Far from Victory
In a sprawling camp in the Libyan desert, Mohamed Othman stands outside his makeshift tent, cradling his daughter Entisah. Meaning “Victory” in Arabic, Entisah was born in this tent just two days previously, as shells rained down on Ajdabiya, her family’s home until a few days ago.
Thousands have fled Ajdabiya in the past two weeks, many ending up here, on the side of the Tobruk - Ajdabiya highway, twenty-five kilometres away from the shell-marked town.
“We are all Bedouin here”, says Mohamed, talking about their ability to adapt to leaving the bricks and mortar of their houses, replacing them with the wood from the trees that used to be the sole inhabitants of this land.
With no access to the hospital, Entisah was born in the desert using traditional methods, “with help from the old ladies”.
“It is a situation we were brought into” says Mohamed, describing the conflict that consumed his town.
Ajdabiya was re-taken by rebels yesterday, forcing the Qaddafi troops back towards Brega. But the situation is still evolving rapidly, and with the troops so close to the town, many here are reluctant to leave just yet.
Khalid, a nineteen year old also staying here in the camp, came ten days ago. “It is very cold here at night” he says, “we all need water, tents and food”.
Speaking of his daughter’s future, Mohamed says “I hope she will live a better life than before”, and he hopes to be able to return to his home soon.