The Middle East Channel

The free shores of Tripoli

TRIPOLI, Libya – Adham had never picked up a gun before, never mind fired one. But all that changed on Aug. 20, when the tall, lanky, 26-year-old Tripoli resident was handed a weapon and a grenade to fight against the 42-year regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi. "It was the first time for everyone," he tells me. I ...

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

TRIPOLI, Libya – Adham had never picked up a gun before, never mind fired one. But all that changed on Aug. 20, when the tall, lanky, 26-year-old Tripoli resident was handed a weapon and a grenade to fight against the 42-year regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi. "It was the first time for everyone," he tells me.

I meet Adham on Friday, Aug. 26, in a darkened alley not far from the Mediterranean coast. It is just after sundown, and as the power went off in Tripoli earlier in the day, it is almost impossible to see anything. After I tell him I am a journalist, he welcomes me to a small, impromptu iftar dinner and gives me an impression of how, block-by-block, the Tripoli underground managed to seize nominal control over most of the sprawling capital in just two days.

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