved the most. Seeing people gathered on a street corner and talking, I approach them and hear they are talking about Dorşin.

They say they remember her smiling face. Her friend Dünya tells us that they both fought in Rojava together also, during an unending season. “For her, the struggle was universal. Yesterday she was in Rojava, today in Nusaybin. She had joined the fight because of her ethnic identity as a Kurd and because of her identity as a woman. Being a woman was the essential feature for her and her approach to this question was remarkable.

Women and children mattered to her. She always carried candies in her pocket for the children. We will always remember her with her candies and her smiling face,” says Dünya with tears in her eyes.

“The was the nomad woman of the revolution.”

She was our nomad (koçer), her way of being and her expression looked like those of the nomads in the region. We always teased her about this. And indeed, she was a revolutionary nomad. A revolutionary who went from Amed to the mountains, then to Rojava end, finally to Nusaybin.