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Posted On: 23 August 2011 10:57 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Demonstrators celebrate the imminent fall of the Gaddafi regime in Doha last night

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As the fall of the Gaddafi regime seems imminent, most people in Qatar believe that this as the inevitable consequence of his over 40- year chaotic rule in Libya. There is almost a general consensus among people that Gaddafi was a “crazy” man who has never been able to establish a sound ideology. Ishaq Philips, an Egyptian translator, believes that throughout his rule, he tried to kill the spirit of freedom in his people, he even ridiculed their uprising , and the winds of change brought about by Al Jazeera news channel alerted the Libyans to rise up for their liberty. Dr. Mohamed Rawahna, a Jordanian resident in Doha, sees Gaddafi as a “caricature character” and according to him people will never cease to remember his funny crazy talks. He also believes that his fall is the normal outcome of his oppressive practices. “The hard times of fighting and the revolution have unified the Libyan people and made them transcend tribal affiliations,” he said. Dr. Rawahna also ruled out the idea of Nato presence or power vacuum after Gaddafi is gone. However, economic interests and co-operation with Europe is necessary to boost economy and rebuild the state’s organisations. Dr. Rawahna thinks that modern communication technology has played a great role in the Arab revolutions. The eyes and minds of people are open now and they can no longer tolerate the follies and tyrannies of their rulers. He and others praised and stressed the role of Al Jazeera news channel in encouraging people to rise for their rights and freedom. Mohamed Shannaq, a Jordanian expatriate, thinks that the Libyans’ struggle for freedom has unified them and the possibility of clashes over power is really very little. “They have suffered long enough to value their unity. Moreover, the National Transitional Council (NTC) has managed to contain the situation and could fill any power vacuum that may take place,” he said. There is a general agreement that the possibility of military occupation by Nato forces after Gaddafi is almost non-existent. Most people believe that the situation in Libya is different from Iraq, for example. In Libya the people initiated the revolution themselves; their leaders are nationals from among them and enjoy their support and approval. That is, they would not need or accept a foreign power to enforce law and order or enter their territories under any pretext. However, Nato would necessarily play a logistic and economical role. Fred, a British expatriate, believes that it was the duty of Nato to interfere in Libya first for humanitarian reasons. “They could not watch and just stand by. Europe did not want to repeat what happened during 1930s and 1940s when they watched the atrocities of Nazi Germany. We have had to take action for our humanitarian values,” he said. The other reasons are purely economical, because Libya is an important market for Europe, and its petroleum wealth is necessary to stabilize the market. The incentives for Nato are that there are great possibilities at the Libyan market as a trade partner with Europe that have been long hampered by Gaddafi regime. Another UK national said that Nato wanted to get out of Libya as quickly as possible because Europe can hardly afford the high cost of an extended war. Faraj from Tunisia thinks that political life in Libya is still forming. “There were no political parties to struggle over power, the people are united for one cause, their freedom, and I don’t think that tribal affiliations would be able to break their unity,” he said. A Sudanese resident, Abdullah, along with a compatriot friend, expressed his joy at the end of the Gaddafi regime. They described him as crazy tyrant who robbed the wealth of the Libyans and “the time has come to get rid of him”.