carnet de route
Alert to Achraf camp  
Caring about prisoners  
Meeting someone with leprosy  
A mass in summer  
Alert to Achraf camp  
Achraf is located 60 km north of Baghdad and at 80 km from the Iranian border. 3,500 Iranians have lived in this very well organized village since 1986. They are opponents of the Mullah regime and a source of hope to the resistance in Iran. They have the status of « protected people » by the 4th Geneva Convention.  
On July 28th, the Irakian security forces attacked camp Achraf, whose population is unarmed. With courage and dignity, the population offered resistance to the assaults of violence.  
At the press conference given in Paris by a committee of jurists, defenders of Achraf, a video with shocking images was showed. The security forces were unleashed against unarmed people. To date, there have been 11 deaths, and 500 wounded. 36 people have been taken as hostages. If they are deported to Iran, they might be tortured or killed. These are crimes against humanity.  
American soldiers were present, but did not intervene.  
camp d'Achraf It is impossible to leave the camp. A blockade is imposed. Food is not delivered. The temperature is at 50°. Lawyers and reporters do not have access to the camp.
The Iranian resistance does not weaken, despite the confrontations. The right of law, which is the arm of the poor, has made room for the outburst of violence.  
It is our duty to cry out our indignation. If we stay indifferent, we are party to these acts. It is important that in the future no one can say: « I did not know. »
crier notre indignation
haute en page  
Caring about prisoners  
lecture In my correspondence with a prisoner who loves reading and has a passion for planes, I asked him to name some book titles that I could send to him. Because the summer heat is hard to stand when somebody is locked up.
Straight away he proposed three titles to me and I hastened to a large Parisian bookstore. Two young salesmen searched the titles on the computer: one of the books was there, another was in back order, as for the third one, the request must be sent directly to the editor. It is a small editor, specialized in planes, who does not put his books in the bookstores.
In specifying that these books were for a prisoner, I felt a reaction of sympathy on their part. « We will immediately order the missing book and we will phone you as soon as it is delivered. Here is the electronic address of the editor whose books are not on our shelves. »
The next morning, I received a phone call to tell me that the book had arrived. I went to the bookstore to pick it up and thanked the two salesmen for their speediness. Usually, there is a delay period of eight days for an order. But they made an exception for a prisoner!
For the small editor as soon as he received my E-Mail he called me on the phone with a playful voice: « I am immediately sending you the book you requested. I am happy to know that a prisoner has an interest for the plane industry. I am offering him the book. Tell him that I would be delighted if he could write to me. »
I received a parcel full of books from the small editor with a fraternal note and a precision that made me smile: « I am fiercely atheist and ferociously anticlerical. »
haute en page  
Meeting someone with leprosy  
On my way to bring some books to a prisoner I took as usual the regional subway then the bus. A distance long enough to meet people. It was the case, an African, in his forties, came to sit in front of me. « I would like some advice from you, because I am not feeling very well. I am in distress and I have even thought about suicide. »
I listened to him without speaking. His face inspired my sympathy. His eyes had a glazed expression. « I have leprosy », he confided in me. « Leprosy? » «Yes. I have had the virus in me for the last twenty years. It woke up suddenly like a volcano. My eyes are affected; I have traces that show up on my skin. I am well treated. He showed me the drugs he had just bought ».
Meeting someone with leprosy was a choc for me. My compassion was great for this African. He started to speak again. « My wife is going to leave me. She is filing for divorce. yet she had no official papers when I met her. I found her on the streets. I accommodated her in my house. I did everything for her. She became my wife and we have two children. Today, she is leaving me. »
I had to get off the subway. Him also. We took the same bus. His name is Romuald; he is a native from Congo Brazza. Passing in front of the store « Carrefour », he said to me: « this is where I work ».
« I am a believer. Sometimes I read the psalms and pray to God in the street and also at home. I tell him: « why is it all happening to me? What is your plan for me? »
Romuald felt liberated because he had talked to me. He is so alone usually! His young children have noticed that and have told him: « Dad, is there something wrong? »
avenir n'est pas fini Both of us left the bus. « Believe in yourself and also in God. The future is not over yet for you. »
haute en page  
A mass in summer  
Vacationers have come in great number to this outdoor mass. The sun was scorching fortunately the trees gave a lot of protection. Every body sang. Even the children. Is there better participation than an assembly in song? I look on with pleasure.  
communion My family was there, surrounding Lise who will be receiving her 1st Communion.
Those who do not practice were anyway anxious to come to this family celebration. I had the occasion of celebrating the Eucharist and to speak. The gospel is about the miracle of the loaves. Jesus introduces the gesture of sharing. To give and not to possess. It is sharing that makes brothers.
Lise's mother read a few prayer intentions at the microphone. Her emotion was visible. At the last intention concerning her daughter, tears started to appear. The assembly held its breath.
An unexpected and happy moment happened. The children were invited to bring everything that had been prepared to the altar. Suddenly, the children came out from everywhere like birds out of a nest. Their number was so great that there were not enough objects for all of them! But they like to participate
Lise was the first to receive Communion. Her face was peaceful and reflected her happiness. A long queue was formed for communion. People who had not taken communion for a long time, approached their turn. Did Jesus not say: « Take this, all of you, and eat it? »
After the mass, the family celebration still went on to the pleasure of Lise who will remember this moment for a long time.