Friday, September 15, 2006
tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of the Freedom fighter, the shaheed Omar Al-Mukhtar.
I was talking to an Iranian brother last week, I was at a stop the war meeting, and he was one of the speakers, he asked me where I was from and when I replied Libya he said that one of his greatest hero's is from Libya. For a split second I thought he was gonna say the kernal himself, gaddafi, and I was preparing myself to uncover his dark secrets when he volunteered the info and to my pleasant surprise he said it was the shaheed Omar Al-Mukhtar, wow, the fact that Omar AL-Mukhtar is still a hero and a role model by the youth is amazing, and why not I say, we need such role models to stay alive in our minds, were barley scraping the bottom of the barrel as it is for some decent role models for us in today's times.
I hadn't though of Omar Al-Mukhtar may Allah have mercy on his soul, for a long time, I remember some of the Arab channels broadcasted 'The Lion of the desert' last year, and I always manage to miss most of it and only just join in the part where he's preparing himself for the hanging, and each time I still cry, I guess this is the only good thing that gaddafi has given us, memoirs of his life....
ever since a child every time I ever saw a film with Anthony Quinn I would be well pleased as I associated Omar Al-Mukhtar and hamza the uncles prophet whom he played the role of, and I always hated Oliver Reid cause of the Italian character he played in The lion of the desert, my dad would always tell me that it was only acting but I guess once you associate some body with something then its difficult to remove that stigma, kinda like what some viewers of cornation st or eastenders do when they see the actors who play villains in real life, they attack them lol....
I once was asked to write an article on the history of the shaheed as well as the then Libyan resistance to Italy, and it was really interesting finding out the information, but to be honest there really is int that much info on the shaheed in English. The Iranian brother said to me that one of his wishes is to go to Libya and research on the life of Omar Al-Mukhtar and then write a book in English on his life story, wow... Its amazing really, he wasn't young when he fought the Italians, he was ill a couple of times and many of his comrades asked him to retire and leave the country, he was 80 years old, 80 years old, subhanallah. He refused to stop and give up and kept fighting and he really deserved the name given to him as "The Lion of the Desert."
On 16 September, 1931 the Italians hanged Omar Al-Mokhtar in the city of Solouq and they forced the Libyans to watch their hero being hanged. No consideration to Omar Al-Mokhtar's old age, no consideration to international law and no consideration to world war treaties. The anniversary of his death is coming up, I pray that Allah accepts his efforts and the many others who fought along side the shaheed.
not many people know realize that Libya's history is one of blood tears and broken bones, the Italians really thought that taking Libya was going to be similar to taking candy from a baby but they where in for a shock, there aggression was courageously and strongly resisted by the Libyan people.
the resistance spread across the country from the far western region to the far east, the numbers kept growing, beginning with less than a thousand to within a short period, over 6 thousand. They united to protect their land, freedom and honour from the Italians and they fought as religious men.
the Italian-Libyan war was a David vs Goliath battle, the Italians where equipped with the then latest battle gear, all types of weaponry, tanks etc... The Libyans had old rusted rifles and there horses but despite all that they had tremendous courage and determination to liberate there country and they had faith and reliance on Allah which was there greatest weapon against the Italians.
the resistance lasted nearly 20 years, that's a long time, the Italians where embarrassed by the lack of power and control they had over the Libyan resistance which kept increasing no matter what the Italians did to destroy it.
from May 1930 to September 1930 more than 80 thousand Libyan men, woman and children where forced to leave there homes and where put into concentration camps, 55% of the Libyans died in the camps, it's reported that in November at least 17 funerals a day occurred in the camp due to hunger, illness and depression.
the Libyans never once compromised there beliefs, they continued to fight for freedom, after the death of Omar Al-Mukhtar, the Italians didn't stay long in Libya and shortly afterwards Libya gained its independence.
Libya now is going through a different stage, I pray that the likes of Omar Al-Mukhtar will rise again amongst the Libyan population, primarily the youth, and bring justice to a country in dire need of it.