Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Righteous Arab

In October last year, I posted about the research of Robert Satloff on Arabs who had acted to save Jews from the Nazis, particularly in North Africa. Now one of those people, Khaled Abdelwahhab, is to be considered for the award of Righteous Gentile from the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance authority. He would be the first Arab to receive this award. In 1943, he sheltered 23 Jews on his farm Tunisia for six months until the British pushed the Germans back.

Abdelwahhab was 32 when the Germans arrived in Tunisia and was described by Dr Satloff as a bon vivant, blessed with Hollywood film-star looks — and an eye for the ladies. His father was a former minister to the court of the Tunisian bey [sovereign].

Abdelwahhab studied art and architecture in New York and lived for a time in Paris. He married a Venezuelan opera singer in Spain and she became the mother of one of his two daughters. He died in 1997 at the age of 86.
Somehow I don't think he's going to become a role model for the youth of Hamas and Hezbollah.

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