Death of former dictator closes one page, opens another

Duha Shebib

Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s former dictator, was reportedly captured Thursday, Oct. 20. His death was confirmed 7:30 a.m. that day. He was found in a storm drainage pipe in Sirte and captured.
He was shot in the head after rebel fighters surrounded the hole he was hiding in. Videos flood the Internet and news websites of his lifeless body being taken to Misrata, the city that was almost completely destroyed by his forces.
Libya’s revolutionary movement that led to Gaddafi’s eventual death has taken a toll on millions around the world, including RBHS students.
As an American Libyan, Adam Mefrakis is relieved to see Gaddafi is gone and remarks on Libya’s prospective future.
“I think Libya is going to have a fair and an uncorrupted government,” Mefrakis said. “We were always kind of worried about family in Libya and now we don’t have to worry about family there.”
Other students expressed their opinions on how his death will effect Libya.
“I feel that it’s a milestone in Libya’s efforts to become liberated on the road to freedom,” junior Rasheeq Nizam said. “I also feel that it will increase the morale of the people in Libya after a difficult time.”
However, students realize the controversy over celebrating or mourning the former dictator’s death.
“I’m happy that Gaddafi no longer poses as a threat to Libya,” junior Chuck Baldwin said. “but I don’t think we should celebrate any one’s death.”
Teachers voice similar thoughts about the recent events in Libya. Dan Ware, U.S. and World Studies teacher said Gaddafi’s death caused mixed feelings. Death itself – especially the “graphic” way Gaddafi died is nothing to celebrate, Ware said, but the end of Libya’s 42 years of suffering is.
“I can understand the celebratory atmosphere,” Ware said. “I think it’s a really positive thing in terms of geopolitical events. I also think that it was the necessary outcome of this specific situation. I don’t think that capturing him and putting him on trial would’ve gotten the result we would’ve wanted because of Gaddafi’s personality.”
The death of Gaddafi is causing an explosion of news, controversy, and emotions. But one belief seems to be prominent throughout the school.
“I think it gives hope that when a people believe that change is possible, want that change, and are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for that change,” Ware said. “Then change is possible.”
By Jude El-Buri and Duha Shebib