A Soranî voice in Deir ez-Zor

Şaho, a YPG fighter from Kermanshah, sings in Soranî during an evening break in the intense battle in Deir ez-Zor. He believes in the greatness of the revolution and Kermanshah increases his hope.

Operation Cizire Storm continues in the winter following the harsh conditions of the summer and the desert. One of those fighting under these conditions is Şaho from Kermanshah, which is among the important provinces in the current popular uprising in Iran. Şaho from YPG sings in Soranî by the fire, drawing attention from the fighters, while his mind is with the reflections of the Iranian people losing patience.

Fighters spend most of the day in the advance and clashes, and gather around fires they build in the evenings as they rest. They make tea and sometimes cook on these fires. The fire accompanies their best chats. On such a night, we hear a fighter singing in Soranî among a group of fighters gathered around the fire. We have been staying here for months. Every night, we listen to fighter singing in Arabic and the Kurmancî dialect of Kurdish. Hearing a voice in Soranî draws our attention at once, we took our cameras and approached the group. We film quietly as he sings. All fighters around him are listening intently.


The fighter notices us after the song is over, and asks laughing, “When did you come here? Do you journalists always wait for the ambush?” We say the Soranî drew our attention. And the YPG fighter is surprised at this answer: “Why were you surprised? There is a fight for humanity and a struggle for freedom on these lands. Of course you will hear songs from every language, dialect and voice here. Isn’t that what gives this struggle meaning? Diversity is the color of the revolution. That is what makes it glorious. My voice is just one part of the beautiful colors of this revolution.”


We sit with them by the fire late into the night. The YPG fighter’s name is Şaho, and he is from Kermanshah, Rojhilat. He came after ISIS gangs attacked Kobanê. These days, Kermanshah, Rojhilat and Iran occupy part of his mind. What he heard excited him, but says he will not go back for now. He believes in the integrity of the revolution and thinks his job here is not done yet.

When we wake up the next morning, Şaho and his group are long gone. We ask which front they went to, and are told they are not stationary but always on the move. That blurs the scheduling for the longer interview we planned the night before.