24 Mar 2014 22:00
Motorcycles, like many other sports or activities considered “savage” or a threat to the Libyan culture, were banned during the Gadhafi area in Libya. But since Gadhafi's regime fell in 2011, motorcycles are making their comeback in the streets of Libya. Fakhri Al-Hassi is one of the first motorcycle riders in the country. He used to ride his bike in the streets of Benghazi during Gadhafi’s rule, but was often arrested and harassed by the police for wearing leather clothes and badges which they said promoted imperialist ideas. Fakhri Al-Hassi, also called “GO Fakhri”, founded the Berynatchi Club in February 2013, through which he now organizes weekly rides with other riders and maintenance workshops. Fakhri’s goal is to improve the image of the biking culture with the Libyan people and the police. Since the revolution, the number of motorcycles in the country exploded and with it the number of road traffic accidents. The biker says it is important that the club is registered with the Libyans authorities and that all the bikers who join it have driving licenses to gain the trust and respect of the Libyan authorities. The club, which is one of the only two bikers club in Eastern Libya and was named after the ancient name of the city, now counts 55 members. For Fakhri, clubs like his are a good example to show that the revolution was not only political, but affected all parts Libyan society.