This Is Kobane is born


This Is Kobane is the result of a collaboration between two activists passionate about Democratic Confederalism and the Syrian Revolution.


After months of research, and building contacts in the region of Rojava (Western Kurdistan), Nadim Fetaih and Brandon Gamblen decided to go to Kobane to start the documentary project "This Is Kobane".


Most Western media portrayals of  what is happening in Syria either highlight the war against Daesh (ISIS), the conflict the Syrian people have been waging agains Bashar Al-Assad's devastating regime, the beautiful female militia of the YPJ, or simply the massive amounts of destruction the country has been subject to since the beginning of the Civil war in Syria, in 2011.


The team of This Is Kobane wanted to show something different, something hopeful about the new political system that is present in Rojava: Democratic Confederalism. Instead of showing the migrant crisis, and the millions of people who have been displaced out of Syria, they wanted to tell the stories of those who stayed, or even come back to Syria because they believed in this sytem.


During their initial stay in Kobane, in May of 2015, the team met Dr. Dorpec Kobane, a physiotherapist from Sweden who left his country to come help his people in Rojava, and "This Is Kobane" was born.


On the second trip to Kobane, in December 2015, the team documented the work done by Dorpec, as well as the efforts underway in Kobane to reconstrut the city, which had been massively destroyed during the siege imposed by Daesh from September 2014 to January 2015.


This Is Kobane was granted exclusive access to the military complex within which Dorpec runs his physiotherapy clinic, and spent a total of almost two months living in Kobane alongside its people.


This Is Kobane: the film


On January 26 2015 the Syrian city of Kobane was liberated after months of being besieged by Daesh (ISIS).  Over 80 percent of the city was in ruins.

Two days later, reconstruction efforts began. Since then, the YPG and YPJ (all female) fighters have been the only force to push back the ruthless onslaught brought upon by Daesh. They have retained many martyrs and many more injured. 


One man, Dr. Dorpec Kobane, was inspired to return from the Diaspora to help his people in any way possible. 


He arrived as a healthy man, but through the trials and tribulations of being in a war-torn city, began smoking packs a day, allowing his health and weight to deteriorate over time. Beginning his work in the simplest of ways, he went from house to house of wounded soldiers in order to help them regain movement from their injuries of war.


Soon, his reputation began to precede himself, as he was the only physio-therapist in all of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). As his reputation grew so too grew interest in his skills, and plans of opening up a clinic for his work began. 

On June 25th, 2015, however, he was needed in other ways. An attack by Daesh on the city of Kobane began at approximately 5:00 am. He was one of the very few who had to protect the hospital and his clinic. And so, he picked up a weapon and defended the city alongside the YPG and YPJ forces.


Months later, he continues the process of healing the wounded in his clinic. To date, over 13,000 patients have come and gone through Dr. Kobane’s capable hands. Many have been able to walk, when they believed it impossible, some with grave injuries such as shots to the head. In that time, he has trained 7 assistants who carry with them the legacy he is creating – regardless of what may or may not happen to him in the future.


This film follows him, his assistants, and his patients as they progress through recovery and hardships. 


It is exclusive insight into the tangible realities of a revolution few have been able to see, from a perspective that fewer still could gain.

"This is Kobane": The Project