Palestine pays tribute to Miguel Arraes

21 de outubro de 2017

São Paulo – The family of Miguel Arraes received from Palestine this Friday (20) a medal and a certificate for recognition to the work done by the Brazilian politician in favor of the cause of the Arab country. Sent by Palestine’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, the tribute was handed to Arraes daughter, Ana Arraes, by Palestine’s ambassador in Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben.

The ambassador went to the headquarters of the Miguel Arraes Institute, which is located in the house where the politician lived for many years, alongside other five Arab ambassadors and the CEO of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Michel Alaby. The group is part of the delegation of Arab and African diplomats that is in an official mission to the state of Pernambuco. 

Abbas granted the “golden commemorative memory” to Arraes in recognition of the Palestinian people for the Brazilian’s efforts and dedication in the consolidation of the relations between Palestine and Brazil. The certificate is dated as of January 2011 and couldn’t be handed at the time Palestine’s president visited Brazil.

To the ambassadors and Arraes’ family, Alzeben told a little of the history of the politician with Palestine, a relationship that began with the contact made by Arraes with Abu Jihad, Palestinian leader that was one of the founders of the political party Fatah. Miguel Arraes also had a friendship and exchanged letters with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

“The memory of Miguel Arraes is in the collective memory of the Palestinian people, he was part of this great fight. Always holding Palestinians with great humanity, he was one of the fighters for Palestinian independence,” said Alzeben to the family.

Ana Arraes said she was touched and said that the tribute further strengthens the commitment that the family has with the history of Miguel Arraes. “This house is also yours, we are part of a group in the world that does not conform with the great differences,” said Ana, alongside her son Antônio Campos and other family members.

The name of one of the main rooms in the institute is Algeria. The politician lived in exile for 14 years in the Arab country during the period of the military dictatorship in Brazil. “If it wasn’t for Algeria, there would be no way out for my father,” said Ana. Algeria’s ambassador in Brazil, Toufik Dahmani, attended the event.

The Miguel Arraes Institute works with political education, preservation of the memory and legacy of the politician and organizes social integration actions. The institute was created soon after the death of the politician, in 2005, by his widow Magdalena Arraes. Considered to be a symbol of the Brazilian left, Arraes was mayor of Recife, state representative, congressman and governor of the state of Pernambuco. Arraes was the grandfather of Eduardo Campos, son of Ana, who also was a governor of Pernambuco and died in a plane crash in 2014 when he was running for president.

In addition to Alzeben, Alaby and Dahmani, also visited the Miguel Arraes institute the ambassadors of Qatar, Mohammed Al-Hayki, of Iraq, Arshad Omar Esmaeel, of Tunisia, Mohamed Hedi Soltani, and the ambassador of the League of Arab States, Nacer Alem.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani