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Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East (An introduction)

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This introduction to ""Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East"" looks at how the Rojava Revolution came into being in the largely-Kurdish communities of northern Syria from 2012 onwards. It also gives an overview of the context within which this experience arose. The main purpose of this book, however, is to summarise what has b This introduction to ""Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East"" looks at how the Rojava Revolution came into being in the largely-Kurdish communities of northern Syria from 2012 onwards. It also gives an overview of the context within which this experience arose. The main purpose of this book, however, is to summarise what has been happening in Rojava, evaluate the ideology behind it, and show why it is a truly inspirational process. In short, it is a must have for anyone wanting to learn more about contemporary Middle Eastern politics and the real-world search for an alternative to oppression, exploitation, and violence.


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This introduction to ""Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East"" looks at how the Rojava Revolution came into being in the largely-Kurdish communities of northern Syria from 2012 onwards. It also gives an overview of the context within which this experience arose. The main purpose of this book, however, is to summarise what has b This introduction to ""Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East"" looks at how the Rojava Revolution came into being in the largely-Kurdish communities of northern Syria from 2012 onwards. It also gives an overview of the context within which this experience arose. The main purpose of this book, however, is to summarise what has been happening in Rojava, evaluate the ideology behind it, and show why it is a truly inspirational process. In short, it is a must have for anyone wanting to learn more about contemporary Middle Eastern politics and the real-world search for an alternative to oppression, exploitation, and violence.

30 review for Rojava: An Alternative to Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islamism in the Middle East (An introduction)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kriegslok

    The role of Kurds in resisting the rise of the Islamist uprising in Iraq and Syria has with occasional exception remained and under reported aspect of the turmoil affecting the region. This excellent little primer by Oso Sabio attempts to put the Kurdish role in the region into context and also shows why the Kurds are a largely ignored actor in the region. The Kurdish people are the largest "homeless" people. Their homeland of centuries is divided by borders which demark Turkey, Iran, Iraq and S The role of Kurds in resisting the rise of the Islamist uprising in Iraq and Syria has with occasional exception remained and under reported aspect of the turmoil affecting the region. This excellent little primer by Oso Sabio attempts to put the Kurdish role in the region into context and also shows why the Kurds are a largely ignored actor in the region. The Kurdish people are the largest "homeless" people. Their homeland of centuries is divided by borders which demark Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria and while a Kurdish cultural identity exists which crosses these borders the borders also have seen Kurdish political development take place within the context of national boundaries. Sabio examines some of this complex history which has seen regular uprisings and repressions of Kurds over recent decades with levels of acceptence and tolerance varying but generally with Kurds looked on with suspicion. Nowhere have Kurds been subject to such constant genocidal assault than in Turkey. Halabja where Saddam Husseins regime massacred Kurds en-mass with chemical weapons was a genocidal attack but it marked more an exception than a rule. In Turkey Kurds have resisted constant assault by the State which saw in the 1970s the birth of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) which has fought Turkey fairly consistently since then and has transformed feudal Kurdish society leading directly to the social of revolution currently gripping Rojava which has in turn made resistence to ISIS/Daesh possible and effective. Key in this process was the transformation of the PKK from a traditional and authoritarian old style Marxist influenced army of national liberation into a post-national, still revolutionary but with instead of the old top down structure a new "self management democracy" structure built from the grassroots of the people up and borrowing strongly from the anti-authoritarian, direct democracy theories of Murray Bookchin. Sabio shows how the prison writings of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan (held by Turkey in isolation for over a decade) have been instrumental in inspiring the transformation of Kurdish society in Turkey and Syria while scaring the traditional elite and Turkish allied Kurdish Regional Government regime in Iraq. The self organisation of Kurdish communities in the face of ISIS/Daesh have seen them come together to defend their new found freedom. Elsewhere where people have not been organised and have looked to the state for protection ISIS/Daesh were victorious. Kurdish self help however, with support from the battle hardened Turkish Kurds produced a united front that Daesh couldnot defeat. The role of women in what was, and in many areas still is, a strongly patriarchal society has been a key factor in effective organisation. Women taking control of their own lives and becoming active and equal members of society holding key positions traditionally only held by men has alos been central to the transformation of society and this is well investigated in this book. In comparing the success of the Kurdish social revolution with the disappointment of the Arab Spring Sabio notes "most Rojavans were prepared and knew what they wanted when they suddenly found themselves in the position of being able to govern themselves ... In short they wanted a revolution that would start from the bottom of society not from the top and one that would be fundamentally against the state, power and authority". By comparisson the Arab Spring sought leaders at the top who would sort everything out. In fact the Rojava revolution rejects the very concept of the "nation state" and no longer sees the "nation state" as a prerequisite for democracy. It calls for movement away from "representative political structures to those of autonomous and performative practises" and it is with this in mind that society is being organised in self ruling areas. It is this revolutionary outlook, suggests Sabio (quite rightly in my opinion and with plenty of historical precedent from the Paris Commune to the revolutuinary experiments of Central America in the 1980s) that account for the lack of willingness for neighbouring states, the West and others fighting ISIS/Daesh to fully engage with the Kurds. Rojava challenges not only ISIS/Daesh by offering freedom for all, liberation for women and a new way of organising society, but Rojava challenges the surrounding states and the imperial interests of powerful states like Britain and the USA. How it will all pan out in the end remains unknown. Will this threat of a good example be a victim of its own success and experience the same subversion and terror inflicted on Central America in the 1980s? Rojavans know the risks but they have leant much in their struggle, they know "politics is a messy situation, based on debate, conflict and compromise" and they are ready to do all those things to keep alive this threat of a good example. Oso Sabio has provided an excellent compact and readable introduction to Rojava, the Kurdish revolution and the alternative to ISIS/Daesh and the existing authoritarianism of the region. This is a book relevant not only to Rojava but which raises and answers questions about the problems we all face living in societies across the world today.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sam Payne

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cian Ireland

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toon

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dominique

  6. 4 out of 5

    Evrim Erçetin

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert Daguillard

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michi

  9. 4 out of 5

    moonchild

  10. 5 out of 5

    Monkman Devine

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eric

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    Fredrik

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Lawson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matthias R

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rob Crossland

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Harvey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Talar

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jay Corbetto

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tristan E. Potter

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gertjan Delbecke

  22. 4 out of 5

    Keijo

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mitch Brochu

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zinntruther

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Frendlich

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

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