Thursday, June 16, 2011

Libyan campaigner wants Jewish restitution

Ahmed Shebani at a Peace Development Network conference in 2010

An expatriate opposition group advocating a democratic, secular state in Libya is planning to go through archives in Rome in order to make a full inventory of assets seized from Libya's Jewish community, with a view to their restitution.

Ahmed Shebani, who represents the Libyan Freedom and Democracy Campaign, wants Libya to reconcile itself with its Jews, who were persecuted and expelled in the last 40 years. No Jews still remain from a 2,000-year old community numbering 38,000 before World War ll.

Mr Shebani recently was a guest of the World Association of Jews from Libya.

He yesterday attended a showing in London of the Last Jews of Libya with the film-maker, Vivienne Roumani-Denn. The film tells the story of the exiled Roumani family through the eyes of their matriarch, Elise, whose diary was found after her death.

" Remember, Libya is your mother," Mr Shebani said.