By Maha Ellawati
Benghazi, 8 April 2017:
Despite continued conflict in the heart of Benghazi at Suq Al-Hout and at nearby Sabri, plus also deadly mine explosions in Ghwarsha and Ganfouda, elsewhere in the city there are new beginnings.
A new privately-owned leisure and entertainment park has just opened in Baloun, the district once controlled by militants fighting the Libyan National Army.
Luna Park, a former outdoor wedding centre, has been redeveloped as an open space with cafes, restaurants and shops providing decorative accessories and other items such as candles, perfumes, accessories – and more.
One of the new outlets is an ice cream parlour called Frozy, set up by a 30-year-old law graduate from Benghazi University who felt that a business venture was going to be more exciting than advising clients on legal matters.
Munir Al-Seeneen told the Libya Herald that after tasting a particular flavour of ice cream in Turkey he decided he wanted to open a parlour in Benghazi because the product was so good. Having then heard that Luna Park was offering shops for rent he decided that was where he wanted his ice cream business to be.
“I’m so happy,” he said today after the parlour’s opening, adding that he and his friends had fitted out and decorated the shop entirely by themselves.
It had not been easy, he added. “I’d many problems,” he admitted, not least getting hold of the right ingredients. He had to get them from Turkey but he then could not obtain a visa. In the end he had to rely on a friend in Istanbul who finally sent them over.
He now plans to open more branches in Benghazi and across Libya.