In Memory of Two Who Fell in Rojava
CrimethInc. | March 17, 2022
This eulogy honors the lives of Lorenzo Orsetti and Ahmed Hebeb, who were killed during the last days of the fighting against the Islamic State in March 2019.
Three years ago, on March 18, 2019, my friend Lorenzo Orsetti was killed in action during the battle of Baghuz Fawqani. He was fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces against the last bastion of the Islamic State in Syria. Before any more time passes, I would like to say a few words in his memory.
Lorenzo was an anarchist from Florence, Italy. At the time of his death, he and I were members of Tekoşîna Anarşîst, a group of anarchist internationals participating in the ongoing revolution in northeastern Syria, otherwise known as Rojava.
I met Lorenzo on my first day in Syria and I was with him nearly every day of the last six months of his life. Until he died, I never knew his real name, nor where exactly he was from. To me, he was Tekoşer Piling—that was his nom de guerre. It means “Struggle Tiger” in Kurmanji Kurdish.
In some ways, Lorenzo and I knew very little about each other. In all the time we spent together, we rarely discussed our feelings, the future, or our past lives back home. Nevertheless, we were comrades in arms. We served in the same unit, slept in the same room, trained and exercised together every morning, alternated shifts on guard duty every night, shared hundreds of meals and thousands of cups of tea, rotated chores, cleaned up after each other, and deployed to the front line together twice, where we survived several firefights and various close brushes with death. I trusted Lorenzo with my life, and he never let me down.