LIBIJA – LIBYA – ليبيا

Arheolosko nalaziste Sabrata-Sabratha archaeological site

Arheolosko nalaziste Sabrata-Sabratha archaeological site

Bazilika Septimija Severa u Leptis Magni-Severan Basilica of Leptis Magna

Bazilika Septimija Severa u Leptis Magni-Severan Basilica of Leptis Magna

Caj i hleb u Sahari-Tea and a bread in Sahara

Caj i hleb u Sahari-Tea and a bread in Sahara

Centralni trg u Tripoliju-The central square in Tripoli

Centralni trg u Tripoliju-The central square in Tripoli

Ceremonija pravljenja caja-Tea ceremony

Ceremonija pravljenja caja-Tea ceremony

Devojke iz Gadamesa-Girls from Ghadames

Devojke iz Gadamesa-Girls from Ghadames

Kabau u kome zive Berberi-Berber community of Kabau

Kabau u kome zive Berberi-Berber community of Kabau

Libijska pustinja - Libyan desert

Libijska pustinja – Libyan desert

Libijska pustinja-Libyan desert

Libijska pustinja-Libyan desert

Lokalni ples-A local dance

Lokalni ples-A local dance

Pogled na medinu u Tripoliju-A view of Tripoli's old town medina

Pogled na medinu u Tripoliju-A view of Tripoli’s old town medina

Pustinjska prodavnica suvenira-An open air desert souvenir shop

Pustinjska prodavnica suvenira-An open air desert souvenir shop

Rimski amfiteatar u Leptis Magni-Roman theatre in Leptis Magna

Rimski amfiteatar u Leptis Magni-Roman theatre in Leptis Magna

Stari grad i oaza Gadames-Ghadames-the old city and oasis

Stari grad i oaza Gadames-Ghadames-the old city and oasis

Unutar zidina starog grada oaze Gadames-Inside the walls of the old oasis town of Ghadames

Unutar zidina starog grada oaze Gadames-Inside the walls of the old oasis town of Ghadames

Stojim ispod slike velikog vođe u centru glavnog grada Tripolija. Kupio sam arapski prsluk boje peska i stavio tamne naočare iako je noć; pošto mi je, slična njegovoj, crna grgurava kosa, zabacio sam glavu malo unazad i naviše i pogledom uprtim u svetlu budućnost, pokušavam da izgledam kao Moamer el Gadafi, čije se ime izgovara i piše na 32 načina. Ne znam koliko je to duhovito mladom Libijcu koji me slika, ali se diskretno smeška kao da mi odobrava. Pored njega, na velikom i dobro osvetljenom mermernom trgu, stoji jedno lane, vezano kanapom, da se deca igraju i slikaju s njim.
Libija je puna kontrasta, iako je džinovskim koracima napredovala zahvaljujući velikom vođi, koji je od američkog neprijatelja broj jedan došao skoro do pozicije saveznika, a zatim ponovo sve izgubio i neke velike sile okrenuo protiv sebe. Mislim da to nikome do sada nije pošlo za rukom. Od poručnika koji je u svetloplavom Volkswagen “bubi” izveo revoluciju, do pukovnika (nikad general) koji je ostao do kraja, ova harizmatična ličnost afričkog kontinenta, idol i pokrovitelj mnogih afričkih nacija, prešao je dug put, pun kontroverzi, ali i državničke mudrosti, koja je Libiju najpre dovela među vodeće države Afrike, da bi zatim krenula putem propasti Gadafijevog režima.
Ovde se spajaju naizgled nemogući megaprojekti izgradnje vodovoda iz pustinje ili severnoafričke železnice, sa tipičnim i veoma zastupljenim beduinskim načinom života. Zato Gadafi nikuda nije putovao bez svog velikog šatora i kamila.
Gadames je tipičan putinjski gradić-oaza na tromeđi Libije, Alžira i Tunisa, na ulasku u Saharu. Ovde je vreme zaključano u belim podzemnim lavirintima grada, u kojima se održava podnošljiva temperatura i tipičan način života. To je ujedno i grad muzej, gde se dočarava kako se nekada živelo i gde se sve razlikuje od Tripolija, gde sve podseća na pustinju, u kojoj stoji vreme. Tu su i beduini i njihove žene u raznobojnim nošnjama, koji prodaju svoje rukotvorine na peščanim dinama, boje starog zlata pri zalasku sunca.
Antičko bogatstvo Libije je beskrajno: feničanska, grčka, rimska i vizantijska vremena kao da se prepliću u velikom broju veoma dobro očuvanih kolonada, amfiteatara, pozornica, foruma, hramova i nekropola. Leptis Magna, Sabrata, Apolonija, Sirena i Girza svedoče o tome da je ovde život cvetao u punom sjaju, kada u drugim delovima sveta skoro da i nije postojao. Čudesno izvajana Jupiterova bista, sa gustom kovrdžavom kosom i bradom u muzeju Sabrate, potvrđuje umetnički nivo stvaralaca tih vremena.
Posle dugog perioda izolacije, sudbina Libije ponovo je neizvesna. Nafta, ali i voda iz pustinje, za sada su neiscrpna bogatstva. Novi libijski put sa nekada kontroverznim Moamerom vodio je ka svetlijoj budućnost i spajao moderno i tradicionalno. I zato su uvek pognuti ulazili u Gadafijev šator oni, kojima je bio dopušten prijem, a koji su ga kasnije bombardovali; ali i ko je prošao proveru njegove lične garde dobro treniranih, odanih i lepo uniformisanih, tamnoputih lepotica. Možda mu i nije bilo stalo da bude general, mada je, mislim, imao uslova za to.
U ovom trenutku, njemu je svejedno.

Oktobar 2002.
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I am standing right below the picture of the great leader in the centre of Tripoli, the capital. I bought an Arabian style, sand coloured waistcoat, and I put on my sunglasses even though it is night time; my hair is black and curly, like his, and with my head slightly tilted backwards, I am looking into the bright future, trying to look like Muammar Gaddafi, whose name is written and pronounced in 32 different ways. I don’t know whether the young Libyan guy who is taking a picture of me is finding it genuinely funny, but he is smiling at me discreetly as though he approves. Next to him on a well light marble square I can see a fawn tied with a rope, for children to play with and take photos.
Libya is full of contrasts; it made progress in leaps and bounds thanks to the great leader, who from the Number 1 American enemy moved to the position of a close ally, and then lost all of that and turned the superpowers against him, again. I don’t think anyone else managed to do anything similar. From a lieutenant driving his light blue Volkswagen Beetle and delivering a coup d’état, to a colonel (never a general) which he remained until the end, this charismatic personality travelled a long way down the controversy route – at the same time being an idol and protector of many African nations he developed into a savvy statesman which propelled Libya into one of the most developed African countries, only to take a route towards a downfall of Gaddafi regime.
Here you can see a blend of seemingly impossible megaprojects such as building waterworks in the desert or the North African railway with the typical and widespread lifestyle of Bedouins. Gaddafi himself never travelled without his huge tent and his camels.
Ghadames is a typical desert town – oasis, at the mouth of the Sahara where Libya, Algeria and Tunisia border with each other. Here time has come to a stop in the white underground labyrinth below the city’s surface, where the air temperature is tolerable and typical Saharan life is going on. At the same time this city is a museum depicting life from the past, where everything stands still like in a desert, and so different from Tripoli. You can see Bedouins and their wives in colourful national costumes, selling their handicraft along sandy dunes which have a dark golden colour at sunset. The ancient heritage of Libya is infinite: Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras seem to overlap in a great number of well-preserved colonnades, amphitheatres, theatres, forums, temples and necropolises. Leptis Magna, Sabratha, Apollonia, Cyrene and Ghirza are a testament to a flourishing civilisation at a time when, in other parts of the world it hardly existed. A wonderfully crafted statue of Jupiter with thick curly hair and a beard, in the  Sabratha museum, confirms a high artistic level of the artists from that period.
After a long period of isolation, the fate of Libya is uncertain again. Oil reserves, as well as water reserves from the desert seem inexhaustible. A new Libyan way led by the controversial Muammar was towards a brighter future, blending the modern with the traditional. That is why everyone had to lower their head when entering his tent, when allowed to go in; but only after having been checked by his personal guards – well trained, loyal, uniformed, dark skinned beauties. And those who were allowed to enter are the same ones who were later bombing this country.
Maybe he did not care about becoming a general, even though I think he had all the right credentials. At this moment, it makes no difference to him.

October 2002

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