When Col. Qaddafi came to power in a military coup in Libya decades ago, he created what he called “Revolutionary Committees. These were councils of unskilled youth to run and protect his tyrannical regime. They had neither the skills, experience nor knowledge of the history of their country. They were groups of unemployed and school drop-outs, who were carried away by the deceptive slogans of Qaddafi on the evils of imperialism and colonizers, while the country oil industries were ran by experts from foreign lands, from the very same imperialist nations. His youth policies crippled the nation.
Despite the immense oil revenue, the country had no native talents to rebuild and modernize. Foreign workers were brought in to fill the gap. Visitors to the so-called “Jamahiriya” or “People’s Rule” experienced Libya’s total lack of private and public services. In Libyan Jamahiriya nobody knew what was going on and who was doing what. Tripoli Airport had no porters, no taxis and no other public transport. There was no one word other than Arabic spoken or written for directions of foreign visitors at airports. There were no interpreters at airport – a total anarchy and confusion at all entry points of Libya. Visiting foreign dignitaries had to stand in-line to sort out their luggages, collect and carry them in person in a chaotic environment at luggage claim spaces, while protocol limos and their drivers wait for them outside the gates of the airports, with no basic instructions to help out Libyan Government guests. There was no one to help them in this dystopian land they had found themselves in.
There was only one name allowed to be said in the severely censored government media: Muammar Al-Qaddafi. No other name of a Libyan official could be said or written about in Libyan Jamahiriya. The streets and walls of buildings were awash with the technicolor photos of the ‘Leader of the Revolution’ in fancy tribal and military customes. If it became necessary to mention about any other official of the Libyan State in the media, only official title of the department head concerned could be said like the Secretary of the Foreign Bureau, no personal name of the official should be mentioned. TV and Radio newscasts were off-limits to any person’s name other than Qadaffi. There was none of private media.
Libyan youth became dumb, stupid, illiterate and unskilled for life-time, still brain-washed to the effect that they ruled the country through Revolutionary Committees of youths.
This was Qadaffi legacy of fictional Jamahiriya and the “Green Book”, the so-called Qadaffi’s Universal 3rd Theory” of political economy, a third way between captalism and socialism, primative propaganda slogans of Qaddafi’s meglomania.
The moral lesson of this story is that a country has no future if it fails to train its youth for leadership and multifaceted skills of today and tomorrow. I am concerned. Somali youth aren’t being prepared for the challenges ahead.