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Who Are Gaddafi's Fleeing Wife And Children?

Shako Liu |
September 1, 2011 | 1:33 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Since the fall of the Libyan capitol of Tripoli to revolutionary forces, some of the most pressing questions about the conflict relate to the whereabouts of the family of strongman Muammar Gaddafi's family and, of course, the former dictator himself. His wife Safia Farkash, three children and several grandchildren arrived in Algeria August 29 after fleeing their home country, said the Algerian ambassador. But who are these family members?

Muammar Gaddafi (Creative Commons)
Muammar Gaddafi (Creative Commons)

  • Safia Farkash, the second wife of Gaddafi, is mother to seven of his eight biological children. She was Gaddafi’s nurse in the hospital where he was treated for appendicitis in 1971, which was also the year of their marriage. In the early period of her marriage to Gaddafi, Farkash kept a low public profile until the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi in 2009. One of her rare public events covered by local media was the celebration party she organized for anniversary of the 1969 revolution that brought Gaddafi to power. The airline Buraq Air owned by Farkash controls the transportation of Libyan Hajj pilgrims to Mecca, and her wealth is estimated at $30 billion, including 20 tons of gold.
  • Gaddafi 's only daughter Aisha Gaddafi is one of the three fleeing children. She has been a Libyan mediator on behalf of the government with European Union corporations, a military official, a former UN Goodwill Ambassador, and lawyer in the defense teams of Saddam Hussein and Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi. Her husband Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi was her father's cousin, who was killed in the civil war this year. Aisha gave birth to a girl during her exile to Algeria, which is suspected as one reason for Algeria's disputed decision to take the family in, said Algerian news reports.
  • The two absconding sons are Mohamed and Hannibal. As eldest son of Gaddafi’s, Mohamed was the only child born to his first wife Fatiha. Mohamed is an engineer who runs the Libyan Olympic Committee that possesses 40 percent of the Libyan Beverage Company, while he also owns the General Post and the Telecommunication Committee, which is the main internet provider to Libya.  Mohamed surrendered to the rebel forces of National Transitional Council on August 21, however, Mohamed escaped with the help of unexhausted loyalists the next day. Hannibal is notorious for actions such as assaulting police in Italy (2001), drunk driving (2004), attacking his girlfriend in Paris (2005) and assailing two staff in Switzerland (2008).

The fleeing family has brought 62 escorts to Algeria with them. Many people think it sends a signal of Gaddafi’s regime surrender, while another son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi made a public stance in Tripoli on Tuesday, claiming to continue fighting the war.

Information culled from news reports and Wikipedia.

Reach Shako Liu here.



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