Would you like to make English your default language on this site?


Libyan children traumatised by war

By Essam Mohamed for Magharebia in Tripoli – 14/06/11

  • 17

Moamer Kadhafi's beleaguered regime is now turning to children to get its message out.

To pressure states that have recognised the Libyan National Transitional Council (TNC), the Tripoli-based government gathered children for a conference in Sirte on Saturday (June 12th).

The "Innocence in the Face of Terrorism" event featured children speaking out to demand an end to the counter-Kadhafi offensive.

One child participant, Abu Lamousha sent a message to the children of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Both countries have contributed to the UN-backed no-fly zone and recognised the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya.

"You go to school, play in streets, you're not frightened by the sound of planes or tanks; you don't hear the sound of explosions; you still have your moms. We are children too, and we have the same wishes as you," Abu Lamousha said.

Another child read from a prepared text: "We, the children of Libya, confirm the unity of Libya as one, undivided state,"

"We ask the world to leave Libya for the Libyan people, who have the right to self-determination," Mohamed Ibrahim Abu Bakr read aloud. "We, today's children, will be men of tomorrow, and we have to take part in charting this future."

The Sirte conference comes after Libya's rebels issued their own statement on how the war was affecting Benghazi's children.

"We the February 17th children salute all those who stand by our side in demanding our legitimate rights and realising our dreams. We want to grow up and live under a new regime full of peace and security," the rebel statement said. "We're the grandchildren of al-Mokhtar raise the slogan 'either we win or die.'"

Magharebia previously met with Benghazi children who were drawing and asked them for their opinion. One of them said: "We, the children of February 17th, want life. Through our drawings, we say we don't want Moamer Kadhafi; rather, we want to live in freedom and dignity."

Sixth grader Ghada Ali said that she drew "a complex picture showing Moamer Kadhafi as having octopus arms, with hyena teeth and he himself was the monkey of Africa's monkeys, with his natural place to be the zoo. I drew a second picture, which is a ship at port symbolising free Libya after the suffering that we're living is over."

"I used to love father Moamer, but after he started killing and torturing us, I hated him," Ammar Ramzi said. "God willing, he will die and we will just get rid of him."

What do you think of this article?


Subscribe to our newsletter and get Magharebia's latest articles delivered to your inbox.


Anonymous thumb

You are not signed in. Anonymous comments are subject to moderation. Sign up to have your comment posted immediately - Learn more

Or post your comment using:


  1. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-10-30

    Salam- Is it possible to leave the Algerians alone? We are our own bosses and to be more explicit, I will have you know that I am a woman. Long live Algeria - yesterday, today and tomorrow! Our war is the hero of all wars that could ever be, and we are ready to do it again in order to preserve our motherland. –Sincerely, Sally


  2. Anonymous thumb

    Lélé L'AFRICAIN 2011-8-2

    To those who seem to no longer know to whom to turn!? This is nothing new! Everyone has their own perspective on things, and yet it is possible to make sense of things and our dignity demands our commitment to this because there is no such thing as neutrality. This is cowardice, which no side will forgive. By comparing different perspectives – there are rarely more than two! – you get that clarification you call research! But our facing the NATO intervention in Libya is not the same as squaring the circle! The average, uneducated person who has the good sense of the people and the respect for the dignity of man no matter his religion, his culture, his language and so on will tell you that "this intervention is inadmissible no matter the justifications being claimed". In other words, nothing justifies the NATO intervention in Libya, which is the tool of imperialist war. Those who spend all of their time refereeing should know that this is a very bad message to send. The disaster is consummate. We are already in the aftermath of the intervention. History will never forgive those who stick their heads in the sand and wait for this to pass or those who choose the wrong side!


  3. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-8-1

    Believe in God. He will not disappoint you ever and will enlighten you because, for the time being, you are in complete darkness and thus blind.


  4. Anonymous thumb

    ibrahim 2011-7-30

    Where do all these commentators get their information? If England, France, Italy, the United States and Qatar cannot be trusted because they have a vested interest in NATO’s operations in Libya, then who do we trust? We cannot trust Kadhafi, because he has a vested interest in maintaining his dictatorship and has already demonstrated his absurd dishonesty in the past. We cannot trust the revolutionaries because they have a vested interest in toppling the dictatorship. We cannot trust Algeria’s leaders because they are business partners with Kadhafi and are afraid of the consequences of the establishment of a regime that would be either friendly to Europe or a puppet of it and would offer a cheaper alternative to Algeria’s hydrocarbons. We cannot trust the Middle Eastern leaders because most of them oppress their own people and are concerned only about maintaining their rule and their sales to the West. We cannot trust Tunisia’s leaders because they are only interested in money from foreign leaders. We cannot trust Morocco because its King wants to appear democratic while he oppresses his own population. So, whom can we trust to get our information? Apparently, some people have decided that we can trust anything that is anti-revolutionary in Libya because they want either for the revolutionaries to win their freedom against Kadhafi’s heavy arms without their own heavy arms or for them not to be free. Would someone care to explain how they developed this criterion, since many of us come from countries that won their independence violently?


  5. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-7-5

    To Hichem- Your other comments have clearly proven that you are the same person as El Hadi. (Unless, of course, “Nero” has become a common topic of discussion on these forums and everyone misspells the name “Neron” instead of “Néron” (in French). And anyone who wants to verify this can go to Google and search “El Hadi Neron site:Magharebia.com” and “Hichem Neron site:magharebia.com”.) And now you are praising your own comments. If anything is indicative of a weak argument, it is hiding behind countless pseudonyms to praise your own words. Spare me your nonsense where you say that concise arguments are always right. Oversimplification is the tool of demagoguery, and this explains your love of buzzwords like “Singular Thought”, “hegemony”, “North-South”, etc. It is much easier to use buzzwords that evoke emotion that to truly diagram a social or political phenomenon, which requires a lot more than 1800 characters.


  6. Anonymous thumb

    HICHEM 2011-6-30

    To El Hadi and Hadjsadokk- I would just like to say that I appreciate your comments, which reveal a certain quality of analysis in spite of the fact that this exercise of developing an analysis in 1800 characters constrains the synthesis and does not permit the development of the entirety of the argument. When the problem is just, the argument can be concise. On the contrary, a river of speech cannot hide the weakness of the argument. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have exchanges with you on other, more hospitable websites! –Fraternally!


  7. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-6-28

    CONTINUATION to El Hadi and Hadjsadokk- I also understand your concern that the NATO airstrikes may be causing massive innocent deaths. However, I do not think that the precision of NATO airstrikes supports such a presumption and although the airstrikes have caused innocent deaths, the deaths are hardly on the order of a massacre and hardly comparable to Kadhafi’s massacres.


  8. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-6-28

    To El Hadi and Hadjsadokk- If I gave you the feeling that I was insulting the Algerian war for independence, I beg your pardon. That was not my intention. Not only do I think that this violent struggle was justified, but I commend the bravery of the Algerians. The reason I brought this subject up was to highlight the differences in our reasoning. You say that the Algerian war for independence was justified because, firstly, the France was a foreign occupier and, secondly, France’s violence lasted for 130 years. For me, I see no difference between a foreign occupier and a dictator (that is, a domestic occupier). I see no difference between the 90,000 harkis and the armed partisans of Kadhafi, whose numbers are unknown, but likely around the same number. I also do not see how 130 years of violence justifies a war but 40 years of violence does not. (Hadjsadokk, Kadhafi committed several massacres during his reign. He also employed more than 20% of the country in the intelligence services during the first decade of his reign in order to purge (murder) all dissenters.) On the other hand, I do understand your criticism of NATO. I understand that NATO is the war machine of foreign oppressors (although that oppression is now more often in the form of globalisation rather than direct military colonisation). However, I think that in the short term, the threat of NATO is less severe than that of Kadhafi, that fighting Kadhafi would not be possible without NATO and that the Libyan people will be able to withstand NATO in the long term.


  9. Anonymous thumb

    El Hadi 2011-6-24

    To Essid- Once again, you distort my words, and yet things are clear. France is a coloniser country and it only understands force. You compare the incomparable with the nasty. What is going on in Libya is a civil war between one part of the population in the South against the North. You ask me how they should stay within the proper limitations: take the example of the republican countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen, the latter of which is extremely armed. You are going to say that these people are facing an enraged madman. Okay, that does not mean that they should not take responsibility and remain civilly disobedient with peaceful demonstrations and a great many other forms of protest in spite of the tanks. Oh, my dear friend, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Beware of the Westerners’ games and the Arab traitors. Do not trust the speeches of the great persons. My dear Essid, look at the many pens and characters who now regret the position with the NATO revolutionaries simply because they have figured out the trickery of the so-called opposition and the lies of the media that accompany them and serve the interests of the Western countries. Do you not think that the Libyan youth were inspired by the Arab revolutions, which were stolen by unscrupulous opposition? The quirkiness of the gentlemen of Benghazi has been mistaken for being revolutionary. In sum, these people have served the regime for 40 years. How can you think that they will be able to offer Libya something besides, of course, desolation and blood (particular when money has come into play)? Sweetness will not come to your lips just by saying the word “honey”.


  10. Anonymous thumb

    HADJSADOKK 2011-6-23

    To Assid- In response to your question as to why the Algerians did not opt for a peaceful solution with France, the archives of France’s War Ministry are available. You can examine the army’s budget there. You will observe that from 1830 to 1962, without break, this budget remained very high and corresponded to the maximum state of alert explained by the uninterrupted pacification actions. Clearly, this army was in a state of war from 1830 to 1962, which is to say that the people of Algeria were in an insurrection against the colonial aggression from 1830 to 1962. They fought with legitimate violence to defend themselves from the violence of the colonial aggression. These heroic people won in spite of a balance of power that was extremely unfavourable to them. The history of the fight for freedom puts the victory of the Algerian people at the same level as the victory of the valorous Vietnamese people. The people of the Third World all recognise the surrealist nature of these two victories. May God welcome our dear late brothers in arms to his Paradise! Frantz Fanon of Martinique said of the Algerian people: “It was because they did not know that it was impossible that they did it.” You see, the Algerian people did not have a choice. The character, the permanence and the brutality of the colonial aggression from the onset determined the mode by which this barbaric foreign occupation was to be resolved. It is impossible to draw a parallel between the Algerian situation under colonial occupation and the Libyan affair! They have not got the slightest connection! With all the bad faith in the world, it is not possible to pose the issue in these terms. This is a serious inconsistency that shout out to us! We Algerians are proud of our revolution! Thank God!


  11. Anonymous thumb

    Essid 2011-6-21

    To El Hadi- Most of your criticism is true, and yet fails to take into account the situation on the ground. Yes, the revolutionaries armed themselves. Yes, NATO is a war machine designed to protect and promote what are most often capitalistic interests. Yes, many of Kadhafi’s former henchmen have turned coat and joined the revolutionaries and NATO, which begs the question how can we trust them. Yes, Western media systematically neglects to mention the realities of this conflict and, in so doing, misinforms us in favour of the military intervention. But how are you any different from these media? You neglect to mention the atrocities Kadhafi committed in the four weeks that preceded the arming of the peaceful protesters and the 40 years of kidnappings, tortures, rapes and murders. You neglect to mention that Algeria’s revolution, of which you are so proud, was also bloody and the country was also divided. You neglect to mention that the revolutionaries had taken over the majority of the country before Kadhafi decided to use heavy weapons (which happened one month before the military intervention). So enlighten me: how were the majority of Libyans, who opposed Kadhafi, supposed to succeed in ousting Kadhafi when they were confronted with heavy weaponry? What is your peaceful solution that can somehow shield unarmed protestors against the snipers, machine guns, rocket launchers, tanks and warplanes without causing victims on the dictator’s side? And if you have an answer to this, then why did Algeria not use this peaceful solution against France?


  12. Anonymous thumb

    nastradamos 2011-6-19

    After deep investigation, I came to the conclusion that Algeria is wrong when it follows Russia. I think that current Algeria should deal with America. That would be better. However, the reason for which transactions with Russia are preserved is just loyalty to previous attitudes. This is because - as we see- rulers of Algeria in the 1960’s are the same in 2011. Therefore, the answer is very clear. I don’t need to bring it out from drawers of future predictions. There should be a reconsideration of unproductive alliances which have no real role? But why doesn’t Algeria change its allies? In the issue of Sahara for example, King Mohamed VI is not the one who has made negotiations about it in the old past. He bears no responsibility in the recommendations of the late king Hassan II. The latter might have left him a will which he must preserve because the will of the father should be respected. However, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been one the main elements in the issue of the Sahara since the 1970’s. Therefore, he must reach a solution before he leaves power in 2014. The decision to close the border wasn’t taken by king Mohammed VI or president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and they were in no way associated with it especially Algeria. If it is a question of major decisions, dear president, you weren’t the one who took the decision. Therefore, you will not be blamed if the border is opened to boost the economy of our Moroccan brothers who made all efforts to facilitate opening the border. But Algeria hasn’t shown its position clearly. It is ambiguous. I don’t recognise that the reason for closing the border is to stop drug traffickers from passing through border police and customs. I am a human being and I have a mind with which I think. Why weren’t economic profits which will be gained by the two countries from opening the border taken into consideration? Why haven’t researchers in both countries conducted economic studies, published them and pushed politics to follow economy and not make economy follow politics? We have seen how leading countries change their policies overnight for a stronger economy and strategic interests. If there is an economic researcher who follows Magharebia articles, I hope that he will mobilise his economist brothers and conduct feasibility studies and studies of bilateral trade to see if opening the border will boost the economy of the two people or will just open the way for traffickers as it is said.


  13. Anonymous thumb

    أوباها حسين 2011-6-16

    Russian failure in its communism dropped its supporters in recession since the era of Abdenacer's setback, slump then the revolution in its meaning of defending the proletariat and oppressed people. The people were pinning all their hopes to benefit from the revolution of Abdenacer who toppled the trifling monarchy in the era of sheep, the revolution of Al Assad the cold and shrinking in front of an occupied Golan while his son is looking at his border with Israel with fear, cowardice, lionisation to direct tanks and bullets to his people who dream of their salvation revolution, then revolution of Ben Ali to reach enjoyment with people shaken by slogans of revolution against the sickness of Bourguiba, the revolution of Kadhafi in wilderness, empty spaces, a small population and a king who had not made his arrangements against the army. There is also Mr Saleh who took advantage of half Yemenites who are under his control before unity. Then there is Mubarak who transformed the revolution and genius of Anouar Saddate, may God rest his soul, to a property of the family and avid followers. Therefore, revolutions were a trick which wasted away young people in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Then comes militant young people who decode the enigmas of enthusiastic speeches which lie to the Arab peoples. After the failure of feudal revolutions, the defeated have begun to move their flags, designing movie effects to break the talents of the revolution. So children were brought, tears of women and liars were hired to indict those who believe in revolution with crimes, intensifying religious things and say that religion bans killings. These are just methods to fool the people. Those who love the state are those who live comfortably, were oppressive or inherited because the lover who doesn’t consider the weak, doesn’t see repression magnifying the wealth of influential people infiltrated in finance, must be a hypocrite. Let’s defend by rallies or shrink back until young people come, young people of dignity who feel humiliation.


  14. Anonymous thumb

    El Hadi 2011-6-16

    These are just manipulated children, so how can we believe the adults? For 99% of heavy and other media, their countries are fighting Kadhafi, starting with the European countries of England, France, Italy and the United States. Then there are their follows or relays, the little county of Qatar and so on. From this, can we believe the media? I would say no for the simple reason that these media will never be against the interests of their countries. In effect, I also get the feeling of sometimes being influenced by these media. It is impossible for me to live without knowing what is going on around me, and by going through the television channels and not just a few newspapers, I try to compare and analyse with a little perspective. So, gentlemen, everything is clear. There are questions, questions and more questions. How can we believe all these people who served the regime for 40 years without moving a finger and transformed overnight into democrats or, rather, NATO revolutionaries like, for example, Ounes and Abeljalili. There you have it: the truly manipulated people or, more precisely, the puppets. In the end, it is might equals right. Those who master the techniques of manipulating information and who use this with care can lead public opinion, which is to say the majority.


  15. Anonymous thumb

    TIZIRI 2011-6-15

    As always, the innocents, who do not have a say in the matter, are taken hostage by the murderous madness of their elders. How can war, which is a synonym for death, suffering, grief, crime, rape, kidnappings, robbery, trafficking, hatred, settling scores, human regression – how can this nightmare be a solution? An innocent child would respond that war should be banished and illegal, and all those who preach it because they have interests in the ringing sound of falling money should be neutralised and treated like the delinquents they are. But, when the “do-gooder” minds take their crap theories from these imposters, the evil becomes unstoppable. The next version of the United Nations, since the current one’s failure is obvious and cannot wait for World War III to come to pass, will have to, firstly, enshrine the rule of “one state, one vote” - democracy demands this in all instances without exception; secondly, abolish the recourse to arms for any reason since this resolves nothing and, on the contrary, it is just the business of a few people and dishonours humanity; thirdly, prohibit the arms industry and arms trade; fourthly, create an International Parliament of the Children of the World from every continent, which advises on all world issues. The children of Libya are going through hell on the initiative of a few people who will answer before the Eternal and also before them. The young children will grow up, God willing!


  16. Anonymous thumb

    Anonymous 2011-6-14

    Kadhafi is a cynical criminal who will go to any low to save his power. He uses children like he uses the Roman ruins in Libya (the heritage of humanity) to conceal weapons because he knows that NATO respects cultural relics and will not bomb them. Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post also reported secret contacts Kadhafi made with Israeli Jews of Libyan origin to invite them to come visit their country and discuss their future because they were part of Libyan society. The journal cited Rafael Luzon, president of the Jews of Libyan origin in Great Britain. After a telephone interview with the Kadhafi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, he declined the invitation. The reason he gave for his refusal was, “I do not bet on a losing horse” – not on a jackass either, I suppose. What is striking is that Kadhafi, with his usual sincerity, did not deem it useful this time to inform the Libyans of his generous invitation and without ulterior motives.


  17. Anonymous thumb

    ناستراداموس 2011-6-14

    I think that those who destroyed childhood in sister Libya after the cursed European Union, Bulgaria, injecting Libyan children with AIDS, these were the biggest crimes against humanity in history after the Nazi holocaust. However, this could have been avoided and wouldn’t have happened although we have cured them from this disease even if the world says it has no cure. This is because we are the only ones who have the cure. It is a divine gift, nothing to do with medicine or chemicals. But it exists in a true Hadith and in the very depths of the Holy Qur’an. No one other than Muslims can check it or understand it because it is a personal gift. It is not a science which can be learnt or taught. As for the scourge in sister Libya, politics this time is stronger many times than all previous dishonest politics. We managed to overcome it because politics is hypocrisy , lies and art in everything possible. But this time, there is not much we can do since things have reached such a point that the Libyan from Benghazi says that Kadhafi is the one who terrorises children. I will totally withdraw from supporting Libya and its people. I will do this good act for my beloved country since Libyans have told us Algerians it was not our business. They told us what was our business in this you Algerians mercenaries? I don’t accept anyone to insult my country even if it were my father. God knows that we have been trying to quell the fire of strife because on February 17th, we saw the future and warned things would reach what they have reached now. But no one listened to our opinion. So I will shun defending Libya definitively and forever. Viva Algeria only! We won't retaliate against you, o people of change as the Arab press says. I don’t support anyone now except proud Algeria. However, defending Algeria will take a new trend. So wait for my news about proud Algeria and farewell Libya!


Anonymous thumb

You are not signed in. Anonymous comments are subject to moderation. Sign up to have your comment posted immediately - Learn more

Or post your comment using: