Kurdistan is Self-Sufficient

By: Smail Sherefi

From the earliest hours of the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Iran and Kurdistan, it was clear that the  Islamic Republic of Iran is much more incompetent and incapable of protecting people’s lives.  From the very beginning, the regime’s officials initiated false lies and fake news in relation to the number of infected people and deaths and have shown that in this crisis, what they don’t care about is the people and the public health of the society.  Therefore,  people tried to fight against this deadly epidemic disease on their own through launching various campaigns, without expecting any efforts from the regime.

Kurdistan, as usual with the times of crises, has reacted brilliantly in this regard too and adopted a strategy of “empathy” and “unity” against both the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the ” the regime virus.” In less than a few days, and following the public call by the Kurdish political parties, the civil society activists, sympathetic phycisians, and social elites took the first steps toward protecting themselves by staying at their homes and encouraging people to do so.  While the regime was not able to provide masks to the people, tailors and dressmakers turned their street workshops into a place to prepare masks and distributed them among the people. Many groups volunteered to advise people on the pandemic and to encourage them to stay at home.

The spread of the virus coincided with Newroz and the New Year celebrations, which are particularly important to the Kurdish people. It is a time when people gather and greet in public and inside homes to celebrate the changing of the season and the year. So, it is enough to know that it was very difficult and painful for the Kurds to stay at home, ignore the ceremonies of Newroz, and stop visiting families and friends.  Also, self-isolation at homes, and businesses being closed down in today’s challenging economic conditions, due to the regime’s wrong policies, are not an easy thing to comply with. As it was evident in the recent call of many political parties and activists, the rich people of Kurdistan community came to assist the needy people in various ways, including helping to set up medical centers, refrain fro taking the rent, and many other collective and individual endeavors which many of them are even unknown to us. They indeed have fulfilled their humanitarian duties and continue to do so. Many civil society activists have been involved in significant ways through launching dozens of campaigns, such as setting up local groups to provide the basic needs of the people, disinfecting streets and alleys, delivering free masks, and hygiene items to the people, and encouraging people to stay home.

In this regard, the role of phsicians, nurses, and hospital staff in public and private medical centers is particularly notable. They deserve to be honored and credited immensely.  While suffering from being away from their families, they have risked their lives to maintain the health of the community. Many selflessly devoted physicians have tried to educate the public on how to protect themselves and fight against Cornavirus by spreading educational videos on broadcasting and social media forums and social networks.

What has been mentioned is only a small portion of the humanistic and national determination that we are witnessing in Kurdistan these days. There are certainly examples of these endeavors among other nations and peoples; however, what is happening now in our land, in Eastern Kurdistan, is something unique. What people do elsewhere and in other countries is very different from what happens in Kurdistan. In other countries, there is an official body of people called the “government”, which is in coordination with its subordinate organs and official civil institutions. But in Kurdistan, there is an undemocratic, imposed, and irresponsible regime that not only does not value the lives and property of the people but also annoys and harms those who devotedly work without any supports to help the people.  

What is happening in Kurdistan these days is a nationwide effort with great determination and empty hands to protect Kurdistan from the two top enemies: the Coronavirus and the Islamic Republic regime, as each of them poses certain threats to public health and regional security. Comparing what is happening in Kurdistan these days with elsewhere in the world, it is appropriate to be an optimist about our people and their believe in a bright future.  The Kurdish community, especially in the last 15 years, has shown that a grassroots self-organization is emerging could be analyzed from different perspectives. Fortunately, the Kurdistan community, despite all the efforts made by the government’s inhumane policies to silence it and make it passive, is   vigilant and ready. The most effective, in this phase of the struggle of the people of Kurdistan, to affect people’s behavior, is the sum of all these movements which are organized inside the country and within the society. Fortunately the integration of of the struggle and the efforts of the activists inside the country within the framework of the civil society movement, together with the political struggle of the political parties, has created a solid and fitted kind of the struggle of the masses inside the country.

Building this trust between the different layers of the struggle, has built a strong unity and solidarity among people, which is not only felt and welcomed with immense contentment but also it has become the proof for this self-goevrning which we are witnessing right now within the Kurdish society.

Translated By:Houshyar Honar Pajooh