carnet de route
Beautiful Galicia  
Mobilization for Khedder  
Release of 36 hostages  
A friend passed away  
Beautiful Galicia  
This region is situated on the north west of Spain, often woody, on the Atlantic seaside. It has a long history and lovable people live there. With interest I discovered La Coruna, a large city with its harbour on the Ocean and its famous Roman lighthouse. After I had given a conference that was translated into the Galician language, my friends took me to a restaurant of which Galicia has the secret. What ambiance and joie de vivre on this Friday night? Wine and beer were waiting the guests.  
The Cistercian monastery gave hospitality to the group of Partenia. The monks, very fraternal, invited me to speak to the chapter and preside the Sunday mass.  
Santiago de Compostelle I was delighted to see Santiago once again. The magic of the centre of pilgrimage enchanted me. When one enters the majestic cathedral, how not to become aware of our dignity as men and women! There is something greater than oneself.
I do not know a pilgrimage centre as much open to all beliefs and respectful of whom the pilgrims are. I met young pilgrims with their rucksacks and walking sticks, who were filled with joy to have finally reached Santiago after a long journey.  
Near the cathedral, a table in the restaurant had been prepared for the group of Partenia who did not hesitate to do justice to the food and wine of the region.
joie de vivre
The men and women of the Partenia website have particularly worked to the point that they felt responsible for the future. They were close to one another, interdependent and able to innovate. I thank them all.  
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Mobilization for Khedder  
Khedder is a Tunisian. He lives in a charming village of Ardèche with his French companion who is expecting a child. His work puts him in contact will all the residents of the village and its surroundings. Khedder makes excellent pizzas at the restaurant where he is employed.
One day, the police came to arrest him at the restaurant and drove him to a detention centre awaiting deportation to Tunisia.
The mobilization in support of Khedder was immediate. The population stood by him. A support committee was created. Initiatives by groups of citizens multiplied. The restaurant closed out of solidarity in support of Khedder. The prefecture was plagued with actions, petitions and gatherings. On the village square, a large white tent was erected where information and meetings were concentrated.
The support committee invited me one Sunday to participate in a large protest demonstration. But the night before, the Prefect decided to release Khedder after 29 days of detention. It was a surprise. The protest was transformed into a celebration.  
comité de soutien On my arrival in the village, I met Khedder; he was delighted to be with his family and friends.
He began making pizzas at the restaurant for the support committee. In the afternoon, 400 persons were in the civic theatre. Filled with emotion, Khedder touched the hearts of many with words of thanks.
Even through he is free, he is still a worker with no official documents, not regularized. He can be arrested at any moment. The combat must continue.
Finally, the Prefecture has accepted to regularize the situation of Khedder, but forbids him to work. It is unacceptable. He is condemned to illegal work. In France, thousands of workers with no official documents are condemned to illegal work. They pay at their own loss their dues and taxes. Which brings to the French State each year approximately 2 billions of Euros.
Khedder Haddad
The mobilization continues. One day will come when Khedder will become a citizen like the others, happy to live with his companion and his child. Then it will be again time to celebrate in the village.  
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Release of 36 hostages  
36 Iranian hostages from the city of Achraf in Iraq have been brutally arrested by the Iraqi police and thrown into a Bagdad jail. These barehanded freedom fighters were working and living with their families, they were protected by the 4th Convention of Geneva.
The worst was to be expected for them: ill treatments, torture and above all, deportation to Iran where they run the risk of dying. They immediately started a hunger strike.
In Paris, on two occasions I went to join the Iranians who demonstrate regularly near the Iraqi embassy. I wrote to the Foreign Affairs who immediately answered me.
manifestation pour la libération International pressure was exerted from all sides. Finally, the public prosecutor of Baghdad decided to liberate the 36 hostages who were on the 72nd day of their hunger strike and to send them back to Achraf.
It was an unexpected victory. No charges were held against them. And furthermore, they all returned to the same place where they had been taken from: Achraf.
Immediately at Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris where the Iranian resistance is based, there was joy and celebration. People arrived from everywhere including the loyal inhabitants of Auvers-sur-Oise.
Maryam Radjavi, the elected chairman of the Iranian resistance, made a speech in Persian. She was much applauded. Day and night, she had followed the situation in Achraf.
It was my turn to address the crowd: « how was it possible for these 36 hostages to have such perseverance during this ordeal? Undoubtedly, the just cause of their combat for the Iranian people to recover their liberty and democracy, but also and above all, their faith in God. »
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A friend passed away  
In the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, friends crowded under the dome of the crematorium. People were assembled around the coffin of this leftist activist, a committed union member, a convinced atheist, a declared homosexual. How not to remember his colourful language, his political insults, his fiery indignations?  
disparition He died a few weeks before his retirement. I was surprised that he had such importance for this crowd from whom the churches seem to me so distant.
I was invited to address the crowd. Facing the assembly, I turned towards the casket: « Guy, our friend, our brother, you the kind-hearted man, you have surprised us once again by leaving us without warning, without saying anything... »
I recalled a common souvenir during a meal by the association for the homeless: ' Even though you called me: « your favourite bishop" you liked to provoke me with your anticlerical remarks.
I remember you spoke to the assembly: "I will tell you why non-believers are superior to believers. The believers act toward others to get a reward in heaven. We, the non-believers, as we do not believe in heaven, we do not expect any reward. We do act for others, quite simply. For us, others are enough. »
Guy was visibly happy with his discovery. And I admired his finale. It was the signature of his life.
« Guy, our friend, our brother, you the kind- hearted man, thank you for having been the joyful companion at our meetings and our combats. Thank you for having chosen those that are set aside by society. God be with you. »
A Dieu