No one was paying much attention to the time, but it was probably a few minutes before 11 a.m. on Tuesday of last week when the action began in Tripoli, clearly visible from the windows of the Rixos hotel.
The morning hours are usually calm in Tripoli, and this too was a quiet, clear morning. Behind the tall trees in the adjacent park lies Bab al-Aziziya, the fortress-like headquarters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The compound is as large as an entire city neighborhood and is surrounded by a massive wall, machine gun nests, barriers and watchtowers. It’s a short walk from the hotel to Bab al-Aziziya.