What a Libyan makes of re:publica


Photo Credit: Melina Jana Harzer

Dalia Gazah for Shifted News

As I first set foot on re:publica18 grounds, I realized what a complete outsider I was. Ignorant and oblivious to the number of doors that could be opened to a person. I was amazed. To have such a huge number of opportunities all lined up for you. To simply walk over and make a choice. Whether it was to learn about trends, to gain knowledge, or to simply talk to one of re:publica’s field-leading speakers.

Where people saw re:publica, I saw opportunity, equality, and freedom of choice. And, something that has hit me hard, was that absolutely anything and everything is possible. Opportunities are in fact, endless. But, this has not always been the case. For, back in Libya the number of opportunities a person faces tend to be somewhat limited, and not everyone has the privilege of getting access to tools such as new types of equipment, new techniques, or unpublished data. Let alone having it all gathered under one roof (so to speak). To even imagine such countless chances to be offered is unfathomable to almost any Libyan that did not have the opportunity to leave the country and to attend such an event.                                           

As I was about to leave re:publica, I noticed I was filled with awe and joy. I had overwhelmed myself with a list of the speakers I was eager to hear, had taken on too much but still had more than enough time to just take a seat, and appreciate where I was, and what I was experiencing. I would have loved to call my friends back home but then realized they would not fully understand the magnitude of a place or an event such as Republica, at least not without them experiencing it themselves.