News / Africa

Libyan Opposition Wants to Quit Fighting, Start Building

Rebel fighters and a television cameraman take shelter as an intense gun battle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel, where many foreign journalists are staying, in Tripoli, Libya, August 25, 2011
Rebel fighters and a television cameraman take shelter as an intense gun battle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel, where many foreign journalists are staying, in Tripoli, Libya, August 25, 2011

The bodies of Libyans killed in the rebel push for Tripoli still lie in the streets outside Moammar Gadhafi's former headquarters compound.  But even as the opposition struggles against pockets of government resistance, many Libyans are looking beyond the dramatic events of the past week to what they hope will be a radically new and normal country. 


Momentum

Most of the physical infrastructure is still here.  NATO airstrikes took out many government positions, but the basics for civilian life, water, electricity, food, if now in short supply, are beginning to come back.

Libyan rebel Fitori Abdl Khadar
Libyan rebel Fitori Abdl Khadar

Fitori Abdl Khadr, a resident of the largely rebel-held capital, wants to keep that momentum going. "We need to stop fighting and we need to start building," said Khadr.  

Standing near the shores of the Mediterranean, the 23-year-old, gun slung over his shoulder, concedes it is not all over yet.  Rebels stomp proudly on torn-down posters of Colonel Gadhafi, even as many of the haphazard checkpoints around the capital stand unmanned.   Abdl Khadr thinks there may be a week or so to go.  In the meantime, he thinks, opposition forces can split up the work.

"We can make teams to fight and teams to build.  We need Libya go back fast as we can," said Khadr.

Loyalties

A former computer technician, he hopes to be part of both.  Abdl Khadr left his job with the now-defunct state television to join the opposition cause three months ago.  But he says his loyalties lay with the opposition from the start of the uprising back in February.  

"When I worked with the government," said Khadr. "I see everything.  I know to the revolution, but the government doesn't know."  

Abdl Khadr explains his delay in openly siding with the opposition.  His father had called for reforms in an online forum and was known to the government. The son says both he and his father were detained after the protests began.  He says he got the cautionary message Colonel Gadhafi had sent.     

"I fear about my family and my father," he said. "Maybe he kill him.  You know, he [Gadhafi] is a crazy man.  He kills everyone, no problem."  

New Libya

That fear of death helped Colonel Gadhafi run Libya for 42 years, an intensely authoritarian rule built on the idiosyncrasies of one man.  Government institutions of the kind most people would recognize did not exist.  The same was true of civil society.  But Abdl Khadr's hoped-for new Libya has one advantage.   

"You know, all fighting in this revolution is not unknowing [uneducated] men.  It's skilled men.  We have doctors who have guns and [they] fight with us.  We have engineers. Everyone in the revolution, I think, he has skills," he said.  

For Abdl Khadr, the sooner these professionals can lay down their arms and start building a new society, the better.   The young man himself was back at state television this week, making sure the antenna for post-Gadhafi broadcasting was in working order.

You May Like

Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

IS Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs