An elderly woman embodies lessons in belonging and returns to her hometown: I want to die in Afrin

Nov 04 2023

ARK News… An elderly displaced Kurdish woman learned lessons in loyalty, sincerity, and belonging to the homeland. After years of displacement, she returned to her hometown of Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan.

Khadija Abdo Sido, who comes from the village of Badina, is a seventy-year-old elderly woman who returned with her children to the village of Goliya in Rajo town.

One of her sons said, "She wanted to die in the land of her fathers and grandfathers, and after years of displacement and living in the Al-Shahba camps, she decided to return and returned to her hometown."

In a video clip sent to ARK, the elderly woman’s return appears laden due to her deteriorating health condition.

For their part, six other families returned to Afrin, returning from Aleppo, Turkey, and the Al-Shahba camps, and they are as follows:

Two families to the center of Mabata town
A family to the village of Qarmitlq - Shiye
Family to Belle village - Bilbile
A family to the village of Abadane - Bilbile

A source from the Bilbile town confirmed on October 29: “Three Kurdish families, who were displaced, returned from the neighborhoods of Aleppo to the center of the town and the villages of Khilalka and Kella, which belong to the same town.”

He stated that "the difficulty of leaving the camps due to the tightening of PYD management and its fencing of the camps, forces the displaced to leave illegally towards Aleppo and then Afrin, and with huge sums of money they return to their hometowns."

The source confirmed, "Recently, dozens of residents of the town have returned to it, given that it is the most harmful town that has faced demographic change."

ARK conducted a special meeting with Muhammad Ismail, Secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Syria and member of the Presidency of the Kurdistan National Council in Syria, in which he said, “We have serious and persistent plans and attempts to open the offices of the Council and the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Syria in Afrin, and the arrangements are close, with the aim of intensifying the role of the councils.” local communities, embracing returnees, and working to return stolen property.”

Regarding the return process through the Aoun Al-Dadat crossing in Manbij, he stressed, “We have complete coordination on the issue of the return of families through the crossing, and we want the families to return to limit demographic change.”

After the Afrin war between Turkey and the PYD administration, more than 300,000 Kurds were displaced to the Shahba camps, and they became victims of its administration’s policy controlling the camps and the Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafiya neighborhoods in Aleppo, which prevents the displaced from making their decision to return or head to other areas.

Despite the horrific violations taking place in Afrin, the displaced Kurds decided to return to their hometown, especially after more than five years had passed since they remained in the camps in the Aleppo countryside.

Politicians call for the need to return to limit demographic change in the region.