Exhibit Spotlight: Besa: Albanian Muslims Who Saved Jews during the Holocaust at The Museum of Tolerance
Besa is an ancient code of Honor that dictates that no person should be turned away in time of need. Besa, means literally “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family. It is a code that Albanian Muslims strictly abide by, which led them to rescue 2,000-3,000 Jews seeking asylum during the Holocaust.
Photographer Norman Gershman engaged in a 5-year project honoring stories of Albanian Muslims' who risked their own lives to rescue thousands of Jews, who either lived in Albania or sought asylum there during World War II.
Through portraiture and personal stories, Norman Gershman communicates the honor, faith, heroism, and altruism of these remarkable individuals.
Zanbeel Art was a sponsor of the exhibit and arranged for 50 young students from LAUSD to take a guided tour of Gershman's photo exhibit that was held at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 2011.