"We paid a great price for education in mother tongue"

As the Kurds were banned from speaking in their mother tongue for years due to the Ottoman occupation and the persecution of the Baath regime, Rojava people say the achievement made in education in mother tongue, for which a great price was paid.

As a result of the Ottoman occupation and the persecution of the Baath regime, the Kurdish people could not speak their mother tongue for years. Despite crackdown on Kurdish, the Kurdish people managed to preserve their language. Although Kurds have been trying to preserve and improve their language, colonialist states have blocked these efforts because they consider them as a threat.


A teacher, Beryad Ehmed stated that she learned Kurdish from her father and teaches her mother tongue to students in Kobanê. She and her brother had difficulties in the schools of the Damascus administration. "The Damascus government did not allow us to take the high school exams because our names were Kurdish", Beryad said.

Beryad grew up by hiding Kurdish newspaper clippings. She could not tell her friends at school that she knew Kurdish, which was a banned language. “Those who demand the removal of course materials in Kurdish today want us to go back to these old days. In the 90's, law enforcement forces of the Damascus government were suppressing our political movement. Their aim was to frighten the people away from the political engagement", Beryad remarked.


A resident of Kobanê, Hisên Müslim, expressed his happiness for having the opportunity to pass on the Kurdish language he learned in the 80's to new generations. Müslim told that they were afraid to speak Kurdish before the Rojava Revolution and expressed his opposition to the ENKS's bid to remove education in the mother tongue: "ENKS's bid to remove Kurdish course materials is an unacceptable demand. It is an injustice done to thousands of martyrs. We paid a great price to learn our language. It is a great shame to restrain people from learning this language. It is a greater shame if this request is made by a Kurdish party."