Libya: Gaddafi’s compound to become an amusement park

untitledPromoted by the Ministry of Tourism, the project calls for a family-friendly amusement park and green space to replace the late dictator’s ruined Bāb al ‘Azīzīyah (Splendid Gate) base.Tripoli (AsiaNews) – Gaddafi’s former compound at Bāb al ‘Azīzīyah will be turned into an amusement park. “This space will be transformed into a green area and an amusement park as a place of entertainment for Libyan families,” said Libya’s Tourism Minister Ikram Basha Imam.

Bāb al ‘Azīzīyah, the ‘Splendid Gate’, was the residence of the Libyan strongman until February 2011, when it was destroyed by NATO air raids.

Described by some Western journalists as a place with the security of a prison and the comforts of a club for the rich, the 6-sq-km compound was strategically located, with direct high-speed road access to Tripoli International Airport.

Behind high walls, the site had a swimming pool, an underground bunker, senior officials’ villas and gardens as well as offices and buildings belonging to the security apparatus. The garden also housed Bedouin-style tents for Gaddafi, who was particularly attached to Bedouin traditions.

With the strongman’s death, and the final collapse of his 42-year regime, Bāb al ‘Azīzīyah fell to the rebels on 20 August 2011.

Almost two years later, the names of the brigades that captured the compound are still commemorated in graffiti sprayed all over the walls.

When the war ended, the rubble left by Western planes and vandals became a refuge for vagrants and homeless families.

As Tourism Minister Imam said, the compound will become a public park and the homeless families who have been occupying the premises will be rehoused.


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