Mar 10 2018

Haukur Hilmarsson – The Loss of a Friend, Killed in the Battle of Afrin

The sad news has come with us that our Icelandic friend and comrade Haukur Hilmarsson, nom de guerre Sahin Hosseini, has fallen in the battle of the Kurdish city of Afrin. He was killed in battle against the Turkish invaders, as a commander in the International Freedom Battalion (IFB) fighting alongside the Kurdish YPG.

We’ve heard from his Battalion that he first joined in the struggle against IS about a year ago. After his first attempt to reach Rojava through Iraq, getting arrested and deported back to Iceland, he travels straight back and fought in the battle for the liberation of Raqqa. He was loved and appreciated and was given the rank of Commander. When the Turkish army invaded the northern Syrian border, he hurried once again to the defense of the Kurdish revolution.

Haukur, our hearts are full with pain and pride. You were truly beautiful, inspiring, loving, raging, rebelling, an unstoppable force. A storm which we had the fortune to have intertwined with. We’ve got to know you through our shared love of the wild Icelandic landscape and the actions in defense of its destruction by the aluminum industry. The memories of running through the fields, blocking digging machines, climbing cranes and raving through the streets of Reykjavik. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet you have an unforgettable impression and we feel lucky to consider you as our friend. Even though the years drove us apart and it was hard to keep in touch, we’ve always carried you in our hearts and minds. With smiles on our faces we watch the images of the Icelandic parliament during the mass protests, and raising the flag of a discount supermarket. A true Anarchist who stood together with your friends at the beginning of the Icelandic anarchist movement. Through all your outrageous ideas and actions, like running on the airport to stop an airplane from deporting an “illegal” immigrant (and even managing, by chance, to block the right plane and stop the deportation), you always had the same smile on your face. A grinning devious smile that’s said “let’s get into trouble”. And it caught on everyone.

When we saw the picture of you in camouflage clothes, with the rifle resting easily on your lap, it was not that same expression on your face anymore. There was a sense of ease in your eyes. A small awkward smile towards the camera. But mostly a sense of being in the place where you could be burning inside yourself. That face was still so much, and it brought tears to our eyes and also brought pride to our hearts. We would have loved to sit aside with you for many more years.

But lives fully lived do not always measure out in time. It is measured by the wind of desires, like a chilly breeze sliding over a field of grass. By the sudden goosebumps in a dark night from the afterglow of a raging and loving fire. In those moments you remind us that you can, and should be, the sum of one’s desires and dreams. To keep standing up for that which you believe to be right. And to keep fighting. No matter where your fight lies, and where the fight will take you.

A battle reaching though space and time. Like the poem written by a fighter in the international brigade in the Spanish Civil war against the fascists.

I will not yield
I will
eat dynamite
And I will explode
like a volcano

Dear Haukur. We will miss you with all our hearts. Our thoughts are with your mother, your family, friends and everyone whose life was touched by you in your 31 years on this earth. We will carry you with us forever.

No pasaran!

8 Responses to “Haukur Hilmarsson – The Loss of a Friend, Killed in the Battle of Afrin”

  1. Hildur Helga Sigurðard. says:

    What a terrible loss.

  2. jane says:

    So sorry for the loss of this friend

  3. solla says:

    rest in power, dear haukur

  4. Only way to honor him is to carry on with his raw energy for the things that drove him to fight. Icelands finest anarcho clown and lionheart. He understood the importance of Rojava, sadly so few know why. Rest in power in our hearts Haukur.

  5. Andrew says:

    Devastating news. I spent a wild summer in 2006 resisting the Karahnjukar Dam with Haukur. He was truly one of a kind. I remember he had such a wild spirit and would talk about spending days wandering off on the land. I’ll always remember the little furry bird foot he kept around his neck (a grouse?). He loved that land and he loved Iceland in a deep way that was infectious. Perhaps more than any other Icelander I met that summer, three years younger than, he left a lasting impression upon me. I saw him a year or so later at the G8 in Rostock and I think that was the last time. I think of that summer in the highlands a lot – the wonder and magic of it, the pain and madness too. It will stay with me forever and Haukur is a part of that picture, forever in my mind as a grinning mischievous elf with so much energy, passion, good humour, stories to tell, and an open and welcoming heart. In the years since I doubt he changed very much. In a way it comes as no surprise at all to hear where he ended up, fighting with the Kurds. He always had a sense of being more mature than his years. I imagine he must have grown into a highly capable man and he obviously never lost his zeal, only hardened it. Haukur mate, I’m so sorry. You burned bright though, and you never stopped being the person you knew you could be, doing the things that you knew needed to be done by someone, even if they probably terrified you at times. While the world talked, you just got on and made things happen. I’ll always remember you, you crazy wonderful legend!

  6. zetler says:

    somewhere you can find war
    but why isn’t it so far
    like an inaccessible place
    for those who want to stay with
    those who love them and embrace

    All my thoughts for his family and loved ones !!!


  7. Friend says:

    Haukur Hilmarsson knew very well the crucial importance of what he was sacrificing his life for. The radical movement must understand the historical significance of these days. The attack on Afrin is the attempt to crush the most promising revolutionary attempt of our generation. The Revolution in Rojava is not only an emancipatory prospect for the Middle East, but globally one of the last flashes of hope for another world.

  8. Emma says:

    A selfless, inspiring, brave, and above all endlessly kind soul. I haven’t seen Haukur for some years but I will never forget him.

    I remember Haukur going out of his way to help me get home from hospital—if he could help someone he always would, whether or not it was easy for him. Joyful rare sunny days on the street in bare feet outside Snarrot/Hljómalind, chatting excitedly. Epic plans, telling stories, appreciation of the good in the world, a passion for justice and making things better. The first time I met him in the Eastern Highlands, sharing his love of that landscape—and the strongest handshake of anyone I have ever met before or since!

    Haukur, I’m so deeply sad to hear you’ve gone too early. The bravest and best among us often do. You burned bright and I’m lucky to have known you. My thoughts are with those closest to you at this most difficult of times, and with your friends in Afrin.