“For decades, Libya appeared to be starved of talent. The entertainment industry is still virtually non-existent. But since the uprising that toppled the only man allowed to be famous in the country – Col Muammar Gaddafi – Libyans are leaving nothing to chance.
In a small music shop tucked in a street in central Tripoli, the owner is busily tuning a guitar.
Rows upon rows of instruments line the store’s walls. The gleaming, colourful electric guitars are in a league of their own against other instruments, including the traditional darbuka (drum).
This is where a heavy metal band that recently re-grouped meets three times a week after sunset.“
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.
As Sean Kane, who spent the past six months in Libya, wrote last month: “With virtually no international advice and using their own funds, Misrata and Benghazi pulled together near world-class local elections this spring that were more akin to town-wide wedding feasts than dry exercises of civic duty.”
Massive election turnout in Tripoli
In a sign that holds great promise for the new democracy in Libya, voters started to queue in Tripoli from six o’clock in the morning. At Ali Ureyet school in central Tripoli, long lines of enthusiastic men and women of all ages and walks of life queued up in front of the poll centres from early morning.
And amazing it was witnessing the tenacious crowds – no one had expected a turn out of this magnitude. Comparing it to Egypt’s own parliamentary elections, an Egyptian reporter said: “This is incredible.”
Neyamat, a 51-year-old woman went to the polls with her 83-year-old mother and 70-year-old uncle Yassin Mabrouk. “My uncle is sick today,” she said. “But he decided to go anyway.”
“He was a criminal,” Mabrouk says of Qaddafi, while resting heavily on the arm of his grandson and his cane.
A few metres away, another 83-year old, a man of in a wheelchair, is in tears and unable to respond to the questions asked by a Tunisian journalist.
From Libya Herald
Election delay has silver lining
Delays to Libya’s democratic elections now give political parties more time to focus on campaign strategies.
The decision to postpone the election date for Libya’s National Assembly from 19 June to 7 July has been welcomed by political parties and independent candidates, who now have more time to focus on their campaigns in earnest. At a time when people on the street have not yet decided how to cast their votes, competition is fierce.
Now is the time for political parties and independent candidates to raise public awareness of their manifestos and political convictions. Even though the official list of candidates and parties has yet to be published and the ballot papers yet to be printed, election fever is running high, with every candidate working hard to garner support and attract votes.
In a country where free expression, open debate and political parties were prohibited for four long decades, Libya has seen anyone with a bright idea or financial backing running for office. There were an unprecedented 4,000 applicants, all of whom needed to go through the long vetting and appeals procedure, which has, in part, resulted in the Libyan Election Commission’s decision to delay the election.
From Libya Herald