Editor Arash Derambarsh (Cherche Midi) has paid tribute to his fallen friends at Charlie Hebdo and spoken about the dramatic events that have shaken France and shocked the world.
Speaking with me today, Derambarsh, who knew the cartoonists killed Wednesday, highlighted how France has changed in the past few days in the aftermath of the attacks and why it’s important for people to defend their liberties.
Translated from French
“I knew them very well because of the work we had done together at Cherche Midi. I had a dinner with Tignous two weeks before Christmas. The reaction from people has been extraordinary. We are not scared. We hold our heads high. People who used to argue with each other are walking together in unity. Nothing will be like it was before.”
With world leaders joining France to condemn the violence and standing with all communities, over 1 million people are estimated to have participated in today’s historic rally.
This afternoon, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have joined protesters as well as civil rights leaders, media personalities and people from all over Europe.
“There is one thing to remember. We can’t negotiate with liberty. Charlie Hebdo tributes have been truly amazing. Everyone who Charlie Hebdo was ‘fighting’, is coming to Paris in unity. For us, France is a single community: Jews, Muslims, and different faiths are one.”
The message of the march has been one of unity in the face of extremism but also one of respect. As the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are remembered as well as those who were killed in the other terrorist attacks, cheering crowds and signs of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ have replaced the shock of the past few days.
“Cabu was killed Wednesday, he was meant to come to see us Thursday. His book is going to be published, for his family, for his wife. We want to keep his message alive. At Cherche Midi we are protected by the Interior Ministry but we also take risks…”
Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week Arash Derambarsh give thanks to the US and the international community for its support and revealed to me his affection for cartoonist Cabu (Jean Cabut), and how hard it was for him to deal with these tragic events and to see people he admired from childhood no longer alive today to tell their stories.
“I tried not to cry, I had to keep my head high. It’s hard to see one’s country attacked. There are hundreds of flowers around the Charlie Hebdo HQ. It’s difficult to talk about things so hard and grave. It was like our 911. An entire generation is going to awaken and we must also let journalists do their job.”