Saturday, September 5, 2009

Libya: Middle class are all smiles as retail therapy entices Gaddafi's people

Leader's revolution anniversary celebrations pull the crowds - but so do the bargains offered at Marks & Spencer and BHS

Ian Black in Tripoli, Friday 4 September 2009

"...... Marks & Spencer, on Girgash Road in the opulent west of the Libyan capital, heaves until four in the morning with women – in chadors or western dress – inspecting lingerie and swimwear watched by irritable husbands and children expecting presents for the Eid........

"Shops are just the beginning,"[COMMENT: This is how you keep the "Umma" busy. Jerusalem....What Jerusalem? Al-Aqsa Mosque....What Al-Aqsa? Palestine.....What Palestine?......Attention Marks & Spencer shoppers......Our Sale Ends......] said engineer Bashir Gelidy, leaving BHS with his social worker wife Hanna, and their daughter Lujian, eight and pouting in pink sparkly T-shirt and matching pedal-pushers. "This is about opening Libya up to the world. It's about investment and creating jobs and developing this country. You can see the change happening here.".........

No one can object to more consumer choice for Libyans. But British business in Muammar Gaddafi's Jamahiriya ("state of the masses") is in the news because of suspicions that the controversial release of the Lockerbie bomber was linked to trade and oil deals with a country that has been transformed from terrorist-sponsoring pariah to a mecca for western investors. With spending on infrastructure projects scheduled to reach $50bn (£30.5bn) over the next three years, Libya is encouraging bids from UK firms. "Investing at home, investing abroad" was the title of a conference that brought senior Libyan and British officials and businesspeople together at a country retreat in Sussex just as Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice secretary, was considering Abdel-baset al-Megrahi's release........."

Read About Marks and Spencer's support for Israel and Zionism Here


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