IT’S called a street, but it’s really a neighborhood. Al Sarim Street in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, falls between low-lying Nasr Street and elevated Al Jumhuriyya Street. Its older buildings date from the Italian colonial era. Most were built as single-story homes on the upper side of the street. I used to drive down this street daily on my way home from my law firm nearby.
But on Saturday, the day before rebel forces poured into Tripoli, this calm neighborhood, which empties out at noon to allow traffic to pass through its wide streets with ease, became a fireball.