Ibn Thabit

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Ibn Thabit is an anonymous hip hop musician from Libya known for his anti-government songs. Thabit has been living in Libya where any form of dissent was banned by law in Muammar Gaddafi's regime and could have resulted in his being arrested and imprisoned, the primary reason for his using an epithet to preserve his anonymity. Ibn Thabit's music is considered to have given a voice to Libyans who wish to express themselves politically and non-violently despite being disenfranchised.[1] Dissenting cultural figures have been arrested and tortured in a number of countries during the Arab Spring.[2]

Ibn Thabit considers himself to be an ordinary Libyan who is "speaking the thoughts of many Libyan youth".[1] He claims that he is inspired by the people, telling a journalist from the Danish newspaper Information that he was more affected by conversations with fellow Libyans than by anything else.[2] Not much is known about him other than that he is young, male and Libyan.[1] He is thought to be from Tarhunah. Ibn Thabit was one of the early critics of Gaddafi in 2011, the nascent movement building up to a full-fledged civil war, part of the Arab Spring.

'Al-Soo'al' (The Issue)[2]

Muammar: You have never served the people
Muammar: You'd better give up
Confess. You cannot escape
Our revenge will catch you
As a train roars through a wall
We will drown you.

Popular music of kind produced by Ibn Thabit represents the cultural face of the 2011 Libyan civil war. One of his works praises the city of Benghazi.[3][4]

Ibn Thabit has his own website with support from people abroad on which many of his own songs and others produced in collaboration are freely available for download.[4] On his website, Ibn Thabit claims that to have been "attacking Gaddafi" with music since 2008, when he posted his first song, "Moammar - the coward", on the internet.[4]

Lyrics of a song "Al-Soo'al" released by Ibn Thabit on YouTube on 27 January 2011, weeks before the riots began in Libya are indicative of the rebel sentiment.[2] Ibn Thabit's music is featured in a compilation of Arabic Spring resistance rap songs by Khala labelled Khala's Mixtape Volume 1.[2]

Ibn Thabit has also podcast about reconciliation, an important though controversial subject on the Free Libya Podcast.[5] Ibn Thabit uses the internet and social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, webcasting, podcasting and other means to spread his music and message.[5][6][7] He regularly tweets about his music, news and broadcasts messages to the general populace.[7] Ibn Thabit is the first Libyan blogger to blog in Amazigh, a language spoken by the Berber peoples of North Africa.[citation needed]


Contributing artist


  1. ^ a b c Unattributed (8 August 2011). "Ibn Thabit: The Beat Behind Libya's Revolution". Aslan Media. Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Unattributed (20 April 2011). "Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt". Free Muse - Freedom of Musical Expression. Freemuse, Copenhagen, Denmark. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  3. ^ Anderson, Kurt; John, Derek (1 July 2011). "Libya's Soundtrack to the Revolution/". Studio360. Public Radio International. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Nation Public Radio (22 June 2011). "Top Five Arab Spring Hip-Hop Songs". The New Significance (webzine). Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b main (25 July 2011). "Free Libya Podcast: "Reconciliation" – Ibn Thabit & FGMovement Tripoli woman share their views". Free Libya Podcast. Free Libya Fund. Archived from the original (link to audio podcast) on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  6. ^ Ibn Thabit. "Facebook page of "Ibn Thabit"". Facebook. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b Ibn Thabit. "Twitter page of "Ibn Thabit"". Twitter. Retrieved 21 August 2011.

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