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We Need To Be Very Careful

Hello to all

Different subjects about Libya have found their way to this page and other Libyan discussion groups. Many, including myself, have written about the corrupt political system of Libya. Many also, including myself, have expressed their interest in seeing the current system in Libya be replaced by a civilized and democratic political system. In the middle of all of this a discussion about North Africaís Berber and in particular the Libyan Berber erupts. Even though I have no problem whatsoever with the Berberís request/demand for the recognition of their civil and political rights, a nagging thoughts/concerns kept on creeping back to my mind. Please keep in mind that these are only "thought" and that they are subject to analysis, debates, and changes.

Let me first start by saying that I am not here to discuss who was first on this particular piece of land we call Libya or whether we are all Berber but with different tutelage and pedigree. I didnít write this to argue with anyone about the Berberís origin or if they are truly the original Libyan people. I am here to discuss a different Berber-related issue that is directly related to Libya first and, us, the Libyans of all origins second.

I fully accept and respect the Berberís need to be recognized publicly in Libya. Their voice needs to be heard through the media along side with its sister language, the Arabic. It is their birth right as any other race/peopleís right to keep its history, tradition, and culture alive. Personally, I donít have a problem with Berber newspapers being published in Libya or Berberís media programs being heard or viewed on public TV or radio. I donít have a problem with Berber schools being established either, if they choose to have them to teach their own language whether that language is written and read or not. This is not the point. My concern, though, is this: are we as Libyans, Arabs and non-Arabs ready for this? Can we handle the change? Are we civilized enough to embrace the new Libya with its different factions? How can we tackle this new issue? Should we deal with changing Gaddafi first all together and later induct the Berberís issue officially into the political arena of the country? Can Libya as a country handle the aftermath of an issue of this magnitude? Can we go through the motions without any negative side effects? Can we survive the change? Is it in the best interest of Libya to discuss this now? Should we deal with our issues one issue at the time with Gaddafiís issue being the first/major problem that we have to focus on and deal with? Will we become another Yugoslavia, a tormented land with different ethnic and religious groups? Is there a strategy to conduct a smooth transition and to prevent animosity between Libyans? What will become of Libya or us?

Those were the nagging thought I talked about above. My sense of logic is telling me that we ďshouldĒ target Gaddafi and his policies first and then deal with the other issues including the Berberís issue because the Berberís issue is not the only issue Libya has to tackle. We, Libyans of all backgrounds, need to be united to face a major problem that concerns all of us and thatís Gaddafi and his rotten policies. I am not down playing the importance of the Berberís issue. I agree that discussing those issues is important and imperative but do we have to do it now? Is this the right time? Who is going to gain from our division? Gaddafiís main objective is to divide and conquer. Do we need to supply him with the weapons he needs to keep on controlling us? I know these are legitimate concerns but do we know how to deal with them? Are we ready? Will we ever be ready? Any takers?

Huda

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