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We Need a New Zwara Speech But for Reform This Time

I’m going to give Mr. Saif El-Aslam Qadafi the benefit of the doubt for now and believe that he is sincere and serious in his efforts to reform the system in our beloved Libya, politically, economcally, and socially. I’ll also believe that he has the blessing of his father, who currently has the ultimate power to reform or not to reform, what the reform will include, and finally the pace of the reform. ”.

I hope also that Mr. Saif El-Aslam has the blessing of his brothers who wield a lot of power and may decide to use if they feel that things are not going their way.

However, giving a speech once a year promising reforms and inaugurating few projects that never get completed are not strong evidence to give us the confidence that the reform initiative is real and here to stay. Similarly, allowing the safe return of exiled Libyans and issuing them new passports is not a hard proof of the reform initiative. The exiled Libyans, who some of them have been exiled for about 30 years, have adapted to life outside Libya and may find it difficult if not impossible to return and reside permanently in Libya. Some have children and even grandchildren who were born and raised in exile and do not even speak Arabic. I think also that Libyans in exile are getting more attention than the Libyans inside Libya and they are the least effected by the conditions in Libya. The reform initiative first and foremost should benefit the Libyans in Libya with immediate effects. The residents of Libya should see and feel the fruits of the reform clearly and abundantly.

The reform initiative should move at much faster pace. Mammar Qadafi used the revolutionary ferventness to implement his destructive policies that lead Libya to the predicament it is in now. If he and his son are serious about reform, the father should use the same fervor to launch the reform initiative. We need a new Zwara speech but for reform this time.

Youseef Youseef


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