December 24, 2018 – Libyan Independence Day
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to members of the Canadian Libyan community on the occasion of Libyan Independence Day.
In 1934, Italy adopted the name ‘Libya’ as the name of the colony comprised of the provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan. Idris al-Mahdi as-Senussi, Emir of Cyrenaica, led the Libyan resistance movement against the Italian occupation between World War I and World War II.
Under the terms of The Treaty of Peace with Italy, signed in Paris on February 10, 1947, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya. On November 21, 1949, the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution that stated Libya should become independent before January 1, 1952. Idris represented Libya in the UN negotiations.
Libya declared its independence on December 24, 1951 and became The United Kingdom of Libya, a Constitutional and Hereditary Monarchy, under King Idris I.
Celebrations of Libyan Independence were suspended under Colonel Gaddafi’s rule for almost 50 years. Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime in mid-2011, Libyans once again took to the streets on December 24th in celebration of Independence Day. However, is important to remember that Libya today is still in the midst of a civil war. Atrocities against civilians are still happening and we keep Libya in our thoughts and prayers.
Toronto is a proud multicultural City that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths. Our City flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. It is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.
As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.