Gaddafi's Harem: A Book Review
Gaddafi's Harem is a book by French journalist Annick Cojean, based on her investigation into the sexual abuse and violence perpetrated by the former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The book was first published in France in 2012, and has been translated into several languages, including English. The book exposes the shocking and horrifying stories of the women who were enslaved, raped, and tortured by Gaddafi and his associates for decades.
The book focuses on the story of Soraya, a pseudonym for a young woman who was kidnapped by Gaddafi when she was 15 years old, and forced to live in his compound as his sex slave. Soraya was one of the many women who were selected by Gaddafi's female bodyguards, known as the Amazons, and brought to his harem. There, they were subjected to unimaginable brutality and humiliation, as well as injections of hormones and drugs to make them more compliant. Soraya managed to escape after eight years of captivity, but she still suffers from the trauma and stigma of her ordeal.
Cojean also interviews other survivors of Gaddafi's harem, as well as former officials, doctors, nurses, and diplomats who witnessed or participated in his crimes. She reveals how Gaddafi used sex as a weapon of power and control, not only against individual women, but also against their families, tribes, and the entire Libyan society. She also exposes how Gaddafi's sexual abuse was enabled and facilitated by a network of accomplices and providers, who supplied him with young girls from schools, orphanages, and even refugee camps.
Gaddafi's Harem is a shocking and disturbing book that sheds light on one of the darkest aspects of Gaddafi's regime. It is also a courageous and compassionate book that gives voice to the women who suffered in silence for so long. It is a book that challenges us to confront the reality of sexual violence and its consequences in Libya and beyond.
If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it online for free download in PDF format at [Archive.org].