Donnerstag, 14. März 2013

Alcohol in Libya | Absolut Tripoli

What an irony, already 80 people died in Libya due to consumption of home-made alcohol in bad quality. Here it is called "Bokha" which is a distilled drink made out of dates. In Austria we would simply call it "Schnaps". On the countryside also many Austrians do their own alcohol, and it is well known that it can be very dangerous (deadly as we can see). I won´t go into detail about the tragic death cases - enough has been written in the media about it during the last few days. If you are interested, you might want to read more on the subject in the Libya Herald or even in many international newspapers.
However, the incident brings up a long discussed issue in Libya: Should alcohol be allowed ? And if yes, up to what extend ? Before the revolution it was said that Seif and his group would be backing very strongly a liberalisation of alcohol, as this would be necessary to develop Libya as s tourism destination. However, years passed with people telling international investors in the hospitality sector that it would be "very soon". Already then, there were strong forces in the government who opposed a liberalisation. Rather having no tourists than allowing alcohol (even if it were only in hotels).
The argument was (and still is) that tourists would come in big crowds, even if they would not find alcohol in Libya. Evidence shows a different picture: In 2009 an Italian tour operator started bringing Italian tourists to Dart Eleel (a then newly built hotel close to Sabratah). The idea was to see the magnificent Roman ruins and to relax a bit on an indeed beautiful stretch of Mediterranean beach.
Now imagine yourself a group of true Italian tourists, who, after asking for a cup of red wine for their dinner, were told "Malesh, mafish wine (sorry, no wine)". The news made its way to Italy, and after only very few weeks tourists stopped coming.
Hence, for the last few years (if there was not any other issue which hindered tourists from coming) the only tourism that flourished was the desert tourism.
After all, it is nice to see that a discussion started. I am curious to see the outcome.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Das Thema weiter zu diskutieren, bedeutet sicheren politischen Selbstmord. Oder möchte man den ultimativen Islamisten-Aufstand provozieren und damit den endgültigen Rückfall ins Mittelalter ?