Sunday, November 11, 2012

Decades of Missing Libyans and History

Now that Gaddafi is gone we are free at last to probe for all our missing and to ask questions about numerous panes of Libyan modern history shrouded in mystery because of decades of gagging by the dictator. Since Gaddafi took power Libyans took part in at least 3 conflicts at his orders : Egypt 1977, Uganda 1978, Chad 1980-1987.

The information about how many died, disappeared and were wounded is non-existent, anything Libyans know is hearsay from survivors and a few deserters who made to CIA headquarters in the US. I bet the CIA knows more than us.

These 3 wars need to be recorded and thought in schools as they directly affected generations of Libyans psychologically and sociologically. The Chad war has especially affected family make up and prospects in Libya making a generation of Libyan females unable to find partners.

To add to these 3 conflicts Libyans have been missing in action in Iraq after the US invasion, in Lebanon during the civil war, in Afghanistan since the fight to oust the Russians and now in the Syrian insurgency against Bashar Assad.

There are thousands of Libyans missing for their activism of whatever form against the Gaddafi region as well.

Recently we have to account for the Libyans missing and dead during the 2011 conflict in Libya and post conflict violence.

I'm hoping this project can help, and I'm hoping someone will get on with writing our history before it is lost.

We deserve answers, we deserve to know where are our friends, family and loved ones. We had so much trauma and still have it and we deserve closure - we still don't have closure even after Gaddafi's death.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Obama's second term and the "Arab Spring"

Many non Americans sighed with relief today when they woke up to the news of Obama's reelection; it's because of the 'devil you know' syndrome :P mostly I believe.

My opinion has not really changed. The Arab world also followed the elections because of the foreign policy.

I do hope that Obama will get Israel  to finally commit to something positive and tangible but I believe this will not happen.

However, now that he does not have to worry about elections the testing ground should be Syria. I can't believe no one is being able to twist Russia'a and China's arms at the UNSC. There is something totally wrong about having allowed a proxy war in Syria. At least 40,000 have died since last year and there a senseless destruction going which I have never seen anywhere else in the world not even Iraq or Lebanon.

The country is on its knees and that just smells of a conspiracy theory to me. It just does not make sense.

Why YES for Libya and NO for Syria, Bahrain and Yemen? what's the difference ?

UPDATE 18-11-2012 :  I am always right :P

Obama: 'Israel has right to defend itself' [ref]

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Is the GNC in Libya being bribed ? who are we trying to placate?

Last time a Prime Minister ( Dr Mustafa Abushagur ) was proposed in Libya and he in turn submitted his choice for government, he was summarily dismissed with a vote of no confidence from our General National Congress ( GNC). The GNC was elected by the Libyan people in July this year. The GNC is composed of 200 people who are the legislative branch of Libya's government and who will vote/agree on who the members of the executive branch will be such as prime minister and minister to run the government. This was an embarrassing fiasco and he walked right into it without consulting  thinking he could get away with actually proposing members from the party that won the majority seats? I really don't know on whose toes he must have stepped among the  various factions, parties, foreign agendas and independents  who were unable to agree on how to distribute the Libyan cake.

Another PM , Mr Ali Zidan was proposed and accepted and had two weeks to propose a government. This guy must have learnt a lesson because  interestingly a few days before the deadline a decree was leaked whereby the president of the GNC signed a resolution that grants each of the 200 members a loan of 45,000 Libyan Dinars to allegedly purchase a car! That's a total of 9 million Dinars can you imagine?  A deluge of accusations were flying all over social media mostly by citizens disappointed at the materialism and  exposed self interest of the GNC members some even jokingly saying that finally Libya's riches have been divided among  200 poor families in Libya in an indirect reference to Gaddaffi's style of giving more benefits to his inner circle while all the time promising to support the Libyan families in need.

While Libyans are understandably disillusioned with all the seemingly irresponsible behaviour of our elected officials and civil servants and the dashing of their hopes, I'm not sure if anyone has stopped to think that perhaps this was a fantastically smart move from all those involved ! why ? because "Congressmen seemed broadly satisfied with the names, [and]  this time members have agreed to vote on the government as a whole. It is believed that this time the government will pass." [source]

Why all the confidence and why now  ?  Could it be that 9 million Libyan Dinars ( approximately 7 million US$) have just bought the approval of the whole GNC. Interesting idea to contemplate no? It's quite possible  bribery is nothing new in politics and it helps smooth out problems. On the other hand the proposed list has 32 ministers. 32  for 6 million people!  I am thinking it's excessive but if that will make Libyans happy and calm the specter of regionalism maybe it's the right price to pay or is that to placate the parties, militias and various agendas ?  Is this the compromise ? obviously we are not able to form coalition governments because of our overall weak parties because we are unable to agree on anything hence these 32 ministries and the 200 GNC members . Looks like some interesting times ahead... and we still don't have the 60 who will be drafting the constitution. We are looking at epic decision making paralysis!

Why is everyone treating Libya as a big cow to be milked and then to jump the boat once it capsizes?There is plenty of cake for everyone let's just have a bit of trust and patriotism.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Making History: Libyans against extremism

When I said in my last post yesterday that " Libyans have always defied the norms and the statistics and the analysis "   little did I know that I would proven right so fast :) .

While the Americans are thinking about deploying drones and submarines or even the marines to monitor or attack the suspected extremists in Libya, it took the Libyan youth a couple of hours to send the extremist packing !

We are always innovators :P  and so we are on record as the first country to storm an extremist brigade. I will stop using the word 'Islamist' as Islam and Muslim have nothing to do with this and will qualify them with the word 'extremist'. Islamist, fundamentalist , salafist etc... all have a certain way of life and they can live any way they want like the different minority communities  in the world such as the Amish  they are not necessarily violent.

Thousands demonstrate against militias violence and disorder. [source]

In wave after wave the people of Benghazi overtook the militias and handed the headquarters on  silver platter to the government forces.

Unfortunately some of them died doing so. RIP !

World please watch Libya and stop putting us in the same bag with others. I think the message is clear that Libyans want to build a nation and have no interest in Al Qaeda. No one fights like a Libyan.

Than you Benghazi and thank you to all those who courageously protested all over Libya no matter what their number was. It took a lot of courage knowing that you could be a target of the extremists. Hopefully their myth of invincibility has now been busted.

Our motto has always humbly been : we win or we die !

Friday, September 21, 2012

Honoring the fallen Americans in Libya

The Sorry Project is "A project showing that the vast majority of the Libyan people Oppose the crimes and violent actions committed against the US consulate and to express Libyans heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.Please post to our wall and share the page."

 Please check the various posts and links !

 See this slide show showing some of the protests in Libya against what happened to the US staff. and check the message of support on the message board.

 Libya held a memorial ceremony for Chris and his slain colleagues.

The above are some of the ways Libyans have paid tribute. 

What this attack has exposed is the precarious security situation we live in as a post-conflict country. On the surface all looks well as we learned to live with it and adjust just as many other states have we are on the brink of a failed state but Libyans have always defied the norms and the statistics and the analysis and so once again I hope we can pull this off. The majority of us want a prosperous, safe and secure life with guaranteed freedom, even for pro-Gaddafi and if other Muslims want to live in a certain way they should not be imposing it by force on the rest of the country they can have their own community yet live within the law.

“Withdrawal of all authorities granted to any armed militia; Calling on GNC to issue law criminalizing armed militias; Evacuation of all public buildings and governmental institutions from armed militias; Activation the role of the army and police, and provide them with all the support needed.”

For non-Libyans GNC is the General National Congress - a proto - parliament we elected in July 2012.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RIP to American martyrs in Libya

In Libya we are today mourning and in shock over the deaths of the US Ambassador and a number of his staff during the terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Libya has declared three days of mourning and there will be vigils in a number of cities. This is a sad day for Libya, we did not stop the criminals when they destroyed our mosques and shrines  and infringed on our basic human rights and this had emboldened them to try and take over Libya by force after loosing the election in July. Late ambassador  Chris and his staff are honourary Libyans and will be forever in our heart. I will be going to the US embassy to deliver my flower and pay my respects and enough is enough we have to put the outlaws on trial.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The evisceration of Libya

[source] please note I could not find any copyright for this photo as I took it from the Facebook page in the link.

If you don't care about your history, you have no future and our history is now a pile of rubble thanks to our simpletons who listen to Saudi clerics as they are now 'free' to do so!
May God forgive us Libyans for burning our ancient libraries, desecrating our dead and razing our sanctuaries and mosques. If we have been able to do it then no one should be blaming anyone for 'offending' Islam.

I'm beginning to wonder if we may have  deserved Gaddafi for all our sins... His death may have been deliverance for him from our evil? His death has unleashed the sleeping virus. ( I won't say dragon as dragon is a noble creature).
Today as some of the pillars of Libyan identity are being extinguished one by one the feeling of helplessness cannot be described. The dark ages are upon us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tomb Raider Libyan style

Following the liberation of Libya from the Gaddafi stranglehold  a new 'sport' or hobby has become fashionable over the past few months and reached its climax this weekend.

Historic Muslim landmarks are being wiped out, libraries burnt, tombs desecrated and  mosques demolished and looted. This behaviour is so alien in Libya that people are in shock and the voices trying to stop this organized crime against humanity are outgunned and outnumbered. They epitomize courage, I would have chickened out.

"“I do not know who those bearded men were. We have never seen them before, but they were calling us infidels and every insult you can imagine. It was disgusting.”" [ref]

May God protect Libya and give its people the necessary strength and patience as this is going to be a long haul.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A new kind of fear in Libya

In the Gaddafi era the living had ample reason to fear, in the new Libya the living and the dead live in fear from now on .. Or do they? This fear is pervasive it makes grown men tremble while hundred year old  heritage is razed to the grownd.

I can see Saif waging his finger and saying I told you so

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Freedom for whom in Libya?

There is so much to be optimistic about in Libya but more and more incidents are cause for concern.
Once you start feeling that you cannot criticize anymore then there is something wrong.

There is some debate about the role of Libyan women .. their role during the  Feb 17 revolution was appreciated as long as they cooked and did first aid and volunteered as medics or to wash clothes. However, once the war was over and women wanted to start wanting to put legal framework for their activity and citizenship they find that even some of the actions widely applauded during the revolution are now turned against them. They are arrested or kidnapped for having a voice and this makes them fear the rape weapon or the loss of reputation weapon which was allegedly wielded during the conflict last year. The rumour mill is very thick but working with an NGO  or being outspoken could get you in trouble  it seems.

Human rights have been 'lacking' in Libya during the colonial period, during the monarchy and  during the Gaddafi era while in post Gaddafi have proven to be disappointing and Libyans have been patient thinking that this is new to us  and we are learning. But there is nothing 'new' about ethics and morality Libyans either have it or don't - if we only acted according to the precepts of the Muslim religion that would be sufficient  but no one has acted according to these precepts since the death of Prophet Mohamed PBUH. The situation in Libya has become  kind of scary because with Gaddafi we knew the red lines and there were some society red lines as well but now all lines are confused.

Male and female have a long fight ahead but in a patriarchal society females will have it tougher because many males will take a shortcut and say 'we told you so - keep to women related topics only,  now is not the time for women to assert their rights (even those provided by Sharia? ) now is the time to rebuild the country don't mix the message and let us men get on with i't.

But how can you  alone rebuild the country if women are more than 1/2 the population and they have the higher percentage in higher education ?How can we rebuild a country without our sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, grandmothers ?

To get back to my question at the start of this post.. who are Libyans afraid of now ?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Libya's first general election

Still recovering from an epic election on Saturday 7/7/2012. 

Special thanks to all the Libyan heroes who made this possible but also to the countries that supported Libya last year in its fight for freedom and especially NATO :P.

photos source here.

We are now free to vote but also to abstain from voting  who would have thought so a year ago ?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

PTSD in Libya

We are all suffering in one way or another in Libya but those who fought are suffering the most whichever side they were on. Not acknowledging or treating that is going to blow up in our face or come back to haunt us.

" Libyan soldiers have a lot of guilt, even if they fought against Gaddafi and felt like they were on the right side. They still feel a lot of guilt over killing another Libyan.
And for people who fought for Gaddafi, they are also dealing with a lot of guilt, perhaps feeling like they fought for the wrong reason. Guilt is something both sides are dealing with," 
Please read the whole article very interesting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shooting 'terrorists' a new form of Tourism

This is a very good way of making money: you harness the inner hatred inside people and propensity for killing.

"Michel Brown, 40, a Miami banker, chose to take his wife and three children to the range with the purpose of "teaching them values.
Upon entering the range, his five-year-old daughter, Tamara, bursts into tears. A half hour later, she is holding a gun and shooting clay bullets like a pro.
 "This is part of their education," Michel says as he proudly watches his daughter. "They should know where they come from and also feel some action." (emphasis mine)

 I love the spirit of entrepreneurship. Now that we had a war in Libya maybe we can do something similar?
beats kickboxing and paintball !

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The ghostly Saif Al Islam Gaddafi ?

We have not heard from anyone that has seen him for a while and certainly not had any recent photos or videos about him additionally  the ICC recently  ruled that Libya may delay handing him over.

Now there are rumours about an alleged escape or smuggling to Cyprus or Nigeria.

What's happening to the most famous prisoner in Libya  especially that we have started to try Gaddafi allies.

I'm expecting to hear the news that he has been killed in attempted escape or prison break and that's what the articles out there are for to prepare the ground.

Trying him would be a better idea and give all of us Libyans the chance to watch and have some form of closure.

update 10/6/2012

This is really weird just as I had written about Saif's situation being shrouded in mystery, the ICC lawyers delegated to meet him get into trouble and are arrested too on the same day :P this is ironic for allegedly passing  sensitive information to him. I have no data about this but more is expected in the forthcoming days.
I think his death is approaching, honestly most people would not care as they are fed up with this.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Convoluted conspiracy or total stupidity?

When I read and watch utterings such as these in Libya which are labelled stupid and which  actually contribute to  greatly alienate   the very people who believe they are the most marginalized  in Libya by pushing even the non-federalists in the lap of the federalists...[link]

 A horrible thought strikes me what if those core members of the NTC are actually aware of what they are doing and this is how they help their cause  without getting the blame ?
Sort of like a hugely convoluted conspiracy theory ?

As in when they say : we resort to force if we have to [prevent federalism] , this would make the Libyans who are the most stubborn people on earth actually shift towards this choice right in the arms of the federalist as a reaction!

Makes it easier to accept than outer stupidity or evil :(
Seriously if federalism sees the light it would be largely due to the outwardly  weird actions of our transitional government than to mass movement(s)  supporting this in Libya.

That's my very very uneducated guess  as I have no idea and no way to find out how many Libyans are pro- federalism.

NB: this is not a post about pros and cons of federalism, nor a discussion about federalism.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

sidebar update

There has been some updates to the side bar link of news about Libya. Go and check it - interesting, refreshing and a change !

Friday, May 04, 2012

Freedom of Speech blown to smithereens in Libya

If for a few moments some Libyans allowed themselves to think that there is hope for freedom of speech in the new Libya. This contemplation has just blown apart commando style with the newly issued law that criminalizes the 'glorification of Gaddafi'.

Loyalist beware and anyone non loyalist even describing some 'positive' aspects of the previous era risk life imprisonment if someone reports.

Sounds familiar ? yeah of course we had that only a year ago :)

and it seems for whoever drafted this law that the war is not over. I really hope this turns to be a hoax. Not sure how this type of law can promote reconciliation. This is not the transitional justice Libyans have been waiting for and risks making any one still harbouring loyalties to Gaddafi into feeling they are actually fighting for a good cause.

All these shocking laws are overshadowing our happiness with the voting registration process.

It can't just be a smokescreen to derail the election process ?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Libya's new Political Parties Law and the High Court Bombing in Benghazi

Libya enacted this week the law regulating political parties in the country. We have been waiting for this law for so long since Gaddaffi banned political parties in the 70s.

I haven't read the text of the law yet but according to the news  parties with a regional, Islamist or tribal agenda could be the big losers if this law is upheld.

"Libya has banned parties that have a religious, tribal or regional platform. Parties are also banned from receiving any foreign funding."

When I read this piece of news a couple of days ago ( 24 April) I was actually skeptic that the NTC would approve such 'harsh' measures In fact I was a incredulous and waiting for the 'reply' to this 'slap' and I wake up today to these news :

"The High Court in Benghazi was bombed in the early hours of the morning, Friday. Seven other explosions were reported across the city shortly afterwards." [source]

Although the article postulates that the  "bombings are seen as connected with the abortive attempt by unknown gunmen to storm Benghazi’s central prison nine hours earlier" , I believe that there might be some sort of   link to this law whereby federalists and Islamist parties would rightfully feel cheated.

Though I don't support either tendencies I would still not marginalize them but rather  allow them a democratic platform to voice their demands in the new Libya and let the 'best' one win. Either we Libyans vote wisely and get on with our life or we learn from our mistakes.  

Now if I want to play Murphy's law and take this even further I would say the law was announced like this on purpose to increase popularity for the regional, tribal and religious parties because of the outcry they would make or to gather sympathy for them. That would really be a plot worthy of Machiavelli :) 

But we Libyans have learned from Grand Master Gaddaffi himself in terms of twisted thinking and even Highlander is not immune to this !

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Libya: on the precipice of a civil war?

A number of Libyan cities and regions have been angry and disappointed by the  NTC and the interim government and also by their compatriots from other regions, first some of them called for federalism as I mentioned in my previous post and now one is  threatening secession .

" [If the NTC]  comes and discusses and negotiate with us  we might reach some agreement and if they say no then we will try to close our borders and defend our revolution then we will create a separate state in this region"

The video is not a translation as the interview was made in English, but I may have misunderstood the statement as the interviewee is not a native English speaker ? also it's a one minute clip so no idea what was said before or after so cannot judge but the statement sounded pretty strong and I cannot judge what is the percentage of the population that backs it up.

One down more to go ?wondering if the fight for Libya is already lost and if the Gaddafi curse is proving correct after all?

Is it a surprise? no

No further comments at the moment from my side, need to reflect more on this.

Thoughts are welcome of course

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dismantling Libya one region and city at a time ?

Not fully back yet but this is a quick post on some very serious stuff going on in Libya

This is huge and again for anyone being oversensitive I am not talking about federalism just wondering what is up because after these two events

Libyan tribal leaders have unilaterally declared nearly half of the oil-rich east of the country to be semi-autonomous in a move that opponents fear is the first step towards a carve-up of Libya six months after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. [source]

A Libyan tribe threatened Wednesday to declare a separate state in Libya's south after days of bloody battles with a rival tribe, the second such move toward secession this month. [source]

More and more of these articles encouraging separatist movements are  popping up in the media and I find this disturbing.
I'm not going to discuss pros and cons of federalism in this post and I am aware that federalism does not mean secession but if we don't wake to the machinations of the wolves in all parts of Libya and outside Libya there will  no Libya anymore, what a waste of life ! 

Update  March 30 :

"The Amazigh demonstrators were demanding a specific Jebel Nafusa constituency. They claimed that the NTC was continuing to marginalise them." [source]

Basically we are seeing all the un-addressed fault lines in Libya unraveling  .... something needs to be done!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Libya and the unreachable and dwindling defrosted and frozen assets

"Efforts to release overseas assets tied to the Qaddafi regime have proved complicated and controversial. Releasing the assets will be both politically and legally complicated, because the frozen funds include investments and property owned by private individuals, such as members of Qaddafi's family. Not only has the new Libyan leadership claimed all the frozen funds as its own but American victims of Qaddafi-era terrorism have also clamored for compensation from the assets. [source ]

So President Obama just extended the sanctions on Libyan assets effectively delay business and payments etc..... but I don't think anyone was surprised reallly, it would have been too good to be true if  the money or whatever was in the assets was returned to Libya. First of all who has a legitimate claim to pick it up? I'm happy that no Libyan crooks would get their hands on it. But I don't think anyone of the Libyan people will ever see it again. It's a spoil of war and that is fashionable in the Libyan war of 2011 :P

My understanding is that the American victims of Qaddafi era terrorism have received their compensation why do they want more ? who are the other victims ? was this not settled? can people stop digging these old stories. Gaddafi is dead  I don't think any new Libyan government should be held at the barrel of a gun of the crazy past.

These assets are what the country is counting  on so as not be in debt and help with rebuilding...

In the same article the author states :
"the situation in Libya continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and we need to protect against this threat "

Why is Libya a threat? it is a war ravaged country .... don't understand the posturing.
It shows there is something fomenting, we hope it is nice and not devastating to the Libyan people ! 

Wherever Libya is turning it's head  it's assets are either still under sanctions or in a black hole ( like the sovereign funds ) or supposedly released in a way that makes them useless though I am aware of the level of corruption in Libya which is appalling and embarrassing  so I can understand the foreign countries  are looking to protect Libyans? 
Also who would blame them for keeping unclaimed assets  etc.... there is recession at their door every where  you turn around.  

Meanwhile the fabled Libyan assets are 'dwindling'

I have not read the executive order so no idea when does this renewal end  maybe it's just until we have an elected government ? 

update 2 am : just read it and this is what it says :

"Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13566."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Libya: February 17 one year anniversary

Today we celebrate the first anniversary of the Libyan 2011 revolution.

Libyans and non Libyans have spontaneously overtaken the streets all over Libyan cities to celebrate their hard earned freedom.

We do not forget those who made this day possible, the martyrs of both genders, and the assistance received from other countries be they those who used their war machines like NATO countries at our service  ( including the US) or those who accepted the refugees from Libya or those countries which provided aid and support from the Arab League  and the rest of the world.

I realise  that without the oil, other natural resources and potential business in terms of rebuilding and Libya really being one of the last virgin territories economically less countries would have been willing to interfer ( look at Syria  no oil = veto)  But that's fine we have made it and are grateful to everyone no matter how small their contribution has been.

Since last evening there has been one big party in Libya with so many initiatives, no official party from the interim government in deference to the lives lost ...  if you want to see what is happening go on Twitter and check Libya or go on Aljazeera they are broadcasting live...

Now I'm off to celebrate too, more acid posts will be left for another time :)

Viva free Libya 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A prophetic nightmare or just a dream in Libya?

With the uncharted rolling power cuts that we have been having in Tripoli for over a month now it's been disruptive to planning your day/evening and work, so sometimes you just have to manage ad hoc and take your naps when you can and finish some late work when you can too.

For example you are planning to work on  a report after dinner and when the house is quiet only to be 'surprised' by the electricity going off at 8 pm, since it won't be back before 11 pm at least and it's cold and you'rw freezing, there is not much to do really except go to bed.

That's why I'm awake now at  3 am, I slept from  8 pm till midnight when the electricity returned and then I played catch up with emails and such. But that's not the story....

While I  fell asleep, I started dreaming that I was having difficulty swallowing and something was choking me in my throat; so in the dream I'm there poking my fingers inside my mouth trying to find the obstruction. Moving around I discover a string which I start to pull at with both my hands just like a floss string that I'm pulling out of my throat it seems. I feel better each time a section of it is coming out and it's really long, black and full of dripping mucus, this keeps going apparently for hours in the dream as I'm aware of monitoring the process with a wall clock, until finally I kind of hit rock bottom with this and the string is pulling at something in my throat and this part is now painful so I look in the mirror to try assess what is it that is stuck to the string only to find out that it is woven or pierced into the uvula in my throat ( believe me I had to check this term online as I never knew it although from numerous Tom and Jerry shows I knew what it was supposed to look like :P ).
In the dream, when I see this I know that I can no longer remove this string on my own and will need some type or surgical assistance, just like removal of a piercing but I have the fear of loosing the string if I put what's left of it back in my mouth. I'm already gagging at the thought.. so I cut the string to a manageable lenght about a metre and leave it hanging out of my mouth and simply continue freaking about how did I ever get into this kind of situation anyway...and I wake up when the lights in my room are back because the electricity in real life is back!

Would anyone care to offer any interpretation ? Can't be an indigestion can it ? it's too vivid

Monday, January 23, 2012

Harsh realities make some Libyans evoke the Gaddafi era with fondness

Traffic jams are gigantic nowadays in Tripoli, so what I do to avoid getting stuck in one in the morning is park my car and walk the remaining distance to the office. It really saves time and frustration and of course good exercise :P

Classes usually start between 8.15 and 8.30 am and I can see busy parents rushing by with their children. Today I noticed a large crowd in front of a primary school and the fathers were gesticulating angrily and actively discussing some issue.  It is worth nothing that public schools officially started on January 7 after about one year of disruption caused by the war that gripped the country; but the situation has not been ideal as not all Libyan school children are back to school as planned. There are some displaced in camps with their families in awful situations and others living in the destroyed cities that saw the most fighting after the liberation of Tripoli while others have their schools turned into refugee camps etc..

So I approached to see what was it that caught the  attention of the parents  on the notice board outside the school gate. It was an announcement about reduced school hours due to lack of teachers and school books.

The men were causing quite a commission and I overhead some of them saying "what have we gained from this revolution? the first things that has gone out of the window are safety,  health and education. It was better in Moammar's era at least things were functioning and schools were organised. He  must be laughing at us in his grave and if he could talk would have said I told you so!!!"  The guy was obviously very upset because for 3 weeks now schools have been yo yoing back and forth  and people are worried about the future of their children. The security situation though not at war is very difficult  one with people armed to the teeth and trigger happy. As for health, knowing what health was before you know that now it is a hopeless case so many would sympathise with the sentiments and statements of this individual without necessarily being Gaddaffi fans or  remnants of his regime. This is the feeling expressed by ordinary people on the streets after the euphoria of the revolution has  subsided, the harsh realities of a post-conflict state are hitting home those most vulnerable among us and making them almost miss Gaddafi who now seems like a 'benevolent dictator'.

If interim government and qualified Libyans do not get a grip on things I'm afraid that the goodwill of Libyans will be lost, the martyr's blood would have gone in vain and  we either start a new civil war or will turn into another  Khalifate.

Today's post is pessimistic, hopefully next time there will be a more positive outlook !

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Libya: we will not forget our brave ! .... will we ?

An initiative has been launched  on Facebook to commemorate the heroes and heroines of  Libya, from 1969 till  the end of the war of 2011.

This definition includes the fallen martyrs, the injured, the imprisoned  and of course the missing.

Great idea to celebrate and honour these people's sacrifices ! However, where do our raped women  stand? they have sacrificed too for Libya and their blood is just as precious and should not go in vain.

Males have been raped too, but females have it harder and are unable to reintegrate into society ( if they have survived the experience).

We need to  acknowledge their sacrifice and give them medals of honour too! This would be one step towards helping remove the wrong stigma associated with 'dishonour and/or  loss of virginity' which was absolutely none of their fault.