While browsing Facebook, I recently stumbled upon some alarming news about a beloved and longstanding library in Tripoli. Tripoli’s Scientific International Library, a renowned establishment cherished by many Tripoli locals, was instructed to vacate its premises by the Libyan Fund for Internal Investment and Development, as the site is slated for alternative usage.
Regrettably, the Libyan Fund neglected to consult adequately with the library management regarding the necessary procedures, executive steps, and negotiation discussions required for a smooth and secure relocation of the library to another site. As a result, this has placed the library and its management in a challenging and precarious situation. It is worth noting that the library holds significant cultural value. It has served as a place of learning and study for numerous generations, including mine.
I’m struggling to come to terms with the news of Tripoli losing a significant cultural institution that played a crucial role in shaping cultural memory and social progress. If you’re in the area, you can easily spot the Library on your right with its sizeable metallic structure. It’s located opposite Mowlay Mohammed Mosque and next to Tripoli’s central hospital. The Library was established in the early 1990s and has been actively involved for over 30 years in publishing and distributing books, as well as organizing cultural discussions with writers and book events.
Woven Deeply into Generational Consciousness
When I was young, I used to go to the Library to buy books for my studies. These trips were very special to me, as they were a part of my visits to downtown Tripoli. I particularly remember going to the Library during the autumn and winter months when I needed academic books on math, science, or languages.
One of my aunts is a statistics teacher who often visited the Library. Going to the Library with her was always a great bonding experience; we loved doing it together. Unfortunately, reading the news online recently reminded me of the warm and exciting times I had as a child. Also, later, as a university student at Tripoli. It is heartbreaking to think about those times now, given the terrible news.
Tripoli’s Library: Navigating the Next Chapter
Mrs. Fatima Hageige, the owner and manager of Tripoli’s Library, is currently hosting a book fair for two weeks. The fair offers discounts of up to 70 and 90 percent. Unfortunately, it will result in a personal loss for the owner and a significant loss for Tripoli. The library is an iconic cultural landmark in the city at risk of being lost. Mrs. Hageige highlighted that the library has many books, amounting to millions.
Sadly, the decision to evacuate the library highlights the authorities’ lack of regard and appreciation for cultural institutions and spaces in Libya. It is disheartening to witness the targeting and gradual loss of cultural institutions that positively contribute to a country’s development. Therefore, I hope to see an increase in calls for the cancellation of evacuation and more significant pressure from diverse cultural and social entities and institutions. Moreover, if evacuation proceeds, the owner and manager of the Library must receive a respectful alternative location. It would at least compensate for losing the original space and ensure its continuation.