Fathi el-Jahmi has given up the ghost and succumbed to his illness. Once again, this week, another courageous voice has departed the scene. After years of suffering and neglect in the dungeons of one of the most atrocious regimes on earth, this brave voice could take it no more and quit singing: there’s another way, a better way to do things. That stentorian voice, that simple utterances, that decent request, were banes to the power hungry cliques whose panting after ephemeral pursuits have cost them the loss of all what is decent about humans: their humanity. Once again, the ephemeral pursuits have won to silence, at least for a moment, that eternal quest: give me my dignity, give me my freedom.
El-Jahmi’s tragic tale was that he has waged to play the game by the rules, established by its inventor, and has lost it. His loss came not as a consequence of an abundance of fair rules but rather out of daring to challenge the game-setters to stick to those very same annunciated rules. He, perhaps, after years of smoldering under the regime, knew of its fakiness and wanted to make it public. In that sense, he’s succeeded beyond expectations. No one doubts, anymore, that Libya and Libyans are living under the grip -and in the vise- of the most unscrupulous, corrupted and unhuman dictatorship.
When people started dying in the dungeons and their voices of supplication were suppressed, then any pretense, to give more time to the regime, is equivalent to collaboration in the crimes of the regime. After 40-years of brutal dictatorship, of chaos and mismanagement, of human rights abuses, of squandering to the country’s resources, etc. whatever the coup-plotters had recourse to to legitimize their power-grab, had certainly exhausted its usefulness awhile ago, and has come to a bad end with this new martyr to the cause of freedom. It’s time for the freedom lovers worldwide to raise their voices against Qaddafi’s dictatorship.
As they say, the cause of freedom never ends. As an endless line of its champions keeps marching some to their ends, others to temporary reprieves, but all nonetheless live or die in the hope that freedom and human dignity shall one day have a chance to reign in this of all other possible worlds. The fact that Fathi el-Jahmi has achieved very little material success against Qaddafi’s regime was secondary to what he stood for. His struggle has personalized the idea, that’s, to defeat the regime in ideal and even metaphysical terms is to preserve the moral integrity both as individuals and as representative of a better Libya, that will also justify the country’s survival.
So long and rest in peace, Mr. El-Jahmi. Your life and struggles have not been in vain; rather their richness will inspire tens, nay hundreds, millions of freedom-hungry to pursue it your way. Your blazed a path was, as hard to follow as sure will lead to a better world. As to your murderers, as all murderers must, they’ll have their day of reckoning sooner than they think.