ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Dozens of people gathered in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani to view the many paintings on display at an exhibit which depicted the strength and achievements of Kurdish women.
After 10 days of preparations, the two-day exhibition at the Nizar Hall in Kobani was opened to the public on Monday.
The event was organized with help from the Kobani-based Berchav Organization for Media and Freedoms, which prepared the venue. In recent years, the group has been active in efforts to mitigate tensions between Kurdish and Arabic populations in and around Kobani.
Welid Ibo, a member of Berchav, said the organization wants to support the female artists and provide them a platform where they can share their work with the world.
“Our goal was to allow the women in Kobani, despite their hardships and struggles, to spread their voices and artwork to the world to let people know that there is life in Kobani and women are free,” he told Kurdistan 24.
Several paintings are shown which depict the suffering and triumph of women. The art is meant to display the achievements of females despite the struggle and oppression they have experienced during times of war.
At the height of its emergence in 2014, the Islamic State advanced on the Kurdish town of Kobani, but joint efforts from the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Peshmerga forces from the Kurdistan Region ensured the extremist group had a short-lived reign in the city.
Shirin Esnail, one of the artists and an event organizer, said the theme of the art was indeed focused squarely on women.
“Particularly, the strength of a woman to overcome challenges and hardships,” Esnail told Kurdistan 24. “Each artist was given the freedom to bring their ideas to life through their paintings.”
There were 18 works on display at the exhibit, the first time such a project has been organized in Kobani.
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Additional reporting by Redwan Bezar)