Muammar al-Gaddafi was born in a beduin tent in the desert near Surt in 1942. His family belongs to a small tribe of Arabized Berbers, the Qaddadfa, who are stockherders with holdings in the Hun Oasis. As a boy, Qadhafi attended a Muslim elementary school, during which time the major events occurring in the Arab world—the Arab defeat in Palestine in 1948 to Israeli forces and Nasser's rise to power in Egypt in 1952—profoundly influenced him. He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misurata, paying particular attention to the study of history.
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