Arts, Culture & Media

BBC reporter who stayed in Libya through civil war releases new book


Rebels confront the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in February 2011 during the beginning of the Libyan Civil War. (Photo by LibyaIsTrue via Wikimedia Commons.)

This time last year, Libya was in the grip of a bloody civil war.

Player utilities

Listen to the Story.

Muammar Gaddafi was fighting to preserve his regime after 42 years in power. The rebels trying to topple him were struggling to fight past his defenses on their way to the capital, Tripoli.

The city eventually fell last August. Gaddafi fought on till captured and killed in October.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad was the only Western reporter to remain in Tripoli throughout the civil war.

She knew Gaddafi’s Libya well, having lived there for several years.

In a new book, “Tripoli Witness: The Remarkable First Hand Account of Life Through the Insurgency,” Jawad recalls what it was like to live in a country in the midst of civil war.

“I remember very clearly and vividly,” Jawad said, “broadcasting off the rooftop when bullets were flying around, and people were being shot at as they took to the streets.”

And that was just the beginning. Then came the allied bombing from the air and a military stalemate.

“A lot of people started giving up (hope) almost, in Tripoli, saying it looks like nothing will happen here," she said.

Repression continued, and Jawad had to go off the air.

But she continued reporting, writing for BBC online under the name, “Tripoli Witness."

Many of those reports are in the book.