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Gaddafi: weirdest moments

30th August 2011

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The rebel forces in Libya are successfully advancing and reports are now stating that members of Gaddafi’s family have fled to neighbouring Algeria for shelter. Whilst the colonel’s own whereabouts remain unknown, various stories about his earlier escapades have emerged all over the internet. We have listed five of this leader’s strangest habits...

Gaddafi1. Gaddafi on the dangers of football

Leading up to the World Cup in 2006, Gaddafi lets the world know through his blog that he does not approve of football. He warns readers about this dangerous sport, stating that “addicts of the football are the first to be hit by the psychological and nervous sicknesses leading to angina pectoris, strokes, diabetics, blood pressure and early senility”. Apart from jeopardising people’s health, Gaddafi also reckons football matches are bad for international relations and that football, like praying or eating, should be practiced in privacy rather than watched by an audience, in order to create as little trouble as possible.

Gaddafi’s opinions on football were known from before as his reservations kept Libya from having a professional league for many years. This is until Gaddafi’s own son, Saadi, decided that what he really wanted in life was to be a football star. Saadi’s career as a footballer included being a rarely used midfielder for Udinese in Italy’s Serie A and a suspension for steroid use when he played for Perugia in Serie B.

2. Gaddafi’s virgins and camels

A world leader usually brings a fleet of security on foreign visits, but this Libyan colonel takes things to a whole new level. Arriving in Paris in 2007, Gaddafi brought with him 30 blue-uniformed female bodyguards, who all have to swear that they are virgins before that are allowed to protect the colonel’s life.

Along with his female guards Gaddafi also brought a Saharan camel, in order to “greet visitors in the true desert tradition”.

A French foreign ministry spokesman said at the time that Gaddafi’s home traditions of travelling must be understood and that arrangements were going to be made for him so that he could travel accordingly.

3. Gaddafi – the happy camper

As Gaddafi prepares to go to the United States to address the United Nations, he requests permission to pitch his traditional Arabic style Bedouin tent in Central Park. The tent has a history of travelling the world with the Libyan leader and has for example been seen in Belgrade before.

To the colonel’s disappointment the request is denied, so instead he asks permission to pitch his tent at a house owned by the Libyan embassy in New Jersey. Gaddafi is eventually forced to withdraw his request as it meets widespread opposition.

4. Gaddafi proposes abolition of Switzerland

In September 2009 Libya prepares to take over the year-long presidency of the UN general Assembly. Gaddafi decides to start off by filing a rather bizarre motion with the UN – he wants to abolish Switzerland. He had first mentioned his idea at the G8 summit earlier in the year, stating that “Switzerland is a world mafia and not a state. It is formed of an Italian community that should return to Italy, another German community that should return to Germany and a third French community that should return to France”.

It was described as a single-minded campaign against Swiss interests by the Swiss Foreign Ministry.

Gaddafi’s grudge had its roots in the arrest of his son, who was taken in by the police in capital Geneva after accusations that he had harassed a chamber maid.

5. Gaddafi’s secret crush on US politician Condoleezza Rice

As the rebels took over Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli, some secrets of a more personal nature were revealed. What the rebels found was a photo album only containing pictures of US politician and diplomat Condoleezza Rice.

The album does not appear to have an explicit purpose other than for Gaddafi to reminisce about the time he got to meet with Rice in 2008. The Libyan leader has expressed his admiration for Rice previously, stating that he is very proud of her because she is a black woman of African origin.

It is also said the colonel gave Rice gifts worth more than $200,000 when she visited his country. The gifts included a diamond ring, a signed copy of Gaddafi’s personal manifesto and a locket with an engraving of himself inside it. What a charmer.

However, it seems the feelings are not mutual as Rice herself, when hearing about the album, said she found it “deeply bizarre and deeply creepy” and felt no need to see the pictures herself.

Just what the world needs – another lonely, lovesick dictator.

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