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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

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Oct 22, 2011

End of Gadhafi's Era

Moammar Gadhafi, the ousted head of Libya, was found hiding in an underground drainage pipe in Misrata, his birthplace. He was arrested but was killed in crossfire, according to reports. He ended up getting what he deserved. Also, his son Mutassim was arrested and killed as well. Saif il-Islam, the second son of Gadhafi, was reported killed but later reports revealed he is still alive and there are no updates on where he is.

Nevertheless, the Gadhafi era is over. He ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years and killed many young Libyans who rebelled against his rule. More than 70,000 civilians were killed.

Gadhafi ruled and viewed Libya as his own ranch and the people as his own sheep. His lawless political and personal manner and behavior reflected on his abnormal personality. Gadhafi came to power as a result of a military coup in 1969. During the past 42 years of his rule, he wasted large portions of Libya’s wealth on unproductive economic projects that were of no benefit economically to the country as a whole. Due to the absence of transparency and a lack of accountability, nobody dared to challenge his political strategy and actions for 42 years. He was a corrupt political leader. His hidden family wealth has been estimated to be between $131 and $150 billion.

Despite the fact that Libya is rich in oil resources, the income from its sales was not directed to meaningful economic development, which kept the country underdeveloped. Nearly 20% of the Libyan population of 6.5 million is classified as poor. Its GNI is $12,000 per capital. In addition, Libya is one of the largest Arab countries area-wise. Most of the land is classified as desert. Nevertheless, the country’s oil and natural resources remain partially underdeveloped.

However, the Gadhafi era ended and the young people’s revolution turned out to be among the most violent and bloody among the spring revolutions in the Arab world.

The New Libyan political leadership has a major political, economic and social responsibility. It should begin by establishing a free democratic society with equal rights to all of its citizens, irrespective of their tribal, ethnic or religious beliefs. The new political rulers should eliminate the barriers and the regional tribal conflicts that Gadhafi created during the past four decades. Unity among the Libyan people is a must and a prerequisite for progress and economic development.

The era of a man who inflicted so much suffering and agony and torture on his people has finally come to an end. A new future is now available to the Libyan people and I hope they will use it wisely.

What will the impact of Gadhafi’s death be on the leadership of hot spots in the Arab world, especially Syria and Yemen? Those corrupt political regimes have failed so far to get the message. However, at the end, the will of the people and their fight for freedom will prevail.

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