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

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    China Seeks On-Off Switch for Internet

    Public asks whose security is cybersecurity law aiming to protect

    UN Human Rights Chief: Burundi May Explode Into Ethnic Violence

    Burundian government accuses the UN of a campaign of distortion

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora