24th of December is the anniversary of Libya's Independence. One of the first countries to gain independence in Africa on December 24, 1951 and the first to be born in the arms of a great constitution that preserved the rights of its citizens. In 1959 oil was discovered. Oil exports began in 1963. In 6 years or until September 1, 1969, Idris, along with the great sons of Libya, built what Gadafi, working 3 shifts for 31 years, has not been able yet to finish dismantling.. What Idris built for $3 billion took Gadafi 31 years and $400 billion to destroy and still counting. He is so frustrated, he can not figure out what to do next. He may bulldoze the Assahili road. To him, in public it is a monumental reminder of a reactionary era that must be removed. To himself, it is an achievement the Libyans don't deserve. He already bulldozed all the streets of all cities and towns in the name of rebuilding but when to rebuild. If you do carbon dating on some patches remaining of what used to be clean and smooth streets and beatiful squares, you would discover that they were built in the 60's or before. In the name of his progressive movement (progress backward), Gadafi is dragging Libya back on her face past the Kingdom years through the Italian occupation era, over the Turk days and drop her back into the day of creation.
In Idris's 17 years as a King, Libya was transformed from the most impoverished and backward country in the world into one of the most prosperous and stable states. Although there were some minor unconstitutional incidents during that period, but all in all, the Libyans had the best freedom of expression in Africa and the Middle East. They were the most proud people. Peace and security was the norm. Education, welfare, healthcare and security were the top priorities of the government. The best expertise in the world was employed in Libya to serve the Libyans and to teach them. Best medical doctors were brought in to care for the sick while it was building medical schools. Libyans never had to worry about seeking treatment abroad. Libyan students were given scholarships to learn in the top schools of Europe and America. Top teachers and professors were brought in from abroad to teach in the secondary schools and in the universities. The government realized how foreign languages are important to education, in 1968 a law went into effect to add English to the curriculum of primary education starting at the fifth year and French at the first year of the preparatory. Gadafi came and wiped the curriculums clean of the "Lughat Al'isti'maar". A few years later he would impose those languages back somewhere in the education latter only to remove them the next year. He played the shock treatment with the languages as well as with everything in our life. Everyone has been confused eversince that last day of King Idris's government.
In Idris's time local trade and industry began to take full shape in 1960. By 1969 Libyan industrial base and commerce infrastructures including financial institutions have become one of the most efficient in the world. Libyans made great business advancements in a record short period of time. Documents show that the Libyan businessmen and business managers gained a great international respect that caused international companies and governments to provide them with extraordinary terms and credits which were not given otherwise. History shows that Libya had all the necessary ingredients and elements to become a major economic player in Africa, the Middle East, and in the Mediterranean basin in a record time. It was on its way to reach that goal when disaster struck.
In Idris's time, life was easy and enjoyable. The future was clear and bright. Equal opportunity atmosphere gave the right for every citizen to pursue what he wanted to be. Easy term loans were readily available. Easy and long term financing was as far as a trip to a dealer of the car of your choice, a house of your dreams, or a peace of land for which you select a contractor to build on it a house, a factory, a farm, a school, a housing project, a bank, or whatever project that you want to build and run. You usually down pad your future and plans while you are still in the secondary education. That type of atmosphere filled with hope and anticipation made of Libya what it was. Rich and attractive with the cleanest and most beautiful cities in the region run and kept by the most proud and hopeful population.
In his coup of September 1, 1969, Mulazem Awwal Muammer el-Gadafi killed the pride and destroyed the hope. Libya today is what we all know; a place of slow death. Rampant corruption, all sorts of crimes-individual and organized, terror, fear, killings, detentions, oppression, suppression, extra judicial processes, stealing, prostitution, failing systems like health, security, education, economy, future, hope, poverty, humiliation, conspiracy- a total breakdown and disintegration of every aspect of life. It has become a place inadequate to support even sub human standards. Libya is no more.
King Idris and the men who made and ran the system loved Libya and the Libyans. They had a deep sense of belonging. King Idris treated Libya like a loving son and treated the Libyans like a caring father. He did not live like a king but like a Shaikh Ware' feared Allah and the day of judgement. He wanted to be buried in the soil of the country he loved so much but elgadaffi, hatefully, denied him his last and simple wish. At the age of 93 in 1983 in his exile in Egypt, altahaqa King Idris Birrafiq Ela'la. He was buried in Saudi Arabia.
Rahmat Alluhi Ala Idris and the men who served Libya with dignity and honor, and who longed for the best of Libya and the Libyans. We still live on your memories and hope someday soon, In Sha' Allah, we will start from where you left.
Allah yarham Idris wa Allah yl'in Iblis.