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Libya song festival returns after nearly 18 years

Musicians perform at the Libyan Song Festival in Tripoli   -  
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MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP or licensors


Dozens of participants took part in the fifth edition of the Libya Song Festival that ended on Saturday in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The event is the first to take place since 2004. Recent attempts to revive the initiative were not successful due to the fragility of the security situation.

"The festival of Libyan song is about Libyan lyrics, tunes and rhythms, and of course Libyan voices -- it's not new to Libyans. It (the festival, Ed.) had previous editions,  maybe four before this fifth one, after a break of 18-years because of the conditions and crises in our country, but now we're saying that we have come back, with new voices, with a new approach regarding the lyrics and the tunes", said Sami Mahmoud, Libyan artist participating in the festival.

The festival featured newcomers as well as guest appearances by established artists.

Walid Jdir, member of the festival committee, added "82 participants applied to the festival, eight were rejected for not complying with the festival's application conditions. The organising committee submitted 74 applications to the technical committee that worked on it for 10 days and succeeded in selecting 20 participants for the official competition".

The festival’s winners received financial prizes, the largest in the history of the festival. The first prize was 60,000 Libyan dinars (about six thousand dollars).

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