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ashur_shamisAshur Shamis is a distinguished Libyan writer and long-time political activist. When Gaddafi came to power in 1969, he was studying Aeronautical Engineering in the United Kingdom. In 1977 he obtained an MA in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Birmingham. Since 1971, he lived in exile in the UK. He turned to journalism and political activism.

From 1980, he was a target for Gaddafi’s physical “liquidation squads”, and, with others, instrumental in founding one of the most effective opposition groups, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya. He went on to oppose the Libyan regime until its fall in 2011. From 2002, he was founder and editor of the influential website ‘Akhbar Libya’ until his return to Libya after 40 years in exile. He has a long record of political and human rights activism on Libya.

He has written many articles, given numerous TV, radio and press interviews, commentated on Libyan developments on the media, worked for the BBC and similar media organisations, and translated, from and into Arabic, important works by, among others, Sayid Qutb and Mohamed El-Ghazali. He translated the Nelson Mandela biography, Long Walk to Freedom, and Jonathan Powell’s insightful and topical book, Talking to Terrorists. He is also an editor for

Following the uprising in Libya of February 2011, he was engaged as advisor to the Libyan government from December 2011 until March 2014. He is married to Shamela, daughter of the late Imam Abdullah Haron, of South Africa, and has three sons, Abdullah Haron, Khalid and Jehad, and a daughter, Zainab Intisar.