Decoding People of Benghazi Attitude Toward Operation Dignity: Observation

This article describes only my own views. There are no tangible proofs that can support my observation. In other words,this article is based only on observational facts. It is not based on any research or statistics.

Life in Benghazi is socially enriched, everyday I meet strange people in different places. During the last five months, most of our chit chats are about the current conflict. I have observed different responses toward the Operation Dignity in real life or on social media. Not all Benghazi’s people have the same response, some are supporters, neutrals, or
adversaries. There is no statistics show exact supporters’ percentage. However, I can reassure that the majority is with Operation Dignity.

Five months period is enough to develop knowledge and make some observation on people’s views. It is easier now than ever to understand one’s opinion. People reaction fall in systematic way based on their tribes and their ideologies.

People of Benghazi come from the three provinces (Barga, Tripoli, and Fazzan) in Libya. One’s political opinion is directly related to their tribal roots. Even though most of them have settled here for many decades (Born and raised in Benghazi) and have no connection with their province, their opinion somehow connected back to their original tribe. This is what we call it “Jahawyia” or Regional, which is basically one stands only (either wrong or correct) with his tribe or province.

In this decoding, I focused only on people who come from Barga and Tripoli province as they represent the majority in Benghazi. I created two parts that are effecting people’s views. Let’s use XY as the unknown two parts. X represents the tribal roots or province. Y represents the ideology. Therefore, X is either from East (E) or from West (w ).

X= E or W

Most of Eastern tribes support Operation Dignity. As I said before there are no statistics showing the truth, but I can reassure that the majority of them is supporters. I never encountered one from Barga does not support  Operation Dignity. If there is one who does not support, that would be related to Y parts, which is the ideology. let’s say (E) equals or larger than 90% supporters. West (w ), or people come from Tripoli province, has larger adversaries. One of my friends is rooted back to Misrata’s tribes. He has never visited Misrata before, and now he is one of opponents. It becomes on daily base obvious whenever I meet adversaries, I found out they are from (W ). Again, there are no statistics showing how many. In addition, (W ) holds the largest number of neutrals. Many people can’t see themselves related to any parts in this conflict. They keep saying the famous phrase (ربي ينصر الحق) “May God grant only victory to the right”. Let’s say (W ) equals or larger than 50% supporters, 30% neutrals, and the rest opponents.

Y part represents the part connected to the ideology, precisely islamic ideology. Let’s say ideology in Benghazi composes of three parts: Moderate, Political, and Extreme islam. Moderate muslims are the majority of Benghazi. I consider myself as moderate. My brothers, sisters, and friends are moderates. Still there are so many extremists, and we considered them as normal citizens before 2011 when ideological differences emerged. There are Salafists who proved to be against other extremists who joined Islamic State or Ansar Alsharia. The difference between Salafists and other extremists is Jihad. The third type is people who use Islam in their political advantages, famously known as Muslim Brotherhood. These people look no different than moderate unless you dig deep in their ideology, and they come from East and West as well.

Here we go again with their classification. Moderates (M) are mostly Operation Dignity supporters. Salafists extremist (ES) are all Operation Dignity supporters. Other extremists (E) with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are all Operation Dignity opponents.Therefore (Y) represents the following

Y= (M), (Es), (E), or (MB)

Therefore, Benghazi’s residents attitude toward Operation Dignity is XY connected to each other.

For example, I come from Eastern tribes (E) and I am moderate. My attitude toward Operation Dignity when X= E and Y=M is EM which means I’m totally supporters according to the main equation XY.

Try yours, or try anyone you know. Just pick one and apply this equation. The chances you will get is so close to my results.

This is a diagram can help you understand my points

My whole point is that some Ideological divisions is not the only issue face Libya nowadays, but also divisions between the East and West. I could be wrong! Yes, but I believe if I have the full funds and the ability to launch a research with widespread survey in the city, I would be so close form these results. It’s only observations so far, and could be right or wrong. The only thing I need is the proof. Do you agree? let me know your code and how is related to the overall diagram.


11 thoughts on “Decoding People of Benghazi Attitude Toward Operation Dignity: Observation

  1. Haitham Hashem March 17, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Great analysis, but I would argue one thing, you assumption that 50% of “Benghazions” from western origins are anti-Dignity, where your friend you used as an example is also from Misrata, and those of western origins are from a number of tribes, so for example if we would take those from Werfala who also represent a big portion “Benghazions” with western origins, you would find that over 90% of them would be anti-Libya Dawn or pro-Dignity, and using this percentage hipothiticly, for the lake of real statistical information.

    • mutaz20042000 March 17, 2015 / 9:24 pm

      Wow, your points are really digging deep in this, so we can go further with more details with the two provinces tribes. We need to do some surveys here.

      • Zayd Al S'bayi March 19, 2015 / 10:37 pm

        I noticed this as well. It seems by “Western Tribe” you mean Misrata. I would say with Werfella (the 2nd largest west tribe in Benghazi), people are definitely with Karama or neutral. maybe only very few who are Ansar.
        not to mention there are many smaller “west tribes” in Benghazi. i think the problem is we can’t just split Libya into East vs west, in terms of points of view and loyalty. The west has those in the cities(misrata, Tripoli, etc) who are more Fajr, and then those outside who are more karama. Like in the Bedouin Arab areas (Bani Walid, Zintan, Tarhuna) are sympathetic to their brothers in the east and share more cultural connection, and Amazigh, misrata, tripoli, they are more maghrebi culture and less sympathetic to the east.

        also to hosni bey, we can dream that libya was not tribal. But..Libya is tribal. this will be true in 100 years. The sooner we accept this reality , the sooner we can focus on solvable issues.

      • mutaz20042000 March 19, 2015 / 11:23 pm

        Thank you for your response.
        Western tribes are more complicated than in the east. Great point you mention that related to their different culture. Definitely, there’s a reason why Some cities in west support and others oppose.

      • Husni Bey March 20, 2015 / 10:44 pm

        Dear Mr S’bayi
        You rightly state that Libya was tribal , past tense..
        We can differ in opinion about the tribal society cannot be made of 4 different roots in one family, to keep it within the family and to limit it to thr 4th degree , you will find out that within your own family you have at least 4 different roots.
        Anyway our argument is about allegiances to political currents through tribal descent , all
        I asked is to make the research simpler by asking respondents:
        Do you agree to involve the tribe in politics ???
        Do you support your tribal chieftains in political decisions???

        I can assure you and without knowing who you are ……. Ask your family members to the 4th degree which side each member does support????
        Rest assured that your findings will be 50% for 30% against and 20% neutral.

        And ask them the above two questions about tribal involvement into politics 80% will answer that tribes must not be involved into politics.

  2. husni bey March 18, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Good try whatever the result assumed.
    But do you think it is logic , in the 21st century , we stand by tribal association and apply the idiom ” I and my brother” or ” I and my cousin” , even if my brother and cousin are in the wrong.???
    Where the right question posed???
    Did we ask what is assumed to be state and supporters and state opposers???
    The 5 Ws … Who, What, Why , When , Where, are meant to mean???

    • mutaz20042000 March 18, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Thanks for your comment.
      This is our reality. I thought we paased these things, but this conflict revealed the truth of us.

      • husni bey March 18, 2015 / 3:42 pm

        Please ask many of those you asked a simpler question .
        Do you agree to involve the tribe in politics ???
        Do you support your tribal chieftains in political decisions???

        Not all of us are good in mathematical equations , you know well that poll taking are structured to conclude prepackaged assumptions.
        Sorry if I insist that Libyans are a civil society . We tested this in the 2011 war and in the oil ports crysis of 2013.

  3. mutaz20042000 March 18, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    You are totally right. Big cities are civil socity and not connected to tribes, but we have other many cities in Libya structured on tribalism. But in wars, tribalism floats up on the surface even in large cities.

  4. suayah March 19, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    Based on your analysis, I would argue that the outcome is “highly unlikely”. Statistically speaking, a survey is as good as the population sample, not to mention the underlying assumptions and survey questionnaire. How do you choose a representative sample of a family of seven is daunting much less sampling a tribe or an entire city or region of a whole nation. The assumptions can bias a survey as much as state under which the survey is constructed and carried out. For instance, how confident are you that residents of Benghazi show 90% support of Operation Dignity when the city is more or less under control of Op Dig forces? People, out of fear, may not be honest with their answers. To conclude that 90% of the people in Benghazi support Op Dig means little without some degree of confidence. Needless to say, I can only imagine the complexity of surveying a city like Tripoli given its higher population density, its metropolitan nature and the dominance of Op Dawn therein. In summary, while appreciative of your efforts and agree that most people in Benghazi do support Op Dig, the 90% assertion is a hard sell.

    • mutaz20042000 March 19, 2015 / 6:35 pm

      Thanks for your comment,
      I gave these persentages as assumption. Based only on my knowledge of my city. How many supporters? We don’t know. But we all know and (I’m confident) the majority of people in Benghazi support OD as the majority of Misrata support Fajer Libya. No one can deny that. These % only as assumption as I stated.
      Again, I appreciate your thoughts on how it’s difficult to do a survey in this time, agree!

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