Longing for freedom in his homeland

March 19, 2011 6:17:06 AM PDT
Libyan leaders say they have declared a cease fire, but those living in the area under attack say they are still under siege. One Houston man knows all too well the violent power of Moammar Gadhafi and his forces. There are about 100 Libyan families living in Houston. You'd be hard pressed to find even one person willing to speak out against Gadhafi out of fear of retaliation. That is, until now.

A free Libya is something Nagib Mustafa always dreamed of.

"The word freedom itself, it has a very good taste in my mouth," he said.

When he left his country in 1979, Mustafa, an attorney and prominent Houston businessman, never imagined all these years later, that Gadhafi would still be in power.

"Gadhafi has no way out," he said.

He now believes Gadhafi's days are numbered as the U.S. and its allies stand ready to launch military action against him if he does not stop all attacks on civilians.

"For the Libyans, they have to go all the way and he has to go," said Mustafa.

Mustafa says the movement to oust Gadhafi has passed the point of no return. For him, the fight is a personal one.

"My personal friends were jailed, tortured and killed," he said.

All, he says, at the hands of Gadhafi, including his older brother. Mustafa says he was assassinated in 1980 while he was living in Manchester, England. He was 34 years old and one of 14 murders linked to Libya's ruler.

"He was assassinated by his crazy people that they sent overseas to scare the Libyans so they would not unify internationally," said Mustafa.

A free Libya, he says, would mean more than just a new beginning for his family overseas. It would serve as justice for his brother.

As tension in Libya continues to mount, Mustafa says he now talks to his family there at least twice a day. They are safe and anxious to see their country liberated.