Eighty Days

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People of Misurata, the third largest city of Libya, had nothing to start up a revolution but a great will; a will to end the tyranny of Gaddafi and the miseries that had befallen them throughout decades of his dictatorship. Armed with this will, when the wave of Arab Spring, reached them, they started their protests and demonstrations. The heavy handed response of the security forces could not quell their anger and the memories of their fallen comrades only further fueled their wrath. Soon they managed to take control of the city. Now they had to repel the heavily armed surge of the Gaddafi Army. In this documentary and through never before seen footage and interviews with the freedom fighters, we see how ordinary citizens took up arms and managed to liberate their city. The liberation of Misurata later proved to be an important turning point in the fall of the Gaddafi Regime.

TIME CODE :00:00_05:00

VOICE OF A MEN:

Men of our generous and beloved city ,free Libyans, those who receive this

broadcast, your place today is not at your homes, your country needs you more than ever.

Do not hesitate, do not be cowardly, do not be afraid

Get your help from god and be patient, and know that the time of injustice is over .

TITLE: 80 DAYS

Mohamed Ettahaer Azzalouk, University Student:

Our life was considered normal . Young people suffered from lack of income . No income –most of them were unemployed.

Mohamed Mokhtar Musli, TV Cameraman:

There was no freedom. I f you discussed a subject ,let’s say, a social problem , you’d have someone opposing you, like security people of the former regime.

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

The university lecturer, and the intellectual in general lived in a real trap. So you expend into history , or fiction . You were incapable of facing reality .

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

When the revolution started in Tunisia –and I’m talking about myself . I was waiting and I felt happy .

I said :” If god wills ,Libya will change ,and we will have a revolution like that of

Tunisia “.

I imagined that every young Libyan , thought they didn’t say anything , had the same wish .

Ibrahim Ghoudhban, Journalist:

W e could not speak freely. We had not free media . The regime said the opposite, but we were afraid. W e witnessed poor infrastructure. Young people did not have housing. A high level of unemployment .But impossible to talk about that in the media . They could kill you

Voice of a singer:

O Allah

Power of Allah !

Destroy their plan !

And disperse their group !

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

People came out in support of what happened in the streets of Benghazi . Misurat’s people were united , like people in Zintan , with our people in the east .

This was not a favor , it was a duty .

Mustafa Khalifa Ezzouari, Libyan Head of the Judiciary:

The people who came out on Feb. 19 were not many .

The martyr , khaled bou shahan , defied the lakeys of the regime .

He bared is chest to them .

So they shot him .This was the spark on Feb.19

TIME CODE : 05:00 _10:00

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

When we heard that khaled had been killed ,The will of the young men to continue their protest increased .

Nobody said that we had done enough, and that we should stop , and that everyone should go home or go bak to work . No, we decided to continue. It was clear we all understood each other

.

Mustafa Khalifa Ezzouari, Libyan Head of the Judiciary:

They organized meeting ,and tried to hold funerals in a normal way , with only the families present ,but the people of misurata decided differently .

Mohamed Mokhtar Musli, TV Cameraman:

The funeral encouraged me to continue . I saw the huge number of people who came to the hospital for the removal of the body .

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

When they saw the demonstration and heard the shouts of “down with Gaddafi”, and “our blood and souls for you , Benghazi “, my friends could not believe it . They went to all the symbols of Gaddafi’s rule and destroyed them in a few hours .

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

Big confrontations took place between us and the security forces . Gaddafi’s troops used anti-aircraft missiles against unarmed people. They didn’t have a single gun .

Mustafa Khalifa Ezzouari, Libyan Head of the Judiciary:

It was impossible for the security forces to do anything because it was a huge

uprising .

All the symbols of the regime were burned … … the popular committee offices , and those of the interior and exterior security forces . All the people in the system and the administration went into hiding .

Naturally we took the initiative , the young people and us , and all those who were in the uprising from the first day . We organized a number of committees took control of the city .

Camelia El Mankouch, Preacher:

It was really a different kind of morning . There was an oppressive silence . Communications had not yet been cut . Everyone who came in felt it . All the shops were closed- the result of the natural fear of the people

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

We heard rumors that troops were on their way, from sirte and elsewhere , to surround misurata .

And we had weapons . The only weapons used for resistance at the airport . Were knives , sticks , and so on .

I imagine an iron bar or stick facing a tank . Those people, we knew them , and they only had such weapons at the first battle . We heard sounds of explosions , of artilleries , and of machine guns . There was a rumor in the city that two regiments splits - one joined the revolution and one stayed with Gaddafi .They were fighting each other .

We were happy to hear that defections had started in the regiments . But unfortunately it wasn’t true . They were only maneuvering and training to get ready for the battle . There was no question of leaving .

Ramadan Maatid, Fmr. Officier in Libyan Armed Forces:

We searched for weapons . Naturally , there weren’t many in misurata .

Nouredine Adham, Political Activist:

By god, those weapons were very few .One the old men brought five rokets . They were all rusty… from the 80’s … at least 25 years old . They had been buried . They were the first ones . I ever held in my hand .

Ramadan Maatid, Fmr. Officier in Libyan Armed Forces:

But it was a real popular uprising .

Nouredine Adham, Political Activist:

Without this , we wouldn’t have been able to face the first attack . The big invasion of March 16 , When the army first came in , we heard the bullets and we weren’t used to that .

TIME CODE : 10:00 _15:00

Nouredine Adham, Political Activist:

We didn’t know what kind of guns were fired at us .We hadn’t heard about them .

Mohamed Attaher Azzalouk, University Student:

I told you , we beat them the first time, so we thought we could do it again . So I went out with all the young men of misurata . We were shocked by the number of thanks and solider . It wasn’t like the first time .

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

We fought a war , but we didn’t have arms . So it was “stupid” . A kind of street battle .

They were in a place called tunisian’s isle , and we were half way there . We saw them and they saw us .

They were firing at us .But at that time we didn’t think the war would continue .At least I didn’t think so .

Mohamed Attaher Azzalouk, University Student:

So we tried ; there were people in front with arms- they had captured them .We encouraged them and gave them ammunition , water, and first aid for wounded .

Nouredine Adham, Political Activist:

They were fring at first with homemade guns, and they fired without aiming . The young rebels started pulling back from trabulus avenue to the town centre .

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

In addition to that the tanks were shelling the building . We tried everything we could .

Not one the young men away . We stayed till nightfall . But the number of troops was large .

They captured trabulus avenue and they used the high building . We stayed away from the avenue in some houses and in side streets. But we didn’t leave our positions.

Mohamed Attaher Azzalouk, University Student:

We didn’t realize that they were bringing up thanksand behind the thanks , transporters .

They stopped in trabulus and Benghazi avenues . Then armoured personnel carries dropped off snipers on the buildings .

One person next to the insurance building was hit and killed by a sniper .We discovered that Gaddafi had spread the snipers out , In trabulus avenue , on tops of buildings , and in Benghazi avenue .

The two avenues met where the insurance buildings was located . Phones and all other communications were cuts off.

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

A snipers aims at the head and the spine .13;33 Those gangs of snipers ! But sometimes a snipers enjoys… … shooting a leg , and then another leg , or sometimes the shoulders , and then gives you the coup the grace .

Mohamed Attaher Azzalouk, University Student:

There was a group of people who captured an officer … and one night they heard their commander in the insurance building telling the operations commanders in Tripoli : “ we must evacuate the building “ . We have no food or communication .The small of dead bodies – we can’t stand it anymore “.

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

There was a lot of tension in many people . They couldn’t put up with the occupation of the street any longer.

TIME CODE : 15:00 _ 20:00

Mouataz El Ghourabi, Fighter, Deaf Troops

I thought I kept hiding with my brothers … with all of us at home , that would change nothing .

My mother begged me to stay inside , but I was obstinate .

A dialogue between members of deaf troops:

We will go in two groups . Will we start when we arrive ?

I will be with the first group .I carry ammunition . Will we start when we arrive?

I prefer after prayers .

Mouataz El Ghourabi, Fighter, Deaf Troops:

I said goodbye to my mum and dad and to my family , and off I went . We started with the Attmine building .We went up and cleared it , looking for snipers .

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

Approaching the enemy , tacking his positions , surrounding him , that was really the hardest part of the fighting – surrounding an army or snipers in a building.

Mouataz El Ghourabi, Fighter, Deaf Troops:

We broke through shops ,walls , and roofs , so they couldn’t see us .When the snipers used lasers to aim at their targets , we were able to locate them .

Mustafa Khalifa Ezzouari, Libyan Head of the Judiciary:

Then a sort of internal exodus took place from the south to the north , to the areas near the sea .And from that moment , people tried to take refuge in schools .

Serajeddine Dhaou, Civil Servant:

Two months of siege followed .There was no thought of defect , not even in the early days .

Nouredine Adham, Political Activist:

That made us more determined to continue the revolution , and the struggle of all the young men in misurata . It was not easy to leave a place where I had lost my dearest friends and brothers , and surrender it to Gaddafi’s troops and retreat . In misurata the war didn’t go back and forth . It only went forth , there was no “ back “ .

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

In a way , all bodies and brains worked together .That’s why I told you at the start , behind every young man , there was a story .We all worked together , or in groups .That was the important thing . So we could carry out orders exactly , or I can say efficiently and creatively .

Voice of a Singer:

Power of Allah !

Destory their plan !

And disperse their group !

Allah is great !

His sword will cut them .

The more their injustice grows , the more he will be little them .

TIME CODE : 20:00 _ 26:11

A dialogue between two Children in a religious school:

Why do you ask who i am ?

This is wrong … repeat it !

Ahmed Jadallah, Religious Teacher:

Thanks be to God! Despite the siege , we breathe freedom . These young people are there at mid night .Without electricity. Despite the heat.

They recite the Quran. Nobody asks them what they do . They recite the Quran .They can learn the religion .They learn the language pronunciation of the Quran as well the science of religion. Nobody prohibited it. We are free. Foods is not sufficient, but we have freedom.

Mohamed Attaher Azzalouk, University Student:

They filled sand trucks .they became heavy .With these trucks they blocked the entrance to the Tripoli street . Gaddafi’s army was trapped .

Ibrahim Assafar, University Lecturer:

We decided to liberate Tripoli street that day . I had beside me martyr Abdelbasset .2 I heard screams .Nobody could imagine that a family was there .A very dangerous place .

Three sources of fire .They were in a state of panic that we cannot imagine

We advanced under fire , and we left the family .

We brought a car despite the fire but when the family was out we were attacked .

It was the gunshots of professional snipers . But sometimes a sniper enjoys … … shooting a leg , and then another leg ,or sometimes the shoulder , and then gives you the coup de grace

since the injury until arrival at the hospital … The time had stopped .

Images had become very slow .Breathing was difficult , words had disappeared ,

and the movement was a dream .The best sleep of my life was when I arrived at the hospital .

A very deep sleep …coma .

Mustafa Khalifa Ezzouari, Libyan Head of the Judiciary:

When Tripoli street was liberated, victory approached a little more each day .

We believed that Gaddafi’s period . Had become very short .

Voice of group of children:

Libya is free !

Ibrahim Ghoudhban, Journalist:

As usual , every morning , we have to be optimistic , and welcome life with a smile .

I salute every street and house in misurata . Welcome to all of you on our air waves .

It was a real revolution .The revolution changes everything .

All institutions have changed . We had no civil society , no parties or associations . Now we have all of them .

Faraj Ben Hamad, Poet

We cannot got back .

We will live free on earth,

during this short period , we have left that freedom has a taste and color .

We must live free on earth , or die

   

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