Fierce combat waged against ISIS fighters hellbent on savage dominion was ravaging Syria in 2014 when a revolution unlike any other — and one unknown to much of the world — began turning the tide of the conflict.
In the small, northern town of Kobani, just south of the Turkish border, an all-female militia of Kurdish fighters was rallying against the Islamic State, going house to house and eliminating terrorists who were subjecting women just like them to merciless barbarity.
Through ferocious combat, the militia, as a byproduct, was simultaneously launching an unprecedented campaign for the equal rights of women in the region, one that was championed, symbolically, by the U.S. via combat support by the U.S. special operations community.
Hundreds of hours of interviews provided by these women on the frontlines, as well as by those with intimate knowledge of their incredible exploits, formed the foundation for bestselling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s upcoming book “The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice.”
Anticipation for the story featured in the book, which is slated for a Feb. 16 release, was further amplified this week when HiddenLight Productions announced that it acquired the rights to adapt the book for an upcoming TV series.
Founded in December 2020 by a trio that includes former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Sam Branson, HiddenLight is billed as “a global studio that will create premium documentary, unscripted and scripted entertainment for TV, film and digital that celebrates the best of the human spirit and helps audiences see the world in new ways,” according to a release confirming the adaptation.
“‘The Daughters of Kobani’ is an extraordinary account of brave, defiant women fighting for justice and equality,” Hillary Clinton said. “We created HiddenLight to celebrate heroes — sung and unsung alike — whose courage is too often overlooked, and we could not be more thrilled to bring this inspiring story to viewers around the world.”
“No one has fought harder than Secretary Clinton to lift the voices of women around the world and to shine light on the lives of women fighting each day for their futures,” Lemmon added. “She is a true trailblazer, and there is no better partner to bring ‘The Daughters of Kobani’ and this story of the women who broke ISIS to the screen than HiddenLight.”
Lemmon’s most recent work, the 2015 book “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield,” depicted the little-known story of Ashley White, a member of a specialized and entirely female Army cultural support team, who faced down vicious combat alongside members of the special operations community during an era when women were barred from combat arms professions.
White, 24, died in October 2011 while patrolling a compound in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province after an Army Ranger accompanying her team stepped on an improvised explosive device that triggered a daisy chain of bombs.
That story is currently in development for a big screen adaptation courtesy of a production team that includes Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon, director Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”), screenwriter Molly Smith Metzler (“Shameless,” “Orange is the New Black”), and producer Bruna Papandrea (“Gone Girl”).
Read more about “The Daughters of Kobani” here. And stay tuned for details on the series as they become available.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.