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Tourism?
Never Mind The Corinthia And Five Star Hotels; Just Collect The Trash!

Just a note to say that all this talk about opening up Libya for tourists is too premature. The basic infer-structure is simply not there to cope with even small numbers let alone an influx. All the hallmarks of a civilized environment are just not there and here are only a few simple examples :

1) No / or hardly any public toilets in any of the main roads or tourist attractions - the ones that are there are very unhygienic and are probably if anything a health hazard. No proper washing facilities such as showers etc. even in the nicest beaches, not to speak of dirty dipers / soiled nappies swimming along side you !

2) The main roads and side roads to many of the beautiful beaches and historic / archaeological heritage places are all littered with trash / garbage / rubbish or in Libyan KNASSA piles and piles of rotting knassa!! This is due to selfish fly tipping of lazy and selfish people especially from towns to the provinces. The usual story of out of sight out of mind! Such short sightedness! It is a very sorry situation and very embarrassing when you drive visitors to the Gharabouli Beach or Sabratha! This of course is the ultimate health hazard.

3) The main museum in Tripoli / Saraya Alhamra has hardly any labels in English or any other European language. This is due to some law promoting Arabic only! It is a shame that the visitor is left confused or begging for explanations from any Arabic speaking visitors. We should be proud of our heritage and label these artefacts if anything in several languages.

4) The state of TRAFIC is simply- dicing with death. No driver respects or even considers zebra crossings, red lights and so on and so forth. Try crossing a main street or a highway safely and with full confidence! If you are lucky you might find a driver who is willing to stop as a great favour to you from him only to be harassed and horned by other drivers who find it very inconvenient to stop for anything. There are no statistics on traffic accidents but I hear of many wasteful and unnecessary deaths due to careless chaotic and selfish driving.

5) No proper Postal System to speak of. This is also further perpetuated by lack of proper town planning or organization - no house numbers - not many street names etc.. etc...

6) Ancient telephone system / old crackly lines with no maintenance - nunreliable service.

7) Uncontrolled and rampant use of Insecticide - the grapes and other fruit all look lovely and delicious, try eating them and you are sure to get some sort of food poisoning even after thorough washing. Might be one cause of the prevalent cancers and other serious Desieses.

8) No or hardly any ROAD DIRECTIONS especially highways or motorways. The ones that are there are all written only in Arabic, leaving the visitor / or potential tourists even more confused- try getting out of the Fast road / Tareeq assaree' to the right destination not easy!

9) Linked to above, the non Arabic speaking visitor even more confused by not having any SHOP name / cafe / restaurant written in Latin script - so no idea of type of service. Even more confusion!

10) Finally having said the above - who wants trash tourism anyway. No one wants our beloved country Libya to go the same route as our neighbours e.g. Tunisia, with all the negatives that it entails from alcohol, drugs, prostitution etc.. etc... Select and cultured few visitors to World Heritage places are the ideal tourists that we should hope to attract. Unless something is done urgently about it, at the current climate these might be enticed for a first visit but they would never be rushing back for a second nor would they recommend it to their friends.

Munther


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