Journal

Honouring the Late US Ambassador Christopher J Stevens

 

Shocked and horrified were my feelings last year on September 11, 2012. I was in the Costa del Sol in Spain when I heard the news of the terrible attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya killing the US Ambassador Christopher J Stevens, a man who truly loved my country and had very high hopes for Libya and its people. Three other Americans and ten Libyans also died. Why?

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Time Out London is bringing out the Hippy in me! This month brought me a coveted internship with the incredible Time Out London magazine to go towards my Journalism Diploma. I was fortunate to have made contact with them because of the Revolution taking place back home in Libya and they were happy to offer me a placement. 

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Revolution! Catching up with an excited group of Libyan demonstrators in London, they were burning a couple of Green books outside Downing Street. The wild crowd also set aflame the green flag and replaced it by the old one of the monarchy. Last of their grand gestures, they hung and beat a padded doll representing Gaddafi with a symbolic heavy stick.

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The work of Joumana Haddad was first introduced to me by an English philosopher friend Stephen Alexander. How he found her, I don’t know. But this is what he had to tell me: "Joumana is enchanting!"

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Whenever mention is made of the Arab, we immediately associate him with his predominantly conservative Muslim religion and the sordid complicated politics of his region. Rarely do we take the time and space to explore his rich and diversified cultural history or go as far back as to celebrate his unique personal experience as may be created, documented and found through the arts, the different forms of media and philosophic literature.

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When celebrities and those who can afford it need mental health care, they don’t go to a cruel mental hospital unit but to 'Rehab', making it sound somewhat glamorous. But the issues dealt with are the same, from addiction to drugs or alcohol to depression and self-harm and other breakdowns.

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