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Scenes of Libyans burning The Green Book, Muammar Gaddafi's three-volume "third way" treatise on social, political and economic matters, may bring a smile to Westerners' lips. But the resonance in Libya is far deeper.

That's because the book plagues them throughout their lives. To be promoted from one grade to the next, every Libyan student must pass a test on the Green Book every year. Anyone who doesn't pass must repeat that year in school. In college, likewise. And anyone who doesn't pass the final Green Book test, both written and oral, doesn't graduate.

So what's in it? Here's a sample my step-daughter has translated from the third chapter of the third volume of the Green Book, wherein Brother Leader discusses the differences between men and women (p. 154). If this reads like notes for a book instead of an actual book, don't blame me. It should be noted that Gaddafi says he liberated women in Libya:


And the woman by her nature.. Why were not only men created.. Why were not only women created.. Then what's the difference between men and women in other words between man and woman, why did the Creator create man and woman? .. That the existence of man and woman and not only man or only woman. There must be a natural necessity for the existence of man and woman and not man or woman only, each one of them is not the other… So, there is a natural difference between the man and the woman, and the evidence for that is the existence of man and woman by creation, and this means that there is certainly a different role for each one of them that differs according to the differences between each one of them. So, there must be different circumstances so that each of them can play their different roles that are different from each other, and is different from the other circumstances that naturally differ from the role itself. And to be able to know this role.. Let's learn about the difference in the natural creation between man and woman. In other words, what are the natural differences between them?

The woman is female, and the man is male … and the woman, according to the gynecologist.. (She menstruates or gets sick every month, and the man does not menstruate because he is male therefore he doesn't get a disease monthly ((a period)). And this disease is periodically, which means every month. It is a bleeding.. Because the woman is a female by nature she gets this bleeding disease every month. And if the woman does not get a period then she is pregnant, and if she got pregnant by nature she becomes sick for almost a year.. In other words, her natural activity becomes paralyzed until she gives birth. And when she gives birth or labor she gets the maternal disease and it is the disease that accompanies the process of giving birth or labor. And the man does not get pregnant therefore he does not get these diseases by nature that the woman gets because she is female. …)

Exam tomorrow.

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