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Libyan Writer Ghoma
الكاتب الليبي غومة

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Friday, 9 October, 2009


By: Ghoma

        Behind each king there was always a tale. Some of these fables would defy the laws of optics in the sense of the further away they get the larger they become, as the legend of King Arthur implies. Others, whose stories were made up, would fizzle into the ether before their lives were over, as the concocted story of the defunct little Czar of Libya did. However, each nation has its own history. The winners got to write those accounts. The appointed writers thus avoid the necessary culling that would sieve the truth from fiction. Thus their narratives come to celebrate more often than not a glorious past that never was and attribute far more illustrious struggles to the group that is ruling at the time. And what gets diluted if not lost forever is the true story. The details get buried deep down, particularly the shtick used by a sucker(s) to bamboozle the people to fall into the trap his own schemes as to become their king. The tale sometimes gets rich enough to leave the rarified atmosphere of historical narrative and take residence in the entertainment department. Bu upon tracking the ins and outs of the story of how a king came to be the intrigues would reveal a full-blown plot. The machinations spun by the group, who later will be described as founders, go beyond hiding facts but hushing down any voice to describe how dark those forces, alien to the slumbering people, trusted to shape into a form acceptable to the nascent state.

        The first of these legends, usually belong mostly to nations whose people were awake enough to have kept track of their records as to how far they’ve been traveling since their ancestors had got together to form a community. The second belongs to mostly newly concocted nation-states, the ex-colonies. Another important trait that distinguishes the ones from the other is: The first took hold of their history, making it a dynamic force that marches from one stage to the next transforming them in the process into something they’d never dreamed of. The second froze history in a chosen moment of time and the process had arrested their development. They viewed history as not of their making; rather than a domain which sometimes belonged to their ancestors, at other times to God, who, eons ago had decided the course of the peoples’ march and thus established the boundaries of their aspirations.

        The myths of how kings and queens came to being were always engulfed in mystic and mysterious plots pointing toward the supernatural occurrences. Heroes have populated the chosen scenes and heroism defined the contours of the painting. Not lacking the whiffs of oriental spices which gave to the aroma its magic. These fantastic tales were padded with all the details that would make the would-be kings superhuman giants, who, in the moments of need, had defied the intractable circumstances to lead their peoples into prechosen destiny. Hollywood, perhaps before even went global! What was left out of these scripts, and sometimes was lost for good, was the real stuff that took place and which had transformed these shady figures from compromised, sometimes even traitors, into full-blown heroes 10-foo tall giants, to their peoples’ causes.

        Take for example, King Idris? He would have been nobody had he not collaborated with the Italians first and then with the ‘Great Satan’ of the time, the Brits. How he became a resistance leader without ever participating in battles was less important than how he became a king. This latter episode has surpassed Hollywood in its proportions of fabricated lies. The intrigues of Muhammed Idris’s whereabouts and his designs to appropriate some foothold in any part of the Sand Box had got so thick and scattered to interwoven plots among and between the superpowers of the time, the UN, and the guileless tribes of the eastern deserts. All these ushered in, first he was appointed an Emir of Cyranaica, whereby he threatened the rest of the country to go his way or he’d declare an independent Emirate in the east. His threat had worked, for he then was shoved down the throats of most Libyans, in Tripolitania and Fezzan where close to 80% of the population resided. The icing on the cake, as if all of this was not enough, he was part and parcel to the intrigues behind the so-called Constitutional process of writing and approval. Under, of course, the instigation of his leash-holders, Idris maneuvered the appointments for the various commissions and committees, to make them worthy to win the best of any oriental despotic saga. To cap all this, the crap was not over yet, he then ran his feudal kingdom as a true and loyal vassal, a desert extension to Western powers.

        What makes such a cursory flyover historical snippets necessary is the stubborn insistence, by some bankrupted opposition groups, to grant a position of historical honor to Masaud Fshika’s version of events and to give to his gibberish on that dark period a truthful face-value narrative. Symbolisms apart, what matters more is their taking of that period’s appurtenances and paraphernalia as their stepping stone to the future. From the jingoism of the flag and the Constitution to the raising of some members of the ancient regime, as defacto, by default venerated figures. These groups seem to believe in the myth of the past as always constituting a necessary foundation to any dreamed of edifice, even when the future envisioned would be so completely different to be perhaps on its opposite pole of that past. These guys and gals either have no imagination or have stuck into their own trap of parroting what they’ve heard but never verified nor digested, not to say reflected upon.

        Now, what is more curious, musing! is how a puppet king came to have a queen? When neither ‘Constitution’ nor tradition warranted such a position or title. Not to pick on a departed soul, Fatima ash-Sharif was never a queen, but was a mere wife to an imposed king - a fake and a usurper of power, no different from Qaddafi! The relatively short period of time in which Idris was a king didn’t warrant all the hoopla usually granted idols. So why all the swooping and the shedding of crocodile tears on the passing of a lady who when asked what she was thinking about the country she claimed to reign had uttered pure and ineligible gibberish! Some of the folks of the old the old guard may even be excused, for they’ve been left on the cold. But what about the so-called ‘New Reformists’? Are these trying to prove something or only to just be nice to the dead? And is the singing of the merits of a departed soul a sign of reconciliation or is it merely an opportunity to show off the magnanimity of the heir-apparent?

        People, Libyans, die every day. Nobody cared/cares about how they died or where they died, or where they wanted to be buried. Nor anyone has asked them about what their lives would have been, had they stayed where they always intended to, in their birthplace. All hell breaks loose every time an old fart kicks the bucket. Only when some of those who’d screwed Libya and Libyans badly, do we hear all these fake tears and unbounded praises of their patriotism, contributions, and honesty! But where is Libya today if these folks were what they purportedly reported to have been. Are not monarchists and their ilks forgetting that Libya and Libyans have not gotten out of their nightmare yet? Their present sufferings are due in great part to a group of people who’d assumed the reigns of power without appreciating -or being aware- of what was demanded of them.


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