During our annual NCUSLR conference held on November 13th, 2018 in Washington DC, many participants raised questions to the speakers that we could not respond to due to time limits.
As such, we have initiated a series of follow up interviews with our conference speakers to answer these lingering questions.
As you go through these questions and answers please keep in mind that neither the questions nor answers reflect the opinions of NCUSLR.
Presenter featured in the following Interview:
Dr. Hassan Sassi, Vice Chairman of the Board, National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations
Dr. Hassan Sassi Hassan has taught engineering and math courses for almost three decades at prominent universities in the State of California and abroad and was the Chair of the Civil Engineering department for a period of two years at an engineering school.
He has participated in numerous public speaking events that included LAUSD/iSEE program for high school graduates in anticipation to guide them through the many choices they face in applying to technical schools; topic covered “The Art of Structural Engineering”, which was also presented in Art Forums and Scientific conferences. Dr. Sassi also sat on the Board of Directors of the United Minority Contractors Association (UMCA) and developed a training program to train minority youth in the construction field and received 1993 Community Outreach Award. Dr. Sassi’s work in engineering extends to Libya as well, where he has given presentations on, and contributed to, municipal infrastructure development plans.
Presented at the 2nd Annual NCUSLR Conference on Panel III, The Libyan Economy: How to repair the damage. Topic: "A brief on the Benghazi and Sirte Reconstruction projects.”
View Dr. Hassan Sassi’s Presentation
Post-Conference Interview with Dr. Hassan Sassi
Beyond doing initial conferences on the reconstruction of Benghazi and Sirte nine months ago, what is in progress?
At the 2018 Benghazi Reconstruction conference in May, which I attended as the only American expert, I gave a presentation on sustainable reconstruction in war-torn societies (Presentation attached here). I was also able to establish a connection with the City of Sirte Council member Ms. Haniya Aboukhrais. I later participated in a September workshop on the reconstruction of Sirte. I co-authored a joint presentation on the damage in Sirte with City Council woman Haniya Aboukhrais (Presentation attached here).
I also made contact with the Benghazi Al Amal Foundation - an NGO that is partnering with NCUSLR to establish our presence in the City of Benghazi.
Who are the foreign and international countries/corporations placing interest in these reconstruction projects?
Many of the participants in the May 2018 conference were local. International participation was limited to companies from China, India, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom. US participation was solely represented through my presence at the meetings.
How do you propose building momentum and capturing more interest and funds for reconstruction? How can NCUSLR help?
As a follow-up to my appearance and participation in the May 2018 conference, I was approached by the Urban Planning Authority to conduct a study and a survey to establish a general plan for reconstruction in Benghazi, including satellite imaging of 72,000 hectare covering the city. This study will include the economic and social impact of the damage caused by three years of civil war.
A proposal for the general urban plan of Benghazi was submitted on Dec 30th, 2018. If it is received positively and a contract is signed, I will then mobilize technical staff to implement the plan.
The contract will be between the Urban Planning Authority and AWAN Engineering Investment, a company registered in Libya co-owned by myself and local engineers.
The views shared in this published interview reflect those of the guest contributor and not necessarily the views of the National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations.