A week full with new experiences.
Last week I assisted in guiding delegations from Lebanon and Libya. Young Talents from Lebanon and mayors and councillors from Libya visited multiple municipalities in the Netherlands to encounter the possibilities there are to develop municipal policy in Libya and Lebanon on topics as efficient waste management and social initiatives.
My week started with the Lebanese talents in the City Hall of The Hague, prior to our tour to Schilderswijk. This delegation, formed by young people working for municipalities or federations in Lebanon, immediately had the attention of the members of the municipality by saying that they prefer the city of The Hague over the city of Amsterdam. In Schilderswijk, we saw great project examples of Pleasant and Inclusive Public Places like green spaces, that have the goal to create a friendly environment and bring people together. On Tuesday, our visit to Moerwijk made clear how a simple idea as a common garden can connect population groups with different ages and different backgrounds, in order to bridge the differences that exist between population groups in Moerwijk.
Wednesday started with an early bus ride with the Libyan delegation to Almere, where we visited multiple sites of waste management. The fact that the Libyan mayors and councillors wanted to stay longer was a sign that the visit made great impression on them. We continued our trip to Urk, which started with a warm welcome of mayor Pieter van Maaren. After listening to three presentations and getting a tour through VCU (Fishing Cooperation Urk), the afternoon programme came to an end. The genuine interest and attention of the Libyans, combined with the informative presentations, created an inspiring atmosphere.
Back with the Lebanese delegation on Thursday, I visited the waste management sites again, having more knowledge than the day before. This day I had more time to let the magnitude of the waste disposal sink in. By eating syrup waffles in the morning and getting soaked by the rain in the evening, the Lebanese also got more in touch with the Dutch life and culture. On Friday, we spent the day in and around the City Hall of Almere, getting information about planning and mapping a new city like Almere. My week of study visits ended in the same City Hall, wishing the Lebanese good luck on their route creating a more fair, efficient and overall, better Lebanon. It is their duty, as they are the future of their country.
Intern Business Unit EMENA