4 Things We Stopped Doing After 2011

For security reasons or the lack of powerful government and real institutions, these are some of what we stopped doing after 2011 revolution.

1- Carrying your driver’s license

Men, women and kids drive their cars in Benghazi, and NO one cares if he or she carries his or her driver’s license. It becomes something extra to put it in your wallet. I see many kids, who are probably younger than 18 years old, drive cars without supervision. No one asks you where is your driver’s license. Lately, carrying your ID (any photo ID) is required only for checkpoints when the army asks you who you are?

2- Registering your new car

Again with cars, but this time is the car registration. What I can see on the roads is more than half of the cars without plates. People sell and buy cars everyday without registering this new car. This issue seems not going to be solved soon without chasing who doesn’t have plates.

3- Paying your electricity bills

Constantly power cut encourages people to not pay their bills. When the service is subsidized by the state, and there is no powerful government, people will not pay their bills. Only if they look at this issue from a different perspective, paying their bills will improve their electricity network as it being maintained frequently.

4- Going out after 12 am

When I was an architecture student, I used to study with one of my friends at his house for long hours. Therefore, going out late and driving back home was not an issue before 2011. Today, it’s too dangerous to go out after 12 am for many reasons. The only exception is Ramadan. In this holy month because we fast during the day, we can stay out to the dawn as no one sleep.

Libyan Education System: 7 Steps Toward The Full Change

Libyan children in the class

Sunday, Sep 1st, my first lovely baby was born. She’s a girl. It was breathtaking and little odd when I had to carried my daughter in my hands for the first time. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.
After few days, my thoughts have shifted from the current political conflict in Libya to my daughter’s future. I have given her the ultimate attention in the last two weeks. I started asking myself too many questions: What will guarantee her future in Libya? How am I going to rise her in this Polluted environment? What’s the perfect place to get her education? The last question grapes all my attention, and I decide to some research on the perfect education systems. The importance of the education system in a country and how it helps building the prefect generation are critical topics. Every nation depends on its children in the future, and their children depends on the education system.
Libya has one of the worst education environment in the world. Schools in Benghazi now are closed temporarily because of the unrest. I have studied in the Libyan education system, and I can recall all the bad/good things. The Libyan education system is one of the factors which causes the demise of cultural awareness among Libyans. I’m not going to dig deep in the issues of the system. Instead, I’m going to explore the paths to change it.

I started my regular research, looking for examples and facts, doing my Google search, and skimming some books and articles. I came up with this list of things Libya should do to rebuild the education system.

1- Get some help

Get HelpI think Libya alone can’t build a perfect education system. It’s OK to get some help from countries, which have gone through some developments of their education system. It’s not replication. ::It’s observation and applying accordingly::. The [PISA] test is a test to measure the education ability in some countries every 3 years. We can start looking on some countries who have improve their rank in the last test. For example, Finland has made incredible movement when it move up in the rank in the last test. Therefore, we can look deeply to their system now, how was before, and what they did exactly to improve it. We can ask them for help. Some consulters can visit Libya and evaluate the current situation and give us some key points to make the change.
The PISA test is important among the developed countries to compare their level in the world rank. Here’s a video shows the PISA test

2- Parents role toward their children education

parents_teachI have grown by my parents who are enrolled in the education system. They were teachers. So,I got the full help at home. In Libya, there are three groups of parents in terms of helping their children to achieve their perfect education. The first group **is the coach, like my parents. This group is acting as a teacher outside the school. They give their children the maximum attention. Helping them by sitting and teaching them. Helping them to do their homework.Giving them quizzes at home. **The second group is the cheerleaders. Parents in this group is acting as motivators to encourage their children to do the their best. Parents do not pay the full attention. They just keep motivate their children without getting deep in their subjects. This group is common in Libya. They in the middle between the first group and the third group. The third group is the neglecters. Parents do not pay any attention to their children education level. They are busy in other things, not their children education. I have witnessed many people in Libya from this group who do not know his child in which grade level. One of the reason that created this type of group is the large number of Libyan family members. The average number of family members in Libya is six, which means lots families have more than 6. Some families have 10 children. My family is one of them. Due to many children, parents lose their desire to grow their children as perfect as they wish. So, children lose the full care. That’s why we have 80s and 90s generations without, for example, reading ability. Parents are important to change our attitude to the education and to build the best future.

3- School environment

school_environment_8As an architect, creating the perfect environment is something important to me. To help any things to be functioning correctly, we have to create the suitable environment. Libyan school buildings are from the 70s. They have built with minimal consideration to the new standards, such as technology. Most importantly, schools represent the period of time when schools were like the prison. They are designed to keep students inside, not outside, with metal bars on the windows, closed courtyard, unhealthy food provided, and old desks and chairs. New standards for schools designing should be provided. For example, internet connection should be provided inside classes. Labs are so important to help them get in touch with what they study. Managing children’s hobbies by providing the perfect spaces to practice and enjoy the school. So, basically, creating a place not just to study, but also to make it a place that children love to stay in.

4- Teacher Education Program

teacherFirst of all, when it comes to comparing the teaching major with engineering or any other majors in Libya, people prefer to enroll to other majors, not the teaching. In addition, education program is known as one of the easiest majors. Leaving this major for unqualified people who are involving with growing the future generations. Second, the teaching major at Libyan universities is not the perfect program that will produce the perfect teachers. Therefore, as we pay most our attention to improve schools environment, we have to improve the human resource as well.
To solve this problem, first, enrolling in teaching program should be based on admission standards. No one could get into this program unless be qualified. Second, developing a program for 4 to 5 years, and one year practical training in public schools. This program will guarantee the best outcomes of teachers. Third, the most important issue in Libya, is raising the salary of teachers. Many teachers in Libya have a second job (Part time or full time). Thus, they split their focus on two things. Teachers are the most important part to fix our education system.

5- School timing

TimingIn every developed country, schools start from 8 am to at least 4 pm. Some countries, such as South Korea, lasts to 8 pm sometimes. In Libya, the regular hours from 8 am to 1 pm. It’s OK for this period of time. However, if we want to improve our education system, we have to expand this time. Children should be busy with their study and hobby. Too much hours at home is not improving any thing (just watching TV). So, if we add more 3 hours and dedicate them to develop children hobbies that would improve their ability in every other things. Making the children busy with things they love is one of the most important factors to improve them in other things.

6- Libyan national education curriculum

images (1)I’m not sure if the national curriculum in Libya is the perfect one. We should, at least, have the same level of the developed countries curriculum. Curriculum should not be too easy nor too hard. It should be updated constantly and cover everything.

7- Standarized Test

TestThe middle schools and high schools have the standardized test, which means all Libyan schools take the same test. That’s a good thing. However, we don’t take advantage of this test to pull out some important facts. For example, with this test we can identify the good schools and bad school from their grades. Then, we can analysis these schools to see where are their strengths and weakness. By doing that, we will have a complete understanding of each school in each city.

To sum up, Libyan education system must change as soon as possible if we want to built the future. Most importantly, inspiration and energize all parties who enveloping in this change is necessary. Switching is not easy and it required all our attention.

Call For Change: Libyan Rap is about Reality

Posted by Mutaz Gedalla

MC Swat and Ahmed Elshafee

If I’m writing about changing Benghazi, I have to mention the people who also seek the change by their voices.

After the big change in Libya (17th Revolution), the freedom of speech is wide spread now among all type of medias. Rap is one of the voices that pursue the change. Even though I’m not fan with rap music, I found some interestingly rap impact on young Libyans.

I’m not talking here about the rap which promotes the violence. Many Benghazi rappers produce rap music that encourage the bad behavior and violence with dirty words. I’m talking about the rap that talks for the reality (our life) and tries to change the people. Also, I’m not talking about the rap which talk about the political issues. I’m talking about the rap which addresses the social issues among the young.

I have to admit it. Rap music is wide spread in Benghazi , especially the last three years. It’s booming, not like any another music type. We should to take advantage of that. It’s like marketing. When the social media became popular, marketers used the social media to promote Ads. Therefore, we should use this type of music where the target is the young Libyans. Rappers have listeners. Many young Libyans, at least in the Tripoli and Benghazi, listen to the rap everyday. People who seek the change, they can be reached by their favorite music. So, we can find some ways to reach and advise the young by rap. We will have the fuel to energize the good things within the young. It could reach them quickly, not like anything else.

Rappers use YouTube to show the world their music. They Became really good with Story Boards, Graphics, Recording, and Directions. If you compare any Libyan music type with Libyan rap music, you will notice the  difference of number and quality videos.

Today, I would mention the two rappers, who have the meaningful music for Libyan reality. MC Swat (يوسف البركي) and Ahmed El Shafee (احمد الشفاعي). The two rappers, for me, they have the most meaningful rap music.

MC Swat is from Benghazi. He is one of the first rappers in Libya and Benghazi. He has more than 30 songs, which range between Political issues and Social issues. He has a wide fans base. He produced many albums and songs that I can hear it out loud from many cars in Benghazi.

Ahmed Elshafee is a young Libyan from Benghazi. He has three songs so far, at least the ones that are published on Youtube. However, he is getting famous with his songs. He is one of the rappers who has a bright future. Thanks for Holm Institution for their production . In his songs, he address the issues from daily life and asks for better future.

شارعنا..Shareanna (Our Street) is one of his songs that became popular in Libya.

Here is Aljazeera report about Libyan Rap

There are others. Many Libyans, such as Ib Thabit and GAB band,  are really good for their goals.

We find a niche, we MUST take advantage of this opportunity for for the change.

Your comment is important for me, so don’t hesitate and leave your opinion.