Libyans Living In Oklahoma To Rally Against Gadhafi

Wednesday, February 23rd 2011, 11:15 am
By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Thousands of foreigners are fleeing the chaos in Libya. Hundreds of Americans safely boarded a ferry in Tripoli for a five-hour journey to Malta Wednesday.

President Obama is expected speak out either Wednesday night or Thursday.

The situation has many Oklahomans on edge as well.

Sabiel El-Maghribi and her mother, Iman are watching it all from their Tulsa home, taking to Twitter looking for updates or watching Al-Jazzera online.

"Upsetting, disturbing, sickening," Sabiel El-Maghribi said.

"This would have meant everything to my husband," Iman El-Maghribi said.

Iman was born in the United States but her husband, Abdullah, is from Libya. He came to the U.S. in the early 1970's and for nearly 40 years he barely spoke to his family back home in Libya.

"Can you imagine talking to your family just sporadically because you're afraid the phone lines are tapped," Iman said.

Abdullah passed away last summer, but his wife and daughter have taken up his cause in the fight against Gadhafi. Both say what's happening in Libya is a fight 40 years in the making and they don't expect the pro-democracy protesters to back down.

"Because the people know that even if they stop they are going to die, he's going to kill them all because they went against him," Sabiel said.

They say a big tipping point may have been Tuesday when Gadhafi took to the airwaves to urge his supporters to strike back.

"I couldn't watch all of it because I just got mad," Sabiel said.

Hundreds of people have been killed across the country. The El-Maghribi's want to see the UN or U.S. step in to get things under control.

Regardless, they say the revolution is something Abdullah always dreamed about.

"He would just be so happy right now to know that this is something that is bringing freedom to his country," Iman said.

The El-Maghribi's are helping to organize a rally against the oppression in Libya. They're asking anyone upset with Gadhafi's regime to meet Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of 71st and Memorial in south Tulsa.