Log-book: March 1999
It is a movie title. In the suburb of Paris, the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between the People (MRAP) has organized an evening discussion about this film.
In the Palestinian camp of Hein El Helwe, one among the known camps in Lebanon, a young women of 24, Rasha, is the main subject. Three generations (grand mothers, mothers and daughters) testify for their missing land, their so difficult every day life, their exile, they are humiliated and forgotten. Excellent movie. These Palestinian women show an extraordinary dignity, courage and anger. I like their revolt which makes them strong.
Rasha is there with us. It is a pleasure to meet her again. I met her
in Lebanon. She is as always fully determined. I am seated by her through
the discussion. The numerous attendance discover the humiliation of which
these people living in the camps are suffering. I speak about my feelings.
Palestinians are forgotten people by the History, since 50 years. In the
movie, women just ask for justice, that is the right of their people. The
right to live on their land.
AT THE TRADE UNION CENTER
250 people crowd together in the large meeting place of the Trade Union
Center, Place de la Republique in Paris. The Association "Droits devant!
(For the Rights)" hold its General Assembly. It is the third year of
struggle for the people deprived of legal permits. This association committed
itself for them, right at the beginning. Almost 1800 requests had been presented
at the Administration, two thirds have been rejected. For the Government,
the "case" is over. How can we deal with their dilemma ? People
without legal permit speak out, one face one country. A long litany of despair:"
I am married with a French woman, my child is a French citizen. I did all
the necessary steps. Nothing succeeded. " I am in a Youth residence.
The Police are next door, I am scared to go out. " I don't know what
will happen to me. I don't see any outcome. But I am pleased to be there.
I am a Maurician woman. When I am in a demonstration for people without
legal permit, I don't see any body from Maurician Island. One should be
able to go out and not be afraid". Words come back often: get out,
get out from the shadow. At the end they ask me to speak" Being together
gives back some hope. Because we all stand together today, we will be able
to struggle tomorrow. You have been heard here, we will have to be heard
in the street during the big demonstration in March"
I meet the gathering of Iranians in exile. These opponents to the Mollah regime traditionally invite me to attend their festivities known to have great success. Today is the anniversary of those who died during the repression of 1981 in Teheran when they were demonstrating for democratic freedom. Being asked to speak, I share my questioning: " They are 30 million young People in Iran. In fact one half of the population are less than 20 years old. They have not seen the Islamic revolution. In the context of economic crisis, of underemployment, of intolerance, what do these young ones think? What do they want? What can they do?
For Iranian opponents, the Mollah regime is condemned at short term.
Despite apparent openings given to the young ones in direction of the Western
world, nothing changes. Repression still goes on.
The growing success of this Festival organized in Cavaillon is astonishing. The invited scientists are often considered as marginal in their field because they make room to irrational and imagination. The cross reference of different knowledge's widen our understanding. During the Festival, one can speak, one can be heard, one can innovate. The KEO initiative( Archeological Bird for the Future) is received with enthusiasm. On year 2001, KEO will be sent on orbit for a long flight of 50,000 years around the earth. On its return it will bring messages to those on earth at that time. What will be our messages? Tender, poetic or serious?
The Festival end by a round-table conference on "Authors of the Future". We are seven male speakers. The introduction of my talk is quickly found: "What is the future to discuss when women are not represented at this conference" It was enough to start a fire amongst the audience.
PS: Partenia some figures, 1998
Total number of pages presented in seven laguages on the WEB last year: 66 430
Total number of visitors last year: 114 000
Increase of visitors last year: 22'000
Month average of visitors: 9 500
Number of e-mail messages received by Bishop Jacques Gaillot: 2 500
Number of e-mail messages received by the Webmaster: 1 460
Active Forum members form October 1 to December 31, 1998: 393