Hollywood humanitarian mission: Sean Penn visits Libya
BENGHAZI (Libya) - Hollywood star Sean Penn on Tuesday flew in to Benghazi -- the epicentre of rebellion against Moamer Gathafi -- 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 said 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.
Penn won best actor Oscars in 2004 for Mystic River and in 2009 for Milk.