Omar al Mukhtar, An Islamic Scholar and Revolutionary Hero

He was a Muslim scholar and a rebel leader who led the opposition to the Italian occupation of Libya for nearly 20 years. Commonly known as the ‘the Lion of the Desert,’ Omar spent his youth studying and seeking Islam and became a hafiz at an early age.

He remained a teacher of the Quran for many years, until 1911 when Italian troops invaded Libya.

At the age of 53, his life has been changed. Determined to protect his people from what fascists of Italian described as the ‘Roman Reconquista'.

Omar and his small groups of army skilfully attacked outposts, ambushed troops, and cut critical supply routes, astonishing and embarrassing the highly advanced Italian Royal Army and its troops who were half his age.

Omar's character and integrity impressed even his enemies, adhering to Islamic principles during the horrors of war and brutality.

After 20 years of fighting, making defeats, and challenges to the Italian invaders, Omar was captured at the age of 73, after being wounded in battle.

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