Ibrahim al-Taweel has been fixing antique cars and motorcycles since the 1980s, but now he says business has declined due to the country's economic struggles.

Libyan ex-military member Ibrahim al-Taweel seen at his workshop where he fixes classic cars and motorcycles.
Libyan ex-military member Ibrahim al-Taweel seen at his workshop where he fixes classic cars and motorcycles. (Reuters)

A Libyan war veteran, who used his mechanical experience to restore vintage cars after leaving the military, now worries about the future of his repair shop as the country's economic struggles deepen.

Ibrahim al-Taweel, who retired from the military over two decades ago, works out of a garage in the Zahra area to restore his collection of vintage vehicles. During his time as an officer in theLibyan army, he had received extensive training as a combat diver, military commando and paratrooper and gained plenty of experience in operating various military vehicles.

But his love for repairing old cars started early on in life. Growing up in an area with a big Italian community, where most of the automobile shops were owned by Italian expatriates, he developed a passion for vintage automobiles and motorcycles as a child. He would frequently skip school in order to attend local automobile workshops in his neighbourhood.

He eventually dropped out of school in order to continue working at a local garage owned by one of the Italian expatriates. This was where he learned how to professionally repair and restore vehicles.

After suffered a severe leg injury while operating a military vehicle, Al-Taweel was forced to retire and effectively ending his army career.

For years after leaving the military, al-Taweel made a living by repairing cars. However the mechanic is now struggling to maintain his collection of vintage vehicles in light of the ongoing political struggle which has only served to further exacerbate the poor economic conditions experienced by Libyans across the country.

TRT World's Abubakr al Shamahi has the story.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies