LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) – Syrian Kurds whose identity was suppressed for decades recently hit the catwalk to promote culture amid war.
A group of women in Syria’s Kurdistan, known as Rojava, dressed in traditional attire and walked on a runway with music to showcase Kurdish culture.
Tailors who used to make such dresses behind closed doors are now hard at work to meet the demands for traditional garments among a new generation who now celebrate a newly rediscovered identity.
Despite the civil war that has extended in Syria for six years now, reducing most of the country to rubble, Kurds in Rojava have created a haven where they celebrate rights they were denied under the Syrian regime.
Syria’s uprising began in March 2011 when the government first relaxed some restrictions and then in 2012 withdrew most of its forces from Kurdish-majority areas in the country’s north.
“This show is the first of its kind,” said Medea Akko, 25, who helped supervise the fashion show held in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli.
“Our goal is to counter the marginalization of Kurdish clothing and to introduce it to society and the world,” she added.
“Before the Syrian revolution, we couldn’t even say we were Kurds, but now the situation is different—I can wear my clothes and speak Kurdish in our streets and our cities,” Akko stated.
The fashion show was held to coincide with the Day of Kurdish Clothing on March 10 which has been marked in the neighboring Kurdistan Region for years but only more recently in Rojava.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Ekram Salih contributed to this report)