Kurds plan to set up French institute in Syria

Syria Kurds organize cultural activities in Qamishli. File photo: Activists

ARA News 

AMUDE Syrian Kurds plan to establish a French institution in the northeastern city of Amude, according to officials. 

Speaking to ARA News, representative of the Kurdish-led Rojava Administration in Paris, Khaled Issa, said that there are plans “to set up a huge French institute in Amude”.

“The French state supports the people of Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region], but I think it’s important to boost not only military, but also diplomatic and cultural relations,” he said. 

For this aim, there is a plan to set up a French institute in the city of Amude in northeastern Syria.

“We begin to build the biggest cultural French centre in Amude and the French people can support this initiative. We have a common history with the French, and the Rojava areas were annexed to the Syrian state during the French mandate [1923-1946],” the Kurdish official told ARA News.

“When French was occupied by the Nazis, the Kurdish nationalists supported the resistance of France, and France wanted to create something for the Kurdish people in 1937, but sadly it was weakened after the Second World War,” he said.

“We have a lot of things in common, including the struggle against terrorism and dictatorship. Rojava can play an important role for stability and peace in the Middle East,” Issa added.

The Kurdish official said that the institute would be the biggest French institute in the region with a cultural centre, a library, and thirty locations for students to study and learn, a building for professors, hotel, cinema, and a sport field.

Famous French writer Patrice Franceschi, who accompanied Issa on his visit to Rojava, will head the new French foundation. “It will be for the exchange of French intellectuals and artists,” Franceschi told ARA News.

The French newspaper Europe1 reported that the project has received support from several prominent French figures such as writer Françoise Chandernagor, author Sylvain Tesson and Bernard Kouchner, the co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). 

It’s unclear so far when the project would be officially launched, but the Kurdish official says the institute would start its activities soon.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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