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Wadad Halwani, a life of struggle on behalf of war disappeared persons

20-11-2017

In today’s issue, Al Ittihad newspaper featured the life of civil activist Wadad Halwani who currently leads the Committee of the Families of Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon. The mission, Al Ittihad wrote, set off on the day Halwani’s husband was kidnapped in September 1982 prompting the first protest to this effect on November 27, 1982. Shortly afterwards, Halwani aired an announcement on radio calling the parents of the abducted for a gathering, which, to her surprise, was widely received by a large group of women and children. The next day, the protest of ‘the women of Lebanon’ headlined the Lebanese newspapers and was termed by then President Amin Gemayel as the “Many Wadads in One Woman” march because it shut all the crossing points dividing East and West Beirut. The successful demonstration forced then prime minister to listen to the demands of protesting women but with no promises. But Wadad, the newspaper went on to say, did not give up. She formed the committee for the parents of the abducted which consisted mainly of mothers, wives, sisters or children of those kidnapped or disappeared during the Lebanese Civil War. Now after 35 years of activism, Wadad said she will carry on her fight for the cause, mentioning an accomplishment made by the Committee to pressure for the adoption of a special draft law on missing persons. The dream law as she described it, has been endorsed by the Parliamentary Justice and Administration Committee and is on its way to the General Assembly with the aim to uncover the fate of the missing Lebanese. (Al Ittihad, November 20, 2017)

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