Mr. Saad Sati embodies the idea of a true patriot, whilst the rest of us carry out online slacktivism via Facebook and vote for leaders running their campaign based on Change and Hope on Election Day, Mr. Sati was out stealing trucks from the government he hated and helped take down one of the longest serving tyrants of all time. One day in 2005 he was tired of his governments overbearing grip on his land and he decided to learn more about what the outside world and how democracy worked via the internet. In 2011 the Arab Spring took neighboring Tunisia by storm and lead to a new political awakening, the same happened in Egypt, then it came to Libya. Mr. Sati was well arguably ill prepared in a materials sense, he had the motives but he lacked the wheels and weapons, to assist in the revolution he stole himself a ZX Auto Grand Tiger from a government compound in Benghazi and set about rounding up deserting Government soldiers before eventually turning it into a mobile artillery piece, against the advice of a renegade colonel who suggested to only use Toyota Land Cruisers for such heavy hitting work.
Mr Saad Sati got in touch with us to tell us about his war exploits, but it was clear that our far below average Arabic skills were not going to be of use. We asked our long term friend Kareem Karmel, who experienced his own Arab Spring in Egypt, to help with translation, however real thanks goes to his wife, Sarah Abolnaga, who was able to bring Mr. Sati’s story to life with her fantastic translation skills.
Before I go into details, I would like to introduce myself. I have been a political activist against the Libyan regime since 2005. Despite the fact of subsequent control over the internet connection through a high technology French company, I was able to carry out my mission through blogs, emails and coverage of events the moment they happen in the country.
(For more information, kindly log on: http://benghazi-17-2-2006.blogspot.com/)
As a result of the major success of both Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, I have decided (specifically on 17th February, 2011) to join â€“through Facebook- the Libyan people and fight for their cause to overthrow the Libyan tyrannical regime.
The main reason of choosing this exact date is that it marked the fifth anniversary for the 17th February uprising that took place in Benghazi back in 2006. This uprising resulted successfully in the suppression of Qaddafiâ€™s troops at the time*.
However, what really triggered in me that buried patriotic feeling is the time (after my flight back from Turkey) I undergone the most provocative routinely security checks in the Libyan airport. Also, watching the cold blood murdering of young and innocent youth rioters using anti-aircraft artillery to hunt them down with no warning or mercy. Â Only then, I was positive that the revolution is coming, no matter what!
The Libyan revolution is a natural consequence to what has been going on in the country over the past years under Qadaffiâ€™s leadership: from irresponsible, improvised, unorganized policies and squandering of countryâ€™s wealth in supporting organizations and disordering in Africa and many other parts of the world (Unfortunately, this created many problems and thus created issues that has negatively affected Libyaâ€™s dominance and future) to the petroleum yields that have been directed personally to him and his family that surely shows bypassing the country interests(from technology to infrastructure). Also, what has been a natural spark to the revolution fire is the underestimating of the Libyan people that was shown through throwing innocent Libyans in jail with no trails, unjustified group executions and corruption that lasted for over 42 years and resulted in Libyan retardation and backwardness.
Regarding how I got that truck, since the year 2008-2009, these cars have been brought to the youngsters who were born in the debut year of Qaddafi as a Libyan leader (1-9-1969), to his close friends and relatives through certain links, but were stored and neglected till the revolution because of raised differences upon how they should be distributed and because they were supposed to be â€œToyotaâ€labeled. These cars were stored in different Libyan cities with estimated numbers of 3000 in Benghazi, 5000 in Misrata and Tripoli. **
*(Worth mentioning, as a consequence for unprecedented Libyan troops assaulting attacks, the uprising movement started two days earlier (15th February,2006))
**(A few of these stored cars were burnt. However,back in the summer of 2010,upon my visit to Misrata, I located the left-over cars still packed up under dust and sun for over a year in a certain youth center which appeared Â back then to be their final destiny.)
On 20th February, 2012, upon the emancipation of Benghazi, fleeing soldiers because of grenades and tearing down Qadaffiâ€™s camp wall (which was located in the middle of the city) using heavy artillery, a group of people headed to a Chinese cars warehouse in a suburban area there, used the cars to track down the escaped soldiers and to enclose the city. Starting from here, these cars were used for facility preservation purposes.
After the first spark of the Libyan liberation, the idea of equipping cars with artillery was established. One day, I heard an emergency appeal over the local radio to hand in these cars to be used to break free civilians who were enrolled in training camps. Being a pioneer in using heavy artillery, I took the initiative of equipping the car and placed an iron base with fixed rocket launchers (which was a plus point in comparison to the other rioters), ammunition boxes in addition to two passengers!
The car really proved its launch strength, engine strength (though it has not been checked for its periodical maintenance) and stability as the driving speed was very high together with the attached heavy load. Another success of the car was the ability to use the heavy artillery smoothly, throwing caution to the wind even with the advice of a colonel not to do so as it has been proven to be dangerous and life- threatening since it is not a Toyota Land Cruiser (which has been proven to endure actions as such).***
Not only did it exceed all the expectations, but also acted as a catalyst in the process of the Libyan revolution as it was used by almost all the rioters to explore surrounding deserts and carry out their own maneuversÂ which accelerated Qaddafiâ€™s overthrowing and gave the rioters the upper hand in the revolution.
Aside from all of this, I would like to share my own personal experience after taking the car for a drive. It is more than wonderful! It is smoothly and comfortably driven that gives you the feeling of a professional driver which surely boots your self-confidence. It is easily mastered through the hands and legs of different drivers with different driving capabilities, night or day without a care for engine or oil check!
I, myself is a preserver kind. Over four months, the car was only used for 33000 km (i.e. 300 km per day) to be part of the Misrata fight for liberty (as I am a Misrata descendant) and participate in the Ajdabiyan war for freedom(where we were engaged with Qaddafiâ€™s troops and bombarded a fuel tank). Also, it came in handy for the exploring missions carried out in El Barqa, Ras Lanouf, Ben Jawad and the Red Valley which is near Sirte, Qaddafiâ€™s home city.
I could now proudly recommend this car to others as it is efficiently effective. However, I would appreciate it much more if I was able to buy the latest model (2012) with the same previously mentioned qualifications!
When the Libyan revolution rings a bell, this very specific Chinese car will definitely be the one to answer!
P.S: There are plenty of images on line that could be used as a credible source to show the modifications that altered the car to turn into such a strong shield in the face of tyranny!
For further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Check out the rest of Mr. Sati’s pictures in this gallery:
Again – Thanks to Mr. Sati for telling us his story, and thanks again to Sarah for being able to pass on his story in a way that we could all understand.