Economist on Libya

A nice overview on how surprisingly little has changed in Libya in the three years since Qadhafi abandoned his nuke program:

Yet despite having accumulated a foreign-exchange hoard worth $45 billion on annual oil sales now running at $20 billion, Libya has much the same drab, shambolic air as when diplomatic isolation, trade sanctions and centrally planned socialism prevailed. With 5.7m people, it has just one world-class hotel and only 20 cashpoint machines. No road signs, even in Arabic, show the way to Leptis Magna, a ruined Roman seaport that is but one of many ancient sites whose scale and magnificence point to a past more glorious than the present. “I met a guy who spent 15 years abroad, and he said he recognised the same potholes as when he left,” chuckles a Tripoli taxi driver, snarled in one of the rubbish-strewn capital's daily jams.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,