Hevrin Khalaf to have a plaque in Garden of the Righteous people in Milan

Hevrin Khalaf to have a plaque in Garden of the Righteous people in Milan

Kurdish activist Hevrin Khalaf is among the new Giusti (righteous people) for 2020 to have a place in the Monte Stella Garden.

The Association for the Garden of the Righteous of Milan (composed of the Municipality, Gariwo and UCEI) has decided the names of the people who will be commemorated with a place in the Garden of the Righteous.

Among them is Hevrin Khalaf, Kurdish activist, who dedicated her life to the women’s rights and the struggle for peaceful coexistence between Kurds, Christian-Syrians and Arabs.

Leader of the Syria Future Party Khalaf was brutallymurdered in October 2019 by Islamic militiamen linked to the Turkish state, immediately after the Turkish invasion of Northern and Eastern Syria.

The plaque for Hevrin Khalaf and the other righteous people will be placed at the Garden on 6 March 2020.

Among the others righteous people chosen is Yusra Mardini, Syrian swimmer, who swam for three and a half hours in August 2015, for 5 km, pushing the boat that carried her and other refugees to the Greek coasts.

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, she competed for the refugee team.


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Belfast Mayor: Everybody must contribute to a peace with justice

Donostia. Sinn Fein mayor of Belfast, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, opened on Thursday the international conference “Building Peace Starting at Local Level” organised in Donostia/San Sebastian (Basque Country) by the Donostia city council.

How municipalities can turn peace and reconciliation work into something genuinely lasting?

We must build peace with justice, and that’s a job for everyone. Sometimes big governments talk of peace, but they actually work very little for it. So you have to work for peace with the people, the communities, cities, nations. In Belfast I believe we are all connected .

You said at the opening of the Donostia’s conference that your Belfast has changed a lot after the Good Friday agreement of 1998. How?

Fifteen years have passed. The first time I walked in the Belfast City Council as a councillor it was in 1987, and back then peace was a project. The big change since the 1994 IRA permanent ceasefire is that now in our city there is no more war. The end of the years of conflict has brought many benefits and some of them are related to the 1998 peace agreement. Now we have a government that is just and in which all parties are represented. Peace itself is rewarding, but sometimes it presents many challenges. It has brought improvements in labor, industry, tourism … this is a great reward for those who support the peace process, but I think there is work which still needs to be done and to be consolidated.

The clash between two communities was much harder in Ireland than in the Basque Country, for example. How do you transform all that negative energy into a positive one?

Although the intensity of the conflict was greater, the Basque Country’s conflict is also a great shadow for Europe. There have been many years of political conflict here, many people lost their lives. I think we should be positive all the time and always see the glass half full if we want peace to win. But peace requires progress, and I know the great difficulties there are in Euskal Herria. However, those who believe in peace achieved democratically, rather than violence, will be rewarded. In Belfast we follow that path to political change and get more benefits for our people. Time will help peace prosper, and even if a political segment is against peace, I think we will find more and more people interested in this cause.

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