Najla Elmangoush served as the local representative of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Libya. She has volunteered as the head of the Public Engagement Unit within the Executive Office of the National Transitional Council (NTC), which handles outreach with newly emerging civil society organizations, and has organized seminars to raise political awareness and organized Libya’s first conference for civil society. She is a lawyer by training and she has work as a lecturer at Benghazi and Tripoli University.
Najla shares with us the liberating role of women during the Arab Spring. Also her understanding of how to reconstruct the broken social fabric of Libya. She says that “this period was one of the most amazing times in my life. The role was not only a new experience and a challenge for me, but a completely foreign concept for the Libyan people. In a flurry of activity, we began to use the tools of democracy (…) I found myself often explaining the importance of engaging with the public. This would not only build the legitimacy and respect for the NTC in the international community, but also build the understanding of a democratic Libyan state.”
She has been studying recently the challenging post-conflict situation in Libya. Especially, the complicated relationship between the militia groups and the civil society in Benghazi.
At the end of the interview she openly shares with us her own understanding of trauma. She says: “I have a personal opinion regarding trauma: that some level of trauma might be essential to grow and change in a positive manner, sometimes we need trauma to understand ourselves and our lives (…) Awareness of trauma and its effective treatment must become an underlying force in society. Trauma healing processes are essential if Libyans are to share their narratives and stories.”
Full interview on the link below: