Tunis. A Garden of the Righteous against jihadist terror

by Janiki Cingoli

The next inauguration of a Garden of the Righteous, inside the lawn of the Italian Embassy of Tunis, in the presence of the Tunisian and Italian authorities, comes few days after the tragic slaughters perpetrated by jihadist terrorists tied to the ISIS. And it retains a particular significance that the people who are holding this event have decided to plant a tree in memory of Faraaz Hussein, the young Muslim who in Dhaka could have saved himself but instead gave his own life in order not to leave his two girl friends behind.

The Garden of Tunis therefore takes up a  new important meaning: the one of the Righteous' struggle in the world against the savagery of jihadist terror.
This Garden of the Righteous on the other hand was already important in itself: commemorating in an Arab country, Tunisia, the Righteous Arabs who saved the lives of Jews during Nazi-fascism, is a way to overcome a taboo, as rightfully noticed by Sumaya Abdel Qader in her declaration we report in our recent newsletter: a taboo that has lasted for long in the Arab world, and is still widespread, which is caused by the juxtaposition with the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The figure of the Righteous thus gains and more and more universal and topical feature, as a symbol against every kind of dehumanization in conflicts and transformation of the religious creed in an instrument of hatred and annihilation of other human beings.
Speakers at this event will include Hamadi ben Habdesslem, the Tunisian guide who at the risk of his life saved dozens Italians during the terror attack at the Bardo Museum. My friend Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo chairman, has found out that this hero was awarded no recognition from the Italian State, and the very people he rescued did not express any gratefulness to him.
This appears to us as an unforgivable omission, and we join his request, addressed to President Mattarella and Prime Minister Renzi, to take measures to fix this incredible omission.
CIPMO thus expresses its most convinced support to this initiative by Gariwo, in the framework of a closer and closer, friendlier and friendlier cooperation between these two institutes, which together we are trying to strengthen.

Janiki Cingoli

Analysis by Janiki Cingoli, former President of CIPMO - Italian Centre for the Peace in Middle East

11 July 2016

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