When Gazelle Halimi said to “De Gaulle”, “Call me my teacher, Mr. President.”

Two translations of two books by attorney and human rights lawyer Giselle Halimi have been published in Tunisia: “Fierce Freedom – Conversations with Annick Kogan” translated by Walid Suleiman, and “A Shameless Lawyer” translated by Walid Ahmed Ferchichi.

What does it mean for Gazelle Halimi to translate from a Tunisian publishing house into Arabic for the first time, and that the translators are Tunisians?

But what does it mean to reconsider the legend of Nidal?

She was the first to introduce the word “lawyer” into the female form in the French language, and this was during a plea before the French military court in Tunisia. She was also the lawyer of Habib Bourguiba and the symbol of defense of the Algerian revolution, and she was the lawyer of the prisoner symbol Marwan Barghouti, and she was threatened with assassination at all times.

The publisher of the two books, Habib Al-Zoghbi, believes that the Tunisian author Giselle Al-Halimi has been subjected to great injustice by her country, Tunisia, as she has remained unknown to the majority, and has this achievement considered a tribute to the icon. of feminist struggle.

And lawyer Giselle Halimi played a major role in defending the female fighters in the Algerian war of liberation. When Gisele Halimi was born, in the summer of 1927, her father was upset. For three weeks he refused to acknowledge the baby. This fact led her to write in her testimony: “She was born in the wrong place.”

Zisa Giselle Eliza Tayeb was born in La Goulette (from the northern suburb of the Tunisian capital) in 1927, and she left the country independently and retained her Tunisian citizenship with Frans.

She passed away on July 28, 2020, leaving behind many books, including: “Jamila Boubacha”, co-written with Simone de Beauvoir and others (1962), “The Women’s Cause” (1973), “The Milk of the Orange Tree” ( 1988)), and The New Cause of Women (1997), “The Priestess” (2006) and “Never Give Up” (2009).

Her father taunted her and said, “Do you think you’re the lawyer of the whole world?” It was also the day she returned from Paris in 1949, with a law degree, two degrees in philosophy and a certificate of competency for the legal profession to take the legal oath.

And she went to Paris in 1954 to file the first waiver request at the Elysee Palace, becoming the first female lawyer to file that request in the case of a person sentenced to death for political reasons.

She succeeded in her mission by crushing the traditional principles of the Elysee. She stood without a hat in front of French President René Cotten, and confronted General Charles de Gaulle when she answered him on a tone to which she was not accustomed. “Call me a teacher, Mr. President,” and withdrew a presidential pardon from him for one of those sentenced to death.

In her book “A Shameless Lawyer”, Giselle Halimi is exposed to crucial moments in her biography as a human rights lawyer. The book contains “reflections on concepts such as the law and its uses, civil rights and how to obtain them.

Halimi especially reflects on the lawyer’s relationship with the cases he is defending, which suggests that it is very important, but these are the last things lawyers and law professors think about.

Also read: The ancient history of Palestine between impotence and dependence

Walid Al-Ferchishi spoke with all the love of the world about the scenes of the Arabization of this book: “I finished translating Dostoevsky’s The Gambler, for the benefit of a Kuwaiti publisher, when the beloved publisher, Al-Habib Al – Zoghbi, called me and said to me: “We must now turn to Giselle Halimi.” I said to him, “All right! It will be ready in two months. ” He was terrified and told me, “Impossible, it should be ready in a month.” I replied to him in turn: “It is also impossible, the book is large, and it is impossible for me to finish it within a month.”

Fershishi added: “The only solution available to me was to divide the twenty-four hours, I allocated six for sleep, one hour for coffee and the same for eating, then I had the remaining sixteen hours as follow divided: ten hours a day for translation, and six for revision and editing, and for a month I committed myself to this hellish rhythm, to get the job done on time. “

And he continued, “I was very tired, and in the meantime I lost a wisdom tooth with ten kilos, I did it with all possible love, I could see Gisele’s life taking shape in my hands, an exciting, running “breathless, different, crazy life. I laughed and cried with her and became angry and rebellious. I calmed down and revolted again, until it was as if I had lived more than one life in that particular month.”

And while publishing some of the scenes behind this crazy panting work, which I’m doing for the first time in my life, I do so for a simple reason: the translator is not a ferry or a transporter, the translator is that third eye that a country should awaken from its slumber.

In Freedom Fierce, Conversations with Annick Kogan, translated by Walid Suleiman, Annick speaks admiringly of Giselle Halimi, this fighter for endurance: “She has always resisted, convinced that justice is the issue of her life, and that her profession as lawyer, until she gets involved with a Semi-Sufi commitment, it will enable her to change the world, and it was her ambition to change the world while she pleads.

And nothing less than that! Law was her instrument, rebellion her characteristic, and words, which she eloquently volunteered, her main ally.

She has defended, accused, and beaten laws she considered unfair and outdated, military courts accused of holding the law hostage, male and male judicial hierarchies, and taboos that always harm women. .

In the life of Gisele Halimi, creators and victims .. In 1960, the name of Jamila Boubasha, the national fighter accused of planting an unexploded bomb, left no victims in a cafe visited by French in Algiers does not become.

Jamila, who is only 22 years old, was arrested and tortured.

Gisele Halimi was at the forefront of her defenders, after confirming her innocence, along with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Françoise Sagan and Pablo Picasso. Intensive Giselle led to the abolition of the death sentence, and the release of Boubacha.

It would not have been easy if it were not for her belief in beautiful innocence and the support of elites with whom she has woven relationships of respect and involvement in general concepts and issues, such as Pablo Neruda, who wrote her poem “The Beautiful Woman with “assigned. Sad Eyes “, Jacques Mono, François Jacob, Noam Chomsky, Chilean President Salvador Allende, and Sartre, who” I loved him like my father, he came to my house for dinner and he liked Tunisian food like tagine and couscous . . “

At the end of the interview with her friend, journalist Annick Kogan, we learned that “we are not born feminists, but we become.”

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