Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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An intense wait that lasted for two years...

by Hamadi Ben Abdesslem

Hamadi ben Abdelsslem with the tourists he rescued, at the Garden of the Righteous of Milan

Hamadi ben Abdelsslem with the tourists he rescued, at the Garden of the Righteous of Milan

I don’t know how to begin and quite frankly I can’t find my words to describe what I am living today, a day that I have been waiting for two years. It was a strong desire for a meeting, or I should say a reunion. The emotion is strong after what we lived together.

At the Museum of the Bardo we have escaped death. It is a moment that has deeply impacted my life, and I believe also of who, as their guide, I have managed to rescue. I still think to when we went to the port after the attacks. A moment that I can not forget… tears, kisses, hugs, melancholy and the joy of being alive. Happy to come back home after an experience full of terror and fear, we left each other without understanding. For these reasons I am deeply moved to the idea of seeing them again, in this meeting possible thanks to Gariwo.

To say thank is not enough. A hundred, a thousand times thank you to Gariwo for having organized this day, for allowing me to see some friends that came in Tunisia and that have unfortunately lived a nightmare. Today they are here with me, and my message to them – alongside with Gariwo – is that I will continue our fight against terrorism, for our right to live, to teach to love and not hate, and to allow a return in Tunisia, or any other place on this planet, without the fear of terrorism.

We have a lot of work ahead, and each one can do something by following the path of Gariwo…

I would like to hug everyone.

I love you, and this is a moment that will brings us together.

Analysis by Hamadi ben Abdesslem

14 March 2017

The European Day of Righteous

The value of individuals and personal responsibility

On May 10, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted the Written Declaration establishing March 6th as European Day in memory of the Righteous.
The concept of Righteous, born from the elaboration of the Yad Vashem Memorial to remember the non-Jews who rescued the Jews, becomes the patrimony of all humanity.
The term "Righteous" is no longer confined to the Holocaust only; it becomes a point of reference for those who remember the genocide and totalitarianism in all their efforts to defend human dignity.

The significance of this decision is reminiscent of one of the cornerstones of European culture: the value of the individual and personal responsibility.

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