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General Notice

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Dear Libyans

Let me express warmest greetings of solidarity to you all as Libyans living abroad. No matter how cynical we are about each other, our history is long and full of pride.

Today our community is shattered and practically non-existent. It is time for us to build on tomorrow; whatever our isolating differences may be, we share tomorrow. Let us build a community based on hope, and let us not only dream but also create some new Libyan community unified under Libyans umbrella of " blood and water," strengthened by a conscious commitment to prosperity through Libyanhood.

Dear fellow countrymen, with possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere and this somewhere is now. Let's extend our hands, open our hearts, and forget our rancor.

It is obvious that we are politically divided but this is no excuse for social division. Let us stand tall in the crowd and make our voices heard in one accord for the future of our children and our stranded community. The colonial powers and oppressor regimes seeded bitterness in our hearts; now it is time to squeeze that bitterness out and find a common ground. Let us forget our rancor and start working toward the welfare of our community.

We can make a difference if we broaden the circle of our relationships and friendships, seeking the fulfillment of all that is decent within us, awakening latent possibilities and potential, and travel toward community solidarity. Our lives should become part of a widening circle of meaning, not narrowing, as we develop ethically, morally, and in our way contributing to the change of the social fabric in our community.

As General Michel Aoun said "Do not allow your voices to become a faint wailing in the corners of abandoned houses. Rally them to other voices so they become effective and resonant. For if you do not act now today, you may have deserved what is to come of you, losing even the right to wail." Let us use this contest just for the foundation of our community devoid of politics.

Oh Brothers and Sisters, we already have what we need to make an immediate difference, if we are willing to look beneath the cynical assumptions about one another with which we usually begin and seek areas of concurrence, modest though they maybe, there by establishing the base upon which more complex harmonies can be composed.

Much of our success in tomorrow will depend upon our ability to remain youthfully responsive without retaining the callowness of adolescence. How hard it is to know where we are - and what we truly share with others - when our hearts are disorderly full of hope but our actions are nil.

Fellow Libyans, as I see it now, our community foundation is being threatened by termites. We must act as soon as possible to save it. Right now, we have few loosely organized community programs around the United States. Yes, that is a start. However, that is not enough. We need a more effective approach.

Compared to other communities (other fellow immigrants), ours is not worth more than a 25 -cent bag of potato chips. Nevertheless, that could be changed if we are willing to do something about it. May be some of us are relatively comfortable with the present situation but surely some are not. Let's establish a common ground, however trivial, if our relationship is to develop.

To make our shaping of the future significant, we must also bring individual contribution of tomorrow and the wholeness of another tomorrow.

Abdalrahman Mahdi Cheikh

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