By Nihal Zaroug.
Tripoli, 1 May 2013:
Save the Old City Campaign had started a clean-up campaign in the Tripoli’s Old City. The . . .[restrict]project, which got underway last Monday, is the result of a meeting called by Martyr Square Media (MSM) to find solutions to the problems facing the crumbling Medina.
A member of MSM, Nader Al Gadi, had taken photographs of a family’s grim living conditions within the old quarters, and the images he captured sparked calls for action.
During the January meeting held in the old opera house in the Medina, it was agreed to set up a coordinating body, the Medina17 group, which is now spearheading the campaign.
It is split into three areas; Architecture and Culture, Humanitarian Aid and Media. Following Monday’s initial clean up event, an educational awareness campaign targeting residents is to be organised. The view is that without it, no real change can happen.
This is particularly true when it comes to convincing property owners to stop construction work that threatens historic buildings. New building work must stop, says the group, and any refurbishment efforts should be carried out only under strict supervision of professional architects and restorers.
The group says on its Facebook page, that the clean-up is just the start of a campaign geared towards saving the old city, preserving its architectural and cultural legacy. They also say that the campaign must also take into account the needs of the inhabitants.
One of those needs is to provide children in the Medina with a “fun and safe” space. The campaigners are working with Volunteer Libya on the Gift of Learning Programme for disadvantaged kids.
The summer programme aims to improve “youths’ leadership skills through self-discovery using education, arts, and sports”. Volunteer Libya, has thus far collected LD 1,400 and three boxes of donations, which they plan to use to promote reading, tutoring and academic excellence. [/restrict]