Nejib Belhedi has responded to the brutal murder of 38 tourists at a hotel in Tunisia on 26 June in the way he knows best – organising a Peace Swim.
The Tunisian marathon swimmer, who is now in his 60s, has long used swimming to share a message of peace and hope. In 2012 he completed a 1,400km staged swim along the entire coastline of Tunisia in response to the Arab Spring. His aim, among other things, was to unite the communities along the coastline by swimming between them. Since then he has organised a number of Peace Swims and invited swimmers from around the world to join him. Through his swims he aims to inspire the youth of Tunisia to live more active lives and to show that it’s always better to build than destroy.
He is naturally horrified that such an attack could happen in his home country, against people on a beach in swimming costumes, and is determined to show a positive response of Tunisia against such evil.
Nejib is therefore promoting an “Eve of Peace Event” devoted to condemn terrorism and honour the victims of the attack. His plan is to complete a 24-hour relay swim in the sea at the Marhaba Hotel in Sousse where the attacks took place. And he wants other swimmers to join him.
“Any international swimmers who are interested in participating in the Eve of Peace event are invited to contact me as soon as possible,” says Nejib.
The swim is scheduled to take place between 25 and 29 July and visiting swimmers will be offered free accommodation.
“We are very aware of security concerns,” says Nejib. “The zone where we swim will therefore be heavily protected by the army, navy and security forces.”
Nejib can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org