Mesophotam Social Forum

The past 2 days have been quite the shock. Shock in a very good manner. Being in Kurdistan, being in Diyarbakir is an eye-opening experience.
The wish of so many people, people who have been oppressed for decades and even centuries, for peace, freedom and dialogue is truly inspiring.

Being here at the MSF and talking with so many people, with so many organisations is not only politics. It’s also emotional. The people living in this area of Kurdistan have suffered so much. Sons and daughters have been killed. Woods have been put on fire. Bombs have been dropped. People have been resettled in a brutal manner. And that all because of a war that is still going on. A war that is caused by a state to oppress and deny people their human rights. A war that was caused by imported nationalism. A war that was supported by Western weapon trade.

The dialogue at the Mesophotam Social Forum is as such important as it gives people hope. Hope for change. Hope, that even as the state and politics screw up, it is in the power of people to live together in peace. Peace.

The only thing that disturbs me is the omnipotent presence of people from the EU. They seem not to understand the situation here and take the time to talk and preach. they seem not to notice that they are indeed disturbing a dialogue between people who need this badly. The EU’ers lack of knowledge of what happened and is happening in the region is even not understandable. When people interrupt emotional speeches by asking questions on what exactly the Armenian genocide is or what Kurdish identity is, it shows how much they care. I distinctly have the feeling that many Westerners have joined this Social Forum from a sense of exoticism or even oriental ism. And this is bloody wrong.

Because if in this region peace will be established, if freedom is achieved it will come by the people living here. And again; by those that have been affected by war. As they know how valuable peace is.

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