Sherwes Travel
Tripoli 22.01.2020 
Libya Latest News
Libya Business Events
Executive Club
Libya dripping rain
Planning your Libya trip
Fly to Malta & Transfer to Tripoli
Welcome to Tripoli
Travel Services
Book your hotel now
Submit Libya hotel review
Check My Trip
Galileo ViewTrip
Travellers Checklist
Day trips
Sherwes Travel Blog
Libyan Beaches
Libyan Sahara
Day trips
Day trips
Libyan Poetry
Berber beauty
British Consulate
Castle Intrigue
Villa Sileen
Roman Dinners
The White Fathers in Ghadames
Who were the Severans?
The mystery of silphium
Libyan Sloughi
Customer Feeback
Weather in Libya
Libya Quiz
1,75176 LYD
2,59496 LYD
1,2713 LYD
Tourism Concern
Sherwes Travel

<< Go back

Benghazi celebrates second anniversary of NATO action; excited crowds prevent Sarkozy from attending

2013-03-20 –

By Maha Ellawati and Ahmed al-Obeidi.

Benghazi, 20 March 2013:

Benghazi was in jubilant mood last night, Tuesday, as it celebrated the second anniversary of the destruction by French fighter planes of the Qaddafi tank column that was heading towards the city. Thousands converged on the city centre for the festivities. French flags flew or were waved alongside Libyan ones and the celebrations lasted well into the night. Such was the crush that former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who had flown unexpectedly from Tripoli for a brief visit to join in the celebrations had to turn back to the airport because of the crowds obstructing the roads.

According to Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, the route was blocked by masses of excited people hoping for a glimpse of the former French president. Zeidan had invited him during a lunch in Tripoli to join him in Benghazi to inaugurate a monument commemorating the French attack on the talk column.

Sarkozy is seen as a saviour in Benghazi for having been the first international leader to stand with the revolution and recognize the NTC and also because of the French military action.

Among others who had flown in from Tripoli to attend the celebrations were Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi, the head of Tripoli Local Council Sadat Elbadri and other council members and GNC members. The head of Benghazi Local Council, Mahmoud Burezezah, also flew in from Tripoli where he had been to welcome Sarkozy.

Those in Benghazi joining in the festivities were fulsome in their praise of those who had taken part in the struggle to free the city and the French and others who had helped save the city.

“Today, people are celebrating and remembering the days of glory when Benghazi’s youth marched ahead as though to their weddings, clinging to Qaddafi’s tanks and crying out that none of Qaddafi’s men or killing machines would enter Benghazi,” said Libyan Special Force Commander Wanis Bukamada, pointing out that it was the revolutionaries and Libyan pilots who initially stopped Qaddafi’s army. “Then NATO made sure no other assaults by Qaddafi’s army were possible.”

Commander Wanis Bukamada (Photo: Ahmed al-Obeidi)
Thanking NATO for their support. Osama Busneina, the manager of international registration department at Benghazi Chamber of Commerce, said that Libyans “need to be more thankful for the support of our western allies whose actions saved many Libyan lives. The revolutionaries should give more credit to the role of NATO. Without their assistance we probably would be like the Syrians.”

Another man standing nearby added that just as early Muslims sought refuge in Christian Abyssinia from persecution in Mecca, “there is nothing wrong now with Westerners helping Libya”.

“This is a great day for Benghazi and all of Libya,” said Libyan Air Force officer Lieutenant Colonel Fathi El-Tajouri, adding that there had been military events during the day and the previous one “to remember our 12 fallen comrades”. He told the Libya Herald that “originally Sarkozy was supposed to land close to celebration podium but then a backup location was chosen because of the massive turnout”.

Libyan Air Force officers; Lieutenant Colonel Hamed al-Diresi
(left), Lieutenant Colonel Fathi el-Tajouri (center) (Photo: Ahmed al-Obeidi)
It was reported that the the former president had flown by helicopter from Benghazi airport to Al-Ahly football club grounds, being the nearest point to the place where the celebrations were taking place, prompting complaints later from arch rivals Al-Nasr that he should have visited them as well.

Nicolas Sarkozi and Ali Zeidan head towards Al-Ahly football ground by helicopter (Photo: Maha Ellawati)

At the celebrations was a relative of General Al-Mahdi Rashid El-Samin who is one of the city’s heroes. Holding a photo of the general, Mahmoud El-Samin, told the Libya Herald: “El-Samin was an accomplished test pilot with the largest number of flight hours in Libya. On March 19, 2011 he flew out of Benghazi airbase with his MiG 23, attacking two navel vessels approaching the city by sea. After landing, he told ground commanders that ‘if we lose five minutes Benghazi will be gone’. The family recall his response to Saif Al-Islam’s comment that ‘it’s too late, we will be in Benghazi with 48 hours’. El-Samin laughed and responded ‘we will die before letting them enter Benghazi’”.

The relative said that El-Samin left behind a wife and five daughters.

Mahmoud El-Samin and photo of Al-Mahdi Rashid El-Samin (Photo: Ahmed al-Obeidi)
“It was a historic day for Libya, a day when its nationhood returned,” said Associate Professor of Economics, Idris Ishtiwi. “We are moving slowly but surely in the right direction because we all know that our freedom was gained at the expense of many young men.”

“Today we celebrate our victory. The people of Benghazi today are sending a signal to the world that they want real democracy, not a fake one like Mubarak’s Egypt or Ben Ali’s Tunisia,” said Omar Moose Il-Fadeel, the grandson of Fadeel Bo-Omar who fought against the Italians. He struck a cautious note. “We all know that the West was aware of Qaddafi’s coup in 1969 and did nothing to stop it until 19 March 2011, he alleged. It was now important, he insisted, “that the Western powers align themselves with the Libyan people.”

Plasma Hotel**** - Tripoli
This very luxurious hotel is located just steps from Tripoli International Fair and a short walk to the city centre (Martyre Square). The hotel boasts wonderful views of the Tripoli city.
Read more Read more
Bab El Bahar Hotel**** - Tripoli
Bab El Bahar hotel is situated in the financial district of the city of Tripoli, it over looks the coast of the Mediterranean.
Read more Read more
Awal Hotel**** - Tripoli
Awal hotel is a new boutique hotel in Tripoli and with its central location, it offers the very best in modern hotel comfort. WELCOME!!!
Read more Read more
Al Fousulmain.jpg
Four Seasons Hotel (1) - Tripoli
This luxuriously appointed hotel has been designed to reflect the mélange between the modernity and the Libyan traditional hosting.
Read more Read more
Al Khaleejh_01.jpg
Al Khaleej Hotel*** - Tripoli
This charming and affordable hotel with cosy rooms and friendly English speaking staff is an easy stroll to the city centre.
Read more Read more
Al Kabir1_0.jpg
Al Kabir Hotel**** - Tripoli /Closed for renovation.
Al Kabir (Grand) is a 4 star hotel that is surrounded by gardens and offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Read more Read more
Al SarayaH_M1.jpg
Al Saraya Hotel*** - Tripoli
The hotel enjoys an excellent location, in the town centre, just a few meters from the lovely Avenue Omar Al Mokhtar and is just opposite Tripoli International Fairground.
Read more Read more
Zumit Hotel*** - Tripoli
An ancient 3 star hotel from the Othman period used since it was built as a hotel and as a rendezvous for convey merchants coming from Africa and Europe.
Read more Read more
Tripoli International Hotel**** - Tripoli
This hotel is very nice. It's only been open for a couple of months so it feels very new and clean.
Read more Read more
Thobacts Hotel**** - Tripoli
Thobacts Hotel, located in the heart of Tripoli City, is within walking distance of Tripoli International Fair, Fatha Tower, Martyre Square and Lido beach.
Read more Read more
El Kh_H.jpg
El Khan Hotel*** - Tripoli
A lovely 16c riad style boutique hotel, very tastefully decorated. The hotel boasts lovely plunge pool and very good restaurant. Perfectly located in the heart of the medina.
Read more Read more
Diplomatic Hotel*** - Tripoli
Diplomatic hotel is a newly opened star hotel and is located in the heart of Tripoli´s commercial center.
Read more Read more
Libya Hotel - Tripoli ***
The central location in one of Tripoli's most dynamic business districts gives you access to reach the Tripoli International Fairground, El Fatah tower and Burj Abu Lila within a few minutes walking distance.
Read more Read more
The Golden Chain Hotel *** - Tripoli
It's a lovely and charming hotel. Only 5 minutes walking distance from Tripoli International Fair.
Read more Read more
Al Okhwa Hotel*** - Tripoli
Al Okhwa hotel is one of the modern hotels in Tripoli and is located in the city centre only few meters from Tripoli International Trade Fair.
Read more Read more
Al Waddan Hotel***** Tripoli
This 5-star hotel is situated in the heart of Tripoli and nestles between the mature trees and shrubs that line the Corniche.
Read more Read more
Al Fousul Al Arbaa Hotel (2) ** - Tripoli
There's an abundance of creature comforts and delights at this centrally located hotel. Close to Tripoli International Fair, Martyre Sqaure and Tripoli's old town (medina).
Read more Read more
Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel ***** - Tripoli
This 5 star hotel is Located in one of the fanciest neighbourhoods in Tripoli.
Read more Read more
Al Kendi Hotel** - Tripoli
It is one of the excellent hotels which is located in the middle of Tripoli city.
Read more Read more
Al Andalus Hotel ** Tripoli
This stylish two-star is located in the city centre of close to businesses, shopping centres and area attractions.
Read more Read more
Assafi Hotel** -Tripoli
The friendly, peaceful 2-star Assafi hotel is ideally located on a small, quiet street and right across from Tripoli International Fair.
Read more Read more
Thuria Hotel *** - Tripoli
Thuria hotel is ideally situated to make the most of any trip to Tripoli.
Read more Read more
Ashajara Hotel*** - Tripoli
Ashajara hotel is a 3 star hotel located in Dahra area, which is in the heart of the city. Its unique location grants the residents an easy access to the Tripoli utilities & services.
Read more Read more
Safwa Hotel*** - Tripoli
SAFWA hotel is a First Class, 3 star hotel that has been uniquely designed in suites. It is located in the the old Italian quarter in the center of Tripoli.
Read more Read more
Zahrat El Khaleej Hotel *** - Tripoli
A charming Hotel that is located in the city centre. The hotel offers a reasonable price for good standard accommodation
Read more Read more
Yousser Hotel Tripoli **
Yousser hotel is located in the Italian old quarter Dahra, close to the Embassy of Italy and Al Wadan hotel.
Read more Read more
Bait Al Sharq Hotel*** - Tripoli
Bait Al Sharq Hotel provides the value for money hard to find in this area.Extremely well located.
Read more Read more
Ny bild.GIF
Radisson Blu Hotel***** Tripoli
Coming soon. The hotel is Located in one of the fanciest neighbourhoods in Tripoli. Location: 800 meters from Green Square.
Read more Read more
Al Rayan Hotel*** - Tripoli
New hotel coming soon.
Read more Read more
New hotel
Coming soon.
Read more Read more
New hotel
Coming soon.
Read more Read more
New hotel
Coming soon.
Read more Read more
New hotel
Coming soon.
Read more Read more
Sherwes Travel • P.O. Box 91713 Dath El Emad • Tripoli • Libya • Tel/fax: +218-21-4801370 • Cellphone: +218-925201677
Add to favourites Link to us