The Origins of the Libyan Nation: Colonial Legacy, Exile and the Emergence of a New Nation-State [1 ed.] 0415477476, 9780415477475

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The Origins of the Libyan Nation: Colonial Legacy, Exile and the Emergence of a New Nation-State [1 ed.]
 0415477476, 9780415477475

Table of contents :
Contents
List of figures
Acknowledgements
Note on transliteration
Archivial Abbreviations
Introduction
1 Writing modern Libyan history
2 Colonial rule
3 Colonial rule and exile
4 Exile associations and the beginning of political activity
5 Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism
6 The British interlude and political action in Libya
7 Conclusion: Libya: a country in the making
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

Libya is a typical example of a colonial or external creation. This book addresses the emergence and construction of nation and nationalism, particularly among Libyan exiles in the Mediterranean region. It charts the rise of nationalism from the colonial era and shows how it developed through an external Libyan diaspora and the influence of Arab nationalism. From 1911, following the Italian occupation, the first nucleus of Libyan nationalism formed through the activities of Libyan exiles. Through experiences, undergone during periods of exile, new structures of loyalty and solidarity were formed. The new and emerging social groups were largely responsible for creating the associations that ultimately led to the formation of political parties at the eve of independence. Exploring the influence of colonial rule and external factors on the creation of the state and national identity, this critical study not only provides a clear outline of how Libya was shaped through its borders and boundaries but also underlines the strong influence that Eastern Arab nationalism had on Libyan nationalism. An important contribution to history of Libya and nationalism, this work will be of interest to all scholars of African and Middle Eastern history. Anna Baldinetti is Associate Professor of History and Politics of North Africa and Middle East at the University of Perugia. Her research has mainly been focused on the political history of Libya and Egypt in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern History

The region’s history from the earliest times to the present is catered for by this series made up of the very latest research. Books include political, social, cultural, religious and economic history. 1. The Boundaries of Modern Palestine, 1840–1947 Gideon Biger 2. The Survey of Palestine under the British Mandate, 1920–48 Dov Gavish 3. British Pro-Consuls in Egypt, 1914–29 C.W.R. Long 4. Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey Who is a Turk? Soner Cagaptay 5. Mamluks and Ottomans Studies in honour of Michael Winter Edited by David J. Wasserstein & Ami Ayalon 6. Afghanistan Political frailty and external interference Nabi Misdaq

7. The Pasha’s Bedouin Tribes and state in Egypt of Mehemet Ali 1805–48 Reuven Aharoni 8. Russia and Iran in the Great Game Travelogues and orientalism Elena Andreeva 9. The Ghazi Sultans and the Frontiers of Islam A comparative study of the late medieval and early modern periods Ali Anooshahr 10. The Origins of the Libyan Nation Colonial legacy, exile and the emergence of a new nation-state Anna Baldinetti

The Origins of the Libyan Nation Colonial legacy, exile and the emergence of a new nation-state Anna Baldinetti

Routledge Routledge Routledge Routledge Routledge

First published 2010 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 711 Third Ave, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business First issued in paperback 2013 © 2010 Anna Baldinetti Typeset in Times New Roman by Glyph International All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Baldinetti, Anna. The origins of the Libyan nation : colonial legacy, exile and the emergence of a new nation-state / Anna Baldinetti. p. cm. — (Routledge studies in Middle Eastern history ; 9) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Libya—History—1912-1951. 2. Exiles—Libya—Political activity— History—20th century. 3. Nationalism—Libya—History—20th century. 4. National liberation movements—Libya—History. 5. Arab nationalism— Libya—History—20th century. 6. Italians—Libya—History—20th century. I. Title. DT235.B322 2010 961'.03—dc22 2009015736 ISBN 13: 978-0-415-47747-5 (hbk) ISBN 13: 978-0-203-86816-4 (ebk) ISBN 13: 978-0-415-84562-5 (pbk)

Contents

List of figures Acknowledgements Note on transliteration Archivial Abbreviations Introduction

viii ix xi xii 1

The emergence of modern Libya: from borders to boundaries 1 Exiles and migrants: nationalism in the Libyan context 4 Sources 7 Chapters 8 1

Writing modern Libyan history

10

Nationalism and the history of Libya: the Western scholarship 10 Imagining the nation: the Arab narrative 14 Constructing a national history: Qaddafi and post-revolutionary Libya 20 2

Colonial rule The Second Ottoman period (1835–1911): resistance and reform 27 The Sanusiyya 30 Towards the Italian occupation 33 The Italo-Turkish War: anti-colonial resistance and colonial repression 36 The two colonies 39 The First World War and the insurgency 42 A native conciliatory policy? 43 Fascism, ‘reconquist’ and ‘pacification’ 45 Libya: the unified colony 48

27

vi

Contents

3

Colonial rule and exile

53

Tripolitanians in Tunisia: nomadic tribes and less advantaged social groups 54 Tripolitanians in Tunisia: notables and chiefs 56 Cyrenaicans in Egypt: early integration 59 Exiles in Syria: intellectuals and Ottoman bureaucrats 61 The rise of fascism and the new wave of emigration 62 The ‘easing’ of the fascist colonial policy and return 65 4

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity

69

Egyptian solidarity with Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican resistance 69 Early political associations in Egypt 71 Support of Egyptian nationalists 74 Associationism in Syria 77 Bashir al-Sa‘dawi 78 The national charter and transnational activity 81 ECTCC activity and anti-Italian publications 84 The exiles in Syria: between reorganization and internal divisions 85 5

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism

90

Nationalism in the Arab world and interpretations of pan-Arabism 90 Anti-Italian propaganda in Egypt 93 Fascist propaganda: the ambiguous attitude of Shakib Arslan 97 The Libyan issue as an Arab issue 102 Facing the World War: the split between Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican claims 107 6

The British interlude and political action in Libya Competing interests: military administrations and Big Power politics 110 Political parties in Tripolitania 116 The Sanusi leadership in Cyrenaica 121 A Cyrenaican critique of Idris: the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club 124 An attempt at unity: the Libyan Liberation Committee 127 The failure of the unity efforts 130 The Sanusi Amirate 135

110

Contents 7

Conclusion: Libya: a country in the making

vii 138

The United Nations and independence 138 The general elections of 1952 142 The failure of an imagined community 143 Notes Bibliography Index

146 194 216

Figures

2.1 Libyan detainees are forced to disembark at the Island of Ustica, 29 October 1911 2.2 Libyan detainees are led to the dormitories on the Island of Ustica, 1911 4.1 The ECCTT delegation with the General Islamic Conference delegates, Jerusalem, December 1931–January 1932 5.1 Bashir al-Sa‘dawi with members of an Iraqi delegation en route to Yemen and leading Egyptian personalities, Tea Island at Cairo Zoo, 1939 5.2 Frontcover of the booklet Andalus al-thaniya aw Tarabulus Barqa, 1938 5.3 Frank Hurley, ‘Prince Said Eidriss Senussi with his brother’ 6.1 Frank Hurley, ‘A British Civil Affairs officer (Major Sholto-Douglas) has a row-wow with the Shiekhs of Ptolemetta’ [Tolmeta, Cyrenaica, ca. 1940–46] 6.2 Public demonstration against the Bevin-Sforza Plan, Tripoli, May 1949 7.1 King Idris and Bashir al-Sa‘dawi following the general elections of 1952

38 38 85

103 105 109

114 134 143

Acknowledgements

This study would not have been possible without the support and assistance of many institutions and people. Il Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) short-term mobility programme enabled me to carry out research trips at Aix-en-Provence and the University of Berkely; other travels in the UK were possible, thanks to the Italian national research programme PRIN 2003. The Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente sponsored several research field trips to Libya in the framework of a joint Italo-Libyan research programme. Within Libya the assistance of the Libyan Studies Centre was fundamental in arranging the use of libraries and establishing contacts, a special acknowledgement is due to its director Muhammad Jarary for his support. The assistance and competence of the staff in the archives and libraries that I visited in many different countries has been essential. It is not possible to list them all, but in particular I wish to thank: in Rome, the Archivio Centrale dello Stato, the Archivio Storico-Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, l’Istituto per l’Africa e l’Oriente, l’Istituto per l’Oriente ‘Carlo Alfonso Nallino’; in London, The National Archives and the British Library; in Oxford, the Bodleian Library, The Middle East Centre Archives and the Middle East Centre Library, The Centre for Libyan Studies; in Tunis the Archives Nationales and the Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain; in Cairo, the Dar al-kutub and Dar al-watha’iq al-qawmiyya, in Aix-en-Provence the Archives nationales d’outre mer and L’institut de recherches et d’études sur le monde arabe et musulman (IREMAM); in Benghazi, the Garyunis University library; in Tripoli, the Libyan Studies Centre. I am grateful to All Souls College, Oxford University, and its former Warden, John Davis, for inviting me as the Evans-Pritchard Lecturer in 2007 and giving me the opportunity to present and discuss my research findings in public for the first time. The exchanges I had in Oxford played a critical part in the shaping the present book. I owe a huge debt to Israel Gershoni whose works are a constant point of reference for me, and who has patiently read and offered insightful comments during the very first draft of the manuscript. This book has also benefited of logical support, criticism and advice from colleagues and friends. Among those who have contributed to this study in various ways, I wish to thank Leila Adda, Mirella Cassarino, Federico Cresti,

x

Acknowledgements

Mia Fuller, Claudia Gazzini, Abdellah Labdaoui, Armando Pitassio, Anne-Marie Planel and Cecilia Trifogli. I am particular grateful to Luigi Goglia for the fruitful discussion of some of the chapters of the book and Youssef al-Megreisi for significant conversations. I also wish to thank the al-Sayd family for having facilitated my interview with the late Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd in Rabat during his last days. Gratitude also goes to Centro Studi e Documentazione Isola di Ustica and in particular to its secretary, Vito Ailara, for suppling photos from the Centre’s collection. I am also grateful to Archivio Storico-Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri and National Library of Australia for permitting me to reproduce some pictures from their collections. I would also like to thank Adel Hadi Misherghi (al-Mushayriqi) who allowed me to use photographs from the collection of his father Al-Hadi Ibrahim al-Mushayriqi, who was a protagonist of the Libyan struggle for independence. Similar appreciation goes to Hassan M. Eltaher for allowing me to use two photographs from his family collection of his father Mohamed Eltaher (known as Aboul Hassan), who was a journalist and very committed in the pan-Arab movement during the interwar period. From Routledge, I would like to thank Joe Whiting and Suzanne Richardson for their assistance in the evaluation, revision and publication of this manuscript; similarly, to the three anonymous readers who provided valuable suggestions to complete the contents of the study. I am greatly indebted to Vivian Ibrahim, who with humour, patience and skill has corrected and edited my English. I could not have completed this work without the support of several friends, who put up with me during the last stage of writing – special thanks go to Barbara Airò, Stefano Bellucci, Stefania Bertonati, Monica Busti, Stefania Curti, Ilaria Brancatisano, Francesca Di Pasquale, Massimo Laria, Regina Lupi and Amina Maneggia. To my mother has offered me continued encouragement. Last but not least, I must mention my mentor Salvatore Bono to whom this book is dedicated. He introduced me to the history of Libya and I am forever in his debt for the knowledge and the passion about research which he has passed on to me. I would like to thank the editors and publishers of the following works for granting me permission to reproduce sections of my previously published studies in this book: the Centre for Libyan Studies for material from ‘Note sul nazionalismo libico: l’attività dell’associazione ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’, The Journal for Libyan Studies 2, 2001, vol. 2, 61–6; Taylor and Francis Journals for permission to include material from ‘Libya’s Refugees, their Place of Exile, and the Shaping of their National Idea’, The Journal of North African Studies 1, 2003, vol. 8, 72–86; Koninklijke Brill N.V. for permission to include material from ‘Italian Colonial Rule and Muslim Elites in Libya: a Relationship of Antagonism and Collaboration’, in Meir Hatina (ed.) Guardians of Faith in Modern Times: ‘Ulama’ in the Middle East, Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 91–108; The Cassels family for permission to quote from Cassel’s account of the Libyan federal elections.

Note on transliteration

Transliteration generally follows the International Journal of Middle East Studies system, but with the omission of diacritical marks in all cases. English spellings for common Libyan place names are used as they appear in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. For place names that are not in the Encyclopaedia Britannica I have transliterated them from Arabic or used well-known English spellings. English spellings have also been used for personal names, including in the bibliography: for those authors who have published in English (e.g. Nicola Ziyadeh and not Niqula Ziyadah) and for those individuals who are known by the English spelling of their name. Arabic names which have been quoted in European documents, have been identified by returning to the original Arabic spelling, and have been changed to an accepted Arabic form. Those which are unidentifiable have been modified slightly for consistency.

Archivial abbreviations

A ACS AE ANOM ANT AP ASDMAE ASMAI COL E FO GGA MAI MECA MN PRO TNA WO

Section d’Etat série A Archivio Centrale dello Stato Ambasciata d’Egitto Archives nationales d’outre mer Archives nationales de Tunisie Affari Politici/Archivio Politico/Direction des affaires politiques/Direzione generale Affari Politici Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri Archivio Storico del Ministero dell’Africa Italiana Ministère des Colonies Section d’Etat série E Foreign Office Gouvernement général de l’Algérie Ministero dell’Africa Italiana Middle East Centre Archive Série Histoire du Mouvement National Public Record Office The National Archives War Office

Introduction

This book addresses the emergence and construction of a Libyan nation and nationalism, particularly among Libyan exiles in the Mediterranean region during the period of the Italian colonial occupation (1911–43). While the region had been historically referred to using various derivatives of ‘Libia’, this name had been largely forgotten.1 It was the Italian geographer, Francesco Minutilli, who revived the name Libia in his Bibliografia della Libia published in 1903,2 to indicate the regions formed by the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The repercussions of the Italian colonial legacy, also had an impact on Libya’s construction of her nation state. In November 1911, a decree placed Tripolitania and Cyrenaica under Italian sovereignty, which from this point, became commonly and internationally referred to as Libya. The term Libya was also used to indicate the coastal and internal territories that linked the two regions, including Sirtica, Marmarica and Fezzan. By 1934, the Italian Government had officially adopted the name Libya to refer to those territories, which were now unified in a single colony, and which had hitherto been administered as separate regions.3 Fezzan was governed as part of Tripolitania until 1943, when during the Second World War it came under French occupation. In 1951, when the United Kingdom of Libya was formally established, the three regions of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan were united. For the purpose of convenience, Libya is used to refer to Tripolitana and Cyrenaica before 1934 throughout the book, unless otherwise specified. As seen Libya emerged as a colonial construct and before beginning our discussion on the key notions and themes of the book, it is necessary to diverge somewhat and provide an outline of how Libya was shaped through its borders and boundaries, including at the same time a brief analysis of populations of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan, respectively.

The emergence of modern Libya: from borders to boundaries On the eve of Italian occupation less than a million people lived in the Ottoman provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, which also included Fezzan. The last Ottoman census, which was published in July 1911, reported that there were 576,546 inhabitants in Tripolitania, while Cyrenaica had a population of 198,345;

2

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

although this did not include the oasis of Kufra.4 The population distribution reflected the different physical geographies of the areas, which heavily influenced the politics and social life in the regions. The Gulf of Sirte divided Tripolitania from Cyrenaica, which had both followed different historical paths. Tripolitania, had once formed part of the Roman Empire, and was culturally part of the Maghrib, while Cyrenaica, which had been named by the Italians to recall the classical ascendancy of the Greek city of Cyrene, and which the Arabs called Barqa, belonged to the Mashriq. Cyrenaica’s history during the medieval period had been strongly connected to Egypt. Today Libya is bounded in the North by the Mediterranean Sea, and is bordered to the East by Egypt, Sudan in the SouthEast, Chad and Niger in the South, Algeria in the West and by Tunisia in the North-West. The borders of the two provinces of the Ottoman Empire, which were merged to form modern Libya, were not clearly defined; however the significance of this did not become an issue until the nineteenth century, and particularly following the French occupation of Tunisia and the British occupation of Egypt.5 In Cyrenaica, the borders with Egypt were first defined in 1841 when an Ottoman firman granted the administration of the pashalik of Egypt to Muhammad ‘Ali and his successors. In 1841, the border between Cyrenaica and Egypt was established; running from the costal town of Marsa Matruh towards the South, it annexed Jarabub from Egyptian territory. In 1882, following the occupation of Egypt, the British extended their territory to Marsa Matruh, and following the outbreak of the Italo-Turkish war in 1911, the Anglo-Egyptian administration arbitrarily occupied Sollum, which had previously been an Ottoman garrison. The eastern Libyan border was not firmly demarcated until December 1925, when an Italo-Egyptian agreement was signed. The border line ran from a coastal point North-West of Sollum, giving Libya the oasis of Jarabub. The two governments agreed to allow caravans to move between Jarabub and Sollum with no limitations. Italy had clearly made an important concession regarding its Libyan borders and the town of Sollum, that they did was largely due to the fact that Italy did not desire to undermine its relations with Egypt. In 1934, the Anglo-Italian agreements further clarified a stretch of the eastern border of Libya.6 Benghazi was considered to be the most important town in Cyrenaica, with approximately 20,000 inhabitants in 1911. Of this number, 9,000 were Arab and therefore formed the majority, while the Jewish community was a sizable minority at 3,000.7 Other populations included black minorities, Maltese and other Europeans.8 The other main centre was Derna on the coast, which had approximately 9,500 habitants;9 the distance between Benghazi and Derna was covered by a ‘ten to twelve day horse ride’.10 The urban population constituted a small minority of Cyrenaica, while the majority of the population were largely settled, semi-nomadic and stable tribes. A wide desert area divided western Cyrenaica, the most populated area, from the oases of Jalo, Kufra, Jarabub and Siwa. When the colonial occupation began, the hinterland of Cyrenaica was still largely unknown. In Tripolitania, Arabs and Berbers constituted the majority of the population, while Jews11 and Qologli12 represented the main significant minorities, there were also small foreign communities. Half of the population on the eve of the

Introduction

3

Italian occupation lived in coastal regions; Tripoli, with its 30,000 inhabitants was considered to be the main town. Along the 500 km stretch of Tripolitanian coast, Tripoli was the only harbour in which large ships were able to dock. There were also two other lighthouses in the towns of Khoms and Misurata, which had sizable populations.13 Like Cyrenaica, the eastern borders of Tripolitania were largely stable until 1881, when the French occupied Tunisia. The Ottoman Sultan had traditionally recognized the Bey of Tunis, as the hereditary regent of the ancient well-known borders, which although never mapped or recorded, were well delineated. The French military authorities shifted the border, and from 1886 approximately 5,000 km2 of the Tripolitanian territory was annexed to Tunisia. In order to avoid borders incidents, the Ottoman Empire entered into negotiations with France, through which an agreement was reached on 19 May 1910 in favour of the French. The oasis of Ghadames remained part of Tripolitania. The southern central region, which was largely desert, was Fezzan. This had formed an integral part of the caravan routes from the Sahara to the Mediterranean coast. As a major crossroads of different peoples from Sahara, Fezzan had, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, participated in the trans-Saharan transit trade. From the second half of the nineteenth century, with the decline of the transSaharan trade, Fezzan lost its importance and became increasingly isolated.14 France and the Ottoman Empire never fixed or negotiated their south-western borders, which often resulted in contestations. From the 1880s, Ottoman ambitions towards Equatorial Africa, often directly conflicted with the French interests in the area. In particular, the Ottoman Empire was interested in central and eastern Sahara, mainly the Tibesti and Borqu areas. In the treaty of 5 August 1890, Great Britain and France agreed to the division of the Sahara and Sudan, while ignoring Ottoman protests. The agreement was implemented by the Anglo-French Convention of 1899 and was followed by a declaration. The French proceeded with the occupation, and by 1906 Tibesti was the only area which was not under French control. In the same year France and the Ottoman Empire agreed to maintain the status quo in the region until further agreement was reached. A conference, aimed at defining the southern limits of Tripolitania towards the French Sahara had been scheduled to take place in Tripoli in autumn 1911, failed to materialize following the Italian invasion. In 1912 after the Treaty of Lausanne, the Ottoman representatives left Borqu and Tibesti and the French troops occupied the region in 1913–14. The Italian occupation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in 1911 had little impact with regards to the borders for Italy had, in 1902, recognized the boundary set by the Anglo-French Declaration of 1899.15 In 1912, Italy and France confirmed the previous accord, which though not concerned with establishing precise territorial boundaries, agreed to the principle of non-interference in the regions of national interest for the respective countries. The borders of the Italian territories were discussed after the First World War at the Conference of Paix in 1919. Italy requested that the 1915 Treaty of London should be inplemented, in which Italy could demand compensation and the rectification of the borders of its colonies since Great Britain and France had enlarged their colonial possessions to the detriment of Germany. Due to the evident conflict between the Italian request

4

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

and the interests of other powers, the question was not settled and only some general principles were defined. Italy accepted the rectification of the border between Egypt and Cyrenaica from Great Britain but refused the revision of the south-western border from France. In September 1919, following an Italo-French agreement, Italy obtained a territorial enlargement of the western border between Algeria and Tunisia. Italian sovereignty was as a result extended to a territory that was far larger than the former Ottoman province of Tripolitania. On the southern border, a new pact between France and Great Britain modified the borders to include the Tibesti range and the southern-western border, although this largely remained undefined until 1935.16 The question of the southern border was also discussed following the independence of the former Italian colony. The sourthern border was regulated, in 1955, by the French-Libyan Treaty of Friendship, which obliged the withdrawal of French troops from Fezzan. The treaty established borders that were regulated by the international agreements in force at the date of the constitution of the United Kingdom of Libya.

Exiles and migrants: nationalism in the Libyan context This study has opted to use the term ‘exile’, in order to indicate all those who fled Libya due to the Italian colonial occupation since 1911. The word refugee, which may also indicate an administrative legal category, has been avoided in order to avert reader confusion. The label ‘refugee’ designates a specific social category that emerged in the post-Second World War context. In reviewing the history of refugee movements in the West, Aristide R. Zolberg shows that the word refugee was used as early as the sixteenth century. It first indicated those who escaped religious prosecution and later was applied in political contexts, refugees have long existed in history.17 Yet, it is also clear that terminology definitions are fluid as the same groups of people which Zolberg defines as refugees, Yossi Shain defines as political exiles. He correctly argues that ‘each definition [is] based on the concern of the definer’.18 In the context of a Muslim milieu such as this case study however, the terms ‘exile’ and ‘refugee’ are deeply connected to the Islamic historical concept of hijra or migration. The term hijra, has historically referred to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD, it was later used to indicate any exodus or migration. In early Islam, the Islamic law shaped a doctrine of hijra, which became obligatory under certain circumstances. Indeed, the concept of hijra has been incredibly flexible and interpreted with fluidity through the centuries, adapting to the different political situations and contexts.19 Those who performed hijra were called muhajirun, which can literally be translated as those who migrate. Nevertheless, the definition did not take into account the actual reasons for moving. For example, the 1857 Ottoman Empire Immigration Law (Muhacirin Kannunamesi) made no distinction between migrants, who moved within the Empire, and refugees or exiles, who were people arriving from outside the Empire; instead, the term muhajirun was used to define all groups.20 During the Italian colonial occupation of Libya, hijra mainly signified the flight from occupied territories and this

Introduction

5

category was used by some political-religious movements to oppose colonial rule. People who left Libya because of the Italian occupation called themselves muhajirun. Therefore as a result, this study has chosen not to apply the term refugee, even if it could be properly used in this context, instead, the word ‘migrants’ has been adopted as interchangeable with ‘exiles’, while also taking into account the historical context and the self-definition.21 Regarding concepts of ‘nation’, ‘nationalism’ and ‘national identity’, these terms have been the objects of new theoretical writings from a wide range of different academic disciplines since the 1980s. This has ranged from history to sociology, as well as political philosophy. Each study that deals with nations and nationalism therefore has to face the arduous task of giving a satisfactory definition of these terms. This, despite the fact that, ‘No standard definition exists within the field itself as to what these terms signify, and it is clear from even a cursory glance at recent studies that definitions of them depend upon the position one adopts with regard to the object of study’.22 Two models are dominant in the academic discourse on nations and nationalism, the primordialist and modernist approaches. The primordialists argue that modern nations are based on much older cultural groups, while conversely modernists claim that the nation is a modern phenomenon.23 In spite of the different and opposite theories, many scholars agreed that ‘as an ideology and discourse, nationalism became prevalent in Northern America and Western Europe in the latter half of the eighteenth century, and shortly thereafter in Latin America’.24 With few exceptions, recent theoretical studies on nationalism have paid little attention to Arab countries.25 Instead, and in large part, most existing works focus on the historiography of Arab nationalism. From a theoretical point of view, this study follows the ‘new narrative’ of Arab nationalism. This expression indicates the new trend in writing the history of nationalism in the Arab world.26 This scholarship, which is born out of the works of revisionist Israeli scholars, is mainly influenced by the modernist and postcolonial schools and have shifted the study of Arab nationalism towards new orientations. Here, Arab nationalism is not analysed by the visual angle of pan-Arabism, but nationalism is placed in ‘the specific socio-political context of each Arab society individually’.27 As a result, there is ‘recognition of the modular and dynamic nature of the national identity’.28 Two key theoretical writings on nationalism emerged in the early 1980s that later had a profound impact on the ‘new narrative’ of Arab history as well as the theoretical framework of this study in relation to state formation in Libya. Eric Hobsbawm’s The Invention of Tradition published in 1983, argued that nations were created through the process of ‘formalization and ritualization, characterized by reference to the past, if only by imposing repetition’.29 Indeed, in reference to the Middle East, Hobsbawm states that regardless of historical continuities, the ‘very concept of territorial states of the currently standard type in their region was barely a thought of a century ago, and hardly became a serious prospect before the end of World War I’.30 Benedict Anderson’s modernist definition of the nation, as ‘an imagined political community’, has had a greater influence on

6

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

the scholarship of Arab nationalism and different interpretations of his theory have stimulated a constructive debate among specialists.31 Anderson’s model fits this case study: Libya, the least populated country of North Africa, with a history that is not as ‘glorious’ as that of neighbouring Egypt, is a typical example of colonial or external creation. It is within this framework that this study situates itself. It focuses on the ‘external’, that is to say ‘diasporic’, character of Libyan nationalism that developed outside Cyrenaica and Tripolitania and was made up of exiles. This study asserts that from 1911 following the occupation of Libya, the first nucleus of Libyan nationalism formed through the activities of Libyan exiles. Through experiences undergone during periods of exile, new structures of loyalty and solidarity were formed. This process was essential as it replaced the traditional roles played by ethnic membership, tribal loyalties, kinship, brotherhood bonds and affiliation with the pre-colonial Ottoman provinces. Thus it is argued, that it was the exiles that were largely responsible for giving birth to the associations that ultimately led to the formation of political parties. Adeed Dawisha’s definition of a nation, as ‘a human solidarity, whose members believe that they form a coherent cultural whole, and who manifest a strong desire for political separateness and sovereignty’32 is applied to this study; the Libyan exiles fought as their ‘imagined community’ came into existence in the form of a new state which overcame the traditional regional separations between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Therefore on one hand, nationalism was the result of ‘an invented tradition’ according to Hobsbawm, and on the other, it represented an ‘imagined community’, which Anderson has argued was created out of small and new emerging social groups. Applying this to Libya, it is argued that, the Libyan nation, at the moment of its creation, was an ‘artificial result’ of colonialism. Through following the political activities of those in exile, this study traces the formation process of the history of Libyan nationhood, which consequently became the backbone of the future state. Similarly, given the overlap between the history of exile and political development inside Libya, this study will aim to understand how, and to what degree the colonial ‘diaspora’ affected the political development inside the country. This work does not claim to exhaust the topic of the rise and development of Libyan nationalism before the independence. Its main purpose is to delineate the role of exiles during the colonial period, a topic which has hitherto not been investigated in any western work. It examines how exiles imagined a new national collective identity, which was influenced by contacts with other Arab nationalists. It is argued that Libyan nationalism also needs to be understood looking at the peculiarity of Arab nationalism in the Maghrib. Whereas in the Mashriq, nationalism initially rose as a criticism to the Ottoman Empire, the case was different in the Maghrib. To begin with, nationalism in the Maghrib was a reaction to colonial occupation and Islam while pan-Arabism was also an alien concept to the local nationalisms. Indeed, during its formative years, the pan-Arab movement did not include Egypt and the Maghrib. It was only from the 1920s that Egypt and the Maghrib countries were considered to be part of the Arab world.33 Furthemore, in

Introduction

7

the first decades of the twentieth century the political notion of the Maghrib did not include Libya, but only Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, all of which opposed the same French colonial power. Historiography has long been, and partially still is, affected by what Muhammad Abed Jabri has called the ‘the colonial heritage’, that is that the Maghrib was defined by the ex-French colonies of North Africa.34 As we shall see in the following chapters, Libyan nationalism was influenced by two opposing trends. On the one hand, it was strongly shaped by the influence of several leading Arab nationalists, for example ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, the future first secretary-general of the Arab League, who promoted the agenda of Arab unity. While on the other, it also had ties with other North African movements claiming their own national independence.

Sources Although this monograph is the result of a long-term research project, which has been conducted in different countries, the vast majority of the material gathered is extremely fragmented, and has been compiled from a number of different sources. Therefore some issues that are discussed in the following text, are done so as fully as the available sources will allow. For instance, it has not been possible to give precise figures on the number of exiles, or retrace the trajectory of exile in some countries, such as Algeria, and what would today constitute as parts of Chad. The important characters that played a vital role in exile, as well as a trace of the histories of peripheral persons have been presented. Similarly however, it has not been possible to outline biographical sketches of the all persons mentioned. The study also does not pay particular attention to the Sanusi family, which spent two decades in exile in Egypt, for two main reasons: first, as it will emerge in this study, the Sanusi did not play a prominent role in the most important exile organizations, which operated from the late 1920s. Second, the exiles ‘imagined community’ did not envisage the Sanusi political leadership, at least until the Second World War; regionalisms among Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans re-emerged and solidified as a concept also among exiles circles. Equally, the discussion of the role of the Great Powers and the United Nations in the forging the new independent Kingdom of a United Libya has been reduced to the essential information as it has already been investigated in depth, and as a result is not the main concern of the study. Rather, I have mainly tried to delineate how the nationalist forces changed and adapted their programmes to face the foreign powers plans regarding the future of their country. Two main types of primary sources underlie this study: archival documentation and Arabic press, booklets, pamphlets and other printed materials from the period. The first have been mainly utilized to trace the nationalist actions in exile, while the second have been useful to elucidate the ideological concerns which helped a political discourse on a Libyan nation emerge within exile circles. It is important to observe that the Arabic sources used reflect the idea of a national identity as shaped and imagined in high culture by intellectual elites. Indeed, further studies devoted to the representation of national identity in the folk poetry

8

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

would help expand our knowledge further. This book, while almost exclusively reliant on primary research, has only cited secondary material that is directly relevant and functional to discussions. Thus, it aims, first, to stimulate further studies and discussion concerning Libyan nationalism, which, as we will see, is thus far a neglected research field, while, second, simultaneously comparing it with the documented experiences of the other Arab countries.

Chapters Although the book has attempted to follow a chronological sequence, the narrative is not always linear and at times the chapters intertwine and overlap. In particular, Chapter 1, which focuses on the historiography of modern Libya and underlines the lack of studies concerning nationalism and nation-building, discusses events and themes that run throughout the book. Analysing the role of diaries, and Arabic histories, this chapter assesses the role of important protagonists of the nationalist struggle in the process of writing Libyan history and the impact that this has had. Chapter 2 outlines the main events surrounding the Italian occupation of Libya. It discusses the emergence of the resistance movements in Libya in order to set the historical framework of forthcoming chapters. Chapter 3 marks out times and places of exile as well as the significance of the exodus. Libyans were exiled to many countries including Tunisia, Syria and Egypt between 1911 and the end of colonial occupation in 1943. While it is not possible to give exact figures, it seems that this process involved large proportions of the population. The chapter analyses the trends of the exodus, which involved all social classes, as well as the place of exile. Similarly, the level of integration experienced in the receiving country, which was largely determined by the individuals’ place of origin, will also be discussed. It is argued that the experience of exile did not follow a linear trajectory; instead, it was characterized by moving from one country to another, and also by returns to the homeland. This process was greatly reflective and influenced by different phases of the colonial policy. Chapter 4 draws on the activities of early Libyan exile associations which were created in the 1920s. The formation of these new platforms gave an opportunity to the exiles to start a call for the independence of Libya. The role of Egypt as the first centre for Libyan exiles due to its geographical position, and the impact of development and involvement in the resistance will be analysed. The chapter deals with the associations and Bashir al-Sa‘dawi as a key figure in the creation of a national Libyan identity. Chapter 5 analyses the development of the activity of exiles from the 1930s, beginning by linking this to Arab nationalism, as well as later to fascism. It aims at understanding if, and to what degree, the political agenda of Arab nationalism influenced the establishment of the new state of Libya during independence. Chapter 6 deals with the period of British Military Administration, when political action moved from the diaspora to Libya. The chapter analyses these political formations and underlines that those who returned from exile, especially from

Introduction

9

Egypt, played an active role in the formation of political parties. The chapter also describes how al-Sa‘dawi attempted to bring together different currents of Libyan patriotism. The conclusion assert that although the exile associations were the first associations to imagine the future of their country in terms of a modern nation that was in need of the construction of a national identity based on common territoriality and a shared language and culture, they all failed to have an impact on the formation of the new Libyan state at the moment of independence.

1

Writing modern Libyan history

The aim of this chapter is to provide a review of the Western and Arab literature discussing the nature and development of nationalism in Libya. The section on Western scholarship, with a few exceptions, largely deals with studies published after independence, and does not scrutinize colonial studies. In contrast, the section which deals with Arab writing, surveys some works which were published before the independence of Libya. These authors had been important protagonists of the nationalist struggle itself highlighting how the Libyan nation was imagined during the nationalist struggle.

Nationalism and the history of Libya: the Western scholarship Western scholarship concerning the history of Libya, is generally inconsistent and scarce in comparison to that written on the other North African countries. This is not the case when assessing the period covering the 1969 revolution to the present day, which is instead characterized as ‘enormous, and of a widely varying quality’.1 Conversely, the historical literature covering the period from the sixteenth century up to 1911, is in need of extensive investigation. Contemporary scholarship has devoted only a few studies to the period commonly known as the ‘Second Ottoman occupation’. This covers the brief period from the fall of the Qaramanlis in 1835, to the Italian occupation of Libya in 1911. Furthermore, not only are there few studies concerning the political and administrative history of the Second Ottoman period, but there is also a complete lack of studies concerning the social history of this period. In 1982, Salvatore Bono suggested that research on the Second Ottoman occupation of Libya should take into account the importance of the role played by Greek, Maltese, Italian and other foreign communities, as well as the local history of the towns.2 Almost three decades later, this gap in the literature remains largely unfulfilled. The only study to have drawn attention to these neglected areas is the important work concerning the urban history of Tripoli by Nora Lafi. Her work has shed light on how the city functioned from 1795 to the Italian conquest, by analysing the institutions of Tripoli.3 Until the 1970s and 1980s, there was a lack of studies considering important political, social and economic issues from the colonial period. In the decade following Libyan independence until the end of 1960s, Italian historians were not

Writing modern Libyan history 11 engaged in re-writing the history of colonialism in Libya. It has been noted that this ‘missed decolonization of history’, may be ascribed to the fact that historians who had been directly involved in colonialism, still dominated academia. Others have argued that difficulties of gaining access to colonial documentation in national archives also stunted the development of studies.4 During the 1970s and more so in the 1980s, various works concerning Libya during the colonial period began to be published. Besides studies devoted to the first period (1911–12) of the Italian occupation,5 or examining the Italian presence in Libya,6 Italian scholars began, from the late 1970s, to focus their attention on new and more specific questions; this has included the history of Jews in Libya,7 repression of the resistance,8 the role played by the Church9 and agricultural colonization.10 This Italian scholarship remains largely based on Italian sources,11 and in most part ignores Libyan historiography. Instead, it has mainly placed the events of colonial Libya within the history of Italian colonialism itself, rather than in the history of Libya. Moreover, it has also been remarked that postcolonial studies and theories have had a feeble and late impact on Italian historiography concerning colonialism.12 From the 1980s colonial Libya has also been investigated by non-Italian Western scholars, both in works that are devoted to specific questions concerning the period of the Italian occupation,13 as well as those that deal with other periods of Libyan history.14 These studies have nevertheless failed to examine Libyan nationalism and nation-building in detail. Instead, questions concerning the notions of nationalism and nation-building, have been discussed in a fragmented and secondary manner. Majid Khadduri’s Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development, published in the 1960s is considered to be the only organic work on Libyan nationalism. While it remains an unquestionable reference work, it mainly analyses the international political evolution of independent Libya in its first decade of life, while paying little attention to period predating the Second World War.15 Those who wish to assess the impact of nationalism on the formation of the Libyan state can not do so without consulting the works of Lisa Anderson, Ali Abdullatif Ahmida and Dirk Vandewalle. Lisa Anderson’s study examines state formation and its consequences on the social structures of Libya and Tunisia, using the longue durée approach. In her analysis, Anderson argues that state formation began in the second half of the nineteenth century in Libya. This was the result of a process of reforms undertaken by the Ottoman government, which led to the establishment of a new state bureaucracy and the weakening of the traditional social organizations which had been based on tribes. Anderson shows that the Italian colonial administration destroyed Ottoman institutions, while failing to develop a new bureaucracy. As result of this, she argues, there was the revival of kinship which regained prominence as the political frame of reference after independence in 1951. The author acknowledges that the work is mainly a study of comparative social sciences, the emphasis of which is ‘on the structures of social and political organization’.16 In turn, it does not focus on the formation of national identity. Nonetheless, the book does constitute an important reference and a great starting point for any further study on nationalism in Libya. As a landmark contribution to the study of Libyan history prior to, and during Italian colonization, it is one of the first studies that extensively intertwined Italian and

12

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

Libyan literatures. In contrast to Anderson’s framework, Ali Abdullatif Ahmida mainly deals with the state in Libya prior to the Italian occupation, presenting a new interpretative scheme.17 He ascribes Libya’s social transformation in the nineteenth century, mainly to local factors. The last chapter of his book analyses resistance and collaboration to Italian occupation in 1911–32 claiming that this led to be emergence of a national identity, but Ahmida does not examine the whole colonial period and instead stops at the end of the armed anti-colonial resistance. Dirk Vandewalle’s book focuses on the failure of the creation of modern state structures in postcolonial Libya. He traces the roots of Libyan political systems, which he terms ‘statelessness’ in the experience of Italian colonization,18 but as his study principally explores Qaddafi’s Libya, he does not address the formation of a Libyan national identity. Similarly, Ronald Bruce St John’s recent survey on Libya, which is largely aimed at a general readership, provides a useful and rich background of the country from early history to the present and does not explore the development of Libyan national sentiment.19 For some scholars, the origins of Libyan nationalism dates back to 1911, with the Italo-Turkish war and the beginning of the resistance to the occupation.20 Sergio Romano forcefully asserts that the Italo-Turkish war ‘stood as godfather to Arab nationalism’.21 His argument, which evidently ignores the emergence of Arabism in the nineteenth century as a critique to the Ottoman Empire, is shared also by Timothy Childs.22 The course of modern Libya is often compared to that of other Maghrib countries and is set in a similar historical framework; partial independence from the Ottoman Empire under the Qaramanlis (1711–1835), the Second Ottoman period (1835–1911), colonial occupation (1911–43) and the period of the nationalistic struggle.23 But, schematization affects this comparison as the Libyan experience has some peculiarities. Libya’s formal separation from the Ottoman Empire, which took place at the beginning of colonial occupation, had little effect on the process of nation-building, and although there was a strong anti-colonial resistance, this did not lead to the development of a ‘national’ movement. At this early time, the idea of watan, understood to signify the union of the pre-colonial Ottoman provinces in one ‘Libyan nation’, was not present yet. Ahmida, analysing the resistance in Tripolitania during the first years of Italian occupation argues that at this time, in the ideology of resistance, the prevalence of religion or nationalism and the different interpretation of the latter was not due to ideological reasons but ‘was conditioned by class and tribal and regional interests’.24 In practice, Ahmida defines nationalism as what Eric Hobsbawm would consider to be as popular proto-nationalism.25 Simone Bernini’s doctoral thesis, which has unfortunately remained unpublished and is largely unknown, argues that the ideas which animated political activities in Tripolitania from the Young Turks Revolution of 1908 and which were behind the resistance until 1918, the year of the proclamation of the Tripolitanian Republic, were expressions of proto-nationalism and not nationalism.26 Indeed, André Martel convincingly asserts that the inhabitants of the region did not become ‘Libyans’ because of the Italian occupation in 1911–12, but because of the crumbling points of reference in the years between 1918 and 1924. This included the disappearance

Writing modern Libyan history 13 of the Ottoman army, the Sultan and the Caliph.27 As Anderson notes, until the 1920s, the dominant idioms of political identity in Libya were those of Islam and the Ottoman Empire; the idea of nationalism, of a nation based on Arabism, did not exist yet.28 Rachel Simon’s study proves that resistance was led by different ideological elements: religion, loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and loyalty to the family and tribe: Although the concept of nationalism – both that relating to the restricted area, as well as Arabism – started to infiltrate into Libya, only very few in the second decade of the twentieth-century Libya were devoted to the idea: the Ottoman cover may have been lifted from Libyan tribalism and regionalism, but nationalism had not yet arrived as substitute.29 Most Western historiography, at different degrees, considers the resistance in Cyrenaica led by the Sanusi, as a ‘national’ struggle. This interpretation strongly relies on Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard work on Sanusiyya.30 The British anthropologist asserts that during the Ottoman period, in Cyrenaica the tribes had already began to see themselves as a ‘nation’ through the Sanusiyya, and that later the anti-colonial struggle highlighted the political features of the religious order.31 While Evans-Pritchard’s work on the Sanusiyya constitutes a milestone in the field of studies on Cyrenaica, it also highlights the author’s own admiration for the religious order. Here, the historical context in which Evans-Pritchard operated in should be noted. In November 1942 Evans-Pritchard was appointed political officer to the British Military Administration of Cyrenaica and his work reflects the British position vis-à-vis the Sanusiyya. The British, who recognized Idris al-Sanusi as a political leader, granted Cyrenaica self-government in 1949. Similarly, the strong accusation that Evans-Pritchard levied against Italy’s repressive colonialism, reflected a shift that was not present in previous works.32 This anti-colonial stance, however, was largely directed against the defeated enemy power, and not to the colonial administration he served.33 Evans-Pritchard rightly argues that the Italians, started to treat the Sanusiyya as a political organization recognizing them a territorial sovereign,34 in fact they had by the late 1920s began to debate whether the Sanusi organization could be considered as a state.35 This approach by Italian colonial jurists towards the order reflected nineteenth century French colonial views of the religious order.36 Emrys L. Peter’s doctoral thesis, in 1951, had already taken a critical approach to the arguments of Evans-Pritchard, who had in fact been his professor. In an analysis of the Sanusi order, published posthumously in 1990, Peter states that Evans-Pritchard overestimated the role played by the Sanusiyya in rallying tribes in the resistance to the Italians. As he rightly argues, between 1922 and 1931, when the resistance was experiencing its strongest phase, the Sanusi family had fled Cyrenaica to Egypt. Moreover, When Evans-Pritchard arrived in Cyrenaica in late 1942 as a political officer in the British military administration, he became involved in the discussion

14

The Origins of the Libyan Nation concerning the future role of Sayyid Idris, who was still, nominally at least, the head of the Sanusi Order. In this sense he was, in a small way to be sure, part of the king-making process.37

Ahmida on the other hand, does not rely on Evans-Pritchard’s work which he views as ‘an apology for British colonialism’ although argues that the Sanusi was increasingly became as a political entity.38 Ahmida focuses on some Arabic literature, which is supportive of the Sanusiyya, and which accentuates the political and military aspects of the order. He claims that already by 1890, the Sanusiyya developed the infrastructure of a state: ‘Since its beginning, the order of the Grand Sanusi had aimed at moral and social education for resisting the European colonial advances into North and central Africa; such advances also made military training an integral policy of the order’.39 In a recent essay, Knut S. Vikør has suggested that the origins of the order were not political in nature.40 It is argued that from the end of 1912, when a call to jihad against the enemy had begun,41 the Sanusiyya transformed from a mainly religious and familial entity to a political and military one. The call to jihad was as an individual duty, and was intended to encourage the rise of a new form of popular mobilization. This became necessary as all tribes fought a common fight against an external enemy in a new situation which had no tradition or precedent. The jihad concerned all the territories occupied by the Italians, including Tripolitania, even though neither the Italians nor the Tripolitanians were directly mentioned in the call to jihad. Italians were generically indicated as the enemies or unbelievers, and Tripolitania although not mentioned could be deciphered from the description of the area. Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi used Islamic terminology but it interesting to observe that in order to indicate the geographical area concerned with the jihad, the term watan was used instead. This, despite the fact that ‘this term cannot yet contain all the implications it later got as translation of nation’.42

Imagining the nation: the Arab narrative The Arab historical narrative concerning Libya which specified a unique political entity, began in the late 1940s. These first historical accounts, which mainly dealt with the resistance to the colonial rule and the ‘national’ struggle were based on two approaches: on one hand, they were strongly influenced by the fact that Tripolitania and Cyrenaica’s political future was now inseparably linked, and on the other, they reflected the strong divergences which opposed the two regions. The different regional perspectives also marked the historical production of literature during Idris’ reign (1951–69), although the monarchy through censorship and the promotion of certain narratives of history writings, orientated the works to legitimate itself. During the monarchy the historical narration of the colonial occupation and the anti-colonial resistance was avoided. This was in order to evade discussions concerning the politically delicate issue surrounding collaboration with Italians, which had directly involved the Royal family. This silence was also reflected in

Writing modern Libyan history 15 school programmes. For instance, school history textbooks did not discuss the colonial period, but instead stopped at the end of the Second Ottoman period.43 These works follow the pattern of modern Arab historiography, which as Youssef M. Choueri states, ‘accompanied or responded to European influence and expansionism’. It aimed at shaping a national history and a common narrative of the new territorial entities by rooting the formation of the new nation-states in the past.44 The Sanusi account of the colonial struggle is mainly represented by the Egyptian historian Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri (1904–63). Shukri obtained a doctorate from the University of Liverpool in 1935, and returned to Cairo where he taught modern history in the Faculty of Arts.45 He was among the first Egyptian experts in modern history and his work ‘served as a lasting contribution to the field of an increasingly sophisticated historiography’.46 Shukri’s first work on Libya, entitled al-Sanusiyya: din wa-dawla (The Sanusiyya: Religion and State), was published in Cairo in 1948.47 The book was mainly an account of the birth of the Sanusiyya and its development, with particular emphasis on its resistance to the colonial occupation which was considered a struggle ‘for the freedom of the country (tahrir al-watan)’.48 It has been argued that Shukri’s description, which strongly relied on European studies on the Sanusiyya from the late nineteenth century, reflects ‘the received knowledge of the Sanusi community a century on’.49 Shukri’s narrative was forged by his relationship with the Sanusi and his personal involvement in the Libyan issue. In the forward to his book, Shukri stated that the idea for publication came in late 1943. Following the defeat of Axis Powers, two Libyan officials ‘Ali Asad al-Jirbi, the Deputy Director of the Department of Education in Cyrenaica50 and ‘Ali Nur al-Din al-‘Unayzi,51 advisor to Muhammad Idris al-Sanusi, went to Egypt to observe the local educational system. The Egyptian government assigned Shukri, who at the time was working in the Ministry of Education, to escort them during their visit. As a result, a close friendship was forged between the men and Shukri began to take a keen interest in the Libyan cause. By the time the book was completed in 1947, Shukri had met senior Libyan figures as well as several Egyptian politicians who were directly concerned with the Libyan cause. Shukri’s own personal involvement in the Libyan cause became most evident some years later, when he became political adviser of Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, who, as we will see in the following chapters, was a leading participant of Libyan nationalism, and from the late 1920s played a relevant political role from exile. Because of his book on the Sanusiyya, Shukri in 1947 became the Egyptian government expert for the preparation of the memorandum, which contained the Egyptian claims over Libya addressed to the Council of Foreign Ministries. The following year he joined as an expert in the Libyan Liberation Committee established by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi52 and in 1949 Shukri became a member of the Tripolitanian delegation to the United Nations. Adrian Pelt states that he was regarded as the paymaster for the Arab League for Libya.53 In June 1950, Shukri went to Benghazi, and played an important role in the attempt to reconcile the divergences between Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican claims. Pelt has argued that Shukri was the primary author of

16

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

the Tripolitanian memorandum concerning constitutional development that was addressed to Idris al-Sanusi. The document, he states, ‘was clearly the product of an astute political mind’ and although presented on behalf of the Tripolitanians, was largely inclined to accept the Cyrenaican claims.54 In May 1951, Shukri was expelled by the British Administration after he fermented demonstrations against Idris al-Sanusi on the occasion of his first official visit to Tripoli. Given Shukri’s pro-Sanusi inclination, it is probable that this was merely an excuse, and that the expulsion was instead aimed at stopping Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’s political activity.55 It emerges from this brief biographical sketch that Shukri’s concern for the Libyan cause began with contacts with the Sanusi and Cyrenaica; later Shukri operated with al-Sa‘dawi who represented Tripolitania outlooks. This did not mean Shukri switched positions but rather it is probable that during the years that he was politically engaged in Libyan affairs, he did his utmost to conciliate between the Cyrenaicans and Tripolitanians. His position in the middle of both, particularly emerges in his second historical work on Libya. Milad dawla Libiya haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha (The birth of the Modern State of Libya. Documents of its Liberation and Independence), which was published in two volumes in Cairo in 1957, was Shukri’s most complete narrative of the Libyan nationalist struggle.56 In the preface, the author remarked that he felt it was necessary to write the book due to the lack of Arabic works on the complete history of the birth of this new Arab state. He also aimed to complete the narrative of his previous work on the Sanusiyya. This book, he stated, was not conceived as a compendium because he had ‘the possibility to witness the birth of this new state closely and participate in political activity which would shape the success or failure of the independence and unity of the Libyan country’.57 Apart from this short statement, no other references are made to Shukri’s participation in the events, although the book is dedicated to Bashir al-Sa‘dawi who died the same year. While the book was divided in two parts, the first devoted to the years 1945–7 and the second to the years 1948–52, the partition was not respected accurately. The main account was intended to highlight the role played by the Sanusi. The figure of al-Sa‘dawi was exalted as the leader of Tripolitanian resistance and his importance was due to the fact that he was the first to link Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Despite Shukri’s own personal perspective on the events, Libiya haditha represents a hugely important primary source in understanding the role played by exiles; it clearly documents al-Sa‘dawi’s own memoirs and times, which were recorded during the winter of 1954 in Cairo and reports many documents of the time. Nevertheless, some Libyan historians have raised some criticism against Shukri’s narrative. For example, Taysir Bin Musa, relative of Husayn Zafir Bin Musa, who is one of the founding members of the exiles’ associations in Syria, claims that Shukri did not take into account the fact that the national struggle of Libyan exiles in Syria involved many other people aside from al-Sa‘dawi. Bin Musa also questions Shukri’s account as no mention was made of those who criticized al-Sa‘dawi. Despite this nonetheless, Bin Musa recognizes the undeniable contribution of Shukri’s work.58

Writing modern Libyan history 17 The presentation of the anti-colonial struggle as an integral part of the history of the Sanusiyya, is most apparent in the work of a Sanusi author Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab. His first book Barqa al-‘arabiyya: amsi wa-l-yawm (Arab Cyrenaica: Yesterday and Today) was published in Egypt in 1946,59 which was followed two years by a book on Idris al-Sanusi.60 In 1956, al-Ashhab began a biography of Ibrahim Ahmad al-Shalhi,61 the King’s adviser who had been killed in 1954, in a new series of books entitled Abtal al Jihad wa-lsiyasa fi Libiya (The Heroes of the Jihad and Politics in Libya), which was published in Egypt. Al-Ashhab’s adherence to the Sanusiyya, and the fact that the monarchy approved and strongly supported his historical narration of the colonial period, is clear in the book ‘Umar al-Mukhtar.62 This work was dedicated to the main hero of the Cyrenaican resistance, and was published in same series at the expense of a member of the Sanusi family in 1958. The book contained a picture of the king followed by one of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, while on the back cover of the title page, Idris’s appreciation of the book was stated. The book also congratulated the work of some leading Arab personalities at the time, including the Mufti of Palestine. The first two chapters described the spread and organization of the Sanusiyya in Cyrenaica, while illustrating ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’s life prior to the Italian occupation.63 The following parts delineate Mukhtar’s struggles until his death in September 1931.64 In the last chapter entitled ‘al-Islam quwa’ (Islam is a force), al-Ashhab argued that Islam was the only force which enabled the Libyan people to defeat the oppressors. In this sense, the Libyan cause could be taken as an example by Palestine and Algeria, who were both fighting against foreign occupation.65 The appendix of the book contained popular poetry in memory of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar.66 There were no references concerning the sources of the book, but in several cases direct speeches are reported. It is probable that al-Ashhab had data directly relayed to him from the royal family. Al-Ashhab’s other books on the history of the Sanusiyya and Libya67 ‘presented what was in effect the official history of the Sanusi dynasty established in the new Libyan state in 1951’.68 Al-Ashhab, who died in 1958, was the country’s press attaché at the Libyan Embassy in Cairo. The assumption that the Sanusi were the main political force which led the resistance and had a central role in the path which led to independence, was also featured in other Arab historical-writings such as the work of the Lebanese historian Nicola Ziadeh.69 The Tripolitanian narrative of events is best represented by Tahir al-Zawi (1890–1986). A prolific author, al-Zawi’s production included over 20 volumes, which ranged from the history of Libya to an edition on classics and a dictionary of the Arabic language. Al-Zawi was an important exponent of the Tripolitanian colony in Egypt and played an active part in the facts that he recorded in his books. Born in a small village in western Tripolitania, he had a traditional education and studied with the most famous ‘ulama’ of the time.70 Because of the Italian occupation, he emigrated to Egypt in 1912 where he completed his education at al-Azhar, and became increasingly interested in the history of Tripolitania. During this period, he was strongly influenced by some leading Egyptian intellectuals and personalities, such as Amin al-Rafi’i, a staunch

18

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

supporter of the Egyptian National Party, Muhibb al-Din al-Khatib, the editor of the journal al-Fath, the Prince ‘Umar Tussun, and ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, the latter two were as we will see, directly involved in the Libyan question. Returning to Tripolitania in 1919 after the promulgation of the Fundamental Laws, he came into contact with the main leaders of the resistance, fleeing to Egypt in 1924 for a second time. Mixing with the al-Azhar cultural circles, Al-Zawi also became deeply concerned with the Libyan issue, and started publishing articles in the Egyptian press. He was among the founders of various Tripolitanian exiles’ associations and was the author of pamphlets which denounced the Italian violations in Libya.71 In 1938, he graduated from al-Azhar and having attained Egyptian nationality in 1940, was employed in the Egyptian administration as an officer in the Ministry of Awqaf. In the early 1940s, he was one of the leading members of the Tripolitanian Committee, an exiles association which, as we will see, operated in Cairo. He returned to Tripolitania in 1951, where he came into contact with leaders of the Nationalist Party and the Free National Bloc. However, after Libyan independence, and the promulgation of the monarchy, Al-Zawi was forced to return to Egypt due to his tense relationship with Idris al-Sanusi who had banned his books. In 1955, because of his interdiction from Libya, he went to Saudi Arabia where he remained for three years working as teacher. Returning to Egypt he worked at a publishing house and made only two short trip to Tripolitania in 1964 and 1967. Following the revolutionary coup of 1969 he was rehabilitated in Libya and appointed as state Mufti in 1971, an office which he held until 1981 when Qaddafi abolished the post. The abolition coincided with al-Zawi’s appearance on television, in which he had defended the Prophet’s sunna, a position which Qaddafi had previously rejected out of hand. Al-Zawi had also became an outspoken critic of the 1978 decrees concerning the expropriation of property.72 Al-Zawi’s book Jihad al-abtal fi Tarabulus al-Gharb (The Jihad of Heroes in Tripolitania) is one of the most important local sources available concerning the anti-colonial struggle.73 The book was dedicated to ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, and was published in 1950 although it was compiled some years earlier in 1944. It aimed to narrate the resistance in Tripolitania during the two first decades of the Italian occupation. In the preface, al-Zawi claimed that the book was mainly based on events of which he had direct testimony. In reality the facts related to him and material gathered during his exile in Egypt underlie it. It is evident that the book reflects the period and the milieu in which he was writing; for instance, al-Zawi’s description of the anti-colonial resistance as a struggle for the watan (nation), a term which was used in the 1940s. The book was also affected by the European sources that al-Zawi used. In the introduction, he explicitly stated that he relied on the book of General Graziani, Verso il Fezzan;74 similarly, the narration of the beginning of the resistance in October 1911 was based on reports by Western journalists.75 The book was suppressed during the monarchy due to the fact that he openly accused some families of collaborationism with the Italian authorities. Republished and circulated soon after the Revolution in the 1970s, it was subsequently banned once again as it was feared that it may rekindle old rivalries among some families.76

Writing modern Libyan history 19 The anti-Sanusi attitude and tendency to question the legitimacy of the monarchy is more evident in other books by al-Zawi such as Jihad al-Libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, 1924–1952 (The Jihad of Libyans in Exile).77 This was mainly a collection of documents concerning the Tripolitanian Committee. The preface, written in 1975, betrays the fact that the work was assembled after the revolution. The book attributed to Idris the failure of achieving unity attempts between Cyrenaican and Tripolitanian political groups in the 1940s. This partisanship does not however lessen the value of Jihad al-Libiyyin as a primary source on the activity of the exiles in Egypt. Ta’rikh al-fath al-‘arabi fi Libiya (The History of the Arab conquest of Libya), which was published in Cairo in 1954 was evidently aimed at shaping a national history by placing the past in the history of the new nation state; it asserted a certain supremacy of Tripolitania over Cyrenaica. The book dealt with the history of the region from the Arab conquest (642 AD) to the Ottoman conquest of Tripolitania (1551 AD). Al-Zawi explained that the term Libya, which was used in the title, included the territory that formed independent Libya. Despite this assertion, he also argued that the word Libya was introduced as part of the colonial redefinition of space. Tripolitania was the word used by the Arabs following the Islamic conquest to indicate the whole region. Al-Zawi argued that when the denomination Libya was adopted to indicate the new state, many Tripolitanians opposed the attribution of the word Libya to their country and the denomination of the Libyan state (al-dawla al-Libiyya) [...] They suggested the word Tripolitania should replace the world Libya and the state should be named the Tripolitanian state (al-dawla al-tarabulusiyya).78 Indeed, before independence another historian, Mustafa ‘Abdallah Ba‘ayyu, argued for the spelling Lubiya instead of Libya, which he viewed as a colonial and Western construct.79 Another important work by al-Zawi, was A’lam Libiya (Notables of Libya) which was first published in 1961. It was the first biographical dictionary on Libya, it also included peculiarities. For instance, aside from the traditional categories found in biographical dictionaries it also included the mujahidin, men who fought for the defence of the homeland. The biographical work also underlines that much of the information is directly related to Tripolitania. The second edition, which was published soon after the revolution in 1971, was dedicated to the leaders of the revolution.80 Some other works by al-Zawi should also be noted: a geographical dictionary of Libya;81 the first edition of the chronicle of Ibn Ghalbun in 1930, who was an eighteenth-century author who wrote a history of Tripoli from the Arab conquest until his death; the history of Tripolitania of al-Ansari;82 the diwan of Ahmad al-Bahlul, a Tripolitanian intellectual of the eighteenth century;83 and an edition of a work on the governors of Tripolitania from the Arab conquest to the end of the first Ottoman period.84 These works were not strictly related to the period of colonial occupation and the formation of the new state. Despite this, their purpose is important nonetheless as they

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attempted to promote cultural heritage, thus serving to contribute to the formation of a national culture. During the monarchical period only a few other authors focused on Tripolitania, among them was ‘Ali Mustafa Misrati, who is still considered to be one of the leading Libyan and active intellectuals of today. Born and raised in Egypt by a Tripolitanian family which had fled after the Italian occupation, Misrati graduated at al-Azhar University. He returned to Libya in 1948 with Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and was actively involved in political activities in Tripolitania. After the independence he settled in Tripoli.85 Most of his books published on Tripolitania prior to the 1969 revolution, concerns the Ottoman period;86 only one work is devoted to the colonial period and highlights the biography of a resistance hero in Tripolitania.87 The historian Rasim Rushdi, who held the position of vice-director of the prime minister’s office, also published a book on Tripolitania focussing on the past and present.88 Tripolitania was presented as a province of the new Kingdom of Libya and the book began with a chapter which briefly described the geography of the three provinces while the second chapter sketched the life of the King. The first section of the work outlined the history of the region from the Arab conquest to its independence. Each chapter had the same structure and presented information on the cultural, social and economic situation. Concerning the political activity in Tripolitania on the eve of independence, Rushdi presented all the Tripolitanian parties and claimed that they, despite holding different positions, agreed on the fact that Idris should be the leader of the independent Libya. The second part of the book which dealt with ‘the present’ supplied figures concerning the economic, social and educational situation post-independence. The scarce production of works on Tripolitania is largely due to the role played by the royal family. Any work that was critical in attitude was censured. For instance, Sami al-Hakim’s Haqiqat Libiyya (The Reality of Libya)89 was suppressed due to its hostile position towards the monarchy. The book in particular analysed the relationship between Great Britain, France, the United States and Libya, as well as the constitutional crisis of 1954 which led to the assassination of Ibrahim Ahmad al-Shalhi.

Constructing a national history: Qaddafi and post-revolutionary Libya While anti-colonial struggle continued to constitute the key for discussions concerning national identity under Qaddafi’s rule, the writing of history also took new directions. This began with Qaddafi addressing his main concern; to obliterate the role played by the Sanusi. Qaddafi has extensively used mass-media in order to legitimize his government’s view of Libya’s national image.90 The most obvious case of his public and instrumental use of history, came in the first decade following the revolution in 1969. Qaddafi exploited the image of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, the leader of the resistance in Cyrenaica. The image of al-Mukhtar, who became a symbol for the Libyan struggle for national independence, was printed on banknotes and a Hollywood film about his life was partly financed by

Writing modern Libyan history 21 the Libyan state.91 In recent years, a backlash against the nationalist figure of al-Mukhtar emerged in Cyrenaica, and could possibly be attributable to the strong discontent of Cyrenaica’s population towards the policies of Qaddafi and his regime. As a result, there is an attempt in Libya to remove the image of this hero from the collective memory; the film is no longer as circulated as it once was. Similarly, in Benghazi the monument in memory of al-Mukhtar seems to have deliberately been left to ruins.92 Although the Sanusiyya have been purged from the official discourse of Libyan led historical studies, modern Libya has used the order as one of the main arguments for Libyan reclamations in the International Court of Justice concerning the territorial dispute with Chad. It was argued the Sanusiyya was in Northern Chad until 1913 and that the Azou strip should be recognized as Libyan territory.93 The Libyan Studies Centre, an institution sponsored by Qaddafi himself, has played a central role in the process of writing a Libyan national history. The Centre was opened in December 1978, with its main branch in Tripoli and subsidiaries in smaller towns. The Centre was initially named Markaz buhuth wa-dirasat al-jihad al-libi (Research and Studies Centre of the Libyan jihad), in 1981 it was renamed Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazu al-itali (Centre of the Libyans’ jihad against the Italian aggression).94 The initial denomination substantially reveals the Centre’s main goals: the decolonization of history as well as the ‘nationalization’ of history through the narrative of the jihad against the anti-colonial resistance. This decolonization of history, called the ‘liberation of history’, has the main task of creating an alternative historical narrative to the colonial one. It aimed to place colonized people, and not the colonizers, at the principal protagonists of history.95 The shift in the name of the Centre clearly underlines this aspect. The Centre’s interpretation of Libyan history, which, using Anderson words can be described ‘as that of a cohesive, nationalist, anti-imperialist society, loyal to its Arab and Muslim culture, opposed to Western political and cultural domination, and actively participating in world history’96 is debatable. In this national perspective, jihad is mainly presented as a united national struggle, while regional differences are downplayed in order to promote the results that national unity predated the formation of Libya as a new nation-state in 1951. It is evident that the valorizing of the role played by ordinary Libyans during the anti-colonial struggle supports Qaddafi revolutionary ideology which was based, and still is, on the theory of direct people participation, and not emphasis on the leadership. The new approach, which has characterized the historical narrative of the colonial period in Libya since the 1969 revolution, shows similarities with the official narrative of national history that emerged in Tunisia following the political change of 1987. The new historical discourse, whose evident intent is the deconstruction of the previous narrative to belittle Habib Bourguiba role in the construction of the new nation-state, retraces the rise of a national identity before the instauration of the French Protectorate. The struggle for independence did not revolve around the leaders of the national movement, but is constructed as having been carried by the people. In the struggle for independence, anti-colonial armed resistance emerges as a key element.97 In Tunisia, as well as in Libya,

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The Origins of the Libyan Nation

in 1990 the state established a research institute, called Institut Supérior d’Histoire du Mouvement National, with the specific task of promoting research and teaching of the colonial past.98 It is undeniable that the Libyan Studies Centre has acquired an important credit in the collection of oral sources. The rewriting of Libyan history was faced with the problem of paucity of local written sources, and as a result the gap was filled by the collection of oral sources. This project which began in the early 1980s, mainly consisted of interviews with surviving mujahidin, veterans of the anticolonial resistance struggle as well as their relatives. At the beginning of this oral research project, its common tasks, standardized procedures and methods of coordination were all formulated by the authoritative historian and anthropologist Jan Vansina, who is a pioneer of oral methodology as applied to African history.99 The Centre has published lists of oral sources in a series of oral narratives, as well as over 40 volumes of an encyclopaedia of Mawsu‘at riwayat al-jihad (Oral Narratives of the Jihad). This includes the transcripts of some interviews collected, although a large proportion of the oral documentation has yet to be transcribed. Besides the collection of local oral sources, aimed at portraying the colonial past through Libyan eyes, the Libyan Studies Centre has stated that its priority is the collection of any documentation concerning Libya. In a period of thirty years, the centre has, aside from books, gathered over 15,000 recorded interviews, 70,000 photographs and 1,000,000 documents, most of which are photocopies of records of foreign archives.100 The translation of Western and Turkish archival documentation into Arabic is another remarkable achievement of the Centre. These have been collected in a series entitled al-Watha’iq al-ta’rikhiyya (Historical Documents), which began in 1989. Similarly, numerous Western studies have also been translated into Arabic under the series Dirasat mutarjama (Translated Studies). Besides the translations of memoirs of Turkish officials, as well as studies concerning the Italian occupation and colonialism, such as those by Paolo Maltese and Claudio G. Segrè,101 the Centre has also translated some Italian works published during the colonial period. Some titles directly concern the colonial occupation, while others deals with the history of Libya in the period prior to the Italian occupation.102 Before the establishment of the Centre, translations of Italian studies carried by Italian colonial officers or promoted by colonial authorities had already appeared from the 1970s. It is worthwhile to note that some of these works, such as those by Enrico De Agostini, Ettore Rossi, Francesco Corò became reference works in Libyan historical writings and are still being used.103 In addition to its publication series, the Centre also produces a variety of journals: Majallat al-buhuth al-ta’rikhiyya (Journal of Historical Studies) is the main journal devoted to the presentation of historical studies which since 1979, has been regularly published twice a year. Another publication al-Shahid (The Martyr), is an annual journal, which strictly deals with the anti-colonial struggle, although it has not appeared regularly. In 1998, the Centre also began a new annual journal al-Insaf (Justice) aimed at dealing with the question of Italian colonial occupation and war damages. The journal was stopped after only two

Writing modern Libyan history 23 editions due to the political agreement that was being negotiated between Libyan and Italian Government. Indeed the Libyan Studies Centre has devoted particular attention to the damages suffered by the population because of colonial subjection. In particular, considerable studies have specifically dealt with the issues of land confiscations which was the result of demographic colonization, as well as the subject of concentration camps and deportation of people to Italy. Qaddafi has used this new writing of history to attempt to achieve a consensus and claim colonial compensations from Italy. This is evident in the way in which data, particularly concerning the deportation of Libyans to Italy in 1911–12 has been used. As will be seen in the following chapter, this was one of the first colonial repressive measure undertaken to crush the resistance. The issue of uncovering and indeed recovering the facts of the events concerning deportation, has become one of the most persistent requests addressed to the Italian government concerning the compensation of the damages inflicted by the colonial rule. In 1987, the Libyan Studies Centre published its first work on the deportations to Italy.104 The same year an exhibition of pictures and documents on deportations was prepared in Tripoli, this coincided with the commemoration of the Day of Vengeance, celebrated since 7 October 1983 to mark the expulsion of Italian settlers. Similarly, on 26 October 1988, during the commemoration for the Deportation Memorial Day, which recalled Italy’s first deportations, Qaddafi delivered an aggressive speech against Italy which was broadcast on television and in which he listed names of deported people.105 Conversely, in 1987, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had met the Libyan request to gather Italian documentation concerning deportations and in September 1989, thanks to a political agreement, an Italian inter-ministerial committee supplied the Libyan authorities with copies of documents housed at the Italian archives.106 As a further step of meeting the Libyan request, in October 1989, the Italian government allowed 170 Libyan citizens to visit the islands of Ustica, Ponza, Favignana on which Libyans had previously been confined. Despite this opening by the Italian government, 846 people without visas attempted to visit the deportation places, and docked in Naples while others demonstrated against the Italian Embassy in Tripoli.107 The timing of the question of the deportations is worth noting, as it coincided with the aftermath of the American bombing of Libya in 1986. Qaddafi clearly needed to recover internal credibility which was also in risk of being undermined by the emerging Islamic opposition. From the late 1990s, Libya was increasingly being rehabilitated into the international scene. This had repercussions on the character of national historical writings which as seen, were mainly carried through the Libyan Studies Centre. Indeed by 1990 the Centre had changed its name to Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya (Centre of the Libyan’s Jihad for the Historical Studies), to mark the extension of its research fields to all periods of Libyan history.108 Concerning the historiography on the colonial period, and in particular the anti-colonial struggle, the main shift has been towards a collaboration between Italian and Libyan historians and an attempt to write a common history of the repression of the Libyan resistance. A joint research programme, carried

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out between 2000 and 2005 had the specific goal to investigate, in the depth, the episode largely forgotten of the Libyan deportees to Italy. The research programme was an integral part of the Sirte Agreement signed in August 1999, which marked a turning point in the political relationships between the two countries and made provision for many forms of economic, scientific and cultural cooperation between Libya and Italy.109 Over and above its contents, the historical research projects undertaken in the framework of the Sirte Agreement marked not only the beginning of a close exchange between Libyan and Italian historians, but also showed that Libyan Studies Centre scholars did not intend to limit their research field to the colonial repression. Instead, their aim was wider, as they wished to extend the collaboration in historical research to all periods, as well as to scholars of others nationalities. Taking this new perspective, a joint Italo-Libyan panel was organized at the First World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES), held in Germany in September 2002.110 This involved Libyan and Western scholars. Similarly, in November 2007 some researchers from the Libyan Studies Centre participated in the annual Middle East Studies Association of America meeting and in March 2008 the Centre, in cooperation with the cultural section of the German Embassy, organized a Conference on Libyan-German Relations in Tripoli.111 In the last few years, the Centre has published remarkable studies concerning urban and local history, the Ottoman period,112 and has even begun to pay attention to the Jews of Libya who had constituted an important minority in the past.113 Importantly, authors who had been dismissed during the first post-revolutionary period, are increasingly being rehabilitated; for instance the case of al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, whom was dedicated a conference in 2004. It is particularly significant that from May 2009 any reference to the colonial jihad has disappeared and the centre has renamed itself al-Markaz aI-watani li-I-mahfuzat wa-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya (Centre for National Archives and Historical Studies)114 The assumption was that a new era in Italo-Libyan political relations would promote a significant shift in the Libyan official discourse towards analysing the colonial past. The friendship pact, which was signed at the end of August 2008 in Benghazi between Italy and Libya, confirmed that Italy would agree to pay US $5 billion over 25 years as compensation for colonial misdeeds.115 The Italian Prime Minister declared that ‘[It] is a complete and moral acknowledgment of the damages inflicted on Libya by Italy during the colonial era’.116 On 7 October 2008, during celebrations of the Day of Italian-Libyan friendship, which had from 2004 replaced the Day of Vengeance, Qaddafi awarded the Jamahiryya decoration to several Italian politicians signifying the new trend of Italo-Libyan relations.117 Despite this, it seems that in the official historical discourse of Libya however, the colonial repression of the resistance continues to be a key element. This evidently emerged in the new Libyan film, which is yet to be released, Dhulm: Years of Torment, concerning the Italian occupation which, mainly focused on the strong repression of the resistance, the deportations to Italy and the concentration camps. Dhulm (Injustice), based on a story written by Qaddafi himself and directed by the Syrian filmmaker Nadjat Anzour, differs substantially

Writing modern Libyan history 25 from the film Omar al-Mukhtar: The Lion of the Desert, which celebrated the men who became the symbols of the resistance, reflecting the lives of ordinary people. Instead, Dhulm is presented as a testimony of the past and the use of research findings from the Libyan Studies Centre is clear: ‘The script benefits from extensive historical research pieced together from the oral and written testimonies of survivors of the Italian occupation, not to mention thousands of photographs of the devastation wrought by it’.118 Aside from the writing of the national history, which as seen has largely been undertaken by the Libyan Studies Centre a tentative new rewriting of Libyan history can be traced through political memoirs published from the early 1990s outside Libya. These were written by former Libyan politicians who contributed, during the formative years of the modern state of Libya, and served at different levels in post-independence Libya. In general memoirs reflect individual experiences and provide a personal line of interpretation: ‘They are essentially narratives with no direct claim to “truth”’,119 and in particular these memoirs concerning Libya aim at rehabilitating the royalist period quite removed and discredited in the official narrative. They therefore constitute an important source to shed light on the complexity of the formation of national identity. For instance, Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim’s memoirs were the first political memoirs of a former Libyan statesman to be published.120 Ben-Halim was prime minister from April 1954 to May 1957, and his life course corroborates the idea that national identity was formed through exile and return. Born in Egypt in 1921, after his father, who was a wealthy trader, had emigrated from Derna in 1911, Ben-Halim was educated at the French school, in Alexandria. He recalls that he was brought up ‘in a purely Libyan atmosphere, in terms of our customs, our way of speaking and our friends’.121 Later he graduated from engineering college in Cairo University and became a business man. In Egypt, his father and family did not take an active role in the political activities carried by the exiles, but he forged close friendships with some members of the Sanusi family. He returned to Libya in 1950 after Idris al-Sanusi was proclaimed as Amir of Cyrenaica in 1949. Idris promoted Libyans abroad to return to participate in the task of building the new state. Ben-Halim was appointed minister of public works and communications, and after independence he served in the Cyrenaican administration. In February 1954, he was appointed minister of communications.122 In 1994 another former prime minister Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd published his edited memoirs in the Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-awsat and a few years later, these were collected in a book which also published a French edition.123 Al-Sayd was prime minister from October 1960 to March 1963, and began his political activity in 1946 as a founding member of a secret society in Fezzan which opposed the French occupation. In 1950, he represented Fezzan in the National Constituent Assembly, and in independent Libya he served as minister of health between 1951 and 1958. These memoirs were the outcome of individual initiatives rather than collaborative efforts, and the personal account of some events provoked reactions among some other protagonists of the time. This, for instance, can be seen by the memoirs of ’Ali Mustafa al-Dib124 who was the president of the Legislative Assembly of

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Tripolitania, which was dissolved by royal decree in 1954. His memoirs were written as a personal response to the memoirs of Mustafa Ben-Halim, providing a different personal account of the constitutional crisis of 1954. Recently also, a biography of Muhammad Khalifa Fekini, which was sponsored by his grandson, and was mainly based on memoirs and personal papers has been published in Italian. Fekini, strongly opposed Italian occupation between 1911 and 1930, when he went into exile. His memoirs discredit other leading leaders of the anti-colonial struggle, such as Sulayman al-Baruni.125 Besides these memoirs a volume of documents on the activities of the ‘Umar Mukhtar Club, an entity that will be discussed further, was published in 1993; the Club was the only political reality in Cyrenaica besides the Sanusi at the eve of independence. The editor was Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, who was one of the leaders of the association.126 Also counterbalancing the official narrative of Libyan history as perpetuated by the state, is the task of the Centre of Libyan Studies founded in 1994 in Oxford by Libyans in exile. Its activities include the gathering of documentation pertinent to Libya and making them accessible to scholars. The Centre has published a number of works in English and Arabic, which includes the three volumes of Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir. Safahat min al-ta’rikh al-siyasi (Libya between Past and Present: Pages from the Political History). This is a history of Libya during the monarchy written by Mohamed Yousef al-Magariaf.127 The first volume, which after a brief survey of Libyan history from the Arab conquest to the Italian occupation, presents the emergence and development of an opposition to the Italian and later to the British and French occupations. The main discussion focuses on the political route which led to independence. The second and third volumes, which examine the period 1951–7 and 1957–63, respectively, give a detailed account of the royalist period. The work represents an important contribution to the recovery of the history of Idris’s reign, which has been relegated by the state under Qaddafi to a deep trunk of memories. Al-Magariaf not only gives a detailed account of those years but also present unknown documents which could be the starting point for further studies. Thus, the review of Western literature has shown that nationalism and national identity in Libya is still a field open to research. The ‘imagined community’ that was delineated in Arabic works published before the independence, was strongly influenced by the experience of exiles. Those who clearly took part in the resistance or in exile provide unique accounts and perspectives concerning their vision of a Libyan national identity. Closely related to the production of history in the pre-independence era, national identity in the historical discourse of both monarchical and post revolutionary Libya, was built and institutionalized around a key element; the anti-colonial struggle against the Italians and the king’s legitimacy which derived through his commitment in this struggle. The change has regarded the actors of the resistance. While the king derived his legitimacy through his personal commitment, Qaddafi has blurred the role played the Sanusi and has put ordinary people at the centre of national history.

2

Colonial rule

The main motives behind Italian colonial aggression were similar to those of other European powers: political, economic and ideological; Italy claimed it had ‘the right to civilize’. Besides these general colonial motivations, Italian expansion was characterized by a need to find an outlet for Italian emigration.1 This misleading idea was propelled by scarce knowledge of Libyan territories which would not eventually be a suitable recipient of mass-migration. Despite this it had a large impact on Italians, within the context that every year a large number of Italians emigrated, mainly to North and South Americas. This chapter provides a general overview of colonial rule in Libya. In particular, it focuses on the different policies adopted in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, which sharpened regionalism, as well as the strong repression of the resistance, between the years 1911–1931, and covered most of the period of the colonial occupation. The repression hampered the development of any local political expression, resulting in the lack of a strong political culture at the end of Italian occupation. One of the legacies of this repression is that Libya did not witness the emergence of influential forces able to foster the political development of the country once it was independent. In order to understand the context of the Italian occupation, the first section of this chapter concisely outlines the histories of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in the Second Ottoman period.

The Second Ottoman period (1835–1911): resistance and reform With the conquest of Tripoli in 1551, Tripolitania became part of the Ottoman Empire; the borders of this new province were defined in 1574, when Tunisia also became bordered to the Empire. The central Ottoman government continued to appointed directly the governors of Tripolitania until 1609 when, after the janissaries’ revolt, the governor was chosen from among the janissaries and was position renamed the dey. In 1639, with the occupation of Benghazi by the then dey, Ottoman rule was also extended to Cyrenaica. The Sultan had the right to send his representative, called the pasha, to Tripoli although he did not gain any real power. The Ottomans did not however extend their sovereignty to Fezzan, which remained instead under the control of the Awlad Muhammad, a local dynasty of Moroccan and sharifian origin, who had seized control of the region in the second half of the sixteenth century, and provided political continuity in the region for

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almost four centuries. On several occasions, the Ottoman authorities attempted unsuccessfully, to establish direct control over Fezzan. Although the Ottoman authorities failed to enforce their power over Fezzan, an agreement was reached at the beginning of the seventeenth century through which the Awlad Muhammad settled to pay an annual tribute in exchange for Ottoman recognition of their local political sovereignty. Towards the end of the century, the payment of this annual tribute became a source of conflict with the Ottoman government, because the Awlad Muhammad often refused to pay it.2 This situation lasted until 1711 when an official, Ahmad al-Qaramanli, seized power in Tripoli and in 1713 Istanbul recognized him as governor and pasha of Tripolitania. Therefore, with dynamics similar to those that gave power to the Husaynite dynasty in Tunisia in 1705, a hereditary government was established, which was to remain in power until 1835. The Qaramanlis belonged to the qologhlis, the new predominant social class in Tripoli in the eighteenth century. The dynasty was successful in gaining a substantial degree of independence from the Ottoman Empire. At the international level, they directly dealt with, and signed agreements with, foreign powers.3 One of the effects of the relative independence of Tripolitania from the Empire in this period, was the extension of the use of Arabic for administrative purposes. It progressively became the official language; this process also took place in other Arabic provinces, such as Egypt. In reality, the dynasty was an integral part of the Ottoman political system and the Qaramanlis did not make substantial changes to the Ottoman administrative structures.4 The Qaramanli’s distinction stemmed from their ability ‘of giving unity to a province which they enlarged and of acting in a way that made them seem temporarily like a local and not a national dynasty’.5 As a matter of fact, they extended their control over Fezzan and part of Cyrenaica.6 In 1835, as a result of internal struggles between two branches of the Qaramanlis, supported by France and Great Britain, respectively, Ottoman troops disembarked in Tripoli and the central government re-established direct control.7 However, the real motivation behind Ottoman intervention must be seen in its attempt to thwart French penetration of the Maghrib. Although the inhabitants of Tripoli submitted themselves immediately and direct control was re-established in the coastal area, it took more or less a quarter of a century (1835–58) before Ottoman authority was recognized across the whole region, as they had to overcome strong resistance from the intertribal confederations.8 In the nineteenth century, in order to quell internal rivalry, the tribes of Libya re-associated themselves according to the old system of intertribal confederations, named sufuf. At the time of the Second Ottoman occupation, the most important of these confederations were: al-Bahr, located along the coast; Yusuf in western Tripolitania; and the internal confederation, named al-Fuji. The costal confederation allied themselves with the Ottomans and accepted Ottoman taxation, the other two confederations opposed.9 The Yusuf confederation’s resistance, which included the Mahamid and tribes of the Jabal Nafusa area, headed by the legendary hero Ghuma, mobilized not only Arabs and Berbers, nomads and sedentaries, but also some tribes from southern Tunisia. After their defeat, approximately 80,000 rebels emigrated to Tunisia.10 In Fezzan, the opposition spurred on by the Awlad Sulayman and headed by ‘Abd al-Jalil, was defeated in 1842.11 However, the goals of the different

Colonial rule

29

resistance factions differed; while Ghuma sought tax exemption from the Ottoman Empire, ‘Abd al-Jalil fought for complete autonomy of the territory under his control. In the 1830s, he became governor of Fezzan during the dynastic crisis of the Qaramanlis. The ‘state’ of ‘Abd al-Jalil had its own structures; ‘Abd al-Jalil even minted his own coins and devised his own foreign policy. Furthermore, he contracted many political alliances through marriages: he married the sister of the Sultan of Bornu and married his sister to the Sultan of Morocco. He also tried to reach a trade agreement with France. Respectively, Ghuma and ‘Abd al-Jalil benefited from the support of the French and English consuls in Tripoli, who attempted to exploit the situation for their own advantage.12 These resistances against the reaffirmation of Turkish authority were different and unconnected (even if there was some contact between Ghuma and ‘Abd al-Jalil), as they were not based on nationalist grounds,13 but rather intended to preserve acquired supremacies in delimited spheres. During the period of the Second Ottoman domination, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica held different statuses in the Ottoman Empire. Tripolitania was soon involved in the Empire’s attempt to modernize state administrations which was undertaken in 1865. According to the new rules, Tripolitania and Fezzan formed the wilaya (province) of Tarabulus al-Gharb (Tripoli of the West) was ruled by a wali, appointed directly by the Sultan for a set term. The administration of the Tarabulus al-Gharb wilaya included four sanjaq (Tripoli with the chief-town Tripoli, Khoms, Jabal Gharbi with the chief town Yefren, Fezzan with the chieftown Murzuk) each of them governed by a mutasarrif, who depended on the wali. In turn, the sanjaqs were divided into districts, called qadas, headed by a qa’immaqam. The smallest administrative units were the nahias headed by the mudirs.14 Cyrenaica underwent numerous changes and from 1888 until the Italian occupation it was a mutasarrifiyya; headed by a civil and military governor, a mutasarrif, however, the wali of Tripolitania was also in charge of all issues concerning the army and justice of Cyrenaica.15 The administrative organization was more or less the same as in Tripolitania.16 Both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were involved in the Empire’s wide process of modernization, known as the tanzimat. Tripoli was among the first cities in which, in 1870, the municipality was introduced.17 By 1872, Benghazi, Khoms and Derna also had municipal councils. In the following years new municipalities included Gharyan, Misurata, Murzuk among others.18 In 1869, a new judicial system was introduced (amended in 1879), which established criminal and civil courts. The shari‘a and rabbinical courts dealt with matters under religious law. Issues concerning foreigners were under the competence of the consular courts as the capitulations were applied.19 Modern education, which was mainly concerned with the secularization of the teaching system, was introduced in Tripolitania and two secondary schools or rushdiyya were opened in 1857. Ibtida’iyya, or primary schools were instituted in 1883 and, according to the directives of the central Ottoman administration, a primary school for girls was opened in Tripoli in 1898 and lessons began in 1902. However, the traditional educational system, mainly based on religious training, continued to be popular particularly because the languages of instruction in the new schools were French and Turkish.20 In general

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terms, reforms were not well accepted by the people; indeed, those reforms that limited the importance of Islam produced discontent. For instance, legal equality was introduced which guaranteed greater rights to the Jewish community, who were now no longer obliged to distinguish themselves through their clothing. The Jewish community was also relieved of certain taxes and could now be admitted into the army. The reforms that limited the shari‘a courts jurisdiction to only religious matters, caused tensions between Muslims and Jews. The Ottoman authorities intervened to safeguard Jews who had little representation or importance in politics in the new administrative institutions. Indeed, while the Jewish community supported reforms, they were also concerned about maintaining good relations with the Muslim majority.21 In Fezzan the reforms contributed to the economic decline of the area; decline arising directly from new taxes and the Ottoman abolition of the slave trade in 1847, which had resulted in the diminutions of caravan commerce.22 Lisa Anderson considers the reforms a beginning of the development of a bureaucratic state in the region.23 She argues that the new administrative organization and the land reform, which tended to encourage settlement, weakened the traditional powerful tribal groups and encouraged the emergence of new local Muslim elites. These elites acquired power through their employment in the Ottoman administration, which also absorbed notables from rural areas.24 Indeed, reforms were never completely applied to the hinterland; the building of public infrastructure reached no further than the costal towns. The relations between the Ottoman authorities and the population of the hinterland hinged mainly upon the tax collection.25 Moreover, in Cyrenaica, as we will see, the Ottoman administration had to cope with the Sanusiyya, a Sufi order. Islam was the only factor that determined loyalty to the Sultan-Caliph, whose religious authority was recognized before his political one. This can be deduced from the feeble impact that the Young Turks’ revolution had in the two provinces, particularly as the Young Turks had carried out an active propaganda campaign. In fact, Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid sent political suspects into exile at Tripoli where they were employed in the administration. Between 1895 and 1905, the exiles established a Young Turks section in Benghazi, which was never joined by an Arab. On the contrary, some Benghazi notables formed a rival association, in which the main tribes of the mutasarrifiyya were represented.26 In 1908, when the wali, Rajib Pasha, was appointed minister of war, the inhabitants obtained permission to expel all members of the Young Turks movement from Tripoli.27 The Sanusiyya In 1841–2 the Sanusiyya established its first lodge, a zawiya, in Cyrenaica.28 The Sanusiyya was a reformist or revivalist Sufi movement which emerged in the nineteenth century. The order’s founder was the Algerian scholar Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Sanusi (1787–1859), well-known as the Grand Sanusi. After having studied in Fès, and spending a period of time in Cairo, he moved to Mecca. In the 1820s he became a disciple of the Moroccan mystic Ahmad b. Idris, who while

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an important Sufi teacher did not establish any order of his own. Following the death of Idris in 1837, al-Sanusi continued the teachings of his master in a lodge, which had been constructed in 1828 and was mainly used as a residence for Idris’s students. It was in Cyrenaica that the Sanusiyya emerged as a separate order; as in Hejaz, the al-Sanusi followers were still students of Ibn Idris. Some sources claims that Muhammad b. ‘Ali did not return to Algeria or Morocco because he was already in conflict with the French, but Knut Vikør states that no specific political reasons motivated the establishment of the order in Cyrenaica. After several years of travel, Muhammad b. ‘Ali, found Cyrenaica a suitable area in which to develop his community.29 It is probable that he was invited to settle in Cyrenaica by some local tribes and townsmen.30 It is certain that he was welcomed by tribes surrounding Benghazi. The Grand Sanusi found a favourable milieu as the traditional strong tribal leadership had become weakened following the confrontation with the Ottomans and the conflicts between opposing tribes. During the first years of his presence, the Grand Sanusi was able to mediate between inter-tribal tensions and as a result, influential tribal chiefs became Sanusi followers.31 Al-Sanusi’s ideology reflected the traditional view of Sufism, and he was not ‘a great innovator’.32 The originality of Sanusiyya and its success in Cyrenaica lies in its organization, which constituted an element of social cohesion in the area. The peculiar structure of the Sanusiyya, was based on two main elements: the authority of the centre and the zawiya (lodges) system. The primary goal of the lodges was to be an educational and religious sphere, but they also accomplished many other functions including, interacting with the surrounding people, acting as a commercial emporium, a caravanserai and a agricultural location. Each zawiya had an almost identical structure and was constituted by a mosque, a school for the children, parts for the officials, a guesthouse, a shelter for the poor and houses for the servants. The size varied and people living inside a lodge fluctuated between fifty to a hundred persons. Each lodge was self-sufficient and had an agricultural land which provided food for the people living or connected to the lodge.33 Each lodge was run by two officials: the shaykh, who was in charge of the spiritual affairs, and the wakil, responsible from the material affairs and who was appointed by the Sanusi main lodge.34 The establishment of a new zawiya followed a fixed procedure and they were opened following the request of local tribes, which gave the land. The lands were donated as waqfs and constituted the Sanusiyya estates.35 The Sanusiyya’s consolidation in the region continued under the Grand Sanusi’s son and successor Muhammad al-Mahdi, who between 1859 and 1902 led the order for more than 40 years. It was in this period that the Sanusiyya emerged as a crucial element of tribal cohesion, and the zawiyas played an important role in preventing and stopping intertribal conflict. Many influential tribes were affiliated to the Sanusiyya and their chiefs recognized al-Mahdi as the mediator in tribal disputes. Al-Mahdi attempted to establish a forum that could negotiate tribal controversies. In 1905, during the so-called Grand Tribal Arbitration, which was a convention of the main Cyrenaican tribes, Ahmad al-Sharif, al-Mahdi’s nephew and successor, resolved a series of long running

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intertribal conflicts.36 In 1856, the Grand Sanusi had established the main lodge for the order in Jarabub, which al-Mahdi moved in 1895 to Kufra.37 Scholars give different interpretations of the transfer of the main lodge to Kufra. The prevalent interpretation is that the move was motivated by the need to avoid the possibility of European aggression.38 Another thesis ascribes importance to the need to interpose a larger distance between the main lodge and the area under effective Ottoman control.39 Other scholars argue that at the beginning the Sanusiyya did not have a political nature, highlighting that the motivation of the relocation was not political, rather as a natural development since from the end of century Sanusi expansion was directed towards the South of Cyrenaica. As a matter of fact, the brotherhood started to have affiliations among Sudanic populations and was interested in exercising its influence over the eastern Saharan and sub-Saharian regions.40 The order’s success is due to the fact that its structure overlapped with the traditional tribal system and adapted itself to the environment. With its development in the area, the Sanusiyya, to use Vikør’s term, ‘went native’; that is the lodge’s became run by local shaykhs and inherited by their sons or relatives upon their death. This meant that the Sanusiyya became a crucial component of identity for people. The educational system also played an important role as a factor connecting tribes. The Sanusi paid particular attention to education: the Grand Sanusi had created a system of gratuitous education based on the zawiyas. These were conceived as fixed educational centres and mobile schools, which were focussed on the nomadic tribes. The Sanusi educational system increased further under al-Mahdi; according to Abdulmola S. El-Horeir Ahmad al-Sharif, the successor of al-Mahdi, developed a specific pedagogical method.41 Jarabub became an important cultural centre. The zawiya library included approximately 8,000 volumes and the students were organized according to the Egyptian al-Azhar system.42 The Sanusiyya also acquired a remarkable economic role through his involvement in trans-Saharan commerce. The Sanusiyya’s role was not that of a commercial enterprise, as the order did not directly participate in the trade, but acted as ‘sponsors’. The traders could benefit from the networks that the order had established; the Sanusiyya trained guides who could direct the trade caravans across the desert, while the lodges offered stations for the traders.43 The nature of Sanusi-Ottoman relations is not completely clear; both initially viewed the other with suspicion and ambiguity. The order, like other religious reform movements which emerged between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, did not aim to achieve pan-Islamic unity, which would involve the Caliphate, but rather it wished to expand outside the Ottoman political and religious structure.44 Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard asserts that from 1856 the Ottomans formally recognized the Sanusiyya and the order cooperated with Ottoman authorities in tax collections. According to the British anthropologist, a first firman was issued around 1856 by Sultan ‘Abd al-Majid, which exempted properties of the order from taxation. These grants were also later confirmed by a firman signed by Sultan ‘Abd al-Aziz, which also added the right to sanctuary within the zawiyas.45 Michel Le Gall argues that there is little evidence to prove

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the arguments put forward by Evans-Pritchard, which has been reiterated in most literature concerning the order. Le Gall states that the Sanusi-Ottoman collaboration concerning tax collection can not be verified, as these original firmans have never been seen.46 However, the relationships between the brotherhood and the Empire changed, after the French occupation of Tunisia and the British occupation of Egypt. Both were now directed towards a common front against the French advance in Central Africa and the Italian pretensions in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The Ottoman Empire developed new forms of alliances with local elites, which could be used to promote the Caliphate’s prestige and to mobilize the population. The cooperation between Sanusi and Ottomans was strengthened after 1887, when the Triple Alliance agreed to consider Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to be in the sphere of Italian influence. In his memoirs, ‘Abd al-Hamid asserts that in 1902 the Italians offered him four million Italian lira in exchange for the control of Benghazi;47 there is no mention of contacts between Italian authorities and the Sultan before the occupation of Tripolitania in the Italian diplomatic documentation. Therefore, the Sultan and Caliph’s influence in Libya mainly increased after 1888 because the interests of the centre and the periphery coincided; the improvement of the relations of ‘Abd al-Hamid with the Sanusiyya and the transformation of the latter from a simple reformist movement into a resistance movement must be placed within this framework.48 In 1909, for the first time, an Ottoman flag was raised in Kufra and, in 1910, Ahmad al-Sharif agreed to the presence of a qa’immaqam, to represent the Ottoman authority in Kufra.49 Evans-Pritchard argues that these concessions to the Ottomans would impend the possibility of a European aggression.50 Thus Ottoman authorities, despite the administrative reforms undertaken, did not drastically alter traditional societies. In contrast, the Sanusiyya also emerged as a regional authority in Cyrenaica during the same period. The main causes of this failure on the part of the Ottoman Empire, can be attributed to the Sublime Porte’s scarce investment in public works, the frequent turnover of walis, and the discontent of the population towards the local administrators.51 It is important to note that, as it will be seen in the next paragraphs, the first phase of the Italian occupation in 1911, had similarities with the events of the reintegration of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania into the Ottoman Empire: long resistance of the population to the occupation, direct control limited mainly to the costal area and the extension of the occupation through the elimination of the traditional chiefs and leadership.

Towards the Italian occupation Since the Risorgimento and particularly after 1861, when Italy became a unified state, politicians targeted the Mediterranean was a potential area for the expansion of the young Italian state. Indeed as early as 1831 prior to the national unification, Giuseppe Mazzini asserted the Italian ‘right’ over Tunisia and Libya.52 Tunisia seemed to be a natural Italian colony, especially as the Italian population comprised the largest foreign community. From the early nineteenth century,

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emigration from Italy to Tunisia occurred. Besides, the emigration of peasants and fishermen, who mainly came from southern Italy in an attempt to escape poverty, from the 1830s onwards political refugees also escaped to Tunis. An exact estimation of the Italian presence in Tunisia is not easy due to the different figures given by French and Italians sources. In 1881, the official Italian census of Italians abroad stated that there were 11,106 Italians, while according to some French sources prior to the French Protectorate, the Italian community consisted of approximately 25,000 people.53 It is therefore extremely likely that on the eve of the French occupation, the number of Italians in Tunis exceeded earlier French predictions. Jean-François Martin reports that in 1881, the year of French occupation, French inhabitants represented only 4 per cent of the foreign population, while Italians made up 59 per cent.54 Italian interest in the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica only arose when Italy’s plans regarding Tunisia collapsed; it had quickly become evident that Tunisia was destined to fall under French influence. Italy’s ambitions over Libya were legitimized through diplomatic agreements with other European powers. In 1887, with the renewal of the Triple Alliance, the Italian’s obtained German approval; Great Britain had already, during the Berlin Conference, given Italy a free hand in Libya. In 1902, Italian interests in the area were formally recognized, this was followed by Austria and France. Later Russia also agreed to take into consideration Italian interests in the area.55 From the 1880s, Italy began to base its aspirations over Libya on the Roman historical colonization in the area. The Italians drew on the long Roman history in the region; Tripolitania had entered in the area of Roman domination in 46 BC, and was part of the Roman Empire until AD 455. In AD 292, it was Imperator Diocleziano who established the province of Tripolitania. The occupation of Tripolitania was considered necessary, as it constituted ‘the assurance of Italy’s future as a great power in the Mediterranean’.56 In the rhetoric of the time, the goal of colonial expansion was considered political not economic, aiming at strengthening the Italian position in the Mediterranean. Despite the fact that the Italian government in these years began preparations for the military occupation of Libya, the main concrete aspiration was addressed to Eritrea, resulting in the occupation of Massawa in 1885. The defeat of Adwa in Ethiopia, in 1896, when Italian troops were crushed by Menelik II, ended Italian colonial ambitions for a short period of time. It was in the early years of the twentieth century, that Italy undertook political action to solidify the occupation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; diplomatic activities and the ‘pacific penetration’ of the Banco di Roma in the region, were precursors for the occupation. In this period, Italy attempted to interfere in local politics in Tripolitania. Between 1888 and 1890 the Italian consul in Tripoli began a series of dialogues with Hassuna Qaramanli, the heir of the dynasty that governed over Tripoli until 1835. The aim was to agitate people against Ottoman rule in order to restore the Qaramanli dynasty under a European protectorate.57 Thus, Italy began her ‘pacific penetration’ into Libya. The expression, which was very popular in the years immediately prior to the occupation, indicated the government’s efforts of undertaking economic initiatives in Tripolitania and

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Cyrenaica that could support the Italian enterprise. These initiatives were mainly entrusted to the Banco di Roma, an institution connected with the Catholic circles. In 1907, the Banco di Roma opened a branch in Tripoli and offices in other towns. The Banco also played an active role in the agricultural and industrial sectors. It opened three oil mills in Tripolitania, settled a large farm near Benghazi, and ran small industries producing sponges and ostrich feathers.58 At the same time, Italian authorities encouraged increasing settlement by Italian communities in the region. Tripolitania did not have a large foreign community, with only 3,000 to 4,000 people at the turn of the century. The Italian population in Tripolitania was, in 1903, estimated to be approximately 620 and had, by 1911, reached 800 people.59 Aside from the economic and financial initiatives, Italian penetration was also persued through religious means, particularly facilitated through the opening of schools. In 1911, there were 18 Italian educational institutes in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. This was a number that did not correspond with the meagre-sized Italian communities. These schools were often accompanied by orphanages and dispensaries.60 The question that is essential therefore is whether this pacific penetration accomplished its task. Francesco Malgeri judges that this policy was a complete failure and did not achieve its aimed results; it only sharpened the hostility of people towards Italians.61 Daniel Grange argues that the Banco di Roma methods were not completely appropriate: the objectives were not well defined and the approach towards the Ottoman government was far too aggressive. Nonetheless, the French historian considers that this policy accomplished its purposes as it was mainly intended to give other European powers concrete evidence of Italian interests over Tripolitania.62 The Ottoman government attempted to limit Italian expansion in the region by favouring the activities of other European powers. Italian nationalist circles began to claim that military occupation was needed in order to protect Italian interests. From the early months of 1911, the press began a large campaign in support of occupation aimed to predispose public opinion in favour of miliary intervention.63 This was undertaken at a time when the memory of the defeat of Adwa was still alive. The main thrust of the press campaign centred on the facility of the occupation and the enthusiasm of the Arabs towards the Italians, as well as the richness and fertility of the country. The idea that the Arabs would welcome the Italians to get rid of Ottoman rule was largely popular in the press. Indeed in 1909, the Italian Consul in Tripoli reported that Arabs were loyal to Ottoman government.64 However, the idea of a ‘promised land’, which should have guaranteed an exceptional agricultural production,65 as laid out in the report of the commission sent out by the Jewish territorial organization only two years earlier was false due to the scarcity of water.66 So while the press campaign hinged on the facility of occupation and the fertility of the land in question, in reality the information of the press campaign were false. The peak of this nationalist propaganda was reached in September 1911 when the newspaper La Ragione published a series of false correspondence, exchanged in 1894–5 between the well-known German explorer Gerhard Rohlfs, the Italian Captain Manfredo Camperio and then Prime Minister Francesco Crispi. According to the letters, the wealth of natural resources

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would have offset the costs of the conquest.67 The illusions dispensed by the press contributed decisively to the creation of an unjustified, incurable optimism. On 28 September, Italy presented an ultimatum to the Ottoman Empire. It claimed that Tripolitania and Cyrenaica had been left in a ‘state of chaos and neglect’ and that every Italian initiative in the region had always been met by an unjustified opposition. The ultimatum announced the decision to proceed with the military occupation of the two provinces. The Ottoman response was very conciliatory; it was willing to give the necessary guarantees to protect Italian interests. Italy had however already decided to begin its military actions, and on 29 September declared the war on the Ottoman Empire.68

The Italo-Turkish War: anti-colonial resistance and colonial repression Military operations started on 3 October 1911 and by 5 November Italy unilaterally proclaimed its sovereignty by a royal decree. As Tripoli, Benghazi and the other coastal towns in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were quickly conquered, and because of a complete lack of knowledge about the history and the socio-political situation in the area, there was a great optimism regarding the potential of the occupation. The impressive revolt by the Arabs, who on 23 October, attacked Italian positions near the oasis of al-Hani and Shari‘ al-Shatt in Tripolitania, killing approximately 500 Italian soldiers, marked the beginning of the resistance which would go on without interruption until 1931. From the beginning, the resistance was harshly repressed and was met by a decree to disarm the population. Two main measures were undertaken: first, the confiscation of all goods of those caught with arms; second, the detention, from 3 to 30 years, and even the possibility of capital punishment for the detainment of arms.69 The Shari‘ al-Shatt and Al-Hani events also had a disruptive effect on Italian colonial attitudes. The unexpected participation of Arabs was immediately qualified as a ‘betrayal’. This was due to the fact that some tribal chiefs has submitted themselves to the Italian forces. The events also altered the Italian public opinion’s attitude towards the Arabs, and inaugurated a long period of censorship and disinformation on colonial actions in Libya.70 Following Shari‘ al-Shatt, Giovanni Giolitti, the prime minister, ordered on 24 October, the deportation of those rebels who had not been immediately executed. Giolitti indicated that approximately 400 rebels could be sent to the Tremiti islands, which had become the chosen place for confinement.71 Only a few hours later, in a second telegram, Giolitti extended the places of confinement and specified that the number of people who could be transferred to Italy could reach: ‘any number even if [rebels] were dozens of thousands’.72 The historian Claudio Moffa suggests that Giolitti extended the measure to stop Italian soldiers from shooting and massacring the rebels.73 Rebels were mainly deported to the islands of Tremiti, Favignana, Ustica and Ponza, which were Italian penal colonies at the time, although Arabs were also confined to other smaller islands and other localities of the peninsula. Between 29 October and 3 November,

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2,975 Arabs were placed in the prisons of Tremiti, Ustica and Gaeta.74 In late January 1912 the number of people confined in Italy, including those who had already died, had reached 3,425 individuals.75 Repressive measures were applied in an indiscriminate manner and also affected individuals who did not participate at Shari‘ al-Shatt; this included the old, women and children, who were also subject to deportation. In January 1912, 60 women and 114 children and youths whose ages were under 16, were sent to Ustica, Ponza and Favignana.76 In Tremiti in January 1912, there were 134 people over the age of 60 and 28 youths aged between 12 and 16 years.77 General Caneva, the commander-in-chief of the Italian troops, had even proposed to the prime minister that 3,000 women and children, who were without home and resources following the deportation of their husbands and fathers, should also be sent to Italy.78 Giolitti rejected the proposal as the deportation of women and children to Italy in the eyes of other countries would be considered as an act of barbarism.79 Indeed, the deportation had immediate social consequences; it disaggregated hundreds of families, many women were declared widows or divorced and were married to relatives of the husbands, many others became vagabonds.80 The deportations between 1911 and 1912 have been estimated to have involved 3–5,000 people according to evaluations that have emerged from recent Italo-Libyan studies. An exact estimation of numbers involved in the deportations is difficult due to the lack of a precise census. The operations of deportation were not registered at the point of departure, as the deportations occurred in an improvised and chaotic manner; some Arabs died during the transfer process, and their bodies were thrown overboard to in the sea. Others were displaced from one place to another, and many died during the first few months of being detained.81 For instance, in the Tremiti islands, 1,367 people arrived between October 1911 to March 1912, of that number, 437 had died by June 1912, over 31 per cent of the total.82 The death rate had also reached 30 per cent on Favignana island.83 It was only on Ustica island that the mortality rate was slightly lower, although still substantial at 17 per cent.84 During the first months of detention, most mortalities were caused to infectious diseases such as typhus and cholera. In an attempt to limit the spread of infectious diseases, the ministry of interior, proclaimed in November 1911 that medical checks would be undertaken before confinement to Italy. From 27 November 1911, all deportees were concentrated on Ponza island, and kept in quarantine for five days, and were later distributed to different penal colonies.85 Poor living conditions, in additon to infectious diseases, contributed to the high rate of mortality. The insufficiency of the rooms, the paucity of the food and the inadequacy of clothing emerged as the main causes of the deaths during inspections conducted by health officers on behalf of the minister of interior. The penal colonies did not have adequate structures, and in most of cases, the number of people confined was not proportionate to the capacity of existing structures. During the first months in Tremiti, the number of dormitories were not sufficient rooms, and deportees were forced to reside in caves and stables.86 The increasing number of deaths resulted in more people moving into dormitories, but the conditions were not much better: ‘The thin layer of straw on the floor which the

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Figure 2.1 Libyan detainees are forced to disembark at the Island of Ustica, 29 October 1911. (Centro Studi e Documentazione Isola di Ustica collection.)

Figure 2.2 Libyan detainees are led to the dormitories on the Island of Ustica, 1911. (Centro Studi e Documentazione Isola di Ustica collection.)

confined people sleep on, does not protect them from cold or moisture. Only the sick are lodged in the sickroom and have a blanket, all others do not’.87 It was only in Ustica, that living conditions were slightly better due to the efforts of Antonino Cutrera, the director of the colony. He strove to improve the conditions by increasing daily meals,88 while also urging the ministry to supply

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appropriate clothing.89 On the islands, the Arabs had limited freedom of movement and only some were employed for the preparation of meals, as barbers, sweepers and bearers of water.90 In June 1912, when the peace negotiations between Italy and the Ottoman Empire had already begun, the colonies of Ustica and Tremiti were closed and Arabs were repatriated; Ponza was closed in July, but the detainees were transferred to Gaeta. In November 1912, in the framework of the agreements of the Treaty of Lausanne, an amnesty was granted and all the deportees who were still alive were repatriated.91 As mentioned, the resistance against the occupation arose spontaneously, and very quickly it became organized and defined itself into three broad groups: local, Ottoman and pan-Islamic. In Tripolitania most of population opposed the occupation and it has been estimated that 20–30,000 people took part in the ItaloTurkish war. The volunteers were mobilized mainly by two regional deputies to the Ottoman Parliament, Sulayman al-Baruni and Muhammad Farhat who had been trained by Ottoman officials. Similarly, from Fezzan, volunteers enroled despite the fact that they had not been occupied yet. In Tripolitania, the Ottoman leadership temporarily appeased the contrasts between the tribes and acted as a unifying factor.92 The occupation and the subsequent emergence and organization of the resistance changed the structure of the local elites. The resistance reinforced cooperation between the Ottoman troops on the one hand and the local population and elites on the other. The traditional elites increased their power, as many administrative positions held by the Ottomans were transferred to the local notables; nevertheless, the elites’ sphere of influence mainly remained within well-marked local and tribal limits.93 In Cyrenaica people also cooperated with the Ottoman troops, the number of local volunteers reached about 20,000 people, although the command was not completely in Ottoman hands, as the Sanusiyya had enroled the leadership.94 Many volunteers, mainly Tunisians and Egyptians, also joined the local and Ottoman fighters; furthermore consistent food and army supplies passed over the Tunisian and Egyptian borders. Because of the Italian aggression, non-Arab Muslim countries such as India, Afghanistan and Indonesia, became active supporters of Libya; in fact, Islam legitimated the resistance. It has been amply proved that from 1911 the Ottoman Empire put particular emphasis on religious ties in order to justify its involvement in Libya; being Libyan was part of the umma, and this caused strong solidarity among Muslims all over the world towards the inhabitants of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The pan-Islamism not only united the different Libyan tribes with the Ottoman Empire, it brought together all Muslims within and outside the Empire. Therefore, resistance to the Italian occupation can be truly regarded as the first resistance movement inspired by pan-Islamism.95

The two colonies During the first months of the occupation, local policy centred on an address made to the Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican people on 13 October 1911 by General

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Caneva, commander-in-chief of the occupation troops and first governor of the colony. It proclaimed the principle of religious freedom and guaranteed complete respect for Muslim practices. On 5 November 1911, a royal decree established the annexation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to Italy.96 On 17 October 1912, the Treaty of Lausanne ratified the peace between Italy and the Ottoman Empire. According to the Treaty, the Sultan with a firman, had granted full autonomy to the provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and named the na’ib al-sultan, as his representative. Similarly, an Italian royal decree guaranteed the population of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica complete respect of Muslim practices, and the granting of amnesty to anyone who had been involved in fighting the Italian occupation. Ambiguities and mistakes regarding the caliphate and the caliph’s role limited the nature of Italian sovereignty over the region.97 The treaty not only allowed the sultan to continue to be mentioned as caliph in Friday prayer, but it also permitted the chief qadi to be appointed directly by the shaykh al-Islam of Istanbul, that is in the name of the sultan, who also had the right to appoint his representative, the na’ib al-sultan. These provisions made the Italian occupation look illegal and embodied an admission of the na’ib al-sultan as a sort of vicesultan, who would act as a protector of the native against Italian abuses.98 In practice the chief qadi was never appointed by the sultan, who had proposed a Hanbali qadi for a Maliki majority, and as early as July 1912, at the request of the natives, the Maliki rite was restored. Moreover, the Ottoman firman made no mention of the Italian annexation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The mistakes of the Treaty of Lausanne arose from a poor knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence and the religious situation in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.99 The royal decree, which put the Treaty of Lausanne into practice, proclaimed that the principle of religious freedom guaranteed complete respect for all Muslim practices, respect for awqaf and no interference between the people and the ‘ulama’. In addition to this, the decree also provided for the appointment of a mixed committee, to include native people. The scope of the committee was to propose civil and administrative regulations for Tripolitania and Cyrenaica prompted by respect for Islam and local customs.100 With the establishment of the ministry of colonies in November 1912 following the Treaty of Lausanne, the first regulations concerning the occupied territories were issued. The royal decrees of January 1913 and January 1914, organized Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as separate colonies. Indeed, as early as September 1912, two different commands of troops were established in the hinterlands in order to facilitate military operations.101 Each colony was headed by its own governor. The territorial administrative organization, which included areas under civil and military government, re-proposed the Ottoman territorial subdivision. The decrees also officially regulated ‘native’ politics and were based on a decentralization of the administrative system, with the idea of ruling with the participation of local population. According to this system the local officers were supported by Italian ‘residents’. In reality, the local officers only had a representative function; the participation of natives in the local administration was fictitious ‘being, at best, that the native was the arm which executed and not the

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mind which deliberated’.102 In practice in Tripolitania, native politics developed into the so-called politica dei capi (politics of chiefs), that is to say that it was essentially based on the collaboration of traditional chiefs and notables. These were awarded with pay or positions, with the aim of taking advantage of their authority and using them as the link between the colonial government and the population. Like the territorial occupation, the ‘politics of chiefs’ was started without any real knowledge of the local political situation, the social positions held by the different notables, or a clear idea of the tribal alliances and factions. In practice, the civil and military officials made use of the ‘politics of chiefs’ without any co-ordination between them.103 During the fascist period, it was already said that: At first the Italian Government attempted to reconstitute the local Ottoman political and administrative organization. But in a short time this hybrid system showed itself to be inadequate and dangerous, resulting in great uncertainty about the positions pertaining to the ‘local chiefs’.104 The politics of chiefs was adopted as a parallel and alternative system to the military operations to conquest the hinterland, in practice it consisted of granting annual salaries to influential chiefs. Native politics was modulated into a twofold pattern, and the politics of chiefs was applied only to Tripolitania; in Cyrenaica, politics was directed towards contacts and negotiations with the Sanusiyya. During the first two years of occupation, contact and proposals to the Sanusiyya was pursued thorough several mediators, many of whom were often in conflict with one another. As a result, poor results were produced. It is interesting to note that by 1913 Italy had already attempted to reach an agreement with the order in Cyrenaica. The Italian government proposed to recognize the religious leadership of Ahmad al-Sharif, to grant autonomy to the zawiyas, as well as, to agree to an autonomous administration in the Kufra oasis. In exchange, the Sanusi was engaged with and would recognize Italian sovereignty over Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, as well as release prisoners and end hostilities.105 Enrico De Leone observes that this proposal revealed Italy’s poor colonial knowledge of the Sanusiyya organization, as the recognition of the Sanusi leadership was in contrast with the principle of sovereignty. The agreement was not reached following a Sanusi counterproposal, which demanded a tax exemption for the members of the zawiyas; administrative autonomy not only for Kufra but also Jarabub, Awjila, Jalo; a strip of land that could guarantee access to the sea; and recognition of Italian sovereignty only in the occupied territories.106 In short, the Sanusiyya wished to stand on an equal footing with Italy. The agreement failed and the trend of policy towards the brotherhood changed; from the beginning of 1914 the Governor of Cyrenaica, Giovanni Ameglio, tried to distance the Sanusiyya, with the destruction of the zawiyas and the adoption of a patronage policy towards the tribes who supported Italy.107 This policy also did not achieve the required results, and Italy neither progressed with the military occupation nor reached compromises with the Sanusiyya. The failure of both the politics of chief

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and Sanusi politics shows that the policies adopted did not have well-defined and pre-planned structures but were mapped out locally by the colonial officials.

The First World War and the insurgency The Treaty of Lausanne removed Ottoman men and equipment from the resistance effort. Some Ottoman officials, such as Enver Bey and ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri, did not leave the front and stayed on as volunteers to organize the fighters’ ranks. There were different reactions to the peace treaty in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. In Cyrenaica, the structure of the resistance movement did not undergo any major alteration; the only relevant change was that, following the departure of Ottoman officials, the resistance movement came under the direct control of the Sanusiyya. In reality, the order’s authority in the area maintained unity within the ranks of the resistance movements. In contrast in Tripolitania, because of the lack of a united social structure, the resistance divided and many tribal leaders became subjected to Italy.108 Thus, during the period from 1912 to 1914, the Italians prevailed over the mujahidin. In Tripolitania the occupation continued and by March 1913 Italians controlled the whole of Jabal Gharbi; the penetration in some areas was facilitated by the collaboration of some notables. By late 1913, Fezzan was also occupied by Italians.109 The occupation of Fezzan was more apparent than real, particularly as the occupied localities were some hundreds of kilometres away from each other. By late July 1914, territory covered by the Italian occupation had reached its peak. The outbreak of the First World War and the subsequent declaration of jihad from the Ottoman Sultan on 14 November 1914, gave the resistance new impulse. In October 1914, the first revolts began in Fezzan, and by the beginning of December Italian troops had already started to withdraw from the region. The insurrection involved not only Fezzan, but had also spread through to Tripolitania. An important phase of the revolt took place from April 1915, when Colonel Miani’s troops, who had undertaken military operations to recover the control of Sirtica, were attacked at Qardabiyya and were unable to face the mujahidin. Miani’s troops included approximately 3,500 local people, and the campaign was based on the collaboration of a number of local chiefs; Ramadan al-Suwayhli, who officered a column turned against the Italians however. The battle had heavy consequences for Italy, not only with regard to the number of casualties, but also because it encouraged the revolt to spread further into Tripolitanian hinterlands. Italian troops withdrew and Italy gradually lost ground. By July 1915, the Italian occupation in Tripolitania was limited to Khoms and Tripoli and in Cyrenaica to Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk.110 After the battle of Qardabiyya, colonial policy entered another repressive phase; on 15 May a decree declared a state of war in Tripolitania. The repressive measures included rewards for the capture of rebels and the deportation of the rebels and their families, as well confiscation of goods.111 Italian troops were marked by brutality and excesses and the repression as after Shari‘ al-Shatt involved the whole population.112 After the battle of Qardabiyya, deportation as measure of repression of the resistance was

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also adopted. Between June 1915 and January 1916, 1,360 prisoners arrived to Ustica island. In reality, the resumption of military operations in Tripolitania in 1913, marked the re-emergence of deportations.113 Libyan historians stress the importance of the Qardabiyya battle, as it was the first time that forces of the resistance undertook a unified action. Indeed, different tribes participated from Tripolitania and Fezzan as well as a Sanusi force headed by Safi al-Din al-Sanusi, the brother of Ahmad al-Sharif,114 although this unity was only temporary. During the insurrection, the Sanusi’s attempted to strengthen their presence in Tripolitania by taking advantage of the intertribal conflicts. The Sanusiyya did not gain control of the area and their presence sharpened the divisions between the tribal leaders in western Tripolitania.115 One of the leaders of the insurrection, Ahmad Sayf al-Nasr, cooperated with the Sanusi, while others including, ‘Abd al-Nabi Bilkhayr and Ramadan al-Suwayhli,116 opposed the Sanusiyya presence. Indeed, the insurrection did not produce a common front from the resistance, rather it was plagued by divisions in authority among local leaders.117 The First World War signified Ottoman re-involvement in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. From the summer of 1916, the Ottomans tried to re-gain control of local leadership in Tripolitania. In October 1916, at the request of the Sultan, Sulayman al-Baruni returned to Tripolitania, as governor of Tripolitania, Tunisia and Algeria.118 From early 1917, Ottoman officials attempted to reorganize rebel troops by separating them from the tribal regional basis to weaken the power of local leaders. The Ottomans failed to act as a unifying factor and as such, were unable to effect traditional leadership structures. Indeed in general, their presence was only tolerated because of the civil and military goods they provided.119 In Cyrenaica also, the Ottoman Empire attempted to recover its presence during the war years through fostering closer ties with the Sanusiyya. In June 1915, the Sultan nominated Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi as his representative in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, and following the Sultan’s instruction’s the Sanusi attacked the British in Egypt in late 1915.120 Rachel Simon argues that ideological factors played an important role in the Sanusi participation with the Ottoman’s, who subsequently invaded Egypt. More important however, were the economic reasons, particularly as the British gradually closed the border between Egypt and the Sanusi territory and stopped the free trade across the border.121 The attack on Egypt failed; Sanusi troops, which were estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 armed people, retreated in March 1916. This marked a turning point in the Sanusi leadership, and in 1917 the leadership passed from Ahmad al-Sharif122 to his cousin Muhammad Idris. This also meant a change in the political attitude of the Sanusiyya facing the colonial occupation, Idris al-Sanusi was inclined to enter a political settlement with Italy, and already by May to June 1916 had started negotiations through British mediation.123

A native conciliatory policy? After the failure of the politics of chiefs, colonial policy changed course and was oriented towards collaboration with the population in the last phase of the First World War. In April 1917, two native advisory committees in Tripoli and

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Benghazi were instituted. Each committee was comprised of 15 Muslim chiefs and notables, who had been appointed by the minister of colonies at the governor’s suggestion. The committees expressed their opinions on all subjects concerning Muslims; in particular on taxation and on educational matters.124 The new trend reflected the times and was evidently influenced by President Wilson’s Fourteen Points.125 In August 1918, the ministry of colonies appointed a special committee charged with considering the appropriate measures required to guarantee the civil development of the colonies after the military occupation. The final reports of the committee stressed the need for a more conciliatory policy towards the local population, which would be based on the effective involvement of natives in the administration, alongside the complete respect for Muslim culture and religion.126 In practice, however, the policy of assimilation that had been previously followed was dismissed. The policy of collaboration reached its apex with the so-called Statutes or Fundamental Laws, promulgated in 1919, which foresaw the participation of the local population in the administration through elections.127 The Fundamental Laws abrogated the institution of subjection and introduced Italian citizenship for natives, guaranteed the respect of Islam, recognized freedom of the press, association and teaching; Arabic language was also given the same status as Italian. The introduction of a local parliament elected by people with a number of members appointed by the government, allowed the possibility of native election to local administration.128 In Tripolitania, the Fundamental Law which was promulgated on 1 June 1919, was not widely applied and the expected parliament was never elected. The Laws were the result of negotiations between the Italian authorities and the Tripolitanian Republic (al-Jumhuriyya al-tarabulusiyya) which was announced on 16 November 1918 at Misurata in Tripolitania, on the initiative of some Ottoman officials and several local notables. One of the Republic’s main promoters was the Egyptian, ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam. He put forward the idea of a republican government principally to obtain the tribes’ unity, and to continue the fight against the Italians. The Tripolitanian Republic, which aimed to achieve a form of local government under Italian administration, elected its representative bodies. Four notables were the Republic’s spokesmen, and elected representatives of the different regions formed an Advisory Council which in turn elected the ‘Ulama’ Council.129 A commander-in-chief of the troops and a treasurer were also appointed.130 The Tripolitanian Republic was an important effort to overcome the tribal divisions in Tripolitania, it held a strong stance during negotiations with the colonial authorities, moreover, it was the first formal republican government in an Arab country.131 Libyan historians, tend to emphasize its role as a expression of a unified nationalist Tripolitanian movement,132 this aspect seems to have been limited. The effort to establish the Tripolitanian Republic foundered very soon, and its failure must be largely attributed to the intertribal conflicts for leadership, which resumed in 1920.133 In Cyrenaica, a politics of compromised agreements with the Sanusiyya was followed. Furthermore, the Sanusi were also in favour of a dialogue; the Cyrenaican population had become exhausted due to the military efforts on

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both the internal and Egyptian fronts. The first Italo-Sanusi agreement, known as the Modus Vivendi of Acroma and signed in April 1917, was ‘a truce rather than a treaty’;134 it had temporary validity until the end of war. The Modus Vivendi’s main clause was for the Sanusi to stop hostilities towards the Italians, while in return, the Italian’s would return some estates to the Sanusi, as well as open their trade and the harbours of Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk.135 Later, in the fascist period, the agreement was harshly criticized as there was no reference to Italian sovereignty in the region and it implicitly recognized the political authority of Sanusiyya.136 In 1919 the Fundamental Law was also introduced in Cyrenaica, although it was not favourably accepted by the population. The statute implied the tacit recognition of Italian sovereignty, and thus represented a step back in comparison with the Acroma Modus Vivendi.137 As consequence, new negotiations were entered and the Italo-Sanusi relationships were regulated by the al-Rajma Agreement signed on 25 October 1920. In practice, Italy formally recognized the Sanusi political power in the region, and a power division between Italy and the order in Cyrenaica was established: the Sanusiyya kept its sovereignty in the hinterland, while the Italian colonial authorities controlled the coastal area. Idris obtained the hereditary title of Amir of the Sanusi and was recognized as the head of the autonomous administration of the oases of Jarabub, Jalo and Kufra, with the right to use Ajdabiya as the seat of his administration. He was permitted his own flag and the use of a official steamer. Sanusiyya lands were exempted from taxation. The Italian government granted Idris and other members of the Sanusi family with monthly allowances. Idris agreed to dissolve the Sanusi military camps within eight months and to collect only the religious taxes from the population. Idris recognized the Fundamentals Law and agreed to cooperate in its applications, but he was granted the right to appoint some members of the parliament which the statute expected.138 In Cyrenaica, the parliament was formed and functioned from 30 April 1921 to the end of March 1923.139 Despite his support in the application of the Fundamental Law, eight months after the agreements, the military camps were still not dismissed. In effect, the camps were crucial in the Sanusiyya organization: ‘Through them, and from them, the Sanusiya was exercising political control over the country and administering the tribes’.140 This issue was the object of a new agreement known as Bu Maryam signed on 11 November 1921, which introduced the mixed camps of joint Sanusi and Italian troops and implemented a sort of Italian condominium in the region.141 It represented the last Italian attempt to control the area through negotiations with the Sanusiyya.142

Fascism, ‘reconquist’143 and ‘pacification’ With the rise of fascism in October 1922, the military occupation of territories emerged as a priority. Indeed, already from the beginning of 1921, under Governor Volpi, conciliatory politics was abandoned. The command of military operations was entrusted to Colonel Rodolfo Graziani, who was later appointed General in September 1923. The absolute intransigence towards the populations

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and traditional leaders marked the transition of the fascist policy from the previous liberal policy. With the occupation of Jabal Nafusa and the town of Misurata in February 1923, the conquest of the so-called ‘useful Tripolitania’, an expression used to indicate the fertile area of the region, was complete.144 The extension of military actions towards eastern and southern Tripolitania faced difficulties. The territories that had not yet been occupied were predesertic and inhabited by semi-nomadic tribes. From spring 1923, the re-conquest of Tripolitania became increasingly violent towards most of the opposing tribes. Some of them escaped in the Sirtica desert, some tribal chiefs fled to Tunisia and Egypt. Those tribes that submitted themselves to Italian authority due to the hardship’s were subordinated to increasingly harsh conditions: they were obliged not only to hand over arms, but also to give free labour in public works. The level of punitive measures towards the submitted people, based on the principle of collective responsibility, and the degree of intransigence of the government towards those who still refused subjection, reached levels hitherto unknown. Graziani contrived the so-called ‘Ghibla politics’. It consisted of the exploitation of rivalries between local tribes through a series of instrumental alliances and restored the authority of the traditional chiefs, but in reality it aimed at diminishing their power.145 The Italian occupation of Tripolitania, which covered approximately 1,500 km2 in 1921, had by 1925 conquered 135,000 km2.146 In April 1926, Mussolini made a visit to Tripoli which signified the commencement of a new programme of fascist politics in the Mediterranean and in Africa.147 In Cyrenaica as seen, according to the Akrama and the al-Rajma Agreements, the Italians controlled only the coastal area, and the hinterlands were controlled by the Sanusi. In 1923, the fascist government cancelled all agreements made with the Sanusiyya. Awjila, was occupied and in 1926, the Italian army conquered the oasis of Jarabub; but despite these occupations the resistance was still active in the Jabal al-Akhdar area. The resistance revolved around the leadership of a Sanusi chief, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, who in 1923 took over the command of resistance.148 With only 2–3,000 men, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar managed to fight Italian troops mainly due to the fact that he took part in surprise attacks that occurred at night. Indeed this tactic earned Mukhtar’s force the name ‘the government of the night’. The success of the resistance stemmed from the fact that he had fostered the support of the whole population which supplied the combatants with arms, food and hideouts. The complete re-conquest of Cyrenaica was concluded under Marshal Badoglio, who was appointed in January 1929, as the sole Governor General of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, which continued to have separate administrations. He intended to ‘pacify the colony’, and as a consequence considered the occupation of the whole region as a priority in order to achieve this objective. At the beginning, he attempted to achieve the complete submission of the last groups of rebels. Pointing at justice and the respect of local populations as the key tenants of his politics, in a proclamation issued to the population on 9 February he promised a full pardon to anyone should they meet three conditions: submission of weapons, respect for the law and severance of contact with the mujahidin. This programme was in countertendency with the past when capital punishment

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and heavy detentions were inflected even after submission. Badoglio considered the occupation as permanent state, and as such should be accepted by the population. This point of view emerged clearly in the political directives he addressed to the colonial civil and military authorities: We have also brought under our government a population that we must care for and steer towards a more civilized way of life. It is obvious that we shall never achieve our goal if this population does not feel the moral and material benefit of siding with us, submitting to our customs, to our laws.149 In the proclamation, Badoglio also voiced strong repression in the case of its refusal; those rebels and their families would not be left in peace. As Giambattista Biasutti argues, Badoglio’s conciliatory attitude was only formal and aimed to unload the burden of responsibility of further population sufferings on the rebels.150 In June 1929, a two-month truce was agreed between Italian authorities and rebels. The content of the agreement are not clear: Italian official reports claim that ‘Umar al-Mukhtar accepted an unconditional submission, while other sources claim that the two parties only agreed to a truce for the duration of two months in order to continue negotiations. However, by August, the truce had not led, as expected, to the disarmament of the population and the dissolution of the dawrs (the divisions into which the fighters were organized) and the Italian authorities broke negotiations. As the policy of ‘the olive branch’ did not have the expected results, Badoglio opted for ‘the canes and the axe’.151 The colonial policy entered its most repressive period with the appointment of General Graziani as vice-governor of Cyrenaica in January 1930. De Bono, the minister of colonies, had explicitly assigned him to the task of crushing the resistance. In Cyrenaica, Graziani faced quite a different situation from the one that had met him in Tripolitania. He soon understood that military action would not be sufficient to crush the resistance, especially due to strong support people gave to the rebels. In his words, it was therefore necessary to erase all the ties between the population and rebels: I see the situation in Cyrenaica as comparable to a poisoned organism which produces, in one part of the body, a festering bubo. The bubo in this instance is the dor of Omar al-Mukhtar, which is the result of a wholly infected situation: To heal this sick body it is necessary to destroy the origin of the malady rather than its effects.152 Thus, the repression of resistance took a new stance and its objective now included the whole population. From the spring, Graziani undertook harsh repressive measures such as closing all Sanusi zawiyas and the confiscation of Sanusi proprieties, complete disarming of population, the death penalty for connivance with the rebels and prohibition of all form of commerce with Egypt.153 The death

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penalty was implemented by the ‘flying tribunal’, which moved by air from one place to another. At the end of the trials, an immediate execution took place, openly in front of audiences. From April 1930 to March 1931 the tribunal condemned and executed 133 people. Local people were in charge of the execution, and were hired for the occasion or chosen among the Libyan troops.154 Despite these measures and a military operation which took place in June, Graziani was unable to destroy the forces of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar. Thus, Badoglio placed deported populations in concentration camps as the solution. The moving of the Jabal al-Akhdar population began in late June, where all the nomad and semi-nomad populations were deported. The measure did not involve the people living in the towns, near the coastal area and in the oasis of the hinterland. People were deported to five mains camps and ten smaller camps.155 Although it is difficult give precise figures, the deportation involved no less than 90–100,000 individuals. Some historians have defined this event as ‘genocide’ because as many as 50,000 people died during the repression.156 At the same time, the actions against the mujahidin continued. In January 1931, Kufra, the holy centre of the Sanusiyya, was conquered. Graziani, in order to block the passage of supplies and volunteers from Egypt, closed the Egyptian border with a barbed wire fence from the coast to Jarabub. The enclosure, 270 km long in total, was built in six months by 2,500 Libyans. Graziani also enlisted many informants, who had the task of reporting the mujahidin movements. Giorgio Rochat argues that the Italians had no difficulties in recruiting scouts as there was a crisis that occurred in the traditional hegemonies. Those who worked with the Italians wished to promote their own survival through securing their rights.157 Due to all the measures undertaken, the rebels began to lack supplies. In September 1931, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar was captured, and following his public hanging on 16 September in the concentration camp of Suluq in front of 20,000 deportees, the resistance was suppressed once and for all.158 It is important to note that deportations were linked to the development programmes of the colony. The dislocation of population from one area to another, had a striking result on nomadism and left the most fertile territories for the immigration of Italian colons.159 Badoglio’s proposal of transforming concentration camps to permanent settlings failed due to the poor living conditions and economic reasons. During the second half of 1932 the repatriation, which lasted almost a year, of people to Jabal began. Natives were not allowed to settle freely in their original places, but were confined to defined areas which could easily be controlled and did not interfere with the colonization development plans. These people were employed in the building of infrastructures.160

Libya: the unified colony The organization of the territories after the strong repression of the resistance, from January 1934, is deeply associated with Marshal Italo Balbo, the new governor of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.161 Less than a year after his arrival in December, Marshal Balbo maintained that Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were to be

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unified in a sole colony and named Libya.162 Despite this unification, regionalism continued to mark the colonial policy and Libya was not considered to be a territorial unit. The territorial separation was not made along the regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but along the coastal areas and hinterlands. Balbo inaugurated a new colonial policy towards Arabs, which was in direct contrast to the colonial trend of the previous period. His colonial project pursued the promotion of the social advancement of populations, based on the idea that Arabs, although in a subordinate position, should be associated with the development of a government for the colony.163 Some scholars have pointed out that Balbo’s colonial project was deeply connected to his own personal ambitions. Through the relaunch of the colony, Balbo wished to enhance his prestige; he had been a leading personality of fascism and it seems likely that Mussolini appointed him as governor of Libya in order to distance him from Italy.164 He soon started a policy of ‘reconciliation’ with the natives, in an attempt to forget the harshness of repression.165 Balbo also dissembled the concentration camps, granted pardons for political prisoners and began intense propaganda in order to encourage exiles to return. In the field of economics, native policy was characterized by the ‘paternalistic approach’,166 based on agriculture and sheep-breeding, which were the traditional economic activities. This assistance consisted of re-afforestations, diggings of wells, tax exemption and the assistance of Italian veterinaries for endemic diseases. This policy also contemplated extraordinary measures, for instance, in 1938 because of the exceptional drought, 300,000 head of livestock were transferred from Tripolitania to Cyrenaica in search of water.167 Besides paternalism, the differential treatment of the population was the other distinctive mark of Balbo’s policy. The people of the costal area were considered ‘a population of superior race, influenced by the Mediterranean civilization, able to assimilate the spirit of the laws and to evolve themselves to a higher social life’.168 The project of social and cultural development did not therefore concern the nomadic people of the hinterland. The new regulation of the colony approved in December 1934, which instituted administrative decentralization, reflected this orientation. The colony was divided into two areas: the coastal one which included the provinces of Tripoli, Misurata, Benghazi and Derna and the southern territories which constituted a special district called Territories of the Libyan Sahara.169 The system was imbued with a French assimilation model. The role played by the French experience of assimilation is controversial,170 as Luigi Goglia argues the tendency for assimilation was more apparent than real due to Balbo’s personal definition of assimilation.171 This social policy towards Arabs was in contrast with the intensive demographic colonization, which was Balbo’s actual intention; the aim was to make Libya ‘the Fourth Shore’. In 1938, with the arrival of the Ventimila, the 20,000 settlers and the annexation of Libya to the metropolitan territory, the project of building the Fourth Shore was achieved.172 Intensive Italian colonization, which was continued through land confiscation, completely disrupted the traditional social systems, which had already been undermined by strong repression from previous years. Many tribes were deprived of water resources and relegated to

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marginal areas. The main solution adopted to provide people with a new means of subsistence, was the development of sheep-breeding and the attempt of transforming natives in colons. Thus, in 1938 the ‘Muslim colonization’ began; it accorded natives lands for agricultural exploitation, with their subsequent transformation into proprieties. This initiative was promoted by the Italians as having a social goal – the improvement of the living conditions – but in reality it was considered to be a means for erasing nomadism, which was considered a potential peril.173 Although the main emphasis of the propaganda was placed on the project of Muslim colonization, it did not achieve substantial results: in 1940 there were only three Muslim villages, which had a total of 131 Libyan families. At the time, the failure of the initiative was ascribed to resistance by natives to sedentarization, but in reality only small areas, consisting of less than 3 per cent of that reserved for Italians, were reserved for Arabs.174 The raising of the Fourth Shore relied on indigenous labour considerably. Libyans were mainly employed in public works and agricultural enterprises. There is no evidence that Balbo forced Libyans to labour without pay,175 but other than salaries, it encouraged people to seek Italian employment.176 The building of the Litoranea employed 10,000 Libyan labourers; the 1,800 km long road extended along the coast from Tunisia to the Egyptian border, this was in stark contrast to 1,000 Italians. The Litoranea, re-named after Balbo death Balbia (the Balbo road), was not implemented for economic reasons, but Balbo strongly promoted it for motivations of prestige.177 Balbo also placed considerable effort in presenting his social policy as Islamic oriented. He always sought the ‘ulama’s preventive consent for the approval of any reform which involved religion; for instance, adjusting the age of marriage for girls to a minimum of 15, or the regulation of Muslim holidays.178 He accorded a wider jurisdiction and authority to the shari‘a courts and showed some interest in Muslim worship, such as religious education and the construction and restoration of mosques.179 This positive attitude towards Islam in reality, was set within the framework of anti-British, fascist propaganda in the Arab world, which presented the Italian colonial policy as favourable to Muslims. From January 1936, Italian fascist propaganda was also specifically addressed to Muslims of Libya. Italy had undertaken the occupation of Ethiopia, and in these years Islamic fascist policy tended to gain Arab support against the aggression of Ethiopia.180 The pro-Islamic policy in Libya was promoted in the whole Arab world, and Libya played as the showcase of the successful pro-Islamic fascist policy. The height of this propaganda was reached during Mussolini’s visit to Libya in March 1937; two local notables offered Mussolini ‘the sword of Islam’, as a symbol of the encounter of fascism with Islam.181 Among the series of initiatives taken to apease Muslims, was the creation of al-Madrasa al-islamiyya al-‘uliya, the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) in Tripoli in 1935. Besides training primary school teachers, the purpose of the institute was to create an elite that would facilitate administrative and political work in the colony. The idea of the madrasa, dated back to the first years of the occupation, its establishment having been already contemplated in the educational ordinances of 1914 and 1917. From 1924, the government stopped financial subsidies which had been regularly

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given from 1911 to the Tripolitanian students at al-Azhar and al-Zaytuna; the two universities were considered centres of pan-Islamic activities. The opening of a high institute of Islamic studies in Libya thus became more urgent. For political and economic reasons the project was inactive for many years. In the early 1930s the project was revived, as it was thought necessary to give the Arabs the possibility of obtaining an education which did not conflict with their own culture. At the same time, this opportunity was also foreseen to help Arabs to discover and appreciate ‘the superior characteristics’ of European teaching methods and culture.182 The function that the IIS was expected to fulfil at its inception, are clearly summarized in a fascist judgement of the period: It is this school [...] which in a few years should give the Motherland skilled Muslim officers, brought up in the shadow of our flag: educated into the cult of our Italy and to the most healthy and noble precepts of the Faith, regulated and incorporated into our Party and Regime’s organizations, in the service of our Country and our Ideal.183 The IIS, according to the institution’s charter and educational programme, offered a three-year preparatory course, a four-year intermediate course and a three-year advanced course.184 There is no doubt that the IIS, besides meeting the requirements of the colonial policy, also met those of foreign policy; in fact ‘a centre of Islamic studies would be a concrete statement of the high principles which inspired Italy in its colonial policy’.185 The steps taken to develop the IIS, reveal the importance given to it by fascism: only three years after its opening the colonial authorities moved the madrasa to a new site which also had a boarding school for those students who lived outside Tripoli. All the IIS students were also enroled at Arab Youth of the Littorio.186 The IIS certainly did not play the important role that Italian policy had assigned to it. In 1936, the French consul in Tripoli described it as ‘a pretence’, since the teachers were engaged at random and were not trained, students admitted also did not have adequate background.187 Obviously, the IIS contributed little to the promotion and development of the nationalist movement in Libya; but elsewhere, such as in Algeria’s training institutes for ‘ulama’,188 similar institutions did help raise a nationalist consciousness. In October 1938, Balbo proposed to introduce full citizenship for Libyans, but this project was opposed, and only one month later Italy the Racial Laws were approved. A special Italian citizenship for Muslim Libyans was introduced in 1939, it was thought to be ‘a benefit to confer to the best citizens in recognition of their proof of fidelity which they gave several times since pacification was achieved, and an instrument for the advancement of Muslims at an higher social, moral and juridical level’.189 In reality, it abolished the metropolitan citizenship of 1934, and did not give Muslims any particular rights, while denying Jews some rights which they had previously benefited from. Moreover, this special citizenship was mainly aimed at introducing the citizens to the fascist Libyan party. Membership for a minimum of a year in the Gioventù Araba del Littorio

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(Arab Youth of the Littorio) was a prerequisite for citizenship. Those who acquired the new citizenship had the right to enrol in the Associazione Mussulmana del Littorio (Muslim Association of the Littorio) established with the promulgation of the Citizenship Law. Balbo had instituted the Arab Youth of the Littorio in 1935 and it reflected the national fascist organization.190 Between 1935 and 1940, Balbo constituted a multi-level political structure through fascist organisations which would group those loyal to the regime: the Arab Youth of the Littorio, had the task of educating Arabs to have respect for Italy, and citizenship was officially awarded to Muslims who had been loyal to the country. The Muslim Association of the Littorio aimed at participating loyal Arabs to the regime.191 The special citizenship, although largely promoted, was not highly demanded, and on the eve of British occupation, less than 10,000 requests for citizenship had been granted in Tripoli and about 300 hundred in Benghazi.192 Balbo’s indigenous policy, came to a standstill as Italy entered the Second World War on 10 June 1940 and Balbo died 18 days later. Balbo’s modest results were, according to Claudio G. Segrè, due to the limited budget he was forced to deal with,193 although one should also take into account the fact that he reflected fascist totalitarian ideology. Balbo’s new society was built in order to respond to Italian national interests. In conclusion, Italy did not pursue a clear and definite policy towards natives, as for two decades it was almost continually engaged in territorial occupation. During the fascist period, colonial policy was characterized by the complete subjugation of natives, and the centralization of power by the governor. The enduring situation of war, land confiscation, which pushed people towards predesertic areas forcing them to semi-nomadism, the strong repression, and the scarce attention devoted to education, did not assist the development of a political culture that foreshadowed new political aggregations, which could later lead to self-government. This new political culture, as will be seen in the remaining chapters, was mainly shaped in exile.

3

Colonial rule and exile

The exile of Libyans between 1911 and the end of Italian colonial rule in 1943 – as a consequence of the Second World War – involved many countries; mainly Tunisia, Egypt and Syria but also Turkey, Palestine, Chad and Niger. While it is difficult to give precise figures, the number of people force to take hijra (emigration) out of colonial Libya is probably to be measured in the hundreds of thousands. The exile of Libyans was set within the framework of the changing relationship between the northern and southern Mediterranean regions. This in turn was ushered in by the significant immigration and emigration that affected the Ottoman Empire from the late nineteenth century. For example, Tunisia became ‘an especially active frontier’ for immigrants from Malta, which in turn faced overpopulation.1 Similarly, the Russo-Ottoman War of 1828–9 forced the Ottoman Greek population to move to Russia and a part of the Russian Muslim population to move inside the Empire.2 Because of the imposition of French colonialism, which started in 1830, Maghribian populations also gradually left their homelands: this process began with Algerians who established themselves mainly in Syria.3 Following the suppression of an 1882 revolt against the French colonial occupation of southwestern Tunisia, many Tunisians sought refuge in Tripolitania. Estimates of the number of Tunisians who left their country range between 120,000 and 140,000, or about one-tenth of the total population of Tunisia at the time. Nevertheless, most of these were believed to have returned from Tripolitania by 1884, after the French authorities granted a general amnesty and restored the refugees’ properties.4 Although the sections of the populations of various Maghribian countries experienced self-imposed exile because of European occupation, the case of Libya had its own peculiarities. Unlike Algeria or Tunisia,5 where a few intellectuals migrated to Europe, this was not the main destination or target for Libyan emigrants. Moreover, the Islamic duty of hijra,6 an obligation to migrate from a land held by infidels, was not, as will be discussed later, the dominant reason for leaving Libya. Establishing the exact number of exiles is extremely difficult for a number of reasons. First, no data exists from censuses for the nomadic tribes. Second, exiles frequently emigrated from one country and on to another, following subsequent expulsions, in order to reunite members of their families or tribes, or to seek work. For example, during the 1930s, the French authorities tried to recruit Egyptiandomiciled Libyans to work in the Tunisian phosphate mines. Furthermore, data

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currently available is not uniformly reliable. Italian diplomatic documentation gives partial figures for returning exiles only, and it may be suspected that the authorities had some interest in overestimating the numbers of returnees in order to demonstrate the success of Italian policies. Meanwhile, Libyan sources are based on oral histories, and are thus less than perfectly reliable. It is worthwhile to examine the ways in which the differences in choice of refuge reflected social stratification within Libya. While tribes from Tripolitania and Cyrenaica fled to Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, Libyan intellectuals, bureaucrats and urban elites went to Syria. This difference should be noted as it later had an impact on the idealization of the nation.

Tripolitanians in Tunisia: nomadic tribes and less advantaged social groups The successive waves of departures correlate with different periods of colonial rule. The first departure occurred with the initial stages of the Italian occupation of Tripolitania in 1911, and the initial destination was Tunisia. French diplomatic documents report that about 35,000 Libyans emigrated to Tunisia during the first year of the occupation.7 This first wave of migration to Tunisia was made up of the tribes of the areas of al-‘Ajilat, Nalut, Fassato, Zuwara;8 it was mainly a movement of nomads and of the poorest social groups. Frequently it was the elderly, women and children who emigrated, leaving their menfolk to organize resistance in Tripolitania. This was the case, for example, of the Tripolitanian exiles who settled in the area of Gabes on the southeastern coast of Tunisia. These people distributed themselves among the Tunisian tribes, who welcomed them and ensured that the Tripolitanians did not lack food at the beginning of their exile.9 It is difficult to ascertain which Tripolitanian tribes emigrated to Tunisia as a direct result of the Italian occupation (as opposed to other reasons). Many of those present in the territory of the French protectorate had emigrated before the invasion of Libya. As a result, it is not easy to establish the emigrants’ reasons for travelling to Tunisia. It was established that during periods of famine Libyan tribes often poured into Tunisia looking for food. In the second half of the nineteenth century, when Fezzan was cut off from the trans-Sahara trade routes, many people from Fezzan emigrated to Tunisia. It was a temporary emigration, men being employed mainly as daily workers in agriculture for periods of between two to three years.10 Similarly, and as was discussed previously, after the defeat of the local resistance led by Ghuma against the Second Ottoman occupation in 1858 many tribes moved to Tunisia. At the turn of the twentieth century, an official French report on Tunisian tribes listed more than 50 tribes that were Tripolitanian in origin, but most of these had lost contact with Tripolitania and had merged with Tunisian tribes.11 Emigration of Tripolitanians to Tunisia increased after the French occupation; the building of roads and railways and the exploitation of mines attracted approximately 2,500 Tripolitanians every year. In 1897, the first group of Tripolitanians were employed in the mines of the Gafsa area. These tribes mainly came from the coastal towns of Khoms, Msellata and Misurata. In 1907, about

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600 Tripolitanians worked regularly between Metlaoui and Redayef; after the Italian invasion many tribes moved to this area.12 As a result of this process of migration from Tripolitania to Tunisia, many tribes asked for permanent leave to remain and settle in Tunisia, asserting that they had already been there for many years. For example, in June 1912 the notables of the Awlad Sellam, a tribe of the al-Josh area,13 asked for asylum in Tunisia. They committed themselves to adhering to the same obligations as the Tunisians citizens, and agreed to reside in the area assigned to the tribe. The rationale for the requested included the fact that some members of the tribe had already been residing there for a certain period of time and that the tribe could prove that they had paid taxes in the Medenine area as well as owning proprieties within Tunisian territory.14 In 1913, a census confirmed a list of 57 Tripolitanian tribes who had been reported to have been residing in Tunisia since the Nomenclatures des tribus was published in 1900.15 Later these tribes were subsequently regarded as Tunisian because they were deemed to have moved to Tunisia before 28 October 1912, the deadline fixed by the Italo-French agreements of 29 May 1914, which were meant to clarify issues of nationality of nomadic tribes.16 As a means of identifying those Tripolitanians who had settled in Tunisia before the Italian invasion, the French authorities asked them to prove that they had paid the majba, a capitation tax, imposed on all adult male Tunisians by Muhammad Bey in 1856.17 It should be noted that some migrants who had settled in Tunisia before 1911 registered themselves on the protectorate lists as Italian citizens, in order to avoid paying the majba.18 Similarly, a considerable number of immigrants, although unwilling to return, preferred to be considered Tripolitanians instead of Tunisians so as to avoid conscription in French-run forces. Moreover, it appears that some Tunisians, following encouragement from the Young Tunisians, claimed to be Tripolitanians in a bid to benefit from Italian protection.19 This, of course, was not a reflection of any support for the Italian colonial policy on the part of the Young Tunisians; indeed demonstrations against the Italian invasion of Tripolitania and initiatives of solidarity with Tripolitanians were organized by the Young Tunisians.20 Their propaganda in favour of Italian citizenship was part of their activity against the French authorities and, in particular, a counterweight to the French naturalization measures aimed at encouraging Tunisians to take French citizenship. The majority of the Tripolitanians who settled in Tunisia were from the lower social classes; three-quarters of them were agricultural workers and this fraction also included the exiles who had arrived in the 1930s.21 Another 10 per cent worked in the phosphate mines in the southern Tunisia.22 It should also be noted that seasonal migration also occurred as many Tripolitanians could not cope with the cold winters in Tunisia, which resulted in the perennial abandonment of the mines in the Redayef and Metlaoui areas between the winter and spring of each year.23 As previously mentioned, the French did not curb the Libyan exodus to Tunisia. This was mainly due to the fact that there was often a need for labour. For example, in 1917, the government of Tripolitania adopted a policy that facilitated temporary emigration in order to supply French Tunisia with labour.

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The measure was undertaken to avoid a permanent transfer of rebels to Tunisia who would be welcomed and employed there. In Tunisia, the labour shortage had been estimated to be about 3,400 workmen and in 1917 this resulting in the French Consul in Tripoli requesting 2,000 Libyan workmen. It was assured that subsidies would be levied according to their skills, as well as accident insurance and a place to live. Although the governor of Tripolitania accepted French conditions, he also asked for certain guarantees; emigrants were to be separated into different groups, and each was to depend on notables chosen by the Italian government. The Tripolitanians could not be recruited into the Tunisian or French army, and the governor also requested a promise from the French colonial authority that the Tripolitanians would be returned after the war.24 These hefty Italian requests were refused however, and the French government were able to obtain the necessary labour from among the people who crowded along the Tripolitanian-Tunisian border.25 The Tripolitanians enjoyed a reputation as excellent mine workers.26 As historian Noureddine Dougui suggests, this idea was strongly rooted among settlers and politicians, who considered foreign workers as more trustworthy and less exacting than the Tunisians.27 In Metlaoui, the Tripolitanians were the first to set up an independent village, which, because of its suq, mosque and café, became the economic centre for the Muslims in the area.28 In Tunisia, exiles had the feeling that they belonged to the same community and held secret meetings in which the ‘foreigners’, i.e. non-Tripolitanians, could not take part. These assemblies were not a prelude to politically organized activities as yet. Instead, gatherings were based on a shared origins and a new life situation. For example, in the suq of Tunis, a wakala (inn) was run by a Tripolitanian baker, Yahya ben Yusuf ben Kaoune. This at night turned into a meeting place for all the Tripolitanians. As evident from the reports of the local police who controlled the area however, its main activity was not subversive but was limited to tea drinking.29 Another meeting place in the suq was a house where several unmarried Tripolitanians lived.30 In addition, clandestine night meetings held by exiles from Ghadames, who likely were affiliated to the Sanusiyya and tried to make proselytize among Tunisians, were not considered seditious or threatening.31

Tripolitanians in Tunisia: notables and chiefs From early 1913, soon after the Italian occupation, the authorities expressed concern over the number of emigrations. As a result, a mission was dispatched to Tunis with the assignment of persuading the exiles to return to Libya. This was promoted through the mediation of some notables. Among the first waves of emigrant tribes were notables and chieftans whom the Italians later solicited for these mediation efforts. Sulayman al-Baruni was born around 1870 in Jabal Nafusa into a prominent Berber Ibadi family. His father had been venerated by the Ibadis of the Mzab (Algeria), of Jerba and also by many non-Ibadis of north-western Tripolitania.32 Al-Baruni studied at the most prestigious Islamic universities in

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North Africa: from the Zaytuna in Tunis and later at al-Azhar, in Cairo. A man of culture, he founded a newspaper in Cairo and later a printing house. He was arrested several times and accused of plotting against Sultan ‘Abd al-Hamid II to establish an independent emirate in Jabal Nafusa, which would have brought back the tradition of Ibadi imams and amirs. In 1908, after the Young Turks revolution, he was elected deputy of the Ottoman parliament for the Jabal Gharbi district.33 As soon as the Italian troops disembarked in Tripoli, Sulayman al-Baruni started to recruit volunteers to increase the ranks of the resistance. He emerged as one of its main leaders at the conference of al-‘Aziziyya, which, in October 1912 after the Treaty of Lausanne, brought together the most important Tripolitanian chiefs and notables. While all the notables did not agree, al-Baruni convinced them to continue with the resistance. This did not stop a large number of notables from the Jabal going to Tripoli in 1912 and submitting themselves and their tribes to the Italian authority, due to their general mistrust of al-Baruni and the political activity started by the Command of Tripoli. Al-Baruni’s aim was to establish an autonomous Ibadi province and despite setbacks he was determined to continue with the struggle. He opened negotiations with the Italian authorities and requested autonomy for the Jabal and the western coastal plain, with the administrative centre in Marsa Zuwaga, an ancient Berber centre. Alternatively, he wished to establish the institution of a protectorate based on the British model in Egypt, or as a last possibility, the concession of special privileges for the Berbers.34 The imposition of colonial occupation on the Jabal, following the battle of al-Asaba‘a on 23 March 1913, dissolved ‘the dream of a Berber principality’.35 Sulayman al-Baruni and other notables emigrated to Tunisia. Shaykh Suf al-Mahmudi, the son of Muhammad al-Lafi al-Mahmudi and grandson of Ghuma, was born in 1858 in Algeria, where his grandfather had moved after the rebellion against the Ottoman government. He belonged to the Mahamid tribes, which before the Second Ottoman occupation had strong prestige and influence amongst the other Berber tribes in the Jabal area. Under the Qaramanlis they were charged with the collection of taxes from which they kept one-third as right of collection.36 From October 1911 to March 1913 he actively took part in the resistance, and participated in the conference of al-‘Aziziyya.37 The Italian authorities aimed at guaranteeing the return of the exiles, by promising influential offices in the colonial administration for Libyan notables, and particularly for al-Baruni, who was allegedly promised a separate district for the Berbers.38 Many tribes voluntarily returned to Tripolitania but others came back in response to the threat of expulsion for life from their native country. Both facts suggest that as early as the first years after 1911, people were aware that the Italian occupation would not be a temporary solution. The ‘rallying’ of notables and chiefs to the colonial regime can be attributable to Italian assurances that they could keep their wealth and retain the privileges of their social status. Some also tried to garner new advantages from their return to their homeland, for example, Shaykh Abdallatif asked to be appointed mudir of Sorman, instead of his rival Shaykh Abrida, in exchange for his return.39 Similarly, Shaykh Sasi Khazam accepted the Italian occupation and decided to collaborate with the

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The Origins of the Libyan Nation

occupiers because he was aware that this was one of the few ways to remain part of the elite. In his subjection act Shaykh Khazam declared that the Yefren area was occupied without any resistance because he had persuaded all the tribal leaders to subject themselves. It was as a consequence of this that he was compelled to flee to Tunisia where some tribes attacked him for his actions.40 In another case, the qa’immaqam of Fassato accused Khazam, Sulayman al-Baruni and the Turkish official Nashat Bey of having stolen food during the war.41 Khazam was later arrested in Tunisia as he was accused of having embezzled money that the Egyptian prince, ‘Umar Tussun, had sent to carry out anti-Italian propaganda.42 In any case, because of his collaboration with Italy, Sasi Khazam kept the office of mutassarif of the Jabal al-Ahamid area until 1916.43 Similarly, Sulayman al-Baruni too had an ambiguous attitude towards the occupation. In Tunisia, al-Baruni lived at Rades with his family and about 20 other Tripolitanians.44 He had a French secretary, Lafayette Leon HippolyteVictor, known as ‘Abdallah’, who had been in the Ottoman army during the Italo-Turkish war.45 Al-Baruni was in touch with some important figures in the Young Tunisians, such as Amor Guellaty, Chadly Darghout and Mehmed Zeki.46 However, al-Baruni was also in disagreement with a number of Tripolitanian notables who accused him of having worked for his own interest and of having fraudulently diverted food that the Turks had sent for the most indigent exiles. It seems that the notables, who were disappointed by al-Baruni, decided to approach the Italian authorities in order to negotiate their return to Tripolitania.47 Owing to the construction of a national history and its public use in independent Libya, the role of notables and chiefs accused of collaborationism has scarcely been investigated. Instead, the position of the notables and chiefs is classified in a dichotomous way: resistance or collaboration. In fact, the hypothesis that ambivalence was a feature of the relationship of most Muslim notables with the Italian colonial authorities seems plausible; they always oscillated between collaboration and antagonism. The motivation for the subsequent shift in the conduct of al-Baruni can be explained by the observation that ‘the loyalty of the notables was not open-ended: they were ready to cooperate with the Italians as long as the conditions necessitated this and so long as they gained benefits from it for themselves and their tribes. Once the political and military situation changed, the local leaders cast off the Italian yoke’.48 In October 1913, al-Baruni’s brother made inquiries among the Tripolitanians who worked in the mines of the El-Kef area to find out what their working conditions were like;49 the purpose of the inquiry was probably to convince exiles to return. With regards to the masses of people who did not belong to the ranks of the elite and notable, the major factors influencing their return from Tunisia were neither comprised of promises nor threats, but the conditions under which the French authorities imposed on their presence in the Regency. The exiles had three choices: they could sell all their goods and leave for Constantinople; stay in Tunisia as French subjects, liable to taxation and conscription; or return to Tripolitania.50 Some did not return but instead opted for further migration; for example, Shaykh Suf emigrated to Syria with 300 others directly connected

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to him.51 Despite the imposition of harsh conditions on Tripolitanian migrants, the French did not necessarily desire their return to Libya. The colonial administration did not hamper the arrival of exiles who, aside from the mining industry, were employed in the building of railways.52 Conversely, the Italian government attempted to promote the Libyan return from Tunisia, through threat of land expropriations. A decree published on 29 August 1913 invited the landowners of the oases surrounding Tripoli to come back and re-occupy their lands, or face the redistribution of the land to other people.53 The following month, after the surrender of the notables, the tribes started their return to Tripolitania. Within a few days almost all the tribes from al-‘Ajilat and Zuwara areas had returned.54 Later that same year, a small number of Jews originally from Tripolitania had petitioned to be able to return, in a bid to gain Italian citizenship; this was despite the fact that many of them had been residing in Tunisia for years.55 The exodus of Tripolitanians following the Italian campaign for repatriation worried the French authorities in Tunisia. It was feared that 20,000 Tripolitanians who massed at the borders in the first months of 1913 could cause trouble for the Regence. As a result, they were deprived of their weapons.56 Nonetheless, the French authorities were not interested in the exiles’ return and activily hampered it. Shaykh Mahmud Ben Issa and Shaykh al-Nagouzi, who arrived from Misurata, together with three other Tripolitanians who had lived in Tunisia for some years and were believed to have been sent by the Italian colonial authorities were arrested and immediately expelled following their efforts to persuade Tripolitanians working in the mines them to return to the Italian-held territory.57 One further move devised by the French authorities, keen to hamper Italian moves to repatriate Tripolitanians, was to make French citizenship mandatory for those exiles who remained in Tunisia for period of over three months after the decree of 29 August 1913.58

Cyrenaicans in Egypt: early integration As in the case of Tunisia, establishing the number of exiles in Egypt is difficult as some Cyrenaican-Tripolitanian tribes had already moved before the Italian invasion. The borders of the Ottoman Empire had always been fluid. Tribes that had been living in the border area could easily move from one province of the empire to another with qualified restrictions during the eighteenth century. Moreover, trade was intense and some merchants of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica settled in Egypt.59 Other tribes, including the Fawayd, al-Jawazi, al-Harabi, al-Bara’asa and Awlad ‘Ali emigrated during the time of Muhammad ‘Ali and his successors.60 Muhammad ‘Ali encouraged the Cyrenaican tribes, as well as other Maghribian tribes, to inhabit and settle certain areas by giving away lands. These areas were largely uncultivated lands which were exempt from tax payment.61 During Muhammad ‘Ali’s reign the Awlad ‘Ali and their vassal tribes were among the most powerful tribal organizations in Beheira province, a region to the west of the Nile and which included the western desert.62According to the data of the Recensement general de l’Egypte of 1907 there were between 70,000 and

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80,000 people belonging to Cyrenaican-Tripolitanian groups.63 Other tribes later emigrated after the severe crisis in the trans-Saharan trade which began affecting Cyrenaica after 1908. This crisis was brought about by the decline of interest for Sudanese products and by the opposition to the slave trade carried out by the United States.64 The Italian authorities were unable to control or to quantify these groups. Many of them enroled in the lists of ‘Libyan subjects’ which was kept by the Italian consulate, but in most cases such recognition concerned only the heads of families. Generally, exiles only asked for Libyan citizenship for utilitarian purposes: in Egypt, this meant that they would not have to depend on the local authorities.65 Many of those who emigrated to Egypt settled down in the oasis town of al-Fayyum and in the surrounding areas. Families from Cyrenaica had previously moved to al-Fayyum during the reign of Khedive Ismail (1863–79). Ismail had sold the lands for a few piasters per feddan, providing that the owners increased their value. This policy appealed to many tribes who could afford to buy them.66 The area was also highly strategic as it was the starting point of the caravans that supplied goods and arms to the Libyan rebels. This first generation of exiles generally lived in good conditions, with the vast majority engaged as agricultural labourers.67 During the Italo-Turkish war (1911–12) groups of the al-Fawayd tribes moved to Egypt, where they joined other tribes already settled there. According to the Italian documentation during the First World War approximately 15,000 people moved to Egypt from western Cyrenaica alone.68 Besides the voluntary exile of tribes, young people were also sent to Egypt in order to pursue their education. Immediately after the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne, Enver Bey sent hundreds of young men to Egypt, offering them the opportunity to complete their studies. In December 1912, 276 young men from Cyrenaica attended the Muhammad ‘Ali School in Alexandria, which was initially financed by an Ottoman benevolent society.69 The boys, who were between 8 and 16 years, had attended the schools set up by Enver Bey in the area of Derna, in Cyrenaica. Enver had instituted 10 schools attended by 1,000 school boys as well as two female schools attended by some 150 girls.70 The Italian authorities tried to exercise pressure by sending the boys back to Cyrenaica. They feared that local agitators would ‘use these students in order to create turmoil in Libya’.71 The boys were taken under the direct protection of the khedival family, while Prince ‘Umar Tussun decided to personally finance their studies.72 By late 1913, the judicial status of exiles in Egypt posed problems. This was generally due to the Egyptian authorities questioning the Italian citizenship of Libyans. From an Italian perspective, all the Libyans who lived in Egypt as well as in other parts of the Ottoman Empire, were Italian. This was attributed to the fact that the Treaty of Lausanne accepted full Italian sovereignty over Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The Egyptian authorities, in contrast, did not recognize as Italian subjects those Libyans who had moved to Egypt, including those who had moved in the aftermath of the Italian takeover.73 It was only with the First World War, the cancellation of the Treaty of Lausanne, the British and Italian declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the British protectorate

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in Egypt that Libyans in Egypt were recognized as colonial subjects. The AngloItalian agreement of 19 March 1916, which largely concerned the Capitulations, also contained a provision which granted Italian colonial citizens the same rights and conditions as enjoyed by colonial citizens under the other European powers.74 Despite this however, the Anglo-Egyptian authorities continued to consider only those who were born in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania and who came to reside in Egypt after the annexation decree, as Libyan citizens. This excluded all those who were born in Libya and had moved to Egypt before the annexation, as well as the sons of the Libyans born in Egypt.75 Indeed the Italians asked the British to apply the Anglo-French agreement of 1888 concerning the status of persons of Tunisian origin in Egypt to Libyans living in Egypt. The request was rejected by the British government because the situation of persons of Tunisian origin in Egypt, was judicially different from that of Libyans. Tunisians ‘in Egypt were, immediately prior to the declaration of French Protectorate of Tunisian and not of Ottoman nationality’. The position of Libyans was quite different, because, the British argued, ‘There had never been, at any material time, a Libyan nationality’. The annexation of Libya did not affect the status of Ottoman subjects of Libyan origin resident in the Ottoman Empire outside Libya, and the Treaty of Lausanne did not establish that all Ottoman subjects of Libyan origin resident within the Ottoman Empire should become Italian colonial subjects.76 With the independence of Egypt a new bilateral agreement between Egypt and Italy resolved the legal status of the Libyans resident in Egypt (signed in Cairo on 14 April 1923). In accordance with this agreement, all Tripolitanians residing in Egypt would be acknowledged as Italian subjects, provided they had been registered at an Italian consulate; it is worthwhile to note that this recognition was extended even to Tripolitanians who had relocated to Egypt prior to the Italian suzerainty over their country. The condition of subjection was automatically acknowledged to the wife and dependents who were under age at the time of the annexation of Libya. Children who had been born in Egypt, and those who were under age at the time of the annexation and resident in Egypt could, once they had come of age, opt for the Egyptian nationality. The Italian legation had three months from the ratification of the agreement to present the lists of those for whom it required citizenship.77

Exiles in Syria: intellectuals and Ottoman bureaucrats Although for obvious reasons the flow of exiles headed for neighbouring countries, different motives directed Libyans towards Syria. First, between the Italian occupation in 1911 and the end of the First World War, Syria was still an integral part of the Ottoman Empire. The emigration to Syria from the other provinces of the Empire that were facing European invasion had started with the French occupation of Algeria. The first significant movement of Algerians to Syria dates back to between 1847 and 1852 and coincided with the defeat of the resistance led by ‘Abd al-Qadir; in 1855 ‘Abd al-Qadir himself and his family settled in Damascus.78 After the instauration of the French Protectorate in Tunisia, also

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some Tunisians emigrated to Syria.79 The Ottoman authorities facilitated North African immigration to Syria. Despite its relative distance, many Libyans saw Syria – which, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, was not under European influence – the ideal place for hijra. The exiles who moved to Syria between 1911 and 1916 came mainly from the coastal towns, in particular from Tripoli, Benghazi and Misurata. Many of them belonged to the bureaucratic or intellectual classes. This first wave of emigration to Syria involved the families of journalists and, in general, families of those intellectuals who had denounced and opposed the Italian expansionist policy preceding its military invasion. Many former officials of the Ottoman administration in what was to become Libya chose Syria as their place of exile. In all probability they hoped to re-establish themselves in official sinecures within the Ottoman administration in Syria, at a rank similar to those they had left behind. As was the case with emigration by land towards the West, the bulk of the exiles who initially arrived on the Syrian coast consisted of women, children and the elderly, while men later followed. They were able to integrate into Syrian society due to their social position, as well as the personal property that some of them possessed.80 The authorities also facilitated their settlement in other ways. Libyans were allowed to settle in the al-Muhajirin (The Emigrants) district in Damascus; this area had originally been set aside for pro-Ottoman exiles from areas of the Balkans and the Caucuses, which had seen Russo-Ottoman fighting. Finding the area was not completely integrated with other conurbations of Damascus, some of the exiles were provided with money to subsidize their housing in other quarters of the city, through a mutual agreement between them and the Ottoman authorities.81 Although in the higher ranks of society connections between the Libyans and the Syrians were close, their political views were different. The Libyan exiles in Syria remained left out of the enthusiastic nationalist groups, inspired by pan-Arabism, that were spreading throughout the Arab Levant. This is evident if we consider the low levels of participation of the Libyans in Syria in the pro-Allied, anti-Ottoman Arab Revolt (1916–18), proclaimed by Sharif Hussein of Mecca with the support of Great Britain.82 Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri has argued that the Libyans perceived the Arab Revolt as a danger, since they were not able yet to conceive of an alternative to the Ottoman Empire as political home and felt as if they were doomed to remain under Italian occupation.83 It has also been suggested that Sharif Hussein’s son, later King Faisal, the actual military leader of the revolt, was not in fact a pan-Arabist as the word is understood in contemporary discourse, and that ideas of a pan-Arab nationalism including what would become Libya were not prevalent in 1918.84

The rise of fascism and the new wave of emigration The experience of exile, as already mentioned, did not follow a linear trajectory but was characterized by the moving from one country to another and also by intermittent returns to the homeland. In 1919, a considerable number of people returned to Tripolitania, in response to the enactment of new constitutional

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legislation, the Fundamental Laws. This, as discussed previously, gave Tripolitanians full citizenship, a delegation to the Italian government, the election of their own parliament, and the guaranteed respect of their customs and traditions. Italian sources report that about 100,000 Libyans returned to Tripolitania: the majority from Tunisia, where approximately 80,000 Tripolitanians who had settled requested return.85 After the promulgation of the Fundamental Laws, Tripolitanians in Tunis spontaneously demonstrated in front of the Italian consulate requesting urgent consideration for their return home. Italy tried to increase their repatriation by sea transport service between Tunis and Tripoli and the mediation of notables.86 Five hundred exiles were also repatriated from Syria. In order to have their return journey financed by the colonial authorities, exiles in Syria declared that they had left Libya to perform pilgrimage in Mecca but were forced to stop in Syria because of the war.87 The initial wave of homecoming from Egypt took place as a consequence of the first Italo-Sanusi agreements or the Agreement of Akrama in 1917. The agreement provided also for the repatriation of people interned in Egypt by the British on account of their pro-Sanusi inclinations.88 There were also other exiles who asked to return to Cyrenaica and were likely influenced by the propaganda of the Italian authorities in Benghazi, which was also disseminated by emissaries in Alexandria, yet only those refugees who were not viewed as politically threatening were allowed to return.89 Despite these returns, the beginning of the fascist colonial policy in the 1920s, promoted a second large wave of emigration from Cyrenaica. While the Italian authorities were unable to quantify the number of people, they nonetheless considered the wave to be ‘a very high number’, which is significant given Cyrenaica had a totally population of 200,000 inhabitants.90 During the early years of fascist rule some inhabitants of Tripolitania, who might earlier have moved towards Tunisia, emigrated to al-Fayyum in Egypt. In fact, some Mahamid tribes, headed by Shaykh Muhammad Suf and his son Shaykh ‘Awn91 arrived along with some inhabitants of Misurata. In 1925 they were joined by numerous inhabitants of Tarhuna, many others died on the way. Despite the help of other compatriots who had settled in the area a long time before, these Tripolitanians lived in poor conditions.92 This encouraged Tripolitanians to ask the government of Tripolitania, through the mediation of the royal legation, for an amnesty. They promised that they would renounce politics and that they would not take any action against the Italian government.93 Shaykh Suf negotiated the return of members of his tribe and an amnesty for all the Mahamid was requested in order to avoid reprisals. They also demanded the restitution of their assets and the acknowledgement of their offices. Submission was the result of their poor living conditions.94 Similarly, eminent exiles also moved to Egypt and shortly after to Syria. Idris al-Sanusi arrived in Cairo in January 192395 and was soon followed by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi,96 as will be discussed in subsequent chapters, can be considered the father of Libyan nationalism. Many of those who emigrated in the 1920s settled in Cairo and Alexandria97 and worked in trade, while those who had moved to al-Fayyum worked mainly in agriculture. They became integrated at different

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levels in their places of exile: while those who lived in Cairo and Alexandria never left Egypt, by the 1940s, all the exiles who had lived in al-Fayyum returned to Libya.98 That the Libyans who moved to scantly-populated areas in Egypt in contributed to their general development is evident if we consider, for example, that in 1925 Mariut there was nothing but a police station and a building for the railway workers. Tripolitanian exiles would build some 100 houses and opened about 10 shops.99 This has much to say about the integration of these exiles within Egyptian society itself. With the increase of the exodus to Egypt caused by repressive methods used by the fascist colonial policy, France attempted to re-direct the exiles to Tunisia. This was in order to employ them in the phosphate mines as well as form a special military patrol for the surveillance of the Tripolitanian-Tunisian border, so as to avoid possible violations of the border from the Italian side.100 In those years also, the young Turkish republic showed interest in the exiles residing in Egypt, guaranteeing the acknowledgement of Turkish nationality to those who relinquished the Italian citizenship.101 While Tunisia, Egypt and Syria were the main destinations for Libyan migrants, Libyans also settled all over the Arab world. For example, there is evidence of exiles settling in Transjordan, although these migrant groups, estimated at a few hundred people, were largely un-influential and small. As a result, they were able to elude Italian control, due to the limited presence of Italian citizens.102 The head of the Libyans in Transjordan was the notable ‘Ali al-‘Abdiyya. Born in Ajdabiya in 1880, he studied in Jarabub. He was affiliated to the Sanusiyya and was a Sanusi political-commercial agent in Egypt and Darfur. In 1916, he moved to Egypt, where he was expelled on request of the Italian authorities and fled to Transjordan. He settled in Amman and it seems likely that he served under the British authorities there.103 Although ‘Ali al-‘Abdiyya was in close contact with the Sanusi circles, he did not carry out any political activities. This can be attributed to two factors: first, the Sanusiyya did not have good relations with the Amir of Transjordan; and second because he, like many Libyans residing in Amman, was well integrated into Transjordanian society and did not envision returning to Libya.104 Indeed evidence of social integration can be seen by the fact that these Tripolitanians were granted land in 1927. The land grant should not, however, be taken as evidence of Transjordanian support for the Libyan question; but rather it should be viewed in the context of Transjordanian attempts to allow all the Arab exiles to begin a stable life there.105 The granted land, which was in the Mafraq area, in the Transjordanian desert, 60 km away from Amman, was not fertile and most Libyans left the area as a result.106 On the whole, most Libyans residing in Palestine and Transjordan were poor. The scores of exiles who had settled in Jaffa, for example, did not carry out political activity and many of them were forced to rely work as guardians of orange fields in order to make ends meet.107 Exiles also headed towards the territories of French Equatorial Africa, where they were wholeheartedly welcomed by the French. The French authorities proposed that the rebels of Sirtica emigrate en masse to the territories of Tibesti and Bornu, with the promise of returning their weapons on arrival.108

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The Libyans, who chose freely where to settle, were to pay annual taxes in exchange for their settlement.109

The ‘easing’ of the fascist colonial policy and return By the late 1920s, the fascist colonial policy was ‘eased’, at least in theory. This manifested itself in February 1929, with the previously discussed (Chapter 2) Badoglio ordinance. This promised that upon return, no prosecutions against exiles would take place, in return for their acceptance of Italian authority. According to checks by the Italian police (carabinieri) in Tripolitania, by 15 February 1930, 5,000 people, mainly from Tunisia, had returned to Libya.110 The return of Libyans from Egypt was also eased by the British and Egyptian authorities. A few Egyptian politicians acted as intermediaries, negotiating terms for return: for example, Lamlum Pasha vouched for the head of the ‘Awaqir, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Salam al-Kizza,111 who was willing to make his tribe and other tribes of the area south of Benghazi return to Cyrenaica, on condition that he would be recognized by the colonial government as head of the ‘Awaqir tribe and that the full safety of his people and their goods would be guaranteed.112 These agreements with the heads of the tribes were necessary as most of the exiles in Egypt were otherwise very suspicious of the Italian authorities.113 Concerning the Libyan exiles settled in the border areas, an agreement was reached with the Anglo-Egyptian authorities. The governor of Matruh, Colonel Bayly, issued an ordinance which allowed the exiles to go back to Libya from Egypt at any time. But, essentially, the ordinance put an end to the free hospitality that the Libyans had enjoyed; it stated that they had to return as part of their tribes and families (qaba’il, ‘a’ilat) and it was forbidden for men to return alone. Its aim was to keep men from starting the resistance again once their families were safe. Those who did not go back would have limited movement and were placed under strict controls.114 Some heads of the Awlad ‘Ali tribes attempted to put pressure on the tribes of the Marmarica area to prevent them from returning to Cyrenaica.115 In Alexandria, many Libyans decided to submit to the ordinance and to return after General Badoglio’s ban specifically addressed to the residual rebel factions of the Kufra area in the final months of 1930. It fixed 31 December 1930 as the deadline for submission and pardon. In Alexandria many exiles made collective requests, asking to have their situation legalized, even after the ban’s deadline.116 The Libyans who returned from Egypt were mainly those who had left their country after 1923; they travelled home by land and by sea. The return by land mainly involved the exiles from Cyrenaica who emigrated across the western desert with their household effects and cattle, whereas the return by sea involved the Libyans who were domiciled in Alexandria and Cairo. The government of Cyrenaica gave the diplomatic representative in Cairo a special fund of 12,000 liras to facilitate transfer by sea and to provide check points. It also sent a local, native officer of the colonial administration temporarily to the consulate in Alexandria to control the return by sea and to try to make a census of those who returned.117

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While the repatriation was, in general, actively encouraged, requests made by exiles with political records were not accepted, and they were instead left to the decision of the colonial government. Particular attention was paid in order to avoid the return of members of the Sanusiyya as it was feared that they would rouse rebel activities even with those groups previously considered to be among the ‘pacified’ tribes.118 In early 1935, there was an attempt to gather data for a census of Libyans who were still settled in Egypt. This was to be compiled using lists of names sent by the governor of Libya and integrated with consular verifications. However, this census did not take place and perhaps can be attributable to the fact that not all Italian consulates in Egypt compiled periodic bulletins on exiles and returnees. Despite the failure of the census, the Italian minister of foreign affairs still thought it was necessary to know the place of residency for the main rebel leaders and Sanusi members. This was an attempt to control them, particularly as there were rumours that some Libyans were moving to Ethiopia.119 From the outset of 1935, when fascist intentions to move against Ethiopia were first becoming clear, the Sanusiyya began assuming an intransigent attitude towards Italy. They began a strong anti-Italian propaganda campaign and created contacts with the British. To cope with this situation, the governor of Libya sent the general commissioner of Derna, Daodiace, to Egypt to collect information on the exiles. Daodiace’s report was significant; his main recommendation was to avoid having contacts with the Sanusiyya as the order’s relevance was diminishing in Egypt. He suggested building an infirmary and a mosque at Bardia, which was the first place where the exiles coming from Egypt stopped; the aim of this proposal was to make people forget the concentration camps of Cyrenaica, and to give the impression that the colonial policy intended to offer help to the poorest people. The emissary also pointed out that the Egyptian newspapers had undertaken a vitriolic press campaign against the return of exiles. It was claimed that Libyans who had returned had found themselves conscripted into the effort to fight in Ethiopia, and that approximately 500 women had been sent to Italian Eastern Africa as prostitutes, while some children had been put under the care of religious institutions to be converted.120 It is impossible to calculate how many people had returned from Egypt from the date of Badoglio ban (February 1929) to the Daodiace report of March 1935, because, although the government of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica compiled monthly lists of returnees, not all of the monthly records could be found. Yet, a look at the figures for months over a period of time can be used to infer something about the trends during this period. For example, in July 1934, 1,000 people returned to Cyrenaica,121 in November 2,399122 and, in December of that year, 2,493123 returned. Unlike Egypt, the return of Libyans from Tunisia and also Algeria, where they crossed the border illegally after the occupation of Fezzan, and were thought to number about 2,000 people by 1930124 was hampered by the French because many of them worked in the Tunisian mines. The Libyans were tied to the French Mining Company, which advanced the money for their travel from Algeria to Tunisia; low wages meant the workers were not able to pay back the money,125

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and found themselves indebted to the French Mining Company. The French Mining Company had attracted many nomadic Tripolitanian tribes and about 1,000 families were placed in different mining zones, according to the tribe they belonged.126 The Libyan repatriation, albeit a slow one, had begun; between General Badoglio’s ban to the end of 1933, an estimated paltry 7,000 exiles returned from Tunisia.127 But the homecoming movement was mainly caused by the difficult economic conditions of the Libyans in the Regence; many exiles lived in dire poverty because of the closing of several mines in the Metlaoui area, they were also made to pay taxes to the French authorities that pressured them to enlist as askaris. The return was also slowed down by the French prohibition on moving cattle.128 Through mediators the Italian authorities also exerted pressure on the exiles who were resident in present day Chad, in an attempt to convince them to return. The number of Libyans settled in this region was estimated at more than 1,000, but this number also included the merchants who had moved there before the Italian occupation. Most of these exiles, despite owning cattle, lived in extremely poor conditions and, as a consequence, had an interest in returning to their homes. Their return was hampered by the French who, in an effort to prevent their homecoming, concentrated them in a limited area and kept them under surveillance.129 Some tribal chiefs, whose leadership was recognized by the French, also stood against this repatriation.130 Beginning in 1937, France dropped its opposition to the return of Libyans from Tunisia and following some agreements with the Italians concerning the exiles, the French colonial administration organized a census of Tripolitanians in Tunisia in 1937. The qa’ids were in charge of the census that followed the rules of the general census from the previous year. The qa’ids, in addition to reporting the names of all the Tripolitanians along with information regarding their families and children, were commissioned to determine if the Tripolitanians were willing to go back. This was assisted through the propagation that there would be no retaliations from the Italians.131 Most Libyans were not interested in returning; those who emigrated before 1930 and many of them who worked in the mines, were by now, integrated in to Tunisian society; those who left their country in 1930 for political reasons were afraid of retaliation and asked the French government for asylum.132 By late 1938, the number of Tripolitanians in the Regence was estimated to be 28,000 people. In addition to the 24,000 Tripolitanians who lived in Tunisia and that were registered in the general census of 1936, there were 6,000 political exiles who lived mainly in the South, in the Sfax area. About 2,000 of the latter came back in the first six months of 1937 after being influenced by the Italian propaganda.133 Despite agreements with Italy, the French colonial authorities had not solved the question of nationality by late 1938. One possible solution was to consider all Tripolitanians as Tunisians, but the drawback would have been an increase of the Muslim population of Tunisia. The second option was to apply the Italo-French agreement of 29 May 1914, but this would prove difficult in practice because of the problems faced when trying to establish which Libyan emigrants had moved

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to Tunisia before the Italian occupation.134 In the period immediately prior to the outbreak of war, Italy carried out propaganda campaign in Tunisia to invite exiles to return with little success.135 By contrast, most of those exiled to Egypt had returned by the second half of 1938, leaving Italian authorities to estimate that only 4,500 persons had remained in Egypt. These tended to be people who were loyal to or depended on tribal leaders strongly opposed to the Italians. These leaders included the Tripolitanians Ahmad al-Shitiwi136 Ahmad al-Murayyid,137 ‘Awn Suf al-Mahmudi and ‘Abd al-Jalil Sayf al-Nasr,138 and the Cyrenaican ‘Abd al-Salam al-Kizza.139 At the same time, several hundred Libyans returned from Palestine, not so much as a response to Italian pleading but rather their mistreatment by the local population.140 It is quite interesting to observe that, in most cases, Arabic sources do not mention the return of the exiles and, where they do mention the return tend to ascribe its causes to nostalgia for the homeland. This is perhaps related to the fact that in the 1930s, political militants among the exiles feared that the repatriation could weaken the Libyan struggle for independence.141 In conclusion, the evident exodus trends reveal that the process involved all social classes. People left their homeland for various reasons, some moved to escape, others for a better life. This movement lasted for the entire colonial period, reflecting different phases of the colonial policy. Even if it is not possible to give exact figure, it can be said that a large section of the population was involved. Interestingly, it emerges that the selection of a place of exile was determined by an individual’s place of origin. A similar argument can also be put forward regarding the level of integration experienced in the receiving country. One of the most important results of the exile was that migrants became increasingly aware of the fact that the Italian occupation had changed their traditional society. A new image and a new set of identities began to emerge and develop, this would ultimately replace the traditional ones.

4

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity

As discussed in the previous chapter, the beginning of the Italian fascist colonial policy in Libya in the 1920s resulted in a second large wave of emigration. At the same time, the patterns of activities among the exiles also changed. Instead of collecting arms, money and supplies in support of the ongoing primary resistance in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, they began to form political associations. It was from these new platforms that calls were made for the independence of Libya. Plans also began for the formation of an independent nation, although this varied considerably from what was ultimately implemented with the establishment of the monarchical state after independence. From the early 1930s the activities of the exile associations reached audiences further afield, as members were invited and participated in various Arab or Islamic conferences throughout the Middle East. Their voices were increasingly heard as exiles and appropriated the rhetoric and ideologies of other political movements present throughout Arab-Muslim world. Egypt became the first centre for exiled Libyan activity. This was due to Egypt’s geographical proximity, its own internal political developments and its ongoing involvement with the resistance. To understand better the role Egyptian nationalists played in the engendering political activism among the exiles, the first section briefly reviews and analyses Egyptian solidarity with the people of Tripolitanian and Cyrenaica at beginning of the Italian occupation.

Egyptian solidarity with Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican resistance Following the Italian invasion of Tripolitania, there were demonstrations and initiatives that supported fighters, in many Muslim countries; this was inspired by sympathetic feelings symbolized by a common religion. Egyptian solidarity with Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican resistance, in particular, was motivated by the fact that Libya was a neighbouring territory. Egyptians, from all social classes, showed solidarity with Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in many ways: violent press campaigns against Italy and Great Britain; anti-Italian demonstrations in Alexandria and Port Said; and volunteers were enroled as the neutrality proclaimed by Great Britain forbade the Ottoman troops to pass through the Egyptian territory and the Egyptian army to be involved in military actions.1

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From the beginning of the Italian invasion, the Egyptian press, pan-Islamic and nationalist, condemned the Italian action in Tripolitania. The most violent press campaigns against Italy came from the pan-Islamic daily newspaper al-Mu’ayyad. The editor, Shaykh ‘Ali Yusuf, carried out a vociferous campaign for the voluntary enlistment of Egyptians to fight in the resistance. He condemned the official Egyptian position of neutrality, which Great Britain had imposed on the country. Among other stories, al-Mu’ayyad dedicated a daily section to ‘news from the battlefields’. The newspaper repeatedly accused Italy of breaking international laws and revealed Italian atrocities in Tripolitania.2 The anti-Italian propaganda in nationalist circles was censored by the British who suspended the printing of several newspapers. Italy, in an attempt to modify the orientation of the Egyptian press, made financial contributions to Egyptian newspapers, including al-‘Umran and al-Akhbar, from the very beginning of their military occupation of what became Libya. Yet these efforts to win over Egyptian public opinion did not bear fruit.3 Italian activities in Tripolitania were condemned even by the Christians of Egypt, particularly by the Coptic Church. The latter, although they kept their distance from the pan-Islamic positions, rallied behind the integrity of the Ottoman Empire.4 Associations and committees spontaneously arose in Egypt in order to raise funds to support the fighters. For example, the Egyptian Association of the Red Crescent was established with the purpose of supplying medical assistance. The Egyptian Red Crescent was associated with the Red Crescent in Istanbul, which had been founded in 1877 during the war against Russia, and was modelled on the Red Cross. It was based in a room in the office of the newspaper al-Mu’ayyad, and Shaykh ‘Ali Yusuf was its president. In addition to the Red Crescent, another committee was led by Prince ‘Umar Tussun, a financial and ideological supporter of the Egyptian nationalist movement, who thus broke the political traditions of his family. His committee raised funds to aid the armed struggle against Italy.5 The Egyptian press also urgently called for people to enlist as volunteers. To begin with, people were motivated by the commonality of religion; this inspired many Muslims from many Arab countries. Furthermore, the proximity of Libya to Egypt created a far more real and tangible understanding of the situation than in other more remote supporting countries. It is hard to establish precise numbers of Egyptian volunteers. Some Arab sources claim that by the beginning of 1912 almost 70,000 Muslims had already reached the front, although this may be an exaggeration.6 Among the Egyptian volunteers, the Egyptian Major ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri was undoubtedly a remarkable figure.7 Al-Misri had joined the Turkish Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) and was one of the founding members of two well-known nationalist, irredentist associations, both secret. In 1911, before arriving in Cyrenaica, he was part of an Ottoman expedition to Yemen, an area that had resisted Ottoman centralization policy. Indeed it was due to the efforts of al-Misri, that the Ottoman Sultan and Imam Yahya of Yemen, signed an agreement. Al-Misri arrived in Cyrenaica in November 1911 and, after contacting Enver Bey, took the command of the troops, mainly drawn from the tribal population, in the area of Benghazi.8

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 71 After the ratification of the Lausanne Treaty in October 1912, ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri violated orders from the Ottoman Empire; refusing to leave the battlefield, al-Misri instead collaborated with the Sanusi while also contacting other resistance leaders. In December 1912, after Enver Bey’s departure, he took on the leadership of the troops in Cyrenaica. In June 1913, following disagreements arising with the Sanusi, al-Misri left Cyrenaica. Secret negotiations between the khedive of Egypt and the Italian authorities in order to ‘pacify’ Cyrenaica had began. ‘Abbas Hilmi pledged to send the Egyptian commander away from Cyrenaica.9 However, we learn from several letters sent by al-Misri to the khedive that ‘Abbas Hilmi had financially supported the resistance organized by the Egyptian officer in Cyrenaica.10 Al-Misri returned to Istanbul in September 1913, and a few months later he was arrested because of his actions in Benghazi. It is probable that these imputations concerning his conduct in Cyrenaica were merely a pretext, and that his arrest was connected to the formation of secret societies by Arab officers, of which al-Misri was a founding member and spiritual guide.11 The Italian invasion of Libya caused a lively reaction in literary circles in Egypt as well as in other neighbouring Arab countries. On the occasion of a charity bazaar organized by the Red Crescent, several well-known poets including Shawqi and Khalil al-Mutran, expressed their solidarity with Arab-Turkish fighters in poems they recited during the event. These works were collected and published under the title ‘Serving the Red Crescent’ in the monthly al-Hilal magazine.12 The publication of these poems emphasizes the vast cultural and social transformation process that Egypt underwent during this period. It should be noted that by that time the press had acquired a wide circulation and poets no longer addressed their poems exclusively to the narrow circle of the khedivial court but also to a wider reading public.13 In these compositions the leading leitmotiv was loyalty towards the Ottoman Empire and solidarity in the name of Islam: survival of the Ottoman state was seen to represent a victory for all Muslim people. Other famous Egyptian poets, such as ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Hafiz Ibrahim, gave voice to their dissent regarding the neutrality proclaimed by Great Britain and sympathized with the mujahidin.14 The news reported by the Egyptian press strongly influenced public opinion. In Alexandria, there were anti-Italian demonstrations after the publication of several special issues of periodicals such as al-‘Alam and Wadi al-Nil in which the ‘complete Italian defeat in Tripoli’ was announced.15 Significant Egyptian participation and involvement in the Libyan cause, along with the fact that many influential Libyans, including Idris al-Sanusi, had fled to neighbouring countries in the early 1920s allowed for the formation of the first exile associations.

Early political associations in Egypt The Sanusi may have been instrumental in the formation of the first exile associations, but, as we shall see further, political activism was mainly led by Tripolitanians. In summer 1924, the Sanusi family sponsored the establishment of the Jam‘iyya khayriyya li-khatt Libya (Charity Association for the Libyan Region). This association purportedly aimed at meeting the needs of the Libyan

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exiles in Egypt. In reality its main aim was to raise funds for the resistance in Cyrenaica. In order to hide the political nature of the association, the board members were chosen from among those who had avoided any public involvement in political activity. The chairman was Muhammad al-Qadar, an official of the royal government. Two Egyptians and two Tripolitanians were also appointed members of the board; the Egyptian nationalists Hamid al-Basil and Salih Pasha Lamlum were also secretly affiliated with this association. Italian sources report that the two Tripolitanians, Shaykh Tuhami El Tarabulsi and Shaykh ‘Ali El Tarabulsi, were both teachers at al-Azhar University and long-time residents of Egypt.16 This information is disputed and it might be that the man reported as Shaykh El-Tuhami was in fact al-Tuhami Qalisa, a notable from Misurata who participated in the Tripolitanian Republic and emigrated to Egypt only in 1924.17 Also in 1924, the Jam’iyyat ta’awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya (The Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles) was established in Cairo, which, besides including Libyans, also counted Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians among its members. The association was mainly politically orientated and according to article 3 of its statute which was concerned with defining the aims of the Cooperative Society, it was necessary to ‘facilitate relations between the Tripolitanians, the Tunisians, the Algerians, the Moroccans; [... as well as] enlighten their minds; make them aware of what the present conditions and the rules of the association required [... and] defend their rights through wise and righteous means’.18 The main motivation behind the establishment of the association was the need to strengthen the link between the exiles from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania, who were already united through language and religion.19 The association’s members were divided into three categories: first, there were active members. These included exiles from all the Maghrib countries who were committed to paying the membership fee. Second, there were collaborators, including those who supported the organization through ‘administrative, scientific or educational work’. Third, there were honorary members, who financed the Cooperative Society or ‘enlightened it by giving advice on charity and cultural matters’. Two representatives for each country were elected, who would in turn elect members and a chairman to a governing body by secret ballot. The board of directors was composed of four exiles and the association was under the control of the Egyptian government.20 At the time of its formation, despite its pan-Maghribian orientation, the Cooperative Society had an obvious Libyan inclination. This is evident through the fact that Tripolitanians seemed to be in the most powerful positions within it: ‘Ali Muhammad Shaqrun, was appointed secretary general and Salah Effendi Mabruk treasurer,21 the first was a teacher at al-Azhar and the second who arrived from the oasis of Ghadames was the owner of a big the shop in Cairo.22 In May 1924, the first branch of the main association was established in Alexandria. Led by a Tripolitanian who occupied the role of treasurer,23 it attracted many Libyan exiles residing in the city and the association soon became independent from the Cairene central branch. It laid down its own rules and was

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 73 renamed Jam’iyyat al-khayriyya al-maghribiyya bi-l-Iskandariyya (Maghribi Charitable Association in Alexandria). Keeping ties with the central association’s patronage, a special section was set up called the Committee for the Development of Culture in North Africa. This body had the task of gathering, collating and, where necessary, translating, books and articles that were related to North African history and culture. The committee also sought to promote its own image of North Africa by objecting to any publications and correcting any publications with which it disagreed. The committee’s organ was a periodical called al-Zuhra. Its governing body was composed mainly of Azhar teachers of the other Maghribian countries and Libyans had only one representative, the Tripolitanian Mahmud bin ‘Umar al-Zanzuri, who had moved to Egypt before the occupation of Tripolitania in order to study at al-Azhar.24 On 1 December 1924, the Cooperative Society amended its statute in order to preserve harmony with the Egyptian authorities; any political reference which might cause problems with the Egyptian authority was buried away. Further to this, an executive committee in charge of political action was appointed, following the advice of ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, believed to be one of the important figures in the establishment of the organization.25 Italian diplomats suspected that the Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles was promoted by Idris al-Sanusi and that it was a cover for a secretive Libyan committee. It was felt that it was not clear who these exiles from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco were, while it is well known that there were already special charity associations for them, whose establishment was promoted by French diplomatic officials.26 Italian authorities believed Idris to be planning the establishment of a Libyan committee based in Egypt which would be in charge of the resistance in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and would be divided into different branches and led by influential figures. Idris had committed himself before the Egyptian government to following the life of a private citizen, in his own words ‘I was granted political asylum in Egypt, subject to an undertaking not to engage in any activity against the Italian rule in Libya and not to leave the Nile Delta’.27 The appointment of individuals well known for their links with the Sanusiyya would have meant disclosing the political nature of the association. Hence, the need to establish the above mentioned Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles as a cover. Nonetheless, due to the presence of Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans within the association, it shifted its attention from the support to the Libyan resistance to the claims of the other Maghribian countries and increasingly directed its aid to the victims of the Rif War in Morocco.28 In January 1925, a new association was established.29 It was named al-Rabita al-tarabulusiyya (the Tripolitanian Bond) by analogy with Jam‘iyyat al-Rabita al-sharqiyya (the Society of the Eastern Bond), which had been founded in 1922. This Egyptian association aimed at the promotion of ties between Eastern peoples and its activities were oriented towards Arab issues. It was an expression of that Egyptian nationalist tendency sometimes called ‘Easternism’, which, as has been argued ‘represented a continuation of the pre-war Ottoman/Islamic orientation that had prevailed in Egypt; in another [sense] it was an anticipation of the Arab regional orientation that was to take its place from the 1930s onward’.30

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In 1928, the Society of Eastern Bond began publication of a review, Majallat al-rabita al-sharqiyya, which on more than one occasion reported the Italian atrocities in Libya.31 This interest in the Libyan issue can be ascribed to the fact that some of the activists or financial sponsors of the Society of the Eastern Bond, such as Prince ‘Umar Tussun, were among he promoters of the Tripolitanian Bond. Egyptian nationalists played a very significant role in the formation of the Tripolitanian Bond: the house of ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam served as a clandestine meeting place for the association and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Aziz Jawish, the well-known publicist of the Egyptian Nationalist Party, was one of its founding members. The association operated largely in secret, as it did not have official permission to operate in Egypt. In fact, Libyans whom the Egyptian authorities considered to be Italian were not allowed to join the association. This was due to the fact that many Libyans saw those Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans who had registered with Italian consulates in Egypt to have become collaborators with the occupation of their country. ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam established links between the new association and with the Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles.32 The first result of the joint activities was that money that had been collected from Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles to finance resistance in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica was allocated to the latest exiles who arrived in Egypt, the majority of whom were from Tarhuna, as they lived in poor conditions and had begun to ask the Italian consulate to be repatriated.33

Support of Egyptian nationalists As we have seen, the exile associations were supported by leaders from the Wafd Party of the calibre of ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam and Hamid al-Basil, and Salih Pasha Lamlum. In order to understand the influence of these men on the activities of the exiles, it is essential to understand that Egyptian nationalists were involved in the Libyan question from the beginning of the Italian occupation. In 1911, the Egyptian nationalist Muhammad Farid, who was in London, organized a series of lectures to draw the attention of the British people to the Italian aggression. He asked the Egyptian Nationalist Party to help organize the resistance in Libya. From Istanbul he also distributed leaflets to Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, in which he urged for an economic boycott of the Italy.34 Ahmad Lutfi al-Sayyid, from the Umma Party, was the only voice against the idea of gathering funds. In October 1911, in the newspaper al-Jarida, Lutfi al-Sayyid published three articles entitled ‘Siyasat al-manafi‘ la siyasat al-‘awatif’ (‘The Politics of Pragmatism, not a Politics of Emotion’), in which he invited Egyptians to respect Egypt’s neutrality, using economic reasoning. Lutfi al-Sayyid’s position remained an isolated one and the other members of the party asked him to temporarily leave the newspaper, although he did not acquiesce.35 Italy tried to pacify Cyrenaica through the role of mediation, which was led by some leading Egyptian nationalists. In September 1912, a mediation proposal came from Ibrahim Jawish, brother of ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who was very close to Muhammad Farid. From the beginning of the Italo-Turkish conflict,

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 75 ‘Abd al-‘Aziz and his brothers, had organized the smuggling of weapons from Egypt to Cyrenaica.36 Ibrahim Jawish proposed to collaborate with Italy after the arrest of his brother in Istanbul and his extradition to Egypt. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz had been arrested because the khedival representative and the British in Istanbul had accused him of having taken part in a conspiracy against the khedive and having distributed illegal anti-British propaganda material in Egypt.37 Ibrahim Jawish offered his help to Italy in the arrest of the Ottoman official Enver Bey to further a personal vendetta against Turkey. Ibrahim Jawish’s only demand was that Italian colonial citizenship would be granted to him and his brothers, but the Italian authorities did not take Jawish’s offer seriously as he was well known for despising of the British.38 Another offer of collaboration made to the Italians came from Yahya Bey Siddik, a judge at the local indigenous court in Port Said who had previously supported smuggling in Cyrenaica.39 He claimed to be the spokesman on behalf of a number of unidentified nationalists. Yahya Bey Siddik, proposed to pacify Cyrenaica with the help of ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri. He claimed that both Great Britain and the khedive hindered the Italian action in Libya. In exchange, he asked Italy to arm thousands of Bedouins who, under the leadership of the Sanusi, would invade Egypt.40 The proposal was not the outcome of any feeling of sympathy towards Italian action, but rather the result of Egyptian nationalist claims, which intended to use Italy in its fight against Great Britain. His long report emphasized that both Great Britain and the khedive had not stopped the smuggling of arms and food across the frontier between Egypt and Cyrenaica.41 During the first months of 1914 another mediation proposal between the Italian authorities and the Sanusi arrived from Selim Bey Fu’ad, a member of the CUP.42 It is probable that this offer was planned in Istanbul. It aimed to use the money collected in Egypt to support the Libyan resistance for different purposes, as well as to obtain financial benefits from the Italian government and, above all, to depreciate the khedive’s prestige.43 ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, who is unanimously considered to be one of the first Arab nationalists by historians, resided in Libya between 1915 and 1923, and was therefore in close proximity to the mujahidin. In his biography of ‘Azzam’s life up to 1936 written by Ralph M. Coury, descriptions of ‘Azzam’s role in Libya are detailed.44 ‘Azzam arrived in Cyrenaica from Egypt in December 1915 in order to participate with Nuri Bey and a group of Ottoman officials who aimed to form a Sanusi army to fight the British. After the Sanusiyya signed the Pact of Akrama in 1917, ‘Azzam and Nuri Bey shifted their focus to Tripolitania, where they sought to establish a centralized authority; indeed, ‘Azzam was one of the main promoters of the Tripolitanian Republic, which as seen previously was established in 1919. Coury has rightly argued that ‘Azzam’s editorials in the newspaper al-Liwa’ al-tarabulsi, which was published between 1919 and 1923, and was the main organ of the Hizb al-islah al-watani (National Reform Party), which was formed after the promulgation of the Fundamental Laws, can be considered to be the starting point of his vision of the Arab nation (Arabism). From the pages of al-Liwa’ ‘Azzam called for unity in the anticolonial

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struggle in the name of a Tripolitanian nation (umma) linked to the Arab one. His appeals had no effect neither on the resistance nor on the production of a theorical elaboration on the issue of the nation in those years. Although described as ‘a newspaper of the people’45 was read amongst very small groups of elites and ‘Azzam’s ideas of a new national identity, which was influenced by the Egyptian experience, sounded meaningless because it did not reflect the situation on the ground in Tripolitania. ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam’s ideas on nationalism had little influence in Tripolitania during the 1920s. Later, ‘Azzam’s ideas were influential among exile circles in Egypt. From the 1920s, the Egyptian nationalists had consistently influenced the political activity of the exiles and contributed to the development of their political culture through their direct and indirect support to the exiles’ associations. In any case, their support was motivated by different reasons: the Egyptian nationalists Hamid al-Basil and Salih Pasha Lamlum were both from Cyrenaica and belonged to those Bedouin tribes of Cyrenaica that had moved to Egypt in the second half of the nineteenth century. They had, through land donations and by purchasing land, become big landowners. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Lamlum family was one of the main landowners in the Minya region.46 Hamid al-Basil, head of the Rima’, a branch of the Fawayd tribes, was one of the first members of the Wafd. In 1919, he was exiled to Malta with Sa‘d Zaghlul and was a member of the Wafd delegation to Paris and London in 1920. Later in 1924, he acted as vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies, and was vice-president of the Wafd until November 1932.47 The nationalist groups in Egypt rallied in order to prevent the Italians from occupying the oasis of Jarabub. Al-Basil allegedly agreed with Idris al-Sanusi on a mutual action with regard to Jarabub. It is probable that the Sanusiyya tried to show that they had revitalized the oasis of Jarabub, and that it was part of the waqf proprieties. This provided Libyan resistance with the necessary means.48 Hamid al-Basil and the Wafd Party also sought to persuade the Sanusi to carry out anti-British propaganda in Sudan,49 by giving him in exchange the means to carry on the anti-colonial struggle.50 It remains an open question, as to whether the Egyptian nationalists supported Libyan demands for independence because they recognized a shared idea of a ‘Libyan’ nation, or whether their support was an act of solidarity articulating an agenda of ‘Arab unity’, a unity which would be led by Egypt. The latter supposition is quite well founded. For example, by 1924 Hamid al-Basil made a suggestion to the Italian authorities to unite Tripolitania with Cyrenaica into an independent principality. The government would be assigned to a Prince of the Egyptian ruling family, and would be chosen by the Kings of Italy and Egypt. It proposed that all the Sanusi tribes would come under the government of the Kingdom of Egypt. The Italian Government would forgo all rights to interfere in the united Libyan principality’s internal affairs, but it would keep the right to represent it abroad. The internal administration of the two provinces of the principality would be independent; the principality would have its own flag and a national militia.51 Nevertheless, both the Italian and the British diplomatic authorities in Egypt suspected that al-Basil’s support for the exiles in the

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 77 al-Fayyum area was mainly derived from his own attempts to speculate on his own lands. Indeed, 3,700 feddans of his and his brother, ‘Abd al-Sattar property, was heavily mortgaged52 and he sought to sell out or to grant the exiles only unproductive land.53

Associationism in Syria Despite associationism beginning among the exiles in Egypt, the most important Libyan exiles association was founded in Damascus in October 1925. Until then, exiles had been mostly engaged in supporting the armed struggle in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. After the rise of fascism, many more people emigrated to Syria. It was agreed among the Libyans who had already settled in Syria and the new exiles, that collectively they should constitute a new front. First, for the political struggle against Italy and second, to support the armed struggle in Libya. On the 14th anniversary of the Italian occupation, the most authoritative people of the Libyan exiles’ community got together. These included Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, Naji al-Turki,54 ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Bajiqani,55 Fawzi al-Na‘as,56 Mansur Qadara,57 ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib,58 Husayn Zafir bin Musa,59 Tariq al-al-Ifriqi,60 al-Hadi al-Ra’is,61 Mustafa Badr al-Din62 and Fahmi al-Hashani.63 They decided, to form an organization for the purpose of mobilizing the Libyan exiles colony in Syria for political resistance against Italy, naming themselves al-Jaliyya al-tarabulusiyya bi-Suriya (the Tripolitanian Colony in Syria). The organization remained largely secret as Syrian laws forbade civil servants from engaging in political activity and most members would be unable to survive without their low state salaries. Fawzi al-Na‘as was appointed secretary general on the basis that he was young, unmarried and his family only consisted of an older brother, and his mother. Al-Na‘as’s house became the secret headquarters of the group. The organization was soon able to create a close net of contacts among the exiles and to raise funds. Moreover, they started to spread news about the Libyan resistance, and to denounce the infamies of fascism in Libya through the Syrian press.64 Their activity was kept secret until 1928, when Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib retired from civil service. In that year the association also changed its name into al-Lajna al-tanfidhiyya li-l-jaliyyat al-tarabulusiyya al-barqawiyya (the Executive Committee of Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican Communities [ECTCC]). The new title, which included Cyrenaica, proclaimed the association’s desire to represent all Libyans. The Tripolitanian Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was chosen as leader of the association. ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib was appointed secretary, while Fawzi al-Na‘as was placed in charge of information, with Hadi al-Ra’is as treasurer. The names of al-Na‘as and al-Ra’is never officially emerged as they were still civil servants and had been previously engaged in the armed struggle.65 From 1928 on, the political activity of the association, and more generally the activity of the exiles in Syria, was closely bound to Bashir al-Sa‘dawi. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was a key figure in the all issues concerning the creation of a national Libyan identity. A biography of this political figure has never been written. It is therefore necessary, to open a relatively long parenthesis on the subject: the reconstruction of this

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biography – like that of other characters of exiled Libyans – highlights the complexity of the experience of the exile. Moreover, Bashir al-Sa‘dawi played a relevant role after the Second World War. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was born in Khoms in 1884. His family, according to Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, descended from the Aghlabites who settled in North Africa in the ninth century. His grandfather, who was katib during the reign of Ahmed al Qaramanli (1793–1832), mediated between ‘Abd al-Jalil and the Ottoman authorities. His father, Ibrahim, who was also an officer of the public administration, died in 1886, and Bashir and his elder brothers Nuri and Ahmad (who died in Egypt in 1919), were raised by his uncle Mukhtar. Bashir received a traditional education, having studied the Qur’an in a Sanusi zawiya, and later continued his studies in the rushdiyya school at Khoms. In the zawiya he learnt about the propaganda of the Young Turks, which had success in influencing some members of the al-Sa‘dawi family but, as Shukri argues, it is possible that when they joined the programme of the Young Turks, they were unaware of the consequences that it would have brought about. The only thing that members of the al-Sa‘dawi family knew for a fact, was that the Young Turks were against the establishment. In 1908, Bashir was appointed first secretary of the majlis al-idara’, the Ottoman provincial council, at Khoms and later qa’immaqam of the Sahil al-Ahamid area. Shukri claims that in the period prior to the Italian occupation, Bashir started to cultivate feelings of nationalism (qawmiyya) and patriotism (wataniyya), in a way that was allowed by the political organization of the Ottoman Empire and without broaching the subject of separation from the Caliphate.66 While he was certainly part of the Tripolitanian intelligentsia of the period, it would be wrong to consider Bashir and the other notables of the time as ‘very prominent nationalist leaders’.67 In this period Bashir’s thoughts were influenced greatly by his readings, the promulgation of the Ottoman constitution and by the danger of an Italian invasion. As a result of this, Bashir and the mutasarrif of Khoms were among the first to understand Italy’s colonial ambitions and informed their representatives in parliament about the threat from Italy in 1908. In 1910–11, at the eve of the Italian occupation, a mission was conducted by the Italian Count Ascanio Michele Sforza and the engineer Ignazio Sanfilippo, for the purpose of carrying out mineralogical research as well as to ascertain the feelings of the Arab leaders. To coincide with the mission, Bashir organized a meeting which was attended by tribal chiefs and representatives of the towns, where a decision was made to boycott all the activities of the Banco di Roma.68 During the occupation of Tripolitania, Bashir and his brother Nuri participated in the formation of a resistance front. After the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne, Bashir was one of the first people who went into exile. Leaving Tripolitania by ship in November, he stopped over in Haifa, where Bashir met the qa’immaqam of Haifa and made him aware of the question of exiles. It was subsequently suggested that the Libyans should head for Damascus. Bashir stayed

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 79 in Haifa until all the Tripolitanians had left the port. After a short stay in Aleppo at the beginning of 1913, he arrived in Istanbul and fostered close relations with Enver Bey and other members of the CUP, along with the Egyptian nationalist ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Jawish. A few months later, he and his brother Nuri left Istanbul. Nuri settled in Beirut and obtained a post in the public administration, while Bashir settled in Riza, by the Black Sea, and was appointed deputy mutasarrif. In this town he relied on the support of the former mutasarrif of Khoms, who had moved there during the Italo-Turkish war. While in Riza, Bashir met some of his former teachers and completed his studies which introduced him for the first time to the work of Jurji Zaydan and the study of Islamic history.69 It was during the time between his exile and the outbreak of the First World War that al-Sa‘dawi began to elucidate his ideas about Tripolitania. His close contact with various Arab nationalists, as well as the turbulence within the Ottoman Empire, strongly influenced al-Sa‘dawi who began to think of Tripolitania not only in terms of an immediate resistance movement to colonial rule, but also in terms of the future of the entire region. At the beginning of the First World War Bashir travelled to Istanbul via Beirut. The city was in political turmoil due to the sedition of the Decentralization Party which demanded the independence of the Arab provinces within the Ottoman Empire. This strongly influenced Bashir who became familiar here with ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Inglizi and ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Zahrawi, two activists of the Decentralization Party.70 Returning to Istanbul in 1914 where he met the Egyptian nationalist Muhammad Farid, Bashir was contacted by Enver Pasha, the minister of war. Enver requested that Bashir and his brother Nuri return to Tripolitania in order to urge its inhabitants to back the Ottoman Empire during the war. Bashir denied this request, claiming that the proclamation of jihad by Sultan Muhammad V on 11 November 1914 was against Russia, Great Britain and France and did not include Italy. It became clear at this point that the Ottoman Empire was increasingly irrelevant to Bashir. In 1915, Bashir was appointed qa’immaqam at Yanbu al-Bahr, in the Hejaz, but after the Arab Revolt and the subsequent British occupation of the area, in 1917 he moved to Damascus. The following year he was appointed qa’immaqam of the locality of Janin in Lebanon, and became the first Muslim to hold this office in an area inhabited largely by Christians.71 Indeed, turmoil raged throughout the region as the Ottoman Empire disintegrated and the British and French sought to carve up their spheres of influence. A series of war agreements were concluded throughout this period beginning with the Hussein–MacMahon correspondence in 1915. Sir Henry MacMahon, the British High Commissioner, implied that the British would recognize an independent Arab State, except for Lebanon and unspecified French interests. Similarly, the Sykes–Picot agreement of 1916 and the famous Balfour Declaration of 1917, highlight the turbulent and changing nature of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The real involvement of Bashir in the Libyan issue can be dated back to 1918. Following the withdrawal of Ottoman forces form Cyrenaica and Tripolitania at the end of the war, Bashir made contacts with Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi, who, from late August 1918, was in exile in Istanbul. Bashir intended

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to pose the question of the Italian occupation to the Peace Conference being held in Paris. Indeed, he believed that the future of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica should not be bound to that of the Ottoman Empire, especially since the occupation had been a military one and that the Empire had signed the Treaty of Lausanne without consulting the inhabitants of the area about their destiny.72 This proposal could not meet the approval of Ahmad al-Sharif who during the war had allied himself to the Sultan, and ‘[n]aively, he believed that, although defeated, his two allies, the Caliph and the Germans, would either be able to guarantee sufficient leverage in the peace talks to push for his cause or provide material backing for the continuation of this resistance at a later date’.73 Ahmad al-Sharif believed that the question of the future of the regions was one for the Ottoman authorities to discuss. Despite Bashir having travelled to Paris, the Ottoman representatives refused to present his question, arguing that what was being discussed was the destiny of the Empire as a whole.74 In early September 1920, Bashir and his brother Nuri returned to Tripolitania. The reasons behind this return were twofold: first, post-war colonial policy, which seemed to have shifted towards a collaboration with natives. It is worthwhile to recall that this was the period of the proclamation of the Tripolitanian Republic and of the promulgation by Italians of the Fundamental Laws, from which arose the expectation that resistance to the colonial occupation required not only armed resistance but strong political organization as well. Second, Bashir’s return to Tripolitania was to appease the controversies among the tribes.75 The clash which placed two leaders of the resistance ‘Abd al-Nabi Bilkhayr and Ramadan al-Suwayhli, of the Committee of Reform of the Tripolitanian Republic, against each other from the very beginning of the Italian occupation, descended into an armed conflict which resulted in the killing of Ramadan al-Suwayhli on 24 August 1920. An authoritative Libyan historian, Aghil Barbar has called this intertribal fight of 1920 a ‘civil war’ and considers that it marked ‘the beginning of the end for the resistance movement in the Tripoli region’.76 Bashir participated in the Conference of Gharyan, promoted by ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, with the purpose of stopping intertribal conflict.77 The conference took place in Jabal Gharyan in November 1920 and brought together the most influential Tripolitanian notables and chiefs.78 The appointment of an important committee concluded the conference. The committee, Hay’at al-islah al-markaziyya, Central Reform Committee, had the task to enter negotiations with the Italian government for the implementation of the Fundamental Laws of 1919 and the election of a local government elected by the people under a Muslim chief with religious, civil and military powers.79 Shukri argues that this request was not directed yet towards creating a leadership under Idris al-Sanusi, as it was claimed later, but rather meant that a Tripolitanian government would operate.80 Bashir was elected as a member of the Reform Central Committee, which in the first month of 1921 sent to Rome a delegation to present their request to the Italian government. They were not successful, as the Minister of the Colonies did not acknowledge them as the sole representatives of the entire leadership and populations of Tripolitania. Indeed, a separate delegation formed by the Italian governor

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 81 in Tripoli and consisting of notables who were in collaboration with the Italians arrived in Rome at the same time.81 After the failure of the delegation, the Reform Central Committee leaders convened to re-draw their strategies. Although there were disagreements within the committee itself, it was understood that in order to oppose the colonial occupation and get results it was necessary not only to appease the internal controversies but also the regional. Between December 1921 and January 1922, there were meetings among the representatives of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, which led to the signing of the Sirte Charter on 22 January 1922. It was in the fifth article of this charter that we find the phrase: ‘the two sides see that the interest of the nation and the necessity of defence against a common enemy make it incumbent to unite the leadership in the country’. Coury draws attention on the fact that although Idris the Sanusi was not mentioned the Charter signified the ‘triumph of the pro-Sanusi position’.82 Indeed, soon after this agreement Bashir took the step to promote the ‘first act of loyalty’ (bay’a) of Tripolitanians towards Idris al-Sanusi, which in November 1922 the Reform Central Committee presented to Idris.83 In 1922, Bashir, with ‘Uthman al-Qizzani, was only able to publish 7–8 editions of al-Balagh, a clandestine newspaper which wanted to be the mouthpiece of the Reform Central Committee. The two-page newspapers were printed in manuscript form.84 With the resuming of military action in Tripolitania in September 1923 Bashir left Tripolitania and sought refuge in Alexandria for several months. In May 1924, after he had been sentenced, in absentia, to death by an Italian court, Bashir left to Beirut where his brother Nuri had settled. He later left from Beirut to Damascus where he stayed until 1938.85 Bashir Al-Sa‘dawi is important not only because of his life as a political activist and as a committed thinker, but also because he was the sine qua non initiator of the Libyan association of exiled anticolonial militants. In this sense, any discussion concerning the exiles association would be redundant without a detailed and investigative discussion of him and his activities. The activity and scope of the association of the Libyan colony in Syria will now be examined as this marked a turning point in the formulation of Libyan nationalism.

The national charter and the transnational activity Under al-Sa‘dawi’s leadership, the activity of the ECTCC became an effective organization, fighting for the independence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. In early 1929, the association drew up its first manifesto entitled ‘National Covenant of the Tripolitanian and the Cyrenaican People’. This should be considered to be the first national charter, as it was explicitly stated that the nation which was being referred to, with the term umma, was formed by Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The charter embodied the aims to: 1. Set up a national government that was led by a Muslim, chosen by the community (umma) who would exercise sovereignty over Tripolitania and Cyrenaica;

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2. Give a constitution to the nation by convening an assembly to draft a constitution for the country; 3. Elect a committee responsible for reforms; 4. Introduce Arabic as the sole official and educational language; 5. Safeguard Islam and the local traditions; 6. Administer the waqf proprieties through the election of an Islamic commission; 7. Grant general amnesty for all those accused of political crimes; 8. Improve relations with the Italian authorities.86 The claims of the charter reflected the demands that Libyans had advanced during the Conference of Gharyan and the negotiations which followed in 1922. It aims clearly held similarities to other Arab countries subjected to League of Nations Mandates. The national charter also included guidelines on which the exiles in Syria based their political struggle. These mainly consisted of making the Arab and Muslim public opinion aware of the situation in Libya through the use of the press, various publications, and the khutba that took place in mosques on Fridays. The establishment of contacts between the Arab political leaders and the international organizations were also deemed to be important in the struggle. Indeed, during the early days, the association’s main activities consisted of a propagating a vast information campaign.87 In 1929, it produced a nine pages pamphlet entitled Call to the Muslim world from the oppressed people of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica,88 and it later also circulated other similar leaflets.89 Until the first months of 1929 the exiles succeeded in working as a secret society. Indeed, in June 1929, the Italian consul in Damascus considered the news of the charter as well as a Libyan association in Damascus as unfounded. He believed that most exiles in Syria were not involved in politics.90 Indeed this fact reveals the weakness of the Italian information services especially, if the activities of the Italian journal, Oriente Moderno, are considered. The journal, during this same period, had begun to uncover the activities of the Libyan exiles, which was regularly published under the section ‘miscellaneous’. It directly published letters sent by exiles to the journal’s editorial office and news reported by the Arab press.91 During this period, the association did not limit its activities to the denouncing of the colonial occupation but also tried to enter dialogue with Italians. Contacts between the ECTCC and the Italian consular authorities were finally fostered between June and July 1929 at a meeting in Damascus.92 As previously discussed, a truce was reached between Marshal Badoglio, Governor of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, the main leader of the resistance in Cyrenaica. On this occasion the association sent a letter to Mussolini, in which it made its requests and proposed itself as a mediator with the resistance leaders. This document reveals that the ECTCC believed that the struggle against the colonial occupation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica should be carried on together; in fact, they stated that ‘not only does our nation (umma) wish to live freely in that territory, geographically and historically known as Tripolitania and Cyrenaica’, but ‘the people (umma) of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica takes pride

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 83 in their own nationality (qawmiyya) and we demand a general peace, not only in Cyrenaica, which constitutes an undividable part of Tripolitania’.93 On more than one occasion, the association stated that the nation, which should be understood here as the traditional umma, since the term watan used by Arab nationalist to indicate the nation, or sometimes homeland, was not in use yet, had to be considered as one unified territory which was geographically and historically known as Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Similarly, this early documentation does not mention the word Libya to indicate Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, taken as an integral territory; instead, the phraseology referred to a Cyrenaican-Tripolitanian nation. It was during these years that al-Sa‘dawi succeeded in making contacts with exiles in Tunisia. This was partly due to the mediation of Tunisian nationalists of the Destour Party including, Abdelaziz Thaalbi and Mohieddine Klibi who, like the Egyptian and Syrian nationalists, were interested in the Libyan question. Similarly, the Tunisian press also began to publish news concerning the Libyan jihad.94 In an open letter, published on 17 October 1929 in the Tunisian periodical al-Sawab, Bashir al-Sa‘dawi urged the Libyan exiles in Tunisia to join forces and fight for the independence of their own nation. Muhammad ‘Abbas al-Misurati, Muhammad ‘Umar al-Sharadi al-Rahibi and Mahmud ‘Ali al-Zintani, all students of the Zitouna University, as well as Ahmad Zarim, an employee in an agricultural company, were the first to respond to al-Sa‘dawi’s call.95 After intense exchanges with al-Sa‘dawi and other appeals to the exiles published in the Tunisian press, a branch of the ECTCC, with its ranks filled by Libyan exiles as well as numerous Tunisians was established in Tunis, on the 10 October 1931.96 The governing committee was composed of 12 members and was divided into three divisions: political, administrative and diffusion, which mainly dealt with propaganda.97 Since the members of the association soon started to be monitored by the police, they decided to use mosques as a meeting point for the exiles.98 ECTCC led by al-Sa‘dawi were also concerned with the practical, daily difficulties of life faced by the Libyan community living in Syria. In 1930, a Damascus-based charitable society was established to assist Algerians distributing clothes and flour to the poorest Tripolitanian families, particularly during the ‘Id al-adha Muslim religious festival. Al-Sa‘dawi, who was in touch with other Maghribians settled in Damascus, put forward the idea to establish a charity association on behalf of all Maghribians. In May of the same year, during a meeting of the Algerian charitable society mentioned above, in which some Tripolitanians, Tunisians and Moroccans also participated, a Society for Islamic Charitable purposes, with a remit for all Maghribians, was established. In June 1931 this new charitable association elected the Tripolitanians Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Bajiqani as the association chairman and secretary, respectively. The vice-chairman was a Tunisian and although Sa‘dawi had been the major proponent of the society, the majority of the members were Algerian. The society had a short life, which was likely influenced by the Italian consulate who exercised pressure on some of the Tripolitanian members of the association to withdraw, ultimately leading to its dissolution.99 Many Libyans belonging to the wealthier classes had obtained Syrian citizenship, due to their being civil

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employees of the Ottoman government. Yet in 1931 the Libyan community in Syria included approximately 500 people who were registered with the Italian consulate; these persons were regarded as colonial Libyan subjects and were under the control of the Italian consular authorities, they were, in the main, labourers and peasants. Moreover, there were also approximately 200 people without a fixed dwelling who lived in precarious conditions. The main concern of these people was to make ends meet. Al-Sa‘dawi’s charitable support of these people served the purpose of attracting people away from Italian influence. To counteract these measures, the Italian consulate put forward a proposal for subsidies to be given to the most indigent Libyans. The government of Tripolitania refused the proposal as the budget of the colony could not bear ‘any new burdens’; it deemed it sufficient to regularly send copies of the Arabic newspapers that contained articles with pro-Italian orientations to Syria and distribute them among the exiles to combat the initiatives of Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’ and his followers.100

ECTCC activity and anti-Italian publications The execution of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar in September 1931 and the ‘pacification’ of Cyrenaica that followed deeply affected the Libyan communities in exile, adding a new impetus and impulse to their activities which were mainly based on the internationalization of the Libyan issue, through lively anti-Italian propaganda and heavy reliance on its connection with the more general search for an Arab nation. In December 1931, the ECTCC, represented by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and Tariq al-Ifriqi, took part in the Islamic Congress in Jerusalem.101 The main aim of the Islamic Congress, promoted by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, was to make the Muslim public opinion aware of the Palestinian question. This was not the first pan-Islamic congress of the twentieth century, as besides the Congresses of Pilgrimage, which took place at Mecca in August 1922 and July 1924, two other significant congresses had been held in Cairo and Mecca in 1926. However, as Uri M. Kupferschmidt has remarked, the Islamic Congress of Jerusalem was important because it ‘was not only a most important manifestation of pan-Islamism, it also became inevitably an encounter between pan-Islamism and pan-Arabism’.102 The congress, which took place between 7 and 16 December, had approximately 150 participants, the vast majority of whom were people of status, including the Indian Muhammad Allam Iqbal, the Tunisian Abdelaziz Thaaalbi and the Egyptian Rashid Rida. The congress stressed the need to defend the Islamic world from western imperialism and in the last session a resolution was approved that asserted that every type of colonialism was incompatible with the principles of Islam. The congress resolved to establish a Muslim university in Jerusalem and to appoint a permanent secretariat in charge of the organization of a Muslim conference every two years. It is probable that due to financial constraints, no other Muslim congresses were summoned.103 During the congress the ECTCC, for the first time in an international context, presented a document which contained the primary claims of the Libyan exiles. The report began by retracing the main measures of the Italian occupation, emphasizing the changes in its colonial policy due to fascism and listing the negative effects of the

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 85

Figure 4.1 The ECCTT delegation with the General Islamic Conference delegates, Jerusalem, December 1931–January 1932, No. 5 Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, No. 13 Tariq al-Ifriqi. (Hassan M. Eltaher private collection.)

Italian presence; including a population decrease from one and half million inhabitants to 700,000 and the increase in the illiteracy rate. In its second part, the report announced the association’s requests which mirrored those stated in the National Covenant of 1929.104 During the congress, ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam publicly denounced the Italian atrocities in Libya, leading to his expulsion from Palestine by the British High Commissioner, after a request from Italy. Italy, which was afraid of anti-Italian demonstrations, after having tried unsuccessfully to persuade Great Britain not to authorize the congress,105 organized a surveillance of some of its participants through the help of several other participants such as Karim Thabit, editor and chief of the Egyptian newspaper al-Muqattam.106 After the congress Bashir al-Sa‘dawi published a pamphlet which aimed to awaken feelings of a common national identity among the Libyan exiles and as a consequence, to ensure the possibility for Libyan associations to be established in every Arab country.107

The exiles in Syria: between reorganization and internal divisions The participation at the Islamic congress marked the beginning of a new phase in the political activities of the Libyan community in Syria and prompted them to update their programme, and also resulted in the first general assembly of all the members of the ECTCC. The assembly, which was held on 5 April 1932, agreed

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to change its name to Jam‘iyyat al-difa‘ al-tarabulusi al-barqawi (Association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica [ADTC]) and confirmed its former leadership, which besides Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, Fawzi al-Na’as, Mansur Qadara and al-Hadi al-Ra’is, also included Kamil ‘Ayyad and ‘Abd al Ghani al-Bajiqani. The first plenary session also saw the participation of a few representative of the Tunisian nationalist Destour Party. This is further proof that contact with the nationalists from other Arab countries was crucially important in formulating the political discourse of the Libyan exiles. The assembly agreed to institute an annual commemoration for ‘Umar al-Mukhtar and the beginning of the Italian occupation. It also resolved to extend contacts with other Arab and Muslim international organizations, as well as publish documentation with the purpose of making the international public opinion aware of the Libyan struggle and eventually to promote a boycott Italian goods. In an attempt to internationalize the Libyan question, the association made important contacts with European political parties and organizations. To begin with, contact was established with an Arab-Spanish association in Madrid. This association, which main aim was to promote ties between the Arabs and the Europeans, included prominent Arab nationalists such as Skakib Arslan who, it will see in the next chapter was deeply involved in the Libyan issue, and the Moroccan ‘Allal al-Fasi. Likely this association arose along with the opening of the School of Arabic Studies of Madrid created in 1932 to promote Arabic studies in Spain. Contact was also established with a French association for the defence of human rights as well as with the anti-fascist party, which had been established in Paris in spring 1927 by several Italian parties and organizations.108 Coinciding with the King of Italy’s visit in Egypt from 20 February to 10 March 1933, the Association sent an open letter in which it denounced the fascist atrocities that had occurred in Libya. While many newspapers in Syria and Palestine published the letter, this was not the case in Egypt, indeed a large number of exiles had been imprisoned during the royal visit in order to lessen the risk to the king from being target of attacks.109 In these years the association focused on a strong anti-Italian propaganda campaign, which was thought to be the only way to make public opinion aware of the Libyan situation. The first important publication of this period was the book al-Faza’i‘ al-suwd wa-l-humr aw al-tamdin bi-l-hamid wa-l-nar. al-Halqa al-‘ula (The Black and Red Atrocities: Civilisation through Iron and Fire).110 It is likely that the idea came from Shakib Arslan who suggested that the association should document and make known the atrocities committed by the Italians during the occupation. A committee was formed to collect the documentation which was composed of ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Bajiqani, Fawzi al-Na‘as, ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib and Kamil ‘Ayyad. The testimonies were collected through an intense exchange of letters between committee members and the exiles residing in other countries.111 The book was published in Damascus, at the printing shop of Nasuh Babayl, the owner of the daily newspaper al-Ayyam.112 It was signed as Committee for the Documentation of Atrocities and it was undoubtedly the result of the effort of all the members of the association. Despite this, two subsequent editions of

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 87 anthologies of national authors, published in independent Libya have respectively cited that the book was written by ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib and Bashir al-Sa‘dawi.113 Immediately after the title page and the picture of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, the 115-page volume contains a page with the dedication: We dedicate this work particularly to the young people of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and to future generations so that they may avenge their nation, their people, their religion, and to remember the atrocities and hand those memories down to their descendants. We also dedicate it to all those who believe that the West brought civilisation to the East, so that they may learn from the neighbour’s experiences and may be ready to reject the assault of the West. The introduction is divided into two parts and includes the heading: ‘the preparations of the Italians for the aggression’,114 which described the initiatives of pacific penetration, and ‘the tragic aggression’, which reports the ultimatum to the Sublime Porte that was issued in 1911,115 as well as atrocities committed by the Italians. The included testimonies describe three different types of atrocities committed by the Italians: first, crimes committed by Italian troops against civilians. For instance on 12 October 1911: [T]he mujahidin, under the leadership of some Ottoman officials, assaulted the Italian camp. They fought until morning, and then withdrew. When the Italian reinforcements arrived and found that many Italians had been killed, they raged against the unarmed inhabitants, thinking that they were responsible for the death of the soldiers; a groundless suspicion. According to different reports, they imprisoned and then killed from 4,000 to 7,000 people. They ravaged many women and took about 900 people prisoner and deported them; hundreds of people were led to the school of arts and crafts which was used as a prison.116 Second, crimes committed against women: ‘the Italians have raped many women in the coast towns, where the Italian flag had already been waving, and they have not desisted from committing such atrocities’.117 Similarly, When the fascists occupied a village they filled the ground with the blood of its inhabitants. They killed more than one thousand men in Jafara, Zliten, Msellata and Misurata. They hanged 7 women of Jafara after having undressed them and they left them there for 7 days.118 And third, offensive acts towards Islam: ‘the Italians destroyed without any reason the Sidi ‘Aziz mosque at al-Qana’ih, near Derna; this act offended the sentiments of the Muslims enormously’;119 ‘at Benghazi, they imprisoned and killed the Shaykh Salih al-‘Awami, a 90-year-old man accused of being a rebel, and they abandoned him in an unknown place; with the same accusation they also killed

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many other ‘ulama’.120 The publication concludes with an address to the Islamic world, in which all Muslims are invited to reflect upon the fact that the events in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica affect and should therefore include all Muslims.121 The book’s publication was possible due to donations made by Libyan exiles, and had a large circulation in the Arab-Muslim world. According to Bin Musa, 20,000 copies of the book were printed,122 but this figure may well be misleading. Conversely, however, Italian diplomatic documents state that the book had a limited circulation and had not been distributed in Palestine at all.123 The committee in charge of the publication assigned Shakib Arslan to oversee the French translation of the book after the Egyptian Prince ‘Umar Tussun, had provided special funds which he had been given directly to Arslan. Arslan assigned the translation to an Algerian intellectual, who lived in Berlin. Yet the book was never translated into French after Arslan squandered the money. Instead, the association translated selected sections which were circulated in Europe in the form of flyers.124 There remained a general tendency within Italian official circles to underestimate the activities of the exiles and the association was not considered as an organized threat. For instance, Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was deemed to be as a mere agitator who received financial assistance from France, while the anti-Italian demonstrations were regarded as simple demonstrations of loyalty towards France.125 According to the Italian authorities, in Damascus Bashir al-Sa‘dawi received financial aid from the French authorities who had made his step-brother an employee of the government. Moreover, al-Sa‘dawi also allegedly received occasional financial assistance from the Algerian Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri and the Syrian nationalist Namy Bey and Taj al-Din al-Hasani. The two Syrians financed him in order to maintain a certain political position and use Bashir al-Sa‘dawi as an agitator, ‘because of his fanatic attitude and his tendency to spend all his time at the suqs and at the cafès’. In contrast, Italian diplomatic representative in Damascus claimed that the Algerian Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri supported al-Sa‘dawi for different reasons. Initially, he had been close to Italy, having sent his children to Italian schools, hoping that he would be bestowed the title of Amir of Libya. Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri was never offered a position in the Italian colonial administration, and as a result his attitude towards Italy changed as he increasingly sought to represent the whole of the Maghrib in the Mashriq.126 The Italian statement that Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri in a sense offered his services to Italy could have some basis. Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri was the grandson of ‘Abd al-Qadir, the exiled leader of the Algerian resistance to the French occupation, who moved to Damascus in 1856 with his family. Sa‘id al-Jaza’iri, as other members of his family, took active part in the Syrian revolt of 1925. But, as Michael Provence has documented, his role was controversial as he maintained simultaneous relations with the French, the British and the leaders of the revolt. It is also reported that in 1925 he proposed himself to the British as prince of a united Palestine and Transjordan.127 Because of his involvement in the Syrian revolt, French restrictions made his participation in Syrian political activities very difficult and, as a result, al-Jaza’iri began to focus his activities on Maghribian issues.128

Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 89 In the early of 1930s, the intensification of the activities of the Libyan exile association in Damascus coincided with serious divergences and divisions among the members. According to Bin Musa, in 1932 Fawzi al-Na‘as and Muhammad Naji al-Turki found fault with al-Sa‘dawi’s financial management of the association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Al-Sa‘dawi, on his part, took action against the two and expelled them, stating that they had hindered the activities of the association. Al-Sa‘dawi was supported by ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib and Kamil ‘Ayyad, but only 11 of the 120 members of the association signed the ban.129 This account is also confirmed by Italian diplomatic documentation which, reports that there had been friction between Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and his closest aides because they had allegedly sent him a certain amount of money, which he eventually squandered on own activities, and to finance propaganda.130 According to Shukri, the divergences of opinion among the members of the association were due to ideological reasons. On the one hand, al-Sa‘dawi believed that the issues of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were deeply tied to Arab nationalism and pan-Islamism. Al-Sa‘dawi intended to organize an Arab Congress that would be shaped on the model of the Islamic Congress of Jerusalem and it was for this reason, that he established close proximity with many Syrian nationalists. Conversely, Fawzi al-Na‘as and Muhammad Naji al-Turki believed that al-Sa‘dawi’s plan could lead to the opposite result.131 Through the mediation of the others, the three reconciled themselves, but their divergences had negative results on the activity of the association. In conclusion, beginning in the 1920s Egyptian-based Libyan exiles initiated and organized political associations in order to oppose against Italian occupation, albeit without military action. While these first associations had the support of a few Egyptian nationalists, they had limited scope and lacked well-defined political programmes. In addition, the associations and organizations often lacked in coordination between them. By the late 1920s, however, mainly through the association led by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi in Syria, exiles had initiated a process of political advancement. Their struggle started to became one for the independence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica from Italian colonial rule. In the 1930s, as we will see in the next chapter, the political programmes of the exiles’ associations really began to coalesce into a vision of a new future for their homeland; but this new political maturity soon crashed against the reality of divergent views between exiles’ circles, a reflection of their regional and traditional milieu.

5

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism

This chapter analyses the development of the exiles’ activity from the 1930s, beginning by linking this to Arab nationalism, as well as later to fascism. It considers if, and to what degree, the political agenda of Arab nationalism influenced the exile associations both in the theoretical elaboration of the ‘imagined’ new community and in its realization. In order to discuss this, a brief overview of the nationalist and pan-Arab ideologies in Arab countries during the 1930s will be undertaken. With reference mainly to Egypt and Syria, countries in which Libyans organized political associations, this section will analyse the particular emphasis of these groups on communal, local and regional values of solidarity through nationalism.

Nationalism in the Arab world and interpretations of pan-Arabism As historian Israel Gershoni correctly states, ‘Historically, Arab nationalism emerged and evolved as a theoretical and operative system in the period between the two World Wars’.1 No longer merely an intellectual abstract concept troubling urban elites, nationalism in the Middle East increasingly became part of the cultural, social and political milieu: an official ideology, to be implemented and structured by the concerning state. While traditional modes of analysis have viewed the Arab forms of nationalism as a cohesive and monolithic whole adopted across borders, increasingly edited works have questioned the legitimacy of viewing one form of ‘Arab’ or ‘pan-Arab’ nationalism.2 Sylvia Haim’s book first published in the 1960s, constituted a cornerstone in the studies of Arab nationalism. Her writing claims that it was not until the 1930s that a serious attempt was made to define what an Arab ‘nation’ was, and in turn the actual meaning of ‘Arab nationalism’.3 The dichotomy between the theory of Arab nationalism and the reality in most parts of the Middle East of colonial occupation, resulted in the emergence of a new vocabulary which clearly highlighted this tension. Arab nation and nationalism could be understood through the adoption of the words qawm or qawmiyya, while, conversely, the territorial nature of the state and ones own patriotic affiliation with it, could be articulated through the usage of the terms watan or wataniyya. This process, as traditionalist historians such as Albert Hourani, Eliezer Be’eri and indeed Haim, herself,

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 91 would argue, were brought about through the adoption of how educationalist and Syrian writer Sati‘ al-Husri’s (1880–1968), who is considered one of the most influential exponents of ideology of Arab nationalism, understood nationhood:4 language and a common history were the two most pertinent strands that led to pan-Arab sentiment.5 Led from above, the adoption of pan-Arab rhetoric was a tool to further political goals. Furthermore, Egypt was portrayed as a late-comer to pan-Arab nationalism, only adopting the discourse opportunistically to further Nasser’s own goals after the 1952 revolution.6 However, as seen thus far through the role played by Libyan exile associations in Egypt, along with those in the Fertile Crescent, and in particular Syria, an important role was played by various actors in mobilizing pan-Arab sentiment mid-1930s. Indeed, the seminal works on Sati‘ al-Husri by William Cleveland and Bassam Tibi, played an important role in reassessing the traditional discourse in the approach to Arab nationalism.7 To begin with, both emphasized al-Husri as a leading proponent in the formation of Arab nationalism, which they argued saw its foundations set in the 1920s. For Cleveland and Tibi, education was the prime vehicle for the creation of new social structures and the production of a generation of professionals or effendiyya.8 This new social class was the dominant public force that embraced Arab nationalism.9 As a result of this, increasing attention was paid by historians regarding the analysis of formative forces that underlay the role of Arab nationalism. These forces were largely radicalized and held strong mobilizing views. Philip Khoury argues that Syria in the 1930s felt the impact of the emergence of new classes of educated, middle-class professionals who played a prominent role in the reformation or indeed reclamation of traditional nationalist ideals.10 For example, these men, through the creation of radicalized movements reformulated the language of nationalism by placing more emphasis on social and economic justice for the very class which they themselves came from. Similarly, they also accentuated the necessity of pan-Arab unity to meet these aspirations. Khoury highlights that the most important of these organizations was ‘Usabat al-‘amal al-qawmi (the League of National Action in Syria). Established in 1933, the League played a prominent role in rejecting co-operation with the mandatory authorities.11 Followed mainly by Syrian youth and middle-class professionals, the organization promoted Arab unity as a way of releasing the shackles of colonial rule. Similarly, Palestine in the 1930s saw a rise in organizations that placed themselves firmly in opposition to the Zionists who, along with British administration were viewed as a threat to the integrity of Palestinian claims of nationhood. In particular, the 1936 Palestinian Peasants Revolt, also known as the Arab Revolt, highlights a strongest manifestation of cross-Arab solidarity. On one level, the revolt symbolized an anti-colonial struggle against the British, and on the other it manifested religious solidarity and dimensions of the Muslim against the Jew. Secularists in Egypt also cited the economic and political disruption that would be caused by a Jewish state. The result of this was pan-Arab solidarity, which gave rise to many initiatives of support with the Palestinian Arab cause by various groups and organizations.12

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Closely linked to events and pan-Arab nationalist activity in Palestine, were Egyptian manifestations of this ideological understanding. Like Syria, Palestine and Iraq, this took on varied guises. Increasingly, territorial nationalism,13 which was closely linked to Egypt’s unique geography and history, were replaced with what Jankowski and Gershoni have termed as supra-nationality.14 That is to say an Arab-Islamic nationalism, which like al-Husri’s definition, was much more firmly associated with ideas of commonality of language and history. This ‘destiny’ was propelled by an attempt to ‘Arab-ize’ Egyptian culture and literature which is perhaps best highlighted in the creation of an Arab Language Academy in 1932 which aimed to revive classical Arabic. Language was thus used as the cultural basis of the nation. Similarly, the emergence of literary works that were firmly grounded in Arab-Islamic historical frameworks appeared. For example, ‘Ali Muhammad Shakir wrote Nahnu ‘Arab (We Are Arab) in 1933 in retaliation to the ongoing debate concerning Egypt’s national character: ‘If you say Egypt, you say Arab as well/if you say Arab, it is Egypt of which you speak.’15 This unequivocal stance highlights a complete reappraisal of former Egyptian authentic identity based on the Nile basin. Prominent discourses led by European archaeologists at the turn of the twentieth century spoke of an Egyptian race who were descendents of the Pharaohs, however the entanglement between Arabs and Egyptians led ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam to argue that racial unity [or wahda ‘unsurriya] was deeper imbedded and went back to over a millennia.16 The effects of these intellectual movements were also seen in practical terms. In particular, the creation of a radicalized new generation of an educated middle class emerged as a result of increased educational reforms in Egypt, and the failure of the Wafd party which had dominated the nationalist scene. The Wafd’s ability to secure massive popular support, particularly between 1919 and 1936, was due to their focus on ousting the British and not, as historian Janice Terry correctly observes, on radical societal changes. For the Wafd, the British were the main national agenda, and so long as that was the case, domestic policies could not take precedence.17 By the mid-1930s, however, young educated and middle-class professionals increasingly felt alienated by the Wafd’s lack of social policies, as well as its failure as a party in 1936 to reach agreeable terms concerning Egyptian independence. The emergence of radical societies like the paramilitary Misr al-fatat (Young Egypt), or Green Shirts, broadly appealed to educated, unemployed youths, who increasingly felt disenfranchised by the Wafd’s lack of formulated policy for broader social and political problems prevalent in Egypt, such as increasing food prices. This, along with the failure of the Wafd to negotiate agreeable terms to the Anglo-Egyptian 1936 Treaty led to a loss in their traditional following. Indeed, party secretary of the Wafd, Makram Obeid, believed, in December 1935, that the solution was to create al-Fariq al-shabab, an updated version of their ailing youth movement, which also became known as the Blue Shirts.18 Like in Syria, this organization increasingly combined social reform with Arab unity. Similarly, it should be noted that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Young Men’s Muslim

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 93 Association, played an important role in propelling a new counterculture that used Islamic and Arab co-operation as vehicle to propel their own agendas. Organizations such as Misr al-Fatat drew on fascist ideology and connections with Italy and Mussolini extensively throughout the 1930s.19 Moreover, throughout the region including Iraq, there were clear signs that these references to fascism were far from trivial and were grounded in a firm fascination with strong and central governments as well as in some cases openly supporting the idea of a dictatorship; indeed Japan was heralded as the best performing authoritarian regime. Similarly, in Iraq the positive view of strong leadership states was seen with the equation of fascism and kemalism; strength and unity were the conditions, while justice would be the outcome. For example, the Iraqi newspaper al-‘Alam al-‘arabi, published articles on Palestine that had an evident anti-British and anti-zionist attitude, other articles expressed admiration for the achievement of nazism in Germany.20 Fascism and nazism were considered models for the promotion of unity or wahda and the fight against the colonial forces of Britain and France, particularly through the creation of paramilitary organizations.21 Despite this, fascism in general found a mixed reception in the region. On the one hand it resonated with younger dynamic anti-colonial movements who sought the support of Italy, and to a lesser degree Germany, in their fight against the British and French occupiers. On the other hand, however, fascism and fascist paramilitary movements were viewed with extreme caution by more traditional parties, confirming what the sociologist Karl Mannheim would refer to as the ‘generational approach’.22 As Nir Arielli has showed ‘From late 1938 until the outbreak of the Second World War, Italy’s colonialist and expansionist policies [...] alienated public opinion makers in the Middle East. Thus, when Italy joined the war the Italians had very few allies in the region.’23

Anti-Italian propaganda in Egypt The growing nationalist activity and debates in Egypt during the 1930s were mirrored also in support for the Libyan cause as endorsed by Arab circles. Many Arab-oriented societies had been established in Egypt by Arab exiles and students, who aimed to promote and strengthen ties between the different Arab countries. The most important of these societies was Jam’iyyat al-rabita al-‘arabiyya (the Arab Bond Society). Founded in 1936, the society, which gathered Egyptians and Arab émigrés living in Egypt, promoted Arab unity mainly through cultural activities, which reflected ‘the salon/hafla tradition of Egyptian cultural interaction’. The Arab Bond Society became a unique environment where during receptions for visiting Arabs from outside Egypt, discussions concerned with the need for Arab unity were held.24 The association devoted its weekly magazine al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya to Arab issues. Writing the first editorial, the Syrian born editor, Amin Sa‘id, stated that the creation of the periodical had been urged by members of the Arab nationalist movement (al-haraka al-‘arabiyya) and that it had the purpose of being ‘the voice and the echo’ of this movement in Egypt as well as to establish ‘a link between Egypt and the other Arab countries’.25

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From the very first issues, the new periodical paid particular focus on the Libyan cause, both by publishing general articles on Italian policy and by dealing with specific questions connected to the Italian occupation. By the third issue, assertions that Italian policy represented an obstacle to the development of Arab nationalism were made. In a long anonymous article entitled ‘The Arab World and Italy’, it was maintained that Italy, which was pursuing a well-organized policy of intense propaganda by financing the press, opening schools and through a considerable intelligence network, was the worst threat to the ‘Arab movement’. Moreover, the hanging of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar was mentioned as example of Italian repressive colonial policy.26 A short article on Abyssinia was published in the following issue, highlighting the journals hard stance against the Italian occupation.27 The periodical soon achieved widespread success among Libyan exiles in all Arab countries. Sulayman al-Baruni, who was in Baghdad, congratulated the new publication which he deemed to promote an Islamic tie as well as an Arab one amongst its readership.28 By 1936, only a few months after its initial publication, Al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya attacked Italian colonial policy with greater severity. It denounced the policies led by the Italians which had resulted in Libyan seeking exile; it emphasized how unlike in other Arab countries which had been or were under colonial rule – such as Egypt and Tunisia – people had not been forced to leave their own country.29 The magazine also paid attention to the Italian policy towards Yemen. From the early 1920s, Italy under fascist rule had begun economic and political penetration in Yemen, from where it intended to infiltrate the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula and gain control of the Red Sea. In an open letter, the exiled Abu al-Qasim, who lived in Alexandria, warned the Yemenis of the Italian expansionist policy in their country and suggested that they should distrust the alleged Italian ‘friendship’, arguing that before the aggression in Tripolitania, Italy had undertook the same initiative that it was now carrying out in Yemen; schools and hospitals had been opened there too.30 Indeed, in 1924, the fascist government opened a free hospital in Sanaa and Italian doctors also took over the only military hospital in the town. These doctors also had political and diplomatic functions and soon became the Imam’s advisors.31 A few weeks later, in a long article entitled, ‘How Italy aims at colonising Yemen: a page in secret history’, it was maintained that before the First World War, Italian policy had already aimed at extending its dominion over Yemen under the pretence of developing trade.32 The articles, in al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya, which exposed the Italian expansionistic aims in Yemen, included very detailed data: for instance, the Italo-Yemeni Trade Treaty, which had been signed in September 1926, was subjected to intense analytical scrutiny. The treaty ensured that Italy entered into official relations with Yemen. According to the magazine, Italy was carrying out a strong propaganda campaign in Yemen by also financing and distributing free newspapers in Arabic.33 Clear evidence of this, was highlighted in the fact that the Yemeni official newspaper al-Ayman published articles in favour of Italy, while in the rest of the Arab world, there was strong backing for the inhabitants of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.34

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 95 Al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya was also used as an instrument for Libyan exiles across the Arab world to keep in contact. It was a discussion forum for the various communities and groups of Libyan exiles. Although voicing different points of views, the discussion forum highlighted the commonalities that existed and that the Libyan question was only one part of a greater Arab nationalist cause. It thus reflected the thoughts of the main representatives of the exiled intellectual elite, such as ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, as well as others who preferred to remain anonymous.35 Through the periodical, the exiles formally denounced Italian violations, its repressive measures and analysed the Italian colonial policy in Libya. Keeping an eye on current events, the periodical also denounced the French authorities for handing over 23 Tripolitanians residing in Tunisia to Italian authority in June 1937; according to their lawyers, they were likely to be hung.36 Moreover, they complained that the office of qadi in Libya had been given to someone who was legally incompetent and lacked the requirements of the shari‘a.37 In 1938, an Arab journalist put forward a suggestion to buy al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya to the Italian legation in Cairo. This would assist transform the magazine to one more inclined towards a pro-Italian stance. The Italian ministry of popular culture, which was also in charge of propaganda in the Middle East, refused the proposal; not only would it have required a huge amount of money, but the journalist did not have the intellectual and political stature to transform the magazine into a pro-Italian one.38 Nonetheless, the Italian authorities viewed the attacks on their colonial policy in Libya carried out through the periodical as of minor importance. It was believed that Safi al-Din al-Sanusi, cousin of Idris inspired the articles in al-Rabita and wished to be acknowledged as the moral leader of all the Libyan exiles.39 The Italian officials, attempted to react by intensifying their subsidies to other local press, which already received funds.40 The periodical played also an important role not only in denouncing the Italian repressive policy but also in spreading news concerning the achievement of the anti-colonial struggle in Libya. For instance, in 1938 the periodical published a chapter concerning the Tripolitanian Republic of 1918 from the newly published book History of Nationalism among the Arabs.41 In Egypt, the exiles faced a dual response: on one hand, as seen, they increasingly received support, while on the other, they also were forced to face internal divisions. In 1934, a 148-page book entitled ‘Umar al-Mukhtar: al-halqa al-akhira min al-jihad al-watani fi Tarabulus al-Gharb (‘Umar al-Mukhtar: The Last Phase of the National Struggle in Libya), was published in Cairo.42 The book, allegedly written by Ahmad Mahmud contained a long preface by ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam. It was the belief of the Italian authorities that ‘Azzam was in fact the author of the whole book, as no trace of Ahmad Mahmud was found in Egypt, either among the Libyans or Egyptians. The common nature of the name Ahmad Mahmud served the purpose of enabling ‘Azzam to pass his own explanation.43 Indeed, analysing the style of the preface and that of the content of the book, it is clear that they were almost identical. Moreover, the book placed emphasis on the events in which ‘Azzam himself took part. Italian authorities maintained that the book had been written a few years prior to its publication. ‘Azzam had

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initially collected an amount of money to be sent to ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, but when the latter died, he decided to use the funds to publish a book in his memory.44 It was later understood that Ahmad Mahmud was the pseudonym of Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi,45 who had been residing in Egypt since 1924 and was employed in a printing house at that time. It is worth recalling that al-Zawi, as already stated, had studied at al-Azhar University and had been granted the opportunity to mix in its cultural circle. He therefore had played an active role in the political exile associations in Egypt. In the preface of the book, ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam asserted that the roots of Libyan resistance (jihad) were not only to be traced back to religious faith, but also and more importantly to Arab identity; this was followed by a brief summary of the opposition to the Italian invasion. ‘Azzam focused on the events that occurred during the Arab-Turkish resistance, a phase which saw him as a prominent figure. At the end of the preface he urged young people to follow the example of their fathers and brothers and fight for the liberation of their nation. The first part of the book, outlined the life of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar up to the Italian invasion,46 and described the beginning of the Libyan resistance, particularly the fact that ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, fought with the resistance movement from 1911. It also mentioned the role played by ‘Aziz al-Misri during the Italo-Turkish war, and that the people had considered the Treaty of Lausanne as an act of treason by the Ottoman Empire.47 In the following pages Idris al-Sanusi was accused of having given up the armed fight after signing the pact of Akrama with the Italians. He accepted the agreement with Italians when ‘Azzam had been planning to extend the resistance up to the Egyptian border in order to fight against the British also.48 In particular, the book described the following phases of resistance and the divergences among the various notables, always emphasizing the role played by ‘Azzam.49 The central part of the book deals with ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, his arrival to al-Jabal al-Akhdar and the establishment of the resistance movement.50 The author maintains that the Italian occupation of the Jarabub oasis had been made possible by members of the Sanusi family.51 The following part describes the last phase of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’s struggle, which saw protests in the Arab countries for the execution of the leader of the Cyrenaica resistance.52 The book ends with a part entitled ‘After ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’s death’ in which it is maintained that the resistance of the last rebels was cut short by a lack of food.53 The publication had an apparent polemic tone towards the work of the Sanusi. According to Italian documents it seems that al-Zawi bore a grudge against the Sanusi as Idris al-Sanusi had suspended his monthly salary which he was accustomed to receiving. Similarly, ‘Azzam also bore him a grudge which though not related to the situation in Libya, was aimed at Idris who had not kept his promise to purchase him an estate.54 The decision to publish the book was largely based on personal reasons; the book acted as a defence for himself and his actions. ‘Azzam wished to glorify himself in an attempt to try and return some of the prestige he had previously held in Libya.55 Indeed, Idris al-Sanusi responded to the slurs by commissioning a book of his own in defence of the Sanusi family.56 Eventually, Sulayman al-Baruni accused al-Zawi of having received money from

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 97 ‘Azzam.57 Despite the critical situation, the book reveals that, at least in exile circles, the questions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were linked and interdependent. In fact, while it describes how there were two opposing streams among the Egyptian exiles, one led by the Tripolitanians and the other by the Sanusi’s, the book serves the purpose of outlining the resistance in both regions as a whole. The rivalries which opposed Cyrenaica and Tripolitania people, both among the resistance ranks in the region and also among the exiles, were also noted in al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya magazine which devoted a section of the periodical to this issue.58 The first article concerning the divergences was published in 1936. Sent by an exile from Amman, it urged all Libyans to set aside their regional differences and to adhere to the National Covenant which al-Sa‘dawi had proposed in 1929. This was an attempt to spur them on to fight together, their internal division, it was argued, had been stirred up by Italy.59 A few weeks later, ‘Umar Fa‘iq Shanib from Damascus made a clear reference to the issue of the book published by ‘Azzam and al-Zawi; he urged the Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans to remain united despite the different opinions. Shanib urged Sulayman al-Baruni, and all those who felt that they were at the service of the ‘national cause’, to set all divergences aside.60 Sulayman al-Baruni intervened in the debate concerning the problem of the regional divisions among the Libyans. Considering that this question was of major importance, he argued that this problem could not be solved merely in exile circles, where the fight was carried out simply by the power of speech and through letters. Instead, al-Baruni believed that the question regarded mainly those who were directly involved in the anti-colonial struggle in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.61 In the second half of the 1930s Arab nationalist circles in other countries also supported the Libyan cause. For example, in Iraq the al-Muthanna club organized demonstrations in support of the Libyans. This cultural club had been founded in Baghdad in 1935 and it was ideologically oriented towards Arab nationalism.62 The al-Muthanna club, among other initiatives, organized a ‘Libya day’, in which it sent protest letters directly to the Italian diplomatic authorities and sought to make public opinion in Iraq aware of fascist atrocities in Libya.63 The protest of the Iraqi nationalists, also covered by the press in other countries, had repercussions on the Libyan exiles in Palestine who also declared their solidarity with the protest demonstrations in Baghdad.64

Fascist propaganda: the ambiguous attitude of Shakib Arslan As seen, by the early 1930s the Libyan exiles had succeeded both in internationalizing the Libyan claims and, in creating links with the Arab nationalists in other countries. Yet, at the same time fascist propaganda was successful in averting some Arab nationalists away from the Libyan issue. Shakib Arslan, a leading personality of that peculiar current of Arab nationalism, which scholars have termed Islamic nationalism or Islamic internationalism,65 had previously always endorsed the Libyan cause, and had increasingly adopted a conciliatory position towards the fascist policy in Libya because of his contacts with Mussolini.

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Shakib Arslan, of Druze origin, was born in Lebanon in 1869. Strongly influenced by the ideas of Islamic reformism of Muhammad ‘Abduh and Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani, whom he had forged close relationships with, Arslan was clearly a man of his time: he belonged to the final generation of Ottoman Arabs who were raised before the First World War when the political and social mapping of the region were to invariably alter. As a result, Arslan clearly reflected the prevalent ideas of those years. Arslan strongly believed in the need for the survival of the Ottoman Empire and in pan-Islamic solidarity as a means to maintain independence from Europe; he also backed the idea of its restoration for some years after its dissolution.66 When Italy occupied Tripolitania in 1911, Arslan rallied immediately against the occupation. He persuaded the Ottoman commander in Damascus to send troops and officials to fight on the Libyan front. After having spent the first months of 1912 in Alexandria working for the Egyptian Red Crescent, which was established in order to aid the fighters, Arslan went to Tripolitania where he remained between April and June. During this period he worked in close contact with Enver Bey. Arslan did not take an active role in the resistance but he published many articles concerning the situation in Tripolitania in the Egyptian daily al-Mu’ayyad between November 1911 and June 1912.67 The period of the occupation of Tripolitania also coincided with Arslan’s first attempt to organize a pan-Islamic organization called al-Ittihad al-Maghribi (the Maghrib Union). In fact, besides endorsing resistance in Tripolitania, he also sought to stir opposition against the French in Morocco; Arslan adopted a pan-Islamic stance, and in this case more specifically a pan-Maghribian one. The creation of the union was supported by the Egyptians ‘Ali Yusuf and ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Jawish, who were personally sponsored by the khedive ‘Abbas Hilmi II. It seems likely that the Maghrib Union relied directly or was connected with the Ottoman secret service groups, which were present from the beginning of the twentieth century in various regions of the Empire.68 During the First World War, Arslan certainly had close contact with some of the prominent exponents of the Tunisian nationalist movement, the Young Tunisians who were in exile among Geneva and Berlin.69 In these years Arslan, despite his contact with some nationalist groups, still strongly believed in the possibility of the survival of the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, the Kemalist revolution of 1923, the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 and the occupation of the ex-Arab Eastern provinces of the Empire by France and Great Britain, were all elements which led Arslan to abandon the hope of the restoration of the Ottoman Empire and to increasingly devote himself to the Arab cause. His new commitment to the service of Arabism clearly became evident in the middle of the 1920s. In 1925 Arslan led the Syro-Palestinian delegation at the League of Nations. The Syro-Palestinian committee had been established in Geneva in 1921 with the aim of harmonizing and continuing the struggle for independence for the two territories that were under French and British tutelage respectively.70 In Geneva, in 1928, Arslan established a news agency concerned with the Muslim countries. The following year, during his religious pilgrimage to Mecca, he sought to mediate between Ibn Sa‘ud and Imam Yahya of Yemen on the one hand and King Faysal of Iraq on the other. Having returned

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 99 to Geneva, in 1930, he founded the journal La Nation Arabe, together with Ihsan Bey al-Jabiri.71 Between the two World Wars, Geneva became the perfect place for the promotion of Arab nationalism; Switzerland had welcomed many Arab political exiles, while the League of Nations had its headquarters there. Indeed since the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, many exiles had moved to Geneva and, in the first decade of the twentieth century Egyptian nationalists promoted their cause from Swiss cities.72 Between 1916 and 1918, the Revue du Maghreb: Algérie, Tunisie, Maroc, Tripolitanie was published in Geneva and was promoted by Tunisian nationalists.73 It is particularly interesting to note that the Revue considered Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as a united territory of the Maghrib; it was the first time that Libya was politically linked to other Maghrib countries in the struggle against colonial occupation. La Nation Arabe was published from March 1930 to December 1938, and although it was presented as the organ of the Syro-Palestinian delegation at the League of Nations, it was also at the service of all Arab countries and paid particular attention to the anti-colonial struggle in North African countries. In 1930, the Nation Arabe became the main promoter of an international press campaign against the so-called ‘Berber dahir’, the colonial decree which proposed to submit Arabs and Berbers in Morocco to two different law systems.74 Arslan, who in 1930 spent a short period in Morocco, had also become a fervent supporter of the Moroccan national movement. Initially he supported the Moroccan cause mainly as a result of the close contact he had forged with a group of students who were among the founders of the North African Muslim Students Association (AEMNA), established in Paris in 1927.75 Although until 1933 the journal mainly covered issues from Libya and Morocco,76 in its first issues, La Nation Arabe also devoted particular attention to the French colonial policy in Algeria.77 It is without a doubt that Arslan played an integral role in the interwar period in creating a common link between the struggles for independence in northern Africa and those in the Middle East. William L. Cleveland argues that this, besides the fact that he had enjoyed a considerable reputation both in the Maghrib and in the Mashriq, was also due to the fact that he had also lived in Europe from the end of the First World War, residing in Berlin from 1918 to 1924, and then moving to Geneva. During the first years after the establishment of La Nation Arabe, Arslan systematically denounced the fascist policy being upheld in Libya and Arslan faithfully reported all the activities of the Libyan exiles in the journal and it seems likely that all the news came directly from Bashir al-Sa‘dawi with whom he kept a lively correspondence.78 More precisely, the different attitude of Arslan towards the Libyan question dates back to 1933, when in an article published in La Nation Arabe, which was later reproduced by the Arab press, he condemned General Graziani for the strong repression carried in Cyrenaica. Despite this, he expressed his sympathy for Mussolini and his agreement on the general amnesty promulgated by the colonial government after crushing the resistance.79 In December 1933, he participated in the Asian Student Congress which took place in Rome and was organized by the Fascist University Youth and inaugurated by Mussolini; in February 1934 he also had two separate meetings with Mussolini.80

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After these meetings with Mussolini, Arslan sought to convince the Libyan exiles in Syria, through an intense exchange of letters with Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, that there had been a change in fascist colonial policy and that Italy would support economic and cultural development in Libya. Therefore, he urged the community of exiles in Syria to cease their opposition to the Italian government, so as not to compromise the relations between Italy and the Arabs on the Palestinian question. The Libyans in Syria and Egypt harshly criticized Arslan’s position through the press and accused him of siding with Italy in order to find a solution for the Palestinian question, thus abandoning the Libyan cause.81 Arslan also sought to persuade the exiles to return in order to benefit from the new colonial policy, which, as seen, Italo Balbo the new governor inaugurated in 1934. He particularly promoted the fact that all confiscated property would be returned to those who had taken part in the 1921 revolts. The Tripolitanian community in Egypt responded to Arslan with a long report, in which they argued that circumstances still did not permit them to return. The limited amnesty implemented, they argued, would entitle the governor to decide arbitrarily whom it would reprieve. Concerning the confiscated property, the exiles in Egypt believed that it was absurd that they should ask for their property to be returned.82 Arslan’s change of attitude towards the Libyan question has been explained in several different ways. At the time Arslan was accused of receiving money from Italy.83 In fact, by the late 1930s, Arslan did receive money from France and from Italy for propaganda activities in Palestine; this, according to Cleveland, was used mainly to finance his own activities: La Nation Arabe, his journeys, and similar expenses.84 It seems highly probable, that Arslan spontaneously endorsed the fascist policy; it was only later that the Italian authorities saw in Arslan a potential ally; as Nir Arielli shows, although in Rome ‘the possibility of “buying up” the Emir was discussed as early as 29 March 1933 [...] It is unclear from the available sources exactly and when Rome was able to befriend Arslan’.85 A booklet published in the early 1960s in Libya justifies Arslan’s contact with the Italians, in which he aimed to claim additional rights for inhabitants of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica;86 Arslan himself used at the time this argument to support his pro-Italian positions.87 The change in Arslan’s attitude can instead be ascribed to the evolution of his strategy. In the 1930s, the Arab movement had not achieved important results and many nationalist leaders began to believe that their goals could only be reached with the support of European allies. The Arabs’ favourable attitude towards Germany, and to a lesser degree towards Italy, was mainly due to the strategic advantages that could be derived from an alliance with European powers who had little interest in Arab countries. Germany seemed to be the best ally in comparison to many of the others. Furthermore, it should be taken into consideration that in many Arab countries, young nationalist paramilitary movements, as the already mentioned Young Egypt, had been established that admired the success of fascism. It is in light of this context that the relations of Arslan with the Axis powers should be considered.88 Indeed, from the early 1930s fascist foreign policy mainly focused on the Arab world; it had aimed to create a revolt of the Muslim elites against the mainly French

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 101 and British hegemony in the Mediterranean. Until the Second World War, fascist policy towards the Arab countries was not based on direct political action, instead, it entailed strong and well-coordinated propaganda with the aim of promoting the image of Italy as a ‘bridge’ between the West and the East. The propaganda was carried out in many forms. For instance, Italy financed the Arab press to publish positive articles about Italian colonial policy. In June 1935, Italy also founded in Cairo L’agence d’Egypte et d’Orient, a news agency which covered Arab issues. Great significance was given to cultural propaganda which mainly relied on the programmes in Arabic which were broadcast by Radio Bari from May 1934 and on the contribution of Italian orientalists.89 Fascist propaganda put a great deal of effort into presenting the Arabs as possible allies in the struggle for the Mediterranean, but ‘the fascist pro-Arab attitude was limited to the Middle East, it was not valid for the Maghrib and even less for Libya’.90 It was only during the Second World War, between 1940 and 1941 that relations between the fascist authorities and some noted representatives of Tunisian nationalism materialized.91 During these years, Italy was in contact not only with Arslan, but also with other Arab nationalists and leaders; the most famous example is the Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husayni, with whom Italy entered in official contact in 1933.92 Italy also sought to gain the favour of the intellectuals; for example, the Syrian founder and director of the Academy of the Arabic Language in Damascus, Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali, was contacted in 1933. He allegedly agreed to hold conferences in French, in Italy, about the Arab world and to travel to Tripoli and Benghazi in order to report on the Italian achievements in Libya, ‘thus re-establishing [Italian] prestige among the Muslims’.93 Concerning Arslan, his support of the fascist colonial policy reached its apex when Italy conquered Ethiopia. In a series of articles published both in La Nation Arabe and the Arabic press, he argued that since Christians in Ethiopia had always repressed the religious freedom of the Muslims, the Italian colonial policy would grant more rights to the Muslims.94 The invasion of Ethiopia was a hot and contentious issue in the Arab countries and besides provoking lively press debates, it brought about solidarity initiatives especially in Egypt, where, like at the time of the invasion of Tripolitania, volunteers were enroled and the Red Crescent sent aids.95 Arslan was harshly criticized for defending the fascist occupation of Ethiopia, although later ‘Ethiopia’s defeat was analyzed in many articles as the ultimate proof of its backwardness and sins [...] The fall of Ethiopia and the ensuing declarations of Italians Islamic policy in Italian Oriental Africa created a wave of enthusiasm in the Arabic Middle Eastern press’.96 In Egypt books, probably subsidized by Italian authorities, also propagated the idea that the Italians defended the Muslims in Ethiopia:97 the suggestion this was a war between two Christian states and did not concern Muslims was also supported by a proportion of the Tunisian press. Nevertheless, in Tunisia the popular support was on the Ethiopian side and during the invasion of Ethiopia fighting had broken out between Tunisians and Italians in the areas largely populated by the Italian community.98 The Libyan exiles showed their solidarity with the inhabitants of Ethiopia; in Syria, the exile association contacted the International

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Association for the Defence of the Abyssinian people, which had offices in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands, in order to undertake common initiatives to contrast Italian colonial policy.99 Increasingly, Arslan adopted a greater distance from the Libyan anti-colonial struggle. In 1937, in a conference held in Damascus, he allegedly reconsidered his previous position on the Libyan issue and, in general, on all the subjects regarding North Africa. He argued that the majority of the inhabitants of North Africa were not Arabs and that Arab unity should be limited to Asia. These statements provoked indignation and harsh reactions among the Libyans in the different countries. In Syria the exile association responded to Arslan with a report. They argued that while not all the inhabitants of North Africa were ethnically Arab, they were all effectively part of a grand nation (watan) based on qawmiyya ‘arabiyya (Arab nationalism) and wahda ‘arabiyya (Arab unity). The report also argued that many of the inhabitants of North Africa had originated from the Arabian peninsula; these two geographic areas had shared a common history since the Umayyad period moreover, they shared the religious link of Islam.100 Similarly, Sulayman al-Baruni also played a vocal part in the debate through the publication of a series of articles in al-Rabita al-’arabiyya. Al-Baruni had initially attempted to appease the controversy and disappointment of Arslan’s statement among Libyan exiles. He attempted to sideline the importance of Arslan’s statement and reminded the community of the initiatives promoted by Arslan in support of the Libyans as well as his support for all the other Maghribi countries.101 Later, however, as Arslan attacked al-Baruni’s positions in the Egyptian press, the latter accused Arslan of having changed his ideas simply because he had made private agreements with Mussolini.102

The Libyan issue as an Arab issue Despite the failure of Arslan’s support, the principles of unity and nationalism penetrated the exiled population. Increasingly Libya began to be seen as a single subject that demonstrated the features of a ‘national struggle’. By the second half of 1930s, the exiles increasingly considered the Libyan issue to be linked to panArabism, this was demonstrated by their political language and discourse. This period also saw the initiation of a new terminology, which was increasingly used by Arab nationalists when they referred to the Libyan nation as an Arab nation. The link between Libya and pan-Arabism most vividly appears in two booklets published by the Syrian association in 1938. The first was signed by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and was entitled Faza’i al-isti‘mar al-itali al-fashisti fi Tarabulus Barqa (The Atrocities of the Fascist Italian Colonisation in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica).103 In the preface the author asserted that the Libyan cause was not extraneous to all other Arab nationalist requests that aimed at conquering freedom and independence; Arabs, it was argued, constituted an indivisible entity.104 In the first two sections of the book, ‘What is fascism?’ and ‘Fascism and colonialism’ al-Sa‘dawi discussed in detail the causes that led to the rise of fascism in Italy. He argued that this was due to the economic crisis following the aftermath of the

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Figure 5.1 Bashir al-Sa‘dawi with members of an Iraqi delegation en route to Yemen and leading Egyptian personalities, Tea Island at Cairo Zoo, 1939. The original photograph lists the names, but does not identify people; it is highly probably that Bashir al-Sa‘dawi is the third from the right. (Hassan M. Eltaher private collection.)

First Word War as well as the impact of colonialism.105 In the section of the book entitled ‘Fascism and Arab countries’ he denounced the fascist policy of oppression in Libya , which had resulted in the decrease in population from one and half million persons to half million. Mussolini, whose dream was the restoration of the ancient Roman Empire, it argued represented a danger to all the Arab countries.106 A section entitled ‘Tripolitania during the Ottoman Period’, aimed to prove that under Ottoman rule, no discriminations between the Arabs and the Turks in Tripolitania existed, and that there was a fully working educational system.107 The chapter ‘The Italian manoeuvres before the occupation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica’ illustrated the Italian initiatives in the region prior to the invasion and was followed by a discussion of ‘The struggle of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica during the first period of the Italian occupation’. This traced the main phases of the resistance. The last two parts ‘Tripolitania and Cyrenaica under Mussolini’s Oppression’108 and ‘The Italian fascist propaganda’109 analysed the colonial fascist policy methods. This consisted mainly of land expropriations, forcing Arabs to obtain the colonial citizenship, the usage of Italian instead of Arabic as an official language and, the implementation of strong propaganda in other Arab countries. A call to the inhabitants of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, who were invited to use all necessary means to gain freedom and independence, concluded the pamphlet.110 The Italian authorities doubted that al-Sa‘dawi had written the work on behalf of the association, instead they believed that al-Sa‘dawi had published the

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pamphlet under British influence and that he wanted ‘to be noticed by Italy so as to serve Italy, if needed, to pursue his own goals’.111 Italian suspicions that the association was financed by the British were founded particularly on the fact that the association, and al-Sa‘dawi himself, were not able to meet the costs of publication. Italian authorities attempted, through the French representative, to stop the circulation of the pamphlet but despite these attempts, hundreds of copies were distributed not only in Damascus but were also sent to Tunisia, Algeria and even to Libya. In Damascus, as a counter-measure, Italy distributed many copies of the book Italy in Her Colonies, written by Shaykh Muhammad Nur Bakr.112 This work published in Cairo, in 1936, described Mussolini as a champion and saviour of Islam in Libya, it hoped that an equally ‘enlightened’ occupation of Ethiopia would take place.113 The author, Muhammad Nur Bakr was the head of the riwaq al-Jabarti of al-Azhar university, which mainly comprised students from Italian colonies and from 1912 was financed by Italy.114 In September 1936, Muhammad Nur Bakr made a mission to Libya.115 A second pamphlet penned by the exile association in retaliation to the Italians in an attempt to promote pan-Arabism, was published in October 1938. Written by ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, it was entitled Al-Andalus al-thaniya aw Tarabulus Barqa (The Second Andalusia or Tripolitania and Cyrenaica).116 The booklet cover reproduced a map of the Mediterranean with Mussolini represented as a greedy bird with its talons thrust in the Arab countries. In the place of Libya a coffin was portrayed with a note: ‘This is the grave of the Arabs and of Islam’. The first pages of the pamphlet reproduced the full text of the decree which annexed Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to Italy.117 Sarcastically under the title ‘Muslims and Arabs welcome Italians in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica’, press condemnation of the fascist policy in several Arab and Muslim countries were reported.118 Shanib, who described Libya as another Palestine, firmly linked the Libyan issue to panArabism: ‘The Arab unity, which we are proud of, is meaningless if Tripolitania is the first victim of colonialism in the Arab countries.’119 After a few words dedicated to the memory of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar,120 the author explained that the demographic colonization plans that Italy undertook and which were pursued through land confiscation and culminated in the arrival of the Ventimila, the 20,000 settlers, who would cancel the Arab identity of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.121 As further proof of the Italian will to destroy the Arabs the agreements that considered exiles to be under Italian jurisdiction, made with France, Great Britain and Egypt concerning the citizenship of Libyan exiles in Tunisia and Egypt, were listed.122 The second part of the pamphlet consisted of a call to contribute to the liberation of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, which was divided according to whom it addressed; kings and heads of states in the Arab Mashriq were asked to make public their worry for the Italian colonial policy. The ‘ulama’ were harshly reproached because of their silence and complicity, indeed some were accused of permitting al-Azhar to be used for Italian propaganda. It was claimed that the ‘ulama’ should instead denounce the Libyan situation in the newspapers and in the mosques.123 Here there is an evident reference to the pro-Italian book written by Shaykh Muhammad Nur Bakr. The promoters of the Arab question were

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Figure 5.2 Andalus al-thaniya aw Tarabulus Barqa written by ‘Umar Fa’iq al-Shanib and published in Damascus in 1938. (ASDMAE: ASMAI, AP 80.)

asked to endorse the Libyan cause because Libya was firmly part of an Arab nation.124 Moreover, all the exiles were urged not to abandon the idea of returning to their homeland, while the Egyptians and the Tunisians were called upon to help the exiles.125 The book ended with the reproduction of parts of an article published in the Egyptian periodical al-Kashkul which made a comparison of Tripolitania and Palestine.126 Some verses taken from a poet called ‘Ali Na‘sh were reported on the back cover. The Italian authorities unsurprisingly prohibited the circulation of the pamphlet in Libya, and believed that its distribution in Lebanon had been enabled through France, which was trying to create anti-Italian demonstrations.127 Furthermore, Italy was also facing problems concerning the Ethiopian exiles who were supported by the British who had established an aid fund for the Abyssinian exiles. Its chairman was Sir Sidney Barton, the last British Minister in Addis Ababa who also claimed the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. The fund was meant to aid the Ethiopian exiles who had fled to British Africa.128 Most interestingly, both pamphlets published in Syria for the aid of the Libyan cause were not be regarded as extraneous to the other Arab nationalist requests, which aimed at conquering freedom and independence; the Arabs constituted an indivisible entity.

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The exiles also increased their activities in Egypt during the late 1930s, but here in contrast to Syria, there were several main splinter groups. In 1938, the Cairo branch of the Association of Tripolitanians living in Egypt published a pamphlet: The Manifesto of the Association of Tripolitanians Living in Egypt on the Italian Government Methods in Tripolitania. It was addressed to the Arab kings, princes, head of governments, political parties and Muslim organizations, and it denounced the arbitrariness of Italian methods mainly through a discussion of colonial policy regarding educational system, religious freedom, law system and private property.129 The Tripolitanians in Alexandria also published another pamphlet, which was based on the previous manifesto. They maintained that the Italian colonial policy aimed at eliminating the Arabs and transforming the entire region into a Latin country. In the second part of the pamphlet they emphasized the religious violation.130 Furthermore, in the same years, exiles in Tunisia, which had always been less concerned with political activities in comparison with the communities in Syria and Egypt, intensified their contacts with the exiles from other countries. In 1936, with the help of two Tunisian tradesmen in the city of Tunis, the Tunisian branch of Association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (ADTC), which as seen operated from Syria, circulated hundreds of copies of a leaflet that denounced the abuses of Italian colonialism in Tunisia. The copies were mainly aimed at Libyans who worked in the hinterland of Tunisia, in the mines, and who were largely un-politicized. In 1938, the daily al-Nahda urged all Libyans in Tunisia to remain in exile, it argued that the promises made to them would not be kept. It was asserted that the Italians had deprived the Arabs of the fertile land, which had become the paradise of the Italians, they had made them wear European clothes, change their headgear, and thus destroy a thriving indigenous industry, in turn behaving as if they were the direct descendants of Nero, whilst altering the names of many villages into Roman and Italian names. The appeal also reported all the regulations of the Libyan colonial troops, which, in the event of danger, prescribed general conscription.131 A general meeting of all the exiles in Tunisia was called in February 1939. The meeting examined the possible action to be undertaken in order to increase the effectiveness of the association in the fight against the Italian occupation.132 The meeting was an important occasion for all exiles in Tunisia to get together. Indeed, besides those who were resident in the capital and other large cities, seven tribe leaders also participated. The latter represented the thousands of Libyans scattered in the Regency, many of whom were illiterate and lived in poor conditions.133 French authorities strongly encouraged and supported the meeting. Under French requests, which had been made to avoid Italian suspicions, the association abandoned the denomination of ADTC, which clearly revealed their affiliation with that led by al-Sa‘dawi, and was renamed Jam‘iyyat al-tawaddud wa-l-ta‘addud bayna al-muhajirin al-muslimin (the Association of Friendship and Assistance among

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the Muslim Exiles). The French colonial authorities organized a strong campaign to affiliate all Libyans who were in Tunisia to the association; those who refused to join the association were considered agents of the Italian government. The membership card which had a photo and French stamp in it, held the same status as an identity card. The French promotion of the association was due to the fact that it was thought that the Libyan association could be a useful means of anti-Italian propaganda, nevertheless it seems that only about 700 Libyans joined the association.135

Facing the World War: the split between Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican claims In the second half of 1938, a new split occurred within the group of Libyans in Damascus. Once again Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was the subject of the dispute, and he was criticized for putting forward his private interests ahead of those of the association. Indeed, it was rumoured that he had private contacts with Italy.136 Italian authorities who watched al-Sa‘dawi, had attempted the year before to create divergences in order to profit from them. In March 1937, an accusation of the activities of the exile association and of Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, signed by 33 Libyans residing in Syria and subsidized by Italy, was published in a local newspaper; the association responded by pointing to the lack of evidence.137 In order to appease the situation, in 1938 the Tripolitanian ‘Ali al-‘Abdiyya, who was the head of the exiles’ community in Transjordan, journeyed to Damascus in 1938 and convened a meeting of all the Libyan exiles in Syria; his aim was to approve a new charter, and to elect a new managing committee of the association. A commission designed to pacify the divergences among the Libyans was established. The new programme adopted a strict position against the collaborationists: the names of all the Arabs, Libyans and non-Libyans who were in the service of Italy were to be made known. It also emphasized the necessity of better coordination of exile activities in different countries and, above all, to carry out propaganda among the young people ‘in order to teach them to love their homeland and the sense of sacrifice’.138 The outbreak of war in 1939 was regarded by the exiles as an opportunity to regain control of their country; however, as we will see, this time marked an important change in the history of the exiles’ community and consequently, on the idea of a Libyan nation. Increasingly differences between Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans were characterized in both Libya and among exile circles. In this period, the exiles’ main political activity centre moved from Syria to Egypt. In October 1939, a conference was held in Alexandria at which Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans tried to overcome their differences; it was decided that responsibility for the leadership of the movement should be entrusted to Idris al-Sanusi. It was agreed that a joint Tripolitanian-Cyrenaican committee would be elected, which would work for the freedom of their country in close contact with Idris.139 A short time later, on 11 December, the exiles’ association in Damascus also subscribed to the agreement.140

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Following Italy’s entrance to the war, the Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican exiles disagreed on a policy of cooperation with Britain. As a result, their common attempt to use the war to further the fight for independence came to a standstill: Many Tripolitanians leaders believed, in agreement with the then prevailing idea in the Arab World, that the Axis Powers would win the war and that Britain had no chance of survival. They accordingly did no want to antagonize Italy [...] The Cyrenaican leaders [...] welcomed Italy’s entry into the war and were anxious to resume their struggle against her.141 Idris al-Sanusi, who was in contact with the British Government in Cairo, clearly wanted to support the British and agreed to organize a force which consisted of Libyans in exile who would serve under the British command. In a meeting held in Cairo in August 1940, a text was approved which committed the collaboration of both Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to Great Britain through the creation of a Libyan Arab Force. This would consist of volunteers, however most Tripolitanians did not agree to the resolution.142 The Libyan Arab Force, as it was called, was comprised of five battalions which were under the command of a British Colonel but had the Sanusi flag; its main responsibilities included sabotage, to control prisoners and to check communication lines.143 These strong divergences between the Tripolitanian and the Cyrenaican colonies in Egypt were reflected in the associations that arose in this period. In 1940, al-Lajna al-tarabulusiyya (the Tripolitanian Committee) was formed in Cairo, supported by Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, and composed of those Tripolitanians who objected to the proposal of Idris al-Sanusi as Amir-in-chief for a united Libya. In the same year, also in Cairo, Idris established al-Jam‘iyyat al-wataniyya al-libiyya (the Libyan National Association [LNA]), which, at least in theory, included both Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans. Idris was entrusted with the task of representing Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, and total trust was placed in Great Britain which had also agreed to support the Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican issues. Some Tripolitanian sources doubt the existence of the association; the founding act did not report the names of the founding members, and as a result it has been claimed that the association was merely a pretence orchestrated by Idris.144 Other sources have claimed that almost 40 Tripolitanians associated themselves with LNA.145 In the same year, Libyan students in Egypt created a sport and recreation association, named Nadi Tarabulus al-Gharb al-thaqafi (the Tripolitanian Cultural Club), which aimed to mobilize most of the Libyan students to the struggle for the national cause. The association had an office and members paid an annual fee. Another goal was to raise the exiles’ level of education; it therefore organized an internal library and a considerable programme of lectures, which ranged from classical Arabic literature to the history of Libya. The club also scheduled initiatives on the occasion of religious festivals, such as the mawlid, and ones considered ‘national’, such as the anniversary of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’s death. Its political activity mostly consisted of a call to the unity of Tripolitania

Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 109

Figure 5.3 Frank Hurley, ‘Prince Said Eidriss Senussi with his brother’, Prince Idris al-Sanusi, no date, Second World War. (nla.pic-an23816362, Hurley Negative Collection, National Library of Australia.)

and Cyrenaica; this call was not only addressed to Idris and the Libyans but also to the United Nations. Similar associations were created in other towns.146 In Tunisia, after Italy entered the war, the French General Resident demanded Ahmad Zarim, the secretary of the exiles association, to go to Algeria to carry out anti-Italian propaganda and to enrol volunteers among Libyan exiles to form a division which would be subsequently employed along the Libyan borders. French authorities had also tried to organize a meeting of the main Tripolitanian exponents from the exiles community and the key leaders of the nationalist movement in Algiers; the meeting was unsuccessful as Sulayman al-Baruni had died in the interim, and Bashir al-Sa‘dawi was unable to reach Algiers from Saudi Arabia. Only Ahmad Zarim from Tunis, ‘Awn al-Suf and Tawfiq al-Garyani from Cairo attended, however due to the armistice they returned.147 Thus for the exiles in the 1930s, the Libyan issue and the ‘imagined nation’ was strictly linked to, and influenced by, Arab nationalism. The outbreak of the war had hampered further developments of Libyan nationalism and provoked fractures within the exile communities. The events of the war and its aftermath, as we will see, contributed to the re-emergence of divisions between Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans.

6

The British interlude and political action in Libya

The British military occupation of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania in 1943 gave birth to strong hopes among the Libyans in Egypt about the possibility of a return to their homeland. Increasingly, the Tripolitanian colony felt the need to find an agreement with the Cyrenaicans regarding the future of Libya. In October 1943, the Tripolitanian Committee established its programme which vowed to respect the territorial unity of Libya without any divisions, oppose the occupation policy and demand unconditional independence and unity; it appealed to the inhabitants of Libya to be in favour of the unification of their country.1 The same period also coincided with increased political activity within Libya during which time a number of political parties were founded. While independence was their common goal, there was little agreement regarding the means for its attainment. Three main tendencies can be discerned among these movements: those that accepted Idris al-Sanusi as Amir of a united Libya, those who were ready to accept a foreign mandate over the country for a transitional period until independence, and those who dreamt of setting up a democratic, constitutional republic. Exiles, particularly those who had returned from Egypt, played an active role in the formation of these political parties.2 If, on one hand, the divergent points of view concerning Libya’s political future helped forge the creation of new political parties, on the other, it highlighted the conflicting interests of the big powers, and affected plans for Libya’s independence.

Competing interests: military administrations and Big Power politics In late June 1940, Rodolfo Graziani returned to Libya following Italy’s entry into the war. He had been appointed general governor of Libya after the death of Italo Balbo. Graziani also held the position as commander-in-chief of Italian troops in North Africa, and on 13 September 1940 he crossed the Egyptian border and conquered Sollum. This success was short-lived, however, for in December of the same year, the British went on the offensive. By late January 1941, Cyrenaica was lost to the British, who occupied the territory until April. By December 1941, the British were forced to re-occupy Benghazi although the city was re-captured in a counter-offensive by Rommels’ Afrika Corps within a month. After the victory of El-Alamein, the British Eighth Army was also able to recover Cyrenaica

The British interlude and political action in Libya 111 in November 1942. Two months later, on 23 January 1943, British troops entered Tripoli. Similarly, the French secured their interests by occupying the Fezzan oasis. Thus, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania became governed by the British military administration (BMA), while Fezzan came under the French.3 Cyrenaica assumed a strategic position in British post-war policy in the Middle East. Britain increasingly focussed on transforming its previous policy of domination to one of ‘non-intervention’ and ‘conciliation’. Cyrenaica was considered a potential alternative military basis to Egypt and Palestine.4 Even before the last British military occupation of Libya in 1943, there were involved debates within British government circles as to how best to achieve their aims with regards to Libya. Despite a variety of opinion being offered, the territorial integrity of Libya was not a British aim, and Cyrenaica and Tripolitania were envisaged as two, separate countries. The first suggestions were made by the officials who served in Cyrenaica. Brigadier Duncan C. Cumming, who was assigned to Cyrenaica in May 1942 and was later the chief political officer, considered Idris al-Sanusi’s support as indispensable to Great Britain in order to retain Cyrenaica. This statement was made despite the fact that Cumming believed that Sanusi did not possess political or administrative faculties.5 In 1942, a plan was envisioned that would apply the Transjordanian system to Cyrenaica. The two regions were considered to be in comparable situation: The two countries have roughly the same population; they are predominantly Moslem, the one hated the Turks and the French as an obstacle to its political aspirations, the others for the same reason hates the Italians. Both have religious leaders with the difference that, while the Emir Abdullah had to establish himself as a comparative stranger, the Said Idris as spiritual head of the Senussi has, by a long and unhappy exile, become invested with a peculiar authority. [...] Unlike the Emir Abdullah, who had some practical knowledge of administration on assuming responsibility in Trans-Jordan (though he had painfully to learn the art of governing under a democratic system imposed upon him), the Said Idris has none.6 The armistice signed in September 1943 did not include any disposition on the Italian colonies and the disposal of the former Italian colonies started to be discussed in post-war negotiations. The Yalta conference in February 1945, Potsdam in July and San Francisco between April and June 1945, also known as the UNCIOL, did not produce any specific proposals for the future of Libya. As a result, the Libya question fell under the competence of the council of foreign ministers, which had been established at the Potsdam conference with the task of drafting peace treaties and examining the disposal of the former Italian colonies. The council of foreign ministers worked between 1945 and 1948 but they also failed to achieve any result. Great Britain’s main interest lay in the strategic importance of Cyrenaica. Tripolitania on the other hand, was regarded as less important and the possibility of an Italian trusteeship was even considered. The restoration of Italian control over Tripolitania was also sponsored, for various

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reasons, by France and the Soviet Union. The idea of an Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania soon collapsed however during the first session of the council of foreign ministers in September 1945. There was a series of anti-Italian demonstrations in Tripolitania that highlighted the lack of popularity for the plan. In January 1946, the United States circulated a draft agreement proposing a United Nations administration over a unified Libya. As Scott L. Bills argues, the notion of a unified Libyan state was unclear, nevertheless ‘It was an ambitious undertaking – seeking to implant political rights that had never existed in Libya and committing a UN corps (yet to be recruited) to train native peoples for self governance of a unified state’.7 Tripolitania and Cyrenaica became in and of itself an important issue for the United States, which followed a conciliatory policy that ‘vacillated between an idealistic policy of self-determination [for the Libyans] and the realistic need to preserve its strategic position in the Mediterranean’.8 Annie Lacroix-Riz claims that the whole of the Maghrib was central to post-war American policy. Indeed following the allied landing on 8 November 1942 in North Africa, the United States increasingly attempted to replace French economic and strategic interests in the area with their own.9 France aimed to retain control over the region of Fezzan, a necessary security precaution for the defence of the bordering French colonial territories and a basis for air communications among metropolitan and Indian Ocean territories.10 Besides the diplomatic effort, Italy also undertook secret initiatives that aimed to favour the return of Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania. Contacts were restored with local notables who had served in the colonial administration, salaries and pensions were retrospectively paid to former askaris, and the image of a new Italy was projected throughout the world. Italy became so confident of the imminent recovery over the territory, that in late September 1947, a confidential report was sent to the British foreign office; in its pages this report suggested Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania and the creation of a new state mainly populated by Italians in Cyrenaica. In practice, the idea was the revival of the fascist project.11 Egypt also had its sights set on Libya. At the first meeting of the Four Powers in September 1945, a memorandum was presented in which Egypt requested to be consulted on the final status of Libya. Concerning the future of Libya, the memorandum suggested that the Libyan people should decide whether they wanted to gain independence or join a union with Egypt. If this were the case, Libya would be placed under a trusteeship that would be assigned to the care of Egypt or the Arab League. The memorandum also requested the clarification of the demarcation of the frontiers between Egypt and Libya.12 The possibility of Egyptian suzerainty or trusteeship over Cyrenaica was also discussed in AngloAmerican wartime discussions.13 In 1943, Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard wrote a memorandum entitled ‘The Place of Cyrenaica in the Arab World and its Future’ in which he supported the idea of linking Cyrenaica with Egypt in the form of a semi-autonomous state under Egyptian sovereignty. The proposal was based not on political considerations but on cultural ones, such as ‘determining the future of people one must follow the grains’. He argued that while Tripolitania was cultural homogeneous with Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, Cyrenaica belonged ‘to the

The British interlude and political action in Libya 113 eastern part of the Arab World, to the sunrise and not to the sunset’.14 The British foreign office did not consider the proposal seriously, as the future of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania were largely dependent on the strategic requirements of British policy in the Middle East.15 The idea that Tripolitania and Cyrenaica should be either governed separately or, at the most, as parties to a federation because of their different historical and cultural heritages was widespread in British cultural circles at the time.16 In October 1947, a commission of investigation to Libya was formed by representatives from the Four Powers and it was commissioned by the council of foreign ministers to report on internal conditions of the territories and future aspirations of existing populations on their political aspirations. The Four Power commission operated in Libya between 6 March and 20 May 1948 in order to produce a study. While the big powers were trying to find an agreement on the future of the region, populations in Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan were adjusting to a new foreign rule. In Fezzan the French administration was headed by a military governor. The territory was sub-divided into three local administrations (Sebha-Ubari, Shatti and Murzuk) under the control of different officers. The administrations of the regions of Ghat and Ghadames (which are part of the present-day administrative region of Fezzan within Libya) meanwhile, were attached to the French southern military territories of Algeria and Tunisia, respectively. This region was the poorest and the least populated of the three provinces, with approximately 90 per cent of its 40,000 inhabitants illiterate and without locally printed newspapers.17 As in Fezzan, the military occupation of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania was regulated by the Hague Convention of 1907, giving the BMA the authority to restore and preserve the pre-war colonial system. In practice, however, the occupation, in the form of the BMA, displayed signs that it was not planning on being a temporary institution from the very beginning and because of the peculiar circumstances of the occupied colonies a new administrative system was set up.18 Britain’s particular interest in Cyrenaica, played a vital role in the outlook of the new administrative system. The war had caused Cyrenaica extensive damage, Benghazi had been reduced to a heap of rubble, while considerable looting had taken place, and Italian colonists left their farms and public utilities were destroyed.19 During the first occupation, Brigadier Longrigg, deputy chief political officer in Cyrenaica, marked that besides the material difficulties, ‘the marked lack of confidence in the future, had led to a wide demoralization and break up of the society, from which the country must take months and probably years to recover’.20 On 11 November 1942, a few weeks after General Montgomery’s proclamation of the British occupation, political officers who were under the control of the chief political officer (later named chief civil affairs officer) were appointed in the principal towns; the main seat of administration was set up in Benghazi, and was based on the experiment that took place during the first occupation in 1940. The territory was divided into seven districts: Benghazi, Derna, Tobruk, Barce, Jabal al-Akhdar, Ajdabiya and Kufra, each under a political officer and supported by other officials. The districts were organized into sub-districts, and governed by mudirs. As a result of Kufra being isolated geographically from the other territories, it was

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Figure 6.1 Frank Hurley, ‘A British Civil Affairs officer (Major Sholto-Douglas) has a row-wow with the Shiekhs of Ptolemetta’, Tolmeta, Cyrenaica, ca. 1940–6. (nla.pic-an23816375, Hurley Negative Collection, National Library of Australia.)

given more autonomy. The administration relied heavily on local people, and the police employed were Arabs, as well as the qadi and the mufti who were kept in place by the British. These divisions were not permanent and by the end of 1944 the number of administrative districts was reduced to three large ones as well as the Kufra oases: Tobruk was merged with Derna, Ajdabiya with Benghazi and the Jabal al-Akhdar into Barce.21 With the commencement of the military administration, the British soon sought the cooperation of Idris Al-Sanusi’s collaboration, who was invited to return from exile in Egypt. As a part of this new openness to cooperation, the British allowed for Sanusi’s Egypt-based Libyan Arab force battalions into a new Cyrenaica defence force, which was expected to carry out policing and internal security duties with the aid of new British training.22 By and large, the populations of the areas collaborated with the British and some of their initiatives. Educational policies were received with particular enthusiasm. As the British administration would put it ‘[t]he people realise that, through no fault of their own, they are backward, even in the Arabic language and they are eager that their children shall benefit from the education that the Administration offers them’.23 In order to combat illiteracy the curricula of Egyptian government schools were introduced in Cyrenaica in 1943. With reference to local affairs, the British administration mainly had to face problems concerning tribes which during the colonial occupation had been deprived of their rights. To this end, intertribal courts were set up to solve tribal disputes

The British interlude and political action in Libya 115 in 1943. These courts were formed by representatives from all tribes in the district, although the choice of the court’s members was to a certain extent arbitrary: Owing to the detribalisation of the Arabs by the Italians and lack of accurate and up to date records it has been exceedingly difficult to really find out who are the recognized leaders of sections of tribes [...] it has been necessary to decide on a man who would have the appearance and antecedents of being a popular choice to that tribe [...] such [a] decision may or may not be correct from the tribal aspect.24 The main issue of contention presented to the courts was the demarcation of property, which became increasingly important after the return of exiles from Egypt, whence a number of tribes found that their lands had become inhabited by others. The intertribal courts sought to solve these problems in more than one way: in some cases, a tribal agreement was enacted which enabled occupiers to remain until the right of return by exiled people was investigated. In other cases, the land was given back to the exiled tribes although the occupiers were compensated for trees that they had planted.25 In August 1943, the British administration in Tripolitania changed its name from the occupied enemy territory administration to the BMA. A largely different policy was followed as the region had not suffered heavy damages and the Italians had not been evacuated. The territorial integrity of the region previously governed by the Italians was maintained by the British, who consolidated power through new regional headquarters. The Italian lire and British pound were replaced by a new currency, the military authority lire. Italian courts continued to function, as military and Italian courts had separately defined jurisdictions; shari‘a and rabbinical courts carried on with matters under their competence. In contrast, the legal system in Cyrenaica posed problems due to the absence of an Italian administration that was still capable of operating. Thus, the military courts in Cyrenaica were given jurisdiction over civil crimes; civil courts only became operational in late 1944.26 In Tripolitania, Italians continued to hold some public offices in the municipality, the penal and civil courts, as well as in hospitals. This is indicative of the fact that Italians had attempted to reconstitute their pre-war community in Tripolitania. Many attempted to return in a clandestine manner, with many children returning from Italy, to where they had been placed during the war. The BMA did not oppose these returns initially; however, illegal immigration became a serious problem for them by 1946. The number of unemployed Italians also increased, with growingly vocal Arab opposition. This resulted in a head-for-head, two-way repatriation plan, which was approved on the condition that this did not exceed expatriations.27 The majority of population had accepted the BMA without great hostility but in August 1943 the first signs of discontent appeared. The Arabs in Tripoli and Gharyan denounced the fact that Italians still held offices which concerned native affairs, and they asked for equal salaries as well as tax reduction and wider concessions, including the provision of primary school education for Muslims,

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and permission for pilgrimage to Mecca. The British gave swift replies to these demands and in October schools were opened; in November, 300 pilgrims left for Mecca and tax modifications were introduced.28 During this period, an embryonic political activity had begun which rather than making political demands, were largely underpinned by economic motives. The British official account should be noted for its observation: Despite their hopes the British occupation had not after all brought a new heaven and a new earth. The cost of living was high; black market prices outrageous; the currency had (apparently) devalued; trade was at a standstill, lands expropriated by the Italians had not been immediately returned to their former owners; Italy officers remained in office. The Tripolitanian Arabs [...] felt that they had ‘missed the boat’ by comparison with their brothers in Cyrenaica where the tribesmen were re-occupying expropriated lands; [and where] an all-Arab civil service was enjoying higher salaries and greater responsibilities.29 In October and November of the following year, further petitions werepresented by Arab notables, requesting that Tripolitania be placed under British tutelage and that Italian domination should not be restored. At the same time similar petitions were presented in other towns. Whether this can be considered to be an early sign of political activity is a controversial point; the requests were presented by the advisory councils, which had been formed by the British in each district and represented the conservative elements within the areas, thus reflecting British orientations. In contrast, a genuine expression of political sentiment was demonstrated when a few thousand people, who were not counted as natural political allies of the advisory councils, accompanied the presentation of petitions in October to Tripoli.30

Political parties in Tripolitania Under the BMA the political debate on the future of Libya followed the former exiles back to the country. By 1947, there were seven political parties in Tripolitania, most importantly: the Nationalist Party, the United National Front, the Free National Bloc, the Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party, the Liberal Party, the Turko-Tripolitanian Union Party31 and the Labour Party, which represented the minor parties.32 The first party to be formed in 1945, was al-Hizb al-watani (the Nationalist Party), which had begun in secret and was officially recognized on 8 April 1946. It was a revival of an earlier party of the same name, founded by ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam in 1919 in Tripoli. Under the leadership of Ahmad Faqih Hasan, it was organized by a small group and was based on the premises of al-Nadi al-adabi (the Literary Club) which had been established by in 1943. This and the other three existing clubs, Nadi al-‘ummal (the Workers’ Club),33 Nadi al-shabbab (the Sporting Club) and Nadi al-nahda (the Reform Club) of Misurata, while ostensibly cultural and recreational associations, were in fact

The British interlude and political action in Libya 117 embryonic political formations.34 The British administration allowed the opening of the social clubs, which became the only channels for public expression from the end of July 1943. It was believed by the administration that to tolerate the activities would, ‘serve as a safety-valve for the more seditious minded antiItalian Arabs’.35 Ahmad Faqih Hasan, the promoter of the first political party in post-war Tripolitania, belonged to a well-known Tripoli family of intellectuals. Born in 1895, he attended an Ottoman secondary school and had followed a largely traditional education in Islamic studies, although he also studied Italian and French. In 1914, he emigrated to Egypt with his family and lived in Alexandria until 1919 when he returned after the promulgation of the Fundamental Laws. The years spent in Egypt were extremely formative, both for his literary work – he was to become one of Libya’s great poets – and his political ideas. Hasan was in contact with leading figures of the Egyptian Nationalist Party and witnessed a strong phase of the Egyptian nationalist struggle for independence. Returning to Tripoli in 1920, he founded the Literary Club whose programme included the presentation of conferences on Arabic literature and Islamic culture, the establishment of a library, which specialized in literature, and the organization of evening courses teaching Arabic literacy. The club was later banned by the Italians in 1922.36 During the period of fascist rule, he was not directly involved in the anti-colonial struggle, nevertheless he was in direct contact with the exiles in Syria and Egypt, and published articles regarding the Libyan question in the Egyptian press, and, in 1936, took chief responsibility for the highly significant Awqaf library in Tripoli.37 The Literary Club when reconstituted in 1943 retrieved the programme of the first Literary Club and was soon concerned with the national issue, later transforming into the Nationalist Party in 1945, and boasted 1,800 members.38 The early programme of the Nationalist Party envisaged a national government for a unified and independent Libya, even if a certain amount of dominance by Tripolitania was deemed essential, indeed its first manifesto provided for Tripoli to be the seat of government (lit.: ‘[a] government, the centre of which shall be placed in Tripoli’). It is worth noting that, at the time of its establishment, the Nationalist Party foresaw an independent Libya where religion did not play a prominent role. An article of its first programme clearly stated ‘the elimination of religious and confessional differences as basis [for discrimination between citizens] because religion belongs to God and the homeland belongs to all of us’39 (this was an oft-used phrase in the publications of nationalists from various Arab countries of the time). As an alternative plan, the party envisaged a unified Libya under the trusteeship of the Arab League. The party claimed to represent the country’s national aspirations. The leadership was constituted by a committee of 12, elected according to its constitution. British documentation reports that the Nationalist Party was almost entirely urban, non-representative and had little influence, in contrast to Arabic sources which claimed that it had about 15,000 registered members scattered throughout various local branches.40 Estimating an accurate figure for the membership of political parties is difficult, as ‘the parties were prone to exaggerate the support working on the theory that

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by gaining a notable from an area it has automatically gained the allegiance of all the inhabitants’.41 Usually the British authorities calculated the members by the membership cards printed, but this is misleading as it does not take into account the people who supported the parties without affiliation and does not take into account that in some cases the printed membership cards did not correspond to actual members. In the early months of 1946, the Nationalist Party had to deal with internal dissent. Some of its founding members – including Ahmad Faqih Hasan – had been detained in connection with anti-Jewish riots which, as will be discussed later, had erupted in November 1945 in Tripoli. During their imprisonment, these leaders were replaced by other members who had different ideas concerning party organization and methods. This internal crisis led to a shift in the membership ranks of the organization and a political re-structuring.42 As a result, Ahmad Faqih Hasan left the party and Mustafa Mirzan was elected as the new party president, with effect from November 1946.43 Mirzan belonged to the Tripolitanian intelligentsia, and had gone into exile during the Italian occupation. Born in Tripoli in 1897 he had spent some of his exile years, between 1911 and 1919, in Syria and Egypt. After his return, Mirzan held some public offices in the colonial administration: he was a member of the board of a Muslim secondary school in 1935; vice-president of the administrative commission of the Arts and Crafts School in 1938; adviser to the Municipality of Tripoli between 1937 and 1941; and adviser to the Tripolitanian covernment from 1941 until the beginning of the British occupation.44 In these years in Tripolitania the political debate and initiatives were strongly intertwined with international negotiations regarding Libya. In the Spring of 1946, the Defence Committee – of which there are very few sources – was formed, comprising of Jews, Berbers and Arabs. The formation of this committee was a reaction to the news that Ernest Bevin, the British secretary for foreign affairs at the council of foreign ministers in Paris had accepted a suggestion for an Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania. In May 1946, the Defence Committee changed its name to the al-Jabha al-wataniyya al-muttahida (the United National Front) and was joined by some Nationalist Party representatives.45 The United National Front aimed to unite and create an independent Libya under the constitutional rule of Idris al-Sanusi which would operate with Great Britain. Failing this, a potentially independent Libya under Britain or a trusteeship would be accepted.46 Some of the leaders of the United National Front, who had been leading personalities among the exiles circles in Egypt, had declared that they were willing to co-operate with the British even before returning to Tripolitania.47 In the first months of life the United National Front and the Nationalist Party shared very similar political outlooks, and some people were affiliated to both of these parties simultaneously.48 This coalition was short-lived, however. Some Nationalist Party leaders disapproved of the choice of Salim Bey al-Muntasir as president, as he had served in the Italian administration. The Front clearly represented the conservative elements of the country; indeed, its main supporters were the notables and tribal shaykhs, as well as certain influential traders

The British interlude and political action in Libya 119 and some Jews. The leading group of the United National Front besides Salim al-Muntasir included Mahmud al-Muntasir, his nephew, Muhammad Abu al-Is‘ad al-‘Alim, the mufti of Tripoli, ‘Awn Suf al-Mahmudi and his son Ahmad, Ibrahim Bin Sha‘ban, Muhammad Sayf al-Nasr and Zachino Arbib, an important member of the Jewish community in Tripoli. Salim al-Muntasir was a member of a family that had undoubtedly facilitated Italian occupation. The Muntasir family had offered their services to Italy before the occupation, but after the peace of Lausanne the Muntasirs acted as go-between in the negotiations with the armed tribes of western Tripolitania. It was because of these facts that their credit with the Government of Tripolitania was high. As a result Ahmad Diya’ al-Din al-Muntasir, Salim’s brother, was appointed to the committee for the civil and administrative regulations of the colony. Nevertheless, in January 1913, because of colonial officers’ rotation, the Muntasirs became estranged from the Italian government, although they were reconciled once again in 1917.49 Later in 1943, Salim al-Muntasir became a member of the Advisory Council, and was appointed by the Chief Administrator of the BMA.50 The mufti Muhammad Abu al-Is‘ad al-‘Alim was named the Grand Mufti of Libya in 1937 during the fascist period, and under the British administration he was later appointed mufti of Tripolitania. For many years during the Italian administration, he had been dean of the schools of awqaf and rector of the Institute of Islamic studies.51 ‘Awn Suf, who as seen belonged to one of the first families which went into exile in 1913, returned from Egypt in 1945 and was increasingly enthusiastic about collaborating with the British.52 The United National Front did not grasp the support of young people but nonetheless had a large consensus and in December 1947 the British authorities estimated that it represented some 75 per cent of Tripolitanian opinion.53 The United National Front was supported by the British and despite the fact that most of its members believed that it would be preferable to uphold an appearance of being anti-British, they also regarded the possibility of a British trusteeship as a means to eventual independence or autonomy.54 Not only did the Nationalist Party secede from the United National Front, but it also disintegrated due to internal divergences regarding the Sanusi leadership. The United National Front sought Idris al-Sanusi’s support for a unified independent Libya under a Sanusi Amirate. In late May 1946, a delegation, which claimed to represent Tripolitanian political opinion, visited Idris al-Sanusi in Cairo to ask support for a unified independent Libya under a Sanusi Amirate. A group from the Nationalist Party agreed to this initiative, while conversely, another party wing did not wish to be associated with this. By late May 1946, led by Ahmad Faqih Hasan, and his brother ‘Ali, who had become the new party president, al-Kutla al-wataniyya al-hurra (the Free Nationalist Bloc) was formed.55 In its first manifesto the party clearly expressed that two basic principles guided its actions: the demand for an independent and the territorial integrity of Libya and the right of the people to decide the form of government.56 This bloc aimed to have a republican government and refused Sanusi leadership.57 This party was the most active on the scene and largely based its activities on protests and popular participation. It soon asked for the complete arabization of the administration

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and from February 1947 started to send regularly telegrams to the Arab League protesting against the BMA.58 Indeed, uniquely, it was the only party which paid special attention to Fezzan and criticized the French administration.59 It openly challenged the British administration through civil disobedience, which took the form of the closure of businesses, public gatherings and the circulation of leaflets. In February 1947, the group also published a newspaper without securing permission, as they believed that the columns of the official newspaper were not sufficient to express the party views.60 There is evidence to suggest that after only one year in operation, they had distributed 10,000 membership cards, and were largely recruiting from among the young population.61 The activities of the party were carried by two special branches: the party’s youth group and its trade union. The youth group was used mainly for the distribution of the party’s leaflets. On several occasions, ‘Ali Faqih Hasan, the party president, suggested beginning a uniformed youth organization, which in all likelihood would have paramilitary character. Regarding the trade union, there is some evidence to suggest that 5,000 workers joined the party in October 1947, following party decisions to organize labour.62 Majid Khadduri has ascribed the limited results obtained by the party, despite its popularity, to the rigid position of its president, ‘Ali Faqih Hasan, who refused any attempts at dialogue, on several levels.63 This party was perceived by the British as a potential danger and its activities were also severely limited. The BMA also barred party members from holding official positions. For example, in December 1947 Shaykh ‘Ali Agab was placed on leave without pay from his function of qadi because of his party affiliation.64 A small group of dissidents from the Free National Bloc formed in Tripoli in November 1946 Hizb al-ittihad al-misri al-tarabulusi (the Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party),65 which was headed by ‘Ali Rajab.66 The party programme, published in late January 1947, aimed to unite Libya with Egypt under the Egyptian crown, and the adoption of common defence and foreign policies. Libya would preserve some independence as a semi-autonomous province and would retain its own administration and legislature. It seems that ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam had a strong influence upon the intellectual underpinnings of this grouping, as he worked to liaise within Libya with the aim of gaining a governor-general of Libya on behalf of the Egyptian crown.67 The British authorities however, considered that the party’s real objective was the union of Tripolitania with Egypt, and that by claiming for Libyan unity with Egypt, it could rally support intended.68 The party programme also included the defence of the Palestinian issue,69 and in December 1947 with the Free National Bloc started to enrol volunteers for Palestine, although the British hampered enrolment.70 The Palestinian question had increasingly gained importance and ranks of volunteers were organized among the exiles in Syria and Egypt.71 The Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party did not play an incisive role, nor did it have a large support base, as it counted only 300 members.72 At the end of 1947, the party dropped the idea of union with Egypt and its leader, ‘Ali Rajab, took a favourable attitude to the Sanusi Amirate.73 The party lacked real public support and its switch in position probably reflected an aim to expand popular appeal.

The British interlude and political action in Libya 121 Another split in the Free National Bloc led to the formation of Hizb al-‘ummal (the Labour Party) in September 1947.74 This was led by Bashir Bin Hamza, who had been the Free National Bloc treasurer until July 1947. The party aimed for a united Libya under the Sanusi Amirate as well as Arab League membership.75 This small group had approximately 70 members76 and total internal cohesion, with Bashir Bin Hamza being accused of pro-Italian sympathies. In an interview to the Italian newspaper Il Tempo, Hamza stated that Tripolitania was not ready for self-government, and was still bound by strong ties to Italy.77 Mahmud Shiniti argues that this party drew its power from dockworkers and labourers on Italian farms, whom the British had prevented from organizing.78 In March 1948, a few intellectuals and teachers formed Hizb al-ahrar (the Liberal Party). This new formation, led by leader Sadiq bin Zarra‘ ex-vice president of the Nationalist Party, supported Idris al-Sanusi as head of a united Libya. Nonetheless, the party did not gain a popular support, its membership never exceeding about a hundred people and had commensurately little political clout.79 It is clear also that the main disputes between the various parties were more personal than political as few had developed strong constitutional structures to further their aims. In Fezzan also, despite the widespread illiteracy and the poor conditions, a political awareness arose. As Adrian Pelt observed ‘there were a good number of politically conscious people there with opinions of their own about the future of their territory in the light of postwar developments’.80 In January 1946, some Fezzan notables gathered, representing all the five administrative territories in which the French authorities divided the region. They aimed to find a solution to the French military occupation, and sent some representatives to Tripoli in secret to understand what was occurring in the other regions. In Tripoli they were in touch with the founders of the Nationalist Party, and after a second secret trip to Tripoli in April they created a secret society to oppose the French which aimed to cut Fezzan off from Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, in an effort to link the region to French African territories. Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Barquli was named as president of the society and Muhammad Bin ‘Uthman al-Sayd as vice-president. After its constitution in July 1947, the society sent another secret mission to Tripoli; this time they met members of the major Tripolitanian parties and representatives of Idris al-Sanusi. In early 1948, they decided to clandestinely abandon, and drafted a programme that included Libyan independence and unity under the leadership of Idris al-Sanusi. This was subsequently circulated in the villages.81 The late ‘Uthman al-Sayd recalled that their adherence on the Sanusi leadership was motivated by the fact that other Tripolitanian parties were not concerned with Fezzan, and not out of any ideological commitments. The Fezzan organization in Tripolitania had close contacts with Ahmad Faqih Hasan who was the only party leader who paid attention to Fezzan.82

The Sanusi leadership in Cyrenaica Unlike in Tripolitania, Cyrenaica did not produce many political parties. This was mainly due to the absence of any political focus barring that of the Sanusi.

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Having been in exile for over 20 years, Idris visited Cyrenaica in July 1944, where he called for unity and support from the people to the BMA. His appearance was generally well received, although public reactions to his visit varied among different tribes and towns. For the tribes, he represented the symbol of the religious faith and the political tradition. His visit was considered to be a return of the baraka (blessedness) and Idris was recognized as a religious and political leader. He was also welcomed as the Amir, the title given him by the Italians in 1920. Concerning the towns, Idris al-Sanusi was regarded largely as a religious non-political leader,83 the British believed that there were many people who had been in exile in Egypt who did not accept the Sanusi political leadership as ‘in their exile they have picked up ideas of a more modern world’.84 The visit to Cyrenaica was organized following a suggestion by the British and from the second half of 1940s it became evident that the political leadership of Idris al-Sanusi was supported by the British. Similarly, some Tripolitanian parties also attempted to forge an agreement with Idris al-Sanusi on the future of country. The first attempt, which as previously discussed, was promoted by the Tripolitanian United National Front in Cairo in May 1946, had a disruptive effect on the Nationalist Party. It had failed and did not produce successful results. In Cairo the United National Front members with representatives of the Tripolitanian exiles community elaborated a programme for unity that was submitted to the Sanusi. Although Idris agreed to the principle of a united country under the membership of the Arab League, the Tripolitanian demands for a constitutionally representative government and not a hereditary Amirate, were deemed as an insufficient guarantee for Idris’s leadership.85 In order to promote the idea of a restoration of the Sanusi political leadership, in Cyrenaica, al-Jabha al-wataniyya al-barqawiyya (the Cyrenaican National Front) was set up in summer 1946 to coincide with Sayyid Idris’s visit. It expressed the views of the leading tribal chiefs who championed British recognition of the independence of Cyrenaica and self-government under the Amirate of Idris al-Sanusi along with British assistance in administration. The main advocate for Cyrenaican independence with British assistance was ‘Umar Mansur al-Kikhya,86 who had previously presented this idea to the British authorities.87 The Cyrenaican National Front originally consisted of 50 members, including a member from the Jewish community. It expanded its membership base to include town representatives and had 75 members. There was an executive committee of 19 people, under the presidency of the Amir’s brother, Muhammad al-Rida al-Sanusi, although he was largely a figurehead. The most influential members of the Front were the vice-president, Hamida Bin Mahjub the secretarygeneral, Rashid Mansur al-Kikhya and his brother, ‘Umar Mansur al-Kikhya, ‘Umar Fa’iq al-Shanib and ‘Ali al-‘Ubaydi,88 president of the Derna branch of the Front, which was launched in May of 1947.89 In November 1946, the Cyrenaican National Front addressed its first political manifesto to the British authorities. They asked for recognition of the Sanusi Amirate under Idris, and permission to form a national government to administer the country in preparation for complete independence. As Pelt has observed ‘These demands revealed a clear preference

The British interlude and political action in Libya 123 for realizing Cyrenaican independence before attempting to solve the question of Libyan unity’, the older generation of tribal chiefs were not concerned with future political developments but rather ‘the appalling thought that Italian settlers might return to reoccupy the land that had originally belonged to the tribes obsessed most of the older leaders’.90 The Front’s official programme was published in the newspaper Barqa al-jadida on 28 January 1947. It called for a mithaq watani, or national pact, which consisted of the following points: 1. the independence of Cyrenaica; 2. the proclamation of the Amirate of Idris al-Sanusi, without any conditions or stipulations; 3. the formation of a national constitutional government with an army and administration under a national flag; 4. the attainment of unity with Tripolitania under three conditions: i. the Tripolitanians accept the Amirate of Idris al-Sanusi without any conditions or stipulations; ii. the Tripolitanians express this commitment to the foreign powers in charge of the future of the country; iii. the unity should not lead to any Italian interference in Cyrenaica.91 In short, the Front’s main objective was not the unity of the country but the independence of Cyrenaica. The Front’s programme was published soon after the failure of the negotiations with Tripolitanians. In January 1947, on the initiative of the Tripolitanian National United Front, representatives of the Cyrenaican National Front met a delegation of Tripolitanian leaders92 in Benghazi in order to agree on a common programme and to achieve the country’s independence. The negotiations failed due to the divergence of political outlooks. For the Tripolitanians, unity came first and the Amirate second, while to the Cyrenaicans these priorities were inverted. The Cyrenaican delegation refused to cede to Tripolitanian demands that any separate settlements proposed by the Great Powers towards one province individually should be turned down.93 The Cyrenaican National Front’s ‘reactionary and outdated ideas’94 were incompatible to the expectations of a group of young people who had grown up in exile, mainly in Egypt, and were imbued with the ideology of Arab nationalism that clearly pointed towards the establishment of a united independent Libya. These dissenting voices converged in the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club, and strongly contested the Cyrenaican National Front. Following Idris’ definitive return to Cyrenaica in November 1947, he set out to put an end to the opposition between the Front and the ‘Umar Mukhtar Club. Relying on British support, Idris dissolved all political organizations and ordered their amalgamation into a united front in December 1947. These years also saw another political formation, the Rabitat al-shabab (the Youth League). While little is known on this group, there is some evidence to suggest that older politicians pushed the moderate youth to form a group to contrast against ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club.95 Despite this, however,

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the Youth League had little effect even though it remained active after the dissolution of other political parties.96 Sanusi’s plans for a unified political grouping to lead the country took the form of the al-Mu’tamar al-watani (the National Congress), which was established in January 1948. In reality this group represented the same structures, formation and objectives as the Cyrenaican National Front. It consisted of 75 notables, who together represented all the areas of Cyrenaica. An elected executive committee of eighteen members was also created in order to examine questions of the Amirate, independence and Libyan unity; overall leadership rested with Idris’s brother, Muhammad Rida. There were two vice-presidents, Siddiq al-Rida al-Sanusi (a nephew of the Amir) and Abu al-Qasim al-Sanusi, and two secretaries, ‘Ali al-Jirbi and Khalil al-Qallal.97

A Cyrenaican critique of Idris: the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club In Cyrenaica the Sanusi leadership was challenged by the only main political association, Nadi ‘Umar al-Mukhtar (the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club). Arab sources report that the idea of establishing an association named after ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, which gathered young Libyans who represented a national symbol, was brought up among exiles in Egypt and led by As‘ad ‘Urabi Bin ‘Umrani in late 1941. The association was officially set up in Cairo on 31 January 1942 and from April 1943, the club was based in Benghazi.98 British sources, however, report that the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club was established in 1940 in a prisoner of war camp in Egypt, as a recreational and mutual assistance association, in cooperation with the staff of the British camp. One year later, the establishment of the Libyan Arab Force allowed the absorption of many exiles, including members of the association. There were no further records of the ‘Umar Al Mukhtar Club until 1943, when it was reassembled to Benghazi.99 It seems most likely that the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club was formed in student and exile circles, since these were the most vocal promoters of the association. In fact, the re-establishment of the association in Benghazi was due to three young exiles who had returned from Egypt: ‘Ali Fallaq, Mahmud Mahluf – a famous intellectual – and al-Mahdi al-Mutardi. Having returned to Cyrenaica, the three men held public offices in the British administration. In order to obtain a large popular consensus, the vice-qadi of Benghazi: Khalil ‘Abd al-Kafi al-Kawwafi,100 who was also from the traditional elite, was appointed president and the general secretary was Sa‘d Ahmad al-Jihan.101 The ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club was, arguably, one of the first truly nationalist movements in Libya prior to independence. It was an expression of the new strengths of the country, although in fact it was mainly composed of young people, many of whom had already lived in Egypt for a certain period of time and had been moulded intellectually by Egyptian nationalists.102 The main goal of the association was the unification of the country. Moreover, the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club displayed some of the typical elements of Arab nationalism, such as a certain degree of pan-Arab inclination, as well as the paramount importance

The British interlude and political action in Libya 125 of education as a means to build the nation. In accordance with its first statute, the association, whose full name was Jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar al-riyadiyya li-l-shabab al-libi (‘Umar al-Mukhtar Sport Club for Young Libyans), did not contain any political reference, but instead displayed cultural, sporting and charity aims. The cultural branch of the club played an important role in publishing newspapers and periodicals, as well as undertaking initiatives to erase illiteracy. The sporting branch aimed to promote sport in Libya by establishing Libyan clubs and federations for the various sporting disciplines. In fact, article 4 of the statute stated that the association should use all means to strengthen relations between young Libyans. Any Libyan, without distinction or discrimination, was entitled to be affiliated with the association provided that they paid the membership fee, which, together with donations, constituted the Club’s main revenue.103 It is noteworthy that there were Jewish members in the association, despite the fact that some Muslim-Jewish tensions erupted in Tripolitania in 1945 and again in 1948 (which was the year of Israel’s birth). Indeed, religious identity was initially unrelated to the idea of watan and particularly the definition that was promoted by the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club. The ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club, was one of the few groups and political parties in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania which also had well-defined cultural programmes. In the summer of 1943 the association opened a summer school for young people in Benghazi who, due to the Italian occupation and Second World War, had not been regular attended to the school. The following year an evening school for workers was also opened, moreover, Arabic courses were organized for Frenchor English-speaking Jewish young people. In July 1943 the group began to publish al-Barqa al-riyadiyya (the Cyrenaican Sport), an athletic magazine, which, from the following month, was published together with the cultural monthly Majallat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar (‘Umar al-Mukhtar Review).104 Mustafa Bin ‘Amir, a refugee who had returned from Egypt where he gradurated from the prestigious Dar al-‘ulum school and was an educational inspector in the BMA, was responsible for the cultural section. He was aided by Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, who at that time was a promising young poet.105 In June 1944, the Club opened a new branch in Derna; the group’s articles of association prescribed the opening of different branches in the country, which were to be centrally administered from the main headquarters. The Derna section opened a sub-branch named Rabitat al-shabab al-darnawi (League of the Youth of Derna), which already counted 250 young members when it was established. The Derna branch was also culturally active, since besides organizing evening courses to erase illiteracy, the branch also organized a drama company to perform as well as organizing periodical conferences and literature meetings. Moreover, at the head office they set up a small library that included approximately 200 volumes, most of which had been donated by the British cultural centre in Cairo.106 In 1946, with the appointment of Mustafa Bin ‘Amir as president of the Club, who had resigned from his office in the BMA ‘in order to criticise the Administration more freely’,107 the political commitment of the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club became more apparent. A first sign of this new phase was

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the transformation of the athletic magazine al-Barqa al-riyadiyya to al-Watan (The Nation), which became the weekly political organ of the association. Al-Watan, unceasingly pointed out that freedom could not be conquered without unifying the country first, it therefore played a paramount role in contributing to the formation of national consciousness among young people who were members of the Club.108 This political activism began in December 1946 and closely coincided with the publication of a memorandum addressed to the British authorities which harshly criticized the four-year activity of the BMA. The BMA was blamed for having split the country into two parts, as well as having failed to promote the development of national production, and having failed to implement an efficient health system, and a central administration. On behalf of the people of Cyrenaica, the association called for the independence and the unity of the country under the guide of Idris and urged to join the Arab League as an independent state; in the short term they also demanded that Libyans be allowed to hold important offices in the British administration.109 The association joined the programme of the Cyrenaican National Front, but, after the failure of negotiations between the political groups of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania the association did not hesitate to move against the Front and criticize Idris. The ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club claimed that national unity was not one of Idris’s main objectives.110 Criticism against Idris and the Front became increasingly harsh. An editorial published in al-Watan, blamed Idris for having entered into secret negotiations with the British in order to split the country; consequentially, the Sanusi forbade the association to deal with politics, which was to remain the prerogative of the Front. The ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club did not respect the ban and accused the Front of fascism and inefficiency. Instead, the Club defined itself not as a ‘party which aspires to rule but as the first nationalist organization in the country’ whose objectives were the full independence of Libya with Idris as leader and membership in the United Nations. In contrast, the Front only aimed for the independence of Cyrenaica.111 The political conflict with Idris marked the beginning of real political activity; the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club made an address which appealed to all the political groups of the country to work together for an independent and united Libya. Due to a series of editorials, al-Watan was closed for three weeks and ‘Ali Fallaq, who was the leader of political activities, was removed from his office in the Benghazi municipality. In December 1947, the dissolution of all political parties and the formation of al-Mu’tamar al-watani (the National Congress) caused a split within the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club. The Derna branch wished to respect the Sanusi decree, while the central branch in Benghazi adopted a critical position, and argued that the national question could not be a prerogative of the party but conversely it concerned all people. In any case since the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club officially had recreational and cultural purposes it was able to continue with its activities.112 In 1948, the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club also organized a Boy Scouts (al-kishaf) group, which may have sought affiliation with the Boy Scouts World Association, but was likely also a front for secret military training.113 As already said, one of the main features of this political organization was its pan-Arab inclination.

The British interlude and political action in Libya 127 In particular, sympathy for the Palestinian question was strong and the association, besides condemning the United Nations resolution of 1947, opened an office which recruited volunteers to fight in Palestine. The requirements for recruitment were: to be 20-years-old or above, not to be an only child, to have two living parents and not to have committed any hostility towards the Jews. Similarly, Idris also opened a voluntary recruitment office, although this failed to gain many volunteers.114 Moreover, ever since its foundation the association had sided with the claims of independence of other Arab countries, particularly in the Maghrib through its contacts with the Arab Maghreb Bureau in Cairo.115 In July 1948, the association hosted Habib Bourguiba, who had arrived from Egypt in secret in order to meet with some Tunisian nationalists on the Libyan-Tunisian frontier.116 During these years the Tunisian Neo-Destour Party concerned itself with the Libyan issue. Its representative, who was based in Tripoli had the duty to contact the nationalist parties in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and to convince them of the importance of linking their efforts for independence with those of Tunisians, Moroccans and Algerians.117 The British authorities believed that Tunisian Neo-Destour was in favour of a British trusteeship as this would force their independence from the French.118 Another distinguishing characteristic of the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club was the fact that, unlike the other groups and political parties, it had a broad popular following. In fact, despite a small number of officially affiliated members, it could count on the support of some three to four thousand individuals.119 The significance of this popular support is noteworthy, when one considers that the 1940s were characterized by political parties or movements which were restricted to elites.

An attempt at unity: the Libyan Liberation Committee A particular attempt to bring together different currents of Libyan patriotism was made by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi through the Libyan Liberation Committee in 1947. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, leader of the exiles’ movement in Syria, who in 1938 had been appointed adviser to ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Ibn Saud in the newly created Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and returned to Cairo in 1947.120 In March, al-Sa‘dawi, along with Tahir al-Murayyid, Ahmad al-Suwayhli, Mansur Qadara, Mahmud al-Muntasir, Jawad Bin Zikri121 established Hay’at tahrir Libiya (the Libyan Liberation Committee [LLC]).122 Its aim was to bring together the different nationalist groups both from Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The LLC did not present itself as a political party or organization but wished to act as an intermediary among the main political parties of Tripolitania.123 The LLC soon received the approval of the Nationalist Party, the Free National Bloc and the United National Front who all issued statements in favour of unity. The Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party did not participate as it had poor relations with the other parties who contested the position of Ali Rajab, the party president, particularly as they had declared that all Libyans desired to form a union with Egypt.124 In contrast, the Tripolitanian exiles in Tunisia recognized the LLC as the spokesperson for their requests of

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independence.125 The programme of the LLC included action for the independence of Libya, cooperation with the Arab League and maintenance of Libyan unity during the struggle for freedom. The fact that there were no clear references to Idris’ political leadership after the establishment of independence, resulted in the refusal of the Cyrenaican National Front to join the LLC.126 Following its establishment, the LLC began its political activity and one of its first steps included despatching letters and a series of memoranda to the Arab League requesting its involvement in the Libyan question. The Arab League from early on after its creation in 1945, was concerned with the Libyan issue. In September 1945, it addressed a memorandum to the council of foreign ministers in London, asking for the unification and independence of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan, as well as a form of government chosen by the peoples of those territories. The memorandum, which recalled the history of the three provinces since the Ottoman times, stressed the fact that the region geographically and historically was linked to other Arab countries.127 Two other similar memoranda were directly presented by the secretary general of the Arab League who participated at the meeting in London. On 18 April 1946, the Arab League approved the release of a statement which opposed any plans for the partition of Libya and the foreign trusteeship of its regions. It also rejected the idea that Italy should have any importance regarding the decisions for the future of Libya, and firmly sustained that the Libyan people had the right to determine their future.128 The representatives of the Arab League also raised the Libyan question at the meeting of the kings and heads of states convened by King Faruq of Egypt in Cairo in May 1946.129 In early 1947, the Arab League’s secretary general, ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, unofficially contacted representatives of the Italian government in order to find a solution to the Libyan issue. This however proved fruitless, as the Italians wished to further their own plans at obtaining an Arab League consensus on an Italian trusteeship in Tripolitania.130 ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam strongly supported the LLC, making a personal appeal to the people of Libya to recognize the LLC, to be united and to cooperate in order to achieve their freedom. This was a call to prevent factionalism occurring among different political parties, affecting the success of the LLC and was spread not only in Libya but also in Egypt, where it was broadcasted by the Egyptian state radio.131 Until the Arab League meeting of 22 February 1948, the LLC and their project had not been formally examined by the Arab League, but it enjoyed a wide appeal due largely to ‘Azzam’s personal stature.132 It was only after that meeting that Azzam was able to secure the LLC’s position as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.133 The issue of Libyan unity figured conspicuously in the Egyptian press; in fact the LLC addressed many requests directly to King Faruq and the premier, Mahmud Fahmi Nuqrashi to take sides against any attempt of division of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica.134 In March 1947, the LLC addressed its first memorandum at the council of foreign ministries, asking for the unification and independence of Libya, while also denouncing the British administration for having caused the economic crisis in Tripolitania. Using some historical

The British interlude and political action in Libya 129 distortions, the unity of Libya was claimed to date back to the Ottoman occupation in the sixteenth century and was used to lend credence to the idea of an independent nation. The unity of the country was also traced and assessed through the economic interdependencies of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan.135 It is worth noting that while the memorandum stressed that this ‘united Libya’ was characterized by an Arab identity forged by the Arabic language which had intermixed and interlinked Arabs and Berbers, there was no references made to the Islamic character of Libya. This period of party politics therefore did not have any religious connotations. In February 1948, the LLC moved from Cairo to Tripoli to have a larger influence on politics, and Bashir al-Sa‘dawi did not disappoint. Arriving in Tripoli, he made speeches in the following months that were heard by over 5,000 people in which he called for unity.136 Initially, he was successful by convincing all parties, except the Labour Party, to present a common memorandum to the Four Power investigation commission which was due to arrive in Tripolitania for its first enquiry.137 In the months preceding the arrival of the commission, the parties were very active and were engaged in mobilizing strong support among the population for their aims. The central theme of the political debate was the possibility of an independent united Libya under the Amirate of Idris al-Sanusi. This question provoked fractures in almost all the parties in Tripolitania. Half the members of the United National Front committee, who had voted on the issue in January 1948, were pro-amirate, while the other half were anti-amirate. The same internal divisions faced the Nationalist Party. The Free National Bloc openly opposed a Sanusi Amirate and it undertook a strong propaganda campaign to boycott the elections which had been organized by the BMA to chose the population representatives who should meet the Four Powers commission. They also threatened the Italian community who were asked not to participate in any political activity. In February, ‘Ali al-Faqih Hasan, made a public speech, which was subsequently followed by demonstrations. He had attempted to foster bad relations between Muslims and Christians by blaming the British administration. The arrest of ‘Ali al-Faqih Hasan, the party president, and his secretary Tawfiq Mabruk provoked a fight between party members and the police: four people were killed 100 were injured. These events had a negative impact on the party’s popularity which subsequently lost a number of supporters.138 The different positions and internal divisions did not restrain Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’s attempt to promote unity. A memorandum, which was signed by all parties except the Labour Party, was presented to the commission. The memorandum reflected that the first LLC memorandum of March 1947 at the council of foreign ministries, which had asked for full independence, unity of Libya and membership in the Arab League. Unity and independence were considered to be a right that Libyans had earned through their long anti-colonial struggle and their participation in the war with the Allies. Moreover, it was claimed that the Libyan people had the right to self-determination. The memorandum did not however contain any affirmation about the Sanusi leadership in the future unified Libya. The memorandum instead stressed that it was based on a political programme that

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found agreement not only among political parties but also the Jewish community and a large number of Italians.139 The role played by Jews in political parties is unclear. While there is some evidence to suggest that some important members of the Jewish community supported the Tripolitanian United National Front, including Zachino Arbib who was a member of the leading committee, it also seems that some Jewish rivals of Arbib financed the Free National Bloc.140 Despite this participation, the post-war period in Tripolitania coincided with a deterioration of Jewish-Arab relations and there were anti-Jews riots, mainly in Tripoli, in November 1945 and June 1948.141 The causes of the 1945 riots are unclear, the Italians claimed that the demonstrations were stimulated by the head of BMA, Travers Robert Blackley.142 Yet as Renzo De Felice has argued, no evidence proves that the British instigated the riots. Despite this, during the November 1945 riots the BMA did not quickly intervene to restore order, although this may have been because they were ill prepared.143 Furthermore, the British attempted to prescribe the paternity of a series of revolts to the political activities of the exiles whose return was encouraged but also seen as a destabilizing element for British plans: This return of Arabs [exiles] is not without political repercussions [...] the exiles from Egypt often arrive in this territory imbued with nationalist ideas and pan-Arab sentiments [...] If one particular problem could be singled out as ‘problem of the year’ it would be this growth of nationalist consciousness and agitation among the Arabs.144 Of course, the deteriorating economic situation had an impact on the 1945 riots, while the 1948 riots were evidently linked to the international situation and the establishment of the State of Israel. Maurice R. Roumani states that ‘the symbiosis between Islam and nationalism was utilized to its utmost to serve the political ends of a nationalist group against a defenceless minority’ and, according to Roumani, Jews were disregarded in the nationalist planning of the time.145 Yet, it is difficult to maintain such an argument. Surely members of the Nationalist Party also took part to the 1945 riots, but this was on an individual basis, and they were not following party policy and in fact were subsequently expulsed by the party. In this period Islam was not considered to be a constituent element of the future independent state and was not present in most party programmes. It was only the political discourse of the Egypto-Tripolitanian Union, which had a slight Islamic vein as it was the only party that accused those who supported the Italians of having betrayed Islam. It was also the only party that attempted to forge contact with the Muslim Brethren in Egypt.146

The failure of the unity efforts The al-Sa‘dawi attempt to reach an agreement among the different political formations concerning the future of their country was short-lived. Once the Four Powers Commission left Tripolitania and al-Sa‘dawi left Tripoli for Cairo, the

The British interlude and political action in Libya 131 parties became less active as divergences once again arose. The United National Front faced a schism in its executive committees. The president Salim al-Muntasir was accused of having ‘been bought by the Italians’ and other members also had a pro-Italian attitude.147 The Nationalist Party faced an internal split and the party branches of Zuwara, Zliten and Khoms separated themselves from the Tripoli branch. The Egypto-Tripolitanian Union lacked financial support and renounced the idea of union with Egypt and embraced Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’s programme.148 Following al-Sa‘dawi’s departure, the LLC lost its large popular support base: al-Sa‘dawi was considered to be responsible for the ommision of the Sanusi Amirate in the memorandum, a fact which sharpened the tensions between Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans.149 The report presented in July from the Four Powers Commission, asserted that no territory was ready for independence. None of the territories were self-supporting, and they would all be in need of foreign aid. This fell short of the expectations held by the various parties, and cast a shadow over the possibility of a union. The Commission stated that in Tripolitania the economy did not match ‘elementary requirements’, while the political parties did not have a grasp over the population, and concluded people were not ready for independence.150 Concerning Fezzan, the Commission report expressed doubts regarding the possibility of the region gaining independence. This negative judgement was the result of an evaluation of the situation: a sparse population of less than 50,000 people who lived under poor conditions, and who were not remotely politicized. The report also commented that there were no newspapers or political parties. In Cyrenaica the majority of the population demanded full independence under the leadership of Idris al-Sanusi, and held onto a strong anti-Italian sentiment. In Cyrenaica the political situation was judged to be more stable but like the other two regions, the report stated that the strong social and economic deficits would result in the need for aid for many years.151 To counter-attack the risk of different foreign trusteeships in each province, Bashir al-Sa‘dawi and the LLC became the spokespersons for a new programme which recognized the Sanusi leadership. Al-Sa‘dawi’s plan was of ‘a united independent Libya under the Sanusi Emirate’,152 which initially was not only refused by the Cyrenaican National Congress but also by several Tripolitanian notables. Attempts to convince Idris al-Sanusi, who did not trust al-Sa‘dawi, to agree to this new political platform, were made through the mediation of the Egyptian Prime Minister. In July 1948, al-Sa‘dawi returned to Tripolitania once again in an attempt to overcome party differences and to get support for the Sanusi leadership. All parties, with the exception of a small minority in the United National Front, agreed on the idea of a Sanusi Amirate. As a consequence of Idris al-Sanusi’s refusal of al-Sa‘dawi’s proposal, the United Front president Salim al-Muntasir, resigned after a vote of no confidence from the executive committee. It is probable that Muntasir’s strong support for Sanusi was due more to a personal feud with al-Sa‘dawi, who was largely influential on all other political groups, than for any ideological commitment to the Sanusi. As Federico Cresti rightly argues, the Muntasir family had relations ‘with all the main players in the Libyan match, the British administration, the Italian government and Idris al-Sanusi’.153

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It is evident that during this period a leader of the United National Front, Ibrahim Bin Sha‘ban, was on the Italian payroll and was as a result expelled by the United National Front for his pro-Italian attitudes.154 Besides the rallying of all the political forces on the scene, al-Sa‘dawi also sought British support: Sadawi himself is favourably disposed to a British alliance and believe that he could persuade the Tripolitanians over a period of two to three months to support a British alliance provided that the British government is prepared to support Libya independence or at least show a more favourable attitude towards Tripolitania.155 Between 1948 and 1949 al-Sa‘dawi was also in contact with Italian authorities who, after having relinquished the perspective of an Italian trusteeship, attempted to sponsor a project for the collaboration of Italy and Tripolitania. A self-government under Italian guidance was envisioned which after a few years would lead to Libyan independence.156 Salim al-Muntasir and other dissidents of the United National Front dissociated themselves from al-Sa‘dawi’s project and founded a new political party, Hizb al-istiqlal (the Independence Party), in late 1948 to early 1949. There is little information regarding the first months of the party, but it seems that they were willing to deal with Italy and to accept an Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania.157 Italian sources maintain that the party was financed by Italians,158 while British sources do not ascribe much importance to the pro-Italian attitude which they considered to be ‘cultural and not political’.159 It is difficult, given the paucity of documentation, to asses to what extent the new party was inclined towards Italy, but what is certain is that the British tended to hinder the advancement of groups with pro-Italian sympathies. In August 1948, permission to form a pro-Italian party, to be called Hizb al-sha‘b (the People Party) was refused,160 although the party did operate in secret and was sponsored by the Italian Giacomo Marchino, a lawyer who was among the founders of the Political Committee for the Progress of Libya. Indeed, the future of Tripolitania also greatly concerned some Italian political organizations, who represented a different outlook from the Italian community which by late 1947 amounted to approximately 40,000 persons. Their main party was the Comitato Rappresentativo degli Italiani (the Italian Representative Committee), which was established under the aegis of the BMA in November 1947, and was in favour of an Italian trusteeship. An internal split resulted in L’Associazione politica per il progresso della Libia (Political Association for the Progress of Libya), whose slogan was ‘Libya for the Libyans’, summarizing its democratic attitude, as it called for full independence for the territory. Its membership was also open to Libyans. In 1948, a neo-fascist group also appeared, Movimento Sociale Italiano (the Italian Social Movement), although it was not officially recognized.161 In the meanwhile, the failure of the Four Powers Commission to find a solution, resulted in the United Nations General Assembly taking control over the matter of Libyan independence on 15 September 1948. The Libyan issue was to

The British interlude and political action in Libya 133 be examined in the Third Regular Session of the General Assembly, which had been divided in to two sessions, the first from 21 September to 11 December in Paris, the second from 5 April to 18 May 1949 in Lake Success. By then, the deep fractures between Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans, and internal divisions between the Tripolitanian parties were difficult to remediate. Not only had the Cyrenaican National Congress refused the al-Sa‘dawi proposal of sending a joint delegation to Paris,162 but there was also disagreement among the Tripolitanian parties regarding which delegation members should be sent to Paris. In particular the presence of the Egyptian Fu’ad Shukri was contested, as he evidently represented Egyptian government interests.163 Al-Sa‘dawi left for Paris in secret, without being an ‘official’ designated delegate of the Tripolitanians. After Paris, al-Sa‘dawi also stopped in London were he met representatives from the foreign office to explore the possibility of a British trusteeship over Tripolitania. Returning to Tripoli in late January 1949, al-Sa‘dawi called on all Tripolitanians to unite and to trust in British support, ‘whatever the outcome might be’.164 It is difficult to assess the impact of this statement on the population, because it was not published in newspapers and was only circulated through political organizations. In Egypt al-Sa‘dawi’s call, which was published in the newspaper al-Ahram was strongly criticized by the Tripolitanian Committee. The Tripolitanian Committee was still active in Cairo, but with the return of most of its founders to Tripolitania and with the shifting of the Arab League support from it to the LLC lost force. It maintained a rigid anti-Sanusi position, but was playing an increasingly insignificant role as Arab League began to recognize the LLC as the true representative of the Libyan people. It claimed that al-Sa‘dawi did not mention that British plans discouraged unity. The Tripolitanian Committee put forward a counter-statement, inviting the people ‘to take distance from the cheating British policy’.165 In general, it seems that the exiles who did not return, remained loyal to the project of a united independent Libya without any foreign interference. In Syria also, the exile community firmly refused the Sanusi leadership. In April 1946, the Association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica which, as seen, had been formed in 1932 under the leadership of al-Sa‘dawi, was dissolved and a new organization Ha’yat al-tahrir al-tarabulusiyya al-barqawiyya (the TripolitanianCyrenaican Liberation Committee) was established.166 In 1946 another association of exiles, Nadwat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar (the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Congress), was established in Damascus. This Congress concerned itself not only with the struggle for independence in Libya, but it also aimed at being in Syria the traitd’union among all the exiles’ communities of the Maghribian countries which were considered part of the Arab nation (al-bilad al-‘arabiyya) and were still under colonial domination. Its programme consisted mainly in cultural activities such as the organization of conferences and promoting of publications. A peculiarity of this association is that it was composed largely by the youth, many of whom were second generation exiles having been born in Syria.167 Nevertheless, the exile associations no longer played the agitating role among Tripolitanians and Cyrenaicans that they had previously done in the 1930s, nor did they influence the political debate which was going on in Libya.

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A few days after the opening of the second session of the United Nations in May 1949, France and Great Britain published the Bevin-Sforza plan, which proposed a 10-year trusteeship over the Libyan provinces: France in Fezzan, Great Britain in Cyrenaica and Italy in Tripolitania. This provoked a violent reaction in Tripolitania. The nationalist leaders on 11 May organized a general strike in Tripoli while the Nationalist Party and the United National Front merged to form a new organization, named al-Mu’tamar al-watani al-Tarabulusi (the Tripolitanian National Congress), under the leadership of Bashir al-Sa‘dawi on the 14 May. The Congress organized a large campaign against the Bevin–Sforza Plan. Besides strikes in Tripoli, demonstrations took place in Khoms, Misurata, Zawiya and Zuwara. Although on 17 May the United Nations rejected the plan, manifestations still continued for several days after.168 These manifestations might have united some nationalist groups temporarily, but any further attempts at common action failed. The parties did not arrive at an agreement about forming a single delegation to represent Tripolitanian demands at the Fourth United Nations session, which was to take place September of 1949. A United Nations sub-commission had been formed to examine requests from representatives of political parties or organizations in the territories concerned. Tripolitania was represented by two delegations: Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, Mustafa Mirzan and Fu’ad Shukri formed the Tripolitanian National Congress delegation, while Ahmad Rasim Ku‘bar, ‘Abdallah Sharif, Mukhtar Muntasir and ‘Abdallah Bin Sha‘ban formed the Independence Party

Figure 6.2 Public demonstration against the Bevin-Sforza Plan, Tripoli May 1949. (Adel Hani Misherghi private collection.)

The British interlude and political action in Libya 135 delegation. The diversity of political opinions within the country reached into the structures of nominally unified organizations. During the United Nations session some National Congress members sent telegrams to United Nations opposing their delegates’ position.169

The Sanusi Amirate In Cyrenaica there was little concern about the unity with Tripolitania, instead all efforts were directed towards obtaining self-government and independence for Cyrenaica. The Cyrenaican National Congress had negotiated with the British in London in November 1948 for the independence of Cyrenaica without any mention of unity. On 1 June 1949, Idris al-Sanusi with the support of Great Britain, proclaimed the independence of Cyrenaica in the form of an Amirate. On 16 September 1949 the BMA issued the Transnational Power Proclamation which defined the partial transfer of powers. The Amir had the power to enact a constitution and to form a Cyrenaican government that exercised power over all internal affairs. External, defence and some financial and legal affairs remained under the competence of the British authorities through its representative the British Resident, who was the former Chief Administrator.170 The constitution, enacted on 18 September 1949, established the equality of people before the law without any discrimination of religion, citizenship or language and introduced Arabic as official language.171 In accordance with the recommendations of the Working Party, which visited the country at the end of 1946, the British granted autonomy to Cyrenaica. The Working Party, appointed by the British government and which was under the direct responsibility of the War Office, had the task to sketch proposals for the termination of the BMA and the transfer of power to a Cyrenaican government. The Working Party had suggested granting Cyrenaica independence under Sanusi leadership through three stages: first, termination of the BMA in the short term; second, the establishment of an Arab state under British trusteeship; third, the establishment of a fully independent state with possible connections with Tripolitania in a unified Libya.172 This programme became, in due course, the British government’s policy towards Libya,173 in fact after the Working Party report the British began to patronize separate solutions for Cyrenaica and Tripolitania rather than an independent unified state. After the proclamation of independence, Idris was invited to London by the British, in order to discuss his future assessment for Cyrenaica. During this, he visited Tripoli for the first time on 10 July, where he met Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, the mufti Abu al-Is‘ad al-‘Alim and other members of the Tripolitanian National Congress who declared their allegiance to the Amir.174 In September 1949, after his return from Europe, Idris appointed the members of his cabinet, which had since July included Fathi al-Kikhya, who was named premier. In October, a constitution was prepared with the support of the British authorities and was promulgated. A unicameral parliament was formed with elected and appointed members. The Amir, who was the head of state and commander-in chief of the armed forces, appointed the cabinet. Fathi al-Kikhya resigned on November 1949

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and the government was formed by his father ‘Umar Mansur.175 Cyrenaican political unity was purely superficial. Prime Minister Mansur al-Kikhya was forced to resign in March 1950, on the request of Idris al-Sanusi, as the Cyrenaican National Congress lacked confidence in his government. Muhammad al-Saqizli, Minister of Justice, now formed the new government.176 Both Mansur al-Kikhya and the new premier, Muhammad al-Saqizli, were in direct conflict with the members of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club. Idris’ proclamation of independence of Cyrenaica in June 1949 was criticized by the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club, which organized demonstrations and presented the Amir with a memorandum in which it underlined the necessity of a united country.177 Soon after this, Idris undertook repressive measures on the activities of the group. In January 1950 the association was forced to conform with the Law of Associations. According to this, the name of a person could not be used for any organization, resulting in the change from ‘Umar al-Mukhtar to al-Jam‘iyya al-wataniyya (the National Association). Despite this, the new organization was still informally called ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club.178 The new association was organized in the same way and was structured into two offices which worked autonomously: one in Benghazi and the other one in Derna. Since the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club was characterized by a programme of cultural and sporting activities, the new association promoted the formation of a club, al-Nadi al-ahli, which had the purpose of gathering young people and of carrying out cultural and sport activities.179 The most important change consisted in the fact that the National Association was established as a political organization with a well-defined programme which included the aim for the unification and independence of Libya under the Sanusi monarchy, the defence of the rights of the people and the nation, the contribution to the development of a national conscience, full cooperation with the Arab and the Muslim countries in order to strengthen Arab unity and Islam. It is interesting to point out that this was the first time that a reference to Islam appeared in the publications of the group. Until 1950 the typical vocabulary used was that of nationalism through the usage of terms like sha‘ab, watan, umma, qawm, muwatinun, libiyyun. There was no reference to Islam. Despite the fact that the National Association had over 1,000 registered members and could count on the support of many more, it still could not challenge Idris.180 Thus, during this decisive period, the political formations in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica lacked shared common goals for the future of their country. In Tripolitania the different parties did not have well-defined programmes. The ideological discourse which was largely based on Arab nationalism, and which had characterized the political formations in exile, was absent. The actions of the Tripolitanian party’s expressed personal and restricted group interests and did not succeed in canvassing large popular support. Moreover these party relied on foreign financial aids, which did not grant them a full autonomy.181 Tripolitania and Cyrenaica both saw the revival and recovery of traditional elites, while the new youth political forces represented in Tripolitania by the Free Nationalist Bloc and in Cyrenaica by the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club were obstacolated.

The British interlude and political action in Libya 137 It is important to point out that these two groups had similarities in their organization and political discourse. Both had youth groups, based their activities on public actions, and had a pan-Arab inclination. As seen, both parties were concerned with the Palestinian question and were the only parties which tried to link their struggle for independence to other Maghrib countries. Obviously, in such a splintered political context, Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’s attempt to unite different political trends in the country to independence failed. Al-Sa‘dawi’s political project lost its original vigour, and no longer followed an ideological project, but shaped and adapted itself to the circumstances.

7

Conclusion Libya: a country in the making

The United Nations and independence On 21 November 1949 the General Assembly adopted United Nations resolution 289 which concerned the disposal of former Italian colonies and which subsequently led to Libyan independence. The resolution stated that Libya, formed through the unification of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan, should constitute an independent and sovereign state, and that full independence should be reached by 1 January 1952. While the resolution did not determine the form of the future government, it did recommend that: A constitution for Libya, including the form of the government, shall be determined by representatives of the inhabitants of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and the Fezzan, meeting and consulting together in a National Assembly; That, for the purpose of assisting the people of Libya in the formulation of the constitution and the establishment of an independent Government, there shall be a United Nations Commissioner in Libya appointed by the General Assembly and a Council to aid and advise him.1 In December 1949, Assistant Secretary General Adrian Pelt was appointed United Nation Commissioner in Libya. The United Nations established an advisory council of 10 members, to support and advise the commissioner, as well as to assist the people of Libya in formulating the constitution and establishing an independent government. Seven of the 10 members of the council, were appointed by the United Nations, and represented Egypt, France, Italy, Pakistan, Great Britain and the United States. The four other members of the council represented the three regions of Libya and the minorities. After two preliminary missions in Libya between 19 January–7 February and 17–28 March 1950, which included local consultations with the main political leaders, Pelt selected Mustafa Mizran as the Tripolitania representative, ‘Ali Asad al-Jirbi, as the representative of Cyrenaica, and Ahmad al-Hajj al-Sanusi2 as the representative of Fezzan. Representing the minority communities of Jews, Maltese, Italians and Greeks, was an Italian.3 From this moment, the future of Libya was shaped by external foreign forces; moreover, the strong regionalism and the fragmentation

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of internal political forces in Tripolitania prevented the possibility of those forces participating in any real capacity regarding the creation of the new state. Mustafa Mizran, one of the vice-presidents of the Tripolitanian National Congress, had been selected from a list of seven candidates that had been submitted by the political parties. The National Congress claimed that it was the party that represented all the Tripolitanians, but this view was not shared by all. The Liberal Party wished to select a candidate through election, the Free National Bloc preferred to have each party select a candidate that would subsequently be approved by the commissioner. The Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party suggested that all the party’s members should elect the final candidate from a list of from 15–18 members (three from each party). The Independence Party did not have any suggestion concerning the selection of a candidate, whilst the Labour Party was not interested in the question.4 In Cyrenaica, ‘Ali Asad al-Jirbi, the minister of public works and communications, was selected as he had the support of both the Cyrenaican National Congress and the National Association, moreover, the British administration also trusted him.5 In Fezzan, Ahmad Sayf al-Nasr was initially designated as the region representative however following some contestation regarding his appointment by notables who considered that there was French interference, Ahmad al-Hajj al-Sanusi, the mudir of Murzuk was selected.6 On 25 April 1950, the Council of Ten met for the first time and during one of its first meetings, Pelt announced his plan for the drafting and promulgation of the constitution. The plan consisted of the following steps: 1. The election of local assemblies in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania during June 1950; 2. The selection of a Preparatory Committee of the National Assembly, formed by 21 members to be completed by June 1950; 3. The election of the National Assembly by autumn 1950; 4. The establishment by the National Assembly of a Provisional Libyan Government by early 1951; 5. Drafting and the adoption of a Constitution by the National Assembly during 1951; 6. The proclamation of Independence before 1 January1952.7 The formation of the preparatory committee proved to be a difficult task. The designation of the Tripolitanian member revealed that party rivalries had not been overcome and that the issue of unification of Libya was dividing and not unifying the different parties. The Independence Party did not agree that the three territories should have the same number of representatives due to the variation in the number of inhabitants in the regions, while, the Free National Bloc did not accept the procedure chosen for selecting the candidates; both parties refused to present a list of candidates.8 The National Congress, the Egypto-Tripolitanian Union, the Liberal Party and the United National Front presented almost identical lists of names. The final list of Tripolitanian representatives also included two names that had not been presented by the parties, but were included under

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pressure from the British chief administrator. The National Congress was overrepresented as its members were also affiliated in other parties. After long negotiations and consultations, the preparatory committee, also known as the Committee of the Twenty-One, was formally approved on 25 July 1950. The Mufti of Tripolitania, Muhammad Abu al-Is‘ad al-‘Alim was elected chairman of the committee.9 The committee’s main task was to decide the number of members in the national assembly: It was the first-all Libyan institution in the country’s history, and it was very conscious of its importance as such. Its members, moreover, faithfully reflected the issues that divided the country: unitary versus federal State; equal versus proportional representation of the territories; and elective versus selective procedures.10 On 7 August, the committee agreed that the National Assembly should be formed from 60 selected members. Twenty members would be selected from each province, despite the fact that Tripolitania had a larger population than the other two. Idris al-Sanusi was responsible for the selection of the representatives of Cyrenaica, Ahmad Sayf al-Nasr11 for Fezzan, and Muhammad Abu al-Is‘ad al-‘Alim, the mufti of Tripoli, was required to submit a list of possible representatives from Tripolitania to the Committee of Twenty-One. The list was approved without the vote of two Tripolitanian members of the committee.12 In Tripolitania there was strong discontent about the Committee of Twenty-One, as some political parties were considered to have been misrepresented or rejected. The strongest opposition came from the Free National Bloc which, in November 1950, organized public demonstrations in Tripoli. It seems that in order to appease the Free National Bloc opposition towards the Committee, the chair of the Twenty-One was offered to the party leader Ahmad Faqih Hasan, who refused.13 The National Assembly, which called itself the National Constituent Assembly of Libya (NCAL), began its work in late 1950. During its third meeting, on 2 December 1950, after the election of the Mufti of Tripolitania as its president, the assembly unanimously made their two main resolutions. First, that Libya should be a federal, independent, sovereign state and second, that the government should be a constitutional monarchical representative democracy, under the crown of King Idris al-Sanusi. In the following meeting, the assembly established a committee of 18 members for the purpose of drafting the constitution.14 The federal nature of the new state which had been chosen by the National Assembly was contested in Tripolitania. The National Congress Party and the Free National Bloc claimed that the National Assembly was not legal and rejected federalism. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi headed a delegation of about 50 people who presented a petition to the commissioner in which the federal formula was rejected. Instead, the group highlighted that they did not oppose local administration and wished for a single, democratic, constitutional state with one freely elected parliament, which proportionally represented all inhabitants of Libya.15 However, once again, al-Sa‘dawi failed to represent the whole party, and factionalism re-emerged when

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60 members withdrew from the national congress and supported the national assembly.16 Through the distribution of leaflets, the Free National Bloc urged the population to strongly oppose federalism as it considered it to be a form of neo-colonialism which did not respect the will of the people who the Bloc claimed were in favour of republic.17 The federalist form was also rejected by the Tripolitanian exiles, who were still in Egypt and as seen held an uncompromising position. Prior to the decision made by the national assembly to promote federalism, al-Fituri al-Suwayhli, the head of the Tripolitanian Committee,18 who had been in Tripoli from September 1950 to follow the events, held a public meeting in which he urged people to reject federalism. A manifesto explaining the reasons for the rejection was presented and circulated. It stated that federalism would have made the anti-colonial struggle, which was conducted for the unity of the nation (wahdat al-watan), fruitless; federalism was considered the new colonial partition. Federalism also risked sharpening the economic divide between the three provinces. Instead, the manifesto envisaged a consultative parliament elected by people. The manifesto made no reference to the Sanusi leadership and did not clarify whether the new state would be a republic or a monarchy.19 Criticism was also aired by the Arab League, which did not recognize the federal system of government and the national assembly.20 A delegation of the national assembly went to Cairo early in 1951 to present a memorandum to the council of the Arab League, explaining the reasons behind the need for a federal formula: At this, the first stage of national independence, there can as yet be no question of a single central government to rule a country whose area reaches 7000,000 square miles and which has a little over a million inhabitants. In the past neither Italy nor Turkey was able to concentrate all power in a single government. There are, moreover, other internal political factors which demand that none of the three provinces be denied a local administration, at least at this first stage of independence.21 The memorandum was strongly attacked by the Tripolitanian Committee, which drew a counter memorandum that had contested the legality of the delegation to represent Tripolitanian wishes. It was argued that the majority of the delegation were not Tripolitanians, and the mufti was accused of pursuing a personalistic and colonial policy.22 Despite the protests, the machinery to form a new state continued its work and in March 1951 provincial governments were created in Tripolitania and Fezzan for the transfer of powers from the two administering colonial powers. On 29 March 1951, Libya’s National Assembly created a provisional government which was formed by six ministers. This first Libyan federal government did not express the popular will as its members were mainly chosen by the British. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi led a strong campaign against the new government and the Arabic press in Tripoli reported that ‘he had requested the Egyptian government to ask the general

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assembly at its sixth session to delay the proclamation of Libyan independence in order that it might be acquired “in accordance with the wishes of people”’.23 It is unclear whether the statement was true or merely a rumour, but as a consequence the national congress carried out a strong campaign that demanded the resignation of the government and asked for free elections to be led under United Nations supervision.24 It is worth noting that Bashir al-Sa‘dawi’s opposition to federalism had partially waned and by January 1951, the Tripolitanian newspaper, Tarabulus al-Gharb, published a memorandum drafted by Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, al-Sa‘dawi’s adviser, which stated the approval of Libya as a federal state under the rule of King Idris.25 On 10 September 1951, the national assembly began to discuss the draft of the constitution and on 7 October 1951, Libya’s constitution was promulgated. Formed by 12 chapters and 213 articles, it established that the ‘United Kingdom of Libya, formed by the provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan’ was a free independent and sovereign state it had a hereditary monarchy, a federal form and a representative system.26 The United Kingdom of Libya was finally proclaimed on 24 December 1951: ‘In a sense, the United Kingdom of Libya was an accidental state: created by, and at the behest of, Great Power interests and agreed to by the local provinces who feared other alternatives’.27

The general elections of 1952 A few weeks after the independence, the government undertook one of the most important steps to adopt an electoral law and to call for the first general elections; Libya would, for the first time, express their will and elect the federal parliament. The government approved a system of electoral law which favoured itself because it was feared that the opposition could win the polls.28 The electoral law introduced different systems in urban and rural districts. In the urban districts, a secret vote was introduced, while in the rural districts the vote was public: the registering officer would write the candidate voted by the elector in a register. In contrast to this, the urban districts represented a small minority, of only 9 out of 55 seats. The Tripolitanian National Congress, led by Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, was in a strong position to win elections and was financially backed by King Fu’ad and the Egyptian government. Great Britain strongly influenced the elections, as the foreign office aimed to have a favourable result, which was pro-western, ‘... that is, it does not matter too much what methods, within reasons, were used so long as the right result was achieved’.29 Great Britain set up a fund to direct the elections; and was mainly put towards sponsoring rivalries and convincing people to vote for government candidates.30 The use of this money was illegal, as the Libyan Electoral Law considered that any use of money to pilot the electors’ vote or to refrain people from voting, constituted an election offence liable to severe penalties.31 On 19 February, the elections were complete, and the results revealed that the government had the majority in parliament with 49 seats. The defeat of the National Congress was not well accepted in Tripolitania, and two days after the results, disturbances developed. Buildings and public property were destroyed,

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Figure 7.1 King Idris with Bashir al-Sa‘dawi before his explusion from Libya, following general elections of 1952. (Adel Hani Misherghi private collection.)

while transportation was interrupted and telephone wires cut.32 The British Legation in Tripoli reported that between 19 and 22 February 1952, 17 people were killed, 210 injured and 300 were arrested. The government firmly responded to the disturbances and on 22 February the headquarters of the National Congress party were raided. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, with his brother, nephew and immediate followers was expelled; al-Sa‘dawi, who had a Saudi Arabian passport, was escorted to the Egyptian frontier. From Cairo al-Sa‘dawi fled to Riyadh where he recovered his former office as Ibn’s Saud political adviser, a post he held until his death in 1957.33

The failure of an imagined community Independent Libya was strongly marked by regionalism; the administrative system adopted left large autonomy to the provinces and marked the separateness, ‘provincial borders remained marked by border posts, requiring expatriate personnel to obtain different visas that needed to be separately entered into passports’.34 But, besides the administrative regionalism which characterized the new state, it quickly became clear that the feeling of a new-found national unity was meaningless to the majority of the population but the Tripolitanian political forces. As seen, the exile associations in the 1930s begun to imagine the future of their country in terms of a modern nation, which needed the construction of a national identity based on common territoriality and a shared language and culture. This new national image, which had been shaped and strongly influenced

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by encounters and comparisons with the experiences of other Arab countries, was an attempt to find an alternative to the collapsed old political systems due to colonial occupation; it attempted to overcome the historical separation of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan. The question that emerges therefore is, why did this collective image of a Libyan nation not take root inside the country at the moment of Libyan independence? The reasons can be traced in the process of carving out the new and independent state of Libya, which was mainly determined by external powers, while local political force had little impact. Most of those who returned from exile were among the most educated people, and formed the new intellectual elite which in the years after independence would contribute to weaken the influence of the traditional, religious, family and tribal elements in politics. But, the expulsion of political opponents, including Libyans who had returned from exile and had fought for the freedom of their country only to be forced into exile again, as well as the banning of political parties after the general elections of 1952, the first and only elections Libya has never known, deprived the country of any political opposition and prevented the development of any form of political culture. Moreover, some of the exiles who had returned abandoned their ‘imagined community’, which had been based on their understanding of a common identity and their political actions were no longer based on the ideas they had fought for in exile but pragmatism. For example, ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, who, as seen in the previous chapters with Bashir al-Sa‘dawi in Syria in the 1930s, was one of the main activists of the exiles association, advocating a united Libya. Yet, despite this, from the second half of the 1940s, Shanib, who was Cyrenaican, joined the Sanusi and became mainly concerned with the independence of Cyrenaica.35 After the independence of Libya, the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club and the Free National Bloc which, as seen, had strongly operated to build a national identity, continued to work in this direction. The leader of the Free National Bloc, Ahmad Faqih Hasan, continued in secret his political activities and in 1958 presented the government with the proposal of a political party, Hizb al-sha‘b (the People Party).36 The ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club, continued its activities in secret, although it had formally been dissolved even before the proclamation of independence in 1951 and its leaders had been prosecuted. From February 1952 to June 1953 the group spread its own ideas through the weekly al-Difa‘ (The Defence), published in Benghazi. In the summer of 1953, they started to publish the cultural periodical Libiya (Libya), which ceased publication in 1957; the group later published the monthly Nur (Light).37 In 1964, the association presented the project of a political organization called al-Itihad al-sha‘b, or the People Union.38 The activities of these two groups were nevertheless very limited and reached restricted elites. The attribution of Libya to the Sanusi as a kingdom institutionalized Islam as a factor of political legitimization. Religion was the key element used by the monarchy to overcome regionalisms and build a national identity. This evidently emerged in the educational policy pursued in the first years after independence. Compulsory and free education of Islam and Arabic was introduced at the primary level. As the constitution stated that Islam was the official religion

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of the state while Arabic the official language, the objective of the state was to direct education towards these two elements. In the first years after independence numerous Qur’anic schools and educational centres for illiterate adults were opened as places where religion and Arabic were taught.39 In November 1952, Idris established a religious educational institute in Baida in Cyrenaica; this later, in November 1963, was transformed into an Islamic University whose main goal was the spread of the Islamic culture.40 The monarchical experience has not been analysed in detail yet, and it is difficult to asses the real role of Islam in Libya, but, it seems clear that Idris was aware of his political inadequacy and in the early 1960s, he considered abdication in favour of a republican government which would be in line with the trends of many other Arab and African countries. The first proposal to transform the type of government was in 1954, when the problem of Idris’ succession arose; Idris had failed to produce any children. The prime minister, Mustafa Ben-Halim, drafted a memorandum which envisaged a presidential republic with Idris as a president for life. The idea was discussed at several meetings, which were also attended by Adrian Pelt, former United Nations Commissioner in Libya. The proposal was dismissed due to Pelt’s strong opposition, as he considered Libya his own creation, and also because of opposition from the most influential tribal chiefs, who considered that the monarchy assured the continuity with the past and guaranteed the country’s development.41 In 1962, there was another attempt to establish a republic by some members of the government who had secret contacts with Nasser.42 In 1963 the federal state was abrogated in favour of a unitary state and thus in a sense the ‘process of Libyanization’43 of the state, at least at the administrative level, was achieved; Islam was not however sufficient to mould a national identity. The politics of the monarchy based on familiar ties and tribal alliances did not erase regionalism and tribalism as a form of political identity and loyalty. Since the coup d’etat of 1969 Qaddafi has continued to consider Islam as the key constituent factor of national identity,44 but as seen in Chapter 1, national identity has also been built through the official historical discourse, which argues that the Libyan nation has historical roots, and considers any separatism as a colonial invention while also considering anti-colonial struggle as a national one.

Notes

Introduction 1. M. Murabet, ‘Sull’etimologia storica di “Libia”’, Libia 1, 1953, vol. 1, 110–12. 2. F. Minutilli, Bibliografia della Libia, Turin: F.lli Bocca, 1903. 3. A. Mori, ‘Libia’, in Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Roma: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia italiana Treccani, 1934, vol. 31, p. 57. 4. Fezzan, was part of the Ottoman province of Tripolitania and only had 31,600 inhabitants. F. Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca in Libia, Tripoli: P. Maggi, 1937, pp. 17, 20. 5. With regard to the Ottoman borders of what became modern day Libya up to the Italian occupation in 1911, see: E. Rossi, ‘Per la storia della penetrazione turca nell’interno della Libia e per la questione dei suoi confini’, Oriente Moderno 1, 1929, vol. 9, 153–67; Afrit, I confini e l’hinterland della Tripolitania, Rome: Tipografia dell’unione cooperativa editrice, 1907. 6. On the definition of this particular Libyan border, see: W.B.K. Shaw, ‘International Boundaries of Libya’, The Geographical Journal 1, 1935, vol. 85, 50–3. 7. The study does not deal with the Jews of Libya in the period under scrutiny, both because the Jews did not go into exile and because the Jews of Libya during the colonial occupation have already been the subject of studies. For more see R. De Felice, Jews in an Arab Land Libya, 1835–1870, translated by J. Roumani, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985 and M.M. Roumani, The Jews of Libya Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2008. 8. For more, see the private unpublished memoirs of the Italo-Turkish wars in F. Corò, Diario della guerra arabo-turca, private collection. 9. Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca in Libia, p. 102. 10. A. Ghisleri, Tripolitania e Cirenaica. Dal Mediterraneo al Sahara, Milan-: Società editoriale italiana, 1912, p. 145. 11. The Jewish community included approximately 20,000 individuals, half of whom lived in Tripoli, see R. Simon, ‘Jewish Participation in the Reforms in Libya during the Second Ottoman Period, 1835–1911’, in A. Levy (ed.) The Jews of the Ottoman Empire, Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994, p. 488. 12. Qologlis were the descendents of Turkish soldiers and officials married to local women. El-Horeir reports that the Qologlis were estimated to number between 50,000 and 60,000, see, A.S. El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations in the Libyan Hinterland during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century. The Role of Sayyid Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi’, PhD Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981, p. 14. 13. The number of inhabitants in Misurata differs significantly according to the sources: Ghisleri estimated 9,000 inhabitants, while Corò 4,000, see, Ghisleri, Tripolitania e Cirenaica, pp. 71–4; Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca in Libia, p. 96.

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14. The loss of importance of Fezzan in the trans-Saharan trade was due to several factors: in 1884, the Ottoman authorities, as a consequence of the abrogation of the slave trade by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, prohibited the slave trade. The slave trade in black Africans was most abundant, and according to different sources during different periods, the number of slaves which arrived each year oscillated between 1,000 and 2,000 people. Moreover, the increasing European presence on the coast of Guinea, and the French occupation of Timbuktu in 1893, was progressively extended to the hinterlands, diverting the trade from Sudan to other routes. See J.J. Despois, Mission scientifique du Fezzân. Geographie humaine, Alger: Institut de recherches sahariennes de l’Université d’Alger, 1946, pp. 49–54. 15. The colonial literature concerning the borders is extremely large. Among others see: E. De Agostini and I. Chemali, Memoria sui confini ovest e sud della Tripolitania, Rome: Tipografia del Senato, 1917; R. Micaletti, ‘Note sui confini della Libia’, Rivista militare italiana 6, 1931, vol. 5, 847–72; E. Scarin, ‘I confini della Libia’, Rivista Geografica Italiana 42, 1935, 77–102. For a general overview on the issue of the borders from the Italian occupation until independence see: S. Bono, Le frontiere in Africa, Milan: Giuffrè Editore, 1972, pp. 88–96; 211–13; M. Muller, ‘Frontiers: an Imported Concept. An Historical Review of the Creation and Consequences of Libya’s Frontiers’, in J.A. Allan (ed.) Libya since Independence: Economic and Politic Development, London: Croom Helm, 1982, pp. 165–79; M. Petricioli, ‘I confini della Libia: eredità di una potenza minore’, in M. Petricioli and V. Collina (eds) Barriera o incontro? I confini nel XX secolo, Milan: Mimesis, 2000, pp. 25–38. 16. In particular, on the agreements of 1935 see L. Giannitrapani, Gli accordi coloniali italo-francesi del 7 gennaio 1935, Florence: Bemporad, 1935; J. Ladreit de Lacharriere, ‘Les circonstances et les formes des accords de Rome’, Afrique Française 45, 1935, 7–13. 17. A.R. Zolberg, A. Suhrke and S. Aguayo, Escape from Violence. Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 3–16. 18. Y. Shain, The Frontier of Loyalty. Political Exiles in the Age of the Nation – State, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995, p. 8, on the question of the definition of the term see the introduction pp. 1–17; for a general mapping of the emergence of the category of refugees and refugees studies see L.H. Malkki, ‘Refugees and Exile: From “Refugee Studies” to the National Order of Things’, Annual Review of Anthropology 24, 1995, 495–523. 19. On the origins and evolution of the concept of exile, refugee and migration in the Islamic theological discourse see, K.M. Masud, ‘The Obligation to Migrate: The Doctrine of hijra in Islamic Law’, in D.F. Eickelman and J. Piscatori (eds) Muslim Travellers. Pilgrimage, Migration and the Religious Imagination, London: Routledge, 1990, pp. 29–49. 20. S.J. Shaw and E.K. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Reform, Revolution and Republic: the Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978, vol. 2, pp. 115–18; A. Suhrke and V. Aarbakke, ‘Refugees’, in J. Esposito (ed.) The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modern Islamic World, New York: Oxford University Press, 1995, vol. 3, pp. 421–5. 21. The theory on migrants, like that on refugees, has been developed and generated new approaches in the last quarter of century, see A.R. Zolberg, ‘The Next Waves: Migration Theory for a Changing World’, International Migration Review 3, 1989, 403–30. 22. A.A. Mondal, Nationalism and Post-Colonial Identity. Culture and Ideology in India and Egypt, London: Routledge Curzon, 2003, p. 13. 23. For a general overview of the major theories on nationalism and the core debates on it see: G. Delanty and K. Kumar (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Nations and

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24. 25. 26.

27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

The Origins of the Libyan Nation Nationalism, London: SAGE Publications, 2006; J. Hutchinson and A.D. Smith (eds), Nationalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994; C. Jaffrelot, ‘Pour une théorie du nationalisme’, in A. Dieckhoff and C. Jaffrelot, Repenser le nationalisme. Théories et pratiques, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2006, pp. 29–103. J. Hutchinson and A.D. Smith, ‘Introduction’, in Hutchinson and Smith (eds) Nationalism, p. 5. One of the few exceptions to this is the eminent scholar John Breuilly who mentions Arab nationalism with particular focus on pan-Arabism, see Nationalism and the State, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, pp. 149–56, pp. 281–8. On the concept of ‘the new narrative’ and its influence on recent theories of nationalism, see I. Gershoni, ‘Rethinking the Formation of Arab Nationalism in the Middle East, 1920–45. Old and New Narratives’, in J. Jankowski and I. Gershoni (eds) Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997, pp. 3–25; see also I. Pappe, ‘Arab Nationalism’, in Delanty and Kumar (eds) The SAGE Handbook of Nations and Nationalism, pp. 500–12. Gershoni, ‘Rethinking the Formation of Arab Nationalism’, p. 12. Pappe, ‘Arab Nationalism’, p. 510. E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (ed.), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 4. Hobsbawn and Ranger (ed), The Invention of Tradition, p. 14. For a review of the main themes of the debate see A. Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century. From Triumph to Despair, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003, pp. 4–13. Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century, p.13. B. Tibi, Arab Nationalism: between Islam and the Nation-State, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997, pp. 210–11. Only in recent years have historians included Libya in the Maghrib. For a discussion of this issue see M.A. Jabri, ‘Evolution of the Maghrib Concept: Facts and Perspectives’, in H. Barakat (ed.) Contemporary North Africa: Issues of Development and Integration, London: Croom Helm, 1985, pp. 63–86.

Chapter 1: Writing modern Libyan history 1. D. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. X. 2. See S. Bono, Storiografia e fonti occidentali sulla Libia (1510–1911), Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 1982, pp. 54–60. 3. N. Lafi, Une ville du Maghreb entre ancien régime et réformes ottomanes. Genèse des institutions municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie (1795–1911), Paris: L’Harmattan, 2002. For the relevance of this work see M. Fuller, ‘Review of Nora Lafi. Une ville du Maghreb entre ancien régime et réformes ottomanes. Genèse des institutions municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie (1795–1911)’, H-Urban, H-Net Reviews, January 2003, online. Available: (accessed 17 July 2008). 4. The Italian scholar Nicola Labanca, has paid particular attention to the Italian tardive decolonization of historical studies on colonial Libya, for a detailed discussion of this issue see: N. Labanca, ‘Gli Studi Italiani sul colonialismo italiano in Libia’, in N. Labanca and P. Venuta (eds) Un colonialismo, due sponde del Mediterraneo. Atti del seminario di studi storici italo – libici (Siena – Pistoia, 13–14 gennaio 2000), Pistoia: C.R.T., 2000, pp. 19–32, reprinted in The Journal of Libyan Studies 1, 2001, vol. 2, 69–79; N. Labanca, ‘Quale Nodo’, in N. Labanca (ed.) Un nodo. Immagini e documenti sulla repressione coloniale italiana in Libia, Manduria: Lacaita, 2002,

Notes

5.

6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13.

14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

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pp. 5–22; N. Labanca, ‘Un ponte fra gli studi’, in N. Labanca and P. Venuta (eds) Bibliografia della Libia coloniale 1911–2000, Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 2004, pp. v–liv. See also N. Labanca, ‘Italy and its Colonies. Historiographies’, in P. Poddar, R.S. Patke and L. Jensen (eds) A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures Continental Europe and its Empires, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008, pp. 286–7. See P. Maltese, La terra promessa. La guerra italo-turca e la conquista della Libia, 1911–1912, Milan: SugarCo, 1968; F. Malgeri, La guerra libica (1911–1912), Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1970; S. Romano, La quarta sponda. La guerra di Libia: 1911–1912, Milan: Bompiani, 1977. A. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Tripoli bel suol d’amore 1860–1922, Rome: Laterza, 1986, vol. 1, and Gli italiani in Libia. Dal Fascismo a Gheddafi, Rome – Bari: Laterza, 1988, vol. 2. R. De Felice, Ebrei in un paese arabo. Gli ebrei nella Libia contemporanea tra colonialismo, nazionalismo arabo e sionismo 1835–1970, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1978 (translated in English by J. Roumani: R. De Felice, Jews in an Arab Land Libya, 1835–1970, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985). E. Santarelli, G. Rochat, R.H. Rainero and L. Goglia, Omar al-Mukhtar e la riconquista fascista della Libia, Milan: Marzorati, 1981 (translated in English by J. Gilbert, Omar al-Mukhtar. The Italian Reconquest of Libya, London: Darf Publishers, 1986). V. Ianari, Chiesa, coloni e Islam. Religione e politica nella Libia italiana, Turin: SEI, 1995. F. Cresti, Oasi di italianità. La Libia della colonizzazione agraria tra fascismo, guerra e indipendenza (1935–1956), Turin: SEI, 1996. Besides the official colonial documentation new sources, including photographs and testimonies, diaries and letters of the period, were also increasingly being used, for examples see: S. Bono (ed.), Morire per questi deserti. Lettere di soldati italiani dal fronte libico 1911–1912, Catanzaro: Abramo, 1992; N. Labanca and L. Tomassini (eds), Alberto Angrisani, Immagini dalla guerra di Libia. Album africano, Manduria: Lacaita, 1997. P. Palumbo, ‘Introduction: Italian Colonial Cultures’, in P. Palumbo (ed.) A Place in the Sun. Africa in Italian Colonial Culture from Post-Unification to Present, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003, p. 2. For a remarkable work which discusses the Ottoman involvement in Libya until the end of the War, see R. Simon, Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism. The Ottoman Involvment in Libya during the War with Italy (1911–1919), Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1987; in contrast, T.W. Childs, Italo-Turkish Diplomacy and the War over Libya 1911–1912, Leiden: Brill, 1990, focuses on the diplomacy of the Italo-Turkish war. See, L. Anderson, The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830– 1980, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986; A.A. Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya. State Formation, Colonization and Resistance, 1830–1932, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. M. Khadduri, Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development, Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1963. Anderson, The State and Social Transformation, p. 12. For his critique on Anderson’s work see A.A. Ahmida, ‘Colonialism, State Formation and Civil Society in North Africa: Theoretical and Analytical Problems’, International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies 1, 1994, vol. XI, 1–22. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, in particular see pp. 4–5, 40–42. R.B. St. John, Libya. From Colony to Independence, Oxford: Oneworld, 2008. For a brief review of studies which deal with nationalism in Libya, see S. Bernini, ‘Studi sulle origini del nazionalismo arabo in Libia’, The Journal of Libyan Studies 1, 2001, vol. 2, 95–103.

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21. S. Romano, La quarta sponda. La guerra di Libia: 1911–1912, 2nd edn, Milan: Longanesi, 2005, p. 15. 22. Childs, Italo-Turkish Diplomacy, p. 235. 23. M. Le Gall, ‘Forging the Nation-State. Some Issues in the Historiography of Modern Libya’, in M. Le Gall and K. Perkins (eds) The Maghrib in Question. Essays in History and Historiography, Austin: The University of Texas Press, 1997, pp. 95–108. 24. Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya, p. 127. 25. E. Hobsbawm, Nation and Nationalism since 1780. Programme Myth, Reality, 2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 46–47. 26. S. Bernini, ‘Alle origini del nazionalismo libico (1908–1918)’, Tesi di Dottorato in Storia dell’Africa, Università degli Studi di Siena, 1999. 27. A. Martel, La Libye 1835–1990. Essai de géopolitique historique, Paris: Puf, 1991, pp. 112–14. 28. See L. Anderson, ‘The Development of Nationalist Sentiment in Libya, 1908–22’, in R. Khalidi, L. Anderson, M. Muslih and R.S. Simon (eds) The Origins of Arab Nationalism, New York: Columbia University Press, 1991, pp. 226–41. 29. Simon, Libya, p. 298. 30. E.E. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949. 31. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 99. 32. This is argued by L. Li Causi, ‘Quando gli antropologi s’impegnano. Evans-Pritchard, i Senussi e il colonialismo italiano’, La ricerca folklorica 18, 1988, 63–6. 33. W. James, ‘The Anthropologist as a Reluctant Imperialist’, in T. Asad (ed.) Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter, London: Ithaca Press, 1973, pp. 41–69. 34. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 105. 35. See B. Ducati, ‘Lo Stato senussita’, Rassegna italiana, February 1928, 171–82; F. Lo Bello, ‘La confraternita dei Senussi’, Rassegna italiana, July 1928, 650–6. 36. G. Albergoni, ‘Variations italiennes sur un thème français: la Sanusiya’, in J.C. Vatin et al. (eds) Connaissances du Maghreb: Sciences Sociales et Colonisation, Paris: Éditions du CNRS, 1984, p. 125. 37. E.L. Peters, ‘The Sanusi order and the Bedouin’, in E.L. Peters The Bedouin of Cyrenaica. Studies in Personal and Corporate Power, edited by J. Goody and E. Marx, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 21. 38. Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya, p. 173. 39. Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya, p. 100. 40. K.S. Vikør, ‘Jiha¯d, ‘Ilm and Tas.awwuf – Two Justifications of Action from Idrisi Tradition’, Studia Islamica 90, 2000, 153–76. 41. A shorter declaration of jihad was published in the Egyptian newspaper al-Mu’ayyad at the end of January 1912; the Ahmad al-Sharif treatise on jihad was published in Cairo in 1913, that is, as Vikør points out, ‘after the Turks had withdrawn from Libya and while the Sanusiya had taken on the leadership of the resistance’, see Vikør, ‘Jiha¯d, ‘Ilm and Tas.awwuf’, p. 161. It goes without saying that the Sanusi jihad must not be confused with Ottoman jihad which the Sultan declared in 1914 when the Empire entered the War against France, Britain and the Russian Empire. 42. Vikør, ‘Jiha¯d, ‘Ilm and Tas.awwuf ’, p. 172. 43. S.H. Suri, ‘Studi sull’imperialismo italiano e sul Jihad’, in Labanca and Venuta (eds) Un Colonialismo, due sponde del Mediterraneo, 2000, pp. 33–7. 44. Y.M. Choueiri, Modern Arab Historiography, Historical Discourse and the NationState, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003, pp. 1–13, 197. 45. For a general discussion of Shukri career and production see A. Gorman, Historians, State and Politics in Twentieth Century Egypt. Contesting the Nation, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. 46. Gorman, Historians, State and Politics in Twentieth Century Egypt, p. 26.

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47. Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, al-Sanusiyya: din wa-dawla, Cairo: Dar al-fikr al- ’arabi, 1948. 48. Shukri, al-Sanusiyya, p. 2. 49. K.S. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar on the Desert Edge. Muhammad b. ‘Alı¯ al-Sanu¯sı¯ and his Brotherhood, London: Hurst & Company, 1995, p. 15. 50. Born in Derna in 1901, al-Jirbi was the son of a local official in the Turkish administration. Between 1911 and 1923 he studied medicine in Istanbul and returned to Cyrenaica in 1923 where he held offices in the colonial administration. He was school teacher in 1924, mudir in 1927 and secretary for Arab affairs in 1936. Under the British administration he was the superintendent of education in Cyrenaica, and deputy secretary for development. Adviser to Sayyid Idris in Cairo, later he became the minister of works and communications in the Government of Cyrenaica (1949). See A. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations. A Case of Planned Decolonization, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, pp. 204–5. 51. Born in Benghazi in 1904, he attended secondary school and university in Italy, where he specialized in agriculture. Returning to Cyrenaica he was appointed first secretary of land registry in Benghazi and in 1935 director of waqf administration. In 1941, after the British occupation of Cyrenaica he left for Cairo to continue his studies. See Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 622. 52. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Civil Affairs Agency Cairo to Civil Affairs Branch Tripoli, Cairo, 12 August 1948. 53. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 438. 54. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 489–92. 55. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 611–12. 56. Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha, Cairo: Matba ’at al-i ’timad, 1957, 2 vols. 57. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, p. 1. 58. Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 14–16. 59. Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, Barqa al-‘arabiyya: amsi wa-l-yawm, Cairo: Matba‘at al-Hawari, 1946. 60. Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, Idris al-Sanusi, Cairo: [no publisher], 1948. The book printed a second edition in 1957. 61. Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, Ibrahim Ahmad al-Shalhi, Cairo: Matba‘at Mukhaymir, 1956. 62. Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, Cairo: Maktabat al-Qahira, 1958. 63. al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 17–43. 64. al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 44–171. 65. al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 172–80. 66. al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 182–204. 67. See for example Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, Al-Mahdi al-Sanusi, Tripoli: [no publisher], 1952 and Libiya al-yawm: ma‘lumat ‘amma, Baghdad: [no publisher], 1955. 68. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar on the Desert Edge, p. 15. 69. N.A. Ziadeh, Barqa: al-dawla al-‘arabiyya al-thamina, Beirut: Dar al-‘ilm li-l-malaiyyin, 1950; N.A. Ziadeh, Sanusiya: a Study of a Revivalist Movement in Islam, Leiden: Brill, 1958. 70. The biographical profile is mainly based on Muhammad Mas‘ud Jubran, ‘al-Shaykh al-Tahir al-Zawi, 1890–1986. Tarjamatuhu wa-atharuhu’, preface to al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, A ’lam Libiya, 3rd edn, Beirut: Dar al-madar al-islami, 2004, pp. 7–40. 71. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, min sana 1924 ila sana 1952, 2nd edn, London: Darf, 1985, pp. 125–6. His production, which cannot strictly be defined as history writings, including leaflets and booklets connected to his political activities in exile, are examined in further detail in the following chapters.

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72. Information obtained through informal interviews and talks with Libyans. Some authors have claimed that al-Zawi resigned from his post, for more see J. Monti-Belkahoui and A. Riahi-Belkahoui, Qaddafi: the Man and his Policies, Aldershot: Avebury, 1996, p. 19. 73. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: Matba‘at al-Fajala al-jadida, 1950. 74. Al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, p. t; the book R. Graziani, Verso Il Fezzan, Tripoli: F. Cacopardo, 1929, was translated into Arabic by another Tripolitanian, Ibrahim al-Rifa‘i who graduated from al-Azhar in 1946. 75. Al-Zawi largely quotes The Times, The Daily Chronicle and E. N. Bennet, With the Turks in Tripoli, Being Some Experiences in the Turco-Italian War of 1911, London: Methuen & Co., 1912. These were translated for him by the Syrian Christian journalist Salim Sarkis. For more details see al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, pp. 58–63. 76. See Suri, ‘Studi sull’imperialismo italiano e sul Jihad’, pp. 36–7. Jihad al-abtal was republished in Beirut in 1970 (Dar al-fath li-l-tiba‘a wa al-nashr) a third edition was published in in 1984 (London: Darf) and a fourth in 2004 (Beirut: Dar al-madar al-islami). 77. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, 1924–1952, Tripoli: Dar al-Farjani, 1976. It was republished in London in 1985, by Darf, a year before al-Zawi’s death. 78. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Ta’rikh al-fath al-‘arabi fi Libiya, 2nd edn, Cairo: Dar al-ma‘arif, 1963, p. 13. 79. Mustafa ‘Abdallah Ba‘ayyu, al-Mujmal fi ta’rikh Lubiya, Alexandria: [no publisher], 1947. 80. Al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, Tripoli: Maktabat al-Farjani, 1961; the second edition was published in Tripoli in 1971 by al-Farjani; the book had a third edition in 2004 and was published in Beirut by Dar al-madar al-islami. 81. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Mu‘jam al-buldan al-libiyya, Tripoli: Maktabat al-nur, 1968. 82. Ahmad bin Husayn Na’ib al-Ansari, Kitab al-manhal al-‘adhb fi ta’rikh Tarabulus al Gharb, edited by Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Cairo: Matba‘at al-istiqama, 1961. 83. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Diwan al-Bahlul, Cairo: Maktabat al-Qahira, 1966. 84. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Wulat Tarabulus min bidayat al-fath al-‘arabi ila nihayat al ‘ahd al-turki, Beirut: Dal al-fath li-l-tiba‘a wa-l-nashr, 1970. 85. F. Kaabazi, ‘Un rabdomante della storiografia libica autoctona: Alì Mustafa Misurati’, in Bono, Storiografia e fonti occidentali sulla Libia, pp. 114–24. 86. For example see, ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Ghuma faris al-sahra’, Beirut: Dar al-‘awda, 1960; ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Ibn Ghalbun: mu’arrikh Libiya, Tripoli: al-Lajna al-‘ulya li-ri‘ayat al-funun wa-l-adab, 1966. 87. ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Sa‘dun: al-batal al-shahid, Tripoli: Dar maktabat al fikr, 1964. 88. Rasim Rushdi, Tarabulus al-Gharb fi al-madi wa-l-hadir, 2nd edn, Tripoli: [no publisher], 1953. The back cover of the book states that a forthcoming book was to be published on Cyrenaica and Fezzan although this has not been located and it is probable that it never went to print. 89. Sami Hakim, Haqiqat Libiya, Cairo: Maktabat al-anjlu al-misriyya, 1968. The book had a second edition in 1970 following the 1969 revolution. 90. For a general discussion on the writing and the public use of history in Libya see J. Davis, ‘The Social Relations of the Production of History’, in E. Tonkin, M. McDonald and M. Chapman (eds) History and Ethnicity, London: Routledge, 1989, pp. 104–20; L. Anderson, ‘Legitimacy, Identity and the Writing of History in Libya’, in E. Davis and N. Gavrielides (eds) Statecraft in the Middle East. Oil, Historical Memory and Popular Culture, London: Routledge, 1991, pp. 71–91; C. Weulersse, ‘Histoire et révolution en Libye’, L’Année du Maghreb, 2005–6, 249–60.

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91. Omar al-Mukhtar: the Lion of the Desert was directed by the late Syrian Mustafa al-Akkad and financed by Libya with a budget of $35 million. It was released in September 1981. The film starred Anthony Quinn as ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, Oliver Reed as General Graziani, the officer in charge of crushing the Libyan revolt, and Rod Steiger as Mussolini. The film was distributed worldwide but was banned from distribution in Italian cinemas and still under censorship in Italy. See C. De Fazio, ‘Una vergognosa censura che permane ancora oggi’, Scriptamanent 24, September – October 2005, vol. III. 92. The fact is anonymously denounced on a website devoted to the Berbers in Libya: Tadhkir min jadid mutaliba bi-i‘adat bina’ dharih shaykh al-mujahidin sidi ‘Umar al-Mukhtar. Online. Available: (accessed 17 July 2008). 93. J.L. Triaud, La légende noire de la Sanusiyya: une confrérie musulmane saharienne sous le regard français (1840–1930), Paris: Editions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 1995, vol. 2, pp. 926–7. 94. For an overview of the Centre’s main aims and tasks see the Centre website, in particular the section Ansha’ al-Markaz ahdafuhu wa-ikhtisasuhu. Online. Available: (accessed 8 September 2008). 95. Muhammad al-Tahir al-Jarary, ‘Li-madha markaz buhuth wa-dirasat al-jihad al-libi?’, Majallat al-buhuth al-ta’rikhiyya 1, 1979, vol. 1, pp. 9–12; Muhammad al-Tahir al-Jarary, ‘Li-madha kitabat al-ta’rikh?, Majallat al-buhuth al-ta’rikhiyya 1, 1979, vol. 1, 83–6; Muhammad al-Tahir al-Jarary, ‘Hawla al-tahrir al-ta’rikh min al-fikr al-isti‘mari’, Majallat al-buhuth al-ta’rikhiyya 2, 1979, vol. 1, 51–63. 96. Anderson, ‘Legitimacy, Identity and the Writing of History in Libya’, p. 87. 97. D. Abbassi, Entre Bourguiba et Hannibal. Identité tunisienne et histoire depuis l’indépendence, Paris: Karthala – IREMAM, 2005, in particular pp. 181–200. 98. For a description of the goals and activities of the Institut Supérior d’Histoire du Mouvement National see its website. Online. Available: (accessed 13 September 2008). 99. For an account of the establishment of the Centre’s oral sources section see J. Vansina, Living with Africa, Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1994, pp. 175–82. 100. The complete list of the publication is online. Available http: (accessed 10 September 2008); the section ‘Pubblicazioni e studi libici nell’età postcoloniale’, in Labanca and Venuta (eds) Bibliografia della Libia coloniale, pp. 93–162, presents a subject bibliography of the Centre’s publications up to 2000. For a review and discussion of the Centre publications, which largely presents the Libyan perspective, see P. Venuta ‘La storiografia libica sul colonialismo italiano: motivi e problemi’, in Labanca and Venuta (eds) Bibliografia della Libia coloniale, pp. LV–LXXX; see also P. Venuta, ‘Libyan Studies on Italian Colonialism: Bibliographical and Historiographical Considerations’, The Journal of Libyan Studies 1, 2001, vol. 2, 48–60. 101. P. Maltese, La terra promessa, translated by ‘Abd al-Rahman al-‘Ajili as Ard al-mi‘ad, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 1979; C.G. Segrè, Fourth Shore: The Italian Colonization of Libya, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974, translated by ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muhayshi, al-Shati’ al-rabi‘: al-istitan al-itali fi Libiya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1987. 102. As example of the different kind of work translated see R. Graziani, La riconquista del Fezzan, Milan: A. Mondadori 1934, translated by ‘Abd al-Salam Mustafa Bash Imam, I‘adat ihtilal Fazzan, Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, Tripoli, 1995; C. Manfroni, L’Italia nelle vicende marinare della Tripolitania, Intra: Airoldi, 1935, translated by ‘Umar Muhammad al-Baruni, Italiya fi al-ahdath

154

103.

104. 105. 106.

107. 108. 109. 110.

111. 112.

113. 114. 115.

116.

The Origins of the Libyan Nation al-bahriyya al-tarabulusiyya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1988; the book was also been published with a different title al-‘Alaqat al-bahriyya bayna Libiya wa Italiya. Ta’rikh-al-bahriyya al-libiyya translated by Ibrahim Ahmad al-Mahdawi in the series of University of Garyunis (Manshurat Jami‘at Garyunis) Benghazi in 1992. E. De Agostini, Le popolazioni della Tripolitania. Notizie etniche e storiche, Tripoli: Governo della Tripolitania, 1917, translated as Sukkan Libiya: al-qism al-khass bi-Tarabulus al-Gharb, Beirut: Dar al-thaqafa 1975; F. Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca in Libia, Tripoli: P. Maggi, 1937, translated as Libiya athna’ al-‘ahd al-‘uthmani al-thani, Tripoli: Dar al-Farjani, 1971; E. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania dalla conquista araba al 1911, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente, 1968, translated as Libiya mundhu al-fath al-‘arabi hatta sana 1911, Beirut: Dar al-thaqafa, 1973. The works were translated by Muhammad Khalifa Tillisi. Shu‘bat al-watha’iq wa-l-makhtutat, al-Manfiyyun al-mub‘adun ‘an ard al-watan min jarra’ al-ghazw al-isti‘mar al-itali. Qawa’im awwaliyya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1987. A. Del Boca, Gheddafi. Una sfida dal deserto, Rome: Laterza, 1998, p. 216. On this issue see M. Missori, ‘Una ricerca sui deportati libici nelle carte dell’Archivio centrale dello Stato’, in C. Ghezzi (ed.) Fonti e problemi della politica coloniale italiana: atti del convegno, Taormina-Messina, 23–29 ottobre 1989, Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 253–8. Del Boca, Gheddafi, pp. 228–33. Ansha’ al-Markaz ahdafuhu wa-ikhtisasuhu, Online. Available: (accessed 8 September 2008). For the full text of the Sirte Agreement and a review of the cultural collaboration between Italy and Libya see G. Rossi, ‘La collaborazione culturale tra l’Italia e la Libia, oggi’, Rivista di Studi Politici Internazionali, 2000, vol. LXVII, 279–98. The contributions led to the publication of a volume: A. Baldinetti (ed.), Modern and Contemporary Libya: Sources and Historiography, Rome: IsIAO, 2003. Several other joint conferences on colonialism in Libya were also organized by Italian and Libyan scholars, see Labanca and Venuta (eds), Un colonialismo, due sponde del Mediterraneo. See the programme of the conference in the Centre website. Online. Available: (accessed 10 September 2008). As example see Muhammad al-Kawni Balhajj, al-Ta‘lim fi madinat Tarabulus al-Gharb fi al-‘ahd al-‘uthmani al-thani, 1835–1911, wa-atharuhu ‘ala mujtama‘ al-wilaya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000; Mukhtar Muhammad Amir, Milkiyyat al-ard wa-istighlaluha fi wilayat Tarabuls al-Gharb khilal al-‘ahd al-‘uthmani al-thani, 1835–1911, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2006. Khalifa Muhammad Salim al-Ahwal, Yahud madinat Tarabulus al-Gharb tahta al-hukm al-itali, 1911–1943, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2005. Libyan Studies Center personal communication to the author, e-mail, 28 May 2009. Trattato di amicizia, partenariato e cooperazione tra la Repubblica italiana e la Grande Giamahiria araba libica popolare socialista. Online. Available: (accessed 24 October 2008). Italy Seals Libya Colonial Deal, 30 August 2008. Online. Available: (accessed 21 September 2008). Firma per risarcimento Italia Libia, 30 August 2008. Online. Available: (accessed

Notes

117. 118. 119. 120.

121. 122. 123.

124. 125.

126. 127.

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21 September 2008). On the treaty see C. Gazzini, ‘Assessing Italy’s Grande Gesto to Libya’, Middle East Report on Line, Online. Available: (accessed 19 March 2009). V. Nigro, ‘Gheddafi a Andreotti: ora posso venire in Italia’, La Repubblica, 8 October 2008, p. 16. Film Press Release, Online. Available: (accessed 20 August 2008). The film’s website is trilingual: Arabic, English and Italian. P. Wien, Iraqi Arab Nationalism: Authoritarian, Totalitarian, and Pro-Fascist Inclinations, 1932–1941, London: Routledge, 2006, p. 5. Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim, Safahat matwiyya min ta’rikh Libiya al-siyasi: mudhakkirat ra’is al-wuzara’ Libiya al-asbaq, London: Alhani, 1992; a few years later the English translation appeared: M.A. Ben-Halim, Libya The Years of Hope. The Memoirs of Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim Former Prime Minister of Libya, translated by Leslie Mcloughlin, London: AAS Media Publishers, 1998. Ben-Halim, Libya The Years of Hope, p. 3. On Ben-Halim background and career see Ben-Halim, Libya The Years of Hope, pp. 1–9; see also Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 244–7. Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Mahattat min ta’rikh Libiya: mudhakkirat ra’is al-hukuma al-libiyya al-asbaq, Rabat: Matba‘at al-najah al-jadida, 1996; Mohammed Othmane Assed, Ma vie pour une Libye libre et démocratique. Mémoires de combat autobiographie, Rabat: Bouregreg, 2007. The French version is not directly translated from the Arabic. He was the head of Tripolitania Legislative Council until November 1954. ‘Ali al-Dib, Mu‘amarat Bin Halim ‘ala al-dimuqratiyya fi Libiya ‘amm 1954, Cairo: Matabi‘ al-manar al-‘arabi, 1996. A. Del Boca, A un passo della forca. Atrocità e infamie dell’occupazione italiana della Libia nelle memorie del patriota Mohamed Fekini, Milan: Baldini Castaldi Dalai, 2007. As the author states in the preface, Fekini’s grandson asked him to write a study on Muhammad Fekini based on his memoirs and personal papers, for which Del Boca consulted a French translation. It would perhaps however been more useful to publish an integral and noted translation of these memoirs. Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq Jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar. Safha min ta’rikh Libya, Cairo: Mu‘assasat Dar al-Hilal, 1993. Mohamed Yousef al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir. Safahat min al-ta’rikh al-siyasi, Oxford: Markaz al-dirasat al-libiyya, 2004, 3 vols. Al-Magariaf is the former ambassador to India, and one of the chief founders of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, an opposition group to Qaddafi. He was its secretary-general until he resigned, devoting himself to writing on Libya. The Centre of Libyan Studies has also republished Shukri’s work on the Sanusiyya and another study on the Sanusi. Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, al-Sanusiyya: din wa-dawla, edited by Youssef El-Megreisi, 2nd edn, Oxford: Markaz al-dirasat al-libiyya, 2006. Forthcoming is Rasa’il min Barqa by the late Nicola Ziadeh, a collection of letters that the author wrote to his wife while he was working in Cyrenaica in 1949. Besides these books which deal with the colonial period and the monarchy, the Centre for Libyan Studies has also published other works and from 2000 to 2004 a journal, Journal of Libyan Studies.

Chapter 2: Colonial rule 1. On the impact of the emigration issue and the Italian colonial involvement in Libya see C.G. Segrè, Fourth Shore: The Italian Colonization of Libya, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1974, pp. 3–32.

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2. On the history of Tripolitania from the first Ottoman conquest to the rise of the Qaramanlis, see E. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania dalla conquista araba al 1911, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente, 1968, pp. 143–219. 3. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 261–4; N. Lafi, Une ville du Maghreb entre ancien régime et réformes ottomanes. Genèse des institutions municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie (1795–1911), Paris: L’Harmattan, 2002, pp. 79–80. 4. Analysing the language used in some official international correspondence, Nora Lafi has discussed evidence that Islam was considered to be an important element of appurtenance to the Ottoman Empire. Lafi, Une ville du Maghreb, pp. 84–6, 91. 5. R. Mantran, ‘La Libye des origines à 1912’, in G. Albergoni et al., La Libye nouvelle. Rupture et continuité, Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1975, p. 28. 6. K. Folayan, Tripoli during the Reign of Yu¯suf Pasha Qarama¯nli, Ile-Ife: University of Ife Press, 1979, pp. 51–7. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 227–31. In the last decades of their rule Qaramanlis control over Fezzan weakened. 7. Concerning the Second Ottoman period, the main general reference works still remain, F. Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca in Libia, Tripoli: P. Maggi, 1937; A.J. Cachia, Libya under the Second Ottoman Occupation (1835–1945), Tripoli: Government Press, 1945; Ahmad Sidqi al-Dajani, Libiya qubayla al-ihtilal al-itali, Cairo: Matba‘a al-fanniya al-haditha, 1971. 8. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 297–312; E. De Leone, La colonizzazione dell’Africa del Nord, Padua: Cedam, 1960, vol. 2, pp. 252–6. 9. See A.A. Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya. State Formation, Colonization and Resistance 1830–1932, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994, pp. 51–5. 10. On the resistance of Ghuma, see Muhammad Imhammad al-Tuwayr, Thawrat al-shaykh Ghuma al-Mahmudi ‘ala al-atrak al-‘uthmaniyyn, 2nd edn, Tripoli: Dar al-Farjani, 1995; B.G. Martin, ‘Ghuma ben Khalifa, a Libyan Rebel: 1795–1858’, in S. Derengil and S. Kuneralp (eds) Studies on Ottoman Diplomatic History, Istanbul: Isis Press, 1990, pp. 57–74; also see Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 297–312. 11. See Muhammad Imhammad al-Tuwayr, Tawrat ‘Abd al-Jalil Sayf al-Nasr didda al-hukm al-‘uthmani fi wilayat Tarabulus al-Gharb, 1831–1842, 2nd edn, Benghazi: Dar al-kutub al-wataniyya, 2003. 12. E. Subtil, ‘Histoire d’Abd el-Gelil sultan du Fezzan, assassiné en 1842’, Revue de l’Orient, 1844, V, 3–30; Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 304–6; C.R. Pennel, ‘Political Loyalty and the Central Government in Precolonial Libya’, in E.G.H. Joffé and K.S. McLachlan (eds) Social and Economic Development of Libya, Wisbech: Middle East and North African Studies Press, 1982, pp. 4–9. 13. Al-Tuwayr argues that the Ghuma ‘revolution’ had patriotic and nationalist motivations, al-Tuwayr, Thawrat al-shaykh Ghuma al-Mahmudi, pp. 63–6. 14. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, p. 322; Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca, pp. 14–18; Cachia, Libya, pp. 74–8; al-Dajani, Libya, pp. 199–202. 15. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 322–3; Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca, pp. 18–20. 16. E. De Agostini, Le popolazioni della Cirenaica: notizie etniche e storiche, Benghazi: Governo della Cirenaica, 1923, p. 8. 17. Lafi, Une ville du Maghreb, pp. 213–39. 18. On the reforms see L. Anderson, ‘Nineteenth Century Reform in Ottoman Libya’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 16, 1984, 325–48. 19. Al-Dajani, Libiya, pp. 202–3; Corò, Settantasei anni di dominazione turca, pp. 21–24; Cachia, Libya, pp. 90–4. 20. Muhammad al-Kawni Balhajj, al-Ta‘lim fi madinat Tarabulus al-Gharb fi al-‘ahd al-‘uthmani al-thani, 1835–1911, wa-atharuhu ‘ala al-mujtama‘ al-wilaya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, pp. 63–102.

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21. R. Simon, ‘Jewish Participation in the Reforms in Libya during the Second Ottoman Period, 1835–1911’, in A. Levy (ed.) The Jews of the Ottoman Empire, Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994, pp. 485–506; see also Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 323–9. 22. P. Soave, Fezzan: il deserto conteso (1842–1921), Milan: Giuffrè editore, 2001, p. 81. 23. L. Anderson, The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830–1980, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986, p. 88. 24. Anderson, ‘Nineteenth Century Reform in Ottoman Libya’, pp. 335–6. 25. De Leone, La colonizzazione dell’Africa del Nord, vol. 2, p. 361; R. Simon, Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism, The Ottoman Involvement in Libya during the War with Italy (1911–1919), Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1987, pp. 23–6. 26. On the activities of the Young Turks in Benghazi, see E. Kedourie, ‘The Impact of the Young Turk Revolution on the Arabic-Speaking Provinces of the Ottoman Empire’, in Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies, London: Frank Cass, 1974, pp. 130–3; H. Kayali, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1918, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997, pp. 47, 63. 27. For a detailed reports on these facts see N. Slousch, ‘Le nouveau régime turc et Tripoli’, Revue du Monde musulman 9, 1908, vol. VI, 52–7. 28. The intent of this brief section is not to trace a history of the order, but to put to address the factors which made the Sanusiyya act as a unifying force in Cyrenaica. The literature on Sanusiyya is particularly large; among the most important studies are, Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, al-Sanusiyya: din wa dawla, Cairo: Dar al-fikr al-‘arabi, 1948; E.E. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949; N.A. Ziadeh, Sanusiya: a Study of a Revivalist Movement in Islam, Leiden: Brill, 1958; Ahmad Sidqi al-Dajani, al-Haraka al-sanusiyya. Nash’atuha wa numuwuha fi all-qarn al-tasi‘ ‘ashar, Beirut: Dar Lubnan, 1967; and K. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar on the Desert Edge. Muhammad b. ‘Alı¯ al-Sanu¯sı¯ and his Brotherhood, London: Hurst & Company, 1995. 29. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar, p. 142–4. 30. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar, p. 150. 31. A.S. El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations in the Libyan Hinterland during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century. The Role of Sayyid Ahmad al-Sharı¯f al-Sanu¯sı¯’, PhD Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981, pp. 118–21. 32. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar, p. 271. 33. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar, pp. 189–205; see also Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, pp. 76–80. 34. Vikør, Sufi and Scholar, pp. 192–4. 35. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica’, pp. 74–6. 36. El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations’, pp. 126–30. 37. In 1896, the main lodge was transferred to Qiru, which is in what would today be Chad. In 1902, following the death of al-Mahdi, the lodge moved to Kufra again. From the last decades of the nineteenth century, the Sanusiyya also expanded within Central Africa. The French military penetration in the area stopped the brotherhood’s expansion; see J.-L. Triaud, Tchad 1900–1902: une guerre franco-libyenne oubliée? Une confrérie musulmane, la Sanusiyya face à la France, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1987. 38. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 25; A. Martel, La Libye 1835–1990. Essai de géopolitique historique, Paris: Puf, 1991, p. 75. 39. El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations’, pp. 152–3. 40. J.-L. Triaud, ‘Les métamorphoses d’une confrérie: le cas de la Sanusiyya’, Annuaire de l’Afrique du Nord, 1984, XXXIII, 275–6; K.S. Vikør, ‘Sufism and Social Welfare in the Sahara’, in H. Weiss (ed.) Social Welfare in Muslim Societies in Africa, Stockholm: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 2002, pp. 83–7. 41. El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations’, pp. 92–111.

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42. E.A.V. De Candole, The Life and Time of King Idris of Libya, London: Redwood Burn Limited, 1988, pp. 5–6; Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 17. 43. Vikør, ‘Sufism and Social Welfare in the Sahara’, pp. 83–7; Triaud, ‘Les metamorphoses d’une confrérie’, 275–7. 44. K.H. Karpat, The Politicization of Islam. Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith and Community in the Late Ottoman State, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 43–4. 45. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 91. 46. M. Le Gall, ‘The Ottoman Government and the Sanusiyya: a Reappraisal’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 21, 1989, 96–9. 47. Karpat, The Politicization of Islam, p. 264. 48. Karpat, The Politicization of Islam, pp. 261–5. 49. Simon, Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism, p. 20. 50. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 102. 51. Rossi, Storia di Tripoli e della Tripolitania, pp. 323–9, 348–52; Simon, Libya, pp. 25–6; Dajani, Libiya, pp. 170–3. 52. A. Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, Rome: Scuola Tipografica Don Luigi Guanella, 1939, pp. 11–14. 53. For a comparison of the different data see M. Pendola, Gli italiani di Tunisia. Storia di una comunità (XIX–XX secolo), Foligno: Editoriale umbra, 2007, pp. 21–2; see also D. Melfa, Migrando a sud. Coloni italiani in Tunisia (1881–1939), Rome: Aracne, 2008, pp. 61–7. 54. J.-F. Martin, Histoire de la Tunisie contemporaine. De Ferry à Bourguiba, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2003, p. 132. 55. R. Ciasca, Storia coloniale dell’Italia contemporanea. Da Assab all’Impero, Milan: Hoepli, 1938, pp. 311–19. 56. Ciasca, Storia coloniale, p. 311. On the political debate see Collegio di scienze politiche e coloniali, La Libia negli atti del Parlamento e nei provvedimenti del Governo 1881–1911, Milan: Luigi di G. Pirola, 1912. 57. Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, p. 40. 58. F. Malgeri, La Guerra libica (1911–1912), Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1970, pp. 15–36. 59. D.J. Grange, L’Italie et la Méditerranée (1896–1911): les fondements d’une politique étrangère, Rome: École Française de Rome, 1994, vol. 1, pp. 500–5. 60. Grange, L’Italie et la Méditerranée (1896–1911), vol. 1, pp. 874–6. 61. Malgeri, La Guerra libica (1911–1912), p. 35. 62. Grange, L’Italie et la Méditerranée (1896–1911), vol. 2, pp. 1460–4. 63. Malgeri, La Guerra libica (1911–1912), pp. 37–96. 64. P. Maltese, La terra promessa. La guerra italo-turca e la conquista della Libia, 1911–1912, Milan: SugarCo, 1968, p. 24. 65. G. Piazza, La nostra terra promessa. Lettere dalla Tripolitania marzo – maggio 1911, Rome: Bernardo Lux, 1911, p. 79. 66. J.W. Gregory, Report on the Work of the Commission Sent out by the Jewish Territorial Organization under the Auspices of the Governor-General of Tripoli to Examine the Territory Proposed for the Purpose of a Jewish Settlement in Cyrenaica, London: Ito Offices, 1909, p. 13. 67. A. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Tripoli bel suol d’amore 1860–1922, Rome: Laterza, 1986, vol. 1, pp. 59–60. 68. For general overviews on the the military and international aspects of the occupation see, W.C. Askew, Europe and Italy’s Acquisition of Libya 1911–1912, Durham: Duke University Press, 1942; C. Causa, La guerra italo-turca e la conquista della Tripolitania e della Cirenaica. Dallo sbarco di Tripoli alla pace di Losanna, Florence: Salani, 1914; T.W. Childs, Italo-Turkish Diplomacy and the War over Libya 1911–1912, Leiden: Brill, 1990.

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69. Ministero della Guerra, Campagna di Libia Volume 1 (ottobre-dicembre 1911), Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1936, pp. 350–3. 70. G. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia. Dall’occupazione al termine del governatorato di Italo Balbo (1911–1940), Pavia: Centro Studi popoli extraeuropei Cesare Bonacossa, 2004, pp. 65–7. 71. Prime Minister Giolitti to General Caneva in Tripoli, Rome, 24 October 1911, reproduced in G. Malgeri and S.H. Sury (eds) Gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale (1911–1916): raccolta documentaria, Rome: IsIAO, 2005, p. 17. 72. Telegram, Prime Minister Giolitti to General Caneva in Tripoli, Rome 24 October 1911, reproduced in Libyan Studies Centre, The Libyan Deportees in the Prisons of the Italian Islands: Documents, Statistics, Names, Illustrations, Tripoli: Libyan Studies Centre, 1989, p. 77. 73. C. Moffa, ‘I deportati libici alle Tremiti dopo la rivolta di Sciara Sciat’, in C. Ghezzi (ed.) Fonti e problemi della politica coloniale italiana: atti del convegno, TaorminaMessina, 23–29 ottobre 1989, Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, 1996, vol. 1, p. 260. 74. L. Nisticò, ‘Libici esiliati in Italia’, in F. Sulpizi and S.H. Sury (eds) Primo convegno su gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale: 28–29 ottobre 2000, Isole Tremiti, Rome: IsIAO, 2002, p. 98. 75. C. Moffa, ‘I deportati libici della guerra 1911–12’, Rivista di storia contemporanea 1, 1990, 34, note 8. 76. See L. Nisticò, ‘Relegati libici in Italia. Un aspetto poco noto della conquista coloniale’, Islam storia e civiltà 4, 1989, vol. VIII, 276. 77. Report of the inspector Lutrario to Direzione generale della pubblica sicurezza, 13 January 1912, reproduced in Malgeri and Sury (eds) Gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale (1911–1916), pp. 77–8. 78. Telegram, General Caneva to Prime Minister Giolitti, no date, reproduced in Libyan Studies Centre, The Libyan Deportees in the Prisons of the Italian Islands, p. 79. 79. Telegram, Prime Minister Giolitti to General Caneva, no date, reproduced in Libyan Studies Centre, The Libyan Deportees in the Prisons of the Italian Islands, p. 87. 80. On the social effects of the deportations see, H.W. el-Hesnawi, ‘Effetti psico-sociali delle operazioni di deportazione dei libici nelle isole italiane sugli esiliati e i loro parenti in epoca coloniale (1911–43)’, in Sulpizi and Sury (eds) Primo convegno su gli esiliati libici, 2002, pp. 25–52. 81. Most of the documentation available mainly consist of lists of the prisoners and of deaths in the penal colonies, it also gives some indication of number of deportees. On the difficulty of establishing the exact extent of the deportations see Mabruk ‘Ali as-Sa’idi, ‘Osservazioni sulla consistenza del fenomeno delle deportazioni’, in F. Sulpizi and S.H. Sury (eds) Secondo convegno su gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale: 3–4 novembre 2001, Isole Egadi, Favignana, Rome: IsIAO, 2003, pp. 25–31. 82. C. Moffa, ‘I deportati libici della guerra del 1911–12 alle Tremiti’, in Sulpizi and Sury (eds) Primo convegno su gli esiliati libici, p. 67. 83. G. Bonaffini, ‘Gli esiliati libici a Favignana’, in Sulpizi and Sury (eds) Secondo convegno su gli esiliati libici, 2003, p. 59. 84. F. Di Pasquale, ‘I libici nella colonia penale di Ustica (1911–12)’, in Sulpizi and Sury (eds) Secondo convegno su gli esiliati libici, 2003, p. 123. 85. ‘Abdullâh ‘Alî Ibrâhîm, ‘Le condizioni dei libici confinati a Ponza attraverso i documenti italiani’, in C. Ghezzi and S.H. Suri (eds) Terzo convegno su gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale: 30–31 ottobre 2002, Isola di Ponza, Rome: IsIAO, 2004, pp. 59–67. 86. On the daily conditions in the Tremiti islands see Moffa, ‘I deportati libici della guerra del 1911–12 alle Tremiti’, pp. 53–81 and F. Sulpizi, ‘Gli esiliati libici alle isole Tremiti (1911–12): cosa accadde?’, in Sulpizi and Sury (eds) Primo convegno su gli esiliati libici, pp. 129–55.

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87. ‘I Relegati arabi alle Tremiti’, Report of the Inspector Lutrario, 21 January 1912, reproduced in Malgeri and Sury (eds) Gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale (1911–1916), p. 80. 88. The average daily meals consisted of approximately 150–200 grams of soup and 600 grams of bread. 89. Di Pasquale, ‘I libici nella colonia penale di Ustica’, pp. 115–23. 90. Nisticò, ‘Libici esiliati in Italia’, pp. 103–4. 91. Nisticò, ‘Libici esiliati in Italia’, pp. 104–5. 92. Simon, Libya, pp. 134–43, 188–94; A.M. Al-Barbar, Economics of Colonialism: the Italian Invasion of Libya and the Libyan Resistance 1911–1920: a Socio-Economic Analysis, Tripoli: Markaz Jihad al-Libyin Studies Centre, 1992, pp. 133–59; see also A.M. Al-Barbar, ‘Patterns of the Libyan Resistance Movement against Italian Invasion 1911–20’, Alifbâ 6–7, 1986, 7–22. 93. Simon, Libya, p. 195. 94. Shukri, al-Sanusiyya, pp. 137–43; Simon, Libya, pp. 143–8, 240–6. 95. On Islamic solidarity see S. Bono, ‘Solidarietà di musulmani d’Asia per la resistenza anticoloniale in Libia (1911–12)’, Annali della Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Materiali di Storia 9, Università degli Studi di Perugia, a.a. 1983–4, 31–8; S. Bono, ‘Solidarietà islamica per la resistenza anticoloniale in Libia (1911–12)’, Islàm. Storia e civiltà 22, 1988, vol. VII, 53–61; on the relationship between pan-islamism and resistance to Italian colonialism see. J.M. Landau, The Politics of pan-Islam Ideology and Organization, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, pp. 134–5. 96. Caneva address to population and the annexation decree are reproduced in Malgeri, La guerra libica (1911–1912), pp. 396–8. 97. On the controversies deriving from the Treaty of Lausanne see D. Santillana, ‘Il Trattato di Losanna’, l’Unità 51, 30 November 1912, I, 33–6; A. Malvezzi, L’Italia e l’Islam in Libia, Florence: Treves e Neri, 1913, pp. 185–220; Ministero delle Colonie, Il Califfato: notizie ed appunti, Rome: Tip. del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, 1917; C.A. Nallino, Appunti sulla natura del ‘Califfato’ in genere e sul presunto ‘Califfato ottomano’, Rome: Ministero delle Colonie, Tip. del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, 1917. 98. Nallino, Appunti sulla natura del ‘Califfato’, pp. 21–2. 99. Santillana, ‘Il Trattato di Losanna’, p. 36. 100. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 126/1, Report, ‘Politica indigena in Libia’, Governo della Tripolitania to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 20 April 1916. 101. A. Gaibi, Manuale di storia politico-militare delle colonie italiane, Rome: Provveditorato generale dello Stato, 1928, p. 236. 102. See G. Mondaini, Manuale di Storia e legislazione coloniale del Regno d’Italia. Parte I: Storia coloniale, Rome: Attilio Sampaolesi Editore, 1927, pp. 322–9. 103. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, pp. 83–95. 104. Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, p. 137. 105. S. Acquaviva, Il problema libico e il senussismo, Rome: Athenaeum, 1917, pp. 82–7. 106. De Leone, La colonizzazione dell’Africa del Nord, vol. 2, pp. 398–400. 107. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, pp. 49–54. 108. Simon, Libya, pp. 119–22, 246–8. 109. Mondaini, Manuale di storia e legislazione coloniale, pp. 313–18; Gaibi, Manuale di storia politico-militare delle colonie italiane, pp. 334–40. 110. On the insurgency see Mustafa ‘Ali Huwaydi, al-Haraka al-wataniyya fi sharq Libiya khilala al-harb al-‘alamiyya al-ula, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1988, pp. 49–99; Mondaini, Manuale di storia e legislazione coloniale, pp. 361–7; Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, 1939, pp. 145–58; C. Zoli, ‘La guerra italo-turca e il primo decennio della nostra occupazione libica’, in T. Sillani (ed.) La Libia in venti anni di occupazione italiana, Rome: La Rassegna Italiana, 1933, pp. 43–4.

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111. ASDMAE: ASMAI Africa II 122/5–41, Governo della Tripolitania, Bollettino Ufficiale n. 6, 18 June 1915. 112. S. Bernini, ‘Documenti sulla repressione italiana in Libia agli inizi della colonizzazione (1911–18), in Nicola Labanca (ed.) Un nodo. Immagini e documenti sulla repressione coloniale italiana in Libia, Manduria: Lacaita, 2002, pp. 191–6. 113. The deportations that took place during the period 1913–18 have not been investigated in detail yet. In this second period, people were mainly confined to the islands of Ponza and Ustica. In the period 1913–19, 2,289 people were confined to Ponza and Ustica. Unlike during the first period, people confined in the years 1913–18 included some notables, see F. Di Pasquale, ‘I deportati libici in Sicilia 1911–33’, in Ghezzi and Sury (eds) Terzo convegno su gli esiliati libici nel periodo coloniale: 30–31 ottobre 2002, Isola di Ponza, 2005, pp. 137–47. 114. See the volume H.W. El-Hesnawi et al., Al-Qarda¯ biyyah: An Illustrated Documentary Book in Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Battle of Al-Qarda¯biyyah, Sometimes Known as the Battle of Bu¯ha¯di, Tripoli: The Libyans’ Jihads Studies Centre, 1990; Ahmad ‘Atiyya Mudallal, al-Muqawama al-libiyya didda al-ghazw al-itali wa-ta’thirat al-‘awda‘ al-duwaliyya ‘alayha, aghustus 1914 abril 1915, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1989, p. 368; El-Horeir, ‘Social and Economic Transformations’, p. 249. Furthermore El-Horeir puts emphasis on the role played by the Sanusis in the battle. 115. Simon, Libya, pp. 227–9. 116. On the role played by Ramadan al-Suwayhli in the resistance see Muhammad Mas‘ud Fushayka, Ramadan al-Suwayhli: al-batal al-shahid al-libi bi kifahihi li-litalyan, Tripoli: Dar al-Farjani, 1974; L. Anderson, ‘Ramadan al-Suwayhli. Hero of the Libyan Resistance’, in E. Burke III (ed.) Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East, London: Tauris, 1993, pp. 114–28. 117. Anderson, The State and Social Transformation, pp. 193–9; Simon, Libya, pp. 221–5. 118. Simon, Libya, pp. 229–32. 119. Simon, Libya, pp. 234–40. 120. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 126. 121. Simon, Libya, p. 261 122. In 1918 Ahmad al-Sharif left for Istanbul and spent the rest of his life in exile in Anatolia, Syria and Arabia, without being involved in the Libyan issue. See C.A. Gazzini, ‘Jihad in Exile: Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi’, MA Thesis, Princeton University, 2004. 123. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, pp. 128–30; F. Serra, Italia e Senussia: vent’anni di azione coloniale in Cirenaica, Milan – Rome: F.lli Treves, 1933, pp. 89–92. 124. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Tripoli bel suol d’amore 1860–1922, 1986, p. 357; C. Marongiu Buonaiuti, Politica e religioni nel colonialismo italiano (1882–1941), Milan: Giuffrè, 1982, p. 133. 125. Ciasca, Storia coloniale, p. 394. 126. Ministero delle Colonie, Commissione del dopo-guerra, Relazione della VII sezione della commissione del dopo-guerra (questioni coloniali), Rome: Tipografia della Camera dei deputati, 1919. 127. Marongiu Buonaiuti, Politica e religioni nel colonialismo italiano (1882–1941), pp. 137–49. 128. Ciasca, Storia coloniale, p. 393; Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, pp. 161–2. 129. The Advisory Council was made up of 24 members, the ‘ulama’ council comprised four members; al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: Matba‘at al-Fajala al-jadida, 1950, pp. 224–6. 130. Mustafa ‘Ali Huwaydi, al-Jumhuriyya al-tarabulusiyya: jumhuriyyat al-‘arab al-ula. Awwal dirasa marja‘iyya fi mawdu‘iha, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, p. 83.

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131. L. Anderson, ‘The Tripoli Republic, 1918–22’, in E.G.H. Joffé and K.S. McLachlan (eds) Social and Economic Development of Libya, Wisbech: Middle East and North African Studies Press, 1982, pp. 43–79. 132. Huwaydi, al-Jumhuriyya al-tarabulusiyya, pp. 206–7; Huwaydi states that the Tripolitanian Republic inspired the model followed by the Rif Republic which was proclaimed in colonial Morocco by ‘Abd al-Krim in 1921, p. 199. 133. Fathi Lissir, ‘Ihtirab al-za‘amat al-wataniyya fi Tarabulus al-Gharb fi matla‘ ‘ashrinat al-qarn al-‘ashrin: halat al-Suwayhli Balkhir’, Revue d’Histoire Maghrebine 104, 2001, vol. 28, 465–98. 134. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 145. 135. Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, pp. 171–2. 136. Serra, Italia e Senussia, p. 100; Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, p. 170. 137. Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, pp. 173–4; Gaibi, Manuale di storia politicomilitare, p. 463. 138. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, pp. 148–9; De Leone, La colonizzazione dell’Africa del Nord, vol. 2, pp. 500–5. 139. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Tripoli bel suol d’amore 1860–1922, pp. 418–20. 140. Evans-Pritchard, The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, p. 151. 141. Gaibi, Manuale di storia politico-militare, p. 465. 142. Anderson, The State and Social Transformation, pp. 211–12. 143. In reality for some areas it was a conquest and not a re-conquest: ‘Fascist propaganda spoke of “reconquist”, and actually the term had some basis as far as Tripolitania was concerned [...] but not in relation to Cyrenaica, the hinterland of which had always remained under the control of Senusiya’, G. Rochat, ‘The Repression of Resistance in Cyrenaica’, in E. Santarelli, G. Rochat, R. Rainero and L. Goglia (eds), Omar al-Mukhtar. The Italian Reconquest of Libya, translated by J. Gilbert, London: Darf Publishers, 1986, p. 41, note 12. 144. Ciasca, Storia coloniale, pp. 408–11; Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, pp. 189–99. 145. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, pp. 236–44. 146. Ciasca, Storia coloniale, p. 413. 147. E. Santarelli, ‘The ideology of the Libyan “reconquest”’, in Santarelli, Rochat, Rainero and Goglia, Omar al-Mukhtar, p. 22. 148. ‘Umar al-Mukhtar was born around 1862 in Cyrenaica and was educated in the Sanusi zawiyas. From 1911, he fought the Italians and spent most of his life teaching the Quran. In 1922 he joined Idris al-Sanusi in Cairo and in 1923 returned to Cyrenaica to lead the resistance. For a general overview of the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’s strategy for the resistance see ‘Aghil M. al-Barbar, ‘Harakat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar fi-l-Jabal al-Akhdar’, in Salah al-Din Hasan al-Suri and Habib Wada‘a al-Hasnawi (eds) Buhuth wa dirasat fi al-ta’rikh al-libi, 1911–1943, 2nd edn, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 1998, pp. 319–44; for a biography of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar see Muhammad al-Tayyib al-Ashhab, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, Cairo: Maktabat al-Qahira, 1958. 149. Circular containing political directives issued by Badoglio 9 February 1929, partially translated in Rochat, ‘The Repression of Resistance in Cyrenaica’, pp. 53–4. See also R. Graziani, Verso Il Fezzan, Tripoli: F. Cacopardo, 1929, pp. 307–13. 150. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, p. 252. 151. Graziani used these definitions in his account of the ‘pacification’, see R. Graziani, Cirenaica pacificata, Milan: A. Mondadori, 1932, in particular pp. 17–134. 152. Rochat, ‘The Repression of Resistance in Cyrenaica’, pp. 66–9; the quotation is from p. 69. 153. Rochat, ‘The Repression of Resistance in Cyrenaica’, pp. 69–70. 154. Graziani, Cirenaica pacificata, p. 141.

Notes

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155. A. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, Rome: Laterza, 1988, vol. 2, p. 179; R. Graziani, Libia redenta: storia di trent’anni di passione italiana in Africa, Naples: Torella, 1948, pp. 117–30. 156. G. Rochat, ‘La repressione della resistenza araba in Cirenaica nel 1930–31 nei documenti dell’Archivio Graziani’, Il movimento di liberazione in Italia 110, 1973, 3–39; G. Rochat, ‘Il genocidio cirenaico e la storiografia coloniale’, Belfagor 4, 1980, 449–55; E. Salerno, Genocidio in Libia. Le atrocità nascoste dell’avventura coloniale italiana (1911–1931), 2nd edn, Rome: Manifestolibri, 2005. See also A.A. Ahmida, Forgotten Voices. Power and Agency in Colonial and Postcolonial Libya, New York: Routledge, 2005, pp. 43–54. 157. Rochat, ‘The Repression of Resistance in Cyrenaica’, p. 88, note 117. 158. On the capture and sentence of ‘Umar al-Mukhtar see R. Rainero, ‘The Capture, Trial and Death of Omar al-Mukhtar in the Conquest of the Fascist Policy for the Reconquest of Libya’ and L. Goglia, ‘The Capture, Trial and Death of Omar al-Mukhtar in the Italian Press’, in Santarelli, Rochat, Rainero and Goglia (eds), Omar al-Mukhtar. The Italian reconquest of Libya, 1986, pp. 117–69, 173–203. 159. B. Pace, La Libia nella politica fascista (1922–1935). La riconquista, la definizione dei confini, l’ordinamento, Messina: Principato, 1935, pp. 83–107; Graziani, Libia redenta, p. 124. 160. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, pp. 282–3. 161. On the Governatorate of Balbo see C.G. Segrè, Italo Balbo. A Fascist Life, Berkeley – Los Angeles – London: University of California Press, 1987, pp. 291–333; G. Rochat, Italo Balbo, Turin: UTET, 1986, pp. 248–75. 162. Law no. 2012, 3 December 1934. 163. L. Goglia, ‘La politica indigena di Balbo governatore generale della Libia’, in C.M. Santoro (ed.) Italo Balbo: aviazione e potere aereo. Atti del Convegno internazionale nel centenario della nascita, Roma, 7–8 novembre 1996, Rome: Aeronautica militare, 1998, pp. 287–301. 164. In particular see Rochat, Italo Balbo, pp. 256–8. 165. Balbo himself outlined his policy in a paper he presented in 1938: I. Balbo, ‘La politica sociale fascista verso gli arabi della Libia’, in Convegno di scienze morali e storiche, 4–11 ottobre 1938. Tema: l’Africa, Rome: Reale Accademia d’Italia, 1939, vol. 2, pp. 733–49. 166. Balbo himself used this expression, Balbo, ‘La politica sociale fascista verso gli arabi della Libia’, pp. 734–5. 167. Balbo, ‘La politica sociale fascista verso gli arabi della Libia’, p. 737. 168. Balbo, ‘La politica sociale fascista verso gli arabi della Libia’, p. 738. 169. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, vol. 2, pp. 279–80. 170. Mondaini claims that the 1934 regulation was clearly inspired by the French colonial policy of indirect rule but there was no will to assimilate the natives, and it continued to share features with the subjection system. Segrè did not assign any particular importance to the French influence on Balbo’s policy. See G. Mondaini, La legislazione coloniale italiana nel suo sviluppo storico e nel suo stato attuale (1881–1940), Milan: ISPI, 1941, vol. 2, p. 647; De Leone, La colonizzazione dell’Africa del Nord, 1960, vol. 2, p. 356; Segrè, Italo Balbo. A Fascist Life, pp. 422–3. 171. L. Goglia, ‘Sulla politica coloniale fascista’, Storia contemporanea 1, 1988, vol. XIX, 45. 172. F. Cresti, Oasi di italianità. La Libia della colonizzazione agraria tra fascismo, guerra e indipendenza (1935–1956), Turin: SEI, 1996, pp. 50–6. 173. Cresti, Oasi di italianità, pp. 75–6; Ausiello, La politica italiana in Libia, p. 257. 174. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, p. 269. 175. This is argued by Segrè, Fourth Shore, pp. 154–5. 176. Biasutti, La politica indigena italiana in Libia, pp. 292–3.

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177. Rochat, Italo Balbo, p. 225–6. Part of the road already existed, although Balbo extended the extra 800 km near the borders. 178. Oriente moderno 11, November 1935, vol. XV, 562–3. 179. Rochat, Italo Balbo, pp. 739–41. 180. F. Di Pasquale, La scuola per l’Impero. Politiche educative per gli arabi di Libia in epoca fascista (1922–1940), Tesi di Dottorato in Storia, istituzioni e relazioni internazionali dei paesi extraeuropei, Università di Pisa, 2007, p. 63. 181. The visit, during which Mussolini inaugurated the Litoranea, was encircled with a impressive propaganda scenography. For a detailed account of the visit see Segrè, Balbo, pp. 308–10; for examples of the propaganda material issued see Viaggio del Duce in Libia per l’inaugurazione della litoranea. Orientamenti e note ad uso dei giornalisti, Rome: 1937; M. Morgagni, Il duce in Libia, Milan: Alfieri & Lacroix, 1937; for comments regarding the reactions of the foreign press see J.L. Wright, ‘Mussolini, Libya and the “Sword of Islam”’, The Maghreb Review 1–2, 1987, vol. 12, 29–33. 182. ASDMAE: ASMAI Africa III 36, Report of the schools’ director Del Giudice, Tripoli, 12 March 1935. For a general discussion of the importance assigned by the Italian colonial authorities to European education, see F. Cresti, ‘Per uno studio delle “élites” politiche nella Libia indipendente: la formazione scolastica (1912–42)’, Studi storici 1, 2000, vol. 41, 121–58. 183. G. Cerbella, Fascismo e islamismo, Tripoli: P. Maggi, 1938, p. 37. 184. ‘Ordinamento della Scuola superiore di cultura islamica (al-madrasah al-islamiyya al-ulià) di Tripoli’, in Gazzetta ufficiale del regno d’Italia 176, 30 July 1935. On the madrasa see also the reminiscences of Khalid al-Thabit, ‘al-Madrasa al-islamiyya al-‘uliya’, ‘Shahid 4, 1983, pp. 259–69. Al-Thabit was employed as the secretary of the Institute from 1937. 185. Marongiu Buonaiuti, Politica e religioni nel colonialismo italiano, p. 269. 186. Cerbella, Fascismo e islamismo, pp. 36–9. 187. ANOM: COL AP 1425, French Consul to the General Resident in Rabat, Tripoli, 20 May 1936. 188. J. McDougall, ‘The Shabiba Islamiyya of Algiers: Education, Authority and Colonial Control, 1921–57’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 24, 2004, 1, 147–54. 189. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP (1934–55) 91, Note, ‘Cittadinanza italiana speciale per i libici musulmani (R.D.L. 9 Gennaio 1939 XVII, n. 70)’, Rodolfo Graziani to Benito Mussolini, Cirene, 22 October 1940. 190. L. Goglia, ‘Sulle organizzazioni fasciste indigene nelle colonie africane dell’Italia’, in G. Di Febo and R. Moro (eds.) Fascismo e franchismo. Relazioni, immagini, rappresentazioni, Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, 2005, in particular pp. 184–204. 191. Di Pasquale, La scuola per l’Impero, pp. 71–2. 192. Di Pasquale, La scuola per l’Impero, p. 74. 193. Segrè, Balbo, pp. 327–8.

Chapter 3: Colonial rule and exile 1. J.A. Clancy-Smith, ‘Women, Gender and Migration along a Mediterranean Frontier: Pre-Colonial Tunisia, c. 1815–70’, Gender and History 1, 2005, vol. 17, p. 66. 2. F.M. Göçek, ‘The Decline of the Ottoman Empire and the Emergence of Greek, Armenian, Turkish, and Arab Nationalisms’, in F.M. Göçek (ed.) Social Construction of Nationalism in the Middle East, New York: State University of New York Press, 2002, pp. 20–2. 3. For examples of emigration in the colonial Maghrib, see J.A. Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint. Muslim Notables, Populist Protest, Colonial Encounters (Algeria and

Notes

4.

5.

6.

7. 8.

9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

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Tunisia, 1800–1904), Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994, pp. 125–67; P. Bardin, Algériens et Tunisiens dans l’empire ottoman de 1848 à 1914, Paris: Editions du CNRS, 1979; Ch.R. Ageron, ‘L’émigration des Musulmans algériens et l’exode de Tlemcen (1830–1911)’, Annales: Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations 3, 1967, vol. 22, 1047–66. A. Martel, Les confins saharo-tripolitains de la Tunisie (1881–1911), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1965, vol. 1, pp. 282–308; see also M.F. Le Gall, ‘Pasha, Beduoins and Notables: Ottoman Administration in Tripoli and Benghazi, 1881–1902’, PhD thesis, University of Princeton, 1986, p. 37. On the Algerian exiles in Europe see J. McDougall, History and Culture of Nationalism in Algeria, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 28–59; on the Tunisians emigrated in Italy at the eve of the French occupation, see A.M. Medici, Città italiane sulla via della Mecca. Storie di viaggiatori tunisini dell’Ottocento, Tunis: L’Harmattan Italia, 2001, pp. 31–64. On the significance of hijra from colonised land, see M.K. Mas‘ud, ‘The Obligation to Migrate. The Doctrine of hijra in Islamic Law’, in D.F. Eickelman and J.P. Piscatori (eds) Muslim Travellers. Pilgrimage, Migration and the Religious Imagination, London: Routledge, 1990, pp. 29–49. At the start of French occupation in Algeria, hijra gained political validity with the advocacy of with ‘Abd al-Qadir, see Clancy-Smith, Rebel and Saint, p. 311, note no. 7. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 122/1–8, ‘Relazione del conte Sforza’, 23 November 1913, p. 3. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 122/1–8, ‘Relazione del conte Sforza’. For detailed information on the tribes of these areas see E. De Agostini, Le popolazioni della Tripolitania. Notizie etniche e storiche, Tripoli: Governo della Tripolitania, 1917, pp. 247–53, 255–62, 315–28, 329–38. ANT: A 280/3, Report, Protectorat Français, Direction général, Tunis, 19 June 1912. J.J. Despois, Mission scientifique du Fezzân. Geographie humaine, Alger: Institut de recherches sahariennes de l’Université d’Alger, 1946, pp. 65, 182–3. Secrétariat géneral du Gouvernment tunisien, Nomenclature et répartition des tribus de Tunisie, Chalon-sur-Saône: Imprim. Française et orientale E. Bertand, 1900, quoted in J. I. Clarke, ‘Some Observations on Libyans in Tunisia’, Les Cahiers De Tunisie 6, 1958, vol. 21–2, p. 90. N. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale: la Compagnie des phosphates et du chemin de fer de Gafsa 1897–1930, Tunis: Publications de la Faculté des Lettres de la Manouba, 1995, pp. 240–7. The Awlad Sellam were among the main important tribes of al-Josh area, see E. De Agostini, Le popolazioni della Tripolitania. Notizie etniche e storiche, Tripoli: Governo della Tripolitania, 1927, p. 263. ANT: A 280/3, Report to the Résident Général, Tunis, June 1913. ANT: A 280/9–10, Report to the Résident Général, Tunis, July 1913. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 122/3–26, Report on the Italo-French agreement, Ministero delle Colonie to Governo della Tripolitania, Rome, 26 June 1914. ANT: A 280–89/9, Report to the Résident Général, Tunis, 1913. ANT: A 280–89/12, Report to the Résident Général, Tunis, 1913. ANT: A 280/9–11, Le Colon Français, 16 November 1913. On the Young Tunisians demonstrations and initiatives facing the occupation of Tripolitania, see A. Mahjoubi, Les origines du mouvement national en Tunisie 1904– 1934, Tunis: Publications de l’Université de Tunis, 1982, pp. 129, 138; the Young Tunisians opposition worried the Italian government who, in March–April 1912, sent David Santillana a scholar and Orientalist to Tunis. He had the task of appeasing the Young Tunisians and carrying out pro-Italian propaganda. The report of the Santillana mission has been published in A. Baldinetti (ed.), David Santillana l’uomo e il

166

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33.

34. 35.

36. 37.

38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

The Origins of the Libyan Nation giurista. Scritti inediti 1878/1920, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 1995, pp. 43–63. Ibrahim Ahmad Abu al-Qasim, al-Muhajirun al-libiyyun bi-l-bilad al-tunisiyya (1911–1957), Tunis: Mu’assasat ‘Abd al-Karim ibn ‘Abd Allah, 1992, pp. 31–7. ANT: A 280/1–9, Ministre plénipotentiaire to Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Tunis, 17 November 1938. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale, p. 265. ASDMAE: AP 1915–18 152/16, Confidential Report, Ministero delle Colonie to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, 19 March 1917. ASDMAE: AP 1915–18 152/16, Confidential Report, Ministero delle Colonie to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, 12 April 1918. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale, p. 248. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale, p. 244. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale, p. 307. ANT: MN 17/1, Note, Police spéciale de Chemin de fer et des portes, Tunis, 21 May 1918. ANT: MN 17/1, Note, Police spéciale de Chemin de fer et des portes, Tunis, 28 May 1918. ANT, MN 17/4, Note, ‘Les gens de Ghadames’, Tunis, 10 June 1918. On the organization of the Ibadi community, see E. Insabato, ‘Gli Abaditi del Gebel Nafusa e la politica islamica in Tripolitania’, Rivista Coloniale 3, March 1918, vol. XIII, 77–93. On al-Baruni’s life and political activities, see J.E. Peterson, ‘Arab Nationalism and the Idealist Politician: the Career of Sulayman al-Baruni’, in J. Piscatori and G.S. Harris (eds) Law, Personalities and Politics of the Middle East, Boulder: Westview Press; Washington, DC: Middle East Institute, 1987, pp. 124–39; L. Veccia Vaglieri, ‘al-Baruni Sulayman’, in Encyclopaedia of Islam, CD-ROM edn, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2001. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/14, Governo della Tripolitania, Ufficio politicomilitare, ‘Notizie su Suleiman al-Baruni’ 1916, typescript, 92 pp. This expression is borrowed from F. Corò, ‘Una interessante pagina di storia libica. Suleiman el Baruni, il sogno di un principato berbero e la battaglia di Asàaba 1913’, Gli annali dell’Africa Italiana 3–4, 1938, vol. I, 959–69; Corò’s report of al-Baruni’s claims and negotiations with the Italian government appears to be quite reliably. Some of al-Baruni’s personal papers related to these events were gathered and subsequently published by his daughter, see Za‘ima Sulayman al-Baruni, Safahat khalida min al-jihad li-l-mujahid al-libi Sulayman al-Baruni, [Cairo]: Matba‘at al-istiqlal al-kubra, 1964; the collection has an evident hagiographical character and it is not possible to rely on completely. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 122/1–8, ‘Relazione del conte Sforza’, 23 November 1913, pp. 45–8. He emigrated to Tunisia and later to Syria. At the outbreak of the First World War he came back to Tripolitania. In 1923, he left Tripolitania for Egypt, where he died in 1930. He was also a poet. See al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: Matba‘at al-Fajala al-jadida, 1950, pp. 168–72; Muhammad Sa‘id al-Qashshat, Suf al-Mahmudi, Beirut: Dar Lubnan li-l-tiba‘a wa-l-nashr, 1969. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 122/1–8, ‘Relazione del conte Sforza’, 23 November 1913, pp. 45–8. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 125/2, Letters of notables to Conte Sforza, 1913. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/16–72, ‘Atto di sottomissione’, Tunis, 30 July 1914. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/16–72, Letter, Mohamed Fgheni to Colonnello Rossi Bey, no date. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/16–72, Telegram no. 1072, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 5 April 1914.

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43. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/16–72, Telegram to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 2 January 1916. 44. ANT: E 550/ 30–15, Note, Gouvernement Tunisien, Sûreté Publique, Tunis, 2 June 1913. 45. ANT: E 550/30–15, Note, Gouvernement Tunisien, Sûreté Publique, Tunis, 14 March 1914. 46. ANT: E 550/30–15, Note, Gouvernement Tunisien, Sûreté Publique, Tunis, 12 April 1913. 47. ANT: E 550/30–15, Mohammed Benkhalifa to M. Blanc, Gabes, 27 May 1913. 48. R. Simon, Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism. The Ottoman Involvement in Libya during the War with Italy (1911–1919), Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1987, p. 219. 49. ANT: A 280/9–15, Note, Gouvernement Tunisien, Sûreté Publique, Tunis, 11 October 1913. 50. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–93, Telegram no. 478, Garioni to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Tripoli, 20 September 1913. 51. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 125/2–19, Telegram, Consolato Italiano to Ministero delle Colonie, Tunis, 14 February 1914. 52. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–93, Report to Ministro delle Colonie, Tunis, 9 December 1914. 53. ANT: A 280–89/6, Consul de France to Résident general, Tunis, 21 September 1913. 54. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–93, Telegram no. 478, Garioni to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Tripoli, 20 September 1913. 55. ANT: A 280–89/17, Report to Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Tunis, no date. 56. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 125–2/17, telegram no. 171, Bottesini to Ministero delle Colonie and Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Tunis, 7 May 1913. 57. ANT: A 280/9–11, Contrôleur Civil Sfax to Délégué Résidence Générale, Sfax, 27 October 1913; Résident Sfax to Résident Général, Sfax, 3 December 1913; Secrétaire Général du Gouvernement Tunisien to Résident Général, Tunis, 3 December 1913. 58. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–93, Telegram no. 621, Manzini to Ministero delle Colonie, Tunis, 24 September 1913. From August until late September the return had included about 800 tents and about 2,000 people. 59. For a general overview on the Maghribi in Egypt see Yunan Labib Rizq and Muhammad Mazzin, al-‘Alaqat al-misriyya al-maghribiyya, mundhu matla‘ al-‘usur al-haditha hatta ‘am 1912, Cairo: al-Hay‘a al-misriyya li-l-kitab, 1990. 60. ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam Mukhtar al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya al-mu‘asir al-siyasi wa-l-ijtima‘i, 1922–1948. Dirasa fi ta’rikh al-haraka al-wataniyya fi-l-mahjar bi-Misr, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta‘rikhiyya, 2000, p. 95. 61. G. Baer, A History of Landownership in Modern Egypt 1800–1950, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962, pp. 56–60. 62. R. Aharoni, The Pasha’s Bedouin Tribes and State in the Egypt of Mehemet Ali, 1805–1848, Oxford: Routledge, 2007, pp. 94–5. 63. ASDMAE: AE 194/4, Note no. 22, Cairo, 15–30 April 1925, pp. 15–16. 64. Al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya al-mu‘asir al-siyasi wa-l-ijtima‘i, p. 65. 65. ASDMAE: AE 194/4, Note no. 22, Cairo, 15–30 April 1925, pp. 17–18. 66. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. 14, Cairo, February 1925. 67. ASDMAE: AE 192/72, Note no. 165, Cairo, 12 December 1924. 68. ASDMAE: AE 194/4, Note no. XXII, Cairo, 15–30 April 1925, p. 14. 69. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 105/2–9, Telegram, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 24 December 1912. 70. Bono, S. (ed.), Enver Pascià, Diario della guerra libica, Bologna: Cappelli, 1986, p. 73. 71. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 105/2–9, Agenzia diplomatica to Ministro degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 1 January 1913, Report ‘Minorenni della Cirenaica’, p. 2.

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72. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 105/2–9, Agenzia diplomatica to Ministro degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 1 January 1913, Report ‘Minorenni della Cirenaica’, p. 2. 73. ASDMAE: ASMAI Archivio di Gabinetto 1914–19 Libia 153/4–30, Report, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, 8 October 1915. 74. ASDMAE: ASMAI Archivio di Gabinetto 1914–19 Libia 153/4–30, Ministero delle Colonie to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, 19 July 1916. 75. ASDMAE: AE 188/14, Report no. 1216/186, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 17 May 1916. 76. ASDMAE: ASMAI Archivio di Gabinetto 1914–19 Libia 153/4–30, Foreign Office to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, London, 16 July 1917. 77. ASDMAE: AE 188/14, agreement text: Accord entre l’Italie et l’Egypte sur la nationalité des Lybiens résidant en Egypte signé au Caire le 14 Avril 1923. 78. Bardin, Algériens et Tunisiens dans l’empire ottoman, pp. 5–17. 79. Bardin, Algériens et Tunisiens dans l’empire ottoman, pp. 89–98. 80. Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 33–4. 81. A. Pellitteri, Magribini a Damasco. ‘Ulama¯’, emigranti e combattenti secondo le fonti storico-biografiche e la documentazione d’archivio arabo-siriane (XIX – XX sec.), Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 2002. 82. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi, pp. 33–4. 83. Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya al-haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha, Cairo: Matba‘at al-i‘timad, 1957, vol. 2, pp. 480–93. 84. H. Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movement of Iraq, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978, p. 324. 85. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/30–136, Telegram to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 17 November 1919. 86. ANT: MN 10/1, Report, Gouvernement Tunisien, Sûreté Publique, Tunis, 24 August 1919. 87. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/30–136, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 29 October 1919. 88. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 111/1–5, Reinald Wingate to General Ameglio, Ramleh, 13 October 1917. The first list of repatriation included 257 interned people and other 45 persons who were their wives and relatives. 89. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 111/1–5; Governo della Cirenaica to Governo delle Colonie, Tripoli, 31 May 1917. 90. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XIV, Cairo, 1–18 February 1925, p. 14. 91. Born in 1893 in Sorman, he had a traditional education. When the Italian occupation began, he was qa’immaqam at al-Josh, near Tripoli. He went in exile in 1913 with his father to Tunisia and later to Syria. At the outbreak of First Word War, the Ottoman authorities equipped him and he returned to Tripolitania to stir up the resistance against Italians. After the war, he fled to Turkey and in 1920 with his father returned to Tripolitania. Both were appointed in the Italian administration. When the fascist reconquist of Tripolitania started in 1922, ‘Awn al-Suf joined the ranks of the resistance. In 1923 he fled to Egypt, as we will see in the following chapters, he played an important role in the 1940s: See TNA: WO 230/206, ‘The history of Aon Bey Souf (compiled from information supplied by himself)’, 1947; al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, 3rd edn, Beirut: Dar al-madar al-islami, 2004, p. 295. 92. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. 14, Cairo, 1–18 February 1925, pp. 21–7. 93. ASDMAE: AE 196/2, Note no. 255, ‘Profughi della Tripolitania in Egitto’, 12 November 1925. 94. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–93, R. Legazione to Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 12 February 1925.

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95. The Idris account of his exile in Egypt is reported by E.A.V. De Candole, The Life and Times of King Idris of Libya, London: Redwood Burn Limited, 1988, pp. 40–3. Idris lived in Cairo until 1928, after which he moved to Alexandria. 96. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 561–89; al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya, pp. 97–8. 97. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, min sana 1924 ila sana 1952, 2nd edn, London: Darf, 1985, p. 11. 98. This emerged from some interviews carried out in November and December 1998 in Cairo with some Libyans settled there and in al-Fayyum with some members of al-Basil family. 99. Al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 12–13. 100. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–91, Vice Consolato to Legazione Italiana in Egitto, Sollum, 27 November 1927. 101. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–92, Note no. 169, Cairo, 18 June 1926. 102. ASDMAE: AP 1931/45 Libia 5/4, Report no. 2471/369, Consolato Generale to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Jerusalem, 11 December 1930. 103. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–92, ‘Scheda informativa individuale. Governo della Cirenaica. Ufficio Politico Militare’ and Note no. 95, Benghazi, 29 April 1926. 104. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–92, Note no. 95, Benghazi, 29 April 1926. 105. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–92, Dispatch no. 266385, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 24 December 1927. 106. ASDMAE: AP 1931/45 Libia 5/3, Dispatch no. 2052/388, Consolato Generale to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Jerusalem, 8 July 1932. 107. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45, Libia 5/4, Report, Jaffa, 27 November 1930. 108. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150-26-121, Confidential Report no. 2378, R. Incaricato d’Affari to Ministero delle Colonie, Bulkeley, 31 August 1928. 109. Sa‘id ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Handiri, al-‘Alaqat al-libiyya al-tshadiyya 1842–1975, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 25–7. 110. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/26–121, Divisione dei Carabinieri Reali della Tripolitania, Ufficio 3ª Divisione, ‘Specchio riepilogato dei fuorusciti rientrati in Colonia’, Tripoli, 15 November 1930. 111. He was an important chief of the ‘Awaqir tribes. He continuously kept hostile attitude towards Italy and died in Egypt in 1940. Al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, pp. 228–9. 112. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Report no. 1807, Bulkeley, 14 June 1929. 113. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Report no. 1968, 29 June 1929. 114. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Dispatch no. 2967 to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 14 October 1929. 115. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 10 January 1930. 116. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–98, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 16 January 1931. 117. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Dispatch no. 1215, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 17 May 1935. 118. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13/1, Report to Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 17 May 1935. 119. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Note, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, March 1935. 120. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Report, Daodiace to Governatore della Libia, Derna, 7 September 1935. 121. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Governo della Cirenaica, ‘Situazione numerica dei fuorusciti libici rientrati dall’Egitto alla data del 31 luglio 1934’. 122. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13/1, Ministero delle Colonie ‘Situazione numerica dei fuorusciti libici rientrati dall’Egitto alla data del 30 novembre 1934’. 123. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13/1, Ministero delle Colonie ‘Situazione numerica dei fuorusciti libici rientrati dall’Egitto alla data del 31 dicembre 1934’.

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124. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/26–119, Telegram no. 597 to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 23 March 1930. 125. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 1/1, Ministero delle Colonie to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Rome, 16 March 1931 and Governo della Tripolitania to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 3 March 1931. 126. Dougui, Histoire d’une grande entreprise coloniale, p. 247. 127. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Governo della Tripolitania e della Cirenaica to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 26 November 1933. 128. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Governo della Tripolitania to Ministro delle Colonie, Tripoli, 19 January 1934. 129. ASDMAE: AP 1931/45 Libia 7/1, Dispatch no. 211702, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ambasciata in Paris and in London and Rome, 19 April 1933. 130. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Governo della Tripolitania to Ministero delle Colonie, Tripoli, 30 December 1933. 131. ANT: A 280/16, Résidént général to Controleur Civil (Gafsa, Sfax, Tozeur, Gabes), Tunis, 19 March 1937. 132. ANT: A 280/16, Contrôleur Civil to Résident Général, Gafsa, 19 June 1937. 133. ANT: A 280/1–9, Ministre Plénipotentiaire to Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, Tunis, 17 November 1938. 134. ANT: A 280/1–9, ‘Memento pour Monsieur l’Ambassadeur de France Résident Général’, Tunis, 10 August 1939. 135. ANT: A 280/1–9 ‘Rapport du Capitaine Aget sur la tournée effectuée du 1er au 8 Novembre 1939 dans la région Gafsa-Kebili’, 10 November 1939. 136. Ahmad al-Shitiwi (known as al-Suwayhili), was the brother of Ramadan al-Shitiwi, who headed the tribal revolt against Italian occupation in Tripolitania in 1915. Born in Misurata around 1880, he played a vital role in lobbying the mujahidins against the Italian occupation. He played an active role in the Tripolitanian Republic in 1919 and emigrated to Egypt in 1923, after the occupation of Misurata. He lived in Alexandria and only in 1955 returned to Tripolitania. He died in 1962. For detailed information on his participation in the resistance see Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1; for biographical data see al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, pp. 109–11. 137. One of the heads of the Tahruna tribes; participated at the Tripolitanian Republic and at the Conference of Gharyan (1920). He moved to Egypt in 1924 and settled in al-Fayyum area. Italian documentation reports that in Egypt he owned some proprieties and lived comfortably and did not carry on any further political activity: T. A. al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, p. 125. 138. Head of the Awlad Sulayman qabila of the Sirtica area in Egypt he lived in al-Fayyum. He had connections with the Sanusiyya but he was in disagreement with the other Tripolitanian chiefs. The Sayf al-Nasr family was engaged in the resistance against the Italians, who they opposed continually until 1930s. See ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Report, R. Legazione d’Italia to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, May 1938; see also al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, pp. 77–8; Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1. 139. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Report, R. Legazione d’Italia to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, May 1938. 140. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 17/1, Dispatch no. 1358/344 and Dispatch no. 4475, Consolato d’Italia to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Jerusalem, 29 March 1937 and Jerusalem, 16 September 1937. 141. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 870–6.

Chapter 4: Exile associations and the beginning of political activity 1. For a general overview of Egyptian solidarity at the beginning of occupation see A. Baldinetti, Orientalismo e Colonialismo. La ricerca di consenso in Egitto per

Notes

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9.

10. 11.

12. 13.

14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

171

l’impresa di Libia, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 1997, pp. 125–52; see also Miftah Bal‘id Ghuwayta, al-Mawqif al-sha‘bi al-misri min harakat al-jihad fi Libiya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2003, pp. 147–235. As examples see al-Mu’ayyad, 16 January 1912, p. 4; 26 January 1912, p. 1. ASDMAE: AE 130/10, Report, Agenzia Diplomatica to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 22 January 1912. ASDMAE: AE 130/10, Report, Agenzia Italiana to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 27 October 1911. See my previous discussions concerning the activities of the Egyptian Red Crescent during the Italo-Turkish war in: A. Baldinetti, ‘La Mezzaluna Rossa egiziana’, Africa 4, 1991, vol. XLVI, pp. 565–72. Muhammad ‘Abd al-Rahman Burj, ‘Aziz al-Misri wa-l-haraka al-‘arabiyya, 1908– 1916, Cairo: Markaz al-dirasat al-siyasiyya wa-l-istiratijiyya bi-l-Ahram, 1979, p. 48. On the role of ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri in organizing the resistance in Cyrenaica in 1911–12 see A. Baldinetti, ‘Azı¯z ‘Alı¯ al-Misrı¯: un ufficiale egiziano al fronte libico (1911–13)’, Africa 2, 1992, vol. LVII, pp. 268–75. Letter from ‘Aziz ‘Ali al-Misri to Muhammad Farid, 10 January 1912, in Muhammad Farid, Awraq Muhammad Farid. Murasilat, edited by Mustafa al-Nahhas Jabr, Cairo: al-Hay’a al-misriyya al-‘amma li-l-kitab, 1986, vol. 2, pp. 193–94. Muhammad Farid, Awraq Muhammad Farid. Mudhakkirati ba‘da al-hijra, Cairo: al-Hay’a al-misriyya al-‘amma li-l-kitab, 1978, vol. 1, p. 99; B. Aglietti, L’Egitto dagli avvenimenti del 1882 ai giorni nostri, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente, 1965, vol. 1, p. 266. These letters are in the private papers of ‘Abbas II Hilmi kept at Durham University Library Archives and Special Collection: GB-0033-HIL Abbas Hilmi II Papers, file 112. On this issue see G.P. Gooch and H. Temperly (eds), British Documents on the Origin of the War 1898–1914, London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1936, vol. 10, part 1, pp. 832–8; Bulletin de la societé Enjouman Terekki-Islam 1-2-3, 1914, vol. XI, pp. 97–105. Al-Hilal, March 1912, pp. 361–6. Concerning the relationship between poetry and politics in Egypt see M.A. Khouri, Poetry and the Making of Modern Egypt (1882–1922), Leiden: Brill, 1971; ‘Abd al-‘Alim al-Qabbani, Mawqif Shawqi wa-l-shu‘ara’ al-misriyyin min al-khilafa al-‘uthmaniyya, Cairo: al-Hay’a al-misriyya al-‘amma li-l-kitab, 1988. See for example, the poem ‘Harb Tarabulus’ by Hafiz Ibrahim, in Muhammad Hafiz Ibrahim and Ahmad Amin, Diwan Hafiz Ibrahim, Cairo: Dar al-kutub al-Misriyya, 1937, vol. 2, pp. 25–31; as well as the two poems by ‘Abd al-Muttalib, also in the same volume, pp. 285–92. For further information on Egyptian poetry inspired by the Libyan events, see Muhammad Muhammad Husayn, al-Ittijahat al-wataniyya fi al-adab al-mu‘asir, Cairo: Maktabat al-adab, 1954, vol. 1, pp. 35–9. ASDMAE: AE 130/8, Report, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Alexandria, 1 November 1911. ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Note no. 20, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 14 August 1924. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, 3rd edn, Beirut: Dar al-madar al-islami, 2004, p. 139. Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya, Qanun Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya (Tarabulus wa-Tunis wa-l-Jaza‘ir wa-Marrakish), Cairo: Matba‘a al-salafiyya, 1924; a copy in ASDMAE: AE 192/1. Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya, Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya, [Cairo]: Matba‘at al-ittihad al-misri, [1924]; a copy in ASDMAE: AE 192/1. The Tripolitanians were represented by Muhammad al-Tuhami Nasr and ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Kafi, both teachers at al-Azhar University. See ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Note no. 30, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 24 May 1924.

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21. Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya, Jam‘iyyat, p. 1. 22. ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Note no. 25, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 18 August 1924. 23. ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Dispatch, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Alexandria, 19 October 1924. Ahmad Bin Ghalbun: described by the Italian authorities as a rich man and a fervent supporter of al-Sanusi, as well as the instigator of ‘the unreal news on the Libyan events in the paper Wadinnil’. 24. ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Dispatch, Ramleh, 19 October 1924. The managing director was the Tunisian Muhammad al-Khadar Husayn who was also the chairman of the association; the other members of the directive board were Algerians and Moroccans. Mahmud bin ‘Umar al-Zanzuri, born in Tripoli in 1896, went to Egypt in 1909 to complete his studies. Before the Second World War he moved to Sudan and went back to Tripolitania after the independence, in 1953; for additional biographical data see al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, pp. 388–9. 25. ASDMAE: AE 192/2, Note no. 155, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 5 December 1924 and Note no. 159, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 9 December 1924. 26. ASDMAE: AE 192/1, Memorandum, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Alexandria, 15 August 1924. 27. Idris’s account reported in E.A.V. De Candole, The Life and Times of King Idris of Libya, London: Redwood Burn Limited, 1988, p. 42. 28. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XIII, Cairo, 20 January–1 February 1925. 29. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XIII, Cairo, 20 January–1 February 1925. 30. I. Gershoni and J.P. Jankowski, Egypt, Islam and the Arabs: the Search for Egyptian Nationhood, 1900–1930, New York: Oxford University Press, 1987, p. 255. 31. On the society of Eastern Bond see Gershoni and Jankowski, Egypt, Islam and the Arabs, pp. 264–9. 32. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XIII, Cairo, 20 January–1 February 1925. 33. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. 20, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 6–20 August 1925. 34. ASDMAE: AE 130/10, Report no. 2526, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Agenzia Diplomatica, Rome, 21 November 1911; see also ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Rafi’, Muhammad Farid: ramz al-ikhlas wa-l-tahdhiyya, 3 edn, Cairo: Maktabat al-nahda al-misriyya, 1971, pp. 302–3; F.M. Corrao, La rinascita islamica. Il nazionalismo di Muhammad Farid, Palermo: STASS, 1985, p. 58. 35. Muhammad Husayn al-Haykal, Mudhakkirat fi al-siyasa al-misriyya, Cairo: Maktabat al-nahda al-misriyya, 1951, vol. 1, p. 44. 36. ASDMAE: AE 136/10, Report no. 03350/51, Ministero delle Colonie to Agenzia Diplomatica in Cairo, Rome, 9 April 1913. 37. ASDMAE: AE 136/10, Report no. 1691/647, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Alexandria, 11 September 1912. 38. ASDMAE: AE 136/10, Confidential Report no. 1696/652, Agenzia Diplomatica to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 11 September 1912. 39. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/18–77, Report no. 2173/815, Agenzia Diplomatica to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 10 December 1912. 40. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/18–77, Report, Yahya Siddik to Agenzia Diplomatica, Port Said, 12 December 1912. 41. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/18–77, Letter, Yahya Siddik to Agenzia Diplomatica, Port Said, 31 March 1913. 42. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/18–77, Report, Ministro delle Colonie to Governatore della Cirenaica, Rome, 4 February 1914. 43. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 137/4–34, Telegram no. 482, Governatore della Cirenaica to Ministro delle Colonie, Benghazi, 11 February 1914. 44. R.M. Coury, The Making of an Egyptian Arab Nationalist. The Early Years of Azzam Pasha 1893–1936, Reading: Ithaca Press, 1998, pp. 95–228. 45. ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Sihafat Libiya fi nisf qarn, Beirut: Matabi‘ dar al-kishaf, 1960, p. 157.

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46. G. Baer, A History of Landownership in Modern Egypt 1800–1950, London: Oxford University Press, 1962, p. 21. 47. ‘Abd al-Mun‘am al-Jami‘i, ‘Hamid al-Basil wa-dawruhu fi al-haraka al-wataniyya’, in Jami‘at al-Qahira far‘ al-Fayyum, Mu‘tamar al-Fayyum ‘abra al-‘usur, al-Fayyum: [no publisher], 1996, pp. 2–9. 48. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XVIII, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 5–19 March 1925. 49. PRO: FO 371/14650 J/2354/16, Report from Sir A. Ryan, Jedda, 30 June 1930. 50. ASDMAE: AE 196/4, Note no. XVIII, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 5–19 March 1925. 51. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/20–88, Dispatch, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Alexandria, 2 October 1924. 52. PRO: FO 371/14637 J140/16, Sir. P. Loraine to Mr. A. Henderson, Cairo, 14 January 1930. 53. ASDMAE: AE 192/2, Note no. 165, Regia Legazione, Cairo, 12 December 1924. 54. Born in Tripoli in 1876, he was a man of letters, mastering Arabic, Turkish, Italian and some French. In Tripolitania he was editor of the newspaper al-Turqi. In 1911, he went to exile to Egypt where he stayed for a year and half; later he moved to Syria, where he became Secretary General of the Syrian Cabinet. He died in Damascus in 1951 or 1956. Al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, pp. 385–7; Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, p. 90. 55. Born in Tripoli in 1895, during the Italian occupation, he went into exile in Damascus with his family. He studied humanities at university and made a career in the educational system; having begun as teacher he later became an inspector. He published several book on Arabic language and Islamic civilization, see Dar al-kutub, Dalil al-mu‘allifin al-‘arab al-libiyyin, Tripoli: Dar al-kutub, 1977, pp. 266–67; ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, Damascus: Nadwat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, 1955, p. 107. 56. A primary school teacher, he exercised this profession also in Damascus; he died in 1938. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, p. 90. 57. He was among the first people who emigrated to Syria, Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 108. 58. Born around 1885 in Derna he was educated at the Ottoman schools. He served in the Ottoman administration and when the Italian occupation begun, he was mudir in Sollum. After the withdrawal of Ottoman troops in 1912 he went to Istanbul and was sent to Syria where he held a position in the administration, see, Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 108; A. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations. A case of Planned Decolonization, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, p. 294–5. 59. Born in Tripoli in 1897, he trained at the military academy in Istanbul and served in the Ottoman army. He settled in Damascus after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire and worked as teacher in the primary schools, Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 105. 60. Born in Tripoli in 1886, he attended the military school. He served as an officer in the Ottoman army and participated in the Fist Word War. After the break-up of the Ottoman Empire he settled in Damascus and joined the exiles’ political activities. In 1935, when Italy occupied Ethiopia, he enroled as a volunteer. In 1948, he joined the Palestinian ranks; due to his involvement in the Palestinian cause, the Saudi Arabia Kingdom appointed him chief of the Saudi Arabian general staff in 1939. He recorded the main events he participated in during his lifetime, among them: Muhammad Tariq al-Ifriqi, Mudhakkirati fi al-harb al-habashiyya al-italiyya, Damascus: Dar al-yaqza, 1937; Muhammad Tariq al-Ifriqi, al-Mujahidun fi ma‘arik Filastin, Damascus: Matba‘at jaridat al-insha’, 1948. See ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Namadhij fi al-zill, 2nd edn, Tripoli, 1993, pp. 321–33; Muhammad Sa‘id al-Qashshat, Libiyyun fi al-Jazira al-‘Arabiyya, Beirut: Dar al-saraj li-l-tiba‘a wa-l-nashr, 2003, pp. 158–73. 61. Having studied accountancy in Istanbul, he emigrated to Syria where he worked in the treasury of the civil administration, see Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 109.

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62. Born in Benghazi, he was an officer in the Ottoman administration and fled to Syria in 1912 where lived in poor conditions, al-Qashshat, Libiyyun fi al-Jazira al-‘Arabiyya, pp. 207–8. 63. He was a doctor, al-Qashshat, Libiyyun fi al-Jazira al-‘Arabiyya, p. 212. Others in attendance included, Muhammad Daribika, Fu’ad Du, Adib al-Hajj, Abu Bakr Qadura, Mustafa bin Nuh, ‘Abd al-Salam Adham, Ahmad Rasim al-Mu’qat, Fawzi al-Nawal, Nur al-Din Qadara, ‘Abd al-Salam Adham, Husayn al-Busayri and Abu Bakr al-Turki. 64. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 39–40; Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 100. 65. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya al-haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha, Cairo: Matba‘at al-i‘timad, 1957, vol. 2, p. 643; Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, p. 41. 66. A detailed biography of Sa‘dawi is traced in Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2; for the years between the birth and the occupation of Tripolitania see pp. 386–430. See also al-Qashshat, Libiyyun fi al-Jazira al-‘Arabiyya, pp. 13–69; a brief biographic profile in al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, pp. 132–7. 67. Coury, The Making of an Egyptian Nationalist, p. 200. 68. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 426–30. The members of the Sforza mission, surprised by the outbreak of the war in Tripolitania, were made prisoners. Later Sforza recorded the experience of his captivity in a a book: A.M. Sforza; Esplorazioni e prigionia in Libia, Milan: Treves, 1913. 69. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 438–53. 70. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 455–8. 71. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 465–80. 72. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 512–13. 73. C.A. Gazzini, ‘Jihad in Exile: Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi’, MA Thesis, Princeton University, 2004, pp. 33–4. 74. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 514–15. 75. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 521. 76. A.M. Al-Barbar, Economics of Colonialism: the Italian Invasion of Libya and the Libyan Resistance 1911–1920; a Socio-Economic Analysis, Tripoli: Markaz Jihad al-Libyin Studies Centre, 1992, pp. 221–6, the quotation is from p. 225. 77. Both Arabic and colonial sources states that ‘Azzam was the promoter of the Gharyan conference, see: Ahmad al-Tahir al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: Matba‘at al-Fajala al-jadida, 1950, p. j. S. Bernini, ‘Il partito politico nella Libia agli inizi del XX secolo’, in Federico Cresti (ed.) La Libia tra Mediterraneo e mondo islamico, Milan: Giuffrè editore, 2006, pp. 112–15. 78. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 522–32. 79. On the Gharyan conference see al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, pp. 296–302; Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 536–40; Al-Barbar, Economics of Colonialism, pp. 225–6. The Gharyan conference appointed also a delegation which had to mediate tribal conflicts, but the delegation failed to make reach an agreement. 80. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 536. Here Shukri explicitly says that his statement made in his previous book that ‘it was evident that the leaders at the Conference of Gharyan referred at Idris al-Sanusi’ was wrong; see Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, al-Sanusiyya: din wa-dawla, Cairo: Dar al-fikr al-‘arabi, 1948, p. 254. 81. On the the delegation in Rome see O. Gabelli, La Tripolitania dalla fine della guerra mondiale all’avvento del fascismo, Intra: A. Airoldi, 1939, vol. 2, pp. 43–58. 82. Coury, The Making of an Egyptian Arab Nationalist, p. 188. On the meeting between the Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican delegation and the Sirte Charter see al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, pp. 304–7; Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 551–5. 83. For a detailed account on all the steps which led to the bay’a see Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 555–761. The text of the bay’a is in al-Zawi, Jihad al-abtal, pp. 327–9. Shukri states that Bashir wrote the text of bay’a, in reality in the text there is no reference to the union of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica but Idris was recognized Amir of the both regions.

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84. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, 591–2; al-Misrati, Sihafat Libiya, pp. 196–202. 85. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 594–612. 86. ‘Mithaq qawmi li-l sha‘b al-tarabulusi al-barqawi’, in Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 644. See also Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, p. 50. 87. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 42–4. 88. ‘Appello di esuli tripolitani e cirenaici al mondo musulmano’, Oriente Moderno 7, July 1929, vol. IX, 299–300. 89. In 1930 they circulated various leaflets, for example one was titled Sayha min sahra’ al-dima’ al-sha‘b al-tarabulusi al-barqawi al-mazhlum yastanjidu al-‘alam al-islami (A Cry from the Desert of Blood: The Oppressed Tripolitanian-Cyrenaic People Call for the Help of the Islamic World). The leaflets were signed by al-Sha‘b al-tarabulusi al-barqawi al-mazlum (The Oppressed People of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica). The following year they made another leaflet circulated among the pilgrims in Mecca: Istighathat muslimi Tarabulus Barqa bi-hujjaj bayt Allah al-haram wa-jami‘ ikhwanihim fi aqtar al-islam (The appeal for help of the Muslim people of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica to the pilgrims in Mecca and all the people of Muslim countries). See Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 47–51; the appendix reports some of these leaflets. 90. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/22–92, Report no. 262, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 17 June 1929. 91. As examples see ‘Nuovo appello da Damasco ai Libici residenti all’estero’, Oriente Moderno 9, September 1929, vol. IX, 499; ‘Appello di esuli tripolitani e cirenaici al mondo musulmano’ and ‘Propaganda di ribelli tunisini in un giornale arabo di Tunisi. Un appello dei ribelli tripolini in un giornale tunisino’, Oriente Moderno 10, October 1929, vol. IX, 451–52. During this period al-Sa‘dawi‘s closest collaborators were Ahmad Rasim al-Mu’qat, Fawzi al-Na‘as, Mansur Qadara, ‘Abd al-Salam Adham, ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, al-Hadi al-Ra’is see ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 7/3, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 3 February 1933. 92. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 684. 93. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/26–121, Letter of Bashir al-Sa‘dawi on behalf of the committee, 2 September 1929. The letter is reproduced in Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 648–9 and it is also partially reported by Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 177–79. 94. Muhammad Salah al-Jabiri, Yawmiyyat al-jihad al-libi fi al-sihafa al-tunisiyya, 1912–1932, Tunis: al-Dar al-‘arabiyya li-l-kitab, 1982, vol. 2. 95. Ahmad Zarim, Mudhakkirat Ahmad Zarim, Tripoli: Dar al-‘arabiyya li-l-kitab, 1979, pp. 5, 113. 96. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 831–36; Zarim, Mudhakkirat, pp. 114–15. 97. Muhammad Shukri al-Tarabulusi, was elected chairman, while Ahmad Zarim was elected secretary, Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 837. 98. Zarim, Mudhakkirat, p. 130. 99. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 7/3, Report no. 106/26, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 3 February 1933. 100. ASDMAE: ASMAI Libia 150/21–89, Report no. 403/107, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 4 April 1934. 101. On the participation of the ECTCC delegation see Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 780–806, see also Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, p. 51. 102. U.M. Kupferschmidt, ‘The General Muslim Congress of 1931 in Jerusalem’, Asian and African Studies 1, 1978, vol. 12, p. 123. 103. On the Congress see Kupferschmidt, ‘The General Muslim Congress of 1931 in Jerusalem’ pp. 123–62, see also M.S. Kramer, Islam Assembled. The Advent of the Muslim Congresses, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986, in particular pp. 123–41. 104. The document is reproduced in Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 209–19.

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105. Coury, The Making of an Egyptian Nationalist, pp. 310–12. 106. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45, Palestina 3, Dispatch no. 40197/1324, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Cairo, 14 December 1931. 107. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 813–20. 108. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 73–81; Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 820–52. 109. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 891–8. 110. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i’ al-suwd wa-l-humr aw al-tamdin bi-l-hamid wa-l-nar. al-Halqa al-’ula, Damascus: [no publisher], 1931. A copy of the book in ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 7/3. 111. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 726–48; Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 65–7. 112. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, p. 748. 113. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, p. 65, note no. 1. 114. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, pp. 5–7. 115. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, pp. 7–10. 116. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, pp. 11–12. 117. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, p. 13. The testimony reports on the year 1911. 118. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, p. 47. The testimony reports on the year 1923. 119. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, p. 35. The testimony reports on the year 1912. 120. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, p. 47. The testimony reports on the year 1923. 121. Lajnat al-tasjil al-faza’i‘, al-Faza’i‘, pp. 106–15. 122. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, p. 67. 123. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 5/3, Dispatch no. 2052/388, Consolato Generale di S.M. il Re d’Italia in Palestina e Transgiordania to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Jerusalem, 8 July 1932. 124. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 748–55. 125. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 5/3, Dispatch no. 22390, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 8 August 1933. 126. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45, Libia 5/3, Dispatch no. 22390, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 8 August 1933. 127. M. Provence, The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005, p.105. 128. A. Pellitteri, Magribini a Damasco. ‘Ulama’, emigranti e combattenti secondo le fonti storico-biografiche e la documentazione d’archivio arabo-siriane (XIX–XX sec.), Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 2002, p. 100. 129. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 86–7. 130. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 7/3, Consolato d’Italia to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 3 February 1933. 131. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 854–6.

Chapter 5: Pan-Arabism and Libyan nationalism 1. I. Gershoni and J.P. Jankowski (eds), Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East, New York: Columbia University Press, 1997, p. 3. 2. Gershoni and Jankowski (eds), Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East, pp. 3–4. 3. S. Haim, Arab Nationalism: an Anthology, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962, p. 35. 4. For more details see A. Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798–1939, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983; E. Be’eri, Arab Officers in Arab Politics and Society, New York: Praeger, 1970, pp. 305–23.

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5. Al-Husri did recognize the importance of religion and Islam, although this was secondary to religion and language. For more details see, L. M. Kenny, ‘Sati’ al-Husri’s Views on Arab Nationalism’, The Middle East Journal 3, 1963, vol. 17, in particular pp. 237–43. 6. Haim, Arab Nationalism: an Anthology, pp. 51–53; Be’eri, Arab Officers, pp. 375–79. 7. William Cleveland, The Making of an Arab Nationalist: Ottomanism and Arabism in the Life and Thought of Sati‘ al-Husri, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971; B. Tibi, Arab Nationalism: A Critical Enquiry, 2nd edn, London: MacMillan, 1990. The first edition was published in 1981. 8. Cleveland, The Making of an Arab Nationalist, pp. 59–77; Tibi, Arab Nationalism: A Critical Enquiry, p. X. 9. Gershoni and Jankowski (eds), Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East, p. 16. 10. P.S. Khoury, Syria and the French Mandate: the Politics of Arab Nationalism, 1920–1945, London: I.B.Tauris, 1987; in particular pp. 397–434. 11. P.S. Khoury, ‘Divided Loyalities? Syria and the Question of Palestine, 1919–39’ Middle Eastern Studies 3, 1986, vol. 21, 324–48. 12. I. Gershoni and J.P. Jankowski, Redefining the Egyptian Nation, 1930–1945, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, pp. 167–70. 13. For Pharonic and territorial nationalism see Donald Reid, Whose Pharaohs? Archaeology, Museums and Egyptian National Identity from Napoleon to World War I, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. 14. Gershoni and Jankowski, Redefining the Egyptian Nation, 1930–1945, pp. 1–31. 15. Gershoni and Jankowski, Redefining the Egyptian Nation, 1930–1945, p. 132. 16. Gershoni and Jankowski, Redefining the Egyptian Nation, 1930–1945, p. 121. 17. J Terry, The Wafd 1919–1952: Cornerstone of Egyptian Political Power, London: Third World Centre for Research and Publishing, 1982, p. 208. 18. British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Part II, vol. XVII, Doc. 161,’Memorandum respecting the Blueshirt Movement’. For more details see also J. Jankowski, Egypt’s Young Rebels: “Young Egypt”, 1933–1952. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1975, pp. 34–7. 19. British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Part II, vol. XVI, Doc. 8, Sir Lampson to Sir John Simon, 26 April 1925. 20. See discussions of the Iraqi newspaper al-‘Alam al-‘arabi, in Peter Wein, Iraqi Arab Nationalism: Authoritarian, Totalitarian, and Pro-Fascist Inclinations, 1932–1941, London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 56–68. 21. For more details see Y. Porath, In Search of Arab Unity, 1930–1945, London: Frank Cass, 1986, pp. 4–39; J. Jankowski, Egypt’s Young Rebels: ‘Young Egypt’, 1933– 1952. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1975. 22. P. Wein, Iraqi Arab Nationalism, p. 15–16. 23. N. Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East, 1935–1940’, PhD thesis, University of Leeds, 2008, p. 276. 24. Gershoni and Jankowski, Redefining the Egyptian Nation, 1930–1945, 1995, p. 24. 25. Amin Sa‘id, ‘Li-madha anshadtu hadhihi al-majalla’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 1, 1936, vol. I, p. 1. 26. Al-‘Alam al-‘arabi wa-Italiya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 3, 1936, vol. I, 23–4. 27. ‘Mitran al-Habasha wa-l-sultat al-italiyya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 4, 1936, vol. I, 15. 28. ‘Min al-Baruni Basha ila al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 8, 1936, vol. I, 23. 29. ‘Italiya wa-Tarabulus al-Gharb li-madha la ya‘tarifu al-italiyyun bi-dawla ‘arabiyya fi Shamal Ifriqiyya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 14, 1936, vol. I, 12–13. 30. Abu al-Qasim, ‘Tarabulusi ya‘izu ahl al-Yaman’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 17, 1936, vol. I, 38.

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31. On the Italian policy in Yemen see R. Quartararo, ‘L’Italia e lo Yemen. Uno studio sulla politica di espansione italiana nel Mar Rosso (1923–37)’, Storia Contemporanea 4–5, 1979, vol. X, 811–71; E. De Leone, ‘Le relazioni italo-yemenite negli ultimi ottant’anni’, Studi economico giuridici, Università di Cagliari, 1956–7, XXXIX, 1–71. 32. ‘Kayfa yasta‘addu Italiya li-isti‘mar al-Yaman’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 23, 1936, vol. I, 29–31. 33. ‘Kayfa yanshiru al-Italiyyun di‘ayatahum fi bilad al-Yaman’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 39, 1937, vol. I, 646–7. 34. Kayfa ya‘malu al-Italiyyun li-isti‘mar al-Yaman, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 36, 1937, vol. I, 496–98; ‘Kayfa ‘aqadat al-mu‘ahida bayna Italiya wa-Yaman’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 70, 1937, vol. II, 23–25. 35. Al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 16, 1936, vol. I, pp. 37; al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 17, 1936, vol. I 29; al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 20, 1936, vol. I pp. 35; al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 22, vol I, 1936, 38. 36. ‘Hadith ‘azim fi Tunis’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 61, 1937, vol. II, 37. 37. ‘Akhbar Tarabulus al-Gharb’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 91, 1938, vol. II, 42. 38. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Note ‘Rivista Rabita el Arabia’, Ministero della Cultura Popolare, Rome, 29 September 1938. 39. ASDMAE, ASMAI AP 80, Dispatch no. 22972, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Rome, 25 August 1938. On the monthly average Italian expenses for propaganda and journalist activities in Egypt see N. Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, p. 93. 40. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Dispatch no. 207569, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Rome, 10 March 1939. 41. ‘Al-Jumhuriyya al-tarabulusiyya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 97, 1938, vol. II, 19–22; al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 99, 1938, vol. II, 23–5. 42. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar: al-halqa al-akhira min al-jihad al-watani fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: Matba‘at ‘Isa al-Babi al-Halabi, 1934. 43. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 105/401, Dispatch no. 1582, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 21 June 1935. 44. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 105/401, Note, Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 9 September 1935. 45. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13, dispatch no. 2231/718, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 16 August 1935; Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya al-haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha, Cairo: Matba‘at al-i‘timad, 1957, vol. 1, p. 298. Following editions have directly indicated al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi as the author, in the last edition (Beirut: Dar al-madari al-islami, 2004) in the title Tarabulus al-Gharb has been substituted with the word Libiya. 46. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 5–8. 47. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 8–11. 48. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 12–14. 49. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 14–33. 50. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 34–47. 51. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 48–56. 52. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 58–141. 53. Ahmad Mahmud, ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, pp. 142–4. 54. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13, Dispatch no. 2231/718, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 16 August 1935. 55. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 105/401, Dispatch no. 1582, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Ministero delle Colonie, Cairo, 21 June 1935. 56. Muhammad al-Akhdar al-‘Isawi, Raf‘ al-sitar ‘amma ja’a fi kitab ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, Cairo: Matba‘ al-Hijazi, 1936.

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57. ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam Mukhtar al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya al-mu‘asir al-siyasi wa-l-ijtima‘i, 1922–1948. Dirasa fi ta’rikh al-haraka al-wataniyya fi al-mahjar bi-Misr, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, pp. 150–52. 58. The section was entitled al-Qadiya al-tarabulusiyya, but it is clearly concerned with Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. 59. ‘Da‘wat al-tarabulusiyyin ila al-ittifaq’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 29, 1936, vol. I, 143. 60. ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, ‘Da‘wat al-Tarabulusiyyin ila tawhid sufufihim’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 32, 1937, vol. I, 306–7. 61. Sulayman al-Baruni, ‘al-Qawl al-fasl fi al-qadiya al-tarabulusiyya’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 35, 1937, vol. I, 452–5. 62. Wien, Iraqi Arab Nationalism, pp. 32–3. 63. ACS: MAI AP 23 13/1–2, Dispatch no. 62, Regia Legazione to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Baghdad, 11 January 1939. 64. ACS, MAI AP 23 13/1, Governo generale della Libia to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Tripoli, 10 March 1939. 65. On the different labels given to Arslan see A. Salvatore, ‘Dilemmi e opzioni dell’internazionalismo arabo-islamico dinanzi alla politica araba di Roma negli anni trenta. Il caso di Šakı¯b Arsla¯n’, Oriente Moderno 1–6, 1991, vol. X, pp. 75–6 and note 1 pp. 99–100; for an interpretation of its activities as Islamic internationalism see A. Colás, ‘Internationalism in the Mediterranean’, The Journal of North African Studies 3, 1996, vol. 1, 226–7. 66. On his intellectual formation see W.L. Cleveland, Islam against the West. Shakib Arslan and the Campaign for Islamic Nationalism, London: Al Saqi Books, 1985, pp. 1–18. 67. Cleveland, Islam against the West, pp. 19–20. 68. Cleveland, Islam against the West, pp. 19, 91–2; E. Burke III, ‘pan-Islam and Moroccan Resistance to French Colonial Penetration, 1900–912’, Journal of African History 1, 1972, vol. 13, pp. 111–13. Burke III states that the organization was connected directly to the Tes,kilat-i Mahsusa (the Special Organisation), however it was only formally established as a secret intelligence service in August 1914 by Enver Pasha, after the signing of the Pact between the Ottoman Empire and Germany, see R. Simon, Libya between Ottomanism and Nationalism: the Ottoman Involvement in Libya during the War with Italy (1911–1919), Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1987, pp. 125–8. 69. A. Mahjoubi, Les origines du mouvement national en Tunisie 1904–1934, Tunis: Publication de l’Université de Tunis, 1982, pp. 139–42. 70. On this committee and the role played by Arslan, see M.R. Mouton, ‘Le congrès syrio-palestinien de Genève (1921)’, Relations Internationals 19, 1979, 313–28. 71. A.C. De Gayffier-Bonneville, ‘Renaissance arabe et solidarité musulmane dans “La Nation arabe”’, Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée 95-96-97-98, 2002, 73. See also R. Adal, ‘Shakib Arslan’s Imagining of Europe: The Colonizer, the Inquisitor, the Islamic, the Virtuous, and the Friend’, in N. Clayer and E. Germain (eds) Islam in Europe in the Interwar Period: Networks, Status, Challenges, London: Hurst, 2008, pp. 156–82; R. Adal, ‘Constructing Transnational Islam: The East-West Network of Shakib Arslan’, in S. Dudoignon, H. Komatsu, and Yasushi Kosugi (eds) Intellectuals in the Modern Islamic Word: Transmission, Transformation, and Communication,. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 176–210. 72. A. Fleury, ‘Le Mouvement national arabe à Genève durante l’entre-deux guerres’, Relations internationales 19, 1979, 329–54. 73. S. Bono, ‘La Libye dans la Revue du Maghreb’, Revue d’Histoire Maghrebine 71–72, 1993, 387–96. 74. De Gayffier-Bonneville, ‘Renaissance arabe et solidarité musulmane dans “La Nation arabe”’, pp. 83–4.

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75. Cleveland, Islam against the West, pp. 93–5. 76. J. Bessis, ‘Chekib Arslan et les mouvements nationalistes au Maghreb’, Revue historique, 1978, 479–80. 77. De Gayffier-Bonneville, ‘Renaissance arabe et solidarité musulmane dans “La Nation arabe”’, pp. 81–3. 78. An intense exchange of letters between them is reported by Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 655–75. 79. Bessis, ‘Chekib Arslan et les mouvements nationalistes au Maghreb’, pp. 477–78. 80. Salvatore, ‘Dilemmi e opzioni dell’internazionalismo arabo-islamico’, pp. 80–90. 81. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 904–77, reports the debate in detail; see also Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 112–15. 82. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 105/102, Association Tripolitanie to Amir Chekib Arslan, Alexandria, 14 July 1935. The document reported a list of the main chiefs who had taken part in the revolt of 1921–22, as well as noting the office that they held and their present status in 1935. 83. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol.2, pp. 655–9. 84. Cleveland, Islam against the West, pp. 150–1. 85. Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, pp. 43–4. 86. Muhammad Rajib al-Za’idi, Shakib Arslan wa-l-qadiyya al-libiyya, Tripoli: Maktabat al-wahda al-‘arabiyya, 1964, pp. 30–3. 87. Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, p. 44. 88. Aside from Cleveland, Islam against the West, pp. 135–8, this thesis is also argued by R. De Felice, Il Fascismo e l’Oriente. Arabi, ebrei e indiani nella politica di Mussolini, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1988, pp. 25–6. 89. For a general overview of literature on fascist propaganda in the Middle East see Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, pp. 47–54. Also see M.A. Williams, Mussolini Propaganda Abroad: Subversion in the Mediterranean and the Middle East 1935–1940, Routledge: New York 2006. 90. De Felice, Il Fascismo e l’Oriente, p. 35. 91. J. Bessis, La Méditerranée fasciste. L’Italie mussolinienne et la Tunisie, Paris: Karthala, 1981, pp. 299–307. 92. On the contacts between Italy and the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Italian involvment in the Arab Revolt in Palestine (1936–39) through financial support to the rebels see N. Arielli, ‘Italian Involvment in the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–9’, British Journal of Middle East Studies 2, 2008, vol. 35, 187–204; N. Arielli, ‘La politica dell’Italia fascista nei confronti degli arabi palestinesi, 1935–40’, Mondo contemporaneo 1, 2006, 5–65; see also L. Goglia, ‘Il Mufti e Mussolini: alcuni documenti diplomatici italiani sui rapporti tra nazionalismo palestinese e fascismo negli anni Trenta’, Storia contemporanea 6, 1986, 1201–53. 93. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 13/1. Dispatch no. 22390, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero delle Colonie, Rome, 8 August 1933. 94. Cleveland, Islam against the West, p. 146, J. Bessis, ‘Chekib Arslan et le fascisme’, in Centre National de la recherche scientifique, Les Relations entre le Maghreb et le Machrek. Des solidarités anciennes aux réalités nouvelles, Aix-en-Provence: Institut de recherches méditerranéennes, 1982, pp. 124–5; Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, p. 100. 95. See H. Erlich, Ethiopia and Middle East, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994, pp. 98–100. 96. H. Erlich, Ethiopia and Middle East, pp. 122–3. 97. Arielli, ‘Fascist Italy and the Middle East’, pp. 109–10. 98. Bessis, La Méditerranée fasciste, pp. 177–8. 99. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 985–6.

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100. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 116–17, the report is reproduced on pp. 257–9. 101. ‘Sulayman Basha al-Baruni yu‘linu al-bira’ min al-amir Shakib Arslan’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 72, 1937, vol. II, 30–4. 102. ‘Radd al-Baruni Basha ’ala al-amir Shakib Arslan’, al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 92, 1938, vol. II, 26–33. 103. Bashir al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar al-itali al-fashisti fi Tarabulus Barqa, Damascus: Jam‘iyyat al-difa‘ Tarabulus Barqa, [1938]. A copy is in ACS: Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, AP 23 13/1–2. 104. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar pp. 3–4. 105. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 5–9. 106. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 10–12. 107. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 13–14. 108. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 20–3. 109. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 24–6. 110. Al-Sa‘dawi, Faza’i al-isti‘mar, pp. 27–8. 111. ACS: MAI AP 23 13/1–2, Dispatch no. 28577, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Rome, 13 August 1938. 112. ACS: MAI AP 23 13/1–2, Dispatch no. 1494/276, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Damascus, 20 July 1938. 113. H. Erlich, ‘Egypt, Ethiopia and the “Abyssinian Crisis”, 1935–36’ in H. Erlich and I. Gershoni (eds) The Nile: Histories, Cultures, Myths, Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2000, p. 190. 114. Al-Azhar students were grouped, according their regional provenience in different residence halls, called riwaqs. Concerning the Italian interest in subsidizing al-Jabarti riwaq since the occupation of Libya, see A. Baldinetti, Orientalismo e Colonialismo. La ricerca di consenso in Egitto per l’impresa di Libia, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 1997, pp. 47–50. 115. ASDMAE: AP 1931–45 Libia 17/1, Muhammad Nur Bakr Report, September 1936. 116. ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya aw Tarabulus Barqa, Damascus 1938; a copy is in ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80. 117. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 2–3. 118. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 4–9. 119. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, p. 7. 120. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 9–10. 121. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 11–13. 122. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 14–16. 123. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 17–18. 124. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 19–20. 125. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 20–2. 126. Shanib, al-Andalus al-thaniya, pp. 23–6. 127. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Ministero dell’Africa Italiana to Governo Generale della Libia, Rome, 25 January 1939. 128. ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80, Dispatch no. 1268/555, Legazione d’Italia in Sud Africa to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Pretoria, 2 December 1938. 129. al-Jam‘iyya al-tarabulusiyya, Bayan min al-Jam‘iyya al-tarabulusiyya bi-l-qutr al-Misri ‘an al-hukm al-itali fi Tarabulus al-Gharb, Cairo: [no publisher] 1938, a copy is in ANOM: GGA 29 H 13. 130. Al-Tarabulusiyyun fi al-qutr al-misri, Tarabulus al-Gharb wa Barqa fi barathin al-isti‘mar al-itali saha’if suwd, Cairo: Dar al-mustaqbal li-l-tab‘ wa-l-nashr wa-l-i‘lan, [Alexandria]: [no publisher], [1939], a copy in ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 105/402. 131. ‘Bayan ila ikhwan al-tarabulusiyyin al-barqawiyyin al-muhajirin’, al-Nahda, 14 September 1938, copy in ASDMAE: ASMAI AP 80.

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132. Ahmad Zarim, Mudhakkirat Ahmad Zarim, Tripoli: Dar al-‘arabiyya li-l-kitab, 1979, pp. 199–202. 133. Ibrahim Ahmad Abu al-Qasim, al-Muhajirun al-libiyyun bi-l-bilad al-tunisiyya (1911–1957), Tunis: Mu’assasat ‘Abd al-Karim ibn ‘Abd Allah, 1992, pp. 115–16. 134. Zarim, Mudhakkirat, pp. 201–10. 135. ACS: MAI AP 26 15/2, Dispatch no. 05274, Consolato to Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Ministero dell’Africa Italiana and Governo generale della Libia, Tunis, 29 July 1941; see also Abu al-Qasim, al-Muhajirun al-libiyyun, p. 114; B. Tlili, ‘Eléments pour une approche du mouvement national tunisien (1934–54)’, in Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique, Sources et méthodes de l’histoire du mouvement national tunisien (1920–1954), Tunis: Imprimerie officielle de la République Tunisienne, 1985, p. 36. 136. ASDMAE: ASMAI, AP 80, Dispatches no. 221165 and no. 222208, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Rome, 17 and 24 June 1938. 137. Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin, pp. 116–27. 138. ASDMAE: ASMAI, AP 80, Dispatches no. 221165 and no. 222208, Ministero degli Affari Esteri to Ministero dell’Africa Italiana, Rome, 17 and 24 June 1938. 139. The Tripolitania representatives were: Ahmad al-Suwayhli, Ahmad al-Murayyid, ‘Awn Suf, Shaykh Tawfiq al-Gharyani, Muhammad ‘Isawi Abu Khanjir; Cyrenaica was represented by Idris al-Sanusi, ‘Abd al-Salam Kizza, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hamid ‘Ibar. A detailed account of the meeting is reported by al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, min sana 1924 ila sana 1952, 2nd edn, London: Darf, 1985 pp. 129–30; see also Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, pp. 269–70; he reports that the agreement had 51 signatures. 140. M.F. Shukri, al-Sanusiyya: din wa-dawla, Cairo: Dar al-fikr al-‘arabi, 1948, pp. 279–80. 141. M. Khadduri, Modern Libya: a Study in Political Development, Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1963, p. 29. 142. Al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 131–8. 143. Kadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 29–33, A. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations. A case of Planned Decolonization, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, pp. 38–40; F.J. Rennell of Rodd, British Military Administration of Occupied Territories in Africa during the Years 1941–1947, London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1948, p. 255; Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1 p. 271; A. Del Boca, Gli italiani in Libia. Dal Fascismo a Gheddafi, Rome: Laterza, 1988, vol. 2, p. 305. 144. Al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, p. 138. 145. Al-’Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya, p. 237. 146. Al-’Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya, pp. 239–44. 147. Zarim, Mudhakkirat, pp. 215–26, 229–34.

Chapter 6: The British interlude and political action in Libya 1. Al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, min sana 1924 ila sana 1952, 2nd edn, London: Darf, 1985, pp. 142–3. 2. It is not possible to estimate the number of people who returned. De Candole reports that during the months following the El-Alamain battle, 20,000 people returned. It is not clear however if this valuation refers only to Cyrenaica or also includes Tripolitania, see E.A.V. De Candole, The Life and Times of King Idris of Libya, London: Redwood Burn Limited, 1988, p. 67. 3. For a narrative concerning the British occupation of Cyrenaica, see H.M. Wilson, Eight Years Overseas 1939–1947, London: Hutchinson, [1948], pp. 36–64. On the

Notes

4.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

19.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

183

French occupation of Fezzan see P. Moynet, Victory in the Fezzan, London: Hutchinson, [1944]. W.R. Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East 1945–1951, Arab Nationalism, The United States, and Postwar Imperialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985, for a general overview on British policy in the Middle East in the post-war period see pp. 3–50, on Cyrenaica in particular see pp. 265–78. S.L. Bills, The Libyan Arena. The United States, Britain and the Council of Foreign Ministers, 1945–1948, Kent: Kent State University Press, 1995, pp. 17–25. MECA: William Borrowdale Tripe collection GB 165–0287, ‘Report on the political situation of Transjordan with a view to the possibility of applying its system of government to Cyrenaica at some future time’, 1942. Bills, The Libyan Arena, p. 52. R.B. St John, ‘The United States, the Cold War & Libyan Independence’, Journal of Libyan Studies 2, 2001, vol. 2, p. 26. A. Lacroix-Riz, Les protectorats d’Afrique du Nord entre la France et Washington, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1988. G. Rossi, L’Africa italiana verso l’indipendenza (1941–1949), Varese: Giuffrè editore, 1980, pp. 114–15; on the French post-war expectations see J. Pichon, La question de la Libye dans le règlement de la paix, Paris: J. Peyronnet, 1945. A. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, Rome: Laterza, 1988, vol. 2, pp. 359–68. M. Khadduri, Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development, Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1963, pp. 117–18; A. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations. A case of Planned Decolonization, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, p. 66. R.B. St John, Libya. From Colony to Independence, Oxford: Oneworld, 2008, pp. 87–8. TNA: PRO FO 141/944, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, ‘Place of Cyrenaica in the Arab World and its Future’, typescript, [1943]. TNA: PRO FO 141/944, Sir W.A. Smart to Colonel J.N.D. Anderson, London, 6 January 1944. See as example, J.C. Gray and L. Silberman, The Fate of Italy’s Colonies. A Report to the Fabian Colonial Bureau, London: Fabian Publications, [1948]. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. XIV-XV; 55–7; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 50–1. On British administration in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania the most detailed reference is still F.J. Rennell of Rodd, British Military Administration of Occupied Territories in Africa during the Years 1941–1947, London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1948; see also D.C. Cumming, ‘British Stewardship of the Italian Colonies: an Account Rendered’, International Affairs 1, 1953, vol. 29, 11–21. A complete study concerning the British administration still needs to be written. The Italian propaganda of the time accused the British of deliberate looting, violence and demolition of civilian property, see Ministero della Cultura Popolare, Che cosa hanno fatto gli inglesi in Cirenaica, Rome: [Tip. S. E. L. I.], 1941; F. Valori, ‘L’occupazione inglese di Bengasi’, Rivista delle Colonie 7, 1941, vol. 15, 109–27. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, Report on occupied enemy territory administration, Cyrenaica, for the period 14 October 1941 to 31 January 1942, Brigadier Longrigg, Deputy Chief Political Officer Cyrenaica, Cairo, 12 February 1942. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Cyrenaica Annual Report, 1944. Rennell of Rodd, British Military Administration, pp. 254–5. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Agedabia District, Annual Report, 1943. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Agedabia District, Annual Report, 1943.

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25. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Agedabia District, Report January to March 1944; and Report April 1944. 26. Rennell of Rodd, British Military Administration, pp. 340–3, 469. 27. Rennell of Rodd, British Military Administration, p. 467; Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, pp. 335–6. 28. Rennell, British Military Administration, pp. 288–9. 29. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Tripolitania Annual Report, 1943, pp. 16–17. 30. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration Tripolitania, Annual Report, 1944, pp. 7–8; Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 83. 31. Arabic sources do not mention this party. It seems likely that it did not play an important role; in British documents it is stated that it was not officially recognized in Tripolitania or by the Turkish Government. See TNA: PRO FO 371/63212, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, January 1947. 32. Federico Cresti has traced in detail the activities of these parties from December 1945 to January 1949 as reported in the British Monthly Political Intelligence Report on Tripolitania, see F. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica in Tripolitania nel secondo dopoguerra secondo alcuni documenti britannici (dicembre 1945–gennaio 1949), in F. Cresti (ed.) La Libia tra Mediterraneo e mondo islamico, Milan: Giuffrè editore, 2006, pp. 183–269. For a general overview of political activities in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica in the years 1946–48 see also al-Sayyid Rajib Hawaz, ‘al-Ihzab al-libiyya wa-qadaya al-istiqlal, al-imara, al-wahda’, Majallat al-buhuth wa-l-dirasat al-‘arabiyya 6, 1975, 45–92. 33. Despite its name, the Club was not a labour organization at this stage; see al-Mukhtar al-Tahir Karfa‘, al-Haraka al-‘ummaliyya fi Libiya, 1943–1969, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, pp. 111–12. 34. Hasan Sulayman Mahmud, Libiya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir, Cairo: Mu’assasat sijill al-‘arab, 1962, p. 256. 35. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Tripolitania Annual Report, 1944. 36. Muhammad Mas‘ud Jubran, Ahmad al-Faqih Hasan al-hafid, 1895–1975. Hayatuhu wa adabuhu, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, pp. 29–61; Khadduri dates the Club life between 1919 and 1921, Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 81 note 1. 37. Jubran, Ahmad al-Faqih Hasan al-hafid, pp. 74–80. 38. Besides Ahmad al-Faqih Hasan the founders included Muhammad Tawfiq al-Mabruk, who had returned from Egypt, Mahmud al-‘Arabi, Mahmud al-Misallati, Mustafa Hasan, Sadiq Bin Zarra‘, Mustafa Mizran, ‘Awn Suf, see Jubran, Ahmad al-Faqih Hasan al-hafid, p. 95. 39. For the complete Nationalist Party programme see Mahmud al-Shiniti, Qadiyyat Libiya, Cairo: Maktabat al-nahda al-misriyya, 1951, pp. 255–7. 40. TNA: PRO FO 371/63176, Report on the Political Parties in Tripolitania, M. Pennay, Cairo, 26 December 1946; Mohamed Yousef al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir. Safahat min al-ta’rikh al-siyasi, Oxford: Markaz al-dirasat al-libiyya, 2004, vol. 1, pp. 224–5. 41. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 42. TNA: PRO FO 371/63176, Notes on the Political Parties in Tripolitania, M. Pennay, Cairo, 26 December 1946; al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir, vol 1, p. 225. 43. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 44. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 206. 45. TNA: PRO FO 371/63176, Notes on the Political Parties in Tripolitania, M. Pennay, Cairo, 26 December 1946.

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46. al-Jabha al-wataniyya al-muttahida, Mudhakkira ‘an al-hukm al-itali fi Libiya wa-talibat li-l-mustaqbal, Tripoli: [no publisher] 1946. 47. TNA: PRO FO 141/944, Memorandum to the British Ambassador in Egypt, Cairo, 3 June 1944. The memorandum was signed by al-Tahir al-Muntasir and ‘Awn al-Suf, who played a key role in the United National Front. 48. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, p. 198. 49. See A. Baldinetti, ‘Italian Colonial Rule and Muslim Elites in Libya: a Relationship of Antagonism and Collaboration’, in Meir Hatina (ed.) Guardians of Faith in Modern Times: ‘Ulama’ in the Middle East, Leiden: Brill, 2009, p. 100. 50. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, p. 348; Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 83. 51. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 435. 52. In 1942 in Egypt he took part in a Tripolitanian committee formed by the British with the purpose of cooperating with them, see TNA: PRO WO 230/206, ‘The history of Aon Bey Souf (compiled from information supplied by himself)’, 1947. 53. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 54. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, February 1947. 55. For a detailed account of the Free National Bloc activities mainly during its early stage see: Muhammad Mas‘ud Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya min nidal al-sha‘b al-libi: ‘Ali al-Faqih Hasan wa-l-Kutla al-wataniyya al-hurra’, al-Shahid 7–8, 1986–7, 233–83. 56. The manifesto, published on 31 May 1946 is reproduced in Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya’, p. 248. 57. TNA: PRO FO 371/63176, M. Pennay, Note on the Political Parties in Tripolitania, Cairo, 26 December 1946, Jubran, Ahmad al-Faqih Hasan al-hafid, pp. 104–5; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 85–6. The Party’s first committee was comprised by Ahmad Faqih Hasan, Bashir al-Shaykh, ‘Ali Rajab, Yusuf al-Mushayriqi and Bashir Bin Hamza who became the party’s treasurer. Bin Hamza left the Party in July 1947 and was replaced by Khalifa Zintani. 58. Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya’, pp. 250–1. 59. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 60. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, February 1947. 61. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, May 1947. 62. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 63. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 86. 64. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, December 1947. 65. The party founders were ‘Ali Rajab and al-Yusuf al-Mushayriqi who dissociated from the Free National Bloc; in December, Yusuf al-Mushayriqi, who left the Nationalist Party, joined the new formation. See TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 66. Ali Rajab was born in Tripoli, and was educated in the Italian schools and later he was a grocer. TNA: PRO FO 371/63187, Note, L. Penney to C. Ravensdale, Cairo, 6 January 1947. 67. TNA: PRO FO 371/63187, Note, L. Penney to C. Ravensdale, Cairo, 6 January 1947; Note, W.A. Smart to L. Penney, Cairo, 15 January 1947. 68. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948.

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69. al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir, vol 1, p. 227 note 86. 70. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, December 1947. 71. For eyewitness accounts see these memoirs: Tariq al-Ifriqi, al-Mujahidun fi-l-harb al-filastiniyya, Damascus: Dar al-yaqza al-‘arabiyya, 1951; Shaluf al-Sanusi, Suwar min jihad al-libiyyin bi-Filastin 1948–1949, Benghazi: al-Kitab wa al-tawzi‘ wa al-i‘lan wa al-matabi‘, 1980; on the Libyan involvement in the Palestinian issue in 1948 in general, see ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Janzuri, Rihlat al-sanawat al-tawila, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, pp. 167–207; Abu Sayf Bu Zayd al-Jabbu (ed.), al-Mujahidun al-‘arab al-libiyyun fi harb Filastin 1948, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000; ‘Abd al-Wahhab Muhammad al-Zintani, Ishamat al-libiyyin fi al-nidal al-filastini min al-Husayni ila ‘Arafat, Cairo: Dar Gharib, 2006, pp. 105–16. 72. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 73. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, December 1947. 74. Al-Mushayriqi indicates that in 1945 the party constitution was created, which according to him had only two members Bashir Bin Hamza and Muhammad ‘Abd al-‘Aziz; al-Hadi Ibrahim al-Mushayriqi, Dikhrayat fi nisf al-qarn min al-ahdath al-ijtima‘iyya wa-l-siyasiyya, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 1988, p. 215. 75. Karfa‘, al-Haraka al-‘ummaliyya fi Libiya, p.119. 76. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 77. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, December 1947. 78. al-Shiniti, Qadiyyat Libiya, p. 259. 79. Amal al-Subki, Istiqlal Libiya bayna hay’at al-Umam al-muttahida wa-Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, 1943–1952, Cairo: Maktabat Madbuli, 1991, p.16; TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 80. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 56. 81. Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Mahattat min ta’rikh Libiya: mudhakkirat ra’is al-hukuma al-libiyya al-asbaq, Rabat: Matba‘at al-najah al-jadida, 1996, pp. 29–36; see also Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 107–8. Pelt reports that in 1947 the French authorities found out about the Society and arrested some of the members. Sayd, who was one of the society’s founders, did not mention the fact. 82. Interview with Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Rabat, 7 December 2007. 83. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, 1) The Future of Cyrenaica, Memorandum, 2 September 1944; 2) Public Reactions to Sayed Idris Visit, 1945; 3) Annual Report of the Chief Administrator on the British Military Administration of Cyrenaica, 1944; see also Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 54–8. 84. MECA: Jack M. Collard collection GB 165–0062, British Military Administration, Agedabia District Annual Report, 1943. 85. Shukri claims that from the Cairo meeting all the main Tripolitanian political formation endorsed Idris al-Sanusi as the political leader of the independent future Libya. This statement is affected by Shukri’s pro-Sanusi inclination; the issue of Sanusi was a controversial one and the Tripolitanian party never constituted a common political platform. In Idris’s reaction to the Tripolitanian proposal, he did not give assurances on the fact that he would have refused any offer of independence or trusteeship of Cyrenaica. See Muhammad Fu’ad Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya al-haditha. Watha’iq tahririha wa-istiqlaliha, Cairo: Matba‘at al-i‘timad, 1957, vol. 1, pp. 319–23.

Notes

187

86. ‘Umar al-Mansur al-Kikhya, belonged to a well-known Cyrenaican family. Educated in Costantinople, he served in the Ottoman administration in Cyrenaica. In 1908 he was elected as one of the Cyrenaican representatives at the Young Turk Parliament. After the Italian occupation in 1913 he fled to Egypt. In 1920, he returned back to Benghazi where he was adviser of the Governor of Cyrenaica and mediated between Italians and the Sanusi. In 1924, the fascist colonial authorities arrested him and condemned him to 11 years’ imprisonment and deported him to Italy. Released in 1940, the Italians arrested him again and deported him to forced residence to Rome, where he remained until 1945. See Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 42–3, note 11. 87. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 56–8; Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, p. 56, note 159. 88. ‘Ali al-‘Ubaydi had returned from Egypt where he had been in exile during the early 1920s, see al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya, pp. 163, 228. 89. TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 58–62. 90. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 43–4. 91. ‘Al-Mithaq al-watani li-l-Jabha al-barqawiyya’, in Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, pp. 351–2. 92. The delegation headed by the mufi of Tripoli included Mahmud al-Muntasir, ‘Awn al-Suf, Muhammad al-Hinqari, ‘Abdl al-Rahman al-Qalhudu, Muhammad al-Muhhit, Salim al-Murayyad, Ibrahim Bin Sha‘ban, ‘Abd al-Majid Ku‘bar, Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, p. 344. 93. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, pp. 344–9; TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948. 94. De Candole, The Life and Time of King Idris of Libya, p. 83. De Candole served in the BMA in Cyrenaica from 1946, first as Chief Secretary then as Chief Administrator of Cyrenaica and in 1949 at the proclamation of the Sanusi Amirate became the British Resident. He was close friends with Idris al-Sanusi and his narrative of events heavily reflects the Sanusi outlook. 95. al-Mushayriqi, Dikhrayat fi nisf al-qarn min al-ahdath al-ijtima‘iyya wa-l-siyasiyya, pp. 214–15; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 69–70. 96. TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948; al-Misrati lists two weekly newspapers, al-Istiqlal (The Independence) and Sawt al-sha‘b (The Voice of the People) published by the Youth League in 1948, see ‘Ali Mustafa al-Misrati, Sihafat Libiya fi nisf qarn, 2nd edn, Tripoli. Dar al-jamahiriyya li-al-nashr wa al-tawzi‘ wa al-i‘lam, 2000, p. 276. 97. TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 69–71. 98. This is reported in the documentation of the association, published in Cairo in 1993 by Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, who was one of the leaders of the association. In 1945, he became the secretary of the ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club and played a prominent role; see Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq Jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar. Safha min ta’rikh Libya, Cairo: Mu’assasat dar al-hilal, 1993, pp.7–10. I have mainly referred to this document to trace the association’s activity. 99. TNA: PRO FO 1015/813, National Association (formerly Omar Mukhtar Club), Memorandum written by Mr D.T.W. Forayth, Benghazi 1951. 100. Born in Benghazi at the beginning of the twentieth century, Khalil ‘Abd al-Kafi al-Kawafi graduated in Egypt at al-Azhar University. Returning to Libya in 1928, he was appointed vice-qadi of a small town near Benghazi, a year later, in 1956 he became the qadi. He also had the position of president of the Shari‘a Court of Appeal. He died at the beginning of 1961; see T.A al-Zawi, A‘lam Libiya, 3rd edn, Beirut: Dar al-madar al-islami, 2004, p. 152. 101. al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, p. 10.

188

The Origins of the Libyan Nation

102. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 63. 103. The statute of the association, which was formed by 47 articles, was approved in Benghazi in April 1944. It resumed the Cairo statute of 1943. For the full text of the statute see, ‘Al-Qanun al-asasi li-Jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’, that is reported in al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 357–62. 104. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 64, al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 321–31. 105. Al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 10–11. 106. ‘Taqrir majlis al-idara li-jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar bi-Darna’, in al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 334–52. 107. TNA: PRO FO 1015/813, National Association (formerly Omar Mukhtar Club), Memorandum written by Mr.D.T.W. Forayth, Benghazi 1951. 108. al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, p. 158. 109. ‘Mudakkirat al-jam‘iyya ila al-bahth al-Baritaniyya’, Benghazi 22-12-1946, in al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 18–20. 110. On 28 January 1948 al-Watan published an editorial entitled ‘Bayan ila al-sha‘b al-libi’ (Notice to the Libyan People) which explained why the negotiations failed; a few days later al-Watan strongly attacked the Cyrenaican National Front; al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 24–8. 111. ‘Bayan min jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar’, in al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 37–40. 112. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 70; al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, p. 52–5; TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948. 113. Al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 321–3, 325, 327; TNA: PRO FO 1015/813, National Association (formerly Omar Mukhtar Club), memorandum written by Mr D.T.W. Forayth, Benghazi 1951. 114. al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 462–6. 115. The Maghreb Arab Bureau (Maktab al-Maghrib al-‘arabi), promoted by the leaders of the Tunisian Neo-Destour Party, the Moroccan Istiqlal Party and some Algerian nationalists, was established in Cairo in 1947 with the purpose of defending and supporting the cause of independence of the Maghrib countries in the Arab world. 116. Al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 455–7. 117. TNA: PRO WO 230/247, Letter from M. al-Wiryari to H. Bourghiba, no date. 118. TNA: PRO WO230/247, Tripolitania Civil Liaison Office to Directorate of Civil Office, Tripoli, 29 June 1948. 119. TNA: PRO FO 1015/271, Political Parties in Cyrenaica, Research Department, Foreign Office, 2 November 1948. 120. On al-Sa‘dawi‘s activities in Saudi Arabia see Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 2, pp. 1011–22. 121. A leading exponent of the exiles’ community in Alexandria was the brother-in-law of ‘Abd al-Rahman ‘Azzam, ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam Mukhtar al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya al-mu‘asir al-siyasi wa-l-ijtima‘i, 1922–1948. Dirasa fi ta’rikh al-haraka al-wataniyya fi-l-mahjar bi-Misr, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, p. 298. 122. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, p. 378. 123. al-’Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya, pp. 302–6. 124. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, May 1947. 125. TNA: PRO FO 371/63179, Association de L’Unité Lybique to the British Foreign Minister, Memorandum, Tunis, 17 October 1947. The memorandum had about 120 signatures. 126. Shukri, Milad dawlat Libiya, vol. 1, pp. 377–82; Shukri reports the text of the letters exchanged between the LCC and the Cyrenaican National Front. 127. Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, Cairo, 1950, pp. 3–9. The text of the memorandum is also reported by Sami Hakim, Istiqlal Libiya bayna Jami‘at

Notes

128. 129. 130.

131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141.

142. 143. 144. 145. 146.

147. 148.

189

al-duwal al-‘arabiyya wa al-Umam al-muttahida, 2nd edn, Cairo: Maktabat al-anjlu al-misriyya, 1970, pp. 10–15. Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, pp. 9–17. Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, pp. 18–20. Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, pp. 37–9; Rossi, L’Africa italiana verso l’indipendenza, pp. 298–301. When the Bevin-Sforza plan was first announced, ‘Azzam strongly affirmed in an interview to the Italian newspaper Il Tempo that the Arab League would not have supported any partition plan for Libya. The full interview text is available in Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, pp. 39–45. Earlier in an interview in October, ‘Azzam had advocated the possibility of a Italo-Arab collaboration concerning Libya, in Italy this statement had been interpreted as if the Arab League would have supported an Italian trusteeship over Tripolitania, see Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 242–3. TNA: PRO FO 371/63212, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, March 1947. TNA: PRO FO 371/63212, Monthly Political Intelligence Summary Civil Affairs Branch, Middle East, 5 April 1947. For the report on the meeting and the full text of ‘Azzam’s call to the people of Libya see: Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, al-Mas’ala al-libiyya, pp. 33–6. Dar al-watha’iq al-qawmiyya:‘Abidin al-Jama‘at 194, Libyan Liberation Committee, Memorandum, no date. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Libyan Liberation Committee, Note addressed by the Libyan Representatives to the Foreign Ministers of the Four Big Powers, March 1947. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 98; Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 52–3. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 218–19. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 221–3, Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 98. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, February 1947. The 1945 riots, which lasted from 4 to 7 November, and due to their violence were defined as pogroms, caused 129 victims and about 450 wounded. During the 1948 riots which had taken place between 12–13 June, 14 Jewish lost life and more than one hundred were injured. See R. De Felice, Jews in an Arab Land Libya, 1835– 1970, translated by J. Roumani, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985, pp. 191–228; M.M. Roumani, The Jews of Libya Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement, Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2008, pp. 48–61. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, pp. 332–4. De Felice, Jews in an Arab Land Libya, pp. 205–6. British Military Administration, Tripolitania Annual Report, 1945, p. 8, quoted in De Felice, Jews in an Arab Land Libya, p. 192. Roumani, The Jews of Libya, pp.62–6, the quotation is from pp. 64–5. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, February 1947. Hasan al-Banna tried to keep in touch also with the Free National Bloc, but it seems that ‘Ali Faqih Hasan did not pay attention to the possibility of the Muslim Brethren support, see TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, June 1947. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, May 1948. The other pro-Italian members of the executive committee were Mahmud al-Muntasir, Ibrahim Sha‘ban, and Rasim Ku‘bar. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948.

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The Origins of the Libyan Nation

149. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, June 1948. 150. Four Power Commission of Investigation for the Former Italian Colonies, Report on Libya, 1948. For a detailed analysis of the Commission works see Bills, The Libyan Arena, pp. 87–154. The Commission agreed only on general principles. The Four Power Commissioners disagreements, which reflected the country differences in orientation towards the political future of the region, emerged in the section ‘wishes of the population’. The United States, United Kingdom and France believed that people in Tripolitania wished for complete and immediate independence, while the Soviet Union considered that a considerable part of the population was inclined to be under Italian tutelage during a transitional period, see Bills, The Libyan Arena, pp. 129–30. 151. After the Commission of Investigation report, The Four Powers also asked for the viewpoint of nineteen ‘other interested governments’, which included all the countries which signed the Italian Peace Treaty as well as Italy and Egypt. As Bills states, ‘This collecting of viewpoints was essentially pro forma because the nations involved had already taken positions on the ITCOL issue at the Paris peace Conference [...] Nor were the four powers committed to any serious evaluation of the view they received’, Bills, The Libyan Arena, p. 133, for a table on the views of ‘other interested Governments’ see pp. 138–41; see also B. Rivlin, The United Nations and the Italian Colonies, New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1950, pp. 20–5. 152. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 98. 153. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, p. 233. 154. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, p. 391. 155. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, July 1948. 156. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 248–50. 157. al-Subki, Istiqlal Libiya, p. 18, al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir, vol. 1., p. 228; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 99–100. 158. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 262–3. This is stated in Italian diplomatic sources, see Del Boca Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, pp. 391–2; G. Assan, La Libia e il mondo arabo, Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1959, p. 17; there is no report of Italian involvement in the Independence Party in the British documentation. 159. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, J.C. Pennet to A.S. Calvert, Tripoli, 9 December 1948. 160. TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 161. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, pp. 343–6; TNA: PRO FO 1015/1014, Political Parties in Tripolitania, Research Department, Foreign Office, 30 November 1948. 162. al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 166–9. 163. Cresti, ‘La rinascita dell’attività politica’, pp. 244–5. 164. TNA: PRO WO 230/206, Monthly Political Intelligence Report Tripolitania, February 1949. 165. al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 170–1. 166. Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 152–5. 167. ‘Ali Zayn al-‘Abidin Bin Musa, Qissat sha‘b, Damascus: Nadwat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar, 1955, pp. 11–41. The association was active in Syria until the mid-1950s. 168. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, pp. 382–3; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 102–3, Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 53. 169. TNA: PRO FO 371/1017, J.C. Penney to M. Stewart, Tripoli, 7 December 1949. 170. Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 71–5; Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 85; De Candole, The Life and Time of King Idris of Libya, pp. 93–7.

Notes

191

171. N. Ziadeh, Barqa: al-dawla al-‘arabiyya al-thamina, Beirut: Dar al-‘ilm li-l-malayyin, 1950, pp. 139–41. 172. The Working Party recommended that Idris al-Sanusi moved back from Cairo to Benghazi. The Working Party also visited Tripolitania, it did not have the task of making suggestions about its future, nevertheless in its final report it stated that a period of trusteeship was necessary for leading Tripolitania to independence. See Bills, The Libyan Arena, pp. 63–81; see also Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 66–9; Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 44–5. 173. De Candole, The Life and Time of King Idris of Libya, p. 79. 174. al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 234–5. 175. De Candole, The Life and Time of King Idris of Libya, pp. 100–102; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 74–7. 176. Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim, Libya The Years of Hope. The Memoirs of Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim Former Prime Minister of Libya, London: AAS Media Publishers, 1998, pp. 14–15; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 76–7. 177. Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 72–3, al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 114–24. 178. TNA: PRO FO 1015/813, National Association (formerly Omar Mukhtar Club), Memorandum written by Mr. D.T.W. Forayth, Benghazi 1951; see also Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 65. 179. al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, p. 178. 180. al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, p.178; TNA: PRO FOAAT 1951 FO 1015/813 National Association. 181. Interview with Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Rabat, 7 December 2007. Al-Sayd confirmed that all the party’s received external subventions. The money was not poured into party cases but granted directly to the leaders, who in some occasions changed their orientation because of different sponsors.

Conclusion 1. The full text of the resolution is reported in A. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations. A Case of Planned Decolonization, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970, pp. 891–3, see also pp. 90–109 for a general discussion concerning the approval of the resolution. 2. Ahmad al-Hajj al Sanusi Sofu was born in Murzuk in 1906, and was the son of an official in the Ottoman administration and had been recognized as shaykh of the Murzuk area by the Italian administration. He also held this function under the French occupation, Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 206. 3. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 171–201. 4. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 182–3. 5. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 188. 6. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 194–5; Muhammad ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Mahattat min ta’rikh Libiya: mudhakkirat ra’is al-hukuma al-libiyya al-asbaq, Rabat: Matba‘at al-najah al-jadida, 1996, pp. 53–6. Pelt and al-Sayd’s accounts diverge regarding the position of the Tuaregs of the Ghat area in Fezzan. Pelt reports that he received a petition from Tuareg notables who declared that they wished to remain under French rule, while al-Sayd argues that the French tried to keep the Tuaregs away from the delegation of the representatives although they managed to participate in the meetings nonetheless. Al-Sayd does not give a positive judgement on Ahmad al-Hajj al-Sanusi, who in his opinion did not have the necessary cultural background and political shrewdness. 7. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 220–2; M. Khadduri, Modern Libya: A Study in Political Development, Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1963, pp. 139–44. 8. Sami Hakim, Istiqlal Libiya bayna Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya wa-l-Umam al-muttahida, 2nd edn, Cairo: Maktabat al-anjlu al-misriyya, 1970, pp. 141–2;

192

9.

10. 11. 12.

13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

27. 28.

The Origins of the Libyan Nation Muhammad Mas‘ud Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya min nidal al-sha‘b al-libi: ‘Ali al-Faqih Hasan wa-l-Kutla al-wataniyya al-hurra’, al-Shahid, 7–8, 1986–87, p. 273. The Committee members were: Rashid al-Kikhya, Mahmud Bu Hidma, al-Tayi‘ al-Bijw, Hajj ‘Abd al-Kafi al-Samin, Ahmad ‘Aqila al-Kizza, ‘Umar Fa’iq Shanib, Khalil al-Qallal in representation of Cyrenaica. ‘Ali Maqtuf, ‘Ali Badaywi, Abu al-Qasim Buqila, al-Sayyid al-Mahdi, Muhammad Bin ‘Uthman al-Sayd, Tahir al-Jirari, Ahmad al-Tibuli in representation of Fezzan. Muhammad ‘Abu Is‘ad al-‘Alim, Shaykh Abu al-Rabi‘ al-Baruni, Salim al-Qadi, Ibrahim Bin Sha‘ban, Salim al-Murayyad, Ahmad Suf and ‘Ali Rajab in representation of Tripolitania. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 276–82, see also Amal al-Subki, Istiqlal Libiya bayna hay’at al-Umam al-muttahida wa-Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, 1943–1952, Cairo: Maktabat Madbuli, 1991, pp. 164–7. Pelt, Libyan Independence and the United Nations, p. 287. Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 144–50; Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 258–302. In early September 1950, Adrian Pelt presented to the United Nations his first Annual Report. It was strongly criticized by the Arab and Latin American delegations because the Libyan National Assembly did not have a democratic nature (the members were selected not elected) and the three provinces were considered as separate territories. Despite the criticism, the United Nations National Assembly approved the Report. Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 150–4. Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya’, pp. 274–5. Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 429–60. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 504–5; A. Del Boca, Gli Italiani in Libia. Dal fascismo a Gheddafi, Rome: Laterza, 1988, vol. 2, pp. 416–23. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 405. Jubran,’Safahat matwiyya’, pp. 274–8. On the opposition demonstrations to federalism in Tripoli, see also Hakim, Istiqlal Libiya, pp. 173–4. Al-Fituri al-Suwayhli immigrated to Egypt in 1924, where he became established as one of the most prominent tradesmen in Alexandria. Despite his limited education, he became extremely concerned with the Libyan national question. See ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam Mukhtar al-‘Alim, Ta’rikh Libiya al-mu‘asir al-siyasi wa-l-ijtima‘i, 1922–1948. Dirasa fi ta’rikh al-haraka al-wataniyya fi al-mahjar bi-Misr, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin li-l-dirasat al-ta’rikhiyya, 2000, p. 81, p. 259. For the manifesto and the opposition of the Tripolitanian Committee to federalism see al-Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin fi diyar al-hijra, min sana 1924 ila sana 1952, 2nd edn, London: Darf, 1985, pp. 351–62. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 487–8. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 497. Pelt reports large excerpts from the memorandum; the original Arabic version is in al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 372–83. See also Hakim, Istiqlal Libiya, pp. 197–8. Al-Zawi, Jihad al-libiyyin, pp. 384–96. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 614. Pelt, Libyan Independence, p. 615. Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 263–5, 489–92. Pelt explains that al-Sa‘dawi’s contradictory behaviour was due to the need to find an agreement with the Cyrenaican leaders. See also J. Wright, Libya: a Modern History, London: Croom Helm 1981, p. 67. For the full text of the constitution, see Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 902–21; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 341–62; N.A. Ziadeh, Libiya min isti‘mar al-itali ila al-istiqlal, Cairo: Jami‘at al-duwal al-‘arabiyya, 1958, pp. 191–234. For a good synthesis of the constitutional process, which Pelt traces step by step, see I. R., Khalidi, Constitutional Development in Libya, Beirut: Khayat’s College Book Cooperative, 1956. D. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 40. Concerning the elections, the most detailed account is Gervase Cassels, ‘The Libyan Federal Elections 1951/57’. Cassels was the British Foreign Office supervisor of

Notes

29. 30.

31. 32. 33. 34.

35.

36. 37. 38. 39.

40. 41.

42.

43. 44.

193

elections and wrote his memoirs in 1987. For copy MECA: Gervase de la Poer Cassels Collection GB165–0050, ‘The Libyan Federal Elections 1951/57’. For a narrative of the elections as reported in the most prominent western newspapers of the time see S. Bernini, Le elezioni politiche del 1952 in Libia’, Oriente Moderno 2, 1998, 337–51. Cassels, ‘The Libyan Federal Elections 1951/57’, p. 8. Cassels, ‘The Libyan Federal Elections 1951/57’, p. 32. Cassels reports that ‘According to what I was told in the Foreign Office, the amount involved was sterling 30,000 [...] by the standards of 1951–52 it was a substantial sum of money and provided a clear indication, if any were needed, of the concern, even apprehension, with which H.G.M. awaited the outcome of the elections’. Point 69e of the electoral law, for the full text of the electoral law see Pelt, Libyan Independence, pp. 923–40. Khadduri, Modern Libya, p. 219. Cassels, ‘The Libyan Federal Elections 1951/57’, pp. 34–5; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 219–20. Vandewalle, A History of Modern Libya, p. 49. For a general overview of the political system during the monarchy, see S. H. Sury, ‘The Political Development of Libya 1952–69: Institutions, Policies and Ideology’, in E. G. H. Joffé and K. S. McLachlan (eds) Social and Economic development of Libya, Wisbech: Middle East and North African Studies Press, 1982, pp. 121–36; S.H. Sury, ‘A New System for a New State. The Libyan Experiment in Statehood, 1951–69’, in A. Baldinetti (ed.) Modern and Contemporary Libya: Sources and Historiographies, Rome: IsIAO, 2003, pp. 179–94. Taysir Bin Musa, Kifah al-libiyyin al-siyasi fi Bilad al-Sham, 1925–1950, Tripoli: Markaz jihad al-libiyyin didda al-ghazw al-itali, 1983, pp. 165–6. As seen he was a member of the Cyrenaican delegation to the Committee of Twenty-One and later a member of the National Assembly. He was also Minister of Defence in the provisional Libyan Government and became Minister of the Royal Diwan. Jubran, ‘Safahat matwiyya’, p. 271. Muhammad Bashir al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq Jam‘iyyat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar. Safha min ta’rikh Libya, Cairo: Mu’assasat dar al-hilal, 1993, pp. 370, 401. Al-Mughayribi, Watha’iq, pp. 424–38. USA National Archives, Airgram to Department of State from Embassy, Opening of Libyan Parliamentary Session in Baida and Throne Speech, Benghazi January 1960, pp. 9–10, copy of the document viewed at Centre for Libyan Studies, Oxford. See also A. Obeidi, Political Culture in Libiya, Richmond: Curzon Press, 2001, pp. 36–7. M. Annane, Libya of Idris el Senoussi: a Study on the Idriss Housing Scheme and the General Renaissance of Libya, under the Rule of Idriss el Senoussi, Beirut: Systeco, 1968, pp. 144–54. The most detailed report of this attempt is Mohamed Yousef al-Magariaf, Libya bayna al-madi wa-l-hadir. Safahat min al-ta’rikh al-siyasi, Oxford: Markaz al-dirasat al-libiyya, 2004, vol. 2, pp. 326–31; see also M.A. Ben-Halim, Libya: The Years of Hope. The Memoirs of Mustafa Ahmed Ben-Halim Former Prime Minister of Libya, London: AAS Media Publishers, 1998, pp.80–4; Khadduri, Modern Libya, pp. 265–67. Al-Magariaf, Libiya bayna al-madi wa al-hadir, vol. 3, pp. 277–80; al-Sayd, Mahattat min ta’rikh Libiya, pp. 162–4. The reasons of the failure of the project are unclear, in 1965 Idris, under British pressure, renounced the idea of abdication in favour of a republic, see USA National Archives, British Embassy in Tripoli to North and East African Department, Confidential, Tripoli 7 May 1965, copy of the document viewed at Centre for Libyan Studies, Oxford. Sury, ‘A New System for a New State. The Libyan Experiment in Statehood, 1951–69’, p. 189. L. Anderson, ‘Religion and State in Libya: the Politics of Identity’, The Annals of American Academy 483, 1986, pp. 69–72.

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Index

‘Abbas Hilmi II, Khedive 71, 98, 171 Abdallah see Lafayette L.H. Abdallatif, shaykh 57 al-‘Abdiyya, ‘Ali 64, 107 ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, Ottoman Sultan 32 ‘Abd al-Aziz, Muhammad 186 ‘Abd al-Hamid, Ottoman Sultan 30, 33, 57 ‘Abd al-Jalil 28, 29, 78 ‘Abd al-Kafi, ‘Abdallah 171 ‘Abd al-Krim 162 ‘Abd al-Majid, Ottoman Sultan 32 ‘Abd al-Muttalib 71, 171 ‘Abduh, Muhammad 98 Abdullah, Emir of Transjordan 111 Abrida, shaykh 57 Abu al-Qasim 94 Abyssinia 94, 102, 105 Acroma Modus Vivendi see Akrama Agreement Addis Abeba 105 Adham, ‘Abd al-Salam 175 Adwa 34–5 al-Afghani, Jamal al-Din 98 Afghanistan 39 Africa 46 Agab, ‘Ali 120 L’agence d’Egypte et d’Orient 101 Ahmad b. Idris 30–1 Ahmad Mahmud, see al-Zawi, Tahir Ahmida, A.A. 11, 12, 14 al-Ahram 133 Ajdabiya 45, 64, 113–14 al-‘Ajilat 54, 59 al-Akkad, Mustafa 152 Akrama Agreement 1917 45–6, 63, 75, 96 al-‘Alam al-‘arabi 177 El-Alamein 110, 182 Aleppo 79

Alexandria 25, 60, 63–5, 69, 71–3, 81, 94, 98, 106–7, 117, 169–70, 188, 192 Algeria 2, 4, 7, 17, 31, 43, 61, 51, 53, 56–7, 61, 66, 72–4, 99, 104, 109, 112–13, 165 Algiers 109 al-‘Alim, Muhammad Abu al-Is‘ad 119, 135, 140, 192 Ameglio, G. 41 Amman 64, 97 Anderson, B. 5–6 Anderson, L. 11–12, 13, 30 Anglo-Egyptian Treaty 1936 92 Anglo-French agreement 1888 61 al-Ansari, Ahmad b. Husayn Na’ib 19 anti-colonial resistance: 1911–12 36-39; during the First World War 42–43; fascism and 96–7; Egyptian solidarity with 69–71 Anzour, N. 24 Arab Bond Society 93 al-‘Arabi, Mahmud 184 Arab League 7, 15, 112, 117, 120–2, 126, 128-9, 133, 141, 189 Arab Revolt 1916–18 62, 79 Arab Youth of Littorio 52 Arbib, Z. 119, 130 Arielli, N. 93, 100 Arslan, S. 86, 88, 97–102, 179 al-Asaba‘a 57 al-Ashhab, Muhammad al-Tayyib 17 Association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (ADTC) 86, 89, 106–7, 133 Association of friendiship and assistance among the Muslim exiles 106–7 Associazione politica per il progresso della Libia see Political Association for the Progress of Libya

Index 217 Austria 34 al-‘Awami, Salih 87 Awaqir tribes 65, 169 Awjila 41, 46 Awlad ‘Ali tribes 59, 65 Awlad Muhammad tribes 27–8 Awlad Sellam tribes 55, 165 Awlad Sulayman tribes 28, 170 al-Ayman 94 ‘Ayyad, Kamil 86, 89 al-Ayyam 86 al-Azhar 17–8, 20, 32, 51, 57, 72–3, 93, 104, 152, 171, 181, 187 al-‘Aziziyya, Conference of 1912 57 ‘Azzam, ‘Abd al-Rahman 7, 18, 44, 73–6, 80, 85, 92, 95–7, 108, 116, 120, 128, 174, 188–9 Ba‘ayyu, Mustafa ‘Abdallah 19 Babayl, Nasuh 86 Badaywi, ‘Ali 192 Badoglio, P. 46–8, 65–7, 82, 162 Badr al-Din, Mustafa 77, 174 al-Bahlul, Ahmad 19 Bakr, Muhammad Nur 104 al-Bajiqani, ‘Abd al-Ghani 77, 83, 86, 173 Balbo, I. 48–52, 100, 110, 163–4 Balfour Declaration 1917 79 Balkans 62 Banco di Roma 34–5, 78 al-Banna, Hasan 89, 189 al-Bara’asa tribes 59 Barbar, Aghil 80 Barce 113–14 Bardia 66 Barqa al-jadida 123 al-Barqa al-riyadiyya 126 al-Barquli, ‘Abd al-Rahman 121 Barton, S. 105 al-Baruni, Sulayman 26, 39, 43, 56–8, 94, 96–97, 102, 109, 166 al-Basil, Hamid 72, 74, 76–7 Bayly, Colonel 65 Be’eri, E. 90 Beheira 59 Beirut 79, 81, 152 Ben-Halim, Mustafa Ahmed 25–6, 145, 155 Ben Issa, Mahmud 59 Ben Kaoune, Yahya ben Yusuf, 56 Benghazi 2, 15, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30–1, 33, 35–6, 42, 44–5, 49, 52, 62–3, 65, 70–1, 87, 101, 110, 113–14, 123–6, 136, 144, 151, 157, 174, 187–8, 191

Berlin 88, 98–9 Bernini, S. 12 Bevin, E. 118 Bevin-Sforza plan 1949 134, 189 Biasutti, G. 47 al-Bijw, al-Tayi’ 192 Bilkhayr, ‘Abd al-Nabi 43, 80 Bills, S.L. 112, 190 Bin ‘Amir, Mustafa 125 Bin Ghalbun, Ahmad 172 Bin Hamza, Bashir 121, 185–6 Bin Mahjub, Hamida 122 Bin Musa, Husayn Zafir 16, 77, 173 Bin Musa, Taysir 16, 88–9 Bin Sha‘ban, ‘Abdallah 132 Bin Sha‘ban, Ibrahim 119, 132, 187, 189, 192 Bin ‘Umrani, As‘ad ‘Urabi 124 Bin Zarra‘, Sadiq 121, 184 Bin Zikri, Jawad 127, 188 Blackley, T.R. 130 Black Sea 79 Blue Shirts 92 Bono, S. 10 Bornu 29, 64 Borqu 3 Bourguiba, H. 21, 126 Boy Scouts World Association 126 Breuilly, J. 148 Bu Hidma, Mahmud 192 Bu Maryam Agreement 1921 45 Buqila, Abu al-Qasim, 192 Cairo 15–9, 25, 30, 57, 61, 63–5, 72, 84, 95, 101, 103–4, 106, 108–9, 119, 122, 124–5, 127–30, 133, 141, 143, 150–1, 162, 169, 186–8, 191 Camperio, M. 35 Caneva, C. 37, 40 Cassels, G. 192-3 Central Africa 14, 33, 157 Chad 2, 7, 21, 53, 67, 157 Charity Association for the Libyan Region 71–2 Childs, T. 12 Choueri, Y.M. 15 Cleveland, W. 91, 99, 100 Comitato Rappresentativo degli Italiani see Italian Representative Committee Committee of the Twenty-One 140 Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) 70, 75, 79 Congress of Vienna 1815 147

218

Index

Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles 72–4 Corò, F. 22 Costantinople 187 Council of Ten 139 Coury, R. M. 75 Cresti, F. 131, 184 Crispi F. 35 Cumming, D.C. 111 Cutrera, A. 38–9 Cyrenaica: borders of 1–4; Ottoman rule in 10, 12, 15, 27-30; Italian occupation of 34–36; colony of 39–41; First World War and 42–3; fascism and 46–8; re-conquist of-46–8; concentration camps in 66; split between Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican claims 107–9; British Military Administration (BMA) in 110–116; Sanusi leadership in 121–4; the Sanusi Amirate in 135–7, 151; see also Libya; Sanusiyya Cyrenaican National Congress 124, 126, 131, 133, 135–6, 139 Cyrenaican National Front 122–4, 126, 128, 188 Cyrene 2 Damascus 61–2, 77–9, 81–3, 86, 88–9, 97–8, 101–2, 104–5, 107, 133, 173 Daodiace, G. 66 Darfur 64 Darghout, C. 58 Dawisha A. 6 De Agostini, E. 22 De Bono 47 De Candole, E.A.V. 182, 187 Decentralization Party 79 Defence Committee 118 De Felice, R. 130 Del Boca, A. 155 De Leone, E. 41 deportation 23–24, 36–9, 43, 48, 159, 161; repatriation 39 Derna 2, 25, 29, 42, 45, 49, 60, 66, 87, 113–14, 122, 125–6, 136, 151, 173 Destour Party 83, 86; Neo-Destour Party 127, 188 al-Dib, ‘Ali Mustafa 25, 155 al-Difa‘ 144 Diocleziano, 34 Dougui, N. 56 Egyptian Nationalist Party 74, 116

Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party 116, 120, 127, 130, 131, 139 Enver Bey, 42, 60, 70–1, 75, 79, 98 Equatorial Africa 3, 64 Eritrea 34 Ethiopia 34, 50, 66, 101, 104, 173 Europe 5, 17, 88, 98, 165 Evans-Pritchard, E.E. 13–14, 32–3, 112 Executive Committee of Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican Communities (ECTCC) 77, 81–5, 175 exiles 53–54; associations 69–86, 89 see also pan-Arabism; in Egypt, 59–63; in Syria 61–2; in Palestine and Transjordan 64, Tunisia 54–9, 63; use of term 4–5; repatriation of 62–8, 115 Fahmi al-Hashani 77, 174 Faqih Hasan, Ahmad 116–21, 129, 140, 144, 184–5, 189 Faqih Hasan, ‘Ali 119–20, 129 Faisal, King of Saudi Arabia 62 Fallaq, ‘Ali 124, 126 Farhat, Muhammad 39 Farid, Muhammad 74, 79, 171 al-Fariq al-shabab see Blue Shirts Faruq, King of Egypt 128 al-Fasi, ‘Allal 86 Fassato 54, 58 Favignana island 23, 36–7 Fawayd, tribes 59–60, 76 Faysal, King of Iraq 98 Al-Fayyum 60, 63–4, 77, 169–70 Fekini, Muhammad Khalifa 26, 155 Fertile Crescent 91 Fès 30 Fezzan 1, 3–4, 25, 27-8, 39, 54, 120, 128, 131, 134, 144, 146–7; Ottoman rule in 29–30, political activity in 25, Italian occupation of 42, 66, French occupation of 111–3, 183, political activity in 121, 191 see also Libya Four Powers Commission 1947–48 113, 129–32, 190 Free National Bloc 18, 116, 119–21, 127, 129–30, 136, 139–41, 144, 185, 189 French-Libyan Treaty of Friendship 1955 4 Fundamental Laws 1919 44–5, 63, 75, 80 Gabes 54 Gaeta 37, 39 al-Garyani, Tawfiq 109, 182 Geneva 98–9, 179

Index 219 Germany 3, 24, 34, 88, 100; nazism 93 Gershoni, I. 90, 92, 176 Ghadames 3, 56, 72, 113 Gharyan 29, 115 Gharyan, Conference of 1920 80, 82, 170, 174 Ghat 113, 191 Ghibla politics 46 Ghisleri, A. 146 Ghuma 28–9, 54, 57, 156 Giolitti, G. 36–7 Goglia, L. 49 Grange, D. 35 Graziani, R. 18, 45–8, 99, 110, 153, 162 Guellaty, A. 58 Guinea 147 Hague Convention 1907 113 Haim, S. 90, 176 al-Hakim, Sami 20 al-Hani oasis 36 al-Harabi tribes 59 Hasan, Mustafa 184 al-Hasani, Taj al-Din 88 Hay’at al-islah al-markaziyya, see Reform Central Committee Hay’at al-tahrir Libiya see Libyan Liberation Committee Hay’at al-tahrir al-tarabulusiyya al-barqawiyya see TripolitanianCyrenaican Liberation Committee Hejaz 31 al-Hilal 71 Hizb al-ahrar see Liberal Party Hizb al-islah al-watani see National Reform Pary Hizb al-istiqlal see Independence Party Hizb al-ittihad al-misri al-tarabulusi see Egypto-Tripolitanian Union Party Hizb al-sha‘b see People Party Hizb al-‘ummal see Labour Party al-Hizb al-watani see Nationalist Party Hobsbawm, E. 5, 6, 12 El-Horeir, A.S. 32, 146 Hourani, A. 90 Husayn, Muhammad al-Khadar al-Husayni, Hajj Amin 84, 101 al-Husri, Sati‘ 91–2, 177 Hussein-MacMahon correspondence 1915 79 Hussein, Sharif of Mecca 62 Huwaydi, Mustafa ‘Ali 162

Ibn Ghalbun 19 Ibn Sa‘ud, 98, 127, 143 Ibrahim, Hafiz 71 al-Ifriqi, Tariq 77, 84–5, 173 Independence Party 132, 134–5, 139, 190 Indian Ocean territories 112 Indonesia 39 al-Inglizi, ‘Abd al-Wahhab 79 Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) 50–1, 119 Iqbal, M.A. 84 Iraq 92, 93, 97, 98, 168 ‘Isawi abu Khanjir, Muhammad 182 Islamic Congress 1931 84–5, 89 Ismail, Khedive 60 Issa, M.B. 59 Istanbul 28, 70–1, 151, 173 Italian colonial citizenship: in Libya 44, 51–2, 63, 103, in Tunisia 55, 59, 104 in Egypt 60–1, 64, 75, 83, 104 Italian Representative Committee 132 Italian Social Movement 132 Italo-Turkish war, 1911 2, 12, 36–9, 60, 96 al-Ittihad al-maghribi see Maghrib Union al-Ittihad al-sha‘b see People Union Jabal al-Akhdar 46, 48, 96, 113–4 Jabal Gharbi 29, 42, 57 Jabal Nafusa 28, 46, 56–7 al-Jabha al-wataniyya al-barqawiyya see Cyrenaican National Front Al-Jabha al-wataniyya al muttahida see United National Front al-Jabiri, Ihsan Bey 99 Jabri, Muhammad Abed 7, 34 Jafara 87 al-Jaliyya al-tarabulusiyya bi-Suriya see Tripolitanian Colony in Syria Jalo 2, 41, 45 Jam‘iyyat al-difa‘ al-tarabulsi al-barqawi see Association for the Defence of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica Jam‘iyya khayriyya li-khatt Libya see Charity Association for the Libyan Region Jam‘iyya al-khayriyya al-maghribiyya bi-l-Iskandariyya see Maghribi Charitable Association in Alexandria Jam‘iyya al-tawaddud wa-l-ta‘addud bayna al-muhajirin al-muslimin see Association of friendiship and assistance among the Muslim exiles

220

Index

Jam‘iyyat al-rabita al al-‘arabiyya see Arab Bond Society Jam‘iyyat al-rabita al-sharqiyya see Society of Eastern Bond Jam‘iyyat ta‘awun jaliyyat Ifriqiyya al-shamaliyya see Cooperative Society of Northern African Exiles al-Jam‘iyya al-wataniyya see National Association al-Jam‘iyya al-wataniyya al-libiyya see Libyan National Association Janin 79 Jankowski, J. 92 Japan 93 Jarabub 2, 32, 41, 45,–6, 48, 64, 76, 96 al-Jarida 74 al-Jawazi, tribes 59 Jawish, ‘Abd al-Aziz 74–5, 79, 98 Jawish, Ibrahim. 74–5 al-Jaza’iri, ‘Abd al-Qadir 61, 88, 165 al-Jaza’iri, Sa‘id 88 Jerba 56 Jews 2, 11, 24, 30, 51, 59, 91, 118–119, 125, 127, 130, 138, 146; anti Jewish riots 1945, 1948 130 al-Jihan, Sa‘d Ahmad 124 al-Jirari, Tahir 192 al-Jirbi, ‘Ali Asad 15, 138, 151 al-Josh 55, 165, 168 al-Jumhuriyya al-tarabulusiyya see Tripolitanian Republic al-Kashkul 105 al-Kawwafi, Khalil ‘Abd al-Kafi 124, 187 El-Kef 58 Khadduri, M. 11, 120, 184 al-Khatib, Muhibb al-Din 18 Khazam, Sasi 57–8 Khoms 3, 29, 42, 54, 78–9, 131, 134 Khoury, P. 91 al-Kikhya, Fathi 135–6 al-Kikhya, Rashid 192 al-Kikhya, ‘Umar Mansur 122, 136, 186–187 al-Kizza, ‘Abd al-Salam, 65, 68, 182, 192 al-Kizza, Ahmad ‘Aqila 192 Klibi, M. 83 Ku‘bar, Ahmad Rasim 134, 189 Kufra 2, 32–3, 41, 45, 48, 65, 113–14, 157 Kurd ‘Ali, Muhammad 101 al-Kutla al-wataniyya al-hurra see Free National Bloc

Labanca, N. 148 Labour Party 116, 121, 129, 139, 186 Lacroix-Riz, A. 112 Lafayette L.H. 58 Lafi, N. 10, 156 al-Lajna al-tanfidhiyya li-l-jaliyyat al-tarabulusiyya al-barqawiyya see Executive Committee of Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican Communities Lamlum, Salih Pasha 65, 72, 74, 76 Latin America 5 League of Nations 82, 98, 99 League of National Action in Syria 91 League of the Youth of Derna 125 Lebanon 79 Le Gall, M. 32–3 Liberal Party 116, 121, 139 Libiya 144 Libya: Arab context 102–7; borders and boundaries 1–4, 146; federalism 140–2; 145,; general elections 1952 142–3, 192–3; history of Libya and nationalism 10–14, 20–6, 152; origins of name 1; political activity in 110–37; regionalism and failure of national unity 138–42; unification of 4, 48–52, 110, 112, 117–18, 121, 123–4, 127–6, 138–9, 142, United Nations and independence of 138–42 Libyan Liberation Committee (LLC) 15, 127–31, 133 Libyan National Association (LNA) 108 Libyan Studies Centre 21–5, 153 Literary Club 116–17 al-Liwa’ al-tarabulsi 75 London 3, 74, 76, 105, 128, 133, 135 Longrigg, S.H. 113 Lutfi al-Sayyid, Ahmad 74 Mabruk, Salah Effendi 72 Mabruk, Tawfiq 129, 184 MacMahon, H. 79 Madrid 86 Mafraq 64 al-Magariaf, Mohamed Yousef 26, 155 Maghreb Arab Bureau 127, 188 Maghrib 2, 6–7, 12, 28, 53, 72–3, 83, 88, 98–9, 101–2, 112, 127, 133, 137, 148, 164, 176, 179, 188 Maghrib Union 98 Maghribi Charitable Association in Alexandria 73, 172 Mahamid tribes 28, 57, 63

Index 221 al-Mahdi, al-Sayyid 192 Mahmud Mahluf 124 al-Mahmudi, ‘Awn Suf 63, 68, 109, 119, 168, 182, 184–5, 187 al-Mahmudi, Suf 57–8, 63, 166 al-Mahmudi, Muhammad al-Lafi 57 Majallat al-buhuth al-ta’rikhivya 22 Majallat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar 125 Majallat al-rabita al-sharqiyya 74 Malgeri, F. 35 Malta 53, 76 Maltese, P. 22 Mannheim, K. 93 Maqtuf, ‘Ali 192 Marchino, G. 132 Mariut 64 Marmarica 1, 65 Marsa Matruh 2 Marsa Zuwaga 57 Martel, A. 12 Martin J-F. 34 Mashriq 2, 6, 88, 99, 104 Massawa 34 Mazzini, G. 33 Mecca 4, 30, 62, 63, 84, 98, 116, 175 Medenine 55 Medina 4 Mediterranean 1–3, 33–4, 46, 53, 101, 104, 112 Menelik II 34 Metlaoui 55–6, 67 Miani, A. 42 Middle East 5, 69, 90, 93, 95, 99, 101, 111, 113, 180, 183 Minutilli, F. 1 Minya 76 al-Misallati, Mahmud 184 al-Misrati, ‘Ali Mustafa 20, 187 Misr al-fatat see Young Egypt al-Misri, ‘Aziz ‘Ali 42, 70–1, 75, 96, 171 Misurata 3, 29, 44, 46, 49, 54, 59, 62–3, 72, 87, 116, 134, 146, 170 al-Misurati, Muhammad ‘Abbas 83 Mizran, Mustafa 118, 134, 138–9, 184 Moffa, C. 36 Mondaini, G. 163 Montgomery, B. 113 Morocco 7, 29, 31, 72–3, 98–9, 112, 162 Movimento Sociale Italiano see Italian Social Movement Msellata 54, 87 al-Mu’ayyad 70, 98, 150

al-Mughayribi, Muhammad Bashir 26, 125, 187 Muhammad, Prophet 4 Muhammad V, Ottoman Sultan 79 Muhammad ‘Ali 2, 59–60 Muhammad Bey, 55 al-Muntasir, Ahmad Diya’ al-Din 119 al-Muntasir, Mahmud 119, 127, 187, 189 al-Muntasir, Mukhtar al-Muntasir, Salim Bey 118–19, 131–32 al-Muntasir, al-Taqir 185 al-Mu’qat, Ahmad Rasim 175 al-Muqattam 85 al-Murayyid, Ahmad 68, 182 al-Murayyid, Salim 187, 192 al-Murayyid, Tahir 127 Murzuk 29, 113, 139, 191 al-Mushayriqi, al-Hadi Ibrahim 186 al-Mushayriqi, Yusuf 185–6 Muslim Brotherhood 92–3, 130, 189 Mussolini, B. 46, 49–50, 82, 93, 97, 99–100, 102–4, 153, 164 Bin ‘Amir, Mustafa 125 al-Mu’tamar al-watani see Cyrenaican National Congress al-Mu’tamar al-watani al-tarabulusi see Tripolitanian National Congress al-Mutardi, al-Mahdi 124 al-Muthanna club 97 al-Mutran, Khalil 71 Mzab 56 al-Na‘as, Fawzi 77, 86, 89, 173, 175 Nadi al-adabi see Literary Club Nadi al-nahda see Reform Club Nadi-al-shabbab see Sporting Club Nadi Tarabulus al-Gharb al-thaqafi see Tripolitanian Cultural Club Nadi ‘Umar al-Mukhtar see ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club Nadi al-‘ummal see Workers’ Club Nadwat ‘Umar al-Mukhtar see ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Congress al-Nagouzi, shaykh 59 al-Nahda 106 Nalut 54 Namy Bey 88 Naples 23 Nashat Bey 58 Nasser, G.A. 91, 145 La Nation Arabe 99–101 National Assembly 138–52, 192–3 National Association 136, 139

222

Index

National Constituent Assembly of Libya (NCAL) see National Assembly 138 National Covenant of the Tripolitanian and the Cyrenaican People 81–4, 85, 97, 175 Nationalist Party 18, 116, 117–19, 121–22, 127, 129, 130, 131, 134, 184–85 National Reform Party 75 Netherlands 102 Niger 2, 53 Nile 59, 73, 92 North Africa 6, 7, 14, 57, 73, 78, 102, 110, 112 North African Muslim Students Association (AEMNA) 99 Nuqrashi, M.F. 128 Nur 144 Nuri Bey, 75, 88 Obeid, M. 92 Oriente Moderno 82 Ottoman Empire 1, 3, 4, 6, 12–3, 19, 20, 53, 70 Oxford 26 Pakistan 138 Pan-Arabism 84, 86, 90–109, 126, 130, 137, 148 Paris 76, 80, 86, 99, 118, 133 Peace Conference 1919 3–4, 80, 190 Pelt, A. 15, 121, 138–39, 145, 186, 191–92 People Party 132, 144 People Union 144 Peters, E.L. 13-14 Political Association for the Progress of Libya 132 Political Committee for the Progress of Libya 132 Port Said 69, 75 Potsdam conference 1945 111 Provence, M. 88 Palestine 17, 53, 64, 68, 85–6, 88, 91–3, 97, 100, 104–5, 111, 120, 127, 180 Ponza island 23, 36–7, 39, 161 al-Qadar, Muhammad 72 Qadara, Mansur 77, 86, 127, 173, 175 Qaddafi, M. 12, 18, 20–6, 145, 155 al-Qallal, Khalil 192 al-Qana’ih 87 al-Qaramanli, Ahmad 28, 78 al-Qaramanli, Hassuna 3

Qaramanlis 10, 12, 28–9, 34, 57, 156 Qardabiyya 42–3 Qiru 157 al-Qizzani, Umar al-‘Uthman 81 Qologlis 2, 146 Quinn, A. 153 al-Rabita al-‘arabiyya 93–5, 97, 102 al-Rabita al-tarabulusiyya see Tripolitanian Bond Rabitat al-shabab see Youth League Rabitat al-shahab al-darnawi see League of the Youth of Derna al-Rafi‘i, Amin 17 La Ragione 35 al-Rahibi, Muhammad ‘Umar al-Sharadi 83 al-Ra’is, al-Hadi 77, 86, 173, 175 Rajab, ‘Ali 120, 127, 185, 192 Rajib Pasha 30 al-Rajma Agreement 1920 45, 46 Red Crescent 70, 71, 101 Red Sea 94 Redayef 55 Reed, O. 153 Reform Club 116 Reform Central Committee 80–1 Revue du Maghreb 99 Rida, Rashid. 84 al-Rifa‘i, Ibrahim 152 Rif War 73 Risorgimento 33 Riyadh 143 Rochat, G. 48 Rohlfs, G. 35 Roman Empire 2, 34 Romano, S. 12 Rome 174, 187 Rommel, E. 110 Rossi, E. 22 Roumani, M.R. 130 Rushdi, Rasim 20 Russia 34, 53, 70, 79 Russo-Turkish War 1828–9 53, 62 Sahara 3, 49, 54, 60, 147 al-Sa‘dawi, Ahmad 78 al-Sa‘dawi, Bashir 8, 9, 15–6, 20, 63, 77–81, 83–4, 85–9, 97, 99–100, 102–4, 106, 107, 109, 127, 129–33, 135, 137, 140, 142, 143–44, 173–4, 192 al-Sa‘dawi, Mukhtar 78

Index 223 al-Sa‘dawi, Nuri 78 Sahil al-Ahamid area 78 Sa‘id, Amin 93 al-Samin, Hajj ‘Abd al-Kafi 192 Sanfilippo, I. 78 San Francisco Conference 1945 111 Santillana, D. 165 al-Sanusi, Ahmad al-Hajj 138, 191 al-Sanusi, Ahmad al-Sharif 14, 31–2, 41, 43, 79–80, 150, 161 al-Sanusi, Idris 13–20, 25–6, 43, 45, 71, 73, 76, 80–1, 95–6, 107–11, 114, 118–9, 122–7, 129, 131, 135–36, 140, 142–3, 145, 151, 162, 169, 172, 174, 182, 186–7, 191, 193 al-Sanusi, Muhammad b.‘Ali 30–1 al-Sanusi, Muhammad al-Mahdi 31–2, 157 al-Sanusi, Safi al-Din 43, 95 Sanusiyya 13–17, 21, 30–3, 39, 41–2, 43, 44–6, 48, 56, 64, 66, 73, 75, 76, 151, 153, 155, 157–8, 160, 170, 174 al-Saqizli, Muhammad 136 Sarkis, Salim 152 al-Sayd, Muhammad ‘Uthman 25, 121, 186, 191–2 Sayf al-Nasr, ‘Abd al-Jalil 68 Sayf al-Nasr, Ahmad 43, 139–40 Sayf al-Nasr, Muhammad 119 Saudi Arabia 18 Sebha-Ubari 113 Segrè, C.G. 22, 52, 163 Selim Bey Fu’ad 75 Sfax 67 Sforza, A.M. 78 al-Shahid 22–3 al-Shalhi, Ibrahim Ahmad 17, 20 Shain, Y. 4 Shakir, A.M. 92 Shanib, ‘Umar Fa’iq 77, 86–7, 89, 95, 97, 104–5, 122, 144, 175, 192 Shaqrun, ‘Ali Muhammad 72 Shari‘ al-Shatt oasis 34, 36–7, 42 Sharif, Abdallah 134 al-Sharif, Ahmad. 41, 43, 150, 161 Shatti 113 Shawqi, Ahmad 71 al-Shaykh, Bashir 185 Shiniti, Mahmud 121 al-Shitiwi, Ahmad see al-Suwayhili, Ahmad al-Shitiwi, Ramadan see al-Suwayhli, Ramadan

Shukri, Muhammad Fu’ad 15–16, 62, 78, 80, 89, 133–4, 142, 150, 155, 174, 186, 188 Siddik, Yahya Bey 75 Sikes-Picot agreement 1916 79 Simon, R. 13, 43 Sirte Agreement 1999 24, 154 Sirte Charter 1922 81, 174 Sirte, Gulf of 2 Sirtica 1, 42, 46, 64, 170 Siwa 2 Society of Eastern Bond 73–4, 172 Society for Islamic Charitable Purposes 83 Sollum 2, 110, 173 Sorman 57, 168 South America 27 Soviet Union 112, 190 Spain 86 Sporting Club 116 Steiger, R. 153 St John, R.B. 12 Sudan 2, 3, 60, 76, 147, 172 Suluq 48 al-Suwayhili, Ahmad 68, 127, 170, 182 al-Suwayhli, F. 141, 192 al-Suwayhli, Ramadan 42–3, 80, 161, 170 Switzerland 99, 102 Tarhuna 63, 74 Tahruna tribes 170 El Tarabulsi, ‘Ali 72 El Tarabulsi, Tuhami see al-Tuhami, Qalisa Tarabulus al-Gharb 142 Il Tempo 121 Terry, J. 92 Thaalbi, A. 83–4 Thabit, Karim 85 Tibesti 3–4, 64 Tibi, B. 91 al-Tibuli, Ahmad 192 Tillisi, Muhammad Khalifa 154 Timbuktu 147 Tobruk 42, 45, 113–14 Transjordan 64, 88, 107, 111 Treaty of Lausanne 1912 3, 39–40, 42, 57, 60–1, 71, 78, 80, 119, 160 Tremiti islands 36–7, 39, 159 Tripoli 3, 10, 16, 19–20, 23, 24, 27–30, 34, 36, 43, 46, 49, 50–2, 57, 62–3, 115, 118, 121, 129, 131, 134, 172–3

224

Index

Tripolitania: borders of 1–4; Ottoman rule in 10, 12, 15, 27–30; Italian occupation of 34–6; colony of 39–41, First World War and 42–3; re-conquest of 46–8; split between Tripolitanian and Cyrenaican claims 107–9;, British Military Administration (BMA) in 110-37; political parties in 116–21, 184; see also Libya Tripolitanian Bond 73 Tripolitanian Colony in Syria 77 Tripolitanian Committee 19, 108, 110, 133, 141, 192 Tripolitanian Cultural Club 108 Tripolitanian-Cyrenaican Liberation Committee 133 Tripolitanian National Congress 134–5, 139, 142–3 Tripolitanian National United Front 123, 187 Tripolitanian Republic 1918 12, 44, 72,75, 80, 95, 162, 170 al-Tuhami, Qalisa 72 al-Tuhami Nasr, Muhammad 171 Tunis 2, 3, 34, 56–7, 63, 83, 106, 109, 165 al-Turki, Muhammad Naji 77, 89, 173 Turko-Tripolitanian Union Party 116, 184 Tussun, ‘Umar 18, 58, 60, 70, 74, 88 al-Tuwayr, Muhammad Imhammad 156 Ubaydi, A. 122, 187 ‘Umar al-Mukhtar 17, 20–1, 25, 46–8, 84, 86–7, 94, 96, 104, 108, 124, 153, 162–3 ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Congress 133 ‘Umar al-Mukhtar Club 26, 123–7, 133, 136, 144, 187 al-‘Unayzi ‘Ali Nur al-Din, 15 United National Front 116, 118–19, 122–23, 127, 129-32, 134, 139, 185 United Nations 7, 15, 109, 112, 126–7, 127, 132–5; Libyan independence and 138–42 United States 20, 60, 102, 112, 138, 190; bombing of Libya, 1986 23

‘Usabat al-‘amal al-qawmi see League of National Action in Syria Ustica island 23, 36–9, 43, 161 Vandewalle, D. 11, 12 Vansina, J. 22 Ventimila 49, 104 Vikør, K.S. 14, 31–2, 150 Volpi, G. 45 Wafd party 74, 76, 92 al Watan 126 Workers’ Club 116 Working Party 135, 191 World War I 3, 5, 42–3, 60–1, 79–80, 94, 98–9 World War II 1, 4, 7, 11, 52–3, 93, 101, 107–11, 125 Yahya, Imam of Yemen 70, 98 Yalta conference 1945 111 Yefren 29, 58 Yemen 70, 94, 98, 178 Young Egypt 92–3, 100, 177 Young Men’s Muslims Association 92–3 Young Tunisians 55, 58, 98, 165 Young Turks 12, 30, 57, 78, 157 Youth League 123–4 Yusuf, ‘Ali 70, 98 Zaghlul, Sa‘d 76 al-Zahrawi, ‘Abd al-Hamid 79 al-Zanzuri, Mahmud bin ‘Umar 73, 172 Zarim, Ahmad 83, 109, 175 al-Zawi, Tahir 17–20, 24, 95–7, 151-2 Zawiya 134 Zaydan, J. 79 Zeki, M. 58 Ziadeh, N. 17, 155 Zintani, Khalifa 185 al-Zintani, Mahmud ‘Ali 83 Zliten 87, 131 Zolberg, A.R. 4 Zuwara 54, 59, 131, 134