Besa: The Promise


Integrated Learning Center, Room 120
1503 E University Blvd.
85719 Tucson , AZ


Tue, 09/12/2017 - 7:00pm to Mon, 12/05/2022 - 2:46pm


From the Official website of Besa: The Promise-

BESA: The Promise weaves Albania’s heroism in WWII through the vérité journeys of two men.

One is Norman Gershman, a renowned Jewish-American photographer determined to document first-person accounts of the Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.

The other is Rexhep Hoxha, a Muslim-Albanian. Rexhep must fulfill the promise made to a Jewish family his father rescued during the Holocaust and return to them a set of Hebrew books they left behind.

And Rexhep’s promise is more than words — it’s part of his besa — an honor code that, among other things, pledges all Albanians to offer safe harbor to refugees.

With Norman’s help, Rexhep embarks on a journey to Bulgaria and Israel. His quest brings about an epiphany that he is part of this Jewish family — even as his Islamic faith, long supressed under decades of communism, is affirmed. Through the stories of Rexhep and his fellow Muslims, we discover a nation of everyday heroes far removed from the narrative of violent Islam and anti-Semitism that’s so often portrayed in media today. And, through the experiences of Norman Gershman and the first-person accounts of Jewish survivors, we hear stories of gratitude to Muslim rescuers that have gone unheard for almost seventy years.

More than seven years in the making, Besa: The Promise presents a powerful human drama compounded by a devastating twist. It is a story that that bridges generations and religions … uniting fathers and sons … Muslims and Jews.

Click here for the trailer

Rachel Goslins

Country of Origin 


Year/ Length 
2012/ 90 min


Film Screening co-sponsored by: Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture, Department of Religious Studies and Classics, Muslim Students' Association, Department of Judaic Studies, MENAS, and CMES.