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Longreads Member Exclusive: Letter from Kufra, by Clare Morgana Gillis

This week's Member Pick is "Letter from Kufra," a story by Clare Morgana Gillis, first published in the summer 2012 issue of The American Scholar. Gillis, who was featured on Longreads for her report after being captured in Libya, explains.
PUBLISHED: May 29, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2733 words)

What I Lost in Libya

They blindfolded us and stuffed us into a small sedan, three tall people with their hands bound behind them. This is what they mean by a “stress position,” I remember thinking. I don’t know how long that ride lasted—two hours, three?—but it seemed longer. The car’s sound system played a somber remix of Qaddafi’s famous “zenga zenga” speech—in which he pledged to purge Libya “alley by alley”—set to the martial theme of the movie 300. At the point in the speech when the Leader rhetorically demands “Who are you?” the guard who was riding shotgun instructed us, “Say it, say Qaddafi.” “Qaddafi,” I mumbled.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 1, 2011
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5333 words)