In part two, residents from Tripoli to Benghazi tell fellow Libyan, Soad Salem about their wildest dreams for transforming their communities, which were long neglected under Gaddafi then damaged by the no-fly-zone in 2011. Their visions are modest yet concrete and address infrastructural, social and political issues, ranging from plans to build more libraries and youth centers, to simply planting more flowers. 

In part two, residents from Tripoli to Benghazi tell fellow Libyan, Soad Salem about their wildest dreams for transforming their communities, which were long neglected under Gaddafi then damaged by the no-fly-zone in 2011. Their visions are modest yet concrete and address infrastructural, social and political issues, ranging from plans to build more libraries and youth centers, to simply planting more flowers. 

Imagine you were the president of your residential area, what would you do to make it better?

 H. H., Abu Salim, Tripoli

My area, Abu Salim, has a population bigger than Qatar, a garbage dump of Tripoli’s population that is more than two million, a popular market and streets that were turned fully into popular markets. In total, we have extensive population, waste and investment opportunities. Therefore, what we really need is to call the local council for increased spending on garbage collection and contracting with an international company to recycle garbage outside Tripoli, instead of burning it in Abu Salim. I would also demand allocating four hectares to establish an investment market that does not cost more than 40 million dinars (US $31,335,000), 20 from the state and the rest from the capital owners, to accommodate the young people and make Abu Salim a popular commercial center of Tripoli and the neighboring cities. Currently, this perception may need two years to be implemented, but it is not impossible.

 B. K., Tripoli

If I were president of my area, Crown Prince Street, Tripoli, I would have first solved the essential problems in the area, such as repeated power outages because the power station does not have the capacity to accommodate a large number of houses. The other issue is the spread of garbage on streets, which I would resolve by formulating a neighborhood cleaning committee. I would build a police station to prevent theft and maintain security, thus reducing crime, in addition to a committee to prevent sexual harassment against girls.

 L.J., Al-Bivi, Tripoli

I live in Al-Bivi and I would implement the bridge project and repair and expand roads. I would communicate with the Minister of Health and provide a full report on the status of Dermatology Hospital and Mustousfan where no treatment is available. I would design a structure for reforming schools to build a public central library and some educational buildings, request adequate budgets to establish public parks and provide green spaces and keep them clean, develop a plan for planting trees on the road and within gardens, request budgets to establish youth clubs and some recreational buildings, rerun and maintain the “knighthood” so as the population can exercise sport, removing slums and demolition all buildings violating laws, locating hawkers and cars as permitted by the law, solving the problem of wells and groundwater depletion where licenses are only given by law, and studying electricity problem and constant cutoffs and offering alternative solutions. I do not know the authorities of the region’s president or what is considered applicable, but I believe that everything is viable if budget is available.

 Warda Mohammed, Tripoli

Since my region is one of Tripoli’s entrances (Bab Azizia), I would prefer that the western entrance of the Airport Road which is an extension of Tuesday Market would be covered by vast gardens, a ground mall and cars courtyard. As for the houses, I prefer to eliminate all of them since they are old and the alleys are narrow and construct a housing compound that contains all citizens’ needs including clinic, schools, library, culture and sports clubs and bank.

Nahla al-Mahdi,

My perception for my area to be better includes building a large parking lot behind the houses, a large stadium with a beautiful public large green garden, a sport club, a small theater, a cinema, a fine arts hall, a library for reading, a services office that provides information on most things needed by the district such as aviation dates of different airlines, best hotels prices in the world, best hospitals and best doctors. Most important is to paint houses in beautiful white color and windows in blue, planting the largest possible amount of trees and roses, beautiful garbage bins of beautiful color and maybe in large apple form, a hall for social events, a small zoo where children learn how to treat animals with care, implementing a solar energy project for each house and reducing pollution as much as possible.

 Leila al-Naihoum , Benghazi           

The neighborhood where I live overlooks the Sea of Garyounis and includes residential complexes that had been planned to be a dwelling of the University of Garyounis – formerly Benghazi. In the past, garbage accumulated as mountains. Today, a cleaning company, which was voluntary during the revolution, is committed to collect the garbage. The neighborhood lacks many things. Random buildings with no united style or color began to appear after the increase of land buying. I imagine Qaree Ness, the sea village that depends on watermelon and vegetables cultivation, to have white buildings of Mediterranean identity. I also suggest to plant trees on the roads to prevent wind and sand. I also want paved roads with plants basins and chairs scattered here and there for wayfarers I want to remove the vegetable market against the wall of the university which disrupt traffic. Garyounis has a population density that demands for proper consumer services since the government fails in providing light to enlighten the streets I suggest building public toilets in Qaree Ness and every Libyan city, even for a small fee. I also suggest awareness program on toilets’ cleanliness. In Garyounis, the touristic village, the university and the near Qanfoudeh port for sea cargo and containers are located. Therefore, the severe congestion and summer traffic to the west resorts makes it overcrowded. A traffic signal was set up, but it was not sufficient and is now broken. I suggest widening the road, building cultural clubs and libraries. The single library – a typical building – became a house inhabited by an occupier. I suggested marine schools of sea arts and yacht clubs due to the area nature. I also strongly want to remove the new civil club and all seamless walls of the lands extended to the sea and replace them by pierced walls so as not to obscure the sea, which is a feature and point of attraction of Garyounis. This is all what I imagine now.

 Salima al-Madani

Mahaba District lacks gardens, sport courts, standard schools and high-level kindergartens and singing, dancing or music clubs. I will add more grassy squares, adorn rotation islands with flowers and work to instill a culture of roses and flowers among the neighborhood. Balconies will be filled with beautiful plants and flowers. There will also be clubs for the elderly.

Some have implemented their powers differently and academically. It is again the knowledge as a crucial solution in the transition to the desired state.

 Umm al-Ezz al-Farisi

I would classify the youth into categories according to their specialties, abilities and experience, and give them the opportunity to choose their positions despite their lack of resourcefulness and inability to work in order to give them the opportunity to train and exchange experience with others. I would force all of them to attend intense courses on citizenship so everyone knows his duties and rights. My second step would be to conduct intensive courses on the culture of loyalty to the homeland, the assumption of public affairs as a commission, and on fact that public money is a trust, not humiliation, that should not be stolen in the dark. After the first lesson, I would give all of them, especially the outstanding, an opportunity to travel abroad to countries that practiced democracy and attend training courses, and the first group would go to Japan in particular. When they return, friends companies would receive reconstruction contracts. Each Libyan would own a house with a tree in front of it and small garden to care for. Between the lined clipped trees, there would be a paved road and public air-conditioned transport vehicles. There would be dim lighting and a creek in public parks where children play. Educational and health institutions, shops and markets should be located in places away from the city and equipped with fuel stations for private cars. Factories and workshops of various specializations should be in industrial areas far from residential centers. As for beaches, I will bulldoze them and remove nearby buildings and build a … on their edges extending from Amsaad to Ras Jdeer so as Libyans run, run to infinity.

For the first time, women, even in almost stereotypical image, have been included in Osama’s program, an achievement that seemed absent so far on the ground and in the agenda of the virtual rulers too. They also discussed the principle of transparency for the first time in their plans.

 Osama Hamouda

I would impose the respect of the traffic lights and allocate a garden for sit-ins and demonstrations. I would build three large factories employing men and women and establish headquarters for the region’s engineers, businessmen, doctors, elders and teachers to coordinate charity and work to keep pace with developments. I would build cinemas, a library containing all books of all kinds and tennis, basketball and handball courts and would strengthen police and municipal guards and combat drugs. My telephone number and email address would be available to all the people of the region and I would be present in a public places and reveal my financial accounts.

I would work to remove violence in the region in all cultural and punitive ways.

Women should enjoy the highest level of education and culture. Women and police are the most important as a start, the police to enforce the law and women to raise a generation that respects the law.

The best thing is that I know my region well. I know the corrupt and good people and they would be dealt with directly, each according to his/her behavior.

There would be a weekly program that explains what I accomplished in the previous week.

 Magdi Al-Zaklae

First, I would call all residents of the region to write ten goals to improve the region. Second, I would collect all the written goals, give the entire population these goals and ask them to sort them by priority (the most important is number 1 and so on until 100). Third, after counting the votes and narrowing down the work list to 100 points, I would present it and the work schedule and requirements to the entire population. Fourth, I would seriously involve people of the region, which they themselves have determined from the beginning. Fifth, after achieving the 100 goals, I would organize a small celebration. This way, every inhabitant feels that he/she is important and his voice is heard and sees his/her wishes fulfilled, and the desire for greater achievements increases, love for the area grows and morale goes up.

 Hossam Louhichi, Zahira

If I were president of Zahira, I would have filled school libraries with books in all fields and trained teachers to communicate effectively with students. I would have created a cultural center that contains sections for creative skills development where no difference is drawn between the importance of Koranic or Nano metric sciences. I would have distributed personal computers equipped with digital manuals and modems to everyone. I would have opened a center for research, studies and statistics in order to understand the region in a scientific manner where researchers will work without tutelage or guidance from anybody and findings of research and studies should be implemented immediately, not remain just recommendations.

The local council of Tripoli, which is supposed to be interested in these ideas have not done anything since August 2011 and its promise (to turn Bab Aziziya Camp into a park and public library) amounted to nothing during the preparation of elections that people, and I was one of them, did not care for.

 Hawaa, Zawiyah

Zawiyah Street now needs a place for clean playing and learning for children, a library, a garden and a special place for teenagers instead of them loitering and standing on piles of garbage. It also needs a beautiful place with entertainment and learning facilities for the region’s population to find a garden or park for gathering, recreating and reading.  I also would have tried to create simple one-floor houses surrounded by a large garden.

 Muhammad al-Misrati

I live in StHaiti Street and I think it is an area full of different people from all over Libya as well as foreigners. If I were president, I would have turned it into a free zone where children and entertainment forums would be opened. I would have allowed opening night clubs for young people to reduce car accidents on Thursday nights, since most people drink in their cars as a place of entertainment.

 Maryam, Al/Fornaj, Tripoli

Al-Fornaj is a large rotation island with some greenery, but it still needs roses and bougainvillea trees, scattered seats for people to sit under the trees and an illuminated fountain in the middle. Our entire area from the University of Tripoli to Nasser University is in need of crossings paths because crossing the road is very dangerous. All poor fences, including the school walls, should be removed and be replaced by nice transparent fences, not walls obscuring trees and comfortable beautiful spaces. I suggest clearing all slums and transform the popular market into a cultural center with a modern cinema floor, a theater floor, a library floor, and a floor for sports and a swimming pool. I also suggest forestation of all major roads and streets with trees that are never trimmed but left natural to intertwine with each other and form natural tunnels, and to cancel the Agriculture Wall and to turn it into a park and outlet that includes cafes, restaurants and a playground for children. Finally, I propose to paint the city in white and windows and shop doors in blue.