For the past 4 weeks, hundreds of Libyans are being mercilessly butchered everyday in the name of Al Qaida. Being one of the most progressive countries, there is no dearth of wealth in Gaddafi’s lone land of Libya but one cannot deny a sheer fact that Libyans are dying for change today. Libyans have been suffering from poverty in plenty without any freedom of speech. Though Colonel Mu'ammar Abu Minyar al-Gadhafi defines Libyan constitution (The Green Book written by him) as a "state of the masses" governed by the populace through local councils but in true sense Libya doesn’t have democracy rather mobocracy as political parties are absolutely banned and discussing politics is strictly prohibited.

Before assuming my teaching profession in Libya’s top university in 2007, I had made an extensive online research about Libya and Libyans, and I was really thrilled to know that Libya ranks at 61st position in the index of most peaceful countries. But in the light of the ongoing unrest, I can undoubtedly say that Libya’s peace was in fact Libyan’s silence. Though Libyans are known for their high degree of hospitality, but usually they have to observe a kind of forced formality of friendliness with other Libyans as any slip of tongue may land up the person in a serious trouble which sometimes lead to the disappearance of the person along with his entire family members forever. To live in Libya, one needs to glorify one and only Gadhafi.

17 February: It was 11 am, while supervising my research group in hall number 1 of Garyounis University Ajdabya, I heard a rising commotion outside and asked my students about it. They said that it is a procession in the support of Gadhafi to make him assured that people are with him unlike what happened with Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak in Tunisia and Egypt respectively.

18 February: It was 2 pm when I met my HOD to discuss some departmental matter. While having a brief chat, I heard a rising commotion in the street. My HOD said, Doctor can you hear that? I said yes, that sounds like procession. At that he said yes it’s mudakara or what you call demonstration in English. After a while I went out and found a number of people standing with sharp-edged weapons in their hands in an agitated mood. I headed towards my house with a fear whether my family is safe or not. Before reaching my house, I heard crackers like sound which in fact was gun fire. In the evening, I needed some computer print-outs so I went to the nearby photocopy shop, but to my surprise all the shops were closed. I phoned one of my friends to come and open the shop, but he instantly said, “Aren’t you aware of today’s killing in Ajdabya”. When I expressed my surprise to hear that, he elaborated saying today five Ajdabyans were gunned down in a protest against Gadhafi. To hear this, I immediately rushed home. And before I could tell my wife about this, she said, something is wrong in Ajdabya as she was warned by a local few minutes ago that she should not walk on pavement as Ajdabya is not safe anymore. Then I also narrated the same to her and we remained clueless about the next happenings.

19 February: Many Ajdabyans visited me and they all advised me to buy food stuff for at least 2 weeks so that we should not face any shortage of food in a state of crisis. So I phoned my former registrar to come and help me go shopping but he denied saying he simply can’t come out of the house. Seeing and hearing all these, I grew more suspicious and tense. I made my second phone call to my HOD for the same, but he agreed to come. Finally he turned up at 9.30 pm and both of us went for shopping in a nearby supermarket. On our way to the supermarket, my HOD says pointing at a group of youngsters at a crossroad, “Doctor Can you see those boys, now Ajdabya is in the control of the locals”. I could not believe what he said and what I saw. Then he added that Albaida is also under the control of the locals. After a while, one car approached our car and forced us to stop. My head told me to stay inside the car saying just wait, either I will kill him or he will kill me. But when my head went out of the car, the man from another car warned him to go home as 10 thousands murtajka (mercenaries) have already entered Benghazi and are killing people and one thousand mercenaries are on their way to Ajdabya who are supposed to reach Ajdabya in 30 minutes. To hear this I told my head to cancel shopping program, but he asked me not to panick. So we went to the store and finished our shopping in 20 minutes. This was so far the most frightening night in my 4 years’ stay in Libya.

20 February: This was the day, when all modes of communication, e.g. telephone, mobile, internet stopped functioning. And we started experiencing the real agony of life.

21 February: Since Ajdabya (the third largest military base of Libya) had come in the control of the rebels, so there was a routine heavy gun fire and artillery sounds from 8pm to 3am everyday which used to keep us awake all night. My daughter used to be extremely panicked to hear gun fire. I had also developed a fear of being hit by stray bullets.

22 February: My wife complained of chest pain and stomach ache. Since I didn’t have any access to contact anyone, so I could not take her to hospital. We left our fate and destiny to God. Absolutely, No help from anyone.

23 February: Since I had food storage of two weeks only, so I had already cut down my normal diet. As a result I started feeling weaker. In addition, we were running short of some vital things like gas cylinder, fresh vegetables, so I decided to go out and buy some household goods. This time I had to go alone as there was no mode of communication available to contact the locals. Luckily, I saw a pharmacy shop open which belongs to a friend of mine. When he saw me he was surprised and quickly advised me not to come out of the house as protestors are being mercilessly butchered by Gadhafi forces in many northern cities of Libya. He also showed me some video clips of mercenaries killing people and jumping on the dead bodies with pro Gadhafi slogans.

This was another horrifying moment for me as he said that Gadhafi is going to send these mercinaries to Ajdabya any moment. These ruthless mercenaries were killing even families and kids in moving cars. He also added that I can’t find gas or green vegetables as they had already finished. He also narrated the story of Zintan where Gadhafi had stopped the supply of water, electricity, gas, and baby food. To hear all these, I felt absolutely numb and nervous and decided to rush home instantly. Hearing all these, my wife was equally and terribly disturbed. At 11pm we started hearing continuous gun shots and crackers from every house of Ajdabya and small kids were running down the streets and many youth started moving on top of the cars with small canon and hand grenades in their hands. We could not understand what it’s all about. We remained clueless for one hour and then at around 12 midnight, we switched on CNN which announced that Gadhafi has stepped down and is on his way to Venezuela. So this gave some momentary cheers to the locals.

24 February: This morning, the news proved to be a farce as Gadhafi came on Libyan national channel saying he will never leave Libya and fight till the last breath with rebels.

25 February: Inside the house, no communication with out side world.

26 February: Now food, water, and gas are finishing slowly. The house owner and all the tenants of our apartment had already fled away to some safer places in Libya. Only we were left alone at the mercy of God. There were negativities all around. There was a talk that now Gadhafi may use his 8 ton chemical bombs as rebels had gained control in all major parts of Libya. It was also frightening to know that one glass of chemical bomb will kill at least 100 persons.


27 February: Inside the house, but mobile phone started working as I got a call from Indian embassy at around 7 am (Libyan time). I was informed that I should contact my family in India at the earliest. But again outgoing call was not possible. I searched for all possible mediums of calling or sending message to India but in vain.

28 February: At 6 am I felt some tremor with roaring sound which was due to the air strike on Ajdabya’s military base and oil field in Brega. So the war had reached finally in the outskirts of Ajdabya but the daredevil Ajdabyans equipped with all the latest guns and missiles fought and pushed back Gadhafi forces. This was also the day when all the foreign professors of our university had left except three Indians including me. At 1pm one of my students came to see me with some food stuff. But I was shattered when he burst into tears saying “We can’t discuss anything about this country or Gadhafi even with my father, mother, or anyone”. This is the fear of Gadhafi in every Libi, he said. If somebody suspects I am not with Gadhafi, the very next moment Gadhafi’s men will come and make me disappear along with all my family members. We are deprived of our rights; We want the end of Gadhafi regime. He is a killer, he said. After a while, he took me to the downtown if I needed something. On our way, he showed me many billboards on which it was written clearly that Gadhafi killed 1200 political prisoners on 26th June 1996 within 3 hours in Buslim Jail in Tripoli. But this matter came to light after 6 years when the relatives of the prisoners knew that they are no more alive.

1 March: This was the day when God sent us some Ajdabyans with two weeks’ food stuff for us. I will never forget such a high degree of generosity and kind-heartedness of Libyans. In evening at around 6, I went out to buy something when one of our neighbors came to me shouting, “Go back home; Murtajkas have entered Ajdabya and started killing people”. For a moment, I thought he was joking but he pushed and forced me to go inside my house. After 30 minutes, I looked down from my balcony and to my shock people were barricading the road with cars, trucks and wooden logs for safety reasons. After a while, my house owner came to me handing over a gun to protect myself and my family. But I said Allah is with me and He will protect us. This night we were all awake. I could not blink my eyes even for one second.

2 March: This was the day when I had prepared my mind to leave Libya as I heard Gadhafi was using some poisonous gas to kill and control rebels. Since all the banks were closed, so I had to suffer a huge monetary loss which definitely was not so important as my family’s well-being.

3 March: I express my hearty thanks to the Indian Embassy and the Govt. of India for arranging our safe exit from Libya. I confirmed my voyage from Benghazi to Alexendria and from Alexendria to Mumbai by Egypt air, and Mumbai to Delhi by Air India.

4 March: Amid unsurmountable chaos and killings all around, we left our house in Ajdabya at 7.30 pm with some rebel escorts fully loaded with guns. I reached Benghazi at 8. 30 pm and stayed for 10 hours in a hotel as our ship was scheduled to come at 6 am next morning. It was 9.30 pm when Gadhafi forces dropped some bombs by plane on the suburbs of Benghazi. So again it became a sleepless night as I remained glued to the TV set watching Aljazeera with visuals of 25 dead bodies.

5 March: Our ship was 10 hours late, so we finally boarded the ship at 5.30 pm. Before boarding the ship, I was interviewed by Aajtak and Headlines Today followed by a 45 minutes’ long documentary by SBS Datelines, an Australian T.V. channel in which I finally said “It’s not humanity to safeguard just foreign nationals, I urge to all international communities to come forward and save Libya and Libyans”.

6 March: At 10 am our ship (Scotia Prince) set off.

8 March: It took 55 hours to reach the port of Alexdenria.

9 March: We were taken to Alexendria airport where we took the flight for Mumbai at 2pm. It took us 5 hours to land at Mumbai airport, but we had to wait 10 hours to catch Air India flight for Delhi.

10 March:  At last we are safe home not in 7 hours (normal flight time Benghazi-Dubai-Delhi) but in 7 days.

Viewing the ongoing heinous genocide of the Libyans who sought for help repeatedly from the international organisations, it has become evident that today’s degrading and selfish humanity with its vested interest wants to see the worth of Libya’s oil rather than Libyan’s blood. 

(Dr. Sanjay, a well-known linguist working in Garyounis University and a popular columnist for a weekly newspaper in Libya, gives a brief harrowing account of Libyan Unrest.)