BESA: Muslims Who Saved Jews in World War II
June 24 – October 28, 2010
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.
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