Speaking for myself, 2011 was a huge year and 2012 has been no different. And somewhat completely surreal.
I’ve learned a lot and took part in work I never imagined I would ever do.
In many ways, my devotion and focus was a blessing and a curse. I alienated many people, some whose
loyalty personal motives became all too clear to me but some others were unfortunately friends I considered very dear to me. Being a workaholic at my age wasn’t going to help much either and let’s just say that much of my work has been on hiatus for over a year and a half now.
Libya’s first protests actually kicked off in the east on the 15th of February and by the 26th, my organisation had already had one 40ft and one 20ft container of medical aid leaving port en route to Libya via Alexandria, Egypt. These were the first med aid containers to ever enter Libya. This was initially motioned by a handful of people, one of which is the now acting Minister of Health of Libya, Dr Fatima Hamroush.
I was back in Libya by the first week of March 2012. In total, I travelled about 4 times to Libya during times of great uncertainty (and a few times after), all while meeting the most incredible and inspirational people that I will ever meet. Men and women that really stepped up to the plate when the risk was so high.
We shipped and led convoys of medical aid across Europe and the Mediterranean. I dealt with forces beyond my expectations and experienced emotions beyond fear or bravery - something I can only best describe as a blind sense of duty. All of this was of course impossible without the 8 to 10 full time volunteers that made the ILEA aid programme a functioning reality (by late August 2011, a total of 8 containers, valued at $9 million worth of medical aid had been sent from Ireland by the ILEA and dispersed all over Libya).
Some of us have now found ourselves on the next stage of our revolution. With the initial direction of Dr Fatima Hamroush, we set up a Treatment in Ireland Programme for wounded Libyans and critical cases in the shape of the Libyan Health Office of Ireland (under the auspices of the interim Libyan government) and by the 4th of December, patients - wounded heroes - began coming to Ireland for treatment that soon will be readily available in Libya thanks to the current efforts, patriotic devotion and work of the Minister of Health.
That, and I got to do some awesome things like.. oh say.. fire an LSD-1 machine gun after a meeting:
I’m a fairly private person and so has been the attitude of my colleagues. We operated and continue to operate in a relatively low key manner. As it should be and will continue to be but I thought I’d have this once off
public moment of reflection. With whatever struggles that go on, life is good. Count your blessings and always help people in the best way you see right.
Don’t panic, actively make and accept sacrifices for causes bigger than yourself or any one individual and life will always move forward.
عبدالله عبدالعزيز النيهوم
A photo of my grand father, Abdullah Hamroush in his 20s (R.I.P. 2003). He served in the Libyan Army under King Idris before the Gaddafi coup in ‘69.
He was a court marshall judge before Gaddafi’s time.
Incidentally, he’s the judge that ruled Gaddafi with a 3 days’ solitary confinement following an incident where the then Captain Muamar Gaddafi ordered the troop he was training to trample over a soldier who lost consciousness during a morning training session.
Following the Gaddafi coup, my grandfather was summoned to court under no allegations. After no shred of evidence of corruption was found on him, he was imprisoned for 3 years and 6 months regardless. A year for every day that that bastard Gaddafi deservedly spent in solitary confinement.
Following his release from prison, where he was undoubtedly tortured, he reintegrated into civilian life.
He was approached time and time again by Gaddafi committees to take up diplomatic jobs, which he flat out refused - declaring to his family that he would never leave Libya until Gaddafi is deposed.
Unfortunately he died in 2003 of intra-abdominal bleeding due to the lack of medical expertise. No doubt or need to explain that that itself was a by-product of the Gaddafi system.
This man is who I hold all my standards and morals up against. So much of what I do is guided by the stories and example-safeguards of what he did throughout his life.
True men like Abdullah Hamroush are of a legendary status, integrity and heroism that we rarely know or ever approach in this day and age. He built himself from nothing and even given how his life was irreparably damaged by the Gaddafi regime time and again, he raised successful and driven children that are a proud testament to his integrity themselves. Dr Fatima Hamroush, my mother, the first (woman) Minister of Health of free Libya.
(serious swag in the above photo gramps! haha).
It’s been at a huge cost of life and limb for Libyans to get where we are today and where we plan to be.
Happy Independence Day :)
“Abdul and Walid are seen here in their Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty (USA). Packing some serious firepower, this is a pair many would loathe to mess with.
The truck carries a LSD-1 anti-aircraft machine gun on the base of the Soviet Vladimirov heavy machine gun and a 32-round block of UB-32 which launches S-5 unguided rockets, also from the USSR.Abdul is holding an AKMS automatic rifle and Walid is posing with his baby, the also Soviet RPG07.
Talk about strange bedfellows, when is the last time you saw an American pickup pack this much Soviet firepower?“
(photoreel via victoryormartyrdom)
I’m incredibly proud of my mother, Dr Fatima Hamroush.
First Health Minister of Free Libya.
She is a highly successful doctor/hospital consultant, has been a prolific anti-Gaddafi writer for the past 5 years, the Director of Irish Libyan Emergency Aid (which has sent $9mil in aid to Libya and currently administrating the refurbishment of a Libyan hospital) and the Administrator of the Libyan Health Office of Ireland (for treatment of wounded Libyans).
I have been working with her very closely for the past number of years, managing her private clinic, running the ILEA between us and also in managing the Libyan Health Office.
I can’t imagine anyone better for the job.
She’s an empowering person. A woman of incredibly infectious bravado, unbudging integrity and work ethic. A professional who won’t stop until work gets done.
It’s a tough road ahead for her but her cabinet is incredible and Libya’s future has never looked brighter.
Libya’s new Government:
Prime Minister: Abduraheem El-Keib
Deputy Prime Minister: Mustafa AbuShagur
Minister of Religious Affairs: Hamza AbuFaris
Minister of Justice: Khalifa Ashour
Minister of Telecome: Anwar Fituri
Minister of Labor: Mustafa Rujbani
Minister of Health: Dr. Fatima Hamroush
Minister of Interior: Fawzi Abdela’ali
Minister of Energy: Awad Beroin
Minister of Trade and Commerce: Sharkasi
Minister of Education, Sulaiman Sayeh
Minister of Foreign Affiars: Ashour Ben Khayil
Minister of Defense: Col. Osama Juwaili
Minister of Planning: Isa Tuwaijri
Minister of Social Affairs: Mabrouka Jibril
Minister of Oil: Ben Yizza
Minister of Finance: Hasan Zaglam
Minister of Agriculture: Abdul-Hamid Sulaiman BuFruja
Minister of Industry: Mahmoud Fetais
Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education: Dr. Naeem Gheriany
Minister of Investment: Ahmed Attiga
Minister of Culture and Civil Society: Abdul Rahman Habil
Minister of Electricity: Awadh Barasa
Minister of the Martyrs: Ashraf bin Ismail
Minister of Local Government: Mohammad Hadi Hashemi Harari
Minister of Housing: Ibrahim Alsagoatri
Ladies and gents,
2011’s been a bit insane.
Some of you may know that back in February, when Libya’s uprising turned into a full on genuine revolution, I took time off of everything in the past 10 months (college, work, music and even seeing friends) and founded the medical aid group Irish Libyan Emergency Aid (Facebook , twitter ).
In that time, we’ve supported food convoys from Egypt and sent medical aid that valued around €6million to Libyan hospitals/towns in need.
A number of you have been amazing and extremely helpful/generous with your time/donations and it’s gone a long long way. Some Libyans have had medical care where there may have been none during the bloodiest uprising in its history, and it’s hugely down to support from yourselves and many like you.
Closer to Ireland, Movember has raised phenomenal funds for the Irish Cancer Society the past number of years and I personally try what I can to promote it (mainly by scaring people into donating with my horrible moustache). A couple of years back, I raised a good few hundred euro and I’d like to do even better this year.
I’d like you to show your support for either cause (‘coz I’ll like you even more).
Please reblog, retweet, share etc. <3
Rebel Moustache out.
Yeh.. couldn’t resist.. Only in #Libya..
I hated/hate those notes.
#Gaddafi and the new currency?
Brilliant interactive timeline info-graphic of the Arab Spring by The Guardian.
Suleiman Mahmoud, former head of Libyan Internal Security and now the current head of the Libyan military in East Libya, announced last week that Gaddafi’s father is Jewish Italian and his mother was Jewish.. And his real name is ‘Galileo’ or’ Joe’..
Libyans were told something like this coming..
Jac Chirak once said we’d be ‘completely surprised’ if we ever found out about him..
For 42 years, Libya’s been ruled and ruined by a foreigner..
Libya’s ‘reality’ can best be described as surrealist..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVKxdhpM-ag (only in Arabic for now)
Note: In no way does Gaddafi being Jewish mean anything outside of the fact that he is foreign and therefore in no way should have been in control of the most powerful North African countries, of which 99% of its population is Muslim (Can’t exactly imagine Israel ruled by a Muslim.)