News / Africa

Libyans Mark Eid with Optimism, Sadness

Wahabi Mohammed Yemeni stands at a checkpoint in his neighborhood in Tripoli, August 31, 2011
Wahabi Mohammed Yemeni stands at a checkpoint in his neighborhood in Tripoli, August 31, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Elizabeth Arrott

Libyans began their celebration of Eid al Fitr Wednesday with conflicting feelings about the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Libyan Wahabi Mohamed Yemeni won't be celebrating this Eid el Fitr holiday with the joy the end of Ramadan usually brings.

"Our family, we [celebrate] can't, because we're sad," said Yemeni.  "No one [is] dead from our family.  But our family, the same [Libyan] family, have dead people.  Libya [is] one family."

During the battle for Tripoli, as rebels entered the capital, Yemeni's neighborhood came under fire from forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

"Saturday we had many snipers here, here and here," explained Yemeni.

While none in his immediate circle were killed, some were wounded. His neighbor took a bullet through the hip.

"It came in here and went out here," Yemeni recalled.
His brother was shot while coming home from evening prayer.

Yemeni, who runs a delivery business, took up arms during the chaotic days Gadhafi's forces were routed.  He says he never had to shoot anyone, but was willing to if it meant protecting those around him.

"We'll do anything for the safety of my family, the safety of my people, for country, from Gadhafi.  Anything," added Yemeni.

Men like Yemeni seem to have accomplished much of that, but there's much more still to be done.

Running water in Tripoli is in short supply. Electricity is sporadic. And food for this Eid al Fitr holiday is scant.

"People these days eat what the sheep eats," Yemeni said.

Yemeni understands the current shortages; the uprising has lasted six months.  It's more the relative poverty of the past decades that makes him angry.  Libya under Gadhafi, he points out, had no shortage of oil wealth.

"This fancy hotel - this big hotel - this hotel is for presidents. And behind us poor people. You can see how the poor people live," he noted.
But what makes him angriest of all was living under a man he believes was crazy.

"It was bad, bad, bad dream for the Libyans," Yemeni explained.

That nightmare, it seems, is likely over, making this first Eid without their longtime leader especially sweet.

"We wake up in the day without Gadhafi!  Smell the free!  Smell the free!" exclaimed Yemeni.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid