Tarek Bagdadi, a Libyan American has been working as a local project assistant with DW Akademie Libya Project for the past three years.
Among Tarek Bagdadi's duties is taking care of logistics and administration issues during trainings and managing all the social media sites set up to stay in touch with trainees.
What do you like most about your work with DW Akademie?
I left Libya for the US when I was still a teenager and returned back to Tripoli 38 years later. Working with DW Akademie has greatly facilitated my re-integration into society including re-learning Arabic. Via DW Akademie I went to towns in Libya I have never been to. I met Libyans with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I also like being the "communicator", making sure the trainers' instructions are properly conveyed in a manner that is fully understood by the trainees.
Why are DW Akademie's activities and projects important in Libya?
Media in general and journalism in particular play a crucial role in any democratic society. DW Akademie trains journalists to apply the international standards of journalism when covering the news. It is imperative that the public gets the truth and not personal biased opinions. Libya is currently going through a period of instability, a raging civil war. The Libyan media landscape has, unfortunately, become part of the problem. DW Akademie's project in Libya strives to make media become part of the solution. Fortuitously DW Akademie has contributed in advancing reconciliation: Our trainees come from different parts of Libya. The trainings give them a chance to forge special relations and an opportunity to exchange ideas on how best to overcome tribal and regional differences.
What is the biggest challenge in your work?
Since 2014 DW Akademie had to relocate to Tunis due to the deteriorating security situation in Libya. This created some logistic challenges, especially trainees who have to travel long distances by land to reach airports. Another challenge is recruiting female participants; this is due to Libyan traditions. We are coming up with viable solutions to these challenges but it's never easy. But the most rewarding aspect of my work is being part of an incredible team of trainers and administrators working to develop the media sector in Libya. The task is monumental, but I strongly believe we've made a huge difference in the last few years. Of course more efforts are needed.