By Nadia El-Ahmar.
Tripoli, 27 September 2013:
The fifth International Women in Libya (IWiL) event took place last Saturday (21 September) at the . . .[restrict]Corinthia hotel in Tripoli attracting over seventy women of many different nationalities.
Corinthia’s Shahat meeting room was quickly filled with new faces eager to discover what IWiL is all about. New members were given a chance to introduce themselves before they engrossed in conversation with old and new members, as tea, coffee, juice, biscuits and cakes were served.
Conversations erupted about how people were finding it living in Libya. Aleksandra said that “in Libya you get to know everyone, it’s such a small world” but describes living in Libya as “challenging”. She particularly finds walking the streets difficult due to the unwanted attention she receives. Aleksandra also voiced concerns about the security situation saying that “Libya was safer before the war.”
Several volunteer members announced new activities at this month’s event including regular ‘walks in Tripoli, a Medina shopping trip, a book club, and mosaic classes. There was also a call from Rabia, principal of the Ladybird School, who described children as “the future of Libya” for volunteers to help children who may be having difficulties in certain subjects.
This was followed by an engaging presentation about the International Red Cross, given by IWiL member, Abeer Maghribi, aimed at raising awareness about the organisation’s international activities and its work in Libya.
Leading members of IWiL are also planning to organise a monthly event for inspirational Libyan and expatriate women to share their experiences in Libya.
IWiL is a local network which started in February this year, and brings together expatriate and Libyan women who want to exchange ideas and socialise with other female professionals who live and work in Libya. The group currently has 285 members, from over 30 nationalities representing many professions. Around 48 per cent of members are expatriate women and 52 per cent are Libyan women.
IWiL was founded by Yolanda Zaptia, a director of Know Libya consultancy, and Adela Suliman from international law firm Clyde and Co. Both are thankful to Corinthia Hotel for supporting IWiL by providing the venue to host this month’s event. [/restrict]