Genocide in Libya: Shar, a Hidden Colonial History, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Genocide in Libya

Shar, a Hidden Colonial History, 1st Edition

By Ali Abdullatif Ahmida


232 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2020-08-07
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This original research on the forgotten Libyan genocide, specificially recovers the hidden history of the fascist Italian concentration camps (1929 – 1934) through the oral testimonies of Libyan survivors. This book links the Libyan genocide through cross-cultural and comparative readings to the colonial roots of the Holocaust and genocide studies.

Between 1929 and 1934, thousand of Libyans lost their lives, directly murdered and fell victims to Italian deportations and internments. They were forcibly removed from their homes, marched across vast tracks of deserts and mountains, and confined behind barbed wire in 16 concentration camps. It is a story that Libyans have recorded in their Arabic oral history and narratives while remaining hidden and unexplored in a systematic fashion, and never in the manner that has allowed us to comprehend and begin to understand the extent of their existence.

Based on the survivors’ testimonies, which took over ten years of fieldwork and research to document, this new and original history of the genocide is a key resource for readers interested in genocide and holocaust studies, colonial and post-colonial studies and African and Middle Eastern studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thinking About Forgotten Libyan Genocide

1. Where are the Survivors: The Politics of Missing Archives and Fieldwork

2. Eurocentrism, Silence and Memory of Genocide

3. We Died Because of Shar, Evil My Son: Survivors’ Stories of Death and Trauma in the Camps

4. After the Genocide: Hidden, and State Histories

5. Postscript: Rethinking Postcolonial State Formation, Crisis and Collapse in Libya

Conclusion: Toward a Paradigm Shift

About the Author

Ali Abdullatif Ahmida is a professor and founding chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of New England, USA. His speciality is political theory, comparative politics, and historical sociology. His scholarship focuses on power, agency and anti-colonial resistance in North Africa, especially modern Libya.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Africa / North
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies