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Young woman protesting killing of Chris Stevens and U.S. consular officials in Benghazi Sept. 12, 2012
A young woman protests slaying of U.S. ambassador and consular employees in Benghazi.
My step-daughter, Amira, was born in Tripoli to an American mother and Libyan father. Since 2005, she has lived in the United States. She has dual American and Libyan citizenship. Since the middle of 2010, she was involved outside Libya in the resistance movement to the dictatorship of Muammar Qadafi and his sons. A member of her political group and one of her cousins were killed in the fighting that eventually brought down the regime. I wrote about that cousin in Another dead freedom fighter in Libya. This one was family. The New Yorker subsequently wrote about him here.

Amira says social media in Libya are ablaze with anger and sadness over the attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador and consular employees in Benghazi on Tuesday. Many Libyans had especially warm feelings toward Ambassador Chris Stevens because he had taken personal risks to help the revolution against the dictatorship. You can see a few photos and read a few comments in Arabic and English on Facebook here and here. Marches in solidarity with the families of those who were murdered and against the extremists are planned for Tripoli, Benghazi and at least one of the country's smaller cities.

Today, she wrote the following letter to the employees of the embassy and consulate. With her permission, I am publishing it here without further comment:

Dear all American Embassy & Consulate employees,

I am a Libyan citizen, and I am very shameful of the criminal acts of some angry, immature, ignorant Libyans have done. There are no words that can express how deeply sad and angry I feel. What happened to Mr. Cris Stevens and the other three American employees yesterday is a criminal act. It is NOT tolerated by us, Libyan citizens.

Cris Stevens was a great representatives of the United States. I deeply liked his generous personality and policies toward Libyan people. He was kind and respectful to us. He was supportive of our revolution. He believed in it. I was shocked this morning when I heard the news of his death.

Mr. Stevens worked sincerely hard on improving the Libyan-American relationship. He believed in diplomacy and dialogue. He wanted to bridge the gap between the Libyans and the Americans by encouraging Libyans to travel to the States. Bridging the gap between our two different cultures is the only [way] to stop stereotyping and hating each other. I deeply believe in Mr. Stevens' mission and vision.

Gaddafi was killed about a year ago. However,  the negative effects of his ruling for 42 years are not dead yet. We ended the dictatorship, but we are still in a battle with ignorance.

I hope that this tragedy will bring us, the Libyan people and American people, even closer. And, I hope that we keep following in the footsteps of  Mr. Stevens.

Thank you, Mr. Stevens, and may your soul rest in peace.

God bless Libya.
God bless America.
God bless the whole world.

Libyan citizen,
Amira (Camila) Hashim

Protest in Algeria Square in the heart of Tripoli support of U.S. employees Sept. 12, 2012
Protesters against the slayers of U.S. embassy and consular employees hold up signs
 on Wednesday evening in Algeria Square in the heart of Tripoli.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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