Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Contrary to Libya’s official position, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, offered his condolences at the passing of Queen Fatima, the last Queen of Libya. Many see this as a symbolic step towards the rehabilitation of the image of the Queen who spent the last forty years of her life in self-imposed exile in Cairo.
Saif al-Islam, who is Gaddafi’s second son and president of the “Gaddafi Development Foundation”, had previously helped Queen Fatima’s family get back their residential home in the Libyan capitol almost two years ago. Saif al-Islam said that he felt “a deep sense of grief and sorrow upon hearing the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Fatima, daughter of the mujahid Ahmed al-Sharif, and wife of Idris al-Senussi.”
This is the first time that the late Queen has been given her full royal title in Libya, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is the first member of the Gaddafi family to offer his condolences at the passing of Queen Fatima.
In a statement released by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, he added “Upon recall the biography of Her Majesty, and the biography of her father the mujahid Ahmed al-Sharif, who dedicated his life to defending his religion, Libya, and its people; we pray to God Almighty to accept her in his mercy and that she may rest in peace.”
Gaddafi’s son also sent a personal representative to the city of Benghazi in Libya in order to offer his condolences to the family of Queen Fatima. Saif al-Islam also provided a private plane to transport all members of Queen Fatima’s family in Libya to Saudi Arabia, enabling them to attend her funeral.
However, no Libyan official attended the funeral, and Libyan official media only published a brief obituary, announcing only that Fatima, the daughter of Ahmed al-Sharif al-Senussi had passed away, without making any reference to her royal background.
Libyan state, terrestrial, and satellite television channels also broadcast the news of her death in the same manner.