Stories about Libya

Previously ‘The Arab Spring’, now ‘The Faulty Revolution Bandwagon’

I was once asked by my professor to give a few examples of modern day revolutions. Without pondering for a fraction of a second, I quoted the famous Arab Spring which included a change of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya along with a bloody civil war which is still in progress in Syria. The Arab Spring was an inspiration to many including myself both, in and outside the Middle East. So inspired was I that I even wrote a blog a couple of years ago praising the revolution and change in Egypt which resulted from the Arab Spring. However, it was not ...

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11 minutes to Karachi Central Jail: Another Taliban and al Qaeda jailbreak in the making?

“We pledge to God that we will spare no effort to free all our prisoners.”  An Islamic website posted a 22-minutes audio recording by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in July of 2013. Since then we have seen four successful jailbreaks, orchestrated by the al Qaeda, in Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen. The Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan have formed a new organisation called ‘Ansar al Aseer’ (supporters of prisoners), that is specifically designed to free prisoners and support their families. Here is a list of jailbreaks accomplished by the al Qaeda in recent times: Date Freed Dead/Injured Location 2013-07-21 500 50+/unknown Abu Ghraib and Taji, Iraq 2013-07-27 1,117 Unknown Benghazi, Libya 2013-07-29 250 12/8 Dera Ismail Khan,Pakistan 2014-02-13 29 10/unknown Sana’a, Yemen All al Qaeda linked jailbreaks follow ...

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Are Qaddafi’s killers better than him?

I had a long day at work and was so tired that I hit the bed as soon as I reached home, missing all the updates on Qaddafi’s death that were aired whilst I slumbered. And as I came to work this morning, my colleague showed me some pictures of his body coming in from wire services. I was shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I saw his mutilated face, the small tunnel he was hiding in and people celebrating his death on the roads. It was depressing. Although I was never his supporter and condemned his dictatorship, what ...

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Qaddafi: From hero to devil

The late Moamer Qaddafi was regarded a hero in Libya till the uprising started against his regime in February this year. People respected him as one of their spiritual and even revolutionary leaders. Nobody in Libya thought even in their wildest dreams that one day Qaddafi would not only be removed from power, but also killed ruthlessly and that too at the hands of Libyans themselves. Early on Thursday, Qaddafi was killed when new regime forces launched a final assault on his home town Sirte. The former dictator was wounded as he tried to flee the scene, with injuries to his head and legs. Video footage showed his bloodied body ...

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Qaddafi certainly made life interesting

In Qaddafi we have lost not only a despot but also one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. Call him eccentric, idiosyncratic or an oddity; yet the satisfaction of finding le mot juste will elude you. The problem here is not with Qaddafi, it’s with these words: none of them can do justice to the personality of ‘the mad dog of Middle East’. Only if there was a word which could sum up his callousness, clownery, perversity and political maturity, many could die happy. The only competition that Qaddafi had was His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi ...

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Libya — beginning of the end

As the gunfire reaches Colonel Qaddafi’s compound, it seems as though ‘the end is near’ for the longest serving dictator in the modern world. However, since neither was this a Libyan-led nor a Libyan-owned war, one may argue that this is only just the beginning of the end. When we might get to see Qaddafi creep out of his compound or get killed in the process cannot be foretold; however the situation in Libya does seem to be more fluid and ‘complacency,’ a by-product of winning the war, may get the better of everyone. As his regime fades into the background ...

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Arab Spring: What now?

The buzzword in the Arab world nowadays is ‘change’. There has been a shift from criticising the Israel-Palestinian issue to protesting against internal state hegemony. The Arab Spring is not over yet. Tahrir square is protesting again. Tunisia and Libya are both unsettled and there are ever more crackdowns across Syria. King Hamad of Bahrain will be addressing his nation today. And, women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have taken to the wheels. Historically, this change, among others, was due. Socio-economic development in the region and the unjust polarisation of economic wealth across the spectrum, in the Gulf ...

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Muslim immigrants: A cold shoulder for a bad reputation

After the great Messina, another tsunami has embarked on the shores of Italy. But this time, it is not water that is causing problems. 26,000 immigrants belonging mainly to Tunisia and Libya have arrived on the island of Lampedusa – a number larger than the total population of the island. Earlier, Italy had taken responsibility for 20,000 immigrants. As the immigrants keep pouring onto the shores of Italy, it is looking towards neighbouring Schengen countries to lend a helping hand. The Italian government has decided to issue a six month Schengen visa to these immigrants, a move that has given jitters to the ...

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Qaddafi 1, Libyan opposition 0

While the US, the UK, France, Germany and other western allies have done all they could to oust Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi, they have failed. In fact, if anything, the dictator, who has been in charge of the North African country for close to four decades is nowhere close to relinquishing his position. In this, he has shown himself to be far more resilient than Hosni Mubarak and this may be slightly ironic given that the protesters off Libya got their inspiration in large part from their counterparts in Egypt. However, unlike in the case of Egypt, the US saw in Libya ...

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Ripples of liberation: Will Libya and Bahrain go Egypt’s way?

The Egyptian army had to face a choice when people took to the streets against a three-decade-long autocratic rule:  make a change or gun down your own people. Both options worked against the repressive regime; shooting its own people would have further diminished their legitimacy, while allowing a democratic transition would effectively end their power circle. Eventually, history was made. The liberated Egyptians walked tall; the corrupt leader succumbed to the power of the masses. The dream of democracy now seems not too far. However, history, as glorious as it seems to be for the Egyptians, reveals that democratic transitions whether ...

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