Aid & Development

Activists organise workshops on peaceful coexistence across Ghadames, Libya

North Africa

The Youth Organisation for Development and Volunteerism in the Libyan town of Ghademes established a workshop entitled “Peaceful Coexistence and Correcting Misconceptions”, which aims to bring together civil society groups and activists in Libya to change the image of Ghadames’s young people.

In the town of Ghadames in western Libya, the Youth Organisation for Development and Volunteerism held a workshop that aims to teach locals about the importance of peaceful coexistence and youth engagement.

The workshop, which was held in the Mohammed Morj Hall in the town’s Cultural Centre, brought civil society organisations to discuss relevant topics that will help move the town forward.

“We are currently engaged in a workshop entitled ‘Peaceful Coexistence and Correcting Misconceptions,’” said al-Bukhari al-Aswad, the head of the Ghadames Youth Organisation. “This workshop aims to bring together civil society groups and activists to change the image of Ghadames’ youth.”

Attendees, as well as trainers in the workshop, stressed the importance of these activities to aid the process of national reconciliation throughout the country.

“Today, we discussed basic and important topics in Libya such as peaceful coexistence, prejudice, conflict analysis and mechanisms, as well as general negotiation skills,” said Abdulhabbar Hrooda, a human development trainer.

Since the start of the Libyan conflict in 2011, communities that once lived peacefully side by side began to witness a rise of tensions due to the instability of the security situation. As a result, civil society organisations, as well as activists, have stressed the importance of attempting to recover the fraternal relationships amongst the different communities throughout Libya.

The increasing security that the country is facing after the defeat of extremist groups such as ISIS and the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC) has also aided in the reduction of extremism amongst youth. As such, observers and activists alike agree that now is the time for national reconciliation and healing.

The choice of Ghadames as a focus for this workshop was not a random decision.

Historically the town has been a meeting point of many Libyan, Algerian and Tunisian tribes looking for sanctuary in the desert oasis. This has made the town a hub for different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds.

As a result, the process of reconciliation and ending disagreements was launched from Ghadames due to the local society’s acceptance of others throughout history.