Film star Sean Penn visits 'inspirational' Libya

AFP and Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Oct 2011

After a visit to Egypt's iconic Tahrir Square, Sean Penn is now visiting Libya to asses the humanitarian aid needed

Hollywood star Sean Penn on Tuesday flew in to Benghazi -- the epicentre of rebellion against Moamer Kadhafi -- to assess at first hand the humanitarian needs of the people of Libya.

"This is my first visit to inspirational Libya. I am inspired by the Arab Spring and am here to be able to get a sense of what humanitarian aid can be delivered to the people," Penn told AFP after landing at Benghazi airport.

Penn, who arrived from a visit to Egypt, is set to meet humanitarian organisations already working in Libya and also to meet high-ranking officials and leaders of the uprising that toppled the now fugitive former strongman.

"It is amazing what is happening in this part of the world, be it Tunisia, Egypt or Libya. These are my initial moments. I am here to take it in," the actor said, flashing a V for victory sign to a small crowd at the airport.

"What is happening here makes it all the more important to see what humanitarian aid is needed," he said, adding that he will be in the country for a "couple of days."

On Friday, the two-time Oscar winner for best actor was among thousands gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest against Egypt's military rulers' handling of the transition since the toppling in February of Hosni Mubarak.

The 51-year-old Penn, who has twice won the Oscar for best actor, is known for his social activism. He played a role in the relief operation sent after the Haiti earthquake and intervened for the release of Americans arrested in Iran and accused of espionage.

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