UCLA Student Joins Libyan Rebels for Summer Vacation
For months now, the Libya rebel fighters have been fighting for their freedom from under Muammar Qaddafi’s reign. Thousands of people have died and it is more than likely that many more will lose their lives before the revolution is complete. However, these scary facts did not deter Chris Jeon, a 21-year old UCLA student, from journeying to the country in order to join in on the action.
“This is one of the few real revolutions,” Jeon said. “I just thought I’d come check it out.”
Jeon is a math major at UCLA. After talking with his friends, Jeon decided that it would be a “‘sick’ vacation…to come here and fight with the rebels.” So he bought a one-way plane ticket from Los Angeles to Cairo, Egypt. Once in Egypt, he traveled to Libya, where he has been living for almost two weeks now. He does not speak Arabic but has been using sign language and Italian to communicate with the fighters and their families. His parents do not know that he is currently in Libya.
Jeon has been spending his time with rebel fighters, who have given him an honorary Libyan name: Ahmed El Maghrabi Saidi Barga. He has been “helping” the rebel fighters and was with the first rebel fighters when they took the city Nawlifyia from Qaddafi’s troops. Strangely enough, even though he knows that many have already died doing the exact things he is doing, Jeon does not seem concerned for his safety.
“I just go and see what happens,” he said. “I believe in destiny.”
So far, Jeon’s plan is to return to the USA at the end of this month so that he will be able to attend his classes when they start. I bet he will have some amazing memories and experiences, but I do not envy the conversation he will have to have with his parents when he tells them that he spent his summer vacation in a civil-war ravaged country. Good luck, Jeon!
Via The CS Monitor