Gisèle Halimi: The Lawyer of Difficult Cases

Gisèle Halimi passed away a day after her 93rd birthday. On July 28th, this competent activist and lawyer, who was at the peak of success in several fields, passed away in her apartment in Paris.

Gisèle was born on July 27, 1927 in La Goulette, Tunisia, to a humble Jewish family from the East. Her father Edward Taieb, who was of Amazigh origin, was a legal courier in a law firm. He was not very enthusiastic about the birth of his daughter Gisèle because he preferred to have boys.

The first signs of rebellion in Gisèle’s personality appeared at a very young age. At the age of 10, she went on hunger strike in the house to defend her right to write and read, and then rebelled against her mother who wanted to marry her at a young age when she wanted to continue her studies.

Gisèle always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. She hated injustice and wanted to defend the vulnerable, which is why she always opted for difficult cases and was always up to the challenge. She defended the Algerian revolution against France and the independence of her country, and also fiercely defended women’s rights and urged them to create partnerships and seek financial independence.

She made friends with great literary and cultural personalities such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre, for whom she was personal lawyer, as well as General de Gaulles, whom she greatly respected, and François Mitterrand, whom she supported, as well as other political figures.

Gisèle Halimi was also a controversial writer. She published many books between 1988 and 2011, including “La Cause des Femmes”, “Femmes”, “Fritna” named after her mother, “Avocate dispectueuse” and “La Kahina” which caused a huge controversy after she claimed that the famous Amazigh Queen Dihya was of Jewish origin, then “Histoire d’une passion” which she wrote at the age of 84.

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