As the owner of a hotel in 1960s Libya, Mohamed Nga lived in the rarefied circles of Tripoli’s cosmopolitan society. His son, photographer Jehad Nga, writes about his father’s life before the Gaddafi regime.
My father is used to waiting.
In one form or another, he has spent 41 years doing just that. My earliest memories of my dad are of him sitting on the sofa glued to the TV, watching the news while my brother and I grew around him. In a room housed inside one of the many hotels that became our family’s temporary nest, life resembled that of a normal family’s for a few days. On occasion, in our home in London, he would appear and drift away like a spirit — something we learned to live with. In some ways, I think he was waiting for a glimmer on the horizon, a memory that had fallen deep inside him and hadn’t been seen since the fall of 1969. It’s as if his watch had stopped that September, and like him, it waited for time worth telling to resume.
In the 1960s, my father was the owner of a hotel and casino named the Uaddan, which overlooked the coast in Tripoli. In my early years, I remember hearing stories of life inside the hotel before Muammar Gaddafi spearheaded the September revolution of 1969. As I got older, I began to see a pattern in the stories my father told. Seldom did he reminisce about moments th… >>>