Governments around the world are rushing to get their nationals out of Libya to escape the violence.
At least two million foreigners were living or working in the country – not any more.
Egyptians who have experienced their own unrest are only too glad to get home.
One Egyptian worker told of how he and his colleagues had been chased by the Libyan army. “If they’d been caught,” he felt, “they surely would have been killed.”
Turkey has launched its biggest ever evacuation of nationals. But the problem for many was that they were working too far from Tripoli airport to make their escape.
One Turkish engineer described his ordeal:
“We had a 42-hour journey which was full of incidents. We travelled 1,000 kilometres to reach Tripoli. Police and pro-Gaddafi protesters and other protesters had blocked the roads. We were stopped maybe 150 times.”
And concern is growing for oil workers of all nationalities stranded in the Libyan desert. Tales of having their cars, computers and phones stolen with little food and water left means their evacuation is becoming a priority.