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Remembering Anton Hammerl

Ryan Calder, former PhD student in sociology | May 20, 2011

South African photojournalist Anton Hammerl is believed to have died on April 5 when he and three other journalists were attacked by loyalist forces on the outskirts of Brega. But news of Anton’s likely death only came to light today, when American journalists Clare Gillis and James Foley explained in an interview with the Global Post that Anton … Continue reading »

“It’s funny, but Gaddafi brought out the best in us”: Social solidarity and the Libyan revolution

Ryan Calder, former PhD student in sociology | April 22, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya —If you had told Benghazi residents three months ago that they would be throwing Molotov cocktails at Qaddafi loyalist tanks, they would’ve looked at you like you were crazy. Even after the Egyptian revolution began on January 25, Qaddafi’s iron grip on Libyan society seemed too strong to allow an uprising of the … Continue reading »

Would Libyans accept a deal granting Gaddafi immunity from prosecution?

Ryan Calder, former PhD student in sociology | April 18, 2011

BENGHAZI, APRIL 18 — Virtually everyone in Libya’s opposition-held east agrees that Muammar Gaddafi must leave Libya for the country’s war to end. But how would Libyans feel about a peace deal that granted the colonel immunity from domestic and international prosecution? Would they accept a hypothetical agreement stipulating that Gaddafi and his children leave Libya … Continue reading »

Benghazi’s kids learn emergency first aid

Ryan Calder, former PhD student in sociology | April 14, 2011

The names of all children mentioned in this post have been changed. BENGHAZI, APRIL 11 — “What do you do in the event of a third-degree burn?” asks Dr. Randa Abidia. “The hospital! Straight to the hospital!” the kids respond. I’m sitting in the third row of a classroom at the Libyan International Medical University … Continue reading »

Nicolas Sarkozy: The most popular man in Libya

Ryan Calder, former PhD student in sociology | March 30, 2011

There is no question who the most popular man in Libya is right now. “I love Sarkozy!” “Sarkozy mia mia!” (Mia mia means, literally, “100%.” It’s a common expression meaning “great.”) “Sarkozy is number one.” “Thank you Sarkozy! Also, thank you Obama. Thank you Cameron.” There are French flags all over Benghazi’s central square. One … Continue reading »


Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | February 24, 2011

I don’t have any special expertise about international diplomacy, the culture and history of the Maghreb, or revolutions in general, but something has to be said about what’s happening in Libya. News is scarce but it now seems reasonably certain that the government has unleashed widespread death by air attack, and by invited foreign forces … Continue reading »