Wassyla Tamzali

The multiplicity of the Arab world

" Europeans consider me as a clone of the western civilization. But I am a member of the Muslim world that is constructing its own history. My identity includes : feminism, the Algerian war, my knowledge of the West, the myth of the Orient. A mixture, just like as every person. But this diversity is not accepted by the Arab-Muslim world that grants it no legitimacy". On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation war of Algeria, Radio3 Rai (the third canal of the public Italian radio) interviewed Wassyla Tamzali, president of the Algerian Forum of the Mediterranean women, and equally member of the Office of the grouping Maghreb- Equality and former director of the UNESCO Program for the Promotion of the Condition of the Mediterranean women.

Wassyla Tamzali is one of the signatories of a manifest against anti-Semitism, Islam phobia and misogyny, and in favour of the freedom of thought. "In Algeria, the freedom, of thought entails to belong to the Muslim world as Italians belong to the Judaeo-Christian world. But the latter can be different, atheist or more or less believing, or more or less practicing, or again believing but not in Islam. This is not admitted in Muslim societies where it is necessary to be Islamic. Consequently, Islam is the only cultural identification root that may be used as common denominator for the population of the Arab countries. Therefore Islam cannot explain my characteristics. I have a narrative identity that changes every day and that cannot remain blocked to the identity currently used by Muslims to do politics. This is not an identity where I can recognize myself".
Algeria, maintains Wassyla Tamzali, "always played a role of interface with the Arab world. We have a long history of relations with the West and we want to live this multiplicity. Our reality is unique and the European countries have trouble to accept it. ".

Camillo De Marco