From Syria: Erin Trieb’s Photos

We interrupt our travel blog to bring you these photos published by today. Our daughter and photojournalist, Erin Trieb, was in Iraq and Syria for the past month. The link below will take you to her poignant story on the Women’s Protection Unit, a 7,000-strong Kurdish military group. It’s a bit humbling to be traipsing around the lush Basque Country of France knowing what these women are going through. We are so proud of Erin for her courage, and for her special talent of bringing the world’s stories to us through her photos.

From “In the dry and desolate land along Syria’s northeastern border, thousands of young Kurdish women have taken up arms to protect their people against attacks from Bashar Assad’s government, ISIS militants and the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

Some 7,000 volunteer soldiers have joined the Women’s Protection Unit, or YPJ, which grew out of the wider Kurdish resistance movement. The group is strongly associated with the PKK, an organization fighting for the rights of Kurds in neighboring Turkey that has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department. Alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the YPJ has been battling against Islamic militants who have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria and declared a cross-border caliphate.”


  1. Erin’s photos are stunning and show how comfortable the women were with her presence. I applaud her bravery and these young women also. I hope Erin has returned safely to her family.

  2. I am completely speechless and humbled by this. Just when I think I cannot possibly be more proud of Erin, I see what she is doing here and my respect and admiration grow even deeper. These young women are amazing and I am so honored to learn about them, their dedication, bravery and commitment to their cause. My thoughts and prayers go out to them, Erin and those who support them. Thank you for sharing. Big hug to Erin for us when you see her.

  3. We are so isolated that it is hard to imagine the everyday lives of the people in these area with on-going daily bombing and fighting. Erin is an inspiration to us by taking the time and the effort to make us aware of these individuals. Maybe in some small way it will change the world, one small step at a time. Tell Erin to please stay safe!

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