Dr. Hawzhin Azeez is a Kurdish academic, activist, poet, and intersectional feminist from Southern Kurdistan (north Iraq). Born during the first Gulf War between Iran-Iraq (1980–1988) her political identity was heavily framed by her early experiences of war, particularly the state sponsored terrorism against the Kurds both under the Saddam regime as well as the newly emerged Islamic Republic of Iran.
Her family’s escape from Southern Kurdistan to Iran was defined by escaping the chemical weapons being bombarded down upon the Kurds at the time, finding refuge from the Iranian and Iraqi bombardments within mountains and caves, and like thousands of others, negotiating this treacherous road and allowing her family to be smuggled into Iran. Her experiences as a child refugee, amidst homelessness, poverty, statelessness, and immense losses within her family and community due to their resistance through the Kurdish Peshmerga, continue to be the foundation of her political perspective and ideology.
Hawzhin has a Ph.D in Political Science and International Relations specialising in post-conflict and war torn societies. From 2015 to 2018 she lived and worked in Kobane, Northern Syria on the rebuilding of Kobane through the Kobane Reconstruction Board after it was liberated from ISIS. Later, Hawzhin became the co-founder the non-governmental organisation Hevi (meaning hope in Kurdish), working with women, children, displaced and refugees of the ISIS war in northern Syria and northern Iraq.