Health plays an important role in our lives and at the same time reflects the situation of our societies. In an interview with Merivan, member of the new healing center Şîfa Jin, Women Defend Rojava talked about the ideas and the first steps of the newly built health and healing center in Jinwar. The center was opened as a new project of the women’s village Jinwar and is an important part in building a free and communal life to change the world while living everyday life.
“Şîfa Jin is a health and healing center for women and children based on natural and modern medicine and has been a fundamental part of the village since the beginning of the construction of JINWAR. As well as all other areas of our lives, we want to organise and shape our health care ourselves and thus also be an example for all places where women are looking for alternatives to previous health care systems.
During the last months we have made all the preparations with a lot of work and effort as well as with a lot of anticipation so that we could officially open Şîfa Jin on March 4th in the frame of the action week for March 8th, the international women’s day. On this beautiful spring day hundreds of women came to JINWAR.
Şîfa Jin was ceremonially inaugurated by the Mothers of the Council of the şehîd and dedicated to all those who, through their struggle and with their lives, made it possible for us to come together on this day and celebrate this special event together. Besides various speeches and an exhibition, there was live music to which we danced together in the sun. Our goal is to change society’s view of health and to follow the ideas of a democratic, ecological and women’s liberated society.
“…the health issue of society is a sensitive issue. The foundation, existence and freedom of society that cannot protect health by their own means are either under threat or completely lost. Health dependence is an indicator of general dependence. A society that has solved physical and mental health problems is in the hands of liberation…” – Abdullah Öcalan
Throughout history women have played an important role in the field of health. They have collected and passed on healing knowledge and developed and applied it in the service of society, thus also taking care of the health of society. We want to continue this history and at the same time enable women to take an active role in the field of health and medicine.
The goal of the Şîfa Jin is already happening: There are a lot of women in the surroundings that want to come and learn, because they heard that this might be possible. They still have some connections to the health. Like every women we have some connections because it was a big role that we had in the past. As far as we will have overcome this situation with Corona different young women will come and they will learn while they are working with us. It will be this kind of place where women will learn and get stronger together. We are very happy that different mums said: ‘I want to send my children there to learn’.
Many women who have already come share their knowledge about health and natural medicine, so that together with all women we can develop new ways of healing and improve our health. At the same time we also want to get to know the health situation around JINWAR, so that we can better understand what kind of influences there are on the health of women and children, in order to develop treatment methods accordingly. Our health is a mirror of our society and our living conditions. When our relationships between ourselves and our environment, people and nature, are out of balance, this also influences our health.
As far as it was expected the problems that brought the women to the clinic were related to their role in their house, their role inside the society and also with the kind of life that they have. Many of them came because they had pain in different parts of their bodies related with the works that they do at home. They came because they have headache or stomach ache which are very much related with stress. Your life is going around your husband and the need of him and the children. And you are taking care of everybody and nobody is taking care about you at all, or it does not mind what is happening to you. We were asking them and they said: ‘yes, of course there is a lot of work in the house; there is a lot of pressure on me’.
And suddenly you go to a place where the people are focusing what is going on in you and where they are treating you nicely and are listening to you and want you to feel better. And you are talking about different things and you understand each other because you are women. These feelings which come in this moment are already healing you because for a moment you were feeling relaxed. Suddenly a small door was open for some minutes and you see that there are other things and you start to understand. There are tensions which go because you start to understand. We said understanding is freedom. And of course there is nothing which is healing more than freedom. Our body is feeling better. Our heart, our mind is feeling better.
Our role is not only the treatment that we give but that we are be able to create this moment inside of the clinic because it is meaningful already and this is good for them and for us. Şîfa Jin is a place where we are only women, relating to each other. A place where we build up relations, where we talk about life, about our experiences, about our pain. All of this makes the unity between women stronger. And the women who came also know that they can come back again, and that there are women which are waiting for them. It has been the first weeks now and they went happy to their houses and we were also happy. One women said the other day: ‘Maybe I should come to live here with you.’ It is the opportunity and a chance for the women, to go outside the house, to relate with other, with different kinds of women. Kurdish women are working here but there are also Arabic women coming and we also went to Arabic villages. The topic is not if you are Arabic or Kurdish or … but that your are a women.
We are six women working in Şîfa Jin. These first weeks we have been working together every day for many hours. Some days were calmer some days were quite busy. We are very happy because the team is working really well. Two women of us are older and the other ones are really young and haven’t been working in the field of health before or even outside of the house. So it’s really nice to see how all of us are really engaged in the work, how we spend more hours than the ones supposed to be in the clinic and how we really want the project to grow. We gave our will to the project, because it is not only a work. And we are improving everyday.
And the women are saying: ‘We are coming to the women’s village and we don’t want to go to another place.’ This is very special, because it is a healing center for women and children which wants to change the perspective on health and wants to liberate women and the society and it’s in JINWAR. This is a very big thing. Şîfa Jin wouldn’t be the same if it would be in another place. It’s inside of JINWAR. The women who come here are coming to Şîfa Jin and they are coming to JINWAR. This is very important and gives a very big meaning to the clinic and everything what is happening here. Because at the end JINWAR is not only the women who are living here. It is all the women who are around and which are connected with the village. This also is JINWAR.“
first published by Women Defend Rojava