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
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?
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
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 »
Accordion war: Why does the front in Libya keep moving back and forth?
Why has the front line in Libya been moving back and forth like an accordion for a month and a half? How was it that the rebels took so many towns so fast in February, and then got pushed back so quickly, until Gaddafi’s tanks were rumbling through Benghazi’s outskirts? And why do the towns … Continue reading »
Nicolas Sarkozy: The most popular man in Libya
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 »
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 »