By Said Ibicioglu
Struggling to practice journalism since the 2011 uprising, 29-year-old Yousuf Salim Badi spoke to Anadolu Agency about the difficulties associated with news reporting in war-weary Libya.
“As a journalist, it’s worse if the war is in your own neighborhood,” he said. “People you know are getting shot and you don't know which to reach
Badi recalled how the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi had begun peacefully before quickly spiraling out of control.
He recalled how Gaddafi's troops had attacked the northwestern city of Misrata, where the local community was given no choice but to take sides.
“So I joined local youth in documenting the crimes being committed by the regime,” he said, stressing his role as an unarmed civilian and journalist.
“The protestors knew nothing about war. Some carried weapons they had stolen from the regime,” he recalled.
“Almost everyone in our group was eventually killed. I was the only one to survive without any injuries,” Badi said.
“After Gaddafi’s troops were repulsed,” he added, “those of us who remained began advancing on Tripoli.”
Recalling how he came under fire by snipers during a rescue operation, Badi said: "It’s awful to have to take photos of fallen friends. You’re torn between taking him to an ambulance and taking a photo.”
“I was traumatized,” he remembers. “One of my relatives -- a field commander for the revolutionaries -- was shot dead right next to me. I took pictures of his dead body while fighting back tears.”
"In 2016, when they launched the campaign against the Daesh terrorist group, I became involved with certain armed groups,” Badi said. “At one point, I was caught in a crossfire and took a bullet in my shoulder.”
According to Badi, foreign intervention will not succeed in bringing stability to Libya.
“The revolution [against Gadaffi] had a positive effect on the people, who had a sense of freedom for the first time in their lives," he said.
“Unfortunately, some people can’t handle this freedom, which can manifest itself in
“Before the uprising,” he went on to explain, “the Libyan people had been oppressed; no one had any hope for the future.”
“Although we lived in an [oil-] rich state, people were poor because wealth was unevenly distributed,” he said.
Badi also criticized the international community -- especially the Arab League -- for failing to help resolve Libya’s ongoing crisis, asserting that Turkey had been of more help in this regard than most Arab countries.
“Since the civil war erupted, Turkey has provided Libya’s poor and disabled with medical services and infrastructure,” he said.