For the past few weeks my thoughts have been on events in the Middle East.
Many of you know we have Libyan friends, made through a University of Minnesota host family program back in the early eighties. We are quite concerned about them: the family and four children who live in Tripoli, and the eldest son, Sami, studying engineering in the U.S.
Such is the normal level of fear in Libya (“You don’t even dare dream against Qaddafi,” Sami told me several years ago) that I refrain from using their real names and do not mention anything remotely political in emails to them. Now, with Tripoli under siege, I want them to know we are concerned, but have felt it prudent to write only the blandest, traditional Arabic greeting to Sami, albeit with an additional adjective: “I wish your family the very best.”
Yesterday I found a website called Libya Remembers set up to express concerns and provide information on recently missing Libyans. I left a message wishing blessings on people who have suffered for a full century (Italy brutally colonized Libya from 1911 to 1951) and read what others had written.
I am Maltese… I am your neighbour. First because you are Human Beings, as I am, and then because our countries are so close to each other.
I am humbled by how determined you are in spite of the horror of the impossible violence that is being thrown at you. I find it so difficult to believe that these horrendous and vile acts are being carried out on suffering people… now, in the year 2011… and only 350 kilometres away from me. And yet – I know that it is true… so horrendously true.
My thoughts are with you, my brothers and sisters. The same blood spilt on your soil runs through the veins of everybody still alive. May we all fight for equalness and peace.
I hope the politicians in my country, Switzerland, stand by your side with all their courage!!!
I am a Catholic Christian here in Berlin in Germany and I strongly pray for the success of your uprising, for your martyrers and their families. God bless you. Be strong. Fight wild and clever but do not hate.
I am English and spent many happy times with [Libyan] friends who are like family to me. I am heartbroken, sad, worried and angry that these lovely people suffer so much. They share all they have and give you always the largest portion. I hope my friends/family are safe. I hope Libya gets the peace and prosperity it deserves. . .You are brave heroes.
i am South African, the struggle for freedom is the struggle for life, you will embrace liberation when it comes to you, hamba gahle umkonto (go in peace comrades)
I have never felt proud to be a Libyan like I am now. Finally I can hold my head up high and say, “I am Libyan.”