The Colonel and I: My Life with Gaddafi is the inside story of the extraordinary world of Libya’s fallen dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
For almost half his 42-year reign Daad Sharab was his trusted trouble shooter and confidante – the only outsider to be admitted to his inner circle. Down the years many have written about Gaddafi, but none has been so close.
Now, a decade after the violent death of ‘The Colonel’, she gives a unique insight into the character of a man of many contradictions: tyrant, hero, terrorist, freedom fighter, womaniser, father figure. Her account is packed with fascinating anecdotes and revelations which show Gaddafi in a surprising new light.
Daad witnessed the ruthlessness of a flawed leader who is blamed for ordering the Lockerbie bombing, and she became the go-between for the only man convicted of the atrocity. She does not seek to sugar-coat Gaddafi’s legacy, preferring readers to judge for themselves, but also observed a hidden, more humane side. The leader was a troubled father and compassionate statesman who kept sight of his humble Bedouin roots, and was capable of great acts of generosity.
The author also pulls no punches about how Western politicians, such as Tony Blair, George Bush and Hillary Clinton, shamelessly wooed his oil-rich regime.
Despite her warnings the dictator was ultimately consumed by megalomania and Daad was caught up in his dramatic fall. Falsely accused by Gaddafi’s notorious secret service of being both The Colonel’s mistress and a spy, her story ends in betrayal and imprisonment. Caught up in the Arab Spring uprising, she faced a fight for life as bombs rained down on Libya.