The Colonel and I: My Life with Gaddafi by Daad Sharab
Daad Sharab was never going to be a dutiful stay-at-home Arab wife. Encouraged to study by her father, the brilliant young Jordanian woman became a highly-educated businesswoman who decided to work for the intriguing Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. Her father advised her not to go but she was offered a prestigious position negotiating lucrative contracts for Gaddafi with high pay, and she liked the sound of the opportunity. Here, she tells her fascinating story, and she paints a very different picture of the Colonel, and describes some of the important figures she met.
Daad became a close personal adviser to Gaddafi, so she knew him very well, but allegations of an affair are completely untrue. She writes that, although eccentric, he was concerned about his country, and tried to do his best for ordinary Libyans. He also promoted women's rights and literacy, and Libya's healthcare system was excellent by the standards of other countries in the region. She thinks that he went 'off the rails' with his Pan-African and 'King of Kings' ambitions.
The rumours of his philandering with and even sexually assaulting the women of his famous 'Revolutionary Nuns' are untrue, she thinks. However, he did rely on a designing woman to procure young women for him, according to Sharab. She made friends with some of his guard, who were well-educated, and treated well.
Sharab met world leaders, including the first President Bush, Prime Minister Blair, and powerful people, such as Hilary Clinton. Although Gaddafi imprisoned her, she doesn't hold a grudge against him, and she provides an extremely interesting account of his relationship with these leaders, especially Blair, and his downfall. She also writes about her court battle with a powerful Saudi Prince, and how she endured great family tragedies, and the hardships of her career.
This book is somewhat harrowing at times, but well-worth reading to see a different view of the Gaddafi regime.
I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.