Women honour the memory of their friend at art workshop in Maxmur

A group of young women in Maxmur produce handicrafts at the Martyr Avyan Buldan Workshop to honour the memory of their friend Avyan Buldan.

Art is an activity through which you hand down your feelings, desires, culture and tradition to the next generation. A group of young women in the Martyr Rustem Cûdî Refugee Camp (Maxmur) is doing handicrafts at the Martyr Avyan Buldan Workshop to keep the memory of their friend alive.

We wanted to visit the workshop to both get to know the women and introduce their art and work. Three young women welcomed us over there. We chatted a little as we enjoyed our time together.

Mizgîn Kara is one of the women at the Martyr Avyan Buldan Workshop. Displaying her black and white keffiyeh, also known as "cemedanî" in the Botan region, she happily informs us about her activities in the workshop.

Mizgîn said that since 2018, as the Axîn Mahîr Tigris Council, under the guidance of the Maxmur Young Women's Movement (TJCM), they have been making keffiyehs and bracelets, and teaching traditional arts to young people by reviving the legacy of the past.


Mizgîn stated that they first started making handmade colourful bracelets and keffiyehs in order to cover their daily expenses and support their families at the Martyr Axîn Young Women's Assembly. “In the beginning, we could export the products we made here to Europe. Currently, due to the obstructions and blockade, we are no longer able to do so” she said.

“Initially, we came together at the youth institution and carried out our activities. There was also a demand for our products. We wanted our young people to make a living in their own hometown instead of going abroad. We opened the workshop in 2018.”


Mizgîn Kara talked about Avyan Buldan, after whom they named the workshop. “Avyan Buldan was our friend, we worked together. She died unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack and we wanted to honour her memory with the workshop. When we open the door, the first thing we see is her picture on the wall. She is spiritually with us all the time. We owe it to the efforts of our friends like Avyan.”


5 young women work at the workshop. In the face of growing interest in their initiative, they moved to a larger place.

“ In particular, mothers show great interest in our activities, they tell us not to forget our tradition. Young people prefer black and white keffiyehs which suit the traditional Kurdish clothes they wear. They also prefer clothes and jewellery that have become the iconic symbols of the Rojava Revolution.”

Mizgîn can make beaded, tasselled and regular keffiyehs and design them according to the demands of buyers. It may take up to two weeks to finish special keffiyehs.


While we were chatting with Mizgîn Kara, another woman named Şevîn Taş, who was constantly smiling, put a bracelet on the arm of her friend next to her. Highly aesthetic and different patterned bracelets attracted my attention. I started to speak to Şevîn, who said that she had been making bracelets for about 4 years. “We generally design the bracelets on our own, while we make some of them according to the wishes of buyers. We display these bracelets on our social media accounts and reach many people. We also make bracelets and necklaces based on the colours and symbols decided by customers,” she said.