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From A Libyan Student To Rashid al-Kikhia

Dear Dr. Ibrahim,

I have received this e-mail from a Libyan student in Libya, and I would like to share it with all Libyan visiting our beloved website Libya our home.

Rashid al-Kikhia

_____________________________________________

Dear Mr. Rashid Kikhia,

Asalam alaikum,

I find it difficult to write this letter as i sit here looking at the blinking cursor, I ponder the fate which brought me to the position I am in today. My name is (...), and i am a Libyan student.
We've never met; I saw your article on libyanews and am trying very hard to contact Libyan Americans to help me.
I grew up in (...), but returned here several years ago.

I will need your help and understanding to help me. I don't know who else can help.

I always believed Libyan Americans, with their knowledge of the plunder of our country, and newfound freedom in the west, would empathize and try to aid Libyans to go abroad and build lives in freedom, health and security.
I am disillusioned, for most do not seem to care; and I ask why?
How can i begin? I pray you can help me, inshaallah i have been guided to the right path.

When i think of the situation now, i can only think 'The more things change, the more they remain the same.'

Nothing really sums up the situation on the ground then that phrase.
Sitting here in Tripoli, looking at the blinking cursor, i am at a loss to describe what i see.

What do people want? What are the conditions that makes a person happy, healthy, and content?

I have been here for years, and it is still hard to describe the depths to which our country has sunk.

Society has come to be infected with a malignant disease, each man's hand against his brother; a tumorous blight has ravaged our homeland from Tripoli to Benghazi, rampant corruption rears its ugly head, greed, envy, and malice are all that matters for the struggle to gain advantage and wealth in the waning days of the Jamahiriya.

Talk to anyone in the street, and all there is disgust and discontent at what has happened to our beautiful and rich country.

The "newspapers", as they are called, seem to be existing in a surreal alternate universe; there is no mansion of what is happening in the news; and the front pages are filled with the most trivial and ridiculous news.

It would be almost comical had not the effects been so tragic. Our society lays dying, with a few taking advantage of the majority and amassing wealth.

The corruption is incredible; unbelievable; I don't know how to describe it more than that.

Incompetent men are in charge of important posts; nothing runs properly, our country, with its vast oil wealth, resembles an eastern European country.

The Libyan people are forced to receive minimum wages no matter how educated and competent.

Our money flows to places and causes no one cares about.

Our education system is warped and corrupt. The 'party members' and their children receive all the benefits, and scholarships, while the talented and smart are left to themselves.

Where are our doctors, scientists, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and professionals?

The answer is simple: they are not here. They left to find a better life and refuse to come back to a system where competency and knowledge mean nothing as compared to loyalty to the regime.

The Libyan people are intelligent and enterprising; but are stifled by an environment which goes out of its way to restrict anything, and to make life difficult.

And our country is rich!! Instead of sending students to study abroad, billions are squandered on meaningless causes.

Favoritism and shameless corruption is all that remains. Bribery is an institution.

I feel sick; I feel lost. What kind of a future can one build?

This is how I feel, I only want a chance to study in an atmosphere in which I can develop and learn; I need a chance to be free and be part of a dynamic world, to have the right to live and work in peace and happiness.

I wrote that letter, without knowing whether it would reach its destination; but with hope that I may one day find someone who can understand and empathize with my situation.

It is more than a dream for me; it is my only hope. I am determined to leave; it hurts to see what has happened.

I will need help; and I really hope you can help me.

Thank you for letting me writes to you. I wish you the best.

I am not a criminal, nor am I spy, I am only a young Libyan determined to study in the US, and to change Libya for the better.

Why does the caged bird sing?

I wish you the best.

Sincerely yours,

(...)


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