GIRL WITH A GUN
Diana Nammi is a human rights activist. In 2002, she founded IKWRO (Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation). Ten years later she was named as one of 150 women who shake the world by Newsweek and the Daily Beast. In 2014, she was honoured with a Barclays Woman of the Year Award and was included in the BBC’s 100 Women series.
The same year, Karen Attwood went to interview Diana for a profile article for the Independent on Sunday. She went back to the newsroom with 5000 words that she needed to edit into a 900 word article. She knew Diana's important story had to be told in more depth. Girl With A Gun, the first-ever account of its kind from a woman Peshmerga, is the result of their four-year collaboration.
IN KURDISTAN, THE REVOLUTION CONTINUED, THE PEOPLE HAD TAKEN POWER. ALL ANYONE COULD TALK ABOUT WAS THE REVOLUTION AND ABOUT HOW WE, THE PEOPLE, COULD RULE. WE WOULD NOT LET THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC TAKE OVER.
Diana Nammi joined the Peshmerga, the Kurdish freedom fighting force, when she was only seventeen. Originally known by the nickname Galavezh, which means Morning Star, she was born in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s. She became involved in politics as a teenager and, like many students, played a part in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. But the new Islamic regime tolerated no opposition, and after Kurdistan was brutally attacked and activists across Iran executed in their thousands, Galavezh and her younger sister Shaesta had no choice but to become freedom fighters in the now famed military force.
Galavezh spent twelve years with the Peshmerga, and helped lead the struggle for women’s rights and for socialism in Iran, becoming one of the Islamic Republic’s ‘most wanted’ in the process. As well as being the startling account of Galavezh’s time as a fighter, Girl with a Gun is a tale of family and resilience, with a tragic love story at its heart.
'An inspiration... The world needs to know more about this incredible woman'
Deeyah Khan, award-winning filmmaker and activist
Iranian and Kurdish people deserved to be safe and to be free
to express different opinions. We deserved the right to freedom of speech, equality and justice. I couldn’t remain silent in the face of such injustice. I felt I was born to fight for our rights. To become a Peshmerga means that we will sacrifice ourselves for others. I was ready to give up my life for my beliefs and our people.