Back to June 25, 2015, people of the city of Kobani, northern Syria, woke up on the sounds of shootings, they had no idea of what was happening, about 400 civilians, including children, women, and men were killed within hours inside their homes by the Islamic State (IS) militants, who had sneaked into the city and shot everyone they saw, disguised as the region's local forces of "People's Protection Units YPG".
Adnan Hassan, one of the people who lost six members of his family, his mother, sister, two brothers, and their wives, in addition to five other members of his uncle's family in one night, of which people of the city call it: "Night of treachery."
Hassan transformed the house where the massacre took place to a public library, which is visited by book-reading enthusiasts, and a hall for organizing cultural activities to deliver a message to the world that they had transformed the place where it witnessed the death of the majority of his family, into a cultural and literary life to be the evidence of the Islamic State's brutal crimes against the people of the city.
In an interview with "North Press Agency", Hassan said, "On June 25, 2015, it was the month of Ramadan, at the time of Suhoor (mealtime in the early morning by Muslims before fasting during Ramadan days), they woke up to hear shootings outside, my brother Ahmed who was married and had 6 children, went out to see what was going on, then to be immediately killed by the hands of Islamic State militants."
"After my brother Ahmad was killed, my mother and then most of my family followed him outside, my brother's wife was killed and my mother, too". he said.
"My brother Rodi and his wife Perwin, who were recently married, came out of the house and were also killed. Rodi wanted to bring my brother Ahmad inside, but he was shot as well, my sister Gulistan, took my nephew Amed (two-months old), from Rihanna, his mother's hug after she was killed, and my sister went back home and tried to hide behind the door but ISIS militants could kill her as well."
The only survivors of the family at that night were only the two sisters Berivan and Jihan. They were also inside the house at that moment, they went out to a dark room that had been destroyed during former fighting in Kobani Battle, in order to call the ambulance. When they came back, they saw an ISIS militant in front of the main door of their house, where they realized that there's someone who wants to kill them all without knowing the reason, so they hid.
The massacre took place at 4:30 a.m., while Jihan and Berivan hid in that room until the afternoon of that day, 2:00 p.m.
Hassan continued, "the house of my uncle Mustafa was above ours, he also came down to know what was going on, as he came down, they immediately killed him, Othman, my cousin, tried to bring a car to take my brother Ahmad to the hospital, but he was also killed as he arrived".
At that night, 11 civilian members of Adnan Hassan's family and the family of his uncle Mustafa, were killed. A day prior to the massacre night, Adnan had left to Turkey to study, while on the second day after the massacre, he returned back to Kobani to see, in what less can be said, the tragedy.
Hassan explained that his family consisted of six brothers and five sisters, his father lost his life in the bombing near The Kurdish Red Crescent Center in Kobani on December 11, 2013, and his sister Sherin, who was a female-fighter in the local defense forces of Kobani "Women's Protection Units YPJ", lost her life on September 30, 2014, while she was defending her city against the barbaric ISIS offensive, so he lost 8 members of his family during the events in Kobani.
"We had a lot of memories in our home, where we lived and grew up, especially the room I transformed into a library, at the beginning of the events in Syria, we used to gather, and spend the nights in this room, it was a house for all Kobanians." Hassan said.
"Following the massacre, and after both Berivan and Jihan saw everything by their own eyes, they couldn't go back to live in this house again, I wasn't there that night, but when I came back and saw the blood on the ground, all I could do was cleaning the blood of my mother and sister with my hands, the blood of my sister Gulistan remained on the wall for a while before I covered it with paint" Adnan said.
"It was hard for us to go back and live in that house again, yet it was even harder to leave it, I tried to go back there, where all my memories were, but I couldn't convince both of my sisters Berivan and Jihan to come back and live a normal life, for the unbearable tragedy. Hence, I thought of something to do, since the house was my mother's and we used to call it the guests' house, therefore, closing the house was a problem for me, as I cannot live far from it." Hassan added.
In order to fulfill Rodi and his wife Perwin's wish of establishing a small library within their house after their marriage. Rodi, who was studying in Istanbul and working at the same time, his certificate was delivered to Adnan from the Institute after Rodi's death, His bag, items, books, and pens were still hanging in the room that his brother Adnan, had transformed into a library, which was named "Rodi and Perwin" as both were dreaming about when they were alive.
"After the massacre, I decided to transform the house into a library, I worked on my idea for about a year, I started a campaign of collecting books, my friends in the city of Amed/Diyarbakir, southeast Turkey, collected some books, Rodi's friends in Istanbul sent his books as well.
On May 9th, 2016, The Teacher's Day in Kobani, I established the library, because on this day we went to Kobani's schools and started teaching the Kurdish language for the first time, where Rodi also took part at that time, a year later, my sisters Berivan and Jihan were able to come back home as a visit to a library, not to a home." Hassan said.
Hassan had rented a house for a year and then built a house above the library, and now he lives upstairs, while downstairs had become a room for reading, where cultural activities are organized.
Hassan added that "The library contains about 2500 books, most of which are Kurdish, as well as some Arabic and Turkish books, library activities are constantly expanding, the establishment of the library was a reaction to convey a message to the whole world, and to show that our will never be broken, because we have transformed a place that witnessed the most heinous massacre in the history to a library, in moments, we've closed our eyes and when we opened them, we saw that more than half of our family were killed."
Adnan says that the massacre is something cannot be easily overcome but through the library and the guests who visit us "We want to tell the story of the massacre and the library to them, and we try to convey the barbaric and brutal crimes of ISIS in Syria in general and in Kobani in particular.
Hassan concludes; "We've created a literary and cultural life out of death and through these cultural activities that are taking place here, everyone who comes and borrow a book, read it and then deliver it back, is as a life for Rodi and Perwin, and when someone comes and drinks a cup of coffee here, where we used to call it the guests' house, I then feel as if my mother is still alive".
Some groups of Islamic State militants wearing YPG uniforms managed to sneak into the city of Kobani, and the village of "Barkh-Batan", on June 25, 2015, in the early morning hours, where they committed brutal massacres against the city's civilians by direct shootings with weapons and sniper guns. There were contradicted reports about the number of casualties, but at least 600 civilians were killed and injured during those two days.