Once an understanding is had of the Kurds and of their ongoing struggles for a homeland, to retain a cultural identity and to defend against possible genocide by the ISIL, the gutsy determination of the Kurds transcends the gold-gilded offices of shiny-suited Kurdish officials in Iraq, to the gritty sand-smeared faces of devoted young Kurdish freedom fighters in Turkey, and in Syria, on the front line of the battle against the ISIL.
One such freedom fighter - a 19-year-old girl, Perwin Mustafa Dihap, died on November 5, in Suruc, Turkey, after being wounded in a mortar attack on her position in Kobani - her hometown, on October 6. Perwin, the youngest of 12-children born to Fatma Isa Dihap, as reported the Associated Press(AP), was buried last Friday in a humble grave void of vegetation in the sands of a cemetery alongside other fighters who have died in honor of their hometowns and in honor of Kurdistan.
Fresh out of school, Perwin, who had already lost a brother in 1996 in the Kurdish guerrilla war, another brother to a car crash and another to drowning, pledged to join the fight to save her hometown of Kobani from the ISIL. After six-months of basic training, she was then assigned to a local police force. Her mother reported that her daughter, on the threshold of womanhood, insisted on being in the midst of the battle against the ISIL like a brother in the battle for Kobani and another sister fighting near Aleppo, Syria.
Two months after joining the defense of Kobani, Perwin was wounded by mortar fire and hospitalized in Turkey, where she was given no hope of survival, but lasted a five-hour operation, was transferred to two other hospitals in Turkey to try to save her life, but she succumbed to her injuries. She died on a Wednesday and was buried on a Friday. And so ended the short life of a female freedom fighter who was presented to Kurdistan. "I am happy and I am proud of my daughter; she is the the martyr of Kurdistan and Kobani," her mother remarked as she prepared to bury her daughter.
So came to past the short, but committed life of Perwin Mustafa Dihap, 19, whose life exemplifies the struggles of a people for a homeland and of a people to be free. Though she was too weak to speak for two days before her death, before her demise, her brother, Kemal Mustafa Dihap recalled her saying from her death bed: "Don't worry about me. If I get better, I will go back to fight again."