Fremont family from Libya reacts to Gadhafi's death

This Friday, March 2, 2007 file photo shows Libya's Moammar Gadhafi in Sabha, Libya Friday, March 2, 2007. AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)
October 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Gettani family of Fremont stayed home from work today because they were too distracted by the news of Moammar Gadhafi's death. The family is overjoyed and can't stop watching the TV news coverage of the events in Libya.

Libyan exile Ahmed Gettani of Fremont didn't believe it -- until he saw the picture of Gadhafi's bloodied body. That's when Gettani really realized the nightmare was finally over.

"It was a big relief it's been overdue for 42 years. That's not a short time, that's a life," said Ahmed Gettani.

Gettani came to the United States for college in 1974. Once he graduated, he wanted to return home, but realized he couldn't because of Gadhafi's rule. His family is still there and during his reign, Gadhafi took over Gettani's parents' business and threw his brother in prison.

"At one time he, I guess, criticized the government and they accused him of trying to revolt against Gadhafi or something and they put him in prison for six years," said Ahmed Gettani.

"I have hate for him. I despise him I'm disgusted," said Libyan American Sumayyah Gettani.

It was 22-year-old Sumayyah Gettani who first saw the reports that Gadhafi had possibly been killed by revolutionary fighters. She joyously woke up her parents around 4:00 this morning to tell them the news.

"My parents deserve this more than I do, so I wanted them to experience it with me," said Sumayyah Gettani.

But Sumayyah says, even though she's never been to Libya, Gadhafi stole from her, too.

"We were deprived too. I was deprived of my family. I was deprived of my cousins. I was deprived of learning my language, my parents' mother tongue," said Sumayyah Gettani.

It doesn't bother either of them to see Gadhafi's body kicked in the streets, or the fact that he won't get a trial.

"He could have had a safe exit. He could have done something to save this bloodshed, but he didn't and I think he deserved exactly what he got today," said Ahmed Gettani.

The Gettani's are hoping to have a celebration this weekend. They are also hoping to book plane tickets back to Libya in the next couple of weeks.


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