Friday, November 11, 2011

BESA - Muslims who saved Jews in World War II, by Norman H. Gershman

BEAUTIFUL STORIES. We are all looking for beautiful stories, truths in history that gives us strength and wisdom to prevail over the appalling present bigotry that has fallen between people of all faith. But today, we are talking specifically about the Jews and the Muslims. And specifically about the Jews, the Albanians and their Code of Besa during World War II under the conquering jackboots of the Nazis…

BESA is a code of honour amongst the Muslim Albanians. The code basically means that if someone is a guest in your home, it is beholden upon you to not only serve and show hospitality, but protect him/her, even at the risk of your own life. On this basis, during World War II thousands of Jews in Albania were protected and saved by the Albanian Muslims. As the Jewish website Yad Vashem noted -

“Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, succeeded in the place where other European nations failed. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation, those of Albanian origin and refugees alike, were saved, except members of a single family. Impressively, there were more Jews in Albania at the end of the war than beforehand.

Good ol' Norm.
In 2009, Norman H. Gershman, a renowned Fine Art Photographer, took up this labour of love to photograph and write the above book, as well as produce a documentary on this amazing story. You can watch Part 1 of the documentary by Clicking Here.

My thanks to my friend, Khalid Ajmain for posting the BESA link on Facebook and sharing this wonderful story.

May God, the Owner of all beautiful days bestow one upon you, sunshine.

Hate has no place in Islam

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