UPDATED | And the truth shall soon be known: Mis/Dis-information and Libya
As I was drifting off to sleep last night I was abruptly awoken by a barrage of gunfire and shouts of 'Allah Akbar' coming from all directions. My children, who were all still awake, ran out to see what was happening while my husband who was sitting in the TV room immediately started searching the news channels for information. There were unconfirmed reports that Motasem Kadafy had been captured trying to flee Sirte and had been taken to Benghazi. I got up to watch the news, hoping that they would show video or at the very least some pictures - but there was nothing. Finally I went to bed.
In the morning the reports still had not been confirmed. I watched a bit of the news and searched news websites for information but found no new information. Patience, patience, soon enough the truth will be known!
Libya is awash in misinformation and disinformation. Today, in my blog's email I received an interesting letter from someone in Malaysia who is searching for the truth in some interesting 'facts' that someone had sent him about the 'charitable' former leader of Libya. After having a good laugh I decided to post his letter in it's entirety on my blog and let my readers answer his questions. Please feel free to comment!
Here's the email:
I sighted your blog while searching for some facts about Libyan life. Recently I received an email about Col Gaddafi and am wondering if it is at all true? Could you help verify?
Below is the email :-
The international media, influenced by the Americans, has successfully painted Gaddafi as a hard-core dictator, tyrant or whatever you want to call him. However, the media as usual has also failed to show the kind, giving Gaddafi we never heard of. Gaddafi unlike most dictators has managed to show his humane side, the very side we dream of seeing in other dictators. I consider Libyans lucky to a certain extent and one wonders with the new democratic rule they cry for will it improve or worsen life for them. Yes, Gaddafi has spent millions of Libya`s money on personal ventures but is the average Libyan poor? We know others who take a country and destroy it until you feel like there is no hope of restoring this country… looting some prefer to call it. Did Gaddafi loot Libya in any way?
Now let us get to the unknown facts about the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:
1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans
given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
3. Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.
6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick-start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US$2,300/mth accommodation and car allowance.
8. In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child receive US$5,000
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
Which other dictator has done so much good for his people?
Well, are these so-called facts true, my friend?
BTW, keep up the gud work with ur blog.
*** UPDATE ***
Thanks for all the interesting comments about the misinformation that is circulating about Moamar Kadafi's charitable achievements.... NOT
It seems other bloggers in the Libyan blogosphere have also been inundated with requests to explain these most interesting facts. There is an excellent explanation to all of the above mentioned on Ema's blog: Gadaffi Myths Thanks Ema for putting that together!