Local Libyans React to Tripoli Takeover
COLUMBIA - Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi's compound Tuesday, marking the fall of Tripoli. Rebels did not find Gadhafi in the compound, but hundreds stormed the area shooting guns in celebration. The compound was one of the final areas of government resistance.
KOMU 8 spoke with several local Libyans celebrating their native country's victory. Rashid Kikhia came to the United States in 1989 as a political refugee, leaving most of his family in Libya.
"I've been against the Gadhafi regime, probably since birth," said Kikhia.
Gadhafi forces kidnapped and killed Kikhia's uncle and Kikhia's cousin is still in hiding from Gadhafi forces. Kikhia quit is job to devote all of his time to his efforts to free Libya.
Mohamed Gumati owner of the International Cafe in downtown Columbia, heard the news of the Tripoli takeover from a friend's phone call Tuesday morning.
"He damaged the people. Especially mentally," said Gumati about Gadhafi.
Both Gumati and Kikhia hope to return to Libya and help rebuild the country.
"Now we have a celebration for Ramadan, and now this is considered to be a second celebration for us, you know? I mean, after 42 years," said Gumati.
"That's it. That was the moment. There's no more dictatorship. I promise you that," said Kikhia.