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Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown: Libya

Aired February 25, 2015 - 21:00   ET


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, PARTS UNKNOWN HOST: For most of my life Libya was a word with bad associations. Libya meant Gadhafi. Libya meant terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pan Am Flight 103 went down in a blazing fireball.

BOURDAIN: Libya meant a bad place where a comical, megalomaniacal dictator was the absolute power. Nobody in Libya, however, was laughing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reports of explosions.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Clashes between rioters and security forces.

BOURDAIN: In 2011, what was previously unthinkable happened. The Libyan people rose up and fought for their freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Heavy battles raging around the Libyan capital.

BOURDAIN: They fought like hell.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The rebels are about to force Gadhafi's complete departure.

BOURDAIN: And they recorded the whole thing in their cell phones.


BOURDAIN: Its amazing arriving here after all you see on T.V. these days that Libya is, in fact, functioning at all. But it is. The fountains across from the Kornish are operating. Traffic works, kind of. At the Radisson, club sandwiches arrive on time in the lobby. The occasional flash of camo (ph) and a security scanner are the really only discordant notes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want to take the...

BOURDAIN: Yes. We probably don't, OK.

Inside the old part of the city, men slaughter a camel, while a girl records it with her iPad.

No, they're not home. OK, he said no.

Kids are setting off fireworks in the Medina.


Tomorrow is the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, and people who have not known freedom for nearly 50 years are ready to celebrate. The Martyrs' Square was filled with families, kids, teenage skater boys and hotshots on motorcycles.

It's wild. An almost giddily happy. Young men in the camouflage pants of the militias, most of whom were civilians until last year, do their best to sporadically keep order or just join in the fun. Every kid above the age of 5 seems to have been issued a lighter and a fistful of fireworks. Ambulances idle on the margins of the square to treat fireworks-related injuries, which there will be many.

This is Tripoli. After 42 years of nightmare. How to build a whole society overnight and make it work in one of the most contentious and difficult areas of the world is what people are trying to figure out.

So before the war, did you think it would ever be possible?


BOURDAIN: Did you dream someday this will change?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. In Gadhafi's country, you can't say a word. You get killed. That's it. It was impossible. Then I joined the group, you know?



BOURDAIN: Omar is young and was even younger when the fighting started. He, like so many Libyans from around the country and many who had left, heeded the calls for revolution on Facebook and Twitter. They fought in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and everywhere in between.

Who won this war, young people or everybody?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody. But the young people, they started it.

BOURDAIN: What was your day like as a revolutionary?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You keep one thought in your mind. You do this for the next generation, for a better country, for better life.

BOURDAIN: You have a future now.


BOURDAIN: Before people -- you know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no future in Libya before Gadhafi's regime. We are not going to sugarcoat it. We are slaves for the Gadhafi. BOURDAIN: This looks good.


BOURDAIN: Baracuda is a seafood restaurant just out of town on the Mediterranean coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the best foods in Libya, I think, the seafood.

BOURDAIN: The menu is not printed on paper. It's laid out right there for you on ice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have (inaudible) here.

BOURDAIN: What do they do? They just grill that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they grill it. Some garlic, some sauce. It's really awesome.

BOURDAIN: You pick out the stuff that interests you from the daily catch.

OK. Let's get one of these. One of these.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some shrimps. Calamari, too.

BOURDAIN: They cook it for you the way you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grilled (inaudible).

BOURDAIN: Oh, beautiful. Wow. That's delicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the stuffed calamari, Libyan style. So many seafood stuffed inside of it. Like a turkey.

BOURDAIN: Good sauce. Man, we are living large today.


BOURDAIN: So what were you doing before the war?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a travel agent.

BOURDAIN: You were a travel agent?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I was studying too, medical school.

BOURDAIN: Many of the people who started the revolution, who fought in the streets with makeshift weapons, were like Omar. Medical students, garage mechanics, or simply teenagers. They transformed themselves in a matter of months from kids playing PlayStation to hardened fighters and field menace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody believed that he can be removed, really.

BOURDAIN: Extraordinary.


BOURDAIN: How quickly after the uprising started did you begin to think that, "Wow, this is possible, that we might actually win?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first day of the uprising.

BOURDAIN: First day?


BOURDAIN: The day before, you figured, impossible, we'll be stuck with this son of a bitch forever.


BOURDAIN: And then a few hours later it's like, wow, this might work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seeing groups with you going toward the Martyrs Square, demanding their rights, at that moment you feel that you can do anything. That this is going to happen. If it didn't, we'll die trying to do it. At least I would die like men doing it.

BOURDAIN: So much has changed around town. So much is changing. New music, graffiti. These things, they mean something. But centuries of strict social and religious values keep some things solidly the same. Alcohol, for instance, is strictly forbidden. Men and women follow hierarchical roles as before. Since the revolution, there's a tug-of- war over what is acceptable.

Outside a mosque in the medina, men fill the narrow street to celebrate Mohammed's birthday. Snacks are passed around. Women watch and record from the rooftops.

You know, I head a lot of conflicts in the world where there's a clear bad guy. Clearly there's a bad guy here.

MICHEL COUSINS, CO-FOUNDER, THE LIBYA HERALD: Exactly. I mean, the one thing about Gadhafi is he believed he was the most important human being almost that ever existed. I mean, he changed the names of the months. He changed the date of the Islamic calendar, such megalomania. And as you well know, anyone outside, if you mentioned the word Libya, everyone would just say Gadhafi. Gadhafi stole the identity of Libya.

BOURDAIN: Michel Cousins is the co-founder of English language paper "The Libya Herald" and has known several different Libyas in his lifetime.

COUSINS: For so long the news has been the personality. Gadhafi turned up to open a shopping center. Gadhafi turned up to open an envelope. Those of us who knew Libya, who knew there was another Libya, wonderful people. We would talk about it as you talk about a dead person. Do you remember this? Do you remember that? And then in February 2011, suddenly there was resurrection. The dead came back to life.

BOURDAIN: We meet at a Libyan coffeehouse, a traditional male-only sort of a joint. Cafe culture is big here. A holdover from the days of Italian colonization when Mussolini tried to rebuild Rome's long lost empire.

COUSINS: It's just been the most amazing experience seeing the rebirth of a country, of a people.

BOURDAIN: I mean, last night's fireworks. There was a general sense of exuberance bordering on anarchy. I mean, I felt very happy there last night, if somewhat in peril.

COUSINS: It's Christmas. It's whatever, it's the Fourth of July rolled into one. But -- and also there are people who are trying to stop it. So puritans, extremists, if you want to say militants. And what has happened is people have come out in defiance of that. They're showing, we want to have fun. And remember for a long time in Libya, you couldn't have fun.

The biggest misconception is that the place is turning into another Afghanistan and Iraq where you've got bombs go off, attacks. But it's not, as you've seen. Libyans have gone through an awful time having fought for freedom. People have died. People have struggled. And that's going to hold them together.


BOURDAIN: Kids are selling fireworks across from the Marcus Aurelius arch. One is constantly reminded that Libya was once a vital part of the ancient Roman Empire. That was nearly 2,000 years ago. Tonight I was told was going to be an even bigger, wilder celebration in Martyrs Square. But something has happened since last night. The British Foreign Office has just told all U.K. citizens to leave Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, due to an unspecified threat.

The Libyan government, such as it is, has denied any basis for such drastic action. A lone cherry bomb now and again, an awkward flurry of Roman candles. The buzz of last night's chaotic partying parched, big time. Whether or not this is the result of the larger geopolitical situation, the vibe toward this western film crew seems apprehensive, uncertain.

The following day feels better, somewhat. Fresh produce is for sale on Tripoli streets. If you were a small restaurant, or shopping for a big family, you'd bring cash, a wheelbarrow, and load up on what you need. But the revolution has brought changed tastes. Libyans, especially young Libyans, hunger for more than just freedom. They hunger for places like this.

Kentucky Fried -- Uncle Kentaki Fried Chicken. OK.

The Colonel, and his buddies, the king and the clown, have not quite made it here given the uncertainty of the situation. So in the meantime, places like this have been popping up.

Uncle Kentaki, awesome. You know where Kentucky is?

JAWHAR, EX-FREEDOM FIGHTER: Mr. Kentaki was from the USA.

BOURDAIN: A part. Yes.


BOURDAIN: This place is new?

JAWHAR: Yeah. It's new. Before Gadhafi..

BOURDAIN: It's impossible.

JAWHAR: Yeah. And now it's normal.

BOURDAIN: Oh, that's nice.

JAWHAR: How you found it?

BOURDAIN: Spicy, delicious.

Jawhar, like many Libyans his age, fought to overthrow Gadhafi. He was there, gun in hand, when they stormed Gadhafi's palace compound.

Happy, excited?


JAWHAR: It's give to me nice feeling. Nice feeling that Gadhafi -- he's killed my cousin. How we should be feeling? Exactly I'm feeling good because I want to kill them. I don't want -- I don't want to see anyone die anymore. He has killed for nothing. The first time I think that killing people is bad. But he's leave me do that. Because if I don't kill him, he'd kill me.

BOURDAIN: Right. It's nice to see freedom. It's nice to see the bad guy gone. It's nice. I feel welcome here.

JAWHAR: Finally. We say no on him. He's now died. That's what we wanted.

BOURDAIN: To Jawhar, a few pieces of greasy fried chicken eaten in a brightly colored fast food setting means something more than a calorie bomb.

JAWHAR: That's we why fight. That's we why give it all of blood for my country because I want the feeling that, the taste of freedom.

BOURDAIN: The taste of freedom.

JAWHAR: It's a nice taste.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the food place good?

BOURDAIN: Good. Good food. Outside Tripoli's center, there's this. One time axis of all power and untold evil. A huge complex and sinister offices, barracks, residences, on top of erratic war and of secret tunnels and underground facilities. The Bab al-Azizia, Gadhafi's enormous compound. Most everything belonging to or associated with Gadhafi was destroyed.

NATO continually bombed strategic locations within the compound and on August 23rd, 2011, it fell to rebels. Gadhafi and his family having fled. This is what's left of Gadhafi's palace.

So when's the last time you were here?

OMAR: Last time is when the revolution is finishing. The machinery, going in first fighting.


OMAR: After then, the people.


OMAR: After then, coming a lot of people, normal people. Listening about something expensive here.


OMAR: Like the salt and like the gold and...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop now. Stop now.


BOURDAIN: They want us to stop filming right now.


BOURDAIN: While talking, we didn't notice several pickup trucks of local militia had closed in on us.


BOURDAIN: I'll stop.


BOURDAIN: Just relax. Relax.


OMAR: What's happening?

BOURDAIN: This is their turf, or their area of operation, or somehow under their control. Whatever the case, they're the group in charge today. An argument ensues between our guys and their guys. All of whom fought against the same forces on this ground a year ago.

OMAR: They need an authorization just for this place.


OMAR: They want to delete the tapes. Let's leave. They said you had to delete what you've got. Let's leave.


BOURDAIN: OK. Let's go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold it down. Hold it down. Hold it down.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Libya has denied that there is imminent threat to safety of Westerners in Benghazi. This follows Britain's advice on Thursday that Westerners should get out of the city. Warning of a specific and imminent threat.

BOURDAIN: If you follow the news you'd be reminded about how the lack of centralized power in the wake of the 2011 conflict has seen an increase in Islamic militancy in Libya.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Westerners and Libyans are still very concerned with...

BOURDAIN: What you see is not encouraging. Kidnappings in Algeria, unrest in Mali. Terrorist cells to the south. Deadly riots in Egypt. And of course, extremist attacks in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador. All those things are very real concerns. But if you only look at what's on the news, you can miss maybe what's a bigger picture.

Another morning in Tripoli and life goes on. Vendors are out. People go about their daily routines.

AKRAM, FORMER FREEDOM FIGHTER: This is our traditional breakfast.

BOURDAIN: What is this dish called?

AKRAM: Sfenz (inaudible), which is an overstretched doughnut, I suppose.

BOURDAIN: Right. With an egg.

AKRAM: With an egg on top.

BOURDAIN: What's a little pancake they put on top? Just to hold the egg in?

AKRAM: Yes. Just to hold the egg in. It's like a hat to cover up something. You can get them with cheese, you can get them with chili paste. You can have them with honey, with sugar.

BOURDAIN: What are you having? How do you like yours?

AKRAM: I like mine cooked, to be honest.

BOURDAIN: What's the name of this neighborhood?

AKRAM: This is Hashnum (ph). This is a cradle of the revolution.

BOURDAIN: Right. This was the first neighborhood to rise up?

AKRAM: Yes. This is the first place to rise up.

BOURDAIN: Why do you think this neighborhood and not...

AKRAM: It's an impoverished neighborhood. It's been always liked here by the regime. They made them feel like they're not from this country, to be honest. And we go for it.

BOURDAIN: Oh, yes, dip it right in the egg.

AKRAM: And dip it in the egg.

BOURDAIN: Delicious. So where were you when it all started?

AKRAM: I was in London. Well actually Manchester at the time.


AKRAM: By the 27th, I was in Libya.

BOURDAIN: We went out to see his house yesterday, the compound.

AKRAM: I was one of the guys who entered from the southern gates - no, northern gates.

BOURDAIN: Akram is in the security business. The thriving industry here as you could probably imagine.

A lot of things happened in a lot of different parts of the country, sort of simultaneously. Kind of amazing that all these people came together very fast.

AKRAM: How did it happen?


AKRAM: Easy, Twitter.

BOURDAIN: Twitter?

AKRAM: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: It was really like that?

AKRAM: It is. We sent so much information to NATO via Twitter. We get a phone call from Tripoli or Benghazi or whatever. We get the coordinates via Google Earth. BOURDAIN: Right.

AKRAM: We verify that there is a location that


AKRAM: We verify that there is a location that needs to be hit. Send the tornado at NATO then it's gone.



BOURDAIN: How does that feel knowing you can call in a Tomahawk missile over there?

AKRAM: It's out of the movies.

BOURDAIN: Did anyone think it was possible and in their lifetime they're going to see the end of this son of a bitch? Most people are telling me they've never dreamed.

AKRAM: I don't know if you call them dreams, hopes, wishes, it was just something in the sky. Something I look at every night.


AKRAM: But when it hit that point and got into Misrata and stood on Gadhafi's body, any dream will come true.

BOURDAIN: What's the situation now?

AKRAM: It's fluid. It can swing any direction.

BOURDAIN: Well, look, what happened in Benghazi a few months ago, I mean, what does this mean to the country?

AKRAM: I think there is a dark mysterious hand who doesn't like this country to prosper. They see system and organization as a big enemy to them. These are slowly getting diminished. It's a matter of time before we can get rid of them.

BOURDAIN: How hard do you think that's going to be?

AKRAM: Not hard at all. We got rid of Gadhafi. Nothing else is hard.

BOURDAIN: I like your attitude.

The fluid situation in Libya has been intensifying since our arrival. Now we've had to change our behavior, constantly moving.

Should I be wearing one of these cool, like, journalist safari jackets at this point?

So it seemed a good time or maybe not. Saddle up.

To go to Misrata.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) a few hits on it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, guys. We can go.


BOURDAIN: Since the revolution, Misrata has been the most secure city in Libya, but over the last two weeks in a hail of bullets and hand- thrown grenade attacks, an imam, security forces and a police officer have all been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to move forward. Come past me.

BOURDAIN: All along the narrow congested highway, there are checkpoints manned mostly by local militias, and I want to stress most of them are friendly enough. We are, however, in a hurry to get to Misrata before dark. Traveling at night around here is not advised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would drop the camera pretty soon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop the camera.


BOURDAIN: Pulling in a town after dark, it doesn't feel like a happy place to be right now. Misrata is where some of the fiercest and most heroic struggles of the war occurred. Resistance was the most determined, and the response by the Gadhafi forces especially merciless. We've just learned that earlier in the day, a city councilman who was a hero of the revolution was assassinated, and it's not clear who's responsible. Misrata is on full lockdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another checkpoint.


BOURDAIN: Looking around at the price this city paid for freedom, you can see why they don't want to lose what they fought so hard for.


BOURDAIN: Morning in Misrata.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How's the vibe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all very quiet and (inaudible) at the moment.

BOURDAIN: Daylight reveals the extent of the fighting that took place here not so long ago.

HAMID, FORMER FREEDOM FIGHTER: This here used to be a vegetable market. Clothes, one of Gadhafi's soldier's clothes.

BOURDAIN: He left them here and ran.

HAMID: Yeah. That's what they did in Tripoli.


HAMID: Went to the city. Just lose their clothes and run away in the streets so nobody would know who are they.

BOURDAIN: This is Hamid, one of the guys we called the Misrata boys, basically militia members from the area who looked out for us here and Tripoli when things started to get hinky in neighboring Algeria and in Benghazi.

Seriously a tank.

His job these days is hunting down former Gadhafi supporters.

So the Gadhafi forces rolled in. They would use these tanks to fire...

HAMID: Around the city.

BOURDAIN: ... around.

HAMID: Yeah. It was full of tanks here. This was the operation room here.

BOURDAIN: Now if you had any doubt about the terrible odds these young revolutionaries were facing during the early days of the fighting, especially in the months before NATO came in with air support, check out Misrata's war museum.

What did this fire?

HAMID: Fired a rocket. Homemade. There's a rocket here. We've got it here. And fight with...


BOURDAIN: You had to have some serious courage to ride around with this thing.

HAMID: Why? We trust our people. There are a lot of homemade things here. This is homemade too, it fires big rockets. This is homemade.

BOURDAIN: This one.

HAMID: This was from helicopter.


HAMID: We got it and we put it on the car.

BOURDAIN: You took it off a helicopter...

HAMID: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: ... and you put it on a car?

HAMID: And you know what this is for? You know Molotov?


BOURDAIN: So basically a cross bow that fires Molotov cocktails.

HAMID: Yeah. Molotov and TNT sometimes.

BOURDAIN: You're shooting this at people who have mortars.

HAMID: And tanks.


HAMID: Tanks. Yeah.

BOURDAIN: You're shooting this at tanks?

HAMID: Yeah. That's what we got at the time.

BOURDAIN: It's what you had then.


BOURDAIN: It's awesome.

HAMID: The next president of Libya, the one who's going to be in charge.


HAMID: This is his chair. He has to think twice before he sits on it.

BOURDAIN: So never screw your people.

HAMID: Yeah. And never screw your people.

BOURDAIN: Yeah. I'd remember.

HAMID: And here, these are Gadhafi stuff.

BOURDAIN: This was all taken from the compound.

HAMID: Some from Serbs. That's his AK and chair.

BOURDAIN: Preferred hair products.

HAMID: His shaving kit. See he was wearing a mask. BOURDAIN: That was beauty mask.


BOURDAIN: I could use some of that.

HAMID: If Gadhafi used it, he's beautiful, you know. And this is the first martyr in Misrata.

BOURDAIN: That's the first.

HAMID: Yes, that's the first one.

BOURDAIN: Who was he?


HAMID: Just a normal guy that went out to protest the first rally and somebody come in and shoot him. So next day the whole city came out. That's when everything started.

BOURDAIN: These are photos of those killed during the uprising. Combatants and bystanders alike.

HAMID: Her name is Muna. She was six years when she died.

BOURDAIN: Shelled in their homes, tortured to death in prisons. Shot by snipers.

HAMID: Look at this kid, he died with a victory sign. They killed him like -- with a grenade. That's his lucky day.


HAMID: You know what he was saying? He's saying, what's going on, guys? Why (inaudible)? Why are you doing that? We still have the T- shirt.


HAMID: Yeah, with the blood in it.

BOURDAIN: Do you know any of these people?

HAMID: Yeah, I know a couple of them. I knew a couple. This guy's Egyptian.

BOURDAIN: Not even his fight but he came.

HAMID: Yeah, but he didn't want to leave. All of them, they died in Sirte. And this died in Tripoli. These are brothers and sister, one, two, three, four. They died on the same day and the same house. And the mother when we found her, she was holding the kid. They were both dead like and holding each other. It was a very sad moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's how you turn a corner in Misrata.

BOURDAIN: I don't know if you noticed, I'm going full Blitzer on this shoot.

The Mediterranean Sea defines Libya's northern border. In shacks built along the coast, people get together on weekends to do what people do everywhere in the world in one form or another since the beginnings of society. Like barbecue? Who does not like barbecue?

There he is.

They sure like them here. Chase down an animal. Kill it.

Cycle of life.

Cut it into pieces. And throw it on a flame.

HAMID: So all these are freedom Fighters. Ex-Freedom Fighters.


HAMID: (inaudible), chilling, having fun, making barbecue.

BOURDAIN: To start, they grill a lamb in small pieces with a few veggies.

HAMID: Not beer. But something like it.

BOURDAIN: Yeah. It's been about a week without alcohol of any kind. I'm enjoying my new clean living lifestyle. That's hospitality.

I said it before. I'll say it again. Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it's a start.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People in Misrata are good.



BOURDAIN: Yes. Lay back. In American, laid back.


BOURDAIN: A stew made of kidneys, liver and heart served family style. Feel free to eat with hands. Right hand only, please. And a really traditional thing left over from the Italians, basically pasta with ragu.

What's this dish called?



HAMID: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: It's good. So the Italian left you one good thing.

HAMID: Yeah.

BOURDAIN: A few nice buildings and pasta.

HAMID: Yeah, and pasta, yeah.

BOURDAIN: So the story of Misrata, the story of Libya seems to be ordinary people suddenly called upon to do extraordinary things. Where were you when war broke out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in Canada, Montreal.

BOURDAIN: Studying medicine.


BOURDAIN: Dr. Sheehan (ph) put her medical studies on hold to help tend all manner of horrible war injuries.

What kind of procedures were you doing on a regular basis?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything, everything without prior practice and knowledge so you just kind of in this situation trying to pick up things.

BOURDAIN: How many patients did you treat a day?


BOURDAIN: Sixty, 70.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like, a lot. It's like the whole -- like the whole hospital was full.

BOURDAIN: When you heard he'd been killed? What did you feel? Relief?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt relieved. I was like realizing that, "OK, it's over and trying to heal my own wounds." Because in the middle of it you just go, go, go, and you never realize how much injuries and trauma you get inside yourself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because before you never think we're going to survive and we're going to have a free Libya or anything. You're just like going with the state of mind that I'm going to do my best and I'm ready in peace with myself if I die, and then you find yourself here now. It's like -- now it's the gray area.

BOURDAIN: Sheehan (ph) risked her life along with the men, but traditional and high bound rules of conduct do not allow her to sit with them during dinner. She's relegated to what might be the called the kids' table.

What can one say? We who like to think of ourselves as more enlightened in this area? I don't know. Rightly or wrongly I said nothing.

What does freedom mean? I don't know that either, I guess. For sure it does mean the freedom to enjoy an afternoon no one thought possible only a little while ago. The freedom, at least, to joke, to laugh, to be for a while relatively carefree.


BOURDAIN: The road to Tripoli, a healthy Supreme Court fast. Oh, liver sandwich. When they talk about a high-risk environment, I think they were talking about this. That's good.

Halfway back to Tripoli, the magnificent ruins of Leptis Magna. Arguably the most intact remains of a Roman city in the world. It's worth noting that at one time the emperor of all Rome was himself Libyan.

That's pretty amazing.

Born right here.

BOURDAIN: Someone chipped off all the (inaudible). Not that I was looking.

Anywhere else in the world this place would be overrun with tourists, but, look, no one. You're free to wander as you wish.

Quite a backdrop, you know, you're seeing a little dinner theater production of "Our Town" a couple of thousand years ago. Not bad.

The only other visitors today are a troupe of Libyan Boy Scouts. Bizarrely enough, Gadhafi himself was once a Scout and this is one of the only organizations allowed to remain independent of the government.

Maybe I should go down there and introduce myself, my former comrades. Exchange some Boy Scout lore.

Yes, yes, I was once a Boy Scout, too.


Drilled into their heads is something that was long ago drilled into mine.

I promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.


You know, it's been a really difficult shoot for a whole lot of reasons. It's not easy to shoot here. But in spite of all of that, for me this was a happy show. It's Libya. It was supposed to be the bad guys, a bad country filled with bad people, right? I don't think so. I met a lot of really nice people here.

Nobody is saying we're going to be perfect tomorrow. Everybody seems to be saying, you know, in five see us -- look at us in five years. That is a pretty reasonable attitude. This is a place that's filled a lot of extraordinary people who have done an extraordinary thing on very short notice under very difficult circumstances, and at a very difficult time who are continuing to do the best they can, and I wish them well.