By Naam Alkhosi
Tripoli, 5 May 2014:
The Third Arab Women Engineers and Architects conference opened in Tripoli this took part in Tripoli from . . .[restrict]3-4 May.
The conference was organised by the General Union of Engineering Professions of Libya under the heading “A strategic vision for the Arab women engineers – Arab women engineers in the centre of decision-making”.
The opening ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Adulsalam Al-Gadi and Tourism Minister Ikram Bashimam.
Adulsalam Al-Gadi sad that “the most prominent thing in this conference is the challenges that women face and despite these odds Libyan women have overcome these challenges and all the conditions surrounding her to prove the will power of the Arab woman, including Libyan women, to overcome these challenges. The success and participation is based on their insistence on participating with their fellow Arab engineers to reach the target and communicate despite the difficult circumstances we are all going through”.
Tourism Minister Ikram Bash Imam for her part said, “my presence here is not as Minister of Tourism but as president of the Forum and the Chairperson of the Commission of Libyan Engineers. This third forum in Tripoli stresses the importance of the role of women engineers by overcoming the difficulties and obstacles faced. I pay respect to all the efforts that enabled this event to succeed and the efforts by both the preparatory and scientific committees’ tireless efforts in the organization of this event.
“We want Libyan women to be influenced and to influence society, to develop themselves and therefore develop the community. I commend engineer Najia Al-Sayed , one of the first female Libyan engineers. She was responsible for the opening of the civil engineering and architecture faculties at the universities of Tripoli and Benghazi. She was also acting Minister of Tourism and Antiquities” .
Asked by Libya Herald about the difficulties faced in organizing the event, Fahema Al-Shakshuki, head of the conference’s preparatory committee said that “challenges are meant to discourage”, but she was pleased with the more than 400 participants including the Arab delegations who were able to attend.
“This conference was held in Amman, Jordan in 2010 and 2012 was in Lebanon. The target that this conference confirms is that women are the centre of society and have a will and decision making ability. There are no difficulties or challenges for those who hold ideas. Anyone who sets off on a path will succeed and every great journey starts with the first step”.
Businessman Zakaria Al-Zway said that he thought that there was good preparation despite the security challenges. “This shows that the Arab woman, including the Libyan woman, is capable of development and planning for a better future. She is able to transfer this experience to the practical side of the Engineering Faculty university students. She can also educate them regarding their role in planning for their future and that of their society”.
Salah Al-Mashay, a media activist in the Libyan Engineers Union said that “This event was proceeded by about 35 meetings and was supposed to take place in November 2013. But the security situation and , most recently the kidnapping of the Jordanian ambassador – the Jordanian delegation declined to participate”.
“I attended the first forum in Jordan and the second in Lebanon. The third is here in Tripoli. It was well prepared for and we arranged visas and hospitality for our guests who have came from Yemen, Lebanon , Egypt and Tunisia. They visited the Roman ruins in Leptis today and their lasting impression was very good. This is especially so since the external media represents Libya as a battlefield – with regret”, he added .
“The papers submitted for the conference were good. We believe that the engineer is someone who is working and accomplishes more than they talk . We support engineers men or woman in achieving the goals and having a positive impact in the community”.
Sylvia Yamin Chairperson of the Committee of Arab Engineers Federation in Lebanon said “As I mentioned in the opening speech that the basis of these meetings is to achieve positive change. Arab women enjoys all the leadership qualities and they have the determination and strength of will and the achievement. All that she is missing is to be in a decision-making position and gaining the stature that she deserves “.