Payame Noor University in Meriwan - Memorial of Helebce

Every other year students of Payame Noor University (PNU) in Mariwan held a memorial in memory of the gas attacks on Helebce (Halabja) according to Firat News Agency. On the 13th of March a morning seminar was held on behalf of the memory of Helebce in the University. The seminar was started with a minute of silence in respect for the 5000 Martyrs of Helebce. Following that, each student read their own messages and a speech was given about the suppression on the Kurds regarding our language and culture. In the memorial a few poems were read by the students also. According to the same news on the memorial, the anthem of Helebce was spoken by the participants of the seminar. The anthem goes as such:

“The world is sad, life is a pain for the city which has a red spring, and it is the Hiroshima of Kurdistan, Helebce the mother of Sharezur”
(Kurdish: Dunya xeme jiyan jane bo şarekey beharî sûr, Hêroşîmay Kurdistane Helebcey daykêî Şarezûr)


Later into the seminar, 26 candles were lit and 26 red flowers were placed in front of the picture of Omer Xawer. On the 16th of March, 1988 Omer Xawer lost his life in a gas attack while holding his kid in his arms shielding him from the gas. Unfortunately, both he and his child died. A picture was taken and this became a symbolic photo of the Helebce Massacre.

16th March 1988, Helebce Massacre Omer Xawer and his kid

16th March 1988, Helebce Massacre
Omer Xawer and his kid


It is also worth to mention that no permission was given to the students by the leaders of the school to hold a Seminar. Leaders of the University and also a few Basij students tried to take pictures of the participants to prevent the seminar from happening, but the students of the University did not pay attention to the threats and continued the seminar.