ANHA was able to conduct an interview with the Italian journalist and director Benedetta Argentieri in her visit to the regions of northern and eastern Syria(Rojava) to talk about the reality of Rojava Revolution and the struggle of women in this revolution, as well as the bloody conflict of the Syrian crisis.
What are your observations when you came here first in 2014, and then this year so what have you seen has changed militarily, socially and in terms of the system?
A lot of things have changed, because when I came here in October 2014, it was the war in Kobani was very much going on and part of this social structure was not organized as now, and as you know there is nothing is perfect, because we are all humans, but I think it is very inspirational for other places in the world to see that you can actually achieve what are you looking for.
Have the world countries been able to understand the real meaning of the Rojava Revolution on the ground as it is?
At this point, it seems somewhat difficult internationally. On the other hand, the media that comes to monitor the facts focuses only on one issue without paying attention to the other issues. Therefore, during my visit I try to follow up and evaluate the dimensions of this revolution and its prospects in various fields. The media focused only on women who bear arms in the face of mercenaries without addressing the struggle of the peoples of this region and without addressing the political background of this revolution, their reading of the revolution has remained superficial reading, Rojava revolution has been able to occupy a prestigious position in history, I think the reading of this revolution did not reach the level which can understand all aspects of the system of governance and administration that led this revolution, especially at this stage after the liberation from Daesh, the fears of states of the terrorist organization of Daesh have stopped and there is no real desire to see the system of the Autonomous Administration of the region because at the time when the YPG, YPJ and the SDF were liberating the region there was a unique administration that manages the region.
As for the role of women in this revolution and whether the media was able to convey the truth of the struggle of women?
Argentieri said in this regard that the media attention focused only on women who take up arms against mercenaries without mentioning the ideological and intellectual development of women (I remember the martyr girl from the Women's Protection Units(YPJ) where the news of her martyrdom made headlines in all of the world newspapers), but unfortunately the real revolution of women was not realized in all its spectrums.
The revolution of women in Rojava and its leadership of the fierce battles against terrorism has raised the concerns of the capitalist regimes, which still consider women's missions only to take care of the kids and care for the home and still want to restrict the role of women. The struggle of women in Rojava was able to generate trust in women and create a strong will in the hearts of women in all parts of the world. In fact, this struggle has brought a big change in my mind as I told a journalist from ANF Agency that what is unique in this revolution is the spirit of cooperation and solidarity among women, which we miss among the societies in the world.
Do you think women's organizations and movements around the world are aware of the reality of the revolution and the struggle of women here in the region?
I think yes, they are doing this and this is hopeful in many ways. I can say that no woman, body or women's movement around the world can deny the essence and reality of this women's revolution in Rojava because this revolution deeply affected them where the women were leading the battlefronts, this revolution can be applied in other places and not only militarily. All these achievements came out of the revolution of Rojava, especially the struggle of Kurdish women, which has a profound impact on women's movements in the world. In fact, this struggle did not start from the Kobani war, but from a previous struggle for Kurdish women, not only from Rojava and developed until this stage of the revolutionary struggle.
Why don't the countries involved in ending the conflict in Syria find a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2245 on Syria, which has decided that the Syrian people have the decision in the country and work decisively in eliminating terrorism represented by Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS?
I think one of the reasons in this regard is the political crisis in the United Nations. No country in the conflict has complied with UN resolutions. This is due to the ineffectiveness of the United Nations despite the efforts it has made since 2012. The autonomous and Kurdish areas that have been excluded from Astana and the rest of the other meetings, therefore the Syrian crisis complicated because of the lack of awareness of the reality of the crisis and its reality on the ground and the absence of effective parties that have the effective solution to end the conflict.
As for the Turkish intervention in the Syrian crisis and its explicit support for terrorism, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Daesh as a NATO country, the journalist said:
"In fact, Turkey has different relations with the superpowers in the world such as Russia, America and Germany, which causes diplomatic contradictions, for example, we noted how James Jeffrey confirmed the continued support of the United States for SDF at a news conference, but this statement did not end Turkish greed in the region. As for the European Union countries, they condemned the Turkish behavior in the region, but Turkey, using the Syrian refugees' card, and was able to pressure them and raise their fears to open its borders to these refugees to go to European countries, which was reflected politically on the decisions of these countries and their relationship with Turkey. So they hesitate to put pressure on the Turkish state to change its policy in the region."
According to the mentioned facts, is it possible to reach a political solution to this region in general?
The journalist replied that seven years after the bloody war that brought destruction, killing and displacement of the people, the political solution is the most appropriate, but in fact most of the parties involved in the conflict claims its commitment to political solution at the media and meetings, but on the ground the armed conflicts are intensifying towards a permanent conflict, especially in the last three years. A good example of this was the invasion of the region of Afrin by the Turkish state. Everyone claimed to seek peace in the region, but how did they allow Turkey to invade Afrin?
If Turkey invades the areas of northern and eastern Syria, what are the consequences of this invasion on the region?
It is difficult to predict the outcome of this invasion, but certainly this invasion will bring catastrophic consequences to the region and will lead the region to a comprehensive conflict, which will complicate the suffering of civilians, especially the people of northern and eastern Syria.
Italian journalist and director Benedetta Argentieri concluded by saying that she is now working to convey the true image of the revolution and the struggle of women in Rojava in all its aspects because it is a struggle for women in general and that she directed film screened in Amed Film Festival in Bakur(North of Kurdistan) entitled "I Am The Revolution" which is an inspiring documentary about three women fighting for freedom and gender equality - Selay Ghaffar, Rojda Felat, and Yanar Mohammed- while living in three of the worst countries in the world for women: Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. Each country reflects the groundswell of feminist revolutions: political revolution in Afghanistan, armed in Syria, and grassroots activism in Iraq, the film challenges the images of veiled, silent, and timid women in the Middle East and instead shows the strength of women rising up on the front lines, in remote villages, and in city streets, to claim their voice and their rights, and the film had a great impact on women who admired this struggle.