A TEENAGER has abandoned her GCSE exams and returned to Libya to witness the historical events playing out across the country as President Muammar Gadaffi is forced from power by a popular revolution.
Amina Al-Moghrabi, who attends Crescent Community High School, in Dennison Road, Rusholme, Manchester, returned to her parents home-city of Benghazi after becoming overwhelmed with emotion watching the events unfold on television.
The 16-year-old from Moss Side was not even born when her parents were forced to flee the country for speaking out against the dictator 23-years-ago.
At a demonstration to support the revolution in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Amina said: “It’s (the revolution) just amazing. It brought a tear to my eye when I first entered the borders because it felt like you can finally feel the freedom.
“Back in Manchester we were crying every day because we really wanted to come here and become official members of the 17th February movement,” – the day the revolt against Gadaffi began in Benghazi.
The dictator has ruled the country for 43 years with an iron fist investing very little of the country’s oil wealth on improving the lives its people.
In February the uprising took off in her parents hometown after oppressed Libyans were inspired by similar events in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.
It is only the second time Amina has returned to Libya but she feels a strong connection with the place.
She said: “We’re going to stay for two months. I would love to stay for ever but I have to go back and finish my studies; I’m still doing my GCSEs.”
By Friday more than 30 country’s had recognised the temporary rebel authority, the Transitional National Council, as the official government signalling an end to Gadaffi’s time in power.
However the rebel coalition’s army is far from ‘liberating’ the whole country from Gadaffi’s forces with some countries now pushing for a negotiated settlement to prevent further killing.