Benghazi, 2 October:
The new school year, which began on Sunday, started with protests in Beida when teachers and other education staff . . .[restrict]together with members of local civil society institutions staged a demonstration in front of the town’s education department. They were objecting to the contents of the new history class text books which they said distorted the truth about Libya’s past and in particular about the Jebel Akhdar region.
They were angry that the sixth primary grade history book spoke only of the struggles of Tripoli and Benghazi during the Italian colonial but ignored the battles in the Jebel Akhdar. It should have mentioned too, they said, that Beida was the last town to be occupied by the Italians.
Copies of the book were burned and the protestors demanded that the author of the history book be sued.
The new book was issued to replace the pervious one which glorified Qaddafi and ignored much of Libya’s history prior to 1969.
Beida has a strong grassroots sense of civic pride. Last week, two buildings that had been built since the revolution without planning permission were destroyed by protestors angry that developers had tried to take advantage of the power vacuum to build anything they wanted.
The buildings, one near the ring road and the other in the city’s industrial area, were blown up. [/restrict]