The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Ancien regime tourism in Tripoli

In Tripoli, where the street fighting seems to be dying down, Tripolitanian families are out visiting sites associated with Qaddafi and his family. Kids dance, people shoot guns in the air, people shout at the people shooting guns in the air not to shoot guns because it sets a bad image for Libya, the gun shooters stop and act sober for a bit, and then a few minutes later start shooting again, and the show goes on.

Highlight #1: two extremely happy hegabbed university students coming down the stairs of Aisha Qaddafi's house, whooping and performing a rap of the story of the Libyan revolution. Highlight #2: Rifling through some of the regime's reading material, in particular the December 20, 2010, copy of Forbes, which I found outside a burnt-out conference room in a residential part of Qaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound, open to a paid Libya advertorial supplement. In the supplement (which I assume is not written by Forbes writers), there is a more-than-usually obsequious profile of Saadi al-Qaddafi, "The African Renaissance Young Man Who Wears Many Hats." "'Change is coming', he stated. 'Libya and Africa will not be the same in 10 years.'"

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