Columbia man in Libya to witness revolution

Published: Aug. 23, 2011 at 12:46 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2011 at 12:47 AM EDT
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By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the revolution sweeps through Libya's capital, a Midlands man is there to cover it. Sammi Addahoumi, a Libyan-American and Columbia restaurant manager, wanted to witness it first-hand.

Hassan Addahoumi says the revolution represents a step toward the light, and new opportunity in the north African country.

The TVs at Sammi's Deli have been tuned in to the Libyan Revolution for months, and owner Hassan Addahoumi has been watching closely. "We're watching Al Jazeera, We're watching the BBC trying to get as much as we can about our homeland," said Hassan.
But just watching wasn't enough for Hassan's son Sammi. Usually the restaurant's manager, lately he's been doing a little reporting. Sammi is in Libya now, doing citizen journalism for CNN.

"I'm very proud of my son being a part of the revolution there, because it's history that won't repeat itself in North Africa," said Hassan.
Addahoumi's pride extends to his son's entire generation, a group that grew up under Gadhafi's regime. "The pressure on the people blew up, and they said enough is enough," said Hassan. "They united from the east to the west, old and young, and said this regime has to go."

"It is a remarkable transformation of people simply saying enough," said retired USC professor Dr. Kenneth Perkins. Perkins believes the revolution will eventually help stabilize the region and help global oil prices, an economic benefit that he says pales in comparison to the real victory.

"We ought to rejoice in this happening this is the liberation of a people who have lived in circumstances in which most of us would find difficult to imagine," commented Perkins.

Addahoumi is optimistic, putting a lot of faith in a generation that has already accomplished so much. "It's a beautiful day, a beautiful day, we hope to go back to Libya soon," he said.

Addahoumi says the real victory will come when they find Gadhafi and bring him to justice. Meanwhile, he hopes to visit Libya personally after Ramadan.

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