LIBYAN CONNECTIONS ARE IMMORTAL

As I grow older, I see more and more proof that we are all connected. Not only do we humans come from the same source, the Internet has drawn us even closer. Like everything in life, these connections are both positive and negative as we can see, hear and read about every day on the news.

Having lived in Tripoli, Libya, back in the 1950s, I will always feel attached and even sentimental about that area. Since then I have met some Libyans who have moved to the US and become citizens, like Mohamed Ben-Masaud in Colorado. Mohamed has traveled to Tripoli several times since he still has family there and does business there as well.

 

Sami Kaarud

Sami Kaarud beside the Mediterranean Sea

On a recent trip to Tripoli, Mohamed used some of his spare time to concoct a surprise for me. I had asked him to find the home my family lived in for several years on Via De Gaspari in Garden City. After some searching, he found it and identified it by the manhole, which was still in the same spot on the sidewalk in front, although the home had been entirely rebuilt.

Mohamed had a special project in mind: to duplicate a photo of me posing on the hood of my dad’s 1955 Ford convertible. The photo had been taken by my British friend, Christopher Green, with whom I am still in touch.

To complete the scheme, Mohamed needed help and enlisted Sami Kaarud, a 28 year-old businessman, a graduate of Tripoli University School of Business who worked at Tripoli airport. Mohamed had met Sami at a classic car show held at the parking lot of the Roman ruin site of Sabratha near Tripoli. The two talked about cars (Sami collected classic cars and wanted to eventually come to the US and visit Detroit, among other places) and had lunch together. “I asked Sami if he was willing to work with me on a small project by creating a special photo for a friend. He smiled and said he would love to,” Mohamed told me.

 

Viki Williams in 1956

Viki Williams in 1956

 

Mohamed Ben-Masaud posing on 1956 Dodge

Mohamed Ben-Masaud posing on Sami’s 1956 Dodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sami and Mohamed got together soon after and put together a wonderful funny photo using Sami’s 1956 green Dodge as an appropriate stand-in for the 1955 Ford. Mohamed arranged all the little details—jeans, socks, and shoes on the sidewalk. Even the extra car in the background. I was totally surprised and delighted by the photo. I will never forget this effort by the two of them.

Unfortunately, and for all the wrong reasons, I will never forget Sami Kaarud. He will never get to make his visit to the US. While he was working at his office located at Tripoli airport, he was killed on July 13 by a missile fired by the militias fighting for power in Libya. May Allah bless this young man in eternity and comfort his family in Libya.

Sami Kaarud in Libyan dress

Sami Kaarud in Libyan dress

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Diana Becker Mullins says:

    Beautiful loving memory created by Mohamed Ben Masaud
    with the help of his new friend Sami. This kindness
    will live on forever. Too many innocents still being killed
    in Tripoli since Sami’s death at the airport
    while working, due to a militia attack.

  2. Hesham Nashnoush says:

    It’s a sad story and i am sorry to hear this. Mr Mohamed looks like a very active person and i liked him becoz he always shows us nice pic’s in facebook and i liked his activities. He has some nice new pictures at primary school with his student mates in the same class and school. Really he has good ideas.

    Thanks Victoria for sharing this.

  3. Mohamed Ben-Masaud says:

    Thank you very much and you are a great friend and wonderful human being.

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