Muammar al-Gaddafi
Muammar al-Gaddafi

In 1942, Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was born in the North African desert, around Sirte, Libya to a nomadic Bedouin family.

Being the youngest child, Gaddafi stayed with his poor Bedouin nomad family in a desert camp till he went away to school at age 9. He received a traditional religious primary school education.

In 1956 he attended the Serbha preparatory school in Sidra. He was an excellent student who quickly took up the nationalist Arab Cause and became politically active. Gaddafi was inspired by speeches of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Gaddafi organized his fellow students into revolutionary study groups at Sebha; he continued the practice at the University of Libya in Tripoli, where he received a history degree in 1963.

In 1963 he entered the Benghazi Military Academy. It was here that he and a few of his fellow militants organized a secretive group dedicated to overthrowing the pro-Western Libyan monarchy. After he graduated in 1965, he was sent to Britain for further training. He returned a year later as a commissioned officer in the Signal Corps.

On September 1st,1969, Gaddafi overthrew King Idris, whom he considered a pawn of the Western European nations, in a carefully planned coup. Assuming command of the government as chairman of the ruling Revolutionary Council, Gaddafi declared himself commander-in-chief of Libya’s armed forces and its government, with the rank of colonel. He firstly ruled as president of the Revolutionary Command Council until 1977 when he switched to the title of president of People’s General Congress. Two years later he renounced all official titles but remained the de facto head of the Libyan government.

Colonel Gaddafi soon began implementing his long-dreamed plans for Libya by nationalizing all foreign banks and oil companies and insisting on closing down all European military bases in Libya. In 1970 Gaddafi seized the private assets of Libya’s Italian and Jewish residents, driving them from the country.

He is a fervent supporter of unity of all Arab states into a single Arab nation. Following Egyptian President Nasser’s death he attempted to take on the mantle of ideological leader of Arab nationalism. In 1972 he proclaimed the “Federation of Arab Republics (Egypt, Libya and Syria). Two years later he tried again with a proposal to merge Tunisia and Libya. Both these failed. Qaddafi has also called for the creation of a Saharan Islamic state.

Gaddafi also provoked several incidents with the US, one of which led to an American retaliatory bombing raid on his headquarters in Tripoli on April 15, 1986. Gaddafi escaped with only minor injuries but his infant daughter was killed. In 1988 Libyan intelligence agents exploded a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing over 200 people.

On January 31,2009, Muammar al-Gaddafi was elected as the chairman of African Union and in January 31, 2010, he was voted out.

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, Gaddafi worked to improve his relationship with the West. In exchange for his help in tracking down Islamic militants his government received concessions from the West, including the easing of various restrictions placed against it due to his terrorism of the 1980s.

In 2011, as part of the “Arab Spring”, major civil unrest broke out in Libya aimed at removing Gaddafi from power. Gaddafi began a violent and repressive campaign against his own people and a civil war ensued, with Gaddafi forces on one side and rebels–a combination of students, ordinary people and army defectors-with air and logistical support from NATO, on the other. After an eight-month civil war, Gaddafi was captured by rebels in his hometown of Serte and soon afterward he was executed.

Before his death, Muammar Gaddafi came on the Libyan National Television and gave a very touching speech.

Below is the full speech

For 40 years or was it longer, I can’t remember, I did all I could to give people houses, hospitals, schools, and when they were hungry. I gave them food, I even made Benghazi into farmland from the desert.

I stood up to attacks from that cowboy Reagan, when he killed my adopted orphaned daughter. He was trying to kill me; instead he killed that poor innocent child. Then I helped my brothers and sisters from Africa with money for the African Union.

I did all I could to help people understand the concept of real democracy, where people’s committees ran our country, but that was never enough, as some told me. Even people who had 10 room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more, and they told Americans and other visitors, they needed “democracy,” and “freedom,” never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest .But they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.

No matter what I did, it was never enough for some, but for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we’ve had since Salah’ a’ Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya, for my people.

It was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination—from thieves who would steal from us— now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called “capitalism,” but all of us in the Third World know what that means.

It means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer.

There is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following his path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us, in the Libyan Jammohouriyah.

I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.

Let this testament be my voice to the world, that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stood up to betrayal, stood up the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light.

When others were building castles, I lived in a modest house, and in a tent. I never forgot my youth in Sirte, I did not spend our national treasury foolishly, and like Salah’a’deen, our great Muslim leader, who rescued Jerusalem for Islam, I took little for myself… in the West.

Some have called me “mad,” “crazy,” but they know the truth but continue to lie. They know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip, that my vision, my path, is, and has been clear and for my people and that I will fight to my last breath to keep us free, may Allah almighty help us to remain faithful and free”

Gaddafi’s contribution to the people of Libya

During his era, Gaddafi was able to achieve a few things for the people of Libya. Some of which include;

1. All the newlyweds people of Libya to get about 50,000 dollars from Government to lead a very happy life.

2. Home is the basic right of every citizen of Libya.

3. There was no electricity bill in Libya. Electricity was free in Libya.

4. No interest loan for the people of Libya according to Law. Gaddafi was against interest since interest is forbidden in Islam.

5. Gaddafi has increased the literacy rate from 25per cent to per cent. Education expenses in Government universities are free in Libya.

6. Medical expenses in Government hospitals were free in Libya.

7. The price of the patrol was 0.14 cents in Libya. Yes we all know Libya has got good petroleum resources.

8. When Libyan citizen wants to buy a car, Government subsidize 50 per cent of the price of the car.

9. A loaf of bread cost only 15 cents in Libya.

10. The GDP per capita of Libya is very high. Over 15,000 US dollars. Purchasing power was very high compare to the GDP.

11. The economy of Libya was improving rapidly. In 2010 it had 10% growth. It has not external debts. It also has the reserves amount of 150+ billion dollars.

12. Unemployment fees were given from the government until the person finds a Job.

13. A Libyan mother gets 5,000 US dollars for giving birth to a child.

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