This week has given me a lot to feel lucky about. My top 6:
1. I’m incredibly thankful for the hard work and dedication shown by the Canadian consular officials on the ground in Tripoli. With little rest, likely little to no sleep, they managed to get every Canadian at Tripoli airport onto an outbound plane over the course of Thursday during the long wait for the Canadian evacuee plane and into the wee hours of Friday morning (my dad’s plane didn’t take off until 2am Tripoli time on Friday am, and these officials had been at the airport since the early hours of Thurs am).
2. Being a citizen and resident of countries that care about human rights, that will work together in situations of crisis, is something I feel lucky about most days, and even more so now seeing as it was a British plane working with Canadian officials that brought my dad to safety, and a plethora of other nations who also pitched in to help each other and bring individuals out of Libya. United Nations rock.
3. I’m embarrassed to admit that before today I knew little about how autocratic life really was in LIbya. I was not aware that Gaddafi had kicked out international media. While I am cynical about how free our press truly is (political slanting, spin doctors, etc), it is undeniable that we have an incredible scope of information rights- TV, newspapers, internet, telephone, mobile video, text messages; we can pick and choose our information medium, do independent research, and form our own opinions. Freedom of speech is so important, and freedom of information is equally so. So thank you forefathers (and mothers!) for establishing a society which enshrines these freedoms.
4. Airlines are also doing their bit to support people evacuated into countries they had not planned to be in. Lufthansa is allowing rebookings and refunds for people with their plane tickets affected by evacuation. My dad was able to reroute his flight home from Tripoli-Frankfurt-Calgary to London-Frankfurt-Calgary this morning. Hats off to Lufthansa for being proactive and extending this goodwill to their customers.
5. I’m also feeling very fortunate to have such caring friends. Messages and emails of support during the course of the week really helped me keep my head above the water… and help me keep focused on making a slight nuisance of myself with all the emergency authorities by harassing them with questions and phone calls.
6. Lastly, thank you authorities for listening to a mildly hysterical woman trying to get information on her father. Thank you to our rules and laws for permitting us to reach out to those with power and plead our cases. Sometimes it can make a difference. Sometimes not, but at least we can try.