The Rojava Legacy of Nuri Dêrsimî
The Rojava Legacy of Nuri Dêrsimî
A grandson and namesake of Nuri Dêrsimî, one of the leaders of the Dersim resistance, is fighting in the ranks of the YPG. Known in the YPG as Baran Munzur, he never saw his grandfather although he is proud that the spirit of his grandfather lives on in the Rojava Revolution.
The historical memory of peoples who have lived under oppression, fear and colonization is strong. This is even more so in the case of the children of a people whose history is chock full of resistance and rebellion. Because it the stories of resistance, the historical legacy of their ancestors and grandparents, which enthralls them.
Children of the Kurds, one of the people which in the history of humanity has suffered the most oppression, pressure and colonization, have always been enthralled by this historical resistance and this memory of resistance; and they still carry this memory with them. The roads one take determines one life. At the same time one’s life determines the road one takes. They have taken to their roads with the stones of resistance. For that reason they can be nothing but resistors, because for them a typical day, like for their ancestors, is spent resisting.
A Resistor on the Aleppo Road
Together with Alişê, Nuri Dêrsimî led the resistance that began in Koçgir a century ago. As that resistance was suppressed he found himself in the Dersim resistance that began 17 years later. This resistance went until the end. As the resistance in Dersim was crushed with much bloodshed it opened the way to Rojava. Nuri Dêrsimî went to live alongside his brother Mustafa who had been living for years in Rojava and the deserts of Syria. After living for a couple of years in Rojava Nuri walked into the Syrian desert and lived continuously in the mountains of that desert. He gave various names to his sons and daughters, many of whom he adopted out of poverty. He gave one of his adopted children the name of Seyid Rıza – his friend from the struggle. Nuri Dêrsimî passed away in 1973. His son to whom he had given the name Seyid Rıza grew up and had his own son in 1991 to whom he gave the name of his resistor father, Nuri Dêrsimî.
Nuri Dêrsimî on the Road to Yemen
Little Nuri Dêrsimî, who took his name from his grandfather, found himself on the road to Yemen at the age of one. Owing to some difficulties that his father experienced, he took his family to Yemen where he worked as a tailor for 12 years and tried to make ends meet. Little Nuri Dêrsimî, after having studied for 9 years, left school and joined his father working as a tailor.
Later his family returned to Aleppo and Little Nuri Dêrsimî, worked next to his father in his tailor shop in the neighborhood of Eşrefiye in order to contribute to his family’s income. Because he had lived for many years in Yemen he grew up without fully learning his mother-tongue, the Kurdish dialects of Kurmancî and Kirmanckî (Zazaca)
The Time of the Kurds in the MIddle East
Times are changing and a new era is opening. In the Middle East the time of rights and the Kurds has begun. The situation that started with the uprising in Tunisia and later affected the situation in Syria encountered and united in the people of Rojava with the centuries long Kurdish resistance and in particular the 40-year struggle of the Kurdish Freedom Movement led by Abdullah Öcalan.: these people through their resistance managed to carry out a revolution in Rojava. This revolution has once again brought to life expectations for resistance among Kurdish youth. One of these youth is Little Nuri Dêrsimî, who joined the YPG, the revolutionary defense force. Despite having joined the YPG he visited the grave of his grandfather, Nuri Dêrsim, on April 23, 2013 together with his mother, his half-paralyzed sister, and his father and after swearing on his grave he took the name Baran Munzur for himself, explaining that he “only learned about Dr. Baran later but that he took his name from the the most beautiful, wild and rebellious water in the lands of his grandfather.”
Return to the Self
Little Nuri Dêrsimî began to learn the language that he never spoke having grown up in Arab communities in Yemen and Aleppo after joining the YPG and now he speaks his mother-tongue with his comrades. As he went to the grave of his grandfather he did not accept his death and began to speak Kurdish with him. ‘Grandfather I never saw you. I never knew much about your legacy. However with the memory of resistance that you left to me I was once again able to find my roots and my language. For that reason I am speaking Kurdish to show you that I learned my language. I would wanted to have spoken with you as much in Zaza as in Kurmani. But there is no one left around to teach me. Therefore if I have a chance to go to Dersim and learn one day I will.
Nuri lives on in the Dersim Revolution
At the same Little Nuri Dêrsimî decided to carry out his promise he made to his grandfather in front of his grave in the ranks of the YPG, he decided to make his grandfather live in the Rojava Revolution. From how on it will be: Nuri Dêrsimî lives in the Rojava Revolution. Little Nuri Dêrsimî, who has taken the name Baran Munzur in the YPG, never saw his grandfather. But with his grandfather’s name he has now taken a place in the Rojava Revolution. He visits the grave of the grandfather he never saw once a month. The memory of resistance brought back to life is being carried on by the grandson of a resistor. In it he is finding his real identity and self. The stories of resistance that little Nuri Dêrsimî grew up listening to and the memory of resistance have once again found life when Nuri Dêrsimî took a place in the YPG.
Translation by the Rojava Report