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

Multimedia Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid