Th is is not a historical record but a vivid sketch of experiences, challenges, colors, people, sandstorms; the sketch of a country as seen from the eyes of the author over three decades. The author lived for three decades in Libya, The Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya of Muammar Qadhafi. Witnessed the magnanimity of the Bedouin, his ruthlessness as dictator, the eloquence as a preacher, the dog of the Middle East, and according to Ronald Regan, the shrewd salesman of crude oil. The man who thrived on staged coups, and intimidated, persecuted, imprisoned, and executed his opponents, even murdered persons who survived the gallows. The student of Jamal Abd-el-Nasser, who believed in succeeding him as a Pan Arab Leader. The man who substituted normal education with arms training. The voracious person who inspired and supported every kind of uprising around the world and squandered millions of dollars on terrorism and revolutions. The man who subsidized the devastation of Lebanon and killed every ray of hope for peace in the Middle East, but also fought the so called reactionaries on his own territory, a category broad enough to include Muslim fundamentalists, covetous fellow army officers and members of Westernized business class. He speaks about the man who never celebrated a birthday, because no such records exist for his birthday date. Rumors say that he was born in the spring, or may be in September of 1942, the off spring of an Italian general, and a Jewish Bedouin woman, in the Surta area. But also about the man who built the infrastructure of his country, built whole towns, road networks, hospitals and brought water from the heart of the desert and provided electricity to the last shepherd's tent.
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