88 years ago, Omar Al-Mukhtar died after 20 years of fighting and resistance against the Italian occupation, thus going down in the Arab and Islamic history as “Sheikh of Martyrs” and “Knight of the Desert”.
Al-Mukhtar was hanged by Italian occupiers 88 years ago in Sulooq when he was at the age of 71.
The Sheikh of Martyrs was born in 1862 in Zawiyat Janzour town on the eastern coast near Baer Al-Ashahab village (Cyrenaica at the time). He is a Manfa tribesman – a big tribe in eastern Libya.
September 16 is the day Libyans commemorate the resistance icon Omar Al-Mukhtar who fought against Fascists and rewrote the history of Libya.
Omar Al-Mukhtar was captured by Italians on September 11, 1931 after his horse was injured. When captured, the occupiers were struck by surprise to see that they were held off by the strength of an old man whose soul was young enough to cause the enemy great fears.
Omar Al-Mukhtar united all Libyans against the occupiers in the past, while today, his memory gathers them all around the privilege of having a national flag hovering high across the country.
Hopes are high that the memory and achievements of Omar Al-Mukhtar could bring about unity in Libya around a comprehensive national project so that all Libyans can live freely in their country.