My earliest memory of books is not of reading but of being read to. I spent hours listening, watching the face of the person reading aloud to me.
The Arab Spring is a powerful and compelling response not only to an age of tyranny but also to the remnant chains of imperial influence.
The Arab Spring, with all of its failings and failures, exposed the lie that if we are to live, then we must live as slaves. It was an attempt to undermine not only the orthodoxy of dictatorship but also an international political orthodoxy where every activity must be approved by the profit logic of the 'ledger.'
I've never thought of myself in terms of an identity. I'm always baffled when I encounter someone who gives the impression about being confident about a particular defined identity.
The Qaddafis, father and sons, speak the grammar of dictatorship: threats and bribery.
Over the centuries, close-knit tribes have played an important part in the cohesion of Libyan society.
The cost of Colonel Gaddafi's rule on Libyan society is incalculable.
Switching languages is a form of conversion. And like all conversions, whether it's judged a failure or a success, it excites the desire to leave, go elsewhere, adopt a new language and start all over again. It also means that a conscious effort is demanded to remain still.
From before I was born, we Arabs have been caught between two forces that, seemingly, cannot be defeated: our ruthless dictators, who oppress and humiliate us, and the cynical western powers, who would rather see us ruled by criminals loyal to them than have democratically elected leaders accountable to us.
Political dictatorships take possession not just of money and belongings but of narrative.
When I was 12 years old, living in Cairo, my parents enrolled me in the American school. Most of the Americans there appeared oddly stifled, determined to remain, if not physically then sentimentally, back in the United States.
My parents left Libya in 1979, escaping political repression, and settled in Cairo. I was nine.
Like all novelists, I'm interested in the filters between reality and the imagination.
Like most dictators, Col Gaddafi detests the metropolis. His vision of Libya is a kind of Bedouin romantic medievalism, suspicious of universities, theatres, galleries and cafes, and so monitors the cities' inhabitants with paranoid suspicion.
Libyans are deeply unsettled by Gaddafi and his regime's careless contempt for human life. The dictatorship is willing to employ any methods necessary to remain in power.
We got rid of Muammar Gaddafi. I never thought I would be able to write these words.
Gaddafi tried to give a masterclass to men like the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, on how to crush a civilian uprising.
We have defeated Gaddafi on the battlefield; now we must defeat him in our imagination. We must not allow his legacy to corrupt our dream. Let's keep focused on the true prize: unity, democracy, and the rule of law. Let's not seek revenge; that would diminish our future.
One of the dark truths about dictators - and it applies to Gaddafi - is that on some level, they love their people. But it is a strange love. It says, 'I love you for me; I don't love you for you.' That rhymes with a certain kind of Libyan father who was always certain about what was good for those around him. Those fathers lose in the end.
Gaddafi's ability to have survived so long rests on his convenient position in not being committed to a single ideology and his use of violence in such a theatrical way.