Karam accepts Sisserou
George Karam says members of the Karam family want to forgive and open doors to a new beginning.
Members of the Karam family have decided to accept the Sisserou Award of Honour that will be presented to the family by President Charles Savarin on Independence Day, Sunday 3rd November.
Christian and Roselyn Karam will be accepting the award on behalf of the family. Karam has been in the vehicle business since 1959.
A long-time family friend, Austell Anthony will be one of the sponsors accompanying the Karam family when they come forward to receive Dominica's second highest award. Austell said he feels "honoured and proud to be part of that" and that George Karam would be happy.
The Sun reported recently that members of the family were divided on whether to accept the award from President Charles Savarin and Peter Karam, in particular, questioned the Government's motives. Peter Karam says: "Daddy past 20 years ago. It is now 13 years we put our Labour back in. They recognized the hard-core, the old guard, the old boys like Flossie, Austell, and never acknowledged Daddy. He was the trustee and secretary, fund raising director; in 13 years he was not recognized. Question-why now, why now".
But George Karam, Peter's brother, told the SUN in an exclusive interview from New York that his mother, who's 87, wants the award.
"She feels that whoever recommended the family for the award is good. I understand Peter's position about who is giving the award but there are channels in which you do dialogue. But I think it is time to be man enough to forgive and forget; yes, it is a big scandal that the President has caused against our family since he was the leader of the actions which caused distress to our family back then.
"I think also that maybe he can send a letter of apology to the Karam family that might help in healing some wounds. These are my personal opinions. But Peter's point is that why should we receive an award from a man who tried to kill us? You may say he was not part of it but all that was done was under his command. Personally, I am not saying he is the one responsible for it but I can never forget that day, although I have forgiven; but when Peter brought it up it flashed back and seems like it happened yesterday."
For Peter Karam keeping the family business viable has been difficult.
"I have kept the business doors open from 1972 under heavy stringent conditions. They have no idea the struggle to keep the company going, to keep the doors open with that nasty dog-eat- dog competition," he said. "Now the motto is 'some shall eat all', no more is it 'all shall eat'; duty-free galore for one set."
However George wants peace.
"I will be in Dominica for Christmas and New Year; I am hoping to seek an audience with him, (President Charles Savarin); I am hoping he won't feel too high to speak with me. Also, it would be nice that he can find peace in his heart and go and speak with my family ," he said. "That award may very well be the opening of the door to a new beginning. I love my brother to the max; it is just that the way he speaks on issues at times is not right. We can agree to disagree and should not have hatred in our heart and as a man of God we have to learn to forgive and forget."