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Libya's Rich Cultural Heritage is Important for Young People to Celebrate

A group of young women from across Libya joined Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Georgette Gagnon, on a visit to Leptis Magna to highlight the importance of Libya's cultural heritage for the country's future and its young people.

The young women, participants from across Libya in the UNSMIL-led Ra'idat training programme, toured the UNESCO World Heritage site and joined DSRSG Gagnon at the amphitheater built around 68 AD. They discussed how proud they were to be custodians of Libya's rich history and culture, and how best they could raise awareness about these.

"Libya's cultural heritage is incredibly important for its youth – with more visits to sites such as Leptis Magna needed, so that more people experience and learn about the country's rich history, " said DSRSG Gagnon who noted the importance of opening more opportunities for people from across Libya and globally to visit Libya's unique sites.

After visiting Leptis Magna for the first time, Afak Banni, 30 from Tripoli, said that youth needed to understand the importance of their cultural heritage as an integral part of their identity and so they can preserve it to pass on to future generations.

"Knowing more about our cultural history enhances our affiliation to our culture and society, and connects us to our roots and history. It helps us understand our present and spread cultural awareness of societal issues," she said.

Heritage sites like Leptis Magna makes us proud to be Libyan, added Meeleen Alezabi, 28 from Zwara, who was visiting for the first time and wants to bring her children to the site in the future.

"Today I learned that I must be the one who tells people that our heritage and civilization are beautiful and safe, and family recreational and educational trips must be encouraged so people visit our beautiful civilization and our heritage places," she said adding that she would publish the photographs she took to show others in her community.

Many of the young women highlighted that more about Libya's history could be taught in schools, with more field trips to such sites. They said that field trips were often not taking place for school children due to security reasons and they hoped this would change in the future.‏

It is important young people volunteer and involve themselves in activities which promote and preserve our cultural traditions, said Rayan Farfoush, 24 from Al Juffra. "The visit was beautiful because it included young women from different parts of the country, which made us get to know the cultures of other regions, and encouraged us to visit these regions and learn about these different cultures," she added.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
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