The World Socialist Web Site received the following letter from a Libyan doctor on the uprising in Tunisia and widening social unrest in region.
Thanks for the great coverage and analysis of the events in Tunisia, which has affected the entire Arab world and beyond.
In Libya, the general trend amongst sick patients is to go to Tunis for treatment. On being asked why, the Libyan patients regularly tell that they do not trust the public health care system in Libya. Now their Tunis health tourism is over for the time being. When people in Tunis were fed up you can well imagine the level of frustration of the Libyans who used to go to Tunis for treatment!
Housing was an issue that erupted on Friday, January 14 itself as news of the events in Tunis spread. Though there is no free press here, news travels very fast. The “Leader” was challenged by some youth in the southern Libyan city of Sabha about the state of housing and unemployment. Cornered and “scared witless” by the events in Tunisia, he told the youth to occupy the housing apartments that are being built.
This news spread very fast to the major cities in Libya and most of the empty apartments were occupied within the next two days. There have even been incidents of frustrated youth gathering construction materials from some foreign-owned companies to try and complete incomplete apartments.
Lack of proper health, housing, employment avenues have given rise to lot of frustration and social problems, with many hard working workers not being able to marry till they are in early middle age as they do not have the avenues to support a family independently. This has led to many social problems within the country.
There is a sizeable population of immigrant working people of different nationalities in Libya. While migrant workers are fearful of their position if such an uprising occurs here, given the trends of xenophobia and intolerance amongst some locals, the general mood in the Arab Street is that of welcoming this long-overdue change.
Coups going as revolutions have robbed generations of Arabs the real meaning of revolution.
Working people all over welcome and salute this change from below and relish the revolution that is no longer a euphemism for a coup.
21 January 2011
‘All that is solid melts into air’ [Communist Manifesto] and this applies in spades of course to semi-solid regimes. American imperialism and its ‘running dogs’ in Europe have turned into a historical cul-de-sac. Dictatorships in the Middle East rely on various forms of Western aid. And take Western direction in return. But now even the dogs in the street can smell the odor of decay wafting from these repressive regimes. If the West continues to support them then Western interests may well be eclipsed when these regimes fall. And many Western governments now recognize that such falls are inevitable. But if the West abandons them they will fall all the quicker. And with no guarantee that West’s interests won’t carry the blame for the previous tyrannies longevity. The horns of this dilemma induce a state of inertia into Western policy making. There will be bogus words aplenty. The term ‘Democracy’ will appear repeatedly in every ‘Foreign Office’ briefing. The support for Middle Eastern dictatorships will continue to be the actual policy of every Western government.
19 January 2011
Thank you for putting this in its proper perspective, as well as reporting it accurately. I hope people of Tunisia do contact the WSWS to start an international socialist program there!
19 January 2011