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A bookstore is thriving – in Tripoli?

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Francois Mori/AP

(Read caption) Today some Libyans are feeling freer to read – and write – what they like.

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It's only been a week since rebels fighting the government of Muammar Qaddafi took the nation's capital city of Tripoli. But the AFP is already reporting that a "spritely septuagenarian" bookseller named Mohammed Ali al-Bahbahy has joyously reopened his store – one of the first businesses to do so.

"I opened this used bookstore to fight ignorance" under Qaddafi, Bahbahy told the AFP. The shop which was founded in 1995, was described by Bahbahy as "a safe haven for those with an appetite for culture and a desire to discuss politics freely but 'behind closed doors.' "

Bahbahy described the way that Qaddafi "killed the local culture of reading."


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