We featured BBC reporter Rana Jawad on the program Thursday. She’s a young Lebanese-British woman, married a Libyan, and ended up in Tripoli in 2004.
She stayed through the uprising in 2011, was the only western journalist to be in Libya for the duration of the war, and filed for BBC online as the conflict raged.
Rana has just published “Tripoli Witness: The Remarkable First Hand Account of Life Through the Insurgency”.
It’s a compelling mix of user-friendly background on Muammar Gaddafi and his ruthless and sometimes irrational leadership of the country, and Rana’s own perceptiveness as an outside observer of the madness that led the revolutionaries in Benghazi to say ‘enough is enough.’
In one part of her book, Rana Jawad discusses Gaddafi’s visits to summits in various African capitals where he’d dote on his fellow heads-of-state with suitcases of cash.
Partly for goodwill, partly out of a sense that he was the father-figure for all of Africa, Gaddafi won a lot of loyalty with those payouts, while back home, Libyans wondered in quiet anger why more of that cash didn’t come their way. Oddly
though, some notable and sensible leaders seemed to come under Gaddafi’s sway.
None other than Nelson Mandela for example. And after all, what did a man who spent decades in prison for his beliefs have to gain by saying nice things about Gaddafi? I asked Rana how she reconciled that.