By Libya Herald staff.
3 November 2014:
In a bid to show that everything is fine in Tripoli, Libya Dawn held a ‘Marathon . . .[restrict]for Peace’ in Tripoli on Saturday, an event intended to promote social cohesion and send a message to the world that the parts of the country its controls are safe, its Libya Dawn organisers have said.
The marathon had several purposes, the new head of the Foreign Media Department Jamal Zubia told the Libya Herald. “The first is a social purpose, to promote friendships between people, to make everyone feel safe and to help people try and forget about the past and look to the future,” he said. “It was also to send a message to the world that Libya is safe and Tripoli is safe.”
He said that, although some embassies were open in Tripoli, all the embassies needed to return to the capital, along with foreign companies and experts. “We have a big cake here in Libya and we want foreigners to come here to share that cake. We want international companies to return to Libya to help us rebuild our state.”
This would be an opportunity to swap benefits and accelerate the Libyan economy, Zubia said. “We are normal people and we want our friends back here,” he said. “We want to show that Fajr Libya is totally for peace.”
Zubia claimed that over 600 people had participated in the marathon, including Yunis Issa, the Minister of Culture in the Tripoli-based “government” headed by Omar El-Hassi, Installed is August, it is, however, internationally shunned.
The marathon started at the gates of the now-destroyed Tripoli International Airport with a bicycle-race, which attracted around 45 participants, Zubia said. Some 35 professional athletes joined the race at the also largely destroyed Brega Marketing Oil Company tanks on the Airport Road, with a further 250 non-professional runners joining the race at Ministry of Interior. At the roundabout near the former Bab Al-Aziziya complex, 25 women joined the race and, further on, around 300 children and three wheelchair users for the final kilometre stretch, Zubia said. He added that he thought more people would have attended if it had not been raining on Saturday.
The marathon ended with a prize-giving ceremony in Martyrs Square for the winners of the first, second and third places in each category, with prize money ranging from LD 500 to LD 3,000. Other events were also held in the square, Zubia said, including a football match between former professional players, and a classic car rally. [/restrict]