News / Middle East

Libyans in US Hope for Gadhafi's Capture

A rebel fighter stands next to an image representing Moammar Gadhafi at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya, August 30, 2011
A rebel fighter stands next to an image representing Moammar Gadhafi at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya, August 30, 2011

Ashraf Tulty says he hasn’t been sleeping much lately. How can he, when events in his home country of Libya seem to change minute by minute?

Ashraf Tulty watches developments in his home country of Libya.
Ashraf Tulty watches developments in his home country of Libya.

Tulty, a 48-year-old Bengazhi native whose family moved to Tripoli when he was a baby, came to the United States 10 years ago and was granted asylum.

He and his family have been glued to their television while also trying to stay in touch with family members in Libya.  Whether it’s by facebook and other social media - or by phone, Tulty and the others in his community have been anxiously watching the developments in Libya.

The Libyan Rebellion

  • February 15, 2011: Inspired by Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, riots break out in Benghazi
  • February 26, 2011: The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family. The International Criminal Court is asked to investigate the crackdown on rebels.
  • March 19, 2011: U.S., Britain and France launch U.N.-mandated air attacks over Libya to halt advances on civilians by Mr. Gadhafi's forces.
  • March 30, 2011: Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, defects and flies to Britain. Other senior officials follow suit.
  • April 30, 2011: A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Mr. Gadhafi's youngest son and three grandchildren.
  • June 27, 2011: The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Mr. Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.
  • July 15, 2011: The United States recognizes the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya.
  • July 28, 2011: Former interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes, who defected to the rebels in February and became their military chief, is killed.
  • August 20, 2011: Rebels launch their first attack on the nation's capital, Tripoli, in coordination with NATO forces.

Tulty said that he knows Moammar Gadhafi’s reign is over, but he is not sure what a new Libya will look like. He is not sure that the current head of the Transitional National Council - Mustafa Abdul Jalil - will lead be the man to lead a new Libya.  But Tulty says his country will be very different from the last 42 years under Gadhafi.

“So maybe the president will be just a symbol like in various countries,” said Tulty. “And maybe we need a maverick, shrewd Prime Minister and government cabinets to rule Libya because the new stage of Libya is very challenging.”

Tulty said that he is not sure that the current head of the Transitional National Council - Mustafa Abdul Jalil - will lead be the man to lead a new Libya.

“We need the right people on board,” he said. “We need the people who have the qualification, who have the knowledge, who have the charisma to run Libya to the [next] stage.”

Ashraf Tulty's brother Ahmed (file photo)
Ashraf Tulty's brother Ahmed (file photo)

Tulty has paid a personal price for opposing Gadhafi - his brother was killed in Triploi’s notorious Abu Salim prison.  Tulty and his family fled the country in 2011. This year, his cousin was killed in fighting in Benghazi. 

Ashraf Tulty is active in the Libyan Council for North America, and is the chairman of its media committee. He works as a community relations manager for Guidance Residential, a financial services company which caters to the Islamic community.

Mohaned el Zuni and his fiancée Aisha Swessi say they hope to help a new Libya emerge after the regime of Moammar Gadhafi is gone.
Mohaned el Zuni and his fiancée Aisha Swessi say they hope to help a new Libya emerge after the regime of Moammar Gadhafi is gone.

As news came that opposition forces had capture Tripoli, family friends Aisha Swessi and her fiancée Mohaned al Zuni have came to watch the situation unfold on television. Al Zuni, a 27-year-old, came to the United States last year. He said it was hard to watch events in Libya unfold from far away.

“So that’s why I was happy and sad at the same time. I was so sad that I was not participating in the real protesting in Benghazi,” he said. “But thank God that everything is done now, and I hope that Libya will be better soon.”

Al Zuni says he wants to be a part of the new Libya, along with Aisha. She says Moammar Gadhafi took away what it meant to be Libyan - people’s identities - and she hopes that a new government will restore the country’s ideals.  She said her grandparents used to travel freely in Libya and around the world, but after Gadhafi took power in 1969, her grandfather died in poverty. 

She is finishing her degree in business management at George Mason University. Both hope to help rebuild Libya once the complicated game of who will lead the new Libya is decided. Al Zuni says he wants their children to grow up in a free Libya, with the same rights he has enjoyed since he moved to the United States in March of 2010.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid