When journalist Ruthie Ackerman founded Ceasefire Liberia blog in May 2009 she found that Liberia’s young people were very excited about the opportunity to tell their stories to the world.
The site now has twelve contributors from Liberia and abroad, all keen to tell their stories. And these are stories you can’t get anywhere else; although the first signs of a revival of Liberia’s tourism industry are starting to appear, for now the country is still off the list for most travellers.
With so few opportunities to visit Liberia, it can be difficult to find a balanced view of the realities of life there. That’s what sparked the idea for this week’s focus on Liberia.
Starting tomorrow, we’ll be featuring a week of interviews with Ceasefire Liberia bloggers, and a look at the government’s attempts to attract new investment into the country.
We’re really looking forward to this chance to hear about the country directly from the people who understand Liberia the best – Liberians. As Ackerman wrote in an article for the Huffington Post:
“the only solution to combating misrepresentations of Liberia is to counter [them] with stories written by Liberian journalists and media-makers. Because the only way to drown out the noise of the misinformed and mis-intentioned is by telling the truth — and leaving it up to the reader to decide which information to consume.”
Would you visit Liberia? Is it even safe for travellers? Anthony Bourdain blogged about visiting Liberia for his No Reservations show, prompting @ourownpath on Twitter to comment: “I like to go to crazy places, but Liberia may be too much for me”.
The UK Foreign Office advises against “all but essential travel to areas of Liberia outside Monrovia”. The US Department of State advises travellers to “plan proposed travel to Liberia carefully and to exercise caution when traveling in Liberia”.
Liberia’s government would like to grow Liberia’s tourism industry and is actively encouraging investment in the sector. Here’s hoping that in the future it will be easier for travellers to see for themselves how Liberia is shaping up.
In the meantime, thanks to the bloggers we’re featuring this week, we can at least take a peek inside the country.
Update: We just published the first interview with Ceasefire Liberia’s blog manager Nat Bayjay. Read it here.
About the authorLucy