December 25, 1976 |
Tripoli, Libyan Arab Republic
|Allegiance||Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya|
Ayesha Gaddafi (or Aisha, Arabic: عائشة القذافي, born December 25, 1976), also known as Aicha Al-Kadhafi, is a former Libyan mediator and military official, former UN Goodwill Ambassador, and lawyer by profession. She is the fifth child and only daughter of former Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi by his second wife Safia Farkash.
She is currently under a travel ban and has been stripped of her titles working with the UN.
She trained with the Libyan military, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In 2000 after sanctions were imposed on Iraq, she arrived in Baghdad with a delegation of 69 officials. Shortly before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, she met with Saddam Hussein. In 2011, she strongly protested the policies of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama, calling for a mediation of the Libyan Civil War through an international organization which would exclude them.
UN Goodwill Ambassador
Ayesha Gaddafi was appointed as the United Nations Development Program National Goodwill Ambassador for Libya on 24 July 2009, primarily to address the issues of HIV/AIDS, poverty and women's rights in Libya, all of which are culturally sensitive topics in the country. In February 2011 the United Nations stripped Ayesha of her role as a goodwill ambassador.
Libyan civil war
She was placed under a travel ban on 26 February 2011, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970.
Gaddafi sued NATO over the bombing of a building in her father's compound which she alleged killed her brother, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, and her own infant daughter. She claimed that the attack was illegal because it targeted civilian buildings. Gaddafi's lawyers filed the petitions in Brussels and Paris in June 2011. However, on 27 July 2011, it was reported that Belgian prosecutors had declined to investigate the war crimes complaint filed by Gaddafi against NATO, stating that the courts of Belgium lacked jurisdiction to deal with the matter. On 3 June 2012, through her lawyer Nick Kaufman, Ayesha Gaddafi also petitioned the judges of the International Criminal Court requesting that they order the Prosecutor - Fatou Bensouda to disclose what steps she had taken to investigate the murder of her father and brother Mutassim Gaddafi. This application was opposed by the Prosecutor who stated that requiring her to disclose the requested information would intrude on prosecutorial independence and discretion and potentially impede the investigation itself.
Battle of Tripoli
As the Battle for Tripoli reached a climax in mid-August, the Gaddafi family were forced to abandon their fortified compound. On 22 August, Libyan rebels captured her house in the Battle of Tripoli. Among her possessions was a golden sofa shaped like a mermaid, with the face of Ayesha designed by an Egyptian artist.
Flight to Algeria
On 27 August 2011, it was reported by the Egyptian news agency Mena that Libyan rebel fighters had seen six armoured Mercedes-Benz sedans, possibly carrying top Gaddafi regime figures, cross the border at the south-western Libyan town of Ghadames towards Algeria, which at the time was denied by the Algerian authorities. On 29 August, the Algerian government officially announced that Safia Farkash together with Ayesha and her brothers Muhammad and Hannibal (along with his wife Aline Skaf), had crossed into Algeria early on 29 August. An Algerian Foreign Ministry official said all the people in the convoy were now in Algiers, and that none of them had been named in warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes charges. Mourad Benmehidi, the Algerian permanent representative to the United Nations, later confirmed the details of the statement. The family had arrived at a Sahara desert entry point, in a Mercedes and a bus at 8:45 a.m. local time. The exact number of people in the party was unconfirmed, but there were “many children” and they did not include Colonel Gaddafi. The group was allowed in on humanitarian grounds, because Ayesha was pregnant and near her term. The Algerian government had since informed the head of the National Transitional Council. Libya's rebels said sheltering Gaddafi family members was an act of aggression, and called for their extradition.
On 30 August 2011 it was announced that Ayesha had given birth to a baby girl in the town of Djanet. They were reportedly being confined by the Algerian government to a villa in Staoueli near Algiers, and were being cut off from outside communications. In October 2012 she, along with two of her brothers and other family members left Algeria to go to Oman, where they were granted political asylum.
Ayesha was dubbed in the Arab press as the "Claudia Schiffer of North Africa," because of her dyed hair. In 2006 she married Ahmed al-Gaddafi al-Qahsi, a cousin of her father's and an army colonel. Her husband was killed in the 26 July bombing of Gaddafi’s compound. They had three children prior to the fall of the regime, one of whom was killed along with one of her brothers in a NATO airstrike. Algerian authorities confirmed that she gave birth to her fourth child, a baby girl, on 30 August 2011, shortly after arriving there after fleeing Libya with other members of the Gaddafi family.
- "Aisha, Gaddafi's only daughter". The Telegraph (London). 22 March 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Sullivan, Kimberly L. (2008). Muammar Al-Qaddafi's Libya. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 129. ISBN 0822586665, ISBN 978-0-8225-8666-1.
- "Gaddafi’s children as controversial as father". Al Arabiya News. 23 February 2011. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Binlot, Ann (26 April 2011). "Aisha Qaddafi taunts Clinton and Obama". CBS News. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "Dr. Aisha Gaddafi Appointed UN Goodwill Ambassadorr". The Tripoli Post. 24 July 2009.
- "Aisha Gadhafi: 5 Facts on Moammar Gadhafi's Only Daughter". AOL News. 23 February 2011.
- "UN drops Gaddafi's daughter as goodwill ambassador". Times of India. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Video: Protesters earlier today storming Aisha Gaddafi’s house in Tripoli". The Libyan Youth Movement. 22 August 2011.
- Harding, Luke; Chulov, Martin; Stephen, Chris (29 August 2011). "Gaddafi's family escape Libya net to cross into Algeria". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "Libya conflict: Gaddafi family 'flee to Algeria'". BBC News. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "Gaddafi's wife, 3 children cross into Algeria". Hindustan Times (Algiers). Indo-Asian News Service. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- McElroy, Damien (5 September 2011). "Libya: Gaddafi wife and children holed up in Algerian villa". The Telegraph (Algiers). Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "Muammar Gaddafi's family take refuge in Oman". The Telegraph. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- "Aisha Gaddafi gives birth to baby girl hours after fleeing to Algeria". The Washington Post. 30 August 2011.