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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs