Libya’s transitional government has strong ties to the Lower Mainland

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      Zako’s Deli at Vancouver’s 500 West Broadway isn’t just about poutine and smoked-meat sandwiches. It also has a deep connection to the long resistance against the now-dead Col. Moammar Gadhafi, the strongman who ruled Libya for 42 years.

      And, perhaps surprisingly, several members of Libya’s current transitional government have strong ties to the Lower Mainland.

      As the campaign draws to a close for Libya’s July 7 election of members for a national congress, deli owner Salah Saleh is cheering. Originally from the city of Benghazi, which gave birth to the revolution that toppled Gadhafi last year, he fled to Canada in 1990.

      “For somebody like me who lives here, all I want is for them to have a very good election,” Saleh told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “And for the country to move forward.”

      The 50-year-old proprietor shared the story about the name of the deli, which he opened in 2006. He said that Zako was the nickname of a boy called Zakaria, a son of former Surrey resident Ashur Bin Khayal. The latter is now Libya’s transitional minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

      “He’s my friend,” Saleh said about Bin Khayal. “He’s a very good man, a gentleman. We were in the opposition together. We were opposing Gadhafi for a long time.”

      Two other members of Libya’s governing National Transitional Council came from Benghazi like Saleh and did postgraduate engineering studies at UBC. And they lived in Richmond.

      Saleh knows them both: Anwar al-Fayturi, minister of communication and information technology, and Awad al-Barasi, minister of electricity and renewable energy. The three of them first met years ago in Montreal, where Saleh then lived.

      The Zako’s Deli owner recalled that one of the things he and Bin Khayal advocated was for Libya to have a constitution. This should become a reality with the July 7 election. Hani Faris, an adjunct professor of political science at UBC, explained over the phone that Libyans will elect 200 members of a national congress. This body will appoint a prime minister, a cabinet, and a constituent assembly to draft the constitution of Libya.

      Whether or not Libya will succeed with the election is an open question, according to Faris, president of the Boston-based Trans-Arab Research Institute. He identified three major concerns facing the country: the unstable security situation brought about by the presence of heavily armed militias, the absence of a democratic culture as a result of the years of autocratic rule, and the reemergence of regionalism and tribalism.

      Faris also noted the West’s indifference following the fall of Gadhafi. “Since they have destroyed the former regime, they are basically now uninterested in Libya inasmuch as they have secured their real interests, which is the oil industry and the oil market, which now they are back in control.”




      Jun 28, 2012 at 4:32am

      You must be delirious if you actually think that Libya's NTC Dictatorship is acting an actual Government governing over Libya now in 2012.

      Muammar Al-Qaddafi was a Hero of Africa, he was not a Dictator nor a President of Libya, but rather he was a Revolutionary Leader who was Guiding the Green Revolution in Libya.
      Most Libyans Support and admire Qaddafi.
      This so called "Elections" to happen on July 7, 2012 in Libya are a farce and they're going to be far from being free and fair democratic elections, if those elections were free and fair then why isn't any political party related to the Jamahiriyah or dare I say the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah not allowed to run in the so called "elections" of July 7, 2012 and guess what Libyans had Direct Democracy and were NOT under dictatorial Autocratic rule, us here in Canada are much more in a dictatorship under PM Stephen Harper than Libyans ever were under African Libyan Revolutionary Leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi founder of the African Union, major supporter of the United States of Africa, a major leader and supporter of more equal sharing of the wealth especially in Africa, the founder of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah.

      Just check out on youtube the video called: Gaddafi Libya the truth you're not supposed to know (must watch).
      Now that Video speaks the TRUTH.
      You guys that control the news information of this website should be ashamed of yourself for misleading people and telling them bullshit, as Qaddafi was NOT a Dictator who was ousted in a revolution but rather he was the Brother Leader of the Green Revolution in Libya, he was an African Hero a Hero of Africa.
      "the absence of a democratic culture as a result of the years of autocratic rule" - That's bullshit as Libyans enjoyed Direct Democracy in Libya under the Revolutionary Leadership of Muammar Al-Qaddafi in the Libya's People's Hall in Libya's People's Congress, even the word says it all People's Congress/Hall and I emphasize on the word People's as in it is controlled by the People it's true People's Power at work there.

      Just search on google and read Muammar Al-Qaddafi's Green Book to give you an idea of what Libya was like under the Guidance of Muammar Al-Qaddafi.

      It's important to understand the TRUTH that CNN, BBC, CBC, CTV, and I'm guessing now even, CBS, NBC, SkyNews, will never tell you about Muammar Al-Qaddafi and the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah, they'll only paint him as a dictator when Qaddafi in reality was NEVER a strongman Dictator.
      It's important to understand that the People of Libya last year in 2011 never revolted against Muammar Al-Qaddafi, but rather he was taken down and destroyed by CIA-Funded and CIA-Trained Armed thugs and terrorists, and the months of Bombing day and night by the U.S. Military, French Military, British UK Military, Canadian Military, and othe NATO Militaries, the death toll of innocent Libyans killed by NATO is currently at over 50,000 and that number is still growing as more and more mass graves are being found all across Libya now.

      Don't be brainwashed the men in this news article are not good people, and they do NOT represent the views of the Majority of Libyans and most Libyans to this day still support Muammar Al-Qaddafi and all of his achievements in the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah, what has been imported over to Libya now is Western-Styled Pro-USA "Democracy" which most Libyans don't understand because they're used to Direct Democracy and not Strongman Dictatorial Autocratic Rule nor farse elections which is what has been imported into Libya and will supposed become officially a reality in Libya on July 7, 2012 where politicians Lie and Lie and Lie and then once in power they're like: What you thought I was serious? No I was just saying that to get your Vote, and that's the farce that the so called "Elections" really are.

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