Sunday, 31 August 2008

Bad Deal for Libyans

I am not sure what to make of the news about Italy's compensation to the Libyan people, actually should I laugh or cry? one thing for sure I am not happy, far from it.

$5 Billion to compensate the Libyan people for about 32 years of occupation, $5 Billion dollars for the rape, exile and murder of about half the Libyan nation and if that was not enough, this $5 Billion is to be paid over a period of 25 years at about $200 Million a year.

Just a quick reminder, China spent $40 Billion on their Olympics games which lasted 16 days! So Libyans will be getting $200 million a year, take out a good portion of that for corrupt Libyan officials, the rest is supposed to improve the life of many Libyans?

To some spoilt sons of officials in Libya, $200 million is their budget a year to keep up their standards with private parties, private planes and yachts.

Why didn't Italy say that they will be responsible for the next 25 years for paying the pocket money for one of these precious sons?

Libya paid almost $3 Billion to compensate 270 victims of the Lockerbie disaster, what a shame that our heroes are so worthless.

Even the story about Italy building a coastal road running from Egypt to Tunisia through Libya at a cost 6 Billion Euros seem to be too much for us!

How much money does Italy and its companies make every year in Libya? how much are they going to make in the next 25 years? Billions of Dollars.

How dare the Libyan government sell the memory of all the dead, exiled and raped Libyans, they have walked all over our pride and joy, the memory of our heroes.

The simple white hat worn by Omar Al-Mukhtar is worth more than $5 Billion.

We are supposed to wish each other a Ramadan Mubarak, I feel I cant celebrate, I feel upset and angry as if all these people died today. I cant say that I expected more from the Libyan government but I thought maybe, just maybe this time they will feel that we deserve better, that we all are so proud of Omar Al-Mukhtar and therefore the Libyan government would respect his memory, unfortunately what happened was even worse than I expected.

لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله
On my last post, I got a long comment from an anonymous person that I thought is worthy of publishing with this post, I am going to paste it here:
Thank you so much for your brilliant post. I totally agree with you, we may forgive but we will NEVER forget what the Italians did to our country and our people. They killed hundreds of thousands and caused so much misery.Most young people today in Libya don't really know or realise the extent of suffering they caused to our people. The extreme racism, murderous brutality they showed was almost unprecedented. I remember a few years ago, the current Italian prime minister stated: "Western civilization was better (than Islamic civilization)for a number of reasons, including respect for human and religious rights".The "better" Western human civilization that he mentioned that wiped out aprox. half of our population, the western human rights that led to millions of deaths across the Arab and most of the so called "third" world during imperialism.I am fully aware that almost all of the Italians are peace loving and wish us no harm, but this is also true for current Germany and what they did to the Jews in WWII, they still bare responsibility as should Italy.It's not just about money, its about common basic human decency, that they should know what they did to us.I ask you to do one thing, go on any Italian newspaper, and read the Italian readers comments (use google translate) to the current talk about Italy's compensation offer, reading through the comments, I had a sense most Italians feel what Berlusconi is doing is wrong on agreeing on the compensation, and I also had a feeling that they are totally ignorant of what there parents and grandparents did to us. Is it ignorance or arrogance?I even remember that the Italians banned the film directed by the late Mustafa Akkad (Omar Mukhtar: The Lion of the Desert). Why I ask? Is the truth too much to bare?I remember not too long ago Mussolini's granddaughter who is an MEP said this about Libya and Libyans:"Libyans would still be on 'camels' if it hadn't been for her grandfather." ( )Forgetting the fact that her Grandfather's Italians murdered thousands of Libyans, forgetting that her grandfather forced Libyans to the desert and into concentration camps, where death, sickness, rape were inflicted by the Italian occupying forces. Libyans were forcefully denied any form of education or any dignity, they were forced into deprivation, poverty and death, and then this MEP with her shameful family heritage of which she is so proud says these blatant lies.The issue I have is that Italians hear her, and do not hear the truth of what really happened, they will believe her, and think that their occupation was a blessing on us, not the terrible curse it was.I don't care about our current political state in Libya, that does not change the facts about the brutal history of Italian occupation. We should all stand as one when it comes to this issue.Italians need to lift their ignorance and realise what we suffered, and realise it's not about money. In fact Italy up to today is our biggest trading partner and earns billions from us through trade and investment. So we are no beggars, in fact the Italians take more from us than we do from them. If we were vengeful like many Western societies we would have banned any form of trade with Italy. The 5 billion that Italy intends to pay to Libya over 25 years is pittance to what it did to us, and what we suffered, in fact most of the 5 Billion will end up in the pockets of Italian companies any way. It's not about the money, as no money will pay for what happened. It's about recognition, dignity and "never again".I am not against Italy, in fact most young people in Libya today ironically love Italy, they even support the Italian soccer team over most other European ones! I would love that we turn a new page, and our nations become true friends and partners, we have so much history, we are close neighbours. But, this will not fully happen if the Italians, both government and people continue to ignore and block out the crimes of their forefathers. True forgiveness will only come once they lose their ignorance and arrogance and truly recognize what they did, not just to do it to win trading concessions.We do not ask that they take the blame, but we do ask that they recognize the truth and do what other occupiers have done and apologize and repent.Please A.L and others watch this video (maybe you can post it): On a closing not, as stated before, Berlusconi once noted that Western civilisation which he thinks is superior to the Islamic one, we will never seek your form of superiority and will always be proud of our Islamic religion and our Libya. Thank you again and sorry for the long comment and Happy Ramadan AL to you and everyone.Long may truth and peace prevail.


Boudica said...

How did Libya jump the queue? Rome hasn't even started compensating England and Wales for the Roman Empire, yet!

They compensate a corrupt dictator and throw money at Ireland but nothing for the four hundred years of oppression Rome inflicted on England! Treaty of Rome, what a rip off!

غازي القبلاويGhazi Gheblawi said...

Dear AL, first Ramadan Karim.
Second, thank you for this post and your genuine feelings which I admire, I agree with you that nothing can compensate the atrocities committed during the period of Italian occupation (1911-1943), but lets talk in the terms of politics, in my opinion Libya made a good deal in general, it doesn't matter the amount of money that Italy is going to pay or whether this money will be paid or whether it will find its way to the common Libyan man or woman, as all the money in the world won't compensate for the all the deaths of the Libyan people, but what matters is the political and historical meaning of this deal, which is the official apology of the Italian government and people for this dark period in the history of the world, and the history of both Italy and Libya. I think on the long run this will be a positive and fruitful deal, but in the end I am an optimist which is not a good thing sometimes. Wish a happy Ramadan.

Anglo-Libyan said...

The Roman empire was in Libya long before they invaded England.

salam Dear Ghazi
always good to see you here and Ramadan Kareem.
I failed to mention the apology, yes that is a major victory for Libya.
I wish it was only an apology without any paymeny, that would have been better for us than paying such a ridiculous amount, Libya is a rich country and does not need the money but unfortunately many people in Libya are struggling, many industries are struggling, if compensation was paid to Dubai for an example, it wouldnt do anything as they have a good infrastructure, good health & education system, in Libya we dont, my dream was that the average Libyan would benefit from such compensation, on the other hand Libya could provide its people with all they need and only accepts a symbol compensation which can be donated to a poorer country.
Ghazi, I do hope and wish that everything becomes positive and fruitfull for our people, inshaAllah that happens.
thank you Ghazi (I am still half asleep, its a horrible dark & misrable day today).

a_akak said...

Asalam Alykum

Ramadan Mubarik & May Allah Bless you and your family and forgive our sins, past, presnet and future


Fe Aman Allah

PS: I dont want to go into the main issue but for me its the recognition that matters not the $$$$$

Benghazi Citizen said...

I felt sad for the whole thing..
I can't say more...
Thank you for a truely emotional post that raised a lot of things in a tired heart..
Best regards dear friend

Weldemdina said...

Ramadan Mubarek to you and your family

Anonymous said...

Happy and Blessed Ramadan to you and your family !

Interesting post ......

car white said...

It is always not to too-late, coming RAMADAN MUBARIK

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