A Letter from Kobane

Translated by Anwar Soltani:

Kurdish YPJ  fighter; Photo - Rojava Report

Kurdish YPJ fighter; Photo – Rojava Report

Dear Mum,

I am alright. We had a small party for my birthday yesterday. I think I am 19 now. My colleague, Azad, dedicated a song to me on the subject of ‘mother’. Azad has a good voice and was in tears while he was singing; he, like myself, was thinking of his mother and that he hasn’t seen her for a year or so.

We sent one of our friends to hospital yesterday. She was wounded by two bullets but was not [immediately] aware of the fact as she was only touching her breast where one of the bullets had hit her. We managed to get her wounds treated and I donated a litre of my blood.

Dear Mum,

We are now stationed in the eastern part of Kobane, just a few hundred yards away from them [ISIS fighters] and I can see their black hoods. We can pick up their conversations on the phone, but we do not know what they are saying as they speak a different language. We can see clearly that they are very scared of us.

Our team consists of nine fighters. The name of the youngest member is Rashoyeh who comes from the town of Efrin. She had fought at Tel-Abiaz and has just recently joined us. Apart from her, my friend, Alan, has come from Qamishly; he was at Sari-Kani before that. He too does not know how old he is and thinks that he is probably 20 now. He has some scars across his body; he laughs and says that he was stabbed over Avin, the girl next door! Our eldest member is named Dersim and he came here from Mount Qandil. His wife was martyred in Diyarbakir and has left him a daughter called Helin. He has not seen her daughter yet but has tattooed her name on his arm.

Dear Mum,

We are now stationed at a house opposite the gate of Kobane. We know nothing about the owners of the house. On the wall, there is a picture of an old man with a young boy who has possibly been martyred. There also are pictures on the wall of Qazi Muhammad and Mullah Mustafa [Barzani] with an old map of the Ottoman Empire a few centuries old bearing the name of Kurdistan.

Dear Mum,

We have not had coffee for a long time and it’s become clear to us that life without coffee can also be nice, but no coffee can be as delicious as the one that you make. We are here to defend a peaceful town that had not posed any trouble to anybody and was a refuge for our wounded and evacuee brothers. We are defending a town with dozens of mosques and preserving them as well as the other holy places from the hands of those vicious barbarians.

Dear Mum,

If this dirty war ends I will come back to you. My friend, Dersim, has promised to visit you too. He will go on to Diyarbakir to see his daughter. We all think of our mothers. War does not sit easily with emotions. If I do not come back to you my dearest mother, you can be sure that I will always dream of the time that I can see you again, but it seems that I will not enjoy such luck.

I am sure that you will visit this house in which I have spent the last moments of my life as my scent will remain here for a long time. The house is located opposite the gate of Kobane on the eastern side of the town, parts of which are destroyed by shells. It has a green metal door with holes on the walls on each side. My name is written in red on one of the three windows to the side of the house facing east. Now I am standing behind that window counting the last seconds of my life.

Dear Mum,

Azad has sung a song in his beautiful voice. The name of the song is “Le daye min birya te kir” [O Mother, I miss you]

Your daughter,


Translator’s Note: This is a letter by Narin, a brave young woman defending the besieged town of Kobane in Syria against the ISIS forces. She has fought alongside the other Kurdish Guerrillas who have saved the town from the hands of fundamentalists for six weeks now. I came across the letter through its Farsi translation by Dr K Aminawe, then I checked it with its original Kurdish source published on the website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and translated it into English from there. I do not know of Narin’s fate.

One Response to A Letter from Kobane
  1. Suzan
    November 1, 2014 | 00:36

    How long will this war go on for? I guess Kurdish leadership should focus on independence from now on.

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