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Ambassador Rice visits resource center

Libya, December 2, 2011

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mercy Corps  </span>
    U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice visited our Civil Society Resource Center in Benghazi, designed to support local organizations who are bettering Libyan society. Photo: Mercy Corps

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice toured a photography exhibit, watched a film and participated in a discussion with the artists at our newly opened Civil Society Resource Center in Benghazi on Nov. 22.

Rice, who was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz and State Department officials, also discussed the role of women in the new Libya with Libyan women from local non-governmental organizations.

Mercy Corps opened the doors of its Hamzat Wasl Civil Society Resource Center in Benghazi in October. Hamzat Wasl supports local organizations to better Libyan society. Mercy Corps has conducted a leadership and management workshop for budding nonprofits, and a women's group co-led a two-week training on humanitarian food distribution.

The current photography exhibit at the center was the culmination of a weeklong technical media and communications training Mercy Corps provided to 12 representatives of local civil-society organizations.

The exhibit's four photographers talked with Rice about their work and discussed topics including unity, disarmament, reconciliation, and the difference between the Libyan people’s aspirations and the reality of IDPs in camps near Benghazi.

Ambassador Rice and the other guests also watched two short films created by the training participants, then discussed the works with the filmmakers. Both films stressed the importance of reconciliation. The first film was about young Libyans’ perception of reconciliation, and included interviews with distinguished community members. The second film showed interviews with judges, clerics and members of civil society organizations about the importance of justice in reconciliation.