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" My parents left Libya in 1979, escaping political repression, and settled in Cairo. I was nine. "
" In the end, madness is worse than injustice, and justice far sweeter than freedom. "
" Political dictatorships take possession not just of money and belongings but of narrative. "
" When I'm writing, my mood is very good - and I love life. "
" I don't believe people are interested in dates and facts. I don't think it is interesting to say what it is to be this person or that, but I do believe it is entertaining and perhaps even of value to express how it is to be that person. "
" The cost of Colonel Gaddafi's rule on Libyan society is incalculable. "
" When I was 12 years old, living in Cairo, my parents enrolled me in the American school. Most of the Americans there appeared oddly stifled, determined to remain, if not physically then sentimentally, back in the United States. "
" I lost my father when I was 19, so the majority of my life has been under this cloud, and I have been full of the intention to find out what happened. "
" Whenever I was encouraged by my elders to pick up a book, I was often told, 'Read so as to know the world.' And it is true; books have invited me into different countries, states of mind, social conditions and historical epochs; they have offered me a place at the most unusual gatherings. "
" Over the centuries, close-knit tribes have played an important part in the cohesion of Libyan society. "
" From my family alone, Qaddafi had imprisoned five men. "
" My best hope is that Libya turns into a peaceful, sensible country that has all the things my father and lots of others have been calling for: independence of the courts and press, a protected and democratic constitution, with different parties involved in a healthy and open debate. "
" From before I was born, we Arabs have been caught between two forces that, seemingly, cannot be defeated: our ruthless dictators, who oppress and humiliate us, and the cynical western powers, who would rather see us ruled by criminals loyal to them than have democratically elected leaders accountable to us. "
" Books have shown me horror and beauty. "
" Growing up in the Libya of the 1970s, I remember the prevalence of local bands who were as much influenced by Arabic musical traditions as by the Rolling Stones or the Beatles. But the project of 'Arabisation' soon got to them, too, and western musical instruments were declared forbidden as 'instruments of imperialism.' "
" Dreams have consequences. "
" My father believed in armed struggle. "
" My family settled in Cairo in 1980. I was nine. I missed Libya terribly, but I also took to Cairo. I perfected the accent. People assumed I was Egyptian. "
" I used to be a keen rider. Sometimes I could sense what a horse liked or preferred to do. "
" The laws of the lowly gangster govern Qaddafi and his sons. "
" My parents were fairly laid-back, but there were certain things about which they were very strict. My brother and I were told never to turn away a person in need. And it didn't matter what we thought of their motives, whether they were truly in need or not. "
" Turgenev's achievement lies in how he succeeded, in spite of himself, his country, and his time, in exempting his work from public duty. This has given it that unnameable quality that makes every sentence true, every silence trustworthy. "
" We got rid of Muammar Gaddafi. I never thought I would be able to write these words. "
" When a dictatorship imprisons someone or makes them disappear, it's actually a very strategic move. We forget that. It's not as senseless as it seems. It's a way to silence someone, but also it's a way to silence their family as well, out of fear, and society by extension. "
" Libyans are deeply unsettled by Gaddafi and his regime's careless contempt for human life. The dictatorship is willing to employ any methods necessary to remain in power. "
" Civil war is a national crisis and also a private trauma: We suffer it collectively and in isolation. "
" The Arab Spring, with all of its failings and failures, exposed the lie that if we are to live, then we must live as slaves. It was an attempt to undermine not only the orthodoxy of dictatorship but also an international political orthodoxy where every activity must be approved by the profit logic of the 'ledger.' "
" I hope and pray that I'll be one of those fortunate people who have many, many books to write. I don't begrudge writing. I love the whole thing! "
" Language is not just a code; you are writing into its history, into its tides. "
" I am, by instinct, wary of revolutions. The gathering of the masses fills me with trepidation. "
" Great writing fills me with hopeful enthusiasm and never envy. "