Blog archive: Libya

  • 3rd March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    During my first and only visit to Libya, in 2004, I came across a book entitled "Libya and the XXI Century". Since copies were on offer free of charge and the author was Gaddafi's playboy son,  Saif al-Islam, I decided to take one. Inside the front cover it says:  "Taken from a...
  • 2nd March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The tribal dimension in the Libyan uprising has not received much attention so far – probably because hardly anyone outside the country knows much about it. It certainly is a factor, but how big a factor is still unclear. Several recent articles cast a bit more light on the...
  • 18th January 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Almanara, the Libyan opposition website whose disappearance I reported yesterday, is now back on line and saying that it was attacked by Gaddafi's security people. Al-Jazeera has a storyabout it (in Arabic). Besides declaring his support for the ousted Tunisian president...
  • 17th January 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday, I noted that a Libyan opposition website, Almanara, had posted videos showing disturbances in Libya during the last few days. After that, something odd happened: the website disappeared. Trying to access Almanara this morning, I simply got an error message. Conceivably...
  • 16th January 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Just two days after the overthrow of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, videos are circulating of disturbances in neighbouring Libya. Needless to say, this is causing a good deal of excitement on Twitter. Colonel Gaddafi has been in power for almost 42 years, compared with a mere 23 for Ben Ali. In...
  • 6th December 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    After a year's withdrawal from the political scene, Coionel Qadhafi's second-eldest son, Saif al-Islam, made a triumphant return to the spotlight in August last year with the homecoming of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Two months later, he was appointed...
  • 9th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More signs of political in-fighting in Libya. Twenty journalists working for al-Ghad publishing company – run by Colonel Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam – have been arrested by the Internal Security Agency during the last few days, though according to AFP, the Libyan leader has now ordered...
  • 6th November 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Colonel Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, has become the latest victim of censorship in Libya. Printing of his weekly newspaper, Oea, has been suspended after it called for a "final assault" on government corruption. The suspension order came from prime minister Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, though...
  • 15th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It was only last week that Colonel Gadafy pleaded with Libyan officials to help find a proper job for his 37-year-old son, Saif al-Islam. Well, as luck would have it, a job has now turned up. The title is "coordinator of social and popular committees" which sounds modest but...
  • 12th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Just when the fuss over Unesco’s rejection of Egypt’s culture minister seemed to be dying down, Libya has entered the fray. It is threatening to boycott the organisation if Bulgarian diplomat Irina Bokova is formally installed as its head on October 15. "Libya does not agree with the...
  • 21st September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "Drawing upon the influences of Lacroix, Liberace, Phil Spector (for hair), Snoopy, and Idi Amin, Libya’s leader – now in his 60s – is simply the most unabashed dresser on the world stage." I must admit I don't normally take much interest in Vanity Fair, so thanks to the Arabist blog ...
  • 1st September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Today is the 40th anniversary of the revolution that brought the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamarihyya (officially abbreviated to the Great Splaj) into being – which makes Col Gadafy the longest-surviving Arab leader (a year longer than Sultan Qaboos in Oman). On a visit to...

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