Benghazi Is Belonging Through Benghazians (Part 1)This article is so dear to my heart because it's about the city that stood against unfairness for decades, it is the first ignition of revolution in Libya. Since the uprising of the Revolution in 2011, I wanted to know more about it. I was curious but mesmerized by this courageous city. Six years later, I still am. This city is called Benghazi. I have never visited Benghazi before so I thought of how can I go to Benghazi without actually going?
This article is the answer. The idea behind it is to look for people from Benghazi to send me a picture they love and an answer to this question: What is Benghazi to you?It will be both in Arabic and English because I wanted to keep some of the quotes as they are.
I spread the word on social media and the feedback I got was really positive and people wanted to participate. Due to the high number of participants, I will divide the article into two parts because one part is just not enough!
Regardless of the current situation in the country, this article can at least spread love through the words of Benghazians and remind us all of the love we hold for Libya. That said, I will share with you some of the responses I received and I .hope they inspire you as they inspired me
Benghaziبنغازي بالنسبة لي هي إنتماء. وكما وصفها الصادق النيهوم في 1966 "بنغازي، قلعتنا العجوز سوف يصلح المهندسون وجهها.. وسوف تختفي تجاعيدها المحزنة، وتصل إليها الشمس وتكفّ الخفافيش عن اعتبارها مقبرة مهجورة، وينتهي أمر الوحل.." - فاطمة النيهوم
Lighthouse - Benghazi
"Benghazi means the oxygen I am breathing. It is the light breeze of the sea and the lighthouse's light enlightening the city" - Marwa Alkawafi
سوق الجريد - بنغازي
"بنغازي هِي أُمي القاسية الحنون التي تُعاقبني نهاراً ثُم تُناديني ليلاً
لتناول العشاء ، بنغازِي هي جدتي بيديها المُمتلئتان و رائحة بيتها الملئ بالوشق و البخور ، بنغازي سوق الجريد و قطائفه و سوق الحوت و تنوره بنغازي جلابية أبي و طيبته بنغازي زحمة شارع عشرين بنغازي هي الدُنيا و مافيها بتفجيراتها و مبانيها المُحطمة بوجعها و ألمها ، بنغازي اول رفيقة و اول ضحكة و اول حُب .. بنغازي الراحة و الملجأ" - نهلة أبوشناف
Benghazi is hope. It is like a superhero, it falls but gets back up stronger than before. In spite of the suffering, it remains the hope for its people" - Anonymous
"Benghazi is our beautiful childhood memories. It is is the lovely family gatherings. It is the warm hug. It is a big hope. Benghazi is the future" - Hanady Ahmed
مصيف الملاحة - Juliana - Najwa Al-Remhy
"Benghazi is exactly like a sea. It is deep and open but sometimes troubled. Still, I enjoy it and I can never replace it" - Najwa Al-Remhy
Budzera - Benghazi - Munsef Mansoury
"Our beautiful memories in this city will never be forgotten, they live as humans live" - Munsef Mansoury
Arabs Medical School - Benghazi - Tamather Elmahdi
"Benghazi is the city where I grew up. It is where my old school is. It is where my family and lifetime friends are. Regardless of the ongoing conflicts and jammed lines, it remains the dearest to my heart". - Tamather Elmahdi
Al-Badriya Mosouq - Sara Albasir
"Benghazi is where the soul belongs. I knew this when I left my hometown. My neighborhood has turned into a war zone. I couldn't do anything to stop the war". - Sara Albasir
Al-Estiklal Street - 10/10/2011
"Benghazi is life to me. Even though I am away but I always think when I will go back home". - Mohamed Ahmed Zuwawa
Elbosko - Benghazi
"انا ارض النازح انا الطريق... انا البحر العميق.. انا صامدة عن كل ضيق.. انا يابسة الغريق..انا الطير الحليق.. انا بنغازي.." - نسيبة الصابري
Benghazi - Nada Albaragathi
"Benghazi is my family. It is where I find my comfort. It doesn't matter how far I leave, no place feels more like home like it". - Nada Albaragathi
Dubai Street Roundabout - Alaa Shatwan
"I have a very strong attachment to my hometown. It’s where I was born and grew up in my entire life It’s where I met my best friends, it’s where I fell in love, got my heart broken and then fell in love again, and it’s where I learned some of the hardest life lessons at the worst times. My Benghazi seeps deep into my soul, but I’ve never resented it. I love my Benghazi and I always will". - Alaa Shatwan
Hend Ben Halem Picture
"يُملئ الهواء بعبق تلاوة المنتصف من القرآن ، تبدأ قيلولة البعض و انتعاش البعض الاخر بفنجان القهوة وكنافة "بوعشرين" ، يسرع الاطفال بلهفة نحو الألعاب المنصوبة في ساحة "الكورنيش" المذياع ينشد قصيدة " المنفرجة" ، تنير المنارة بألوان البهجة ذاكرة الغياب المختزنة شوقًا.. للعودة." - هند بن حليم
Sabry Corniche (2012) - Benghazi - Ali Elrayes
"Benghazi to me is home. Home is where I am myself. Home is where the sun is warm and corniche air is cool. Home is where I feel at peace. Home is Benghazi." - Ali Elrayes
In conclusion, I would like to thank each and everyone who made this post possible. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to know about this city that has faced so much but is still standing still. I could sense how empowering this city is and how proud its people are. The love they hold for it is contagious.