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From the Rock

"No Arab has superiority over a non-Arab, and no non-Arab has superiority over an Arab. No white person has superiority over a black person, and no black person has superiority over a white person. No man has superiority over a woman, and no woman has su

Last Build Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2017 07:54:46 +0000


Still alive in Libya on my 10th anniversary

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:27:00 +0000

Thank you all that still read me for sending emails. I am well just very busy surviving in Libya post Freedom. It's very hard trust me and very confusing. I will try to update but no promises there is  just so much stuff going on.

I do miss my blog , ten years and 2 months ago I started blogging. Cannot believe the time has passed so fast.


From 2011 to 2013

Fri, 15 Feb 2013 16:52:00 +0000

This is what I wrote in February 2011.

"I am terrified that when all the ashes from the uprisings that are consuming us settle down we become blinded by the celebratory mood and find ourselves having exchanged one agenda for another whose nature would be like an octopus: soft but with many slippery tentacles.This is not me being a conspiracy theorist, but those familiar with my writing know that I am a big fan of the Realism school in international relations where national interest and security reign king probably with large dollops of personal interest ( that's my addition to the theory :P ).
I don't want to dampen anyone's euphoria but I'm afraid that we will rush in where angels fear to thread. Everybody is feverishly planning and we should not be caught unaware. So to all those involved in state building or re-building; can you please watch out for the wolves in lamb clothes." [source]

 What do you think ? how does it look with hindsight?

Travel advice to Libya: catastrophic

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 13:52:00 +0000

The latest travel advice to Libya makes even me who live there to be scared to travel in Libya

"We advise against all but essential travel to Tripoli, Zuwara, Az Zawiya, al Khums, Zlitan and Misrata, and the coastal towns from Ras Lanuf to the Egyptian Border, with the exception of Benghazi. We advise against all travel to all other areas of Libya, including Benghazi."

You can read the rest here

The current situation in Libya

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 22:12:00 +0000

One very smart young lady who had to flee Libya AFTER it became free has summarized the situation superbly well for us.

"while fighting each other and calling each other Jerdan & Tahaleb, (the crocodiles-Islamist) were so busy in organizing their selves, attacking cities or kidnapping people and call them Tahaleb so Rats will celebrate their achievement, and now the Crocodiles are dominating Libya, not because Libyans voted for them, but because they have weapons, in Libya now the power for the people who have weapons , thus there is no democracy, it is chaos" [source]

I urge you to read her post if you want to know what happened after we had been declared a liberated land.

My friend Iraqispirit once said back in November 2011 but you are now a country where extremist  will run free; and I told him no Libyans are not like that we do abhor fundamentalists and do not want dictatorships especially of the religious theocracy kind. But I sincerely believe given all the manipulations, egos, selfishness shown by many Libyans especially those who have been dreaming for decades to get to power that we are on the brink of the Islamic Emirate of Libyastan with the world's blessing and help as long as oil flows....I can't blame anyone but Libyan complacency. Any one trying to stop this train is being pushed under the railway tracks.

I endured 40 years of Gaddafi and did not want to leave my country, I did not want to be  a refugee during the war and now it breaks my heart that I may have to consider the option of leaving because I may not have another 40 years to live and wait for better times. It will be so unlike Highlander to do so but trust me it is easier to reason with Gaddafi it seems then with the new masters :)

Hoping 2013 will make the great promise glimpsed at the end of 2011 true

Signing off

Decades of Missing Libyans and History

Sun, 11 Nov 2012 10:28:00 +0000

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.

Obama's second term and the "Arab Spring"

Wed, 07 Nov 2012 10:36:00 +0000

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]

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

Tue, 30 Oct 2012 18:54:00 +0000

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.[...]

Making History: Libyans against extremism

Sat, 22 Sep 2012 09:46:00 +0000

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 !

Honoring the fallen Americans in Libya

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 11:12:00 +0000

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.

RIP to American martyrs in Libya

Wed, 12 Sep 2012 15:20:00 +0000

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.

The evisceration of Libya

Wed, 29 Aug 2012 00:21:00 +0000

[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.

Tomb Raider Libyan style

Mon, 27 Aug 2012 00:17:00 +0000

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.

A new kind of fear in Libya

Sun, 26 Aug 2012 01:17:00 +0000

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

Freedom for whom in Libya?

Sun, 12 Aug 2012 10:08:00 +0000

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 ?

Libya's first general election

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 22:25:00 +0000

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 ?

PTSD in Libya

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 17:45:00 +0000

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.

Shooting 'terrorists' a new form of Tourism

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 15:30:00 +0000

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 !

The ghostly Saif Al Islam Gaddafi ?

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 15:13:00 +0000

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.

Convoluted conspiracy or total stupidity?

Mon, 28 May 2012 14:53:00 +0000

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.

sidebar update

Sat, 05 May 2012 17:40:00 +0000

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

Freedom of Speech blown to smithereens in Libya

Fri, 04 May 2012 16:28:00 +0000

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 ?

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

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 19:24:00 +0000

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 ![...]

Libya: on the precipice of a civil war?

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:46:00 +0000

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

Dismantling Libya one region and city at a time ?

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:42:00 +0000

Not fully back yet but this is a quick post on some very serious stuff going on in LibyaThis 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![...]

Coming back soon

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 21:50:00 +0000

Have not posted for ages this is just a break I'll be back soon :)