The unfortunate image of Kurdish activists as ‘weak’ is one that we perpetuate because of our failure to unite. We are not successful because we have not united our efforts. We are thousands in numbers, but few act as collaborators. There are Facebook groups that have attracted thousands of members, but only few collaborate together as a force for change.
There are hundreds of young Kurdish men and women who are actively seeking to raise awareness about Kurdish rights. These activists have failed to work together for many reasons. Some because they want their own reputation to shine, while others are incapable of sharing a platform with someone else. This has led to jealousy, distrust and miscommunication among activists.
One of the major obstacles that I have faced while working with Kurdish activists or young Kurds who are ‘active’ but don’t want to label themselves as ‘activist’ because they believe the term has too much of a responsibility to hold, is the lack of tolerance. We simply don’t appreciate that there are people who are equally respectable, but share different socio-political views. This hinders us from progressing, and working together.
The aim of Kurdish activists is to raise awareness about the Human rights violations of Kurdish people wherever they may be situated, and to ensure they have access to help. The aim is straightforward; but the means are often not.
If you are Kurdish and you really want to help promote Kurdish rights, start by appreciating that there are people who are working to make a change. After this, become part of that change. Work with them, offer to help them, and if you are actually part of a movement that helps Kurdish people, be inclusive of other Kurds who can join your cause.
One quote that I came across recently really opened my eyes, and inspired writing this blog is ‘To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest,’ by Mahatma Gandhi. Let’s start being honest, if we believe in preserving Kurdish rights (and in most cases their lives), then we must live by the standards we believe in and start working together collectively.