Latifa, a Woman in the French Republic: Documentary Screening & Discussion
Date: 17 Oct 2022, 6:30pm - 8:00pm (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
For October's Rendez-vous de l'Allliance, we're excited to welcome French-Morrocan Activist for Youth and Peace, Latifa Ibn Ziaten
Join us October 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. This event is free
and open to the public!
This event will consist of a 50-minute documentary screening in French with English subtitles followed by a discussion in English and French with Mrs. Ibn Ziaten.
About Latifa Ibn Ziaten:
Latifa Ibn Ziaten was born in Morocco. As a teenager, she moved in with her grandmother, whose openness and powerful character influenced Latifa. This energetic, wilful lady, shared with her granddaughter values that have stay with her: tolerance, acceptance of others and the importance of family. She moved to France at the age of 17 and when she arrived at Sotteville-lès-Rouen, she discovered a different culture than hers, with a new type of a lifestyle, and a language that she didn’t know. Through the power of determination and the help of women that supported her in her first steps in France, she overcame these difficulties, valued her independence,refused the role of a housewife, and Latifa Ibn Ziaten learned French, got her driver's license and participated in professional life.
As a mother, she educated her four sons and her daughter in the same way, without distinction of gender, following their education closely and giving them a rich education of the two cultures in which they grew up. On March 11, 2012 tragedy struck when Latifa's second son, Imad, a soldier in the French army, became the first victim of terrorist, Mohammed Merah's attacks across southwestern France.
Through her grief, Latifa Ibn Ziaten founded the Imad Association for Youth and Peace (Association pour la jeunesse et la paix) on April 24, 2012. After two months, in search for an explication for the murder of her son, Latifa Ibn Ziaten went back to the city where Mohammed Merah grew up and sought to understand. She met a youth that felt abandoned particularly in these cities “ghettos” where they are deserted, with no socialization, with no hope to integrate or to succeed into French society. Therefore, she decided to give a hand to these people, even those who were the cause of her pain.
Since the foundation of her association, Latifa Ibn Ziaten travels around France to testify, and meets with youth, in order to preserve social harmony that until now cemented the relationships between the generations as well as among the native French and the newly arriving people. She did not forget the help that she received when she arrived in France, and knows the importance of these words, these deeds of welcoming that eased her integration in a culture of which she knew almost nothing. The history of Latifa demonstrates the ability of humans to overcome all of their hardships without giving up, nor giving way to bitterness or the desire of revenge, but rather holding onto hope, knowing the worst, allowing oneself to believe in the best, and giving strength to act to make it happen.
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