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"Before, I was not even daring to look at girls as wife material, because I knew I could not afford" to get married, say Faqiar now.
These days, though, Faqiar wears the mismatched camouflage of Libya’s rebels and a dashing bandana on his head, pirate-style. He is a veteran of battles for Libyans’ freedom from Qaddafi’s regime — and it’s the women who are talking to him.
I didn’t care about them at all," said Esra’a el-Gadi, 20.
"Now I look at them in a totally new light — they stood up against Qaddafi.
Hundreds of excited young women and girls in head scarves mingled near rifle-toting young men, a novelty in this conservative country that was overwhelming to members of both genders in the crowd that night. His comrades listening around him voiced agreement. Nearby, young women — a group of cousins and neighbors, clustered together, in long skirts and shirts and head coverings — said the same, and laughed about taking their pick of a husband from among the rebels when the war was done.
Before the revolution, young men her age "were just lazing around in the streets, no future.
He spoke on the sidelines of a camel and couscous feast that the people in this Tripoli suburb threw for several thousand young rebels, after slaughtering 10 camels.
"Girls around the area come up to you and say, ‘Thank you!
You made us proud, you made us happy,’" Faqiar told me one night recently.
JANZOUR, Libya – When it comes to love, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s Libya was unlucky for unmarried 33-year-old truck driver Ahmed Nori Faqiar.
His looks would have benefited if his parents could ever have sprung for a dentist.
Lack of means forced him to live unhappily at his childhood home well into adulthood.
Marriage, a home of his own, kids — all are dreams that the wiry Libyan had long ago steeled himself to stop hoping for.