Read: Sandstorm

Sandstorm by Lindsey Hilsum

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder since March 6th. It’s a good time to clear my drafts this morning, once and for all. Yeah, wishful thinking.

This is my first full-on book on Libya. I came into this book with limited understanding on the average-sized African nation, having read quite a fair bit of Time and Newsweek magazines (shhh, please just leave the word ‘biased’ out of this) in the 80s and 90s as a kid. I wasn’t even a teen yet when I started skimming and half-reading those magazines.

I vividly recall Gaddafi gracing (I was a kid, what much do I know) the covers of those magazines, in his flamboyant robe and headgear. I even thought he was rather charming, as he was sometimes clad in his camouflage gear complete with a pair of black Docs (I assumed it was Docs since he did have quite a lot of contact with Marie Colvin, who was living in the UK then. Who knows. He might have gotten a pair of Docs just to impress her, am I not right?).

I wouldn’t be able to say anything substantial nor smart about this book (I don’t usually do so on this blog, anyway), because I have always considered myself a rookie in world affairs despite having read quite a number of books on current affairs and dictatorial regimes.

I always come away from these books with a fresh new understanding on how certain countries function. The way they function isn’t always the way a ‘normal’ country functions. There’s developed countries, developing countries, and then, there’s countries that are no where close to the ‘developing countries’ line, as dictated by certain, ‘accredited world governing bodies’. Libya is one of it. It is still, in 2019, a new country, though people elsewhere around the world are expecting it to be built into Rome in 8 years (Gaddafi was ousted from power in the wake of the fall of Tripoli to the rebel forces on 20 August 2011).

If you have another nonfiction, good read on Libya, please send them my way. Thank you. Also, preferable first-person accounts.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019.

Read: The Return

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

The author didn’t quite address how he felt – When the revolution was happening, when Qaddafi/Gaddafi was captured, tortured. There’s almost nothing on that, so in case you were hoping for a wee bit on that, don’t.

The book is literally what it presents itself to be – The author’s search and yearning for his father, who was betrayed by the Egyptian SS, imprisoned by the dictator, and of course, disappeared by the regime.

*spoiler alert*

The body of the author’s father was never found. He never met anyone specifically who could give him a straight answer, or closure, on what happened to his late father.

There were dry facts in between the pages, which is beyond necessary for those who are not familiar with the regime’s history.

There’s also no talk of the country post-Qaddafi. Like I said, it’s about him, his father, and the regime in between – and Egypt is part of the narrative as well.

If you are looking for a dose on the revolution and other issues which were not addressed in The Return, I think you should consider “Sandstorm”, written by Lindsey Hilsum. I’m currently reading that book, so hopefully I’ll get to learn more about Libya then.

Currently Reading: The Return

I’m 21% through and I’m already recommending it. Hisham Matar has written two fiction works prior to this memoir.

I decided to read this first, before diving into Lindsey Hilsum’s Sandstorm (also on Libya).

Waiting for my boba again. I know. I shouldn’t be drinking too much boba… But… I’m Asian. Excuses, excuses…