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memri
December 20, 2000 No.
167

'Aysha Qadhafi and the Straining of Libyan-PLO Relations

An article in the Saudi weekly Al-Majallah[1] about 'Aysha, the daughter of Libyan ruler Mu'amar Al-Qadhafi, started a snowball rolling that has led to a further deterioration of the PLO's relations with the Libyan leader. The article claimed that 'Aysha Qadhafi is the leading candidate to succeed her father. A picture of 'Aysha in jeans and dyed blond hair on Al-Majallah's cover, has aroused various comments. "'Aysha does not represent our peoples' culture," stated a letter on an internet site of Libyan exiles, "It contradicts our religion as Muslims."[2]

However the straw that broke the camel's back as far as the Libyan ruler is concerned, was an article in another Al-Majallah[3] issue by Jihad Abdallah, who identified himself as a Palestinian. In the article, written as a "love letter", Abdallah harshly criticized Mu'amar Qadhafi.

According to the Al-Quds Al-Arabi weekly[4], the Libyan ruler "went berserk" and decided that Palestinian officials are responsible for the publication of the article. He instructed his "popular committees" to demonstrate outside of the Palestinian embassy in Tripoli threatening to burn it. The Palestinian ambassador acted immediately, however, and summoned Arafat to Tripoli in order to appease Qadhafi and to prevent the planned deportation of Palestinians from Libya. Arafat came to Tripoli and told Qadhafi that he sees 'Aysha as his own daughter. He shifted responsibility for the article to the Saudi journal and added that, with the Intifada going on, this is not the time to come forward with allegations against the Palestinians.

Qadhafi contented himself with the demand, which was indeed answered, to fire the editor of the Al-Majallah, and with the dismissal 500 Palestinians from the Libyan army.

Following is Jihad Abdallah's article, entitled "I love You, 'Aysha":

"Ever since I saw her picture for the first time, coming off of a plane in Baghdad, with her delicate figure and her Crawford-like blond hair, and until I saw the second picture on the cover of Al-Majalah, where the headline stated that she is to become the first female president of an Arab republic -- since that moment, I have been crazy about her and captivated by her charms and her beauty. Her picture does not leave my mind. I publicly admit that I love her. Yes, I love 'Aysha Mu'amar Qadhafi. I am in love with her and crazy about her. I am a prisoner of her beauty and I aspire to marry her."

"I have given up all of the women in the world for her -- including the two Madeleines, Tipper [sic.] and Albright. I will give up all the world's riches... I will do everything to be engaged to the [future] first female president of an Arab republic. Would it not make sense then, that as part of this adventure, I would serve as the Libyan representative to the next Arab 'Other Half' summit,[5] and turn Suha Arafat's life into hell?"

"The song goes, 'Love is a decision,' and I say, that I have decided to love you, oh 'Aysha, and to ask you directly and officially for your hand in marriage, because you are the decision-maker, according to the terms of the 'Third World Theory,' [devised by Qadhafi to liken capitalism with communism].[6] I say to you already: I am willing to do anything for you to become my wife, even if it requires that I admit that your father is the most rational of all the Arab leaders.'"

"I am willing to go to the courts of history and to testify that your father, the revolutionary leader, Mu'amar Qadhafi, did not oppose the decision to stop the flow of oil to the West in 1973, and that that is just a cruel rumor."

"I am prepared to swear that when your father took it upon himself to support all of the revolutionary organizations except for the Palestinian ones, what he really meant was to recruit all the world's armies, including the Japanese Red Army and the IRA, for the sake of the liberation of Palestine."

"I will swear wholeheartedly that the disappearance of [the Lebanese-Shiite] Sheikh Mussa Sadr[7] was a plot woven by [Al-amal's leader] Nabih Beri who falsely accused your cousin, Ahmad Qadhaf Al-Dam of it."

"I will sign with all ten fingers that with my own eyes I saw Fathi Shiqaqi informing the Israelis of the date of his departure from Libya and willingly turning himself in to the Israelis so that they could shoot him."

"I will gather all of my conscience to testify in the courts of history that your father, oh my love, stood by the Arabs in every conflict between an Arab country and a non-Arab country."

"All I ask for in return, oh 'Aysha, is that you become my wife. Our marriage will protect the reputation of Libya and the Libyan revolution, because it will prove that Libya supports the Palestinian people..."

"I promise already, that I will not forbid you to use make-up instead of your brain. I promise not to be angry if you use Cindy Crawford hair instead of your brain. Is there anything more beautiful, my love, than a woman without brains? Is there a thing more delicious than a seductive blond with no mind?"

"I promise to help you write a new book, and I suggest calling it The Blond Book, which will be a 21st Century version of The Green Book [Mu'amar Qadhafi's political manifesto]. We can also change the... color of Libya's [green] flag to blond. What do you think, my love, of my calling you from now on, 'The ideologist of the One and a Half World Theory'"?

"However, 'Aysha, I can tell you straightforwardly, that I will put some limits on you. Is it conceivable that the future leader of the revolution will wear Jeans and American clothing? I will not have my 'future' wife wear Jeans, so that no one may accuse her of Americanization. In order for you to be able to deny this accusation, I ask the popular committees to change the name of jeans. From now on, they will be called ''Aysh-eans.'"

"And you, my dear uncle, [Qadhafi] have granted the world with the greatest accomplishment of the 20th century, by giving birth to 'the future leader 'Aysha."

"Many thanks to you, because you have made my mission to marry her all the easier. Do you know, 'Aysha, why I thank your father? According to the 'Third World Theory,' and according to The Green Book, I do not need your consent in order to marry you. All I must do is declare that I have become a popular or revolutionary committee and then take control of you. Here, I am doing it. Now you have become my wife. Now move it - to the kitchen!"


[1] Al-Majalah, (Saudi Arabia) November 19, 2000.

[2] Libyanet.com, December 13, 2000.

[3] Al-Majalah, (Saudi Arabia), December 12, 2000.

[4] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), December 15 & 16, 2000.

[5] Alluding to the convention of the Arab first ladies, that met recently in Cairo under the title "The Other Half".

[6] One of the theories invented by Mu'amar Qadhafi.

[7] A Lebanese Shi'ite imam who disappeared in Libya in the late 1970s.