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Amir Amanullah Khan Award (Afghanistan)

Politics & War

Muammar Al-Qaddafi

Muammar Al-Qaddafi

• Muammar al-Qaddafi was born in a Bedouin tent in Sirte, Libya, in 1942 or 1943(not certain)in the deserts of Tripolitania, western Libya.
• His mother was named Aisha (died 1978), and his father, Mohammad Abdul Salam bin Hamed bin Mohammad, was known as Abu Meniar (died 1985) and both were illiterate.
• He belonged to a very poor family and his father was a nomad. Gaddafi’s upbringing in Bedouin culture influenced his personal tastes for the rest of his life; he preferred the desert over the city and would retreat there to meditate.


• From childhood, Gaddafi was aware of the involvement of European colonialists in Libya; his nation was occupied by Italy, and during the North African Campaign of World War II it witnessed conflict between Italian and British troops.
• Gaddafi’s earliest education was of a religious nature, imparted by a local Islamic teacher.He sometimes slept in a mosque and was alo bullied in a school of being a bedouin.
• From Sirte, he and his family moved to the market town of Sabha in Fezzan, south-central Libya, where his father worked as a caretaker for a tribal leader while Muammar attended secondary school, something neither parent had done.


• In 1951, Libya gained independence under the Western-allied King Idris. As a young man Qaddafi was influenced by the Arab nationalist movement, and admired Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.
• From very childhood he used to imitate the leaders and was very much influenced by Omar Mukhtar who was a who rose against the atrocities of Italy and became a legend.
• In 1961 Qaddafi entered the military college in the city of Benghazi. He also spent four months receiving military training in the United Kingdom and studied history. . The armed forces offered the only opportunity for upward social mobility for underprivileged Libyans, and
Gaddafi recognized it as a potential instrument of political change.
• With a group of loyal cadres, in 1964 Gaddafi founded the Central Committee of the Free Officers Movement, a revolutionary group named after Nasser’s Egyptian predecessor.


• In April 1966, he was assigned to the United Kingdom for further training. Gaddafi disliked England, claiming British Army officers racially insulted him and finding it difficult adjusting to the country’s culture. After graduating, Qaddafi steadily rose through the ranks of the military.
• Idris’ government was increasingly unpopular by the latter 1960s Arab nationalism was increasingly popular, and protests flared up following Egypt’s 1967 defeat in the Six-Day War with Israel; allied to the Western powers, Idris’ administration was seen as pro-Israeli.
• He was a general in idris army and he made a strategy to overthrow him. On September 1, 1969, King Idris was overthrown while he was abroad in Turkey for medical treatment. Qaddafi was named commander in chief of the armed forces and chairman of the
Revolutionary Command Council, Libya’s new ruling body.


• He was very serious on western imperialism and hated them. All young men from (typically rural) working and middle-class backgrounds, none had university degrees; in this way they were distinct from the wealthy, highly educated conservatives who previously governed the country.
• In May 1970, the Revolutionary Intellectuals Seminar was held to bring intellectuals in line with the revolution, while that year’s Legislative Review and Amendment united secular and religious law codes, introducing sharia into the legal system.
• the RCC maintained the monarchy’s ban on political parties, in May 1970 banned trade unions, and in 1972 outlawed workers’ strikes and suspended newspapers. In September 1971, Gaddafi resigned, claiming to be dissatisfied with the pace of reform, but returned to his position
within a month. In February 1973, he resigned again, once more returning the following month.


• He also launched reforms to improve agriculture,infrastructure and most importantly oil reforms.He took control of the oil reserves of the country and threatened to nationalize the oil company if they didn’t meet his demands.
• In September 1973, it was announced that all foreign oil producers active in Libya were to see 51% of their operation nationalized. For Gaddafi, this was an important step towards socialism.
• It proved an economic success; while gross domestic product had been $3.8 billion in 1969, it had risen to $13.7 billion in 1974, and $24.5 billion in 1979. In turn, the Libyans’ standard of life greatly improved over the first decade of Gaddafi’s administration, and by 1979 the average per-capita income was at $8,170, up from $40 in 1951; this was above the average of
many industrialized countries like Italy and the U.K POLICIES.

• Due to these reforms country real flourished in first four years but then the dark period followed and went to hell.He wanted the unity of arab world and specially with Egypt where is hero lived.
• The consumption of alcohol was banned, night clubs and Christian churches were shut down, traditional Libyan dress was encouraged, and Arabic was decreed as the only language permitted in official communications and on road signs.
• Gaddafi also wanted to combat the strict social restrictions that had been imposed on women by the previous regime, establishing the Revolutionary Women’s Formation to encourage reform. n 1972, a law was passed criminalizing the marriage of any females under the age of sixteen and ensuring that a woman’s consent was a necessary prerequisite for a marriage.


• Gaddafi’s regime opened up a wide range of educational and employment opportunities for women, although these primarily benefited a minority in the urban middle-classes.
• From 1969 to 1973, it used oil money to fund social welfare programs, which led to house-building projects and improved healthcare and education. House building became a major social priority, designed to eliminate homelessness and to replace the shanty towns created by
Libya’s growing urbanization.
• he health sector was also expanded; by 1978, Libya had 50% more hospitals than it had in 1968, while the number of doctors had grown from 700 to over 3000 in that decade and Beida University was founded, while Tripoli University and Benghazi University were expanded. Through these measures, the RCC greatly expanded the public sector, providing
employment for thousands.


• The influence of Nasser’s Arab nationalism over the RCC was immediately apparent.The administration was instantly recognized by the neighboring Arab nationalist regimes in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Sudan with Egypt sending experts to aid the inexperienced RCC.
• Gaddafi propounded Pan-Arab ideas, proclaiming the need for a single Arab state stretching across North Africa and the Middle East. In December 1969, Libya signed the Tripoli Charter alongside Egypt and Sudan. This established the Arab Revolutionary Front, a pan-national
union designed as a first step towards the eventual political unification of the three nations. In 1970 Syria declared its intention to join.
• Nasser died unexpectedly in November 1970, with Gaddafi Nasser was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat became increasingly wary of Libya’s radical direction, and the September 1973 deadline for implementing the Federation passed by with no action taken.


• Qaddafi also shut down the American and British military bases in Libya. He vocally opposed Zionism and Israel, and expelled the Jewish community from Libya.
• Qaddafi’s inner circle of trusted people became smaller and smaller, as power was shared by himself and a small group of associates. His intelligence agents traveled around the world to intimidate and assassinate Libyans living in exile.
• In the mid-1970s, Qaddafi published the first volume of the Green Book, an explanation of his political philosophy. The three-volume work describes the problems with liberal democracy and capitalism, and promotes Qaddafi’s policies as the remedy.
• Qaddafi’s ruling style was not just oppressive, it was eccentric.


• He implemented a very brutal and dangerous policy to abolish all sorts of law and order and ultimately give powers to people.The terrorists and criminals emerged and they began controlling and public was facing the atrocities and consequences of his policies.
• No justice was there and army officers plotted against him and also the people started turning against him because no justice was served and he escaped few assassination attempts.
• He also started military build-up, the RCC began purchasing weapons from France and the Soviet Union.He wanted to build the third world as USA AND RUSSIA were supreme powers at that time so he wanted to build a third bloc.
• n 1975, Gaddafi’s government declared a state monopoly on foreign trade. Its increasingly radical reforms, coupled with the large amount of oil revenue being spent on foreign causes, generated discontent in Libya, particularly among the country’s merchant class.


• On 16 April 1973, Gaddafi proclaimed the start of a “Popular Revolution” .
• He initiated this with a 5-point plan, the first point of which dissolved all existing laws, to be replaced by revolutionary enactments. The second point proclaimed that all opponents of the revolution had to be removed, while the third initiated an administrative revolution that
Gaddafi proclaimed would remove all traces of bureaucracy and the bourgeoisie.
• he fourth point announced that the population must form People’s Committees and be armed to defend the revolution, while the fifth proclaimed the beginning of a cultural revolution to expunge Libya of “poisonous” foreign influences.


• On 2 March 1977 the General People’s Congress adopted the “Declaration of the Establishment of the People’s Authority” at Gaddafi’s behest. Dissolving the Libyan Arab Republic, it was replaced by the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.A new, all-green
banner was adopted as the country’s flag.Officially, the Jamahiriya was a direct democracy in which the people ruled themselves • In December 1978, Gaddafi stepped down as Secretary-General of the GPC, announcing his new focus on revolutionary rather than governmental
activities. Libya began to turn towards socialism. In March 1978. n October 1980 they took control of the press.
• National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), founded in 1981 by Mohammed Magariaf, which orchestrated militant attacks against Libya’s government. In 1979 the US placed Libya on its list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism”. In 1986, Libyan terrorists were thought to be behind the
bombing of a West Berlin dance club that killed three and injured scores of people.


• The most famous instance of the country’s connection to terrorism, Libya was implicated in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. A plane carrying 259 people blew up near Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board, with falling debris killing 11 civilians on the ground. Libyan terrorists,
including an in-law of Qaddafi’s, were also believed to be behind the destruction of a French passenger jet in 1989, killing all 170 on board.
• In 1990s, the relationship between Qaddafi and the West began to thaw. As Qaddafi faced a growing threat from Islamists who opposed his rule, he began to share information with the British and American intelligence services. In 1994, Nelson Mandela persuaded the Libyan leader to hand over the suspects from the Lockerbie bombing. It wasn’t long before Qaddafi had mended relations with the West on many fronts.
• Not handling the suspects caused libya serious sanctions by united
nations and US.In 2001 UN uplifted its sanctions as he handed over the
suspects but USA continued its sanctions.


• After these bombings he became more liberal but he tried to unification and there were
various revolutions took place but he became quite liberal in his approach.
• After more than four decades in power, Qaddafi’s downfall happened in less than a
year. In January 2011, the Tunisian revolution forced out longtime dictator Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali and set off the Arab Spring. The next month, Egyptian ruler
Hosni Mubarak was forced out, providing a morale boost to protesters in several
Arab capitals. Despite the atmosphere of severe repression, demonstrations broke out
in the city of Benghazi and spread throughout Libya.
• Qaddafi used aggressive force to try to suppress the protests, and the violence quickly
escalated. Police and foreign mercenaries were brought in to shoot at protesters, and
helicopters were sent to bombard citizens from the air. . As casualties mounted, Libyans
grew more determined to see Qaddafi’s ouster. As violence spread through the country.
• Qaddafi made several rambling speeches on state television, claiming the
demonstrators were traitors, foreigners, al-Qaeda and drug addicts. By the end of
February 2011, the opposition had gained control over much of the country, and the
rebels formed a governing body called the National Transitional Council.


• At the end of March, a NATO coalition began to provide support for the rebel forces in the form of airstrikes and a no-fly zone. NATO’s military intervention over the next six months proved to be decisive. In April, a NATO attack killed one of Qaddafi’s sons.
• In June 2011, the International Criminal Court issued warrants for the arrest of Qaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law for crimes against humanity. In July, more than 30 countries recognized the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya. Qaddafi had lost control of Libya, but his whereabouts were still unknown.
• On October 20, 2011, Libyan officials announced that Muammar al-Qaddafi had died near his hometown of Sirte, Libya. A Video circulated of Qaddafi’s bloodied body being dragged around by fighters.
• Post Qaddafi, Libya has continued to be embroiled in violence. With state authority eventually being held by the General National Congress, various militia groups have vied for power. Dozens of political figures and activists in Benghazi have been killed, with many having to leave the area. The country has also seen a succession of interim prime ministers.


• Gaddafi married his first wife, Fatiha al-Nuri, in 1969. She was the daughter of General Khalid, a senior figure in King Idris’ administration, and was from a middle-class background.
• Although they had one son, Muhammad Gaddafi (1970), their relationship
was strained, and they divorced in 1970. Gaddafi’s second wife was Safia
Farkash a former nurse.They met in 1969, following his ascension to power,
when he was hospitalized with appendicitis; he claimed that it was love at
first sight.
• The couple remained married until his death. Together they had seven
biological children: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (1972), Al-Saadi Gaddafi (1973),
Mutassim Gaddafi (1974–2011), Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi (1975),
Ayesha Gaddafi (1976), Saif al-Arab Gaddafi (1982–2011), and Khamis
Gaddafi (1983–2011). He also adopted two children, Hana Gaddafi and Milad Gaddafi.