As if dealing with a citizen-led uprising while attempting to secure your own controversial position as dictator for life in Libya wasn’t enough, reports now say that Moammar Qaddafi is actively lobbying to have his own Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The annual Costume Institute show typically highlights a designer or fashion moment that’s reflective of a major change in the industry — this year it’s Alexander McQueen. One of Qaddafi’s aides sent an email to New York Times Fashion Editor Horacio Silva, hoping to entice him to lobby on Qaddafi’s behalf. Keep reading »
On Saturday, Libyan woman Eman al-Obeidy walked into a hotel in Tripoli, Libya, populated by foreign journalists in order to let the world know that Col. Moammar Qaddafi’s military forces had beaten and raped her. What followed was a violent scuffle, as al-Obeidy was forcibly removed by Qaddafi’s men, despite the protests and protections of international media. It was a violent and graphic reminder that women and girls often face specific and harrowing abuse in times of war and conflict.
According to reports, al-Obeidy barged into the breakfast room at the Hotel Rixos, where journalists had been staying at the behest of Qaddafi’s regime, and breathlessly told members of the media that she had been repeatedly raped and violated by 15 of Qaddafi’s men. “They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people,” she said. “But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me,” pointing to a bruise on her face, a scar on her thy and scratch marks on her leg. “I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me. They violated my honor.” Al-Obeidy stressed that the real story of the struggle in Libya wasn’t being told. “There is no media coverage outside,” she said. “They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I was tied up. I am not scared of anything. I will be locked up immediately after this.” She added: “Look at my face. Look at my back.”
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Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, is going on a Roman holiday. And he’s made a very interesting request for the Italian government—he wants a party with 700 Italian women, including Italy’s Equal Opportunities Minister (and former model) Mara Carfagna, and other female politicians, business women, and cultural movers and shakers. It looks like Italian leaders are going to oblige him, since Italy ruled Libya in the colonial era and lately they’ve been trying to make nice by issuing a formal apology and giving $5 billion in restitution. Even more interesting—this isn’t the first time Gaddafi has made a request like this. Two years ago, when he traveled to Paris, he held a meeting with 1,000 French women, in which he bemoaned the, “tragic conditions of the woman in Europe, forced sometimes to do work which she refuses…I want to save the European woman who is struggling.” Huh?
We’re just not sure if Gaddafi is progressive or pervy. He is credited with liberating the women of Liberia, but then again he has a troop of bodyguards that is women-only. Either way, that’s a lot of Italian ladies in one room. I won’t say anything of their fiery temperament, but I kinda hope they give him lots to think about. [TheTimes] Keep reading »