Dear Charlotte and Ilya,
A warm hello to you all and anyone else that isn’t mentioned above. I feel that I already know you through Zorica and the AlJazeera blog. Although I wrote hardly anything on the blog, I was an avid reader of it from late summer (when the internet began to start functioning) up until recently. You and all the people there certainly kept my spirits up during this time – so thank you.
I will write a short report of the Book Launch from my personal perspective. I must say that when I first held the book in my hand I was unprepared for how I felt. When Zorica came to me last summer full of excitement and enthusiasm and explained this project, I have to admit that I was extremely skeptical. Remember, we were still in the middle of a war, the country was divided, dead and wounded freedom fighters filled the hospitals and the cemetery, communications were awful – and Zorica wanted to collect stories and publish a book! Many people here helped Zorica but the driving force behind us all was her – she was dedicated to this book and inspired us all to try to do our bit. I know what she’ll think of me writing this about her – but I have to give her the recognition she deserves. I know how dedicated and how much time and energy the people on the blog spent on this book as well and huge thanks from me to all of you – I still can’t believe it reached fruition.
Report on the Voices 4 Libya Book Launch
The Voices 4 Libya book launch, which took place on the 30th May 2012 in Benghazi, Libya was a huge success. It honored so many people – the people who wrote their often painful account of events, not only of the war, but of lives lived under a brutal dictatorship for 42 years. It honored the people around the world who dedicated their time and energy to compile and publish this book.
As a member of the team in Benghazi I had the honor of shaking the hands of people who had lost loved ones, lost limbs and lost parts of their lives in prison under that dictatorship. I saw the appreciation and respect in peoples’ faces as Libyans and foreigners alike were acknowledged and applauded for the effort that they put into this book. When the books were being handed to the authors of these stories there was a mix of so many emotions – pride tinged with sadness when the mother, brother or sister accepted their book – for me the most emotional moment was shaking hands with three young children who had lost their father in the war. Yes, most of the Libyans were there in person to accept their books, but the foreigners who had also written their account of the war from their perspectives were equally applauded and honored.
I hope that the foreigners who attended the book launch were inspired to spread the word abroad and to buy their own copies. I know that several of them approached me at the end and complimented everyone on a job very well done. So on this note I left the book launch extremely satisfied that the message had well and truly been got across.
[...] this is my personal view of the book launch and I’m not used to writing reports [...]
[Webmaster's note: Thank You, Mary, for this awesome and very touching report!]