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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs