Friday, October 21, 2011

Where Were You The Day Kadafy Met His End?

Yesterday marked the end of an era, the end of Kadafy. I was sitting at my desk getting some things ready for work when I heard guns going off in my neighbourhood, and the sound of a young boy shouting in the distance. 'Allah Akbar! God is great! Kadafy is dead! Kadafy is dead!' At first I just sat and listenened, not sure if what I was hearing was real. Then I called out to my daughters to switch the TV on to the news. Sure enough, they were reporting that there were unconfirmed reports that Kadafy was dead. 

Pictures! Videos! Show us some proof! 

Soon enough a still shot was presented on Aljazeera English and it was soon followed by mobile phone video footage of Kadafy's blood spattered body. By then the entire country had erupted into crazed euphoria. Guns were blasting away, horns were blaring, people could be heard shouting out 'Allah Akbar!' Someone went to our neighbourhood mosque and was shouting over the microphones, but he was soon replaced by a recording of the takbir played on a constant loop. 

I tried to call my husband but the phone service was so clogged by users calling all at once that it shut down temporarily. He finally managed to get through to me and told me not to leave the house as the celebratory gunfire was dangerous, and traffic in and around the city was so jammed it was hard to move around the city anyway. 

I got a text message from OTE that said 'Ding dong the witch is dead!' a phrase taken from a song from the movie 'The Wizard of Oz'. Within a few seconds the same message was sent again, and again, and again, every few minutes. AlMadar's sms service was going berzerk but it was so funny that it was this same message that kept being sent to me. It was as if AlMadar was sending me a singing telegram..... 

'Ding dong the witch is dead, Ding dong the witch is dead, Ding dong the witch is dead, Ding dong the witch is dead' 

I started laughing and singing the song out loud. And I wasn't alone -  Everyone in my house was either laughing, singing, shouting 'Allah Akbar' or dancing. Some of us doing all of them at once! It was as if we'd all gone crazy. This must be the hallucinatory drugs Kadafy had talked about! His death was like a drug - a happy, euphoric drug! And we were all high on it.

After a while the noise in my neighbourhood died down, most likely because everyone had gone inside to watch the news on TV. The internet turned to a crawl as everyone with internet access attempted to download the emerging news footage and videos that were hitting the web faster than the television news services could televise them.

When my husband came home I suggested we have a celebratory meal of bourdeam (meat smoked in an underground pit) with rice and salad. The meat had been marinating and was ready. So that got us away from the television for a while. But when our meal was ready we ate in front of the TV - glued to the news, watching images and video of Kadafy and his son Motesem and listening to everyone speculate as they reported the news. All the while the whole town continued to honk their car horns and shoot off guns. Soon there were even fireworks showering the sky with beautiful colour and light shows.

We all felt so happy to see the end of Kadafy. It's hard to explain the way we felt. Like walking on cloud nine, like walking on air, like having a huge weight removed from our hearts. Euphoria is a good word but how to describe it because you won't know euphoria until you're struck by it. 

We stayed up until late watching TV and checking the news on the internet. Finally we decided to go to bed. 

In the morning we packed up our breakfast picnic and headed out the door for our Friday drive. In some areas the streets were coated with a layer of bullet casings from last night's celebrations. We headed toward Bab Al Azizia. In the past week the walls surrounding Kadafy's old compound had been bulldozed. But there were still many people arriving to have a look at what remained. 

The bulldozed wall surrounding Bab Al Azizia
A flea market had been set up in front of Kadafy's bombed out house and people were buying and selling their wares under the hot morning sun. One section had been turned into a pet market and people were gathering around to look at the dogs on display.  

The Friday morning flea market in front of Kadafy's bombed out house.
Kadafy is gone. Some people think it's a shame that he's not alive to face justice. But I think Libya's wasted enough time on him - forty-two years is long enough. It's time to look toward the future. Libyans have a long road ahead of them. I am so proud that I was here to witness this day in history. 


The view of downtown Tripoli from the broken walls of Bab Al Azizia.



17 comments:

  1. The Rat is Dead
    -----------------------

    We started a peaceful protest in Spring day
    Tyrant faced us with bullets to push us way
    We decided that he must go & we will stay

    42 years of tyranny terror and bloodshed
    With a bullet to his chest & one to his head
    Libyans celebrate and the dictator is dead

    We cleansed our Libya from the stench
    With bravery we liberated it inch by inch

    We turned the world’s attention to our way
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    Celebrate, enjoy and lift your head high
    With our strength we will reach the sky

    Salute our red, black & green every day
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    Beloved Libyans shake off the old shackles
    We got a load of work a head of us to tackle

    With the smell of freedom blown our way
    On every beach, mountain, valley & bay
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    ----------------------------------------
    By: mahnud abudaber
    Revised Oct, 21, 2011

    ReplyDelete
  2. My name is Max and I am writing to you from Boston.

    I am thriled to know that Libya is starting a new chapter in it's history. But it's unfortunately very sad to realize people in libya celebrate the torturing of a human being.

    First and foremost, I know your religion forbiddens killing of any criminal unless ordered by a judge. In this scenario, killing of Gaddafi was completely wrong.

    On the other hand, Gaddafi was accountable before every citizen, so it seems rather unfair to see one group of people take revenge on behalf of everyone in the country.

    Question: Why do you think we dont kill each other here in America? It's because we are smart enough to know killing is bad!

    ReplyDelete
  3. alsalam alaykom
    i went shoping for a dress in gergaresh when i walked to a shop and then i wached the news in tv that alqaddafi was cought in surt
    i start screeming in the shop , and there were so much gunshots people jumping laughing don't know how i bought a dress and then went home with my mum , i found my sister screaming we huged and start jumpig like crazy , then we went out to tripoli university to pick up my siser
    we singed ,screemed and even cryed it was ....
    wow
    by the way i love you're blog i've been reading for like 2 hours now

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great pictures! Nice to see the walls down, and the paranoid delusional dictator has gone forever! I think it's great you are in Libya with all this happening, you will never forget. Hope to visit Libya someday, this time with my dad, who could not go for fear of being labelled a 'stray dog' and who knows what could have happened? Inshallah he will be free to visit as he wishes now, and I want to see what a free Libya looks like, without Gaddafi's face plastered everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm still in shock. I know what you meant when you said that you couldn't describe your feelings.Mabrook to all of us. Mabrook to Libya. And I LOVE the last picture!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It was a weird day! I didn't believe it was possible until the video came out, he has become almost superhuman in our imagination like a zombie/vampire/ghoula rolled into one kept thinking he would plague Libya for years making the state buliding even harder than his 42 years systematic desctruction and deliberate chaos plus divide and rule has already made it.

    Once we saw the video we put the Aseeda pot on for our celebratory meal :) We had dessert before dinner

    ReplyDelete
  7. I deleted a few comments by mistake... blogger puts the publish button too close to the delete button and I hit it hen I'm blogging on my phone.I dug the missing comments out of my email... here they are:



    Dunia has left a new comment on your post "Where Were You The Day Kadafy Met His End?":

    It was a weird day! I didn't believe it was possible until the video came out, he has become almost superhuman in our imagination like a zombie/vampire/ghoula rolled into one kept thinking he would plague Libya for years making the state buliding even harder than his 42 years systematic desctruction and deliberate chaos plus divide and rule has already made it.

    Once we saw the video we put the Aseeda pot on for our celebratory meal :) We had dessert before dinner


    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Where Were You The Day Kadafy Met His End?":

    My name is Max and I am writing to you from Boston.

    I am thriled to know that Libya is starting a new chapter in it's history. But it's unfortunately very sad to realize people in libya celebrate the torturing of a human being.

    First and foremost, I know your religion forbiddens killing of any criminal unless ordered by a judge. In this scenario, killing of Gaddafi was completely wrong.

    On the other hand, Gaddafi was accountable before every citizen, so it seems rather unfair to see one group of people take revenge on behalf of everyone in the country.

    Question: Why do you think we dont kill each other here in America? It's because we are smart enough to know killing is bad!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Max... maybe you need to be reminded about Afghanistan and Iraq to name two countries where Americans have done plenty of killing.

    And let's not forget the plight of Osama Bin Ladin... I do believe America took the pleasure of killing him too. So please don't give me any BS about America being smart enough to know that killing is bad.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was on the street in my current country of displacement when my phone rang. It was someone telling me the breaking news about Gaddafi's capture and possible death ( about 1 pm ). I was too far from internet or any TV or news outlet ironically until the evening. But all through this I kept receiving congratulations text messages and phone calls.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such a powerful post. I had a tear in my eye reading this, your emotion really comes through. I'm so glad he's gone

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am wondering if you are still as happy today now that you will be under Sharia Law? I am genuinely curious if that's what you thought would happen with your newfound "freedom" & if it is what the general populace want.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It certainly does not bode well for the future of Libya when those that claim they respect human rights and rule of law lynch a man and celebrate his brutal end. I know that some say 'eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth', but that ends up leaving everyone blind and toothless.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I was spending my day on Büyükada island in the Marmaris Sea in a haze of fever. While leaving the yacht on arrival, somebody told me Gadaffi was dead. My initial response was: "I don´t believe that. Show me the body." - The recent chaotic news broadcast from the TNC had been sporadically false several times, so I did not believe this, until I had some conformation from a trustable Western media or at least saw pictures of his dead body.
    A few hours later, when boarding the yacht again to leave the island, the same person told me: "It has been confirmed, he is dead, they are showing pictures now all over the news." Unfortunately, I had no internet access or TV on the boat, so I had to be patient; only my thoughts kept turning around in my mind.

    On the trip back to Istanbul, I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life; the sky was all red, the sea was dark blue and the sun was huge and golden.
    As the sun disappeared below the horizon, I understood that somehow a certain time in history had come to its end. The Gaddafi era was over. Ahead lies a future of both uncertainty and hope. I thought a lot about what would happen now.

    Back in the city I turned on the Internet to get all the inside information and watch the news footage and the pictures myself.
    It was appalling to se a lynch mob drag Gaddafi to the car, humiliating him and finally watching him die. Despite what crimes he might have carried out, this is not the way of true Muslim mujahideen to act that way. Allah´s last messenger, Allah´s peace and mercy upon him, never taught us to behave like this to our enemies.

    I remembered the film "Lion of the Desert" when the Libyan fighters came upon the atrocities committed by the Italian army, and they caught one Italian soldier. The mob wanted to kill him as revenge, but Omar al-Mokhtar gave him the Italian flagg in his hand and told his angry people: "They (the Italians) are not our teachers."
    This scene came into my mind when I saw the lynchmob finishing Gaddafi´s life in front of a couple of cell phones that day.

    I understood the anger of people in a group, thirsting for revenge, letting go of reason and faith. How easy it is for men to become animals and how much we need as human beings to cling to the teachings of our faith in order to survive as human beings in a world full of primitive emotions and hate.
    I was also nervous about the future of Libya; is the TNC really in safe control of Libya and all the weapons in the hands of everybody, when the TNC couldn´t even control the apprehension of an important former political figure? What kind of society will Libya turn into, if the TNC isn´t able to take charge of all the armed gangs in Libya?

    Most of all I wondered: should I be relieved or worried about the way Gaddafi met his end? No matter how many times I turned the news around; it always came back to me saying: this was wrong! Lynching somebody, anybody, is wrong!

    It was a strange day for me; it felt like growing up, becoming adult for the first time through realizing there is such a thin line between good and evil. Sometime so much, that good and evil begins to mix up.

    In the end, character begins with ourselves. We are the ones who decide ourselves, if we become Gaddafi, or if we let others become Gaddafi. Nothing in this dunya happens unless we want it to happen. The choice is ours, and it seems mankind keeps making wrong choices all the time.

    I was neither happy nor sad when I watched the death of Gaddafi. But his death wont be undone, past is past, and the dead (no matter who they are and what they have done) have left our world; rather we the living should strive to make a better world, be better than the ones before us.

    My duas go to the Libyan people; may they stay united as brothers, and may their future turn out better than their past.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Khadija,
    It was my birthday so i was out with friends shopping and we were planning on having lunch afterwards... i got the news when i was about to pay for some clothes in a chain store in Gergaresh... the store was buzzing and all people talking to each other even strangers were exchanging information... then i got a call from my dad telling me the Sirt has been liberated and that they might have captured G... so i the lunch was cancled and we headed back.. this was aroun 13:00 pm i arrived at home around 15:30 pm ,, but it was the time of my life we merged into the happy joyful people in the streets, in my car honking and starting all the car lights and recording the joy in the street with people spraying Zhar and giving out free water n candy and some people actually took the liberty of printing out a photo of G in his blood for the people on the streets to see as they were no where near any tvs. it was amazing and by the time i reached home my car honker wasn't working anymore... eh what do you say.. price of joy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm delighted to have found your blog, wish I had found it a bit sooner. As an expat American in Tunisia, I followed the Revolution in Tunisia and then paid close attention to the news from Libya. Now we must pray for Syria and Yemen. May Libyans finally be able to construct their country peacefully and in freedom. I am thankful that Tunisia's elections have taken place calmly so far. There's a long, bumpy road ahead, all the same.
    best, nadia

    ReplyDelete
  16. KhadijaTeri, I think Max was so confident in his opinion that he wrote his comment before realizing that this is a blog of a lady born and bred in the USA, who knows very well how thing in America are. LOL.
    This attitude of "You who only yesterday climbed down from palm trees, listen to us the wise to learn the Truth" is funny. Unfortunately, it undestandably makes some dislike USA and all the West.
    Maya

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi all, congratulation.
    It was a very great day, when I heard he had been arrested I didn't believe, ran off my office to find my mates incubated themselves, I asked "Is it really?" they shouted YES.
    I immediatley prostrated to thank Allah. I prayed Dhohur and I asked permission to go back home to share the joy with my family.
    through the way I sing anthem "Ya belady anti mertho aljodod"
    Simply "It was an unforgettable day".

    ReplyDelete

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