Nejib Belhedi, Preparing For All Contingencies

Nejib Belhedi, Preparing For All Contingencies

Nejib Belhedi continues on his swim along the border of Tunisia. As he nears the Libyan border, the social unrest in the area presents a different kind of risk on the swim than open water swimmers usually face.

However, the local community of Ben Guerdane (Arabic: بن ڤردان‎ Bin Qirdan) is helping Nejib. This coastal town in southeastern Tunisia, known for its large population (15,000+) of dromedaries, is 32K from the border with Libya and is the last major city in Tunisia before the border between Libya and Tunisia.

This Sunday, Nejib will be supported by many local children and teenagers along with the general public as they celebrate the ambiance of peace that Nejib has developed along his Swim Across Tunisia.

Now, at Ben Guerdane, the swim of peace is seen as a bridge-builder between peoples. The swim is getting a lot of media attention. Its success is founded due to the immediate needs of the moment as well as the best expression of peace including enabling more interaction and communication with the Libyan people in the other side of the border,” explained Nejib.

However, in light of the turmoil in the region, Nejib has had to work with the local authorities to establish specific security arrangements and organizational procedures and protocols. So he will swim 7K around Al Ketf Island in the Al Ketf Port from the mainland rather to swim along the coast until the border with Libya.

I will swim 5 loops around Al Ketf Island which is equivalent to 10 kilometers. By this course, the swim will give the opportunity to the Tunisian Army and to the local security forces to control the zone around my swim and to avoid me and the public present to be exposed to any kinds of threat.”

Nejib will stay in the refugee camp near the area with the Tunisian army throughout this weekend before and after his swim. “I will swim a lot and share good times with my military friends, the refugees and the staff of refugees international committee. I never imagined that this swim of peace would be so integrated into the exceptional geo-political situation that is so near to the heart of the refugees. It seems that a cap, goggles and swimsuit are well accepted as a common thread of language for peaceful causes.”

Swimmers are certainly multi-lingual and multi-cultural in that regard.

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