Cultural Press in Libya

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Cultural Press in Libya

The Libya Institute for Advanced Studies organized on the 24th of January 2018 a seminar entitled: The cultural press in Libya, given the significance of newspapers and cultural magazines in the country and their long honorable history. this seminar sheds light on the most important events in its history and on the creative, political and critical roles undertaken by the cultural press. This genre of the press takes a critical and corrective approach and provides ways of supporting it and helping it evolve especially after its recent noticeable decline. During this symposium, we honor one of the pillars of the cultural press field in our country; the writer and political activist Idris El-Mesmary may the blessing of God be upon him.

During the opening, we read a presentation about cultural press written by professor Najib Alhasadi, and then we commence as follows:

First session: historical synopsis, moderated by media professional Mr. Rabii Chrir who presented each of:

  • Ahmed Omran ben Slim, professor of modern and contemporary literature at the University of Benghazi. His paper was entitled “the literary achievement in the Libya photo magazine”.
  • Asma Mustafa Alusta, poet, writer and deputy minister of women’s affairs and community development at the government of national accord. She spoke about “the Libyan cultural press in one century and a half 1899-2016”
  • Mohamed Moulouda, professor of literary criticism at the University of Misrata, and he discussed “the Four Seasons Magazine”. He also gifted to the participants his book entitled “the Four Seasons Magazine in twenty years 1978-1998, a study and index”, published by Madar Printing and Publishing company in Tripoli in 2010.

Professor Idris Ibn Tayeb, writer. He discussed a Paper entitled “Libyan Press in the Seventies, a literary pager at the new dawn as an example.”

Second session: the role of creativity and criticism, introduced by professor Hasan Alamin; editor in chief of the Libya Almustakbal newspaper. He introduced both of:

  • Maysoun Saleh, a board member at the Tanarout group for creativity. She discussed: “The press as a public space for creative people.”
  • Siraj Eddine Werfelli; poet and member of the Tanarout group for creativity. He introduced a paper entitled: The role of the press in creating discussions in Libya – the Arab Culture Magazine as an example.

The third session entitled: restructuring the experience and ways of support. The session was moderated by the Journalist Mrs. Leila Maghrabi.

  • Ahmed Faitori, writer and journalist and editor of Al Mayadin. His page was entitled: Cultural journalism from the Libyan colonel to the dot-com. He added however preferred to talk about the prison press and literature and its creative role despite the lack of resources, and the best ways to support the press nowadays, archiving and reprinting old material.
  • Ramez Alnwissri; poet, writer, and manager of the website Country of the Cultural niceties. He Introduced a paper entitled: “the cultural press in Libya;  an empirical paper.”
  • Salima Ben Nouzha’s paper was distributed among the attendees because she could not attend. She, however, sent her regards. Professor Salima is the editor in Chief of Fasaniya newspaper.

This session came in memory of the first anniversary of the passing of Professor Idris El-mesmary the blessings of God be upon him, and in remembrance of his work like Arajeen magazine. The session also discussed papers written about the magazine and the circumstance of its issuance.

The Libya Institute for advanced studies worked on scanning every issue from Arajeen Magazine to turn it into an online book so that it is available online on the international information network.

This session was moderated by Mrs. Khayriya Hafalesh, a history professor in Libyan Universities.  She introduced Professor Omelez Farsi, president of the advisors at the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies, wife of the author Idris El-Mesmary, may the blessings of God be upon him, and editor in Arajeen Magazine. Her paper was entitled “ The Arajeen that was.”

She also offered the participants the 9th and last issue of the magazine.

  • Ridda Ben Musa, president of the Public Libyan Association for Arts and Literature. His paper was entitled “Arajeen, experience of activism.”
  • Jumaa Atiga; writer and lawyer. His paper was entitled “Culture in Libyan writings, Arajeen as an example”.
  • Noureddine Magani, Previous President of the Libyan Writers’ Union. His paper was entitled “Arajeen, and the merit of the current historical moments”.

Closing ceremony and honoring:

The closing and honoring ceremony included  speeches delivered in memory of Professor Idris El-Mesmary, may God have mercy on him, and honor him and his efforts.

The beginning was with Mrs.Hind Shagifa with a speech entitled: “The President of the Libyan Board to Support & Encourage Press”, where she talked about the period they worked together in the committee and about it brilliant role.

Lawyer Mohamed Ibrahim Allagi talked about El-mesmary may the blessing of God be upon him and his legacy.

The sessions were concluded with word from his daughter Libya Idris El-Mesmary who delivered a speech of remembrance and nostalgia.

A video about his life and Arajeen Magazine was also screened.