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Entries in Libyan Americans (2)

Tuesday
Feb222011

DC Protestors Show Support for Libyans Outside of White House

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A group of 50 protestors gathered outside the White House on a chilly evening to show support for the Libyan people’s fight.

Holding white candles and alternating between chants of English and Arabic, the protestors called for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to step down and for the United States to intervene to protect the Libyan people.  Protestors held signs reading “Gadhafi Join Ben Aly & Mubarak,” “Obama’s silence is a disgrace.  A genocide is taking place,” and “42 Years is Enough.”

The protestors came from the D.C. area and beyond -- including New York City, Ohio and Orlando.

Fadi Tarapolsi, a Libyan-American who lives in Triangle, Va., helped organize the rally in front of the White House and urged the United States to not only condemn Gadhafi but also take a more active role in assisting the Libyan people.

“I think what the U.S. needs to do is step up a little bit,” Tarapolsi said.  “They need to step up in their game.  Instead of just coming out to condemn the actions, they need to step up in this humanitarian crisis.  What’s happening right now is a travesty and to just sit around and condemn it is simply not acceptable anymore.”

Ahmed Addarrat, a 24-year-old Libyan-American from Orlando, Fla., was part of a group who set up a “situation room” in the D.C. area to attempt to make constant contact with friends and family in Libya.  This afternoon, he asked people in Tripoli what the sentiment was after Gadhafi’s speech today.

“They basically said this guy is a clown,” Addarrat said. “We know that if he stays, we’re going to die, so we’re going to go out and fight till the end.  We’re going to take him.”

Sarah Abdurraham, a 27 year-old Libyan-American from New York City, who helps maintain the Twitter handle @Feb17Voices, which posts anonymous phone calls conducted with friends and family in Libya, voiced her delight in the Libyan people’s quest to create waves to enact change.

Many of these protestors said they are heading to New York City to participate in a protest at the United Nations Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Feb222011

Libyan-Americans Call For UN Intervention in Libya

File: United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe gives a press conference about the situation in Libya outside the UN Security Council at the United Nations. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(FAIRFAX, Va.) -- A group of Libyan-Americans gathered in Fairfax, Virginia, Tuesday to express their support for the Libyan people and called for direct intervention from the United Nations.

“We are really concerned.  We are so concerned about the safety of our families in Libya,” Ashraf Tulty, an organizer for the group, said.  “We urge the international community to intervene through the U.N. to stop this bloodshed.”

Tulty’s second cousin died in Libya as a victim of the uprising earlier this week.  Nearly 500 Libyan-American families live in the D.C. area.  They have made intermittent contact with family and friends in Libya, but all expressed fear of the events that might unfold in the coming days.

“We hear news left and right, and that is creating a state of uncertainty to everybody,” Tulty said.  “But we do know that people are suffering, scared, worried, and they really live in the condition of uncertainty and fear.”

Adam Ahmed, a college student at George Mason University, is part of a group of about 25 students who have created a “situation room” in Maryland, designed to keep in constant contact with family and friends in Libya.  The “situation room” is set up in the living room of someone’s home, where young people sit camped out with laptops in their laps trying to communicate with Libyans via phone and Skype when Internet connectivity is strong enough.

Shortly after Gadahfi’s speech Tuesday afternoon, Ahmed spoke with family and friends in Libya who expressed fear and concern over escalating violence in a country that he described as remaining “in a state of fear of chaos.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio ´╗┐







ABC News Radio