The People Want …

01/03/2011 at 21:49 | Posted in Libya | Leave a comment
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The Libyan People don't want to be another Iraq

The People have risen, fresh colors of Libya

28/02/2011 at 23:37 | Posted in Libya | Leave a comment
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Wall of Security Barraks, Benghazi

In front of North Benghazi Court

La Libye en Cartes Postales

24/09/2009 at 19:00 | Posted in Libya | 2 Comments
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“ La Libye a travers les cartes postales “ is a book compiled and researched by Andre Laronde, a French historian and archaeologist specialized in Libyan ancient history. The book contains many pictures that present Libya in the first half of twentieth century from 1900 to 1940. From Libya of the Ottomans to the arrival of the Italians and the discovery of the hinterland. Pictures of the rebirth of Tripoli and Benghazi cities in modern times, and pictures of their near past. It is a very beautiful book published in 1997 in Tunis, and can be obtained through the internet.
The following are examples of the pictures in this book, with many thanks to M. Andre Laronde.
Pictures of Benghazi and Tripoli
Benghazi – la Duane

Benghazi Baladia (City Hall)

Benghazi – Hotel Italia

Benghazi Port Entrance

Benghazi Sea Front

Tripoli – Hotel Vittoria in Clock Square

Tripoli Miramare Theatre

New Tripoli

Old Tripoli Sea Front

Pictures of the Libyan Interior
Train Station in al Merg
A Woman Weaver in Cyrene
A General View of Derna
Ghadames Old Town
Amazeig Young Girls from Nalut
Jebel Neffussa
A General View of Khoms
Sirte Hotel
 
Tajoura – Mourad Agha Mosque
 
Tobruk Customs Office

 Zletin

Those men who fought away from home

31/07/2009 at 13:25 | Posted in Libya | Leave a comment
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An item of news appeared on the British Academy website, (The Society of Libyan Studies), stating that on Monday, 7th December 2009, a lecture will be given by Dr. Saul Kelly of Kings College London and Dr. Faraj Najem of Grafton College under the title: Brothers in Arms: Anglo/Libyan relations during World War II. END OF NEWS ITEM…
Seventy years age, Libya was an Italian colony. The Libyan resistance had been crushed down few years earlier by the butcher of Cyrenaica, Marshal Graziani, and ended practically after the hanging of Omar Al Mukhtar. The reign of the Italian governor, Italo Balbo, had shown some time of peace with the Libyans, and was distinguished with his bringing tens of thousands of Italian colonists, whom were given best of the land with furnished farm houses and all the necessary tools for agriculture, and the Libyans being their cheap man power. Then a dramatic change occurred in Europe and what became to be known later on as World War Two between Germany, Italy and Japan, from one side, and Britain, France and later on Russia and the United States, from the other side, had started by Germany invading Poland and the world entered an era of turmoil, suffering and waging wars that were never seen before. But let’s see what history says about Libya at that time …

” On 10th June, 1940 Italy declared war on Britain and France and aligned itself with Nazi Germany … On 28th June, 1940, the Italian governor-general of Libya is shot down by friendly fire whilst surveying Tobruk, and Marshal Graziani became in charge … On 13th September, 1940, the Italian tenth army marched into Egypt. Later on, the British, accompanied with many nationalities of the Commonwealth, pushed the attack back to Tobruk. The German Afrika Korps under General Rommel joined their Italian allies, fought back the British, and recaptured Benghazi on 3rd April, 1941. And so, Libyan soil became a theatre for a cruel and destructive war between fighting foreign armies, the land never seen its like before. “

The war in Libya fought between the super powers of the time for its control , but not intentionally for the welfare of Libyans However the war ended and Libya was liberated from Italian colonization, and later on was granted independence by the United Nations in 1951. Libya had its own government and King Idris I became its first sovereign.

The great war ended but it left its signs all around the land. The major problem was those millions of land mines that were planted in eastern Libya by the fighting armies that took tens of years later to neutralize.
I was driving once last year between Ras Lanuf and Benghazi and I stopped at Aghiela, thinking that I may find some traces of the worst of the concentration camps that Graziani established in Cyrenaica. I didn’t find what I hoped for, but I found remains of bunkers that were used during WWII either by Germans and Italians, and or, by British forces. Remains of these land marks are found in many places in Libya up to now.

Remains of a WWII Bunker in El Agheila  

 

Thousands of those men who fought away from their countries died on Libyan soil, and in consequence, eastern Libya is hosting British Commonwealth, French, Italian and German cemeteries in Tobruk and Benghazi.

French WWII Cemetery – Benghazi

 

Commonwealth WWII Cemetery – Benghazi
On the 11th of November each year, the ambassadors of concerned European countries travel from Tripoli to Benghazi and Tobruk to visit the cemeteries of their soldiers who died during the war in Libya, and pay homage to those men who died away from home fighting for their countries in a far away land.

Others who survived the war left Libya later with memories of their youth that was spent in a strange land, fighting a war of their own, but it shaped the history of the land. I imaging that those memories must have been a mixture of owe, wonder and nostalgia for a time and place in which they suffered a lot, fought for their survival and had looked death in the eye. Some of those soldiers remained after the war and made this country their home for a while.
One of those is Captain Misson, whose story I came to know about by his son JP. It seems that JP read some of my posts in “A Gateway to History” blog, and later on he sent me an email introducing himself and telling me of his father’s story. Captain Misson was a Belgian citizen who volunteered into the British army during the war and during the invasion of Italian Libya he became the liaison officer between the British army and the Senussi army, consisting of Libyans in exile fighting alongside the British army to liberate their own land…But that’s another story, I hope to be told one day by his own son JP himself.

Captain Misson with Idris, Prince of Cyrenaica in Ajdabiya
(Misson is the one wearing sunglasses behind Emir Idris)
Sources :
Lecure of Brothers in Arms: Anglo/Libyan relations during Worl War II
Italian Invasion of Egypt
African Campaign Timeline

Palms Beach

07/10/2008 at 16:54 | Posted in Libya | 4 Comments
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Libya has probably the last unspoiled and most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Libyan beaches have variations with a stunning natural beauty and mostly wild and clean but being unspoiled they lack all the services tourists require, like what can be found in neighboring Tunisia for example.
The pictures seen below are taken in a place that lies 100 KM west from Benghazi city in eastern Libya. The beach I called Palms’ Beach is known by the name Shatt elBeddin شط البدين , meaning in English ‘Fatman’s Beach’. The place is known only to few beach goers , fishermen and inhabitants of the area of course. It is also widely known to truck drivers who transport sand for construction purposes in Benghazi, as the sand in this area is very fine and of higher quality.
Should we arrive one day to this place to find it bare without sand and its palms being demolished? I hope not.


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