Serbske ludowe zastupnistwo
Sorbische/wendische Volksvertretung
Sorbian/Wendish People’s Representation

The Serbski Sejm in dialogue with the self-government of North and East Syria

On 12 April, the member of the Serbski Sejm Dr Měrćin Krawc / Dr Martin Schneider and the managing director of Willkommen in Bautzen, Astrid Riechmann, met with the representative of the Democratic Self-Government of North and East Syria in Germany, Khaled Davrisch, in Budyšin/Bautzen.

Mr Davrisch explained the current situation with the serious challenges in the area to the dialogue partners, but also the vision of a grassroots democratic, gender-equitable, ecological, multi-ethical and multi-religious society that the self-administration has established and is continuing to develop. „My visit as a representative of the self-government of North and East Syria to the Sorbs in Bautzen/Lausitz was a profound experience. I gained valuable insights into their culture, which deepened my knowledge and appreciation of their traditions. I would like to thank you very much for your hospitality and look forward to working with you in the future.“

Měrćin Krawc / Martin Schneider was very impressed: „Democratic self-government is a great hope for the region, the Middle East as a whole and far beyond - for a peaceful and cooperative coexistence of cultural peoples and religions without having to question state borders. Consistent subsidiarity, direct democracy and a pronounced consensus-orientation can pacify the major conflicts through local negotiation for the benefit of all. This deserves the broad support of the international community. At the same time, it also provides valuable impetus for equal co-operation between Sorbs/Wends and Germans in Lusatia. We have agreed to intensify our contact and to continue exchanging views on the issues, to learn from each other and to publicise the self-administration of Northern and Eastern Lusatia and its concept to the people of Lusatia through events.“

Astrid Riechmann adds: „It is important to our Willkommen in Bautzen association to obtain as much information as possible about the countries of origin of our members and clients and to publicise this in Bautzen. In the beginning (2015, 2016), it was mainly basic information about Islam, the way of life, escape routes and war backgrounds, but from 2020 onwards, political backgrounds, especially national »minorities« such as Kurds or Hazara and Tadzhiks from the refugee countries Syria, Turkey, Jordan or Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, also played an increasing role. Unfortunately, it is largely unknown among Germans and probably also among many non-Kurdish Syrians that the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria is alive and even has representatives in other countries, including Germany. We are very interested in further information and discussion forums with Mr Davresh and the Kurds and Syrians living in the Bautzen district. Many thanks to the Serbski Sejm for contacting Welcome to Bautzen.“

Background: After the troops of the Syrian state withdrew from the Kurdish-populated areas in northern Syria in 2012, work began on local autonomy. This was proclaimed in 2014 when the three cantons of Afrin, Kobanê and Jazeera declared themselves independent and united under the name „Rojava“ (Western Kurdistan). After IS was pushed back, the self-government was founded in September 2018 and now comprises seven regions that extend beyond the Kurdish settlement area of Rojava. Around five million people live in northern and eastern Syria. The diverse society includes many different ethnic and religious groups.

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