Muammar Gaddafi, the slain Libyan leader who is known all over the world for his extremist, anti-democratic liaisons and for being an oppressive leader, clearly had more to him than what met the eye. In a 2009 WikiLeaks document, he was described to have a fear of flying over waters, for starters. There is a lot more to the possibly terrorist conspirator that Gaddafi was that the world is yet a little ignorant about. Here are 10 facts that can help you draw a better, more clearer picture to the eccentric, absurd and extremist leader that Muammar Gaddafi was.
10. Muammar Gaddafi underwent plastic surgery to look younger
Dr. Liacyr Riberio, famous Brazilian surgeon was called upon by Muammar Gaddafi to help him look younger. The Libyan leader did not like how he looked, at his age, and therefore he had the plastic surgeon smooth out his wrinkles so that we would not look his age. He lived an extravagant life, most of it bordering an absurdity, he had everything procured to him and a plastic surgery was all he needed to shave off years off his appearance. The leader, after all, did take his appearance seriously as he used it an instrument to make really flamboyant statements.
9. Some of his super controversial statements
Gaddafi made a number of really controversial statements throughout his regime.He went on record saying that the H1N1 influenza was a conspiracy of foreign militia. He also said that mosquitoes and the tse tse flies are the friends of mankind created by God for our protection and said that enemies who entered the land would suffer from Malaria and sleeping sickness. His stigmatization of homosexuals is widely known and criticized, however, he not only stigmatized homosexuality but he also went as far as stating that the HIV virus is actually a passive, harmless virus that would not touch straight people. He said, in an official statement, ‘if you are straight you have no reason to worry’.
8. Muammar Gadaffi had two wives and eight biological children
Muammar Gadaffi’s had two wives, his first wife died in the year of 1970, however he met and fell in love with his second wife in the year of 1969. Gadaffi fathered eight children, seven of whom are males. He also had an adopted daughter, however she was killed in the attacks called by the then US President Ronald Reagan, leaving her adopted father devastated. Muammar Gaddafi had several Ukrainian nurses on call. He apparently never travelled without one nurse in particular, Halyna Kolotnytska, who was famously described to be voluptuous blonde with whom the Libyan leader was rumoured to have something more than a mere professional relationship with. Various sources have even described Gaddafi’s affection towards the nurse to be something bordering on deep rooted infatuation.
7. He was titled the ‘king of the kings’
Muammar Gaddafi always had an interest in the African continent and he always championed the idea of a ‘United Nations of Africa’ creating a unification of all the African countries under a single umbrella. Strengthening them and bringing them together making them a single unit with a common currency. At a meeting of more than 200 African leaders, Muammar Gaddafi was bestowed upon the title of ‘The king of the kings’ as a token of respect from all those in attending. These African leaders recognized Gaddafi as a benevolent figure who would be of great help in executing their golden vision.
6. Muammar Gadaffi was the longest serving Arab Leader
Having won power over Libya at the age of twenty-seven as a result of a bloodless coup, Muammar Gadaffi, at the time of his death was the longest serving leader of a country in the Arab world. His rule lasted a period as long as a little above forty two years. His rule was one expected of any Arab leader. His regime is believed to have committed countless violations of human rights. Former US President Ronald Reagan labelled Gadaffi as a ‘mad dog’ in response to his involvement in various bombings. Muammar Gadaffi turned his regime against homosexuals, not to the surprise of many. He made statements along the line that only homosexual intercourse led to the spread of HIV AIDS and unprotected heterosexual intercourse is not meant to be feared. He made it a crime in Libya for two men to indulge in physical intimacy.
5. Eccentric Outfits were his signature
We have all seen Muammar Gaddafi making his appearances inspiring a lot of shocks; it should come as no surprise that some of his outfits were actually inspired by Hollywood movie characters. Adding to his bizarre character, he also had a really bizarre wardrobe complete with the most gaudy of colours. Former CIA chief spokesperson Bill Harlow even went on record saying that ‘he wore outfits that looked like they were designed by costume designers who were on drugs’. He attended meetings with the most illustrious heads of states in what a common man would call ridiculous outfits. The eccentric ruler not only wore some funny clothes, but he wore them with pride. It is widely believed that The New York Times even received a letter from one of the Libyan leader’s henchmen asking them to preserve their ruler’s clothing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art to inspire a ‘stylish retrospective of his fashion highlights.’
2. Muammar Gaddafi had an all female Virgin Guard
Muammar Gaddafi had his bodyguards, and why not? After all, he was the leader of a nation and his life was certainly at threat. So, what could be the specifications that a candidate would have to meet? Need they be strong, trained in the martial art, highly responsive and vigilant? Perhaps. But they definitely needed to be females, all of them. Not only were they supposed to be all females, they were supposed to be all females who were sworn to celibacy. What could possibly be the explanation behind the man wanting to be protected by an all female guard who were virgins? One can only guess. However various sources confirm that these women were raped and sexually assaulted by Gaddafi and his sons on multiple occasions. Also, each one of these women were handpicked by Gaddafi himself. They were all handed uniforms and asked to wear make-up, teamed with high heeled combat boots.
3. He carried his own personalized, luxurious tents with him
Back home in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi resided in a royal fortress of sorts with armed guards and an army of servants at the ready to get him whatever he wanted at any given minute of the day. However, whenever he travelled abroad, he carried bullet-proof tents that were made to stand outside hotels. No, these tents weren’t for the men serving him, these tents were for himself! Muammar Gaddafi always stayed in his personalized tents on his journeys to foreign lands. Many people have confirmed that this was due to the fact that Gaddafi did not like to reside in large, unknown buildings. This could also be perhaps due to his fear of heights, as it is believed that Gaddafi could sometimes not climb more than 35 steps. Either way, he did like to add his own personal touch to all the arrangements made for him, so perhaps these bullet proof tents were his way of letting everyone know that he was around, it also could have been a representation of his origins, Gaddafi was born in a tent in the deserts of Western Libya.
2. Muammar Gaddafi designed cars
Apart from being a revolutionary, political thinker and a leader, Muammar Gaddafi was a also a car designer. No, this is no hoax; he really did design cars too. The car, named the Saroukh El- Jamahiriya or the Libyan Rocket, is a five-seater that has the nose and a tail of a rocket. Contrary to what you’d expect, the car actually looks really good. If only he had quit his other job, car designer Muammar would have probably lived longer. The motivation behind building the car was the rising concern over the increasing number of deaths in Libya caused by road accidents. The late leader is said to have spent days calculating on how the risks could be mitigated. Many of Gaddafi’s government officials claim that the car designed by Gaddafi is completely safe and the car could reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by road accidents by a significant number.
1. He was fearful of heights, long flying hours and elevators.
Muammar Gaddafi was scared of taking elevators and did not like flying for long hours The Libyan leader may have massacred thousands of people and may have had a propensity towards extremism, but he also harboured in himself a fear of heights, elevators and airplanes. Perhaps, this may explain why he brought along his own tents wherever he went, atleast that ensured that he was stuck to the ground and not left uncomfortable in the high-rise accommodation provided for him. He also despised flying for long hours, which is why, he would always stop in Portugal on his trips to the United States of America. He preferred not to travel by air for more than eight hours at one stretch because of his discomfort with the idea of being airborne for a long period of time.