19 March, 2011

Tripoli 1975

Tripoli 1975
This is a real story I came across it when I was in Libya. For the one who does not know what I was doing in Libya. I went to Libya to help a  none Veterinarian dean to establish the first Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Libya initially I went for six month but I stayed from 1975-1984. I left the country when one of my students becomes the Dean of the Faculty.
 Let go back to my story in first few years in that unfortunate country the only entertainment available for the expatriate was to go to the El-Shaati hotel in Georgin Populi district or the American Quarter. The entertainments menu was Coffee, Tea, Colour Television for President Gathaffi speeches and watching the resident and visitors of the Hotel. I forgot to mention that El Shaati was the favorite place for the Iraqi opposition visiting Libya to receive generous gift from brother Gathaffi. As regular visitor to El-Shaati  to practice my favourat hobby which was to watch people. I noticed a very old man sitting always in the same spot, always alone and there was a folded small praying carpet on the table in front of him, he to disappear for prayer and then come back to sit in the same place with same posture and place his little carper in the same position precisely. I myself was lonely in that country which I ended to be in it because of my circumstances you might say that I was a victim of circumstances and a dictatorship in Iraq.   Some who I noticed that the old man was also a twitchier like me and he was taking notice from the people around him including me. I stated to nod him when I used to pass his place I think he was very happy because at last somebody acknowledge his existence. The nods became Salamu  Alekum he response to my nods and greeting was over whelming and he used to go of his way to greet me. This led me to sit with him for few moments I understood from him that he was a famous Islamic Scholar in some part of South East Asia.
The second time I sat with him I could not control my curiosity at last I did asked him the question which I kept for myself for weeks, the Question was that what he is doing in Libya. He told me that he had students and followers in his country and he is very knowledgeable in some Islamic Feqh ( Islamic Law). One day somebody from the Libyan Embassy visited him and told him that Brother Kaddafi would like to see him as soon as possible and he gave him a first Class ticket to go Tripoli. At last fame in his door step and a president want to listen to his views. He arrived to Tripoli and was received very well and Taken to El Shaati Hotel  which was the best hotel in Libya. They even took his passport to  sort out his short stay with immigration office and promised him the they will be back tomorrow morning to take him to meet the brother, That was six months ago  and since then he sit in the same chair waiting to be taken to see the brother.
Now after 35 years from that saga I started to understand what he was going through.

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