The hands of Atlin Qeleshi holding a snapshot of Shalom Adixhes and her daughter Nina, a Jewish family rescued in Shkoder, Albania.

BESA: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II

June 24 – October 28, 2010
Teck Gallery

BESA is an ancient Albanian principle of offering protection to those who need it. These photographs by Norman H. Gershman result from five years of research seeking out rescuers (as well as their descendents) who, at great risk to themselves, protected Jews in Albania from the Nazis during the Second World War. Each Gershman portrait has an extraordinary story to tell, each story further illuminating the little-known history in which virtually all the Jews living in Albania were saved during the Nazi occupation.

The events on the occasion of the BESA exhibition opening are co-sponsored with the SFU Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures. This exhibition is toured by Hebrew Union College in New York.


Opening Reception
Thursday, June 24, 2010, 7pm
Fletcher Challenge Theatre
Room 1900, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street

Welcome remarks by
Besnik Konci, the Albanian Ambassador to Canada

Dr. Zijad Delic, Executive Director, Canadian Islamic Congress: “Jewish-Muslim Relations in Islam and the Balkans”
Dr. Steven Wasserstrom, Moe and Izetta Tonkon Professor of Judaic Studies at Reed College: “Thoughts on the Rise of the Term Abrahamic Religions”

Followed by a reception in the Teck Gallery at 8:30pm

Support Material