‘Erbane is the voice of women and resistance’


RIHA- Fatma Özen, erbane (musical instrument) teacher at Urfa Culture and Art Association, describes erbane, which is a symbol of women in Kurdish music as, “Kurdish women’s scream and resistance”.

One of the most ancient musical instruments of the Middle East and Mesopotamia is Erbane. Even if it communed with love and pain in the past, today, it symbolizes with resistance and women, who become more beautiful while resisting.

We talked the erbane that holds so many meanings and what it gives meaning to the life with Fatma Özen, erbane teacher at the Urfa Culture and Art Association. Fatma describes erbane as “Women’s scream and resistance”. She said every musical instrument casts a feeling and says erbane symbolizes love, hope and longing. Fatma said, “ın the Kurdish history, which full of war and massacres, erbane symbolizes women’s scream and resistance. It has much more importance for particularly Kurdish women. The Kurdish women express their joy as well as their pain.”

‘It isn’t just an instrument’

Fatma pointed out that erbane isn’t just an instrument for her; first it is her best friend like all instruments and then it is a part of her heart. Fatma said, “Today, I am teaching erbane here. I also learn many things and we create new colors for life with my students. Actually, Urfa is a difficult city for women. For this reason, I think Urfa women should be interested in art and music more in order to discover themselves. First I discovered erbane during a women’s march, then I started to take a course to learn it. Once I bought it and I cannot leave it anymore. Then I realized that erbane is the voice of women. Erbane is a scream. I know myself with Erbane and feel myself stronger. All young women should play erbane for knowing themselves and being stronger.”

Leyla Turan is a student at the culture center and said, “Erbane is my life partner in my hard times. Sometimes, I tell it what I cannot tell anyone, I am talking to it and it feels me and listens to me. Erbane is the symbol of the Kurdish culture. Erbane is a resistance in war.”