Saturday, September 17, 2005

almost one month in Monrovia

Only 26 days left until the election. The atmosphere is becoming more electrifying, as the country is getting into election mode. It is a moment that I feel privileged to have the opportunity to witness. My hope is that there will be a true transition to democracy here, and that the country will be able to move forward with economic and social development. I am not cynical, even though many in the international community here are.

I believe that organizations like IRI and NDI are making a real, positive and meaningful impact on the transition. The other day these organizations organized the first ever presidential debate in Liberia's history, with some of the true 'heavy-hitters' making an appearance. It was fantastic. Outside the actual debate people were on the streets with radios pinned against their ears listening carefully. Inside, a ruckus audience had their own peripheral debates amongst themselves, arguing the pros and cons of the candidates’ responses.

It is at times easy to forget how far the country has actually come, given its poor current state. You see the bullet holes in the buildings everywhere, but it's hard to imagine what people had to endure during the over 16 years of war. If you are curious, put UNCIVIL WAR IN LIBERIA on your netflix cue. You'll see a person featured in this documentary named Black Diamond. She lives across the street from our office.


Blogger Pierre Kattar said...


Dimi passed this blog along to me. I really like it. The photos are great. It's so nice to have even just a grain of exposure into another country through text and pictures. Are you shooting any video?

Here's my question:

After reading the article about the presidential debates I got the impression that observers there felt the people in attendance were ignorant of politics. They didn't ask the tough questions, allowing politicians to make idealistic promises without having to back those up by how they plan on making those promises and who will pay for them. Do you think the article accurately portrayed the attendees? If so, what does that say about the future? Does it extend to all Liberians?

7:38 AM  

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