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Gadhafi Hosts Italian Women, Tries to Convert Them - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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ROME, (AP) — Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi hosted a soiree in Rome for some 200 young Italian women, but instead of the party they expected the women were given a lecture on Islam and copies of the Quran, a news report said Monday.

At least they got paid.

A reporter for Italy’s ANSA news agency went undercover with the women, who were hired for euro50 ($75) by a modeling agency for the event Sunday evening. Journalist Paola Lo Mele said the women assembled at a hotel, where some where left behind because they were not tall enough or dressed modestly enough.

Those accepted were taken to a villa, where Gadhafi lectured them on women’s rights and religion, and urged them to convert to Islam.

“All the girls expected a party with a gala dinner,” Lo Mele told her agency. Instead, “he made a 45-minute speech on Islam and women’s role in Islam. It was a bit of an indoctrination session.”

Lo Mele took pictures before and after the event, showing the women carrying Qurans they received as gifts. A second soiree was planned for Monday evening, ANSA said.

Gadhafi was in Rome to attend a U.N. summit on world hunger.

After his speech, Gadhafi made an impromptu visit to one of downtown Rome’s swankiest piazzas, stopping traffic as he sat down at an outdoor cafe for something to drink.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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