I’ve finally made it to the ‘Land of the Pharaohs,’ and I dare say everything seems pretty normal for a country that has only recently experienced a revolution. Life has gone on, other than a sporadic demonstration every Friday and the occasional ruckus because of the Mubarak trial. However, it is worth noting that people are a bit more on edge and theft is on the rise since January 25th.
Although typically debate amongst Egyptians is the future of the “New Egypt,” the trending topic right now is #Libya. Ever since the fall of Tripoli to the NTC rebels (National Transitional Council), Egyptians have been constantly talking about the Libyan peoples’ future. I actually ran into a Libyan expatriate and was able to converse about her homeland’s political situation. Fatimah* had just returned from a three-month visit to Libya where she was in the process of opening an NGO. Her own uncles had left the United States (Where they resided) to take up arms against Muammar Qaddafi’s tyrannical army. Fatimah said the New Libya would be a great one especially if Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the former Justice Minister under Qaddafi and now chairman of the NTC, was to take over permanently.
I, on the other hand, have my own theories. Libya worries me in the sense that the rebels are from various groups consisting of ordinary people, Al Qaeda, expatriates, mujaheddin and such. They are all fighting for the same cause now, but once its all over a power struggle may arise leading to a Civil War, similar to what happened in Somalia. Another thing worth mentioning is that Libya has a vital natural resource which has made the country well-off in the first place compared to its neighbors: oil. This is an important resource to the West as we all know, and it comes as no surprise that European oil companies have been flocking to Libya to make better deals with the rebels than what they already had under Qaddafi. I worry for Libya’s future because of its wealth and lack of real direction, I fear it may turn into another Iraq/Somalia type situation.
One last thing to mention is the whereabouts of Colonel Qaddafi. It has been brought to my attention that he may be considering self-exiling himself to Zimbabwe, another stronghold of African Dictatorship under Robert Mugabe, also known as ‘Crazy Bob’. Both dictators have participated in dirty dealings in the past. If Qaddafi were to head to the South of Africa, he’d be joining former Ethiopian President, Mengistu Haile Mariam. I’m surprised the Saudis have not extended a hand, as they often have had a long history of granting asylum to dictators such as Idi Amin of Uganda, and more recently Ben Ali of Tunsia.
*Name changed for privacy.