Libyans Head To The Polls Amid Federalist Agitation in Benghazi

Tripoli

“Libyans will go to the polls this weekend for the first time in almost a half-century. For many—from young YouTube progressives who advertised the uprising that ousted Moammar Gadhafi to grizzled dissidents who endured years of prison—the election will be the fulfillment of a dream. Or it should be.” My Maclean’s piece published earlier this week.

Saif Is Safe

Zintan

“‘How’s Saif (al-Islam Gaddafi) now?’ I ask. Al-Ateri says he’s physically fit and has regular medical check-ups. ‘Mentally he seems a man accepting of fate, he appears resigned and pragmatic. Unprompted by us he asked for books written by different Muslim scholars and he’s built up a huge collection of Islamic texts. He reads when he’s not flicking between satellite TV news and sports channels.’”

From my piece today in the London Evening Standard.

Libya: Two Competing Realities of Women

Tripoli

Will they be heard?

From article in Newsweek/Daily Beast: “At times there are two competing realities in post-Gaddafi Libya. For most ordinary Libyan women, there’s domestic drudgery and subordination to their men. For the more educated, drawn from higher ranks and involved in newly minted nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), there’s hope of change and greater opportunities. The two realities seldom meet…

Another fight will be over changing the judicial code. Currently, there’s no such crime as spousal rape. Activists want to see that changed and want to see the banning of rape victims being prosecuted for adultery or judges coercing rape victims and rapists to marry in order to restore “family honor,” something that condemns a woman to a life of injustice.”