Friday, May 4, 2012

I think I take strong women for granted.  I am surrounded by them. Let's start at the top with Hilary and move on down throughout the ranks of business (IBM) to media (too many to name) and on down the line. 

Then there are my friends.  They are strong in numerous ways.  Balancing challenging careers with raising kids.  Working for democracy in not so very nice places.   Raising children in a time when so many questions are asked about parenting techniques. 

But in Libya, I was awe struck.   She was petite and beautiful across the hotel lobby.  I noticed her right away and just had a sense that there was some spark there.  It wasn't until the next night at dinner when a colleague and I joined her that I heard her story.  Of how she escaped to Tunisia after Gaddafi thugs went after her.  Of how her brother was arrested and tortured. Of how she helped in the refugee camps.

She is one of the many heros I met 2 weeks ago. I regret that I didn't take her photo.  But these photos symbolize what she fought for - and likely many other strong Libyan women like her.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Travels to Libya

Libya, he said. Would I go to Libya.  It seemed like such an impossibility just a few short months ago.  But there I was with visa in hand boarding the plane just over a week ago.

And now as I sit to write this, I don't know where to begin to tell you what I saw. Who I met. What I learned about resilience and bravery. And hope.

But let me share with you some of the simple beauty that I saw there.

 From ornate slippers piled up so carefully.
 To Ostrich eggs in a wooden bowl.
To a simple fish pillow with colorful pom poms and a red eye.