Thursday, May 20, 2010

From Malika Zouba, France

An Algerian journalist in France

Dear Charlotte and dear friends,

It is very sad to hear that our beloved Rhonda has passed away. Please accept our sincere and heartfelt condolences on my own behalf and also on behalf of the numerous Algerian women and men who had got to know Rhonda in Paris and Algiers. She visited Algiers twice despite strong warning issued by Western countries against visiting Algeria then still at throes with fundamentalist violence. We will never forget her strong commitment in support of women’s human rights and her standing by our side at a time when fundamentalists were and still are being labeled by mainstream human rights organizations as the only victims. Well before 9/11, Rhonda understood the human rights situation in Algeria and the fundamentalists’ horrendous crimes. With her tenacity, hard work, intelligence, the idea that justice we were unable to seek in our own country could be done elsewhere came into being. Unfortunately, we lost our case against Anwar Haddam, the Islamic Salvation Front leader who eventually secured asylum and found a safe haven in the United States, but Rhonda won everlasting respect and gratitude of those Algerian women and men who will for ever admire her courage and strength. Coming forward she enlightened our path with her amazing human qualities and the seeds she sowed will have for ever Rhonda’s taste.

Thank you Rhonda and may you rest in peace.

Malika Zouba