AL-SHAHBA- The Arnaout are participating for the first time in the elections by their own ID, and striving for representing themselves as people suffered from killing and busing by IS mercenaries and Turkish occupation while one of al-Arnaout candidates in Afrin region assured that Democratic North-Syria Federation gave them a chance to participate in the elections in an attempt to represent themselves.
Al-Arnaout are known in Syria of being people who master copper craft; the profession they have known of throughout their contemporary history in Syria. Moreover, their historic origins go back to Albania where they migrated with the beginning of the Ottoman occupation seeking employment and stability in several areas in Syria, and Tat Homs and Jakeh villages in the Syrian north are characterized of their Arnaout people.
Although they were stable in the area, the Arnaout people suffered from marginalization and exclusion at all levels especially at the political level as they did not have a right to participate in the electoral and parliamentary cycles in Syria.
Hawar news agency interviewed the Arnaout citizen Abdullah al-Hussein who is one of the candidates of the commune’s co-chair as Abdullah al-Hussein stated that each component has the need to represent itself by its voice, and assured that the Democratic North-Syria Federation represents the aspiration of all the Syrian people.
Al-Hussein narrated his story and suffering which started with IS mercenaries entering al-Shahba areas in 2013 “they started oppressing the minorities and committing massacres against them. In addition, the massacre that was committed against the Arnaout in 2013 at the hands of IS mercenaries in Tat Homs villages near Azaz town in the Syrian north motivated me to leave the area with my family towards Afrin canton”.
Al-Hussein stated “the Arnaout people were marginalized at all levels and everybody denied their cultural rights and even the nationalistic rights”.
Al-Hussein said “this experience comprises all components and it calls for fraternity of peoples and co-existence, and everybody has to adopt this ideology to survive the Syrian crisis”
Furthermore, al-Hussein called for all people in Afrin region and al-Shahba canton to participate in the elections as candidates and electors, and to represent their voice during the historical stage.