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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Soutenez les Tunisiens !

by Nadia Chaabane

Support the Tunisians!

An appeal for solidarity with the young immigrants

Translated Monday 16 May 2011, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Derek Hanson

By Nadia Chaabane, the vice president of the Association of Tunisians in France

Many of you have expressed your solidarity and your support for Tunisia and the Tunisians following January 14. Today, I call upon you to be consistent and to express concrete solidarity. Young Tunisians need you, but they need you right where you are, in your cities and towns. I ask each of you to welcome a young person and to accompany him or her in their élan towards freedom.

Right or wrong, each of these young people had a certian belief in France, and they are encountering a world different from the one of which they dreamed. Today they have little hope and no other solution than to ask for solidarity, if only for a while. This situation can be resolved in short order through a gesture of generosity. Each city of more than 10,000 could take in and take care of a young Tunisian.

In the name of my mother, who crossed the Mediterranean 48 years ago to settle in Tunisia, where she lives today in complete tranquility. In the name of my father, who taught the language of Voltaire in Tunisia for the whole of his career.

I appeal to your generosity and to your humanism to render to my France her place and her colors, renewing contact with our history and cutting short hateful and divisive talk. These young people need you and the French need you in order to begin to believe again.

My France is mixed-racial and beautiful; she throbs with humanism and intelligence. The France that is heard today is inhibited and timid; she throbs with hatred and is withdrawn. She no longer believes in herself. I still believe in that other France that is hidden in the bosom of each of us and that only asks to blossom and bloom.

Liberty, equality, fraternity are meaningless if they are not fertilized with generosity. Our two revolutions are steeped in this ideal. Let us show ourselves to be worthy of this heritage.


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