Notables, Media Experts and Activists Issue Patriotic Appeal to Save Libya’s National Archives – Al Marsad

Journalists, activists, along from key personalities from the Fezzan and across the country, including Sheikh Ali Misbah Abu Sbeiha, the Chairman of the Supreme Council and the tribes and cities of Fezzan and member of the Hasawna tribe, issued a statement making a patriotic appeal to save the Libyan Centre for Historical Studies and National Archives (also known as the Libyan Studies Centre) from any attempts to seize its headquarters.

(Libya, 9 January 2021) – The text of the statement read: “We, the undersigned, direct an urgent national appeal to the Government of National Accord, in order to protect, preserve and save the Libyan Centre for Historical Studies and National Archives (formerly known as the Centrefor Documentation of the Jihad by Libyans Against the Italian Invasion) from transferring and seizing its headquarters that contains and preserves the national memory archive of manuscripts and written documents. Audio and video work has been preserved and archived by the Centre for decades.”

It added: “People build their moral personality through national memory from manuscripts, documents and a national archive whose history records their march, struggle and jihad for the sake of religion and homeland.”

It continued: “We make a national call to the Government of National Accord, for the Centre’s importance in preserving the national memory for generations in politics, culture, thought, history, poetry and literature. Moving it from the current headquarters will cause damage and loss to priceless documents and manuscripts. By God it is a crime that should not be allowed to happen, and we call for its absolute prevention. The Centre contains the history of the Islamic resistance to the Italian colonization and its Catholic religious imposition, when our people struggled with their soul, children and money for the sake of land, honor and religion, in villages, cities, oases, desert, coasts and mountains.”

The statement said that “preserving the Centre’s archives and documents—which is a general endowment for all Libyans—is important for Libya’s past and the present and even more to future generations. Based on this principle, we direct our call to the GNA, which we trust that it understands the Centre’s importance, to urgently prevent seizure of the headquarters of the Centre, and with it the loss of our national memory.”

The statement called on the GNA to consider the preservation and safety of the Centre as an issue of historical Islamic and national sovereignty for the present and the future, and that no one party can unilaterally dispose of it and its headquarters for administrative reasons. It said all pressures on the Centre must be stopped and the Centre must be protected and maintained, and the issue resolved permanently once and for all.

© AlMarsad English (2021)