For the first time since its establishment, the College of Arts and Media of Libya’s Misrata University has opened its doors to the public.
The faculty, established in late 2014, is considered the sole college in central Libya training budding media professionals and artists.
The students are trained in the various branches of journalism – radio and television, photography, music and fine arts.
We discovered a lot of talent among the students that we didn't really expect.
Although a pretty young faculty, the students here have proven that they have tremendous talent.
“We discovered a lot of talent among the students that we didn’t really expect. A lot of our students have reached a high level of ability, thanks to their natural talents, and we have thankfully been able to motivate them and nurture their abilities,” Journalism professor, Dr. Muftah Ajiyye told Reuters.
Since the ouster of Libya’s long-serving leader, Muammar Gaddafi, rebels and Islamist militants have taken over parts of the country.
Until Wednesday, a UN-backed government had not been able to operate in the capital Tripoli.
But all these do not seem to have dampened the enthusiasm and creativity of the students at Misrata’s College of Arts and Media.
An art exhibition – the highlight of the college’s week-long open day event – has drawn praise from artists and others who have seen the works on display.
“A lot of the art work was praised by artists who visited the exhibition. One businessman who owns a hotel has even said that he would use some of the art work to decorate his hotel. That’s a beautiful thing. Others have also approached us to ask if they could buy some of the paintings,” said a member of the college’s Art Department, Professor Anwar Al Teir.
And the department appears to be making some good money off the paintings which are selling for between 1000 Libyan dinars ($725 USD) and 1500 dinars ($1090 USD).
Libyan artist Ruwaida Al Sharkasi who organized the art exhibition said she hoped it would help change the public’s view about arts.
“In Libya especially we need to change our outlook on arts and culture. We need to work to support these young students and their talents.”
The Faculty of Art and Media she said “has provided the opportunity for students to pursue their passions and also gave an opportunity for those that are talented to showcase their talents, culturally, artistically” hence the exhibition.
The Faculty of Media and Arts has well-equipped recording studios, radio broadcast facilities and editing rooms for students.
It has since its inception attracted some 500 students who are aspiring to work in the various fields of media and arts.