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Mutaz Gedalla: Benghazi is an open shopping mall: How We Exchanged Money With Chaos

“I am not rich!!” I usually use this phrase to respond to some friends when they ask me “why you do not buy that thing!”. Some Benghazi’s residents have their own answer. They use “My father is not rich, nor our home does locate on a main street!”. The second part of the answer is referred to the convenient stores attached to their houses.
People who own homes placed on main road or streets change number of rooms to shops. They either rent them or start their own businesses. Therefore, houses located on the main streets are much more expensive than ones are not on the main streets. New shops are opened wherever new roads are paved. The whole city switched to becomes one shopping mall.


There are (Or I should say there WERE) regulations, rules, and standards classify and arrange zones in Benghazi. The land use was set precisely to split between zones. There are culture, commercial, residents, services, and other zones. These zones arranged to work perfectly with each other. In addition, zones could be mixed up together, which called in urban design mixed-use. Benghazi center set up to be mixed-used due to some historical restrictions and geographical location.
People completely neglect these regulations and standards. They act to their only own benefits. In addition, the absence of following up and guarding by the government makes it for residents easier to break out these regulations.
Another issues should be addressed is updating Benghazi’s master plan. The last master plan generation should be finished in 2000. Since that year, we live in planing vacuum which results the chaos attached with slums everywhere.
One should admit that the new shops opening up everyday take a systematic approach for the type of business. That has been said the one street is form from many shops specialized of one type. Therefore, you can find streets sell only furniture, other sell computers.
The convenient stores within walkable radius should be a great idea especially in terms of sustainability. This could sound perfect as we do not have to go far using cars to get our stuff. However, with the current situation of Benghazi’s infrastructure turns the advantages to disadvantages. Main roads are completely in urgent need to maintenance. These roads were not designed to handle this mixed-used zone. There should be some standards with certain number of parking spots to handle these shops. Tight roads make it difficult to find parking spots and move smoothly. Too much traffic in these roads as some (OR many) people park in the middle of the way. Some say there are six millions cars in a city has a million population. All that make our commute so difficult.
For example, 20th Street is one of the busiest streets in Benghazi. It has too many shops. People moving around shopping and parking their cars adjacent or on the sidewalk. Before opening these shops, the street was one of the preferable rout as it connects some critical areas as shortcut. Nowadays, people, including myself, avoid using this street as it becomes nightmare to drive in.
Add 20 Streets


It is easy to fix these issues. First, we have to embrace the current situation. It is too difficult to ask people to close their shops. There should be some organized way to study and analyze which shops should be closed and which ones are OK to operate. Second, we should upgrade our infrastructure, maintaining and providing some parking spots (Multi-story garages). We have a great number of convenient stores, but Benghazi is not walkable city, we need to improve walkability. Most of neighbors lack of good walk side. Third, upgrading Benghazi’s master plan for future developments.

We complain of many issues in our daily life. We must realize that we created these issues. Therefore, no one will fix them to us unless we do. We should understand the problem first, then act accordingly for the best result. To change Benghazi from one open mall to a real developed city, we have to admit the real issues now, and start to act immediately.


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Nuha Dadesh: A Libyan in Libya’s standpoint!

A tragedy? A misery? A perpetual tale of horror? I honestly don't know what I should      call life in Libya! And a desperate cry from my soul apathetically shouts from within, "does it really matter what you should call it?" 
     Because, do I, a Libyan in Libya, really matter to the rest of the world? And that surges feelings of betrayal and envy which build up a hostility for the rest of the world! But, what does that even mean?-"The rest of the world"? Aren't we all the rest of the world to someone? 
     When the revolution was claimed a victory, the supporters were ready to tolerate whatever subsequent consequence. However, humans can only tolerate so much pain and despair before crashing down. People started taking sides. It's not black and white anymore; it's the whole spectrum now!       It's the countless and seemingly never ending misfortunes that we as Libyans, as humans, suffer on an hourly basis that plagued our land with fatigu…

رواد رضوان: أين المفر؟

أحياناً نمر بتلك الايام التي نحتاج فيها للحديث عن "ضيقة الصدر"، وهذه التدوينة عبارة عن "تنفيس" لا أكثر ولا أقل، لا أتوقع أن يقرأها أحد ولا أدعي أن هناك من قد يسيفيد منها، ما هذه إلا فضفضة عن النفس خلال اواخر ساعات العمل الأخيرة من هذا اليوم. 
عزيزي feel free to leave
ضاقت بنا الدنيا فإلى أين المفر..  في بلادنا لا نجد الفرص، نسافر الدنيا بحثاً عنها، فنجدها، ولكن لا نطالها 
لأنك عزيزي في أعينهم خطر.. أي خطر؟ تتسأل... كلانا لا يدري ...  تجد فرصتك ولكن تاتيك الأخبار "عفوا عزيزي لقد تم رفض وجودك هنا"  ..كأنهم يقولون "أنت خطر"  ةلكن بكلمات جميلة 
ما علينا ..
ولكن أين المفر 
إلى بلاد اللا فرص  أم إلى ذل الغربة 
قد لا تفهم المقصود مما ذكرت.... لا تحزن ... فأنت لا تعيش حيث أعيش 

Rawad Radwan: Best of #LibyansAgainstSlavery

A couple of days CNN published an undercover video shows a slave auction in Libya, it was so sad to see this happening in my beautiful country by a group of criminals. I was speechless, I couldn't process what i saw. 

few hours from the release of the video, Libyans on Twitter started #LibyansAgainstSlavery to express their sympathy with the victims of slavery, others expressed their opinions on what we can do to fight this, while other apologized to the world, so here's the best of it:

I am Libyan, I work for IOM, me and my colleagues are working hard in daily bases to provide all kind of help & assistance to migrants who are struggling in detention centers all over Libya, the ones who work in slavery trade are the minority here not us. — مـــ ع ـــاذ ⵎⵓⵄⴰⴷ ⵣ (@M_Abouzamazem) November 18, 2017

We have an issue with #racism in #Libya and it's the time we fix it by firstly outlawing the use of the racist word (3***) atleast socially that should be o…