One is white, stark, temporary, windowless. Fluorescent lights hang from its ceiling. The room is empty save for a woman, crying. She is chained to the wall and obviously pregnant. The woman in the white room comes from Morocco but has married a opponent of Col. Gaddafi, and for that reason is about to be plunged into terrors of which she knows nothing...
Alright. The word amok is just a trigger here and I'm not seriously going to compare a famously dour German art film with the present state of an entire north African country. But ... well, I'll at least come back to Fassbinder & Fengler's drab masterpiece at the end of this quick run-through of Libya's current woes.
The fierce debate raging inside the Algerian regime over greater or less interventionist action will continue. For now, North Africa's 'reluctant policeman' will no doubt stick to a number of its non-interventionist dogmas. However, should a cataclysmic event like In Amenas occur on Algerian soil once more, the country will have no choice but to take decisive action.
Tawfik Ben Saoud, one of Benghazi's most prominent activists, summed it up by saying, "A military movement alone can't solve the crisis; there must a civil movement that works parallel to it. If youth are given a chance, they can find a peaceful solution. My message to Libya's youth is, you are powerful and you can make change. You just need to take the opportunity and act."
Every night, when Amira goes to bed in the crowded room that she shares with her five young children, she lies awake, frantically worrying about what the following day has in store for them. Will she be able to find food? Will the children be safe if they venture out, into streets where gunmen, bombs and bullets are a constant threat?