A Visit to Libya

by Nathan Hamm on 12/29/2005 · 4 comments

I know I share with at least a few of my readers a strong interest in travelling to the rarely-visited and absurd destinations around the globe. I don’t see myself making it to any of them any time soon, so I am left with living through others.

Friend of Registan.net and all-around nice and interesting guy Michael Totten visited Libya last year and his story on the visit has been published in the LA Weekly. When I met him earlier this year, I heard some of the stories from his visit and I’m glad that the full article is finally available.

I saw no corporate advertising: no Pepsi signs, no movie posters and no cute girls flashing milk-mustache smiles for the dairy industry. I did, however, see one hysterical propaganda billboard after another. They were socialist cartoons from the Soviet era, the same kinds of living museum pieces still on display in North Korea and other wonderful places where starving proles live in glorious jackbooted paradise.

The Happy Worker theme was a common one; smiling construction workers wore hardhats, and Bedouins-turned-widget-makers basked in the glory of assembly-line work. One poster showed two hands chained together at the wrist below an image of Qaddafi’s sinister Green Book descending from heaven.

Doesn’t sound too different from some places in Central Asia.

Read the rest of the story here.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Jim Hoft December 29, 2005 at 8:42 pm

Hi Nathan- That does sound like a fascinating trip. I did not know that you had met M. Totten.

I was hoping you saw the story that has a few people in a swirl tonight:


I am also hoping that you will be able to comment.

Here’s to a great 2006!

jb December 30, 2005 at 1:44 am

my extended visit to iran seems to be slipping further and further away from the event horizon. alas.

katy December 31, 2005 at 11:32 am
Md. Nahid August 15, 2006 at 5:44 am

My brother has been living in Libya for a long time. For this I want to visit your country and also meet with my brother. Now what will i do to come your country.

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