The Remarkable First Hand Account of Life through the Insurgency
by Rana Jawad with a foreword by Paul Kenyon
Rana Jawad, a British-Lebanese journalist who has reported from Tripoli for the BBC for seven years, found herself the last British journalist reporting from inside Tripoli early in 2010. Defiant and terrified in turns, she went into hiding and bravely issued the series of anonymous Tripoli Witness blogs that have become famous among anyone following the course of the insurgency.
The raw blog accounts published here are accompanied by short introductory pieces as well as a series of opening essays that give a very personal account of what it was like to live in Gaddafi's Libya.
Paul Kenyon, the acclaimed Panorama presenter who recently received the Association of International Broadcasters award for Best Middle East Documentary for "Fighting Gaddafi", introduces Rana's work and gives an insight into this remarkable young journalist's brave reporting through harrowing times.
Author: Rana Jawad, of British-Lebanese nationality, is married to a Libyan and resident in Tripoli where she has been reporting for the BBC for seven years. Rana Jawad will be in the UK around publication.
An excerpt from the blog (August 26, 2011):
Two days on, it was nightfall again and the panic reached a pinnacle.
My husband reminded me we were not in Benghazi, and that in Tripoli someone would come calling. The exchange was riddled with a sense of fear, isolation and tears of helplessness and frustration on both sides.
"They have a death brigade that specialise in people like you, I can't help you, no one can!" he warned. "They will knock on our door and drag you out in front of me and execute you! You have no idea what they are capable of. What will I do?! Tell me!"
The next day my mobile number was blocked.
I stopped broadcasting, got a new number and waited. On 20 February our neighbour, a man from Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte who worked at the now wrecked Bab al-Aziziya compound, crossed paths with my husband in the building's stairway.
"So your people aren't going to keep quiet?" he asked, nonchalantly. We packed a small case of belongings and all my broadcasting equipment and left to stay at my in-laws' home.
That was the night Tripoli's unarmed residents staged their own massive, peaceful protests.
It was also the night that the sounds of heavy artillery and gunfire that met them ripped across the city.
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