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An Evening On The Net

Yesterday evening I had an opportunity to visit some Libyan sites on the web. To be quite honest I was quite impressed with much of what I saw. It was a real pleasure to see how enterprising Libyans can be. Who ever said that we do not have brilliant individuals? It takes a lot of effort, dedication, and energy, to run and update a web site as well as make it a success. I went from the Libya News List with its mine of information, to Dr. Ighneiwa’s Libya’s news and views. I have just recently discovered that site and I have become addicted to it. I absolutely adore the writings of the Gherbal, the clarity of Haila, and the intellect and sincerity of the many, many others who contribute to the site. I laughed at some posts and almost cried at others. It is very difficult after tasting freedom to accept servitude, yet I can see how much many of you want to see home again, walk down the old streets of your home towns and feast your eyes again on the images you stored in your minds for so many years. You made me think a great deal about our lives in exile and I found that my anger and hatred for the Libyan regime increasing. I know our experience in exile is hard, but as the saying goes, what doesn’t break our backs will strengthen them.

I also had the opportunity to visit the Libyan Democrats Society with its elegant and informative home page. I am very impressed with their work, philosophy and dedication. Such organizations embody the soul of exiles like us and we all need to ensure the survival of such bodies. It really is worth a pause and a second look. I followed a lead on the web page to the Japan Daily News that had an article on Libya and responses from readers. Perhaps the website that we as Libyans, and here I mean all Libyans, should maintain is the Sijill Board for Human Rights in Libya. It is crucial that we visit it and supply the organizers with information as it unfolds. One way we can honor those Libyans that the regime tries to dishonor is to preserve their memory and ensure that their suffering is not futile. Their stories must be told and the place to tell it is on the Sijill Board. I did visit it and did read the names of martyrs who lost their lives and those who are languishing in those non-existent Libyan jails run by the likes of Abu-Mus’ab. It is imperative that we do more than just talk and post anonymously. Libya is not going to free itself from this nightmare by wishful thinking, prayer, or complacency. We must participate even passively in maintaining human rights organizations. There are a many good ones, and I personally like working with all of them. I was one of the founders of the Libyan League for Human Rights in 1980, but all are good and I wish they could unite into a single global entity. I highly recommend the Human Rights Solidarity organization. They truly are impressive, hard working kids, who go to the end of the earth to help a Libyan. You all should be proud of them for taking on such a huge responsibility. There is no money or gain in it only sweat and tears. They need members who are fluent in English, French, German and any other language that you know. What they need most however is a bit of your time and a willingness to write a letter or two once or twice a year.

Before going to Libyana, I visited the Libyan Freedom Channel. What a site? I have never seen more foul language, yet such site is vital for maintaining our sanity. It is a place where one can be angry, and use such language if need be. Tareq has in a funny way done a great service to the Libyan community and has really taught us that democracy is a package deal where the good and the bad can come together. I visit the site at least once a day because it is a great place to find leads to other interesting web sites. I finally ended up in Libyana. It really is our home and I commend the men and women who are running it. It is a fabulous site, with music, pictures, opinions, poetry, and a host of other pages in which one could easily spend half a day if not more. I also got a chance to sample the chat room where I found ample opportunity to talk to Libyans from around the world. I learned that Libyans do not trust each other in that chat room and hence they use nicknames, some of which are truly hilarious. My ignorance had me asking about people I knew in Arizona with an individual who just happened to be from there. Unfortunately I did not master the use of the private chat button too well. It was a wonderful experience and well worth a try.

I know I am not doing justice to many other Libyan sites but I promise to visit you if you show me the way. You can get in touch with me at mkikhia@utsa.edu. I am sorry this is in English, but I have ordered an Arabic word processor. My best wishes to all of you.

Mansour O. El-Kikhia

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