Farooq Klaash

Produced by: Reem Maghribi
Part of the Curated Collection: Multi-ethnic and -religious cooperation,
Original Interview Length:
Interview Location: Libya
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Dr. Farooq Klaash is the General Supervisor of the festival to celebrate the National Day of Tebu Culture in Libya, which was sponsored by the General Authority for Culture in Libya. He explains:

“The general approach we’ve adopted is that we welcome all national development projects that come to us from any of the cultural communities, and we also see cultural diversity as a special edge, one that conveys a particular national character that presents a cultural panorama to the entire world.

The General Authority for Culture sees cultural diversity as an added value, a special edge that presents us in the best possible light to the world. This project unfolded in a specific place and time, and the reaction was very positive. The spirit of national harmony, which we’d feared lost from the cultural scene in Libya, was very evident. All the communities participated in all the activities: the evening festivities, the seminars, the lectures, the meetings. All the interactions were positive and successful.

I felt a great sense of welcome and joy from my Libyan brothers. There wasn’t a single person we encountered who didn’t say, I’m ready to help. The sense of welcome was great, and there was such a positive spirit pervading all the work. It was Libyan nationalism in its best form. There were no social obstacles to the work whatsoever, on the contrary, everything was encouraging.”

 

He goes on to talk about the collaboration between people of diverse backgrounds:

“I believe that the cultural diversity in Libya is a special edge, and we take great pride and satisfaction in the fact that we are a society made up of so many different cultures, and that this was a fundamental cause and driver of the wheels of history and civilization. Diversity is enriching, and the Tebu language is a beautiful one, an added value to Libyan culture.”

 

On the negatives encountered in implementing the project:

“I didn’t notice any negatives. In my personal opinion the positives are contained in the effectiveness of the interaction. The level of interaction was high, was very positive, I and my colleagues and everyone that noticed the work was remarkable in their performance, remarkable, and with such positive interaction we didn’t have any obstacles or problems.”

 

On the reasons behind the project’s success:

“The media awareness campaign that preceded the event was a main reason for its success. The cooperation that the General Authority for Culture saw from the responsible authorities in the government, whether service or administrative agencies was both remarkable and tangible. But there was even positive and psychological support that was ready and present, and all the different parties were supporting or pushing us toward realizing this event, which at the very least can be said to have been an international event.”

 

On the impact left by the project:

I was completely, totally ignorant about Tebu culture and heritage. Since ancient times the Tebu have had their own special constitution that lays out their laws and the organization of their public life. The Tebu have beautiful folk traditions, they have beautiful habits and customs, and the General Authority for Culture was able, on an official level, to convey this positive message about our Tebu brothers.