Freedom To Be Proud Of by Abdulhafeedh Ghoga

We are here together to assess the Libyan media system, and provide support to the council’s Media Committee, in order to envision a media strategy for Libya during the transitional phase.

 On behalf of the National Transitional Council in Libya, I would like to thank Northwestern University in Qatar and its dean for hosting this historical conference that aims to support the NTC’s media committee in drafting the media strategy. We would also like to thank Qatar, who stood by the Libyan people since the beginning; especially the media sector who made so much effort to support the Libyan revolution, showing it to the world and exposing it on an international level through Al Jazeera, the free media platform.

Last, I hope that the young members of our delegation will benefit from this good initiative in preparing programs and drafting policies that they see as suitable for the Libyan media vision. We didn’t hesitate to accept the university’s invitation, for it has a deep understanding of the challenges we are facing and offers prospective solutions, as well as founding principles that may help build a free Libya, a country that is aware of its responsibility towards its great people. We hope to benefit from the media specialists in order to offer the best to our people and country.

As the president of the NTC Media Committee, I am proud of the free Libyan delegation; this young generation of media personnel represent a sample of the experience and potential that Libya can offer in the media sector. The delegation includes people from different Libyan regions and walks of life, so that everyone can benefit from the experience exchange and from the specialist opinion in the media sector.

Libyan media has suffered under the burden of dictatorship; there was a total absence of free institutions, no training and not one opportunity for freedom of speech nor freedom of media.

Today we are proud of the freedom that Libya has, and the democratic system that ensures freedom of journalists, of media, and the freedom to voice one’s opinion and hear the opposite one. The NTC in Libya is seriously willing to activate freedom of speech practices and we have with us today the elite of Libyan media personnel to discuss with the finest media people in the world. They are aware of the challenges that we are facing in the long term and the challenges of the transitional phase in the short term.

We will be soon organizing important and historical elections. The organizational structure of our media committee is simple in regard of the little means we had at the beginning. Nevertheless, our youth, and some of them are participating with us today, were able to bring out the message of the Libyan revolution to the world. They had little means at the Liberty Square in Benghazi, but managed to turn the main court hall into a revolution’s voice that reached the whole world.

Our revolution was peaceful but turned into an armed one because of Gaddafi’s hostility and dictatorship. We knew all along that we were going to make it, thanks to God and to the young generation and media.