While I have a lot to write about my recent visit to Libya, some bad news I received a day before leaving put me off writing.
Let me start from the beginning: back in the 1960s my late father (Allah bless his soul) and my mother worked very hard for years to save money to be able to buy land to build properties, they eventually built 2 houses in one of the nicest areas in the city of Benghazi, by then my family moved to Tripoli and in the early 70s the Benghazi houses were put for rent, 2 families moved in, then came the unjust decision by the Libyan government that people living in rented accommodation should not pay rent and practically become the owners of these houses, since 1977 my family had no rent paid to them from these properties, my father tried on many occasions to persuade the families living in our houses to leave but they refused and even threatened to hit him, they became squatters and not only that, they are thieves no matter how much they try to portray themselves as devout Muslims, many good Libyan families refused to squat in homes they didn't own and moved out and returned the homes to their rightful owners but not the thieving families living in our homes for the past 33 years rent free, in fact one of the families went as far as building another floor without any permission.
Both of our houses in Benghazi are worth (I will use the equivalent of Libyan Pound in Sterling) in today's money about £150,000 each and will be worth a lot more as property prices continue to soar in Libya, the people living in our homes know that, they can not sell the houses so one of them told my family that they are prepared to pay us £12,000 for our home! can you believe that? and if we agree they will become the new owners and sell it at at least 10 times more, of course my family refused and told them that are nothing but thieves.
Now the upsetting news I heard a day before leaving Libya is that the government agreed to compensate us for these houses a total of £58,000, that is an insult since both these houses are family size and the cheapest 2 bedroom flat in a run down area of Tripoli costs about £100,000, the insulting amount of £58,000 will have to be shared with my mother and brothers and basically means we lost the houses, this amount does not even cover the rent we lost over the past 33 years, my brothers are going to appeal this decision and as we all agreed, we will never accept this money even if it means losing the houses for ever, I myself can not return and live in Libya since I have no home or job there, how do the authorities expect me and people like me to return when we can not even get what is rightfully ours? they should evict the thieves living in our homes, I have the right to be living there in my father's house that was built by my parents hard work, my father until the day he died kept telling me not to forget about our houses and do everything we can to get them back, his heart was broken for losing them, I feel bad for not being able to do what he wanted, will there ever be justice for people like us in Libya? so far nothing.....