UN Refugee Week: Fatima Hamroush Speaks at Youth UPF

Fatima Hamroush Speech at Youth UPF,
House of Commons, London, UK.
16/06/2014

Thank you for inviting me to participate as a speaker in this forum.

As we speak of the topic of “forced displacement and migration” during the UN refugee week, I think of those who are suffering this injustice and under the watchful eyes of the entire world.

I can’t help but see the desperateness of such injustices and how detached it is to discuss it in offices and departments.

Once one witnesses this magnitude of injustice, you can never be the same again.

A number of days ago, I was watching a short video of two Syrian kids, the eldest was 8 years old, picking bread crumbs from a waste pile that had spilled on the ground.. You could hardly see the bread, but they mastered the process… That was their food… Has the world become so morally poor that we dare even watching such a crime and remain silent?

However, this is to them a far more merciful life than what would be faced If they fell in the hands of the likes of those that we are currently watching the last few days invading Iraq, slaughtering, shooting, decapitating and humiliating rows of helpless, submissive adults…

This is what is waiting for many of us, or our relatives or friends if we don’t put a stop to this kind of injustice.

This is not only about Syria, or Iraq, or Libya… It is about mankind, that is assuming that the international community hasn’t forgotten what it is to be humane.

The Forced displacement of Libyans is a subject close to my heart that torments me, as to this moment, we have failed.
We have failed to bring them justice.
We have failed to protect their rights
We have failed to help them keep what is theirs, their property, their jobs, their belongings, and their right to be in their homeland.

Since my tenure as MOH, I became increasingly involved in national dialogue and reconciliation initiatives, encouraging people in conflict to just listen to each other as a start..

The Libyan revolution has divided Libyan people into small factions:

winners and losers,
revolutionaries and previous regime supporters,
Groups torturing and killing each other just for their identities..

To those who rejected the injustice in the former regime, the injustice we see today, has become manifolds more, and what may have been intended to bring fairness, has become a tool for widening the divide between the one people, and is arguably one of the worst injustices in Libyan history:
It has become a merciless civil conflict, fueled by hatred, mostly incited by revenge and human cruelty. This is not the peaceful Libya we dreamt of, nor even the one we had before…

We have now not less than 50.000 internally displaced civilians, mostly from tawergha and Ben Walid, the majority living in camps that mark the shame that we all carry and will remain as a dark point in our history.

As for those who are forced to emigrate outside the country, some live in squalor, struggling to keep their dignity and their identity too, the numbers are in hundreds of thousands, totaling to almost 2 million scattered all over the world, out of a total population of only 5.5 million..

I believe that there is nothing more regretful for our nation and the world than this utter silence on this subject, while we witness marathon efforts to make deals, sign contracts, win elections, set unlawful laws etc.

Not one single decree was made by the international community to put genuine pressure on the responsible powers to defend the rights of these voiceless masses.

The Libyan Group for National Dialogue (LGND), of which I am a co-ordinator, aims to achieve this very mission: to bring awareness to this subject to the EU, the UN and the international community and to co-ordinate a national Libyan initiative to encourage tolerance and social justice to all victims of this looming conflict.

LGND is working on drawing the attention of the international community to hear the voice of what is effectively half of the Libyan population, without whom, no decree, nor any plan or agreement that any nation makes with Libya will be of lasting existence, or represent the will of the Libyan people.

I come here today with a warning against inaction, but also humbly speak before you, with a sense of optimism, when I think of our younger generations and their hunger for education and change, this encourages me to believe that such a brighter and more dignified future is possible.

Thank you