Federalism 101: why federalists movement emerged in Cyrenaica?

The Historical Regions in Libya

The Historical Regions in Libya

After 17th, Feb 2011, a group of people mostly from the East emerged as federalism supporters. The federalist movement ask for applying federalism in Libya as it was applied in 1949 for regional autonomy. They face oppositions from all Libyan regions, including the East. I opposed them at first for several reasons. However, things have changed in the last 4 years that we all could be wrong about the federation. We should clearly understand that there are reasons behind federalists movement. The only thing we did for them is accusing them for splitting Libya.

The main reason is neglecting for 42 years. The East is known for their opponents to Gaddafi. Therefore, Gaddafi has neglected the East on purpose. He managed to reduce the effectiveness of this part. He kept most of Libya’s institutions in Tripoli, where he controlled the entire country. He also moved some public entities from Benghazi, where it was originally created, to Tripoli, such as the National Oil Corporation and the Libyan Airline. People are afraid of continuing this neglecting especially with a centralized government.
Gaddafi built his empire in Tripoli, 1000 km away from Benghazi. He created a powerful centralized government that controlled everything. The other Libyan parts don’t have any authority to get things done fast. Every legal aspect needs to be authorized (signed) in Tripoli first. Therefore, people face delays to get their work done by the government. Personally, I’ve suffered a lot of this centralized government.

This neglecting comes with geographical obstacles. Libya is a huge land. Most of this land is empty. The three regions (east, south, and west) are not directly connected. They divided by this huge desert in the middle. Traveling from Benghazi to Tripoli by car is the same distance between Georgia and New York (I guess). The only difference between the two routes is there is nothing between Tripoli and Benghazi. This geographical obstacles will magnify the painful effort if there is a centralized government that controls people’s lives 1000 km away.

That truth is that natural division created cultural divisions as well. There are cultural differences between the three regions. For example, there are different languages and accents. This cultural variation is obvious in today’s crisis. The different regions take each side in this civil war.

Many people say Gaddafi neglected every part in Libya. Yes, that’s true, but no one denies the East has taken the largest portion in his neglecting plan comparing to its rich-full history in Libya. Libya started from Barga (Cyrenaica), the history says that, when King Idris united the three regions to create one country. In addition, the eastern part was the stronghold for the harshest resistance for Italian colony. People of Cyrenaica are proud of this short history. In other words, Cyrenaica has a unique history and identity, and Gaddafi simply has ignored these facts.

One of the most important point is the oil resources in Libya. Most of Libyan oil fields located in Cyrenaica, which the centralized government controls it all. For more than 60 years, Oil outcome revenues were distributed unequally. People in the East don’t mind sharing these resources with all Libyans equally. However, when people suffer by inequality, they will pursue their rights first, and oil resources are the first they will seek because it located beneath their feet.

There are many examples of successful countries that adopted federation recently, India and UAE, for example, are good federal countries. Other examples are still suffer from recent federation, such as Iraq and Sudan.

We have to distinguish between decentralization and federation. Most of federalists are hesitated with the new decentralization law (empowering the local authorities instead of local governments). They keep saying it’s not the solution for Libya.

“The solution is by adopting federation, while each region clean its house” one of federalist told me. The solution could be empowering the three region and tribal areas while keeping the strong united federal government.

Adopting federation is not going to be easy, especially in this time. One of the issue is the boarders. Each region will claim their geographical boarder. There is a debate now between people from Tripoli and Cyrenaica about where is the historical boarders for each region. Instead, we should adopt only the administrative boarders.

Many people say federalist movment started with the wrong people who are fighting for the right cause. Federalism is like the crack. If we keep neglecting it, it would become larger and larger and to destroy everything. There is a new group in Cyrenaica asking for independency now. Libya could split to 3 or more countries. The number of people who become federalist is increasing everyday nowadays as Libya is divided to two governments. We have to deal with them as soon as possible. Either by adopting federalism or creating something fixes all issues. The upcoming constitution is the key for creating the best solution.

Benghazi is an open shopping mall: How we exchanged money with chaos

"We're not lucky that our home aren't located on main road"

“We’re not lucky that our home aren’t located on main road”

“I am not rich!!” I usually use this phrase as a response to some friends when they ask me why you do not buy that thing!. Some Benghazi’s residents have their own answer. They use “My father is not rich, nor our home does locate on a main street”. The second part of the answer is referred to the convenient stores attached to their houses.

People who own homes facing the main road or streets switch number of rooms to shops. They either rent them or start their own businesses. Therefore, houses located on the main streets are much more expensive than ones are not on the main streets. New shops are opened wherever new roads are paved. The whole city switched to become one shopping mall.


There are (Or I should say there WERE) regulations, rules, and standards classify and arrange zones in Benghazi. The land use was set precisely to split between zones. There are culture, commercial, residents, services, and other zones. These zones arranged to work perfectly with each other. In addition, zones could be mixed up together, which called in urban development mixed-use. Benghazi center set up to be mixed-used due to some historical restrictions and geographical location. People completely neglect these regulations and standards. They act on their only own benefits. In addition, the absence of following up and monitoring by the government makes it for residents easier to break out these regulations.

The Current Land Use by Alemarha Office

The Current Land Use by Alemarha Office

Another issue to be addressed is updating Benghazi’s master plan. The last master plan generation should be finished in 2000. Since that year, we live in planing vacuum which results the chaos attached with slums everywhere.

One should admit that the new shops opening up everyday take a systematic approach for the type of business. That has been said the one street is form from many shops specialized in one business type. Therefore, you can find streets sell only furniture, other sell computers.

The convenient stores within walkable radius should be a great idea especially in terms of sustainability. This could sound perfect as we do not have to go far using cars to get our stuff. However, with the current situation of Benghazi’s infrastructure turns the advantages to disadvantages. Main roads are completely in urgent need to maintenance. These roads were not designed to handle this mixed-used zone. There should be some standards with certain number of parking spots to handle these shops. Tight roads make it difficult to find parking spots and drive smoothly. Too much traffic in these roads as some or many people park in the middle of the way. Some say there are six millions cars in a city has a million population. All that make our commute so difficult.

For example, 20th Street is one of the busiest streets in Benghazi. It has too many shops. People moving around shopping and parking their cars adjacent or on the sidewalk. Before opening these shops, the street was one of the preferable rout as it connects some critical areas as shortcut. Nowadays, people, including myself, avoid using this street as it becomes nightmare to drive in.

The busy 20th Street

The busy 20th Street


It is easy to fix these issues. First, we have to embrace the current situation. It is too difficult to ask people to close their shops. There should be some organized way to study and analyze which shops should be closed and which ones are OK to operate. Some shops hurts the city and some benefit the city. Second, we should upgrade our infrastructure, maintaining and providing some parking spots (Multi-story garages for example). We have a great number of convenient stores, but Benghazi is not walkable city, we need to improve walkability. Most of neighbors lack of good walk side. Third, drivers should follow traffic rules and drive in lanes and park correctly in places designated for parking.

We complain of many issues in our daily life. We must realize that we created these issues. Therefore, no one will fix them to us unless we do. We should understand the problem first, then act accordingly for the best result. To change Benghazi from one open mall to a real developed city, we have to admit the issues now, and start to act immediately.

Libyan Education System: 7 Steps Toward The Full Change

Libyan children in the class

Sunday, Sep 1st, my first lovely baby was born. She’s a girl. It was breathtaking and little odd when I had to carried my daughter in my hands for the first time. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.
After few days, my thoughts have shifted from the current political conflict in Libya to my daughter’s future. I have given her the ultimate attention in the last two weeks. I started asking myself too many questions: What will guarantee her future in Libya? How am I going to rise her in this Polluted environment? What’s the perfect place to get her education? The last question grapes all my attention, and I decide to some research on the perfect education systems. The importance of the education system in a country and how it helps building the prefect generation are critical topics. Every nation depends on its children in the future, and their children depends on the education system.
Libya has one of the worst education environment in the world. Schools in Benghazi now are closed temporarily because of the unrest. I have studied in the Libyan education system, and I can recall all the bad/good things. The Libyan education system is one of the factors which causes the demise of cultural awareness among Libyans. I’m not going to dig deep in the issues of the system. Instead, I’m going to explore the paths to change it.

I started my regular research, looking for examples and facts, doing my Google search, and skimming some books and articles. I came up with this list of things Libya should do to rebuild the education system.

1- Get some help

Get HelpI think Libya alone can’t build a perfect education system. It’s OK to get some help from countries, which have gone through some developments of their education system. It’s not replication. ::It’s observation and applying accordingly::. The [PISA] test is a test to measure the education ability in some countries every 3 years. We can start looking on some countries who have improve their rank in the last test. For example, Finland has made incredible movement when it move up in the rank in the last test. Therefore, we can look deeply to their system now, how was before, and what they did exactly to improve it. We can ask them for help. Some consulters can visit Libya and evaluate the current situation and give us some key points to make the change.
The PISA test is important among the developed countries to compare their level in the world rank. Here’s a video shows the PISA test

2- Parents role toward their children education

parents_teachI have grown by my parents who are enrolled in the education system. They were teachers. So,I got the full help at home. In Libya, there are three groups of parents in terms of helping their children to achieve their perfect education. The first group **is the coach, like my parents. This group is acting as a teacher outside the school. They give their children the maximum attention. Helping them by sitting and teaching them. Helping them to do their homework.Giving them quizzes at home. **The second group is the cheerleaders. Parents in this group is acting as motivators to encourage their children to do the their best. Parents do not pay the full attention. They just keep motivate their children without getting deep in their subjects. This group is common in Libya. They in the middle between the first group and the third group. The third group is the neglecters. Parents do not pay any attention to their children education level. They are busy in other things, not their children education. I have witnessed many people in Libya from this group who do not know his child in which grade level. One of the reason that created this type of group is the large number of Libyan family members. The average number of family members in Libya is six, which means lots families have more than 6. Some families have 10 children. My family is one of them. Due to many children, parents lose their desire to grow their children as perfect as they wish. So, children lose the full care. That’s why we have 80s and 90s generations without, for example, reading ability. Parents are important to change our attitude to the education and to build the best future.

3- School environment

school_environment_8As an architect, creating the perfect environment is something important to me. To help any things to be functioning correctly, we have to create the suitable environment. Libyan school buildings are from the 70s. They have built with minimal consideration to the new standards, such as technology. Most importantly, schools represent the period of time when schools were like the prison. They are designed to keep students inside, not outside, with metal bars on the windows, closed courtyard, unhealthy food provided, and old desks and chairs. New standards for schools designing should be provided. For example, internet connection should be provided inside classes. Labs are so important to help them get in touch with what they study. Managing children’s hobbies by providing the perfect spaces to practice and enjoy the school. So, basically, creating a place not just to study, but also to make it a place that children love to stay in.

4- Teacher Education Program

teacherFirst of all, when it comes to comparing the teaching major with engineering or any other majors in Libya, people prefer to enroll to other majors, not the teaching. In addition, education program is known as one of the easiest majors. Leaving this major for unqualified people who are involving with growing the future generations. Second, the teaching major at Libyan universities is not the perfect program that will produce the perfect teachers. Therefore, as we pay most our attention to improve schools environment, we have to improve the human resource as well.
To solve this problem, first, enrolling in teaching program should be based on admission standards. No one could get into this program unless be qualified. Second, developing a program for 4 to 5 years, and one year practical training in public schools. This program will guarantee the best outcomes of teachers. Third, the most important issue in Libya, is raising the salary of teachers. Many teachers in Libya have a second job (Part time or full time). Thus, they split their focus on two things. Teachers are the most important part to fix our education system.

5- School timing

TimingIn every developed country, schools start from 8 am to at least 4 pm. Some countries, such as South Korea, lasts to 8 pm sometimes. In Libya, the regular hours from 8 am to 1 pm. It’s OK for this period of time. However, if we want to improve our education system, we have to expand this time. Children should be busy with their study and hobby. Too much hours at home is not improving any thing (just watching TV). So, if we add more 3 hours and dedicate them to develop children hobbies that would improve their ability in every other things. Making the children busy with things they love is one of the most important factors to improve them in other things.

6- Libyan national education curriculum

images (1)I’m not sure if the national curriculum in Libya is the perfect one. We should, at least, have the same level of the developed countries curriculum. Curriculum should not be too easy nor too hard. It should be updated constantly and cover everything.

7- Standarized Test

TestThe middle schools and high schools have the standardized test, which means all Libyan schools take the same test. That’s a good thing. However, we don’t take advantage of this test to pull out some important facts. For example, with this test we can identify the good schools and bad school from their grades. Then, we can analysis these schools to see where are their strengths and weakness. By doing that, we will have a complete understanding of each school in each city.

To sum up, Libyan education system must change as soon as possible if we want to built the future. Most importantly, inspiration and energize all parties who enveloping in this change is necessary. Switching is not easy and it required all our attention.

What Would Be If Specifically Designed For Libyans ?

I believe the change starts with us by changing our behavior and our environment. Without government, restrictions, and law and order, we fall in complete chaos.

These are some ideas made specifically for Libyans. It’s just for fun. These things need to be fixed with other ways.

1- Moving out from traffic light in the red:

Car traffic light-01

2- Littering: throwing trashes out of window:

trach can-03

3- Disorganization and not driving  in lanes:

Highways with wall lanes

4- Disorganization and not standing in lines:


Note: it works as well in Walmart during the Black Friday events.

5- Disorganization and not parking correctly:

Parking lot with walls

The Principles of The National Dialogue in Libya

Tripoli Airport

Once I meet with my friends these days, all we talk about is the current situation. Every one picks a side. We talk for hours without convincing each other. The point is we have different views, but we share one thing. We have the common goals which are building and developing Libya. In the reality, the different parties have taken the weapons as the way of talking. When two Libyans are fighting, that means a civil war.

Civil wars last for years and  usually finish with national dialogue. People of the one nationality usually do not notice they are in a civil war. They will realize it after killing many people and destroying their country. A civil war ends with national dialog or peace talk. For example, Lebanon had a civil war for 16 years. Eventually, they reached a settlement. So, they eventually sit together. Some countries did that too late.  Do not do what Sudan did. The delay of national dialogue could divide Libya into three parts.We should perform now. People start splitting up into groups. I support that party and I against you.

Libya now faces a conflict among more than three parties. Libyan Dawn Operation is basically combination of Misrata Militias and some Tripoli, Zleten, Tajura, and Nalot militias. Libyan Dawn Operation represents the moderate islamic parties (Political Islam). Brotherhood is the most famous organization in political islam party. The other party is the Liberal, as the political Islam call it. General Hafter’s army (Dignity Operation) and the House of Representatives are the most famous members in the side. There’s a third party, which is the extremisms. They don’t believe in democracy. 

This map shows the Libyan conflict

Libya Conflict Map 2014

To demonstrate what happen when the people of these parties start debating, let’s take the usual dialog among Libyans in these days:

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Swaeq and Qaqa (Pro Hifter) are not enrolled in the Ministry of Defense

Dignity Pros:

Misrata Militias are not acutely enrolled in Libyan National Army

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Hafter uses the HoR to establish important decisions.

Dignity Pros:

Militias were used by GNC to establish important decisions

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

It’s anti-revolution by Pro-Gaddafi

Dignity Pros:

Brotherhood coups the legitimation and trying to control the country by their militias

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers (Thwar) are the protecters of 17th Revolution in Libya

Dignity Pros:

The national army with police are the only ones who protect Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers are the only legitimate body who fought against Gaddafi

Dignity Pros:

Revolutionizers (Militias) are now out of control

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The HoR are not legitimate body

Dignity Pros:

The HoR are the only legitimate body

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

There’s no army in Libya now unless it’s Gaddafi’s army

Dignity Pros:

There’s army in Libya now and should stand out

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The 17th Revolution is still active and not finished yet

Dignity Pros:

The 17th revolution is no longer active. We should starting building Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The HoR asked for western intervention. They are betrayers    

Dignity Pros:

The HoR asked for stopping fighting and dissolving militias

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

HoR is being controlled from outside

Dignity Pros:

GNC and militias are being controlled from outsider

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers must build the new political regime of Libya

Dignity Pros:

Libyans should participate creating the new democratic Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

UAE is behind the HoR support

Dignity Pros:

Qatar is behind the GNC support

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Mahmoud Jebril is a duble agent to UAE and Egypt

Dignity Pros:

Salabi  is a duble agent to Qatar

Not the military action in Libya would change the current situation and solve all this debate. Only the national dialogue among all parties. Not the political decision only by House of Representatives could dissolve to current crisis. Only the national dialogue. Not the western intervention could solve the conflict. Only the national dialogue. However, when we talk about the national dialog, we should understand and consider some basic principals:

Every party has to start the dialog or peace talk with 50% chance they will be wrong. Do not assume that one of them are 100% rightful.

Every party should be willing for giving up some of their privileges. To reach the peaceful with your opponents, you should waive some of your rights to their rights.

Every party has to start the dialog with chance of other party will be your partner. It is not good making enemies.

Every party should keep calm whatever happen. They should make sure all their members keep calm during the dialog. Keeping relaxing will reflect on your opponents.  It is important to show the respect to  each others.

One of the Libyan traits is stubbornness. Do not be stubborn. Instead, be flexible and open to other’s opinion.

The national dialog should be not biased to one party against the other. Should be standing in the middle between all other parties.

And these some questions from Civil Society Dialogue Network we need to consider before starting the national dialog:

Q1: How large should national dialogues be?

Q2: How wide should the inclusion net be cast?

Q3: What constituencies need to be included?

Q4: How should their representatives be selected?

Q5: What is their relationship to existing institutions (HoR and Gov)

Q6: What are their decision-making powers?

These question should be answered through negotiations among the key political parties in Libya.

We have to sit down together, and ask ourselves what the common thing that we have. The answer should be Libya or caring about Libya. This is the starting point, and It could be the 1%. The 99% things could come along by just peace talk. Israel and Hamas reaches the cease fire by just talking. Why not ? 

Humanize Palestine

Humanize Palestine

In Benghazi, we watch the war between Libyans. One Libyan stay at home everyday listens to the Bombs fall by other Libyans. This is how we live our days lately.   

Despite the war in Libya, Benghazi and Tripoli, Libyan people still support the Palestine people, especially in this attack from Israel on Gaza. Our war have given us a fraction of frighting life that Palestine people have been living for decades. 

In support them, these are human people, like every human lives in this world. 

Please share and support Humanize Palestine. 


Humanize Palestine attempts to restore the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.


Top Favorited Radio Stations In Benghazi

To Stations In benghazi

Keeping up with the best radio stations broadcasting in Benghazi. This is my favorite list, and I’m sure many people agree with this list.This list provides a good variety of music and news. Let’s Start:

Libyana Hits 100.10 LibyanaHits

Benghazi’s number one hit music station.


When It comes to listening to music, Libyana Hits is my favorite one. It plays really a good playlist of English and Arabic songs. It also provides stories from, health, science, technology, arts and culture. This station classifies as a modern youth station in Benghazi

Libya FM 88.50LibyaFM

Libyan’s number one national radio


I love this station because I can listen to  quick news every hour. Their news is like digesting everything in Libya in 5 min. It plays mostly Arabic songs as well. Libya FM provides also stories from, health, science, technology, music, arts and culture.

Radio Ajwa 107.70Radio Ajwa

One of the best new radio stations in Libya


Sometimes I need to listen to the news in depth. So, this is my station. One of the best new news radio stations. Libyan’s number one news I think. It provides news 24/7 and Political Programs.

Radio Sawa 88.10 sawa-radio

Number one Arab’s radio Station


This is Arabic radio station broadcasting almost in every Arab countries. It provides good resources of Arabic and International news. In addition, they play a good playlist of English and Arabic music.

What’s your favorite? In Benghazi, Tripoli, Misratua or any place in Libya. Share your favorite radio station in the comment section below.

2 Ways To Add and Find Your Favorite Places Online


Last January, I talked about establishing your business online on Google Places.  Once people search for a specific business category, they will find a complete list of all businesses and their information. Related: Google Places: Few Steps to Publish your Business Online. It Works Perfect in Benghazi 

But if you want to find, let’s say, a mosque in Benghazi, you won’t find it online unless you ask one of your friends. To find this mosque online and its location on a map, someone has to add this information to any map online.
There are many ways that people can add places on a map online. Google places one of them. This two ways are easier and more informative than any thing else:

1- Using Wikimapia.org 

This website uses the idea of people can add their places. This is the easiest things I found online to add some places. The benefit from this website is people add informal places that no one think to add. It’s not official website that you get official places, but people who are the responsible for these places. The power of people is translated on this map. Go and check it. Try to write any mosque’s name and you will find it easily. Go to wikimapia and add your own places such as your home or your business. As much as people add places, the website will increase its credibility to becomes an important resource.

Screen shot

Screen shot

2- Using Foursquare App

Have you ever checked In using Facebook. Usually people like prove that they are in a specific and spacial place. They share that with other people. What if you find some good information on this place. This is exactly what Foursquare dose.
Foursqaure helps you to check in and gives you some information and people’s review on this place. Foursqaure is an app on your phone and it uses your GPS to locate your location. And then gives you informative review by people, such as best restaurant close to your location. It’s fun, playful, and informative. You can also access to Foursqaure.com  and check some places.


This app uses the power of people, because people who are responsible on adding these places. I use this app daily. I add as many places and review them as much to help other people finding the right information.
People should take advantages of this technology. They can adopt the new way of accessing data and information among this insanely increased technology.


Chain Reaction Effect on Libyan People

Chain Reaction effect

Watch this video first, then keep reading!!

This is what Chain Reaction looks like. Now, imagine if the wooden sticks were the people, and the fire was either good thing or bad thing. People live in clusters. They like living close to each other. They, simply, prefer to live in society.

I have written about the habit among Libyans in one of my topics. If we want to change the Libyan habit, we should change the individuals to change the society .

Social Change

People tend to follow each other. If there’s a new fashion, It’s only a fashion if a certain number of people decided to make it fashionable. We like something only because we like the idea of other people will like too. This is important for a society. People love the idea to be fit within the others. Therefore, If we want to change people’s behavior within their society, we must flame the fire in the sticks.

The fire could be anything good. If we tried one thing and we waited to see the result, It will never work that way. Changes should be consistence, repeated steps. Most importantly, we should remind the people every time about this change. That’s the only way. Ask the people to change every time you meet them. Ask them to do the right things.

Standing in perfect lines

This is a good example of chain reaction. I have taken this photo inside one of Benghazi’s mosques.Chain Reaction

There’s a printed paper is sticking on the wall. It says that prayer should stand on the line. Their heels should be aligned with the back line. It was mounted in the perfect spot. Because people in the first raw will read it. Usually people inside the mosque are so polite that they follow any instructions. So, once people in the first raw read it, they will adjust their position accordingly. The magic will happen. People in the second raw will adjust theirs according to the position to the first raw without reading the paper. Then, the chain reaction will occur among all the other lines.

The idea of the chain reaction is important for our society. Good behavior is easy to spread out as much as the bad things. Sometimes the bad behavior easier to spread out because it carries the reward. Yes, the reward of breaking the regulation as I explained that in my Habit topic.
We should keeping insistence to change Libya. I’m so tired of the way things here is getting done. I keep informing people that what they do is wrong. I know they know it, but I just say it, maybe something it will change. (وذكر) Just keep reminding them until we find the chain reaction within our life.


How We Change The Libyan Habit?

The ultimate guide for Libyan Habit

Imagine that you are driving your car in Benghazi’s streets. You are approaching a traffic light. You want to turn left. And you find the left lane is full of cars, and probably you will miss the green light for the fist time if you stand in the left lane, so you have to wait a little bit longer. At the same time, the middle lane and the right lane are empty. Here, you could choose one of the two choices:

Choice one:

You keep your car in the left lane, waiting for the green light even though you will miss the first one. In this case, you are following the regulations.


Choice Two:

You choose to go to the middle or right lane. Standing there and waiting for the green light. Even though you are not following the regulations, and that causes disorganization in the traffic movement.

Design Road -01

Usually, I do the second choice without thinking. Suddenly, I find myself standing in the wrong lane. I’m just following my habit, not the rules. Many times, when I’m totally aware, I force myself to stand in the left lane where I should turn left.


I notice that more than 95% of Libyans do the second choice. They do that unthinkingly. They do that without thinking. Their auto pilot is taking their action without any permission. In other words, their habit is taking the control.


I have become interested with the idea of habit. Habits could be good or bad. I started digging deep about the psychology of habit especially for Libyan habit. I could identify thousands of bad habits.For example, throughing trashes out of the window while they are driving.

I start looking for more information about the habit. Then, Boom, I found a really good book. The Power of Habit book is really interesting, entertaining, and informative book. I have spent more than 3 weeks reading it. In this topic, I will try to overlay what I have got from the book and the reality of Libyan habit.


Charles Duhigg, the author of the book, explains the habit as a loop contains three parts. The first part is the cue or the trigger, which is the reason that you do things. The second part is the routine, which is the thing you do. The third part is the reward, which is what you win or get after doing things.


For more explanations, think about the smoking habit. People who smoke usually feel they want to smoke when they angry, tired, stressed, or depressed. So, they flame a cigarette. This is the cue. During the smoking they do the second things which is the routine. After they start to smoke they feel relief, which is the reward part. So, every time they feel anything, they think about smoking. They do that many times over and over.This is the structure of the habit.


Duhigg thinks most people think about habit as the only routine. However, once you identify the habit loop, you are half way to change it.


Let me apply the habit loop on my first example of the habit of the traffic light. Once you approach the traffic light, you see the left lane is full of cars. That is the cue. The fullness of cars is the trigger that you don’t want to take longer time stopping at the light. Once you move to the other lanes, the right lane for example, you will establish the routine. If the light traffic becomes green, and you would go faster than people who stand in the left lane. That is the reward part, the third part of the loop. Doing these steps many times and everyday, you became unaware of this habit. That’s our behavior, but our brain is turn off. That’s exactly what happen in Libya.


Wake up Benghazi is a blog that deal with issues related to Benghazi. If we understand the root of any problem, we could find the cure. The habit of Benghazi is basically based on the collective amount of individual habits. In other words, any city is basically a huge habit consists of many habits.

City Habit

Many time you hear some people say that city is more genius than that city. For example, I hear many people say the people New York City are mean. We are talking here about the whole city. One habit could be repeated among the people. One way behavior becomes habitual is through repetition.

In my first example, the traffic light, we could see this habit widespread in Benghazi streets. So, anyone who live out of Benghazi could notice this habit through any traffic light. Keeping doing this habit will result chaos within the city. The most difficult thing, people start do not realize that as a chaos. They start understand this as a good thing.


We all now know the city is basically a huge formation of habit. To change the habit of any city, we have to change the people’s habit who live within the city. However, it’s so hard to do that. Or, it’s impossible to change everyone.

Charles in his book gives some interesting facts on how we change the organization habit. To change the whole city, we have to change the keystone habit. The keystone habit is a powerful habit that if it changed, it could make different and change the other habits. This reaction called the chain reaction. If you change something, it changes the other things.

For example, If we assume that wearing the seat belt is a keystone habit. If we make the people wear it everyday through repetition until it becomes a habit. This habit will change people perception to the social norms. For sure, their driving habit will get better. People will start following the rules on the roads, then they will change the other things such as not throughing trashes out of the windows in streets.

Charles gives an example of the keystone habit in his book. A man who became the CEO of one the biggest companies in metal industry. The only thing this man address in his new challenge was the safety habit. By reducing the amount of people who everyday get injury to zero percent. This man wanted everyone to be in perfect health. The safety habit changed the employee perception to the company. They have changed for better. Their productivity increased, and the profit of the company have increased.

Finding the Keystone habit is the most important part to change Benghazi habit. To change the keystone habit, we need to indentify the cue, routine, and the reward. Then, we can change the routine by using the same cue and getting the same reward.

Usually a great tragedy can change the habit. For example, the revolution have changed some habits in Libya. People became more aware of their rights. However, the revolution generated new bad habits.

My thought on the keystone habit for Libya is the self regulation. If we push up this habit among people, we could gain the reaction chain for other things. We should follow the notion Fake it until you make it.

Charles gave many examples on how you implement the keystone habit among the people. By sandwich it among other things. To influence people to do something good, we need to add the recipe of the good habit between other normal things. Make the new habit familiar without noticing.

How we could do that? How we change the Libyan habit without make them thinking about it?

This is the question need to be address to everyone lives in Libya. Some people says by education. Some people says by applying the technology. And I think by the self regulation.

The habit is what we do unconsciously. Changing the habit could be easy or complicated. However, once we identify the habit and we become eager and welling to change it, you are on the way to change it.

Let me know your thinking. I know you are exhausted of reading this long blog topic. But your thought is important to everyone. Please don’t hesitate commenting in the comment section below.