LEADING LIBYAN ISLAMIST MET FREE SYRIAN ARMY OPPOSITION GROUP
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, "met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey," said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. "Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there."
The "covert operation" was immediately laid bare when a rival Libyan rebel brigade detained Belhaj at Tripoli airport, accused him of travelling on a fake passport, and declared they would jail the senior military leader. Only a letter from the country's interim president was enough to persuade them to let him leave the country.
The meetings came as a sign of growing ties between Libya's fledgling government and the Syrian opposition.
NOTED: "This is freedom. This is Arab unity". So said the commander of the 'Fighting Village' brigade, one of the armed gangs roaming Tripoli's streets. He was offering some of his fighters to the Syrian rebels but his statement may apply to his feelings about Libya also. Perhaps such sentiment is why the Berbers were shut out of the Libyan rebels' government.
LIBYAN BERBERS VENT RAGE OVER CABINET EXCLUSION
TRIPOLI (Reuters) ~ Several hundred Berbers marched into the courtyard of the Libyan prime minister's office Sunday to express their anger at the country's new cabinet, which does not include anyone from their large ethnic group.
"We do not recognize this government, and all Libyans must know that we are a part, a powerful and effective part of the country," said Mohammed Kaabr, a doctoral student and part of a delegation that spoke to Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib.
Protesters chanted "Where is El-Keib?" and "There is no difference between Amazigh and Arab!" on the steps of Keib's office while talks went on inside. Kaabr said the meeting was cut short so Keib could try to calm the boisterous crowd.
In addition to demanding a greater say in Libya's new political order, the Amazigh are seeking recognition of their language and culture. Their demands are causing tensions with the Arab majority.
The dispute is one of dozens in Libyan society that have come to the fore since the end of Gaddafi's 42-year rule, making it difficult for Libya's new leaders to govern. ...
The Phoenician colonies in North Africa started out as peaceful, trading presence among the Amazigh original inhabitants of the region. These colonies, though initially inhabited by Phoenicians from the eastern Mediterranean, became a mix of the two peoples as they intermarried with the local Amazigh.
The Amazigh, as well as the Punic Phoenicians, who survived the Roman subjugation of the region are credited with preserving the Phoenician language up till the time of Saint Augustine in the 5th century. Further, traces of the Phoenician alphabet are evident in the Tamazight (Berber) alphabet called Tifinagh.
The presence of the Berber in North Africa today is a living proof that the "Arab World" is not made up of 325 million Arabs. In fact, pan-Arabism is an unfounded heresy forced down the throats of people conquered and subjugated beginning with the advent of the Arab conquest in the 7th century.