I met Şehîd Helîn on her first day in Rojava. She hadn’t slept in two days but was nevertheless full of energy and excitement. She had a small notebook full of Kurdish words and phrases and we spent some time teaching her more, she was determined to learn and to understand everything that she could. Helîn was new to her heval name and was still rolling it around her mouth, another comrade told her it meant ‘birds nest’ and she said she hoped that was a good thing.

The night before some YPJ comrades had elaborately braided her hair, it wasn’t what she had expected of her first day of revolution but standing there in her new uniform, in her new name and looking into a new day, she seemed new and determined and brave.

We ate together and she joked about how hard it was to remember how to eat, how to sit and how to speak at first- it’s always difficult in the first couple of weeks. She spoke of her belief in the revolution and her desire to live up to the strength of the women of Rojava. I didn’t doubt it, she seemed destined for great things, a true revolutionary.

It was with great sadness that I learned of her death this morning. She was a feminist, a fighter and a brave comrade. I know she will live on in the spirit of the revolution, the martyrs of Rojava are immortal and we will fight for a feminist, egalitarian future in her name. In the fires of Newroz and in the Kurdish New Year we will celebrate her life and remember all the brave men and women who have given their lives for revolution.

Şehîd namirin!

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