Monday, December 12, 2011

Rumors, PTSD, And Paranoia, Or Life In Libya

I am hearing voices , but they are not in my head .I hear that the phones in Libya are censored again as when Gadaffi was in control . Ok , so that is sorta per normal these days for most countries  including the USA and Great Britten . When asked about it the standard answer is security against the bad guys.I guess Libya has plenty of those these days , what with Gadaffi supporters still at large causing trouble for the country just to name one group and I am sure there are many more .But on the side of paranoia , I won't go into that !

I am told that the computer and all that entails is censored as well . That stands to reason also since the revolution started and was sustained by social media on the internet.Actually this is the only way we in Libya have of finding out what is going on in the country . Like today , yesterday and the day before, there were rumors floating around like crazy that the militiamen from Zintan that are in control of the Tripoli International  Airport had stared a war . By going on the internet I was able to learn the truth of the matter .

 The past two days there was a conference on media in Doha  for Libyans. This is something that is badly needed here in Libya, a free press and media that is allowed to cover everything that is the news. The Libyan people are tired of rumors, they want the truth and the facts of what is going on .They would like some entertainment that is suitable for families to watch together on TV, but isn't so bland it will put you to sleep. Nor so old your grand mother watched it back in her day .It would be so nice to have another TV channel in English as well such as the Dubai One channel or the numerous MBC channels that are mostly in English. TV channels of quality one might have maybe in America , but not too racy.

This brings me around to health care here in Libya. So much has already been said of what is lacking here in Libya in the maters of health care services from maternity to mental , dental to surgery.Clinics and hospitals were down to the absolute basics in providing care before the war are now completely stripped of everything from meds to supplies needed to care for the patient . The war  has introduced wounds never dealt with until now. Doctors dealing with gunshot and other weapons related inflicted wounds that they were not trained to treat have been coping the very best they can with the little they have.There will be a seminar for just this sort of thing this coming week , to train over a 100 doctors organized by the INRC and the Libyan Ministry of Health . This will be a big help for many of these young  doctors .

There should also be something for mental health care for the many that are suffering from PTSD which is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder .It can vary from debilitating to mild discomfort with situations that arise in daily life.I suffer from it to a degree when I see a helicopter or a tank . I feel a little panicky when the helicopters fly over head here in Tagura. I KNOW there is trouble somewhere . Generally I am correct in believing this, as the rumors will verify ,usually days later, that there was a disturbance somewhere.The helicopters were used for visual surveillance.I have a freind that was attacked or threatened ,depending how you would feel if a gun was shoved into your face and you were threatened with death ,during the times we had gasoline rationing , while she was in line for petrol. She says she has a difficult time purchasing gasoline , going to the petrol station. It scares her still.Gunfire is a major item that most people complain about , the loud noises .Someone told me once the sight of the trucks the militias used with guns mounted in the back scares them .

So , from one thing to another it is back to the same old thing here in Libya , lay down your weapons men, government build your infrastructure , provide jobs through improved economy by private sector growth.Improve everything  such as education and health care.Stop the rumor mils with a free factual media. Stop the paranoia,tell the people that they ARE being spied on , listened to on their computers and phones for national security reasons .Stop thinking by not telling the people you are using these extreme measures to provide national security, that they don't know , they do. They aren't stupid.

Some days  it seems as if Libya will make it with patience and lots of wise care taking by it's governing people.Other days I am ready to pack up and leave it all behind .I have had enough of the stress of wondering if the rumors of a civil war coming is true or not .Wondering if it will be safe to go to town today or not .Will the kid walking by with the gun decide to use it or not ? Do I need to stock up on water again ... just in case? Should I buy more candles since the lights have been off  and on this past week Does that mean something ? I think I might be able to see the future better by reading the coffee grounds than trying to figure out what is true or not . Everyone says ," Oh , things are just FINE now . Nothing is wrong !", then you learn some one some where has decided it isn't today.

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