He was one of the last great dictators in northern Africa: Muammar Gaddafi. His last hours are portrayed by one of the authors who know the region best: Yasmina Khadra. Hidden in a school, longing for his beloved son and reflecting about what he has achieved and made of his home country, Khadra depicts how Libya’s tyrant might have spent those very last moments of his life. Looking back at his childhood, where he as a boy without father was often teased, his time in the army, and the revolution which put him in the highest position. The underdog who achieved everything and dies god-alike, misunderstood by his followers, his country, the world.
From the ruler’s point of view we look at what we know from the news. His psychological state – far from any normal assessment of the situation – is described in a lively and very interesting way. Khadra creates a character who is fully absorbed in his view of himself and the world, who outlines his motivations to rise to the top and sketches his idea of a perfect ruler. His hubris can be felt in every line and one tends to believe, that this fictional picture of Gaddafi comes quite close to the real person.
Once more Khadra gives the western world inside into the Arabian ways of thinking and countries so close and yet so far away.