Empowering Libya’s Next Generation

The World Youth Leadership Network is pleased to announce the publication of Unheard Voices of the Next Generation: Emergent Leaders in Libya, edited by Dr. Sasha Toperich and Dr. Ali Abusedra.

This publication endeavors to offer a framework for understanding the dynamic of Libya’s ongoing conflict. The research in these chapters intends to present Libya as seen by a younger generation of leaders, which may help change the perspective of the situation. Contributions range from Europe, the United States, to Libya; the international nature of this volume reinforces their view of a stable, peaceful, prosperous Libya that participates in the international community.

Unheard Voices of the Next Generation: Emergent Leaders in Libya is a joint project with our partners, the Transatlantic Leadership Network. The publication will be distributed by Brookings Institution Press.

About the Editors

Dr. Sasha Toperich is the Senior Executive Vice President at the Transatlantic Leadership Network in Washington D.C. Previously was a Senior Fellow and Director of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Gulf Initiative at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies – SAIS.

Dr. Ali Abusedra graduated from the Faculty of Law in Benghazi in 1977 and worked as a legal advisor to petrochemicals affiliated to the Ministry of Oil in Libya. He holds a Diploma in International Organizations, a Master of International Law, and a PhD in International Economics Law from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, where he now provides research expertise in international investment law as a visiting professor. Click here to read Dr. Abusedra’s full biography.

About the Contributors

Dr. Nezar Krikish was born in Derna, Libya. He graduated medicine from the Omar Al-muktar University. Dr. Krikish received his MA also in medicine from the University of Benghazi in Libya. Dr. Krikish is an author of number of books including Libya – The Dream, and Pattern of Democracy, and Political Islam. He is an independent researcher that works with Al-Jazeera Study Center in Qatar and the SETA Center in Turkey. Dr. Krikish is an author of many political and documentary programs at Al-ahrar TV in Libya. He is also a Chairman of the Al-bayan study center in Libya.

Alaa AbouGhrara is a Social Media Moderator for a Digital Social Change project in Libya. The project tackles social issues and topics concerning youth. Born and raised in Tripoli, Libya, AbouGhrara was one of a selective class of scholarships recipients from the United States Department of State in 2015. She graduated from The American University in Cairo in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Since graduation, AbouGhrara has returned to Libya with the determination to use her education for the benefit of her community. AbouGhrara has worked with multiple non-governmental organizations and is on a constant quest of personal betterment and social development.

Ghaith Alsanusi is the Founder of the Libyan Canadian Committee for Human Rights & Justice. An author and an activist, he was born in Libya but moved to Canada at a young age where he is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science at the University of Manitoba, with a focus on International Relations. Alsanusi has been actively involved in uncovering human rights violations and war crimes in Libya as well as reaching out to victims of war. He reported the war on Derna (his hometown) from abroad and was in direct contact with civilians besieged in the Old City of Derna before they were brutally massacred by tribal militias. He has since built strong connections with international organizations as well as Government officials in Canada.

Nizar Aswed is a doctoral researcher in the War Studies department at King’s College London. He has a Master’s Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) London, and an LLB from University College London (UCL). His past research focused on international law, humanitarian law and international sanctions. His current research centres on WMD history, non-proliferation and arms control. His PhD thesis focuses on deconstructing Libya’s WMD programmes, abandonment, and the resulting ‘Libya model’. His research interests include global security, WMD proliferation, arms control, disarmament, state-building and diplomacy. In addition, Nizar has extensive commercial experience in international business and project development.

Amro Azouz was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He completed his BA and his MA in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Kassel. In 2013, Omar was part of the “Libyan Leadership” training program in financing and project management in Dubai (UAE). In 2015, he received public communication training in the Netherlands from Matra South Public Communications. From 2004 till 2008, Omar was assistant professor at the Institute of Technology High School in Derna (Libya). From 2008 to present, he is a member of the teaching staff at the University of Garyounisse-Benghazi Engineering faculty. From March till December of 2011, Omar served as the member of the crisis management committee at the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya and soon after, as the advisor to the NTC president. From 2012 till 2014 he served as the public relations and media director at the GNC (General National Congress) of Libya and also as the first assistant to the Chief of Staff. Currently, he is working on his PhD at the Atilim University in Turkey, focusing on laser spectroscopy.

Haneen Ben-Zeglam is of Libyan multi-racial background. She resides in Tripoli where she majored in linguistics at the University of Tripoli. She graduated with honors ranked amongst the top in Libya. She obtained a scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester. She was also one of GKS program winners to pursue her master’s degree in South Korea. Haneen also received vocational training in the field of information technology and graduated with excellence as a professional database programmer. She currently works for Zallaf Libya Exploration & Production of Oil & Gas as a training and development specialist with a collaborative occupation in media, sustainable development and ESL teaching. She was one of the founders of the foreign cultures association in Tripoli University where she occupied the Japanese academic coordinator position. Besides being bilingual in English and Arabic, she also speaks French, Japanese and Korean.

Muna Diaf is a Libyan-American student studying Sociology and History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program and has research interests centered around historical comparative sociology, the sociopolitical dynamics of North Africa, and gender issues. She is currently working on her senior thesis centered on religious pluralism in Africa. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in academia.

Mohamed Eldarsi is a political scientist currently reading a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. He has worked as a research assistant at many institutions and research centers. Eldarsi’s latest paper was published by the University of Basel in the annual book 100 years of the Near and Middle Eastern Studies Departments.

Fatimah Elfeitori is a Policy Officer at Global Affairs Canada, where she works on the international humanitarian assistance policy file. She is also an MA candidate in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, specializing in Humanitarian Assistance. Her current research focuses on transitional justice and international humanitarian law.

Khirya Erkhise originates from Tripoli. She studied English, graduating in 2010 from Zawia City with excellence. Her corporate experience includes work for German company Verdus as a delegate negotiating between the company in Libya and the German embassy stationed in Tunisia. Later on, Erkhise worked was responsible for the marketing department of a local ceramics and sanitary-ware company, dealing with foreign companies from various countries, including China and Spain. Following that, Erkhise became Executive Director for a travel and tourism company. She then entered the world of politics, working with the Presidential Council in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, moving on to the Human Resources Department where she was responsible for the professional development of the Council staff, developing proposals for vocational training and designing organizational structures for Presidential Council offices. Lastly, Erkhise worked with a private aviation company on a proposal for a training and professional development plan for 2020 and beyond. Her ambition is for higher education abroad, and to serve the cause of women in Libya.

Fatma Hashad was born to Libyan parents in Manchester, England in 1995, where she spent the first years of her childhood. She later moved with her family to Amman, Jordan, and lived there until she finished high school. Fatma acquired her bachelor’s in law degree from Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman. Besides focusing on academia during her university years, Fatma was involved in several extracurricular committees. She also interned at a private law firm and trained at the Omani public prosecution’s office. Fatma moved to Geneva to complete her LL.M degree in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 2019, where she currently resides.

Rima Kalush is the program director of Migrant-Rights.org. Her research interests include international migration, labor migration, and human rights. Her work has been referenced by institutions such as the International Labor Organization, Jadaliyya, Gender Across Borders, and the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights.  She holds a Master of Philosophy in Middle Eastern Area Studies from the University of Oxford.

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