By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 29 December:
It is too easy to associate the city of Benghazi with bad news. Bombings, shootings, assassinations – . . .[restrict]successful and failed attempts – have unfortunately meant that too often the only news that is covered about the city – is bad news.
There is much good, however, that is happening and being done by volunteers, individuals and civil societies at grassroots levels in the city that does not get news coverage.
A good example is the Benghazi al-Khayer campaign that is a campaign to do some good volunteer work such as cleaning and painting the city.
Yesterday there was a sizable celebration at one major landmark to mark such a positive achievement by volunteers in the city.
Volunteers had made efforts to source paint and materials to repaint the famous monument made of Man-made River pipes at the end of Dubai Street. The pipes clustered vertically and in cascading heights were a faded white and covered in graffiti.
However, the volunteers of the Benghazi al-Khayer campaign decided to paint them in a variety of bright colours.
The tall clustered or gathered pipes with different heights and colours are meant to symbolize “the gathering together of all Libyans from all the regions of Libya in Benghazi” explained Nadine a Benghazi native.
The project highlights the much good work carried out by civil society, be it in Benghazi or elsewhere in Libya, which unfortunately does not always get the credit or visibility it deserves.
Much of the work is done by civil societies is done with the aid of gifts and contributions and with little help from the Libyan government who despite promising to aid civil societies financially, has failed to do so despite the pivotol roleof civil society in the building of a viable democracy.
This celebratory occasion comes after a week when the security situation had deteriorated in Benghazi forcing the Ali Zeidan government to send Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi to the city.
At a press conference on Thursday Barasi confirmed that he had just returned from the city and that he was confident now that the situation was calm.
It is hoped that the colourful repainting of this monument in bright colours will signal the start of a bright and peaceful future for the city. It also highlights the good work NGOs and civil society have been doing both during the revolution and after liberation – irrespective of Libyan government help [/restrict]