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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Harrowing Experience of Alex Owumi in Libya

Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011. For a man who ruled Libya with an iron fist for nearly 42 years, the end was rather an ignominious one. From wallowing in his luxury tent to spending his last moments in a drain pipe, Gaddafi's life and death epitomised the adage that 'those who live by the sword die by the sword'.

Gaddafi was the uncontrolled master of everything he surveyed. He never occupied any post, yet styled himself 'The Leader'. He was 
a megalomaniac, one who loved unbridled power but with no accountability. A paranoid, he did not trust his own shadow.

Fear and repression were his twin weapons, especially against his own countrymen. A past-master at suppressing dissent, he crushed all opposition and 
brooked no criticism. 


Read my complete piece on the rise and fall of Muammar Gaddafi here.

Early today, I read a BBC article, narrated in first person by a young American basketball player about his harrowing experience in Libya. 

Here's an excerpt. 

When US basketball player Alex Owumi signed a contract to play for a team in Benghazi, Libya, he had no idea that his employer was the the most feared man in the country. Nor did he guess the country was about to descend into war.
...

When the hunger pains got really bad, I started eating cockroaches and worms that I picked out of the flowerpots on my windowsill. I'd seen Bear Grylls survival shows on TV and seemed to recall that it was better to eat them alive, that they kept their nutrients that way. They were wriggly and salty, but I was so hungry it was like eating a steak.
I started seeing myself, versions of myself at different ages. Three-year-old Alex, eight-year-old Alex, at 12 years, 15 years, 20 years and the current, 26-year-old version. The younger ones were on one side, and the older versions on the other. I was able to touch them and I talked to them every day. (End of excerpt)

I strongly urge you to read the harrowing story of Alex Owumi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Its an opener to a part of the brain.