Last Update: Wed Feb 23, 2011 02:45 pm (KSA) 11:45 am (GMT)

Gaddafi’s children as controversial as father

Saif al-Islam and Ayesha are the most famous of Muammar Gaddafi’s children  

Saif al-Islam and Ayesha are the most famous of Muammar Gaddafi’s children

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has a total of eight children, one with his first wife Fathia Khaled and seven with his second wife Safia Farkash, who was his nurse. According to WikiLeaks, a third woman, his personal nurse, has come to the forefront.

Mohammed Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son from the first marriage, is an engineer who heads the Libyan Olympic Committee that owns 40% of the Libyan Beverage Company. He is also head of the General Post and the Telecommunication Committee.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, an architect, is the eldest son with the Libyan leader’s second marriage. He graduated from al-Fateh University in Tripoli in 1994. Saif al-Islam is most known for his chairmanship of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF).

According to WikiLeaks, Saif al-Islam’s role as the spokesman of the Libyan regime has been both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because it strengthened his position in the West and a curse because it made Libyans consider him a subordinate of foreign countries. He was also criticized by conservatives for his love of women and partying.

Saif al-Islam is not on good terms with his brothers Mutassim, Hannibal, al-Saadi and his sister Ayesha.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi, known for his obsession with football, is a shareholder in his favorite football club -- Italy's Juventus -- and is also head of the Libyan national team. Saadi also heads a military battalion.

Saadi was described by WikiLeaks as a man with a turbulent past who is known for misbehavior including clashes with the police in Europe, especially Italy, taking drugs and alcohol as well as throwing extravagant parties.

Hannibal’s diplomatic crises

Hannibal Gaddafi, consultant to Management Committee of the General Libyan Marine Transport Organization that monopolizes the transport of Libyan fuel, was arrested in 2008 in Geneva with his wife for mistreatment of two maids. This led to a diplomatic crisis between Libya and Switzerland.

According to his Lebanese wife Aline Skaf, they both met in 2003 in Copenhagen. She lived in Paris after marrying him then she moved to Lebanon and used to go to Paris occasionally.

Hannibal once beat Skaf up while in a hotel in Switzerland six years ago when she was pregnant. This incident took place in the hotel’s café a few days before she gave birth to their only son.

Hannibal beat his wife until she fainted. Employees at the café saw he was armed, so they attacked him and seized the weapon. After Skaf was transferred to the hospital, the police arrested Hannibal.

Hannibal is also known for running a red traffic light in Paris while driving his luxurious car in 2004. The police chased him for a long time until they were finally able to arrest him.

Hannibal appeared for the first on the French radar screens when he was driving under the influence at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour. He was arrested then released for his diplomatic immunity.

Lieutenant General Ayesha

Ayesha, Gaddafi’s only daughter, is a Lieutenant General in the Libyan army and was a mediator between her country and the corporations of the European Union. A book was written about her life under the title Ayesha Muammar Gaddafi: Princess of Peace, by Geneva-based Tunisian writer Sami al-Jalouli. The 92-page book tells Ayesha’s autobiography in 16 chapters.

In 2006, Ayesha got married to Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, her father’s cousin and an officer in the Libyan army. Ayesha, who was known as the Claudia Schiffer of Libya for imitating the German actress before wearing the veil, is said to be her father’s favorite.

Ayesha met with late president Saddam Hussein before the fall of his regime and headed his defense team after he was arrested by American troops. Before this, in 2000 when sanctions were imposed on Iraq, she boarded a Libyan plane and arrived in Baghdad on top of a delegation made up of 69 officials. There, Ayesha said that her father will be the first Arab leader to visit Iraq by air despite the blockade, but he never did.

When Hannibal was arrested by the Swiss police in 2007, she threatened to get back at Switzerland for devising what she labeled “a cheap conspiracy” to defame her family and vowed to take all the necessary measure to preserve the dignity of Libyans abroad.

Mutassim, Khamis, Saif al-Arab

According to WikiLeaks, Mutassim Gaddafi is his father’s national security advisor and in this capacity he met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2008, he requested an amount of $1.2 billion to establish a security unit similar to the one headed by his younger brother Khamis.

Between 2001 and 2005, Mutassim lost several of his companies when his brothers took advantage of his absence to control his businesses.

Khamis Gaddafi, a captain in the Libyan army, is the leader of the 32nd brigade, based in the Mediterranean city of Benghazi.

Saif al-Arab Gaddafi is the most low-profile of Gaddafi’s sons and spends most of his time in Germany.


(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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