international solidarity under construction

constructing a construction site 

The project avahî – solidarity construction Rojava started 3 years ago. We have come a long way from the idea of realizing practical international solidarity to the actual construction planning of a polyclinic for Rojava (Democratic Federation of Northern Syria). When founding avahî we started looking for a cooperation partner which we found at the end of 2015: The Foundation of Free Women in Rojava (WJAR – Weqfa Jin Azad Rojava). Since then we have been discussing, planning and coordinating together with the women of the foundation in Rojava and in Europe. We decided on the construction of a community center to support the democratic self-government in Rojava.

While planning and realizing the construction site we are placing special value on three cornerstones:

Collectivity – solidarity – ecology

This means firstly a collective process together with the people from Rojava. Secondly, organizing practical solidarity means a construction financed by donations and realized by activists who work without payment and bear their travel expenses.

The third cornerstone will literally be built with clay. The ecologic value of the locally available material (in addition to its positive impact on the indoor climate) convinced us to include this traditional building technique in our project.

During the preparations we were and still are facing many challenges. Plans have to be adjusted and the organization must constantly be adapted to the changing local conditions. That is how the initial project of building a community center became a construction schedule for a polyclinic specialized on women’s and children’s needs, which is much needed, as suggested by the self-government. Until August 2018 there was a building site for this polyclinic which, however, is not suitable any more.

On the site is a shell of a building which was going to be a mosque before the revolution. Even though the owner, the Foundation of Free Women in Rojava, as well as the local commissions for religion and health agreed on the construction of the polyclinic, the local community is divided over the question of religion. After our delegation’s visit and the concretization of the construction plans, the building site had to be changed because there was too much worries among the local population about the conversion of a place which was meant for religious purposes.

In times of war people obviously need health care but spiritual health and peace of mind might be of importance too, even though for us here it is hard to understand.

For us this entails new construction drawing and scheduling, as well as a further delay of the collective construction site.

Nevertheless this unexpected twist demonstrates the people’s say in the democratic self-government – they can intervene at every step of the decision making process.

After all we do not want to build just a house. We want to take part in the construction of a free and solidary society. Therefore a building site is needed but much more important is a social fundament of mutual respect for worries, hopes and wishes. The latest development is part of a society under construction which takes place with the local people, not above their heads. That is why the change of the building site is a delay for the construction schedule but an important step towards our collective construction site.

The biggest obstacles we face result from the repressions of regional and international forces and states against the self-government in Rojava. The (boarder) politics of Iraqi Kurdistan and the enduring Turkish attacks (occupying Afrin, bombing Shengal and other Kurdish regions) have been complicating the region’s pacification for years. It hindered our entry several times.

The forces of the self-government make great advances against Daesh (the so called Islamic State) and the civil councils try hard to continue stabilizing the safest region of Syria by pushing the self-governance, the rebuilding of infrastructure as well as negotiations with the local and international powers – whereas different hostile forces keep fighting against those achievements.

Nevertheless we keep adjusting to the difficulties and make smaller groups to enter and organize the start of construction with the Foundation of Free Women. Also we continue the construction preparations and the donation campaign as well as the information events.

avahî originated as political solidarity project and, with the support of many friends and comrades, continues to take part in the struggle for a free society in Rojava and beyond.

Information event

Now that we have made the first trip to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria / Rojava, the construction and travel planning for this year can be made concrete.

We will publish our impressions among others here. For more information follow us on Twitter. If you want to support us or invite us to your city send us an e-mail:  PGP-Key here or at a keyserver or Donate.

The first information event will take place in Hamburg on the 13.06 at 18.30 at Centro Sociale, Sternstraße 2 at Tatort Kurdistan Café


In the past few weeks we have been intensively preparing for our departure to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria / Rojava. Flights were booked, errands done, last agreements made. We said our farewells to family and friends and reorganized our everyday life so far as to escape the same for several months.

Despite of other announcements and hopes, we still are not on our long-planned collective construction site in Rojava. In addition to the state of war and the terror of Islamic gangs, it is above all the embargo imposed from all bordering states against Rojava, which makes entry difficult. In the case of Rojava, embargo means not only the prevention of the export and import of goods, food, medicine or machines, but also the impossibility of people’s freedom of movement. As long ago as 2011, the beginning of the revolution in Rojava, Turkey has been massively blocking aid supplies and border crossings of Kurds, refugees and activists. Since January 2016, the approximately 911 km long border to Turkey has been completely closed. Attempted border crossings are intercepted with force of weapons. Furthermore a 700 km long boundary wall, equipped with video cameras and sensors, has been completed in the middle of this year.

In the South, the access to Rojava is effectively prevented by the circumstances of the war, by the terror of the IS, but also by the Assad regime. Especially bitter is that Rojava faces also a de facto embargo in the East by the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq (Kurdish Regional Government / KRG) ruled by Barzani. While a one-time border crossing for journalists and activists through Semalka was possible until March 2016, this has since than only been an option in rare exceptional cases. Nowadays citizens from Rojava and refugees can cross the border legally, but their passage is often characterized by chicanery and arbitrariness through security forces.

The structural isolation of Rojava is increasing. Facing the harsh policy of strongly limited border crossings, other ways had been created. But since several weeks these too have been increasingly threatened and made impassable.

Currently there is no assurance when our group can cross the border. It is assumed that the tightening of the border policy is linked to the current tense situation in Northern Iraq, due to the independence referendum of the KRG. We will continue to monitor the further development of the border situation closely. In the given situation we decided to postpone the start of the construction phase until the end of the rainy season in Rojava. So hopefully we are getting started in spring next year. Until then, we try to look at the forced break as an opportunity to prepare our project here even better.

Bijî Berxwedana Rojava!

Dear Friends and Supporters

we need your support for our project of a collective construction site in Rojava. The backing of a broad civic public is essential for us. If you would like to show your solidarity with avahi please sign here individually, as group or organization. Signatories will be listed as supporters on our website.


1. Mai

Der erste Mai,

Kampftag der Arbeiter*innen. Entstanden aus den Arbeitskämpfen des sogenannten Heymarket Riots Ende des 18. Jhd. In den USA wird der Tag heute International als Kampftag begangen.
Wir gehen heute als Handwerker*innen in unterschiedlichen Städten Deutschlands auf die Straße. Wir gedenken allen arbeitskämpfenden Menschen und stehen in Solidarität an ihrer Seite.
Wir gehen heute aber auch gegen die Angriffe der Türkei auf die Straße. Die Türkei greift seit einer Woche die Selbstorganisierung im Kandil, Şengal und der demokratischen Konföderation Nordsyrien an. Durch diese Angriffe, vor allem auf Radiostationen wird versucht die freie Presse Mundtod zu machen. Weiter greift die Türkei gezielt Stützpunkte der Volksverteidigungseinheiten an. Durch diese Angriffe unterstützt die Türkei direkt den sog. Islamischen Staat. Aber die Angriffe gelten nicht allein der Infrastruktur von Selbstverteidigung und Presse sondern  der Bevölkerung der demokratischen Konföderation Nordsyrien.
Wir halten diesen Bestrebungen den gemeinschaftlichen Aufbau sowie grenzenlose Solidarität entgegen. Lasst uns auf allen Ebenen Widerstand gegen solch eine Politik leisten.

Unterstützt: #NoFlyZone4Rojava