Mohammed’s activism on behalf of the collective rights of Syria’s Kurdish community commenced while he was studying in Istanbul in the mid-1970s, when he was influenced by the ongoing Kurdish revolution in Iraq led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani. The failure of that revolution deepened Mohammed’s commitment, and he joined the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (al-Parti) in 1998. Disappointed with its lack of impact, he left in 2003 to join the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which had been recently established as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. He became a member of the Democratic Union Party’s executive council and in 2010 was elected as party head, a position he still holds.
Mohammed took refuge in a Kurdistan Workers’ Party camp in Iraq in 2010 after he and his wife had been imprisoned in Syria, but he returned to Qamishli in the Hasaka governorate following the beginning of the uprising in March 2011. He played a principal part in forming the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in June and became its deputy coordinator.
Born in 1951 near the town of Ayn al-Arab in the Aleppo governorate, Mohammed graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Istanbul Technical University in 1977. He started his professional career in Saudi Arabia before moving back to Syria in the 1990s to work in his hometown.