By any measure it is the will of Allah that kept us at least me and the kids from not being in Libya when this all happened. So like many expat families we watched from abroad the images on tv and online of glimpses into Libya. I found just by accident the web site called livestream http://www.livestream.com/libya17feb and it took a few days before I learned how to bookmark it as I had just moved over to another browser. I signed in under my old moniker and watched as a young man broadcast his reports from Benghazi the large eastern city in Libya. I have friends from there but I had no idea what it was like. Over the days I watched and occasionally I would post a comment or two chatting with the various people there. This link is one of my earliest posts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5G5ZL91QTs at about 2 minutes I chimed in I was still a wall flower at the time. Each day I sat for hours on end watching trying to find out what was happening so I could later in the day tell my husband what had transpired. Grandpa worked so he was unable to watch tv and I think he was apathetic at times as uprisings had happened before and were soon quelled so I don't think he thought much of it in those days.
Bit by bit I was becoming involved with what was happening in the room and looks at clips that show the chatroom discussions will show that I posted more and more over time and even learned how to use skype and twitter to get the word out that Libya was in need of help. I had no contacts with anyone, I was no one important an old woman sitting in her basement all day long watching screens and feeling many days helpless while across the world a young man begged for help.
By mid March I was behind the scenes helping where I could mostly I feel as moral support to a group of people from all over the world trying to help this young man get his word out. On one particular night we stayed up til all hours trying to work out how to get a tv truck from one country to Libya and how to get it there safely. He wanted a mobile truck with sat so he could broadcast as he traveled around the city a citizen journalist at his best. I was awestruck of this young man. He was well to do and often times when asked how to pay for this or that he said. "I will pay for it". That was a profound quality to me. Stories will i'm sure be written later on about what transpired behind the scenes there in Benghazi but I for one know some parts but better now to keep them as they do no good. In the end what was a group of men turned into one man moving and hiding and trying his best to get the word out sometimes with no more than a handi-cam and a cell phone and his laptop system. He had been trying to negotiate with Nilesat to broadcast his signal and had paid their price and yet the moment he was to be launched his signal was cut dead by sabotage. In the background many of us cried those of us who worked behind the scenes. Years from now I wonder at all the user names we had who will come forward and say it was I that was so and so, but I guess I prefer to follow in one of my ancestors footsteps and not say. My kids know the name and maybe a year or so from now it will be ok to write it down. See in genealogy work you either have people who keep excellent records or people you wish had just wrote it down when it happened as now they forgot half of it and their minds are brittle now and the kids well they didn't pay much attention back then. To my grand-kids your parents fall in that category hehe..so if not for grandma writing this down now you would be out of luck. And lets just say there are some-days grandma worries that she will not always be around or that her mind is going brittle too. I have hundreds of pages book marked and I hope to bit by bit go through and put them into some type of order so that first your parents got and education out of them and secondly, you know what happened while it was fresh in our minds unclouded by future events and historians.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiWgDuG6_Is This day for now is imprinted in my head and will stay there for quite a while but already it has lost its hurt and is becoming only a memory. So, I guess I better write while I can my point of view of the events of that day. The night before I stayed up actually till the dawn of that morning that is portrayed in the video. Benghazi had rose up on the 17th of Feb and by March was doing pretty good but was still under occasional attacks. We has lost out on getting the sat system up and he was determined to have a sat truck so he could broadcast his stories around Benghazi. Mohammed was in hiding with his wife we called her Perditta. I once was told her name but as things go I knew it was better not to know it so it was forgotten. Anyways, we had tried all night as Mohammed had reported bombs being dropped in the city and we were his team from around the world frantically calling in every news person, dignitary or person of any form of power to ask NATO or someone to help them they were hours away from being massacred. Many of us spoke to him on skype trying to get what he wanted us to do to help, while all along feeling helpless to do nothing. I remember getting a message from one person saying, "they don't believe us". I went and laid down crying myself to sleep. It was not even 4 hours later I was awoken and now as I felt then, God had a reason for me to wake up so I came over to the computer and rubbed my eyes and looking at the screen of chatters in front of me. I was running three main screens, twitter, skype and the livestream across my laptop at all times. I never shut down hoping that skype the one way our family could reach us was always open in hopes that they could contact us. So I sat refreshing my screens and trying to see what reason I had been awoken. They were saying Mohammed had gone out to film a home that had been hit in Benghazi, two children sleeping in their beds had been killed...one of many that day to die. Apparently Mohammed could not wait and anyone who worked with him can testify to that. And asked someone to take him out so he could film. Some time during that drive he was hit by a bullet and killed. I had barely cleared my eyes and Perditta came on behind the scenes. I was getting a skype message that Mohammed had been hit and was taken to a hospital and Perditta was on her way to see him. Behind the scenes there was panic and confusion. Not Mohammed.... I don't even think it was 1/2 hour later and Perditta came back in and we were being told she was coming on the air and to be ready. The link posted above tells it all. Mohammed had been killed. We were all devastated. From that day I guess that was when things started falling apart. Perditta asked a few people to take over for her until she could come back online. We knew she was pregnant and now she had lost her husband and she needed time to grieve. Some will say many things and time glosses over truths and half truths and there will be heated debates i'm sure but I have no part in them. That day Perditta called me by my screen name and made me a moderator and then she left it in our hands. In many ways the room fell apart. We recorded over 5000 viewers that day. And in the coming months we were lucky to have 70 average viewers. Again there will be stories of why and how but this was a new medium for news and with all the grief and hostilities and opinions we did what we felt was best. We were subjected to hacked links and hacked accounts and attacks in all forms so we had to be careful. I am sure many innocents got pushed out along the way. There were verbal attacks and issues common to any group of people placed under a severe duress will face but in the end I went my own way. It had no longer been a place of news or even comfort for me it was a grueling day of stopping arguments and hostile discussion and Tripoli 6 months later still was not free. Just a few months prior to all this I had nearly died twice in 4 days and so my health was always an issue. For my health I backed away. A week later Tripoli was freed and I was able to call to Libya and talk to uncle Salem and then later to Maryam the wife of my nephew to see that the family at least them that I spoke to were well. Auntie Aieysha was not doing well she had not been able to get her cancer medications and they were worried for her. I spent my days now watching the twitter screen, various media outlets and skyping to a few people. I cut all my ties but two to the people I was part of. In reviewing my old skype messages I found my last words to Mohammed it was the tally of the UN decision vote all yeah with two abstain Russia and China. The next day after Mohammed died Nato sent in planes.
Before I stop this mile marker I leave one last video. I can go back in my skype messages and see I was talking to her mom a few hours before. I suggested a few ideas for induction of labor. Not really knowing that she was already in early labor but being a few days overdue you know how moms are at that time. She logged off. The next day we all were told not by her but by a person to excited to wait. Then the small media blitz heralded Mayar Mohamed Nabbous. The only child of the first Libyan Citizen Journalist who had died trying to help free Libya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKQ0vsvszfM I don't expect to ever see her but to know that I had a small part of her life as a mile marker in mine I will be grateful to know that she grows up free. So like my ancestor Ephraim Bowen who carried the gun that another man grab and shot with. We are footnotes in History. He went to his deathbed hiding his secrets due to persecution by the British they never told and he being the last told on his death bed. I have seen now that death is not for the old. It is for the young, the innocent, the unborn and the old. When your time is up it is. So these shall be my records for my future kids.