Libya’s Year One: Life After Qaddafi
I can’t tell you the name of the small city where this tale unfolds, because it would be too easy to figure out the family involved, whom I like a great deal. But all the dialogue is real—if anything, the attitudes are typical. And this story suggests that Libya’s road to a free society will be a rocky one.
Mo’ad’s remaining sister Fairouz, twenty, also sat listening as Mo’ad answered my question with a now-familiar litany: how he would get seventy-two virgins for wives, how he was doing his duty as a Muslim. Pretty, slim Fairouz has almost finished her university studies and speaks the best English in the family, though Mo’ad has a diploma from Tripoli University’s English department. But it wasn’t clear what kind of job Fairouz would be able to find. Social rules prevented her from living away from home until she married—something she was in no hurry to do—and her city was too small to offer many sophisticated jobs. Even commuting an hour to the next, bigger city was out of the question here. “Men can do everything, women can do nothing,” she’d muttered when we were alone before Mo’ad walked in. “It is unfair.”