Blog Archive

March 9, 2014

1983 - 1990 Libya

The ending of our 1980-1990 Libya tour started with a MIG fighter pilot ejecting and crashing his jet next to the HVA international compound in Tawergha where we lived for the previous seven years. At the time of the crash I had two weeks left on the clock before the holidays being stuck in the Old Malthouse boarding school in Swanage, England.


The picture above is actually an American F15 which crashed in Ghot Sultan when NATO intervened during the 17th of February Revolution in Libya. Ghot Sultan was the second town in Libya where the HVA build their Dairy and Poultry project. What are the odds..?

Libyans in my opinion have a curious way of getting rid of broken cars or equipment and their solution to the lost MIG wasn't any different. A number of weeks after the accident the wreckage was still sitting out there in the middle of a stretch of desert within walking distance and most fascinating parts of the plane where already looted by fellow HVA compound inhabitants.

After nagging my father for weeks he took my little brother and me on a sightseeing tour of the crash site on one of the last days of my vacation and I was excited getting the opportunity to take a souvenir to show my friends back in England.

There wasn't much exciting stuff left and we chucked a couple of pieces into the back of the pickup truck before heading home. The item I packed into my suitcase was a small black cylinder with a bunch of wires sticking out and a couple of days later my parents dropped me of at the airport in Tripoli on my way back to England.

It wasn't uncommon those days having to wait for a delayed flight for hours but this time it took even longer than normal and I was stuck all day with angry Germans from the Krupp factory being fed up with waiting. They didn't shut up about it all day and during the flight and after arriving in Schiphol airport in the Netherlands and it sure didn't improve their mood finding out that the Libyans had kept all the suitcases in Tripoli.

I was picked up by my grandparents as my flight to Gatwick wasn't scheduled for another couple of days. That evening I called my parents to tell them my suitcase was missing and my mother explained that someone had ratted us out and my father was arrested by Gaddafies secret service being accused of espionage.

During a three month period he was released and arrested a couple of times and questioned by different departments in the agency all over the country. Most of the time my mother wasn't told a single thing and to be safe my little brother was rushed out of Libya (taking our cat on his flight).

This episode went on during my semester at school and exactly at the end of this period the passports were returned to my parents and they were given 24 hours to leave the country which gave them just enough time to pick up their son in England on his last school day...

Nearly 25 years later, Tawergha has become a daily part of my life again after Febr 17th revolutionairy rebels from Misrata ethnically cleansed, tortured and murdered the inhabitants from Tawergha. Curious how this Libyan story went from exciting to pure horror? Check out the Tawergha Foundation Website

Sealiberty Cruising Libya Slideshow

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