The first Italian-Libyan Friendship awards, the Marcus Aurelius Arch Awards, held al fresco under and around the AD 165 (opened) Roman arch, attracted a few hundred of the capital’s elite on Friday evening.
The awards were organised by the Libyan Department of Antiquities and Italian Embassy under the patronage of the Presidency Council. The Presidency Council was represented at the event by Abdalla Lafi.
The inaugural event, which is planned to become an annual fixture, recognises Libyans and Italians who have contributed to Libyan-Italian relations in several categories, including culture and media.
Award winners included photographer Hiba Shalabi, translator Younes Fannoush and archaeologists Abdulrahim Saleh Shariff, Mohamed Faraj al Faloos and Bashir Ohaed Galgham.
The event included the multilingual theatre performance by the Khoms National Theatre of the play ‘‘Here We Are’’ co-written and co-performed by with the Italian Un Altro Teatro company.
The event, heavily guarded by security personnel, was meant to take place on the Libya-Italy Friendship Day on 30 August. However, the militia clashes a few days earlier led to its postponement.
Nevertheless, the event was a landmark cultural event in the capital and the country in view of recent security infringements. It sets a positive standard for other embassies to follow with their cultural contributions.