Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Halide Edip Adivar: a Turkish Peacemaker

Video, “Young Indiana Jones,” The Greedy Heart of Halide Edip, Vol 3, disk 2

For International Women’s Day I watched an excellent “Young Indiana Jones” mini-documentary about Halide Edip Adivar (1884-1964), a Turkish writer, scholar, translator (George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”) and public figure dedicated to the rights of women and Turkish independence (she was the interpreter and press advisor to Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), who led the successful resistance against the Greek invasion of Turkey.) The class of nonviolence does not have any essays by Muslim writers, and this half-hour video is an opportunity to lift up the story of a non-western Muslim woman.

She met Gandhi on a 1935 trip to India, where she delivered a series of lectures at the National Muslim University in Delhi. She later wrote in her book, Inside India: "Mahatma Gandhi sat on a cushion, surrounded with charcoal braziers, for the night was cold. Eyes from the packed crowd in the hall and eyes from the packed crowd on the spacious platform were riveted on him. The atmosphere vibrated with a mixture of profound affection and mystic fervour. And the fragile figure was more like Buddha than ever. Though I was delivering a speech on a historic phase of a distant country, I was conscious of a distinct line of thought which had nothing to do with what I was saying. I was thinking about the quality of Mahatma Gandhi's greatness."

No comments:

Post a Comment