15 Hours Inside Libya (met local girl)
The --- in 2011. We saved a lot of Libyan lives. Now, could we have done more after the —— —— was ended? Well, that's always, you know, second-guessing, and I'm sure that there's more we could have done but let's look at what we did do.
A complex and highly —— situation. The international effort that we have led in Libya. We finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over. So, welcome back to another day in Libya, actually, right in the middle of the Sahara desert right now. Interesting thing about Libya, we're driving through the desert and things, you see a lot of these burnt-out cars just in the middle of nowhere, and that could have been from the —— times or I'm not too sure.
Today we've already been driving for four or five hours. We got another three or four hours to go through the desert, started early, got a head start. So we're going to be driving to Tripoli today, the capital city. I'm gonna do my best to film what I can. If you've been watching the previous videos that I've made on Libya, it's very difficult to film here, so many restrictions, at times being traced by ——. The —— kind of always knows where we are because it's so rare for foreigners to be here and you know, they're suspicious, especially with the recent history and everything.
You know, I'll film what I can. And hopefully, get a bit of a taste of the city for you. Even now, there's cars pulling over and things when they see a guy filming. Anyway, let's get in the car and get out of here. You grab attention really quickly here, and so you got to kind of keep moving.
- Salaam Aleikum. - Salaam Aleikum. - Salaam. - Salaam. Let me explain what happened today. You're not going to believe it. This is one of the most insane travel experiences at all the countries I've been to. I have video footage of it, don't worry, but so many things happened so quickly that I didn't get time to talk to the camera, but I filmed it okay, so I'm going to show you the footage in a second but just let me give you a bit of back story before I do that.
We were driving through the desert, you know, it's a seven, eight-hour drive from where we were. We left off from the Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan triangle border area and headed towards Tripoli, where I am now in the capital, okay. Had a driver Imad and my guide Abubaker who you've seen translating.
They both started to get phone calls quite frequently, and then the frequency picked up a lot when we were getting closer, We're going to stop by these three-hundred-year-old cave houses on the way and have a look. Anyway, all these phone calls were from high-ranking —— officers of the area, and they were calling up to ask, you know, where am I, what time I'm arriving, they were tracing us, so we're getting calls from all the cities in between Ghadamis and these caves houses which are like seven hours apart from each other. Every city we went through, we're giving phone calls asking my whereabouts. We go through multiple checkpoints and things, and then suddenly I see this Mercedes Benz with tinted windows, an SUV with two —— officers sitting in it and no number plates on the car, and then they come up behind us, and they escorted us up this hill and this Mercedes Benz with no number plates with two —— officers in it.
We get up there, and then there's —— cars, there's two —— cars sitting up there, ten or more, I counted ten but it could have been more —— officers waiting for me because I'm a foreigner, because it's so rare, they said it was for my safety. Anyway, we looked around these cave houses. I met a local guy there who I talked to, he's a young guy, spoke English.
I'll show you that interview in a second. Firstly, let me explain to you what happened next. So, these guys were following us everywhere, I went, a couple of them had ——, even when I went to the toilet I had two of these cops standing on either side of the door of the toilet, and what happened next was really crazy, top five most insane travel experiences of my life. But firstly, before I tell you about that, I'm going to show you the interview with the boy, he's got some interesting insights of what it's like to be a young guy in Libya. Cool, so we just pulled over, and we've met a local man, Kasm.
Kasm, in Arab, in English is more like Casin. - Kasm. - Kasm, yeah. Okay, cool, I'm Nick. - Nice to meet you. - Nice to meet you.
So, how is life in Libya for a young man like yourself? It's quite good. I'm comfortable with it. It's hard sometimes, but we're getting over it, you know. The ambiance is good, you know, and people are good, but there's just a few things that will annoy you. - Like? - Like internet. - Internet yeah. - This stuff, simple stuff. - Is it improving? - Yeah, it's improving.
So you feel like the worst is behind you? What? Like the worst time has been in the past and now it's improving? Yeah. And what its the best thing then? Cool weather, yeah, cool people, cool history. Right, right, so culture in general is great? Yeah, very good. And if you had like one message to the world because I think that, you know Libya has an image that people are quite scared of the country, right? - Because of social media. - Right, social media?
Yeah, before you come to Libya your thoughts were like, you had a different image like you are seeing now? Yeah, it seems most stable for sure, like, I feel more sefe here than I thought I would do, but it's still quite intimidating because there's lots of —— —— in the walls like everywhere you go you can see that and there's lots of —— and things. So, I will ask you now, it's hard to get the Libyan visa? Yeah, it's quite a process, yeah, yeah, it's quite difficult. I hope it will be easier in the future. As you say, things are getting better, so hopefully, more tourists can come and see.
- It'll start. - Yeah. We have a good... We have a lot of every landscape. We have sea, we have nice mountain, we have green mountain, we have desert, we have everything here, we just have to be like, more stable. Thanks for your time, shukran. After that, we jumped in the car, and then a Dodge like a really nice Dodge. I'm going to show the footage of this.
A really nice Dodge —— car souped-up boy racer style pulls in front of us, sirens go off, lights on, drives and tells us to follow him and then behind us that black Mercedes with no number plates comes up behind us and behind that, a —— truck with the sirens going it, with the lights going, following us. We were getting escorted down this mountain face and just getting lead all the way through, and it was like being a president, you know, all these —— officers, ten or more —— officers, three —— cars escorting me because it's so rare and they say, you know, we want to look after you and things. I mean, many people are saying it's safe here, and it does feel safe, but giving ten or more —— officers and three —— cars, I don't know if that gives you the feeling of being safe or the opposite and I say that I don't know, I genuinely don't know, but they're very nice people, anyway have a look at this footage.
Like now, he's flashing all his lights, who's behind, Mr. Nick. I really felt like I was a president or something, you know, to be sitting in the back of a big blacked-out SUV had tinted windows and things, and then in the middle of these, these —— cars, it was, you know, through checkpoints past —— and everything in Libya. For that to be happening in Libya, mind-blowing, you know, I'll never forget that. They were very, very kind —— officers, don't get me wrong, they weren't intimidating to me, they were smiling and welcoming and things, but yeah, just to be in the presence of those ten guys was something. It caught us of guard that's why I didn't really get footage while they're with me talking.
And then something that it was really quite striking for kilometers and kilometers along this road, just utter destruction. Basically, to me, it looked like there were more buildings with —— —— and —— —— than without. So here's some footage of what I saw along that drive. So, you can see there I didn't... I obviously can't film —— and things, but the —— presence there was quite lifted compared to what I've seen in other parts of the country, you know, we did see a lot more —— presence, still not as much as I expected coming to this country, honestly speaking.
It was really quite moving to see that much, you know, destruction and people are still living their lives and things, and it is a lot safer now, apparently 2021 has been the best year for many years for this country in terms of security, really seems to be a lot more stable. That's not just my view, that's from the locals and things. Many locals seem to have that same kind of outlook on the country, even in different parts of the country, not just in Tripoli, not just out in the desert cities, it seems to be kind of spread out, but you know, we will continue to learn more as we travel more in this country. Anyway, then we come into the city, and then we go to some really nice neighborhoods, some big expensive houses, here are some clips of that.
And then we went to a coffee shop. We were just sitting there having a coffee, and this girl came over and approached us. She saw my camera, and she was like talking about the brand and things, and she's like, I've got a horse riding club just down the street, please after you finish your coffee, we would love for you to come and have a look at our horse riding club.
So, of course, we took that invitation. I really wanted to talk to a female in Libya, just to get the perspective because it can be sometimes hard to get an interview with a girl, but luckily she was willing. So we drove over to the horse riding club met the locals.
Here are some clips of the young kids riding horses. A scene that doesn't really come to mind when you think of Libya. So, we're here with Haneen, and we were just sitting in a coffee shop, and Haneen kindly invited us to a horse club. So, can you just explain to us a bit about your horse club and what goes on here? Basically, it's for the children from five years old and above, it's really to start teaching children from the beginning how to interact with animals in general and horses and teach them how to ride horses and do horse jumping effectively. Where I come from, many people would look at Libya and think that women would be oppressed here it's that true, or do you feel comfortable and confident in your society? No, the opportunity is the same for both sexes, male and female, and they're already doing that by providing children males and females and they will all be getting the same opportunities for women as well, in every field in Libya in general.
Do you like living in Libya and you feel safe and comfortable here? With all honesty, she loves living in here, and she would not live anywhere else except in Libya. She wouldn't mind traveling to learn about different cultures, but eventually come back here and in particular to this place here with the horses. Do you think it's okay for foreigners to come here? For sure, she encourages that and she loves for people to come in. So she can show them herself about our culture and our respect for other people, and she would love to have some of these people come in particular to her club in here, so she can show them what it's like to be in it with the Libyans. Okay, great.
And what's the name of this club just in case anybody wants to come here? - Shukran. - Shukran. Lovely to hear the perspective of a female living in Libya and she was a really confident young woman, you know, she knew what she wanted, she came up to us, invited us, and then she was just so passionate about the horse riding club and felt so strongly about how much she loves her country and how much she loves living here in how she doesn't feel oppressed or anything. So, it was really nice to get the perspective of a woman living in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
We also went to a shopping mall for some lunch. The other guys got pizza, and I got like this kind of Libyan-style mix of salads and things. The shopping mall was just, you know, like any kind of generic shopping mall, you could be anywhere in the world.
Families everywhere, you know, having a nice lunch or doing some shopping and then we went to a perfume shop and met a man there. - Imad. - Nick. Nice to meet you. How's business going?
Yeah, he said it's going pretty well, actually. And has that always had been the case or its been picking up more recently? This is like a brand all across the Arab world really, it even has a brand in London, so it's well known. So, he said its customer base is quite big, and business is always booming. Feel comfortable and safe now in 2021 because I mean Libya in the international media when we're in the western world we turn on the television, and it says all bad things about Libya, but can you give me an insider's perspective? Do you feel safe, at least in Tripoli? Completely safe. Shukran. So, you can see the feeling of the locals in general, they do seem to feel like the situation is getting more secure and more secure as time moves forward.
Even in the last six months apparently, it's a night and day difference before you wouldn't really go out at certain times of the day and things, but now a lot of people feel comfortable. That's what I've heard from certain locals I obviously can't speak on behalf of all Libyans. I'm just, you know, passing on what I have heard from the people that I've been fortunate enough to meet because so far I've met amazing people.
I can't wait to see what comes next, you know, there's so much to see in this country, and it really takes you by surprise. It's nothing like what I expected coming into this country. A lot more stable than I expected. Obviously, I've got more time coming, so we'll reassess and reassess as time moves forward, but so far really good experience. You can see though that there's been a lot of —— and fighting here it's very, very visible even if you're just in the middle of nowhere in a desert, you'll come across like a lone building and will be all smashed up and —— —— and things.
It's not all buildings, but it is quite a lot, and obviously that's expected with all the fighting that has gone on here sadly over the past years. One more interesting point before I finish the video, the petrol situation. So in Tripoli you have pretty good access to petrol, petrol stations are stocking petrol, there are some rationing sometimes when there's a shortage but when you go out of the city most of the petrol stations that I saw were closed, and any that were open had huge lines in front of them or you had to like pay to get access into the petrol station and then you can buy the petrol.
If you haven't seen the past video, petrol in Libya costs three cents per liter, you heard that right, three cents a liter, so you can fill up your tank with like two dollars. What happens a lot is people will go there, and they will fill out tanks, and tanks, and tanks, and then they will resell it for like 45 percent more of the price. We had to meet up with people in the middle of nowhere, and they would get petrol cans out of the car and help fill up our petrol tank because you know, petrol is so scarce but so cheap at the same time it's very contradictory, you know. Anyway, I know this video was a bit messy, but like I say, these things aren't, you know normal occurrences to get escorted and for —— to come out of nowhere and you know at first I was a bit concerned but after all you know I must say I must make this clear that I do believe that the —— had the best of intentions they really were doing their best to help me and make me feel comfortable in their country and for that I can be nothing but grateful. So I just want to say thank you to those guys.
They were coming from a place of authenticity, and they really wanted to help make my experience as smooth as possible, so I can only thank you guys for that. Just quickly please keep in mind that I'm doing the best to film in certain places it's very, very strict we've been refused to film in certain places and filming downtown in Tripoli is really kind of pushing your luck because there's so many security forces and things and I don't really want to like push it too much. We are gonna visit downtown Tripoli in upcoming videos, but we're gonna try and do it in a way that's not too you know like look at the foreigner with the camera, kind of situation. Bear with me on that to get any access to this country is an extreme privilege, like I mentioned. Please keep that in mind, I'm doing my best to get the footage that I get, even pushing boundaries in some areas, so please bear with me on that, and hopefully, we can paint a reasonably whole picture of Libya.
Unreal day. Thank you so much for watching, and in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.