By Muammar Gaddafi
(excerpt from a 1977 Speech)
“Brothers, from the desert, a name always in the past associated with aridness and desolation, a Revolution has arisen. Only a few years have passed since its inception, people have, however, forgotten the events that happened shaking the town of Sebha in the late fifties like the birth pangs of a new and great hope. A few years later, the forgetful were astonished to hear the ringing cry which announced the first Proclamation of the Revolution from the city of Benghazi in the late sixties, that Proclamation which shook the land of Libya and demolished all idols and idolatry. Once again, people returned to their daily lives and considered the event a mere military coup like any other. But it was this event which transformed a reactionary kingdom into a progressive Jamahiriya, and which put into effect the evacuation of foreign armies.
“A few years passed, until the historic speech at Zuwara, given on the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, astonished and perplexed the minds of peoples. It was a speech which stirred up those people who had, once again, forgotten.
“Today, one thousand three hundred and ninety-seven years after the birth of the Seal of the Prophets Muhammad, upon whom be peace, and in the same place in which the idea of the Revolution first took shape in the town of Sebha in the heart of the desert, the Proclamation of the establishment of popular authority is made, echoing from one end of the earth to the other, announcing the birth of the Jamahiriya.
“From the desert, the dawn of a new age shines upon humanity, the age of the masses. For the desert is neither arid nor desolate. From the desert, and on this fateful day in the life of our people, nation and mankind, comes forth the ringing voice of a people announcing the establishment of the authority of the people, the birth of the Jamahiriya, the beginning of the age of the masses. From the desert, and in this twentieth century following the birth of Jesus Christ upon whom be peace, our people declare the end of the age of traditional republics, just as the French people declared to the world in the eighteenth century the end of the age of monarchies and the emergence of the republican age. The desert may not bring forth vegetation but it brings forth moral values and gives birth to eternal messages of civilization. Today, in a corner of that same desert, known as the Great Desert, the home of Arabs, Arab Berbers, Arab Tuareg and Tabu Tribes, the cornerstone of the age of Jamahiriyats, the age of the masses, is being laid.”