A lot of weird things have happened in my life, but there is just this one that I will never ever forget..My trip to Libya.
During the Egyptian revolution, my parents were really scared and they wanted us to leave as soon as possible. My dad had to leave us to go to Lybia, but however due to the security circumstances in Egypt, he didn’t want to leave us, but instead he told us to come with him and stay there until everything in Egypt had cooled down. I honestly never liked living in Egypt, even though I have been living for about two years at that time, so finding an opportunity to leave was the best decision ever.
A couple of hours after making this decision, we were heading for the airport to go to Misurata. The airport was crowded with lots of people; People were screaming and fighting at the gates as if entering the gates will save them. At that time, just 3 days before, every single prison in Egypt was let loose. Every person who committed a crime was out there somewhere, he could be next to you, he could be your neighbour.. no one was safe. In fact, the day before we left there was a girl screaming, so every person around the area gathered and everything cluttered into a huge fight; we came to know afterwards that the girl was about to get rapped by a prisoner who went to jail for the murder and rape of several women. We felt insecure, not only because of that reason, but because we couldn’t sleep from the gunshots and the horrifying screams.
Anyway, when we arrived to Misurata, I was astounded. I used to think that Libya was what we saw in movies : Desert and small homes, but actually, it was not like that at all. They had lots of farms down there! Everything was so green and the beaches were really beautiful. When we landed, we had a small tour around the village. It was really beautiful, we totally forgot about what was happening in Egypt..That was a relief.
After 3 weeks in Libya and after the Egyptian revolution was over, the Libyans started to make their own revolution, and it was way worst then the one in Egypt. We didn’t sleep for two days in a row because we were terrified from the gunshots. Gaddafi sent soldiers to go to small villages and kill anyone they see. Misurata was a small village, and we were scared. On night, we heard banging on the door very violently. My dad took my sister and I to the farthest bedroom in the house, he told us “Stay in the wardrobes and don’t make a sound”, he locked the room until we heard someone calling out my dad’s name. Eventually it wasn’t one of the soldiers, it was my dad’s friend who just came to check up on us. He told us that he’d help us the day later to go to Tripoli Airport to go back to Egypt because he knew that we were unsafe.
We started moving at 6 am, My dad’s friend drove us in very weird places, away from where soldiers would be found. On our way, we found the people of Misurata carrying crates of Molotov and several weapons so they can protect the village from the Gaddafi soldiers. After several kilometres on the road to Tripoli, we encountered Gaddafi protesters who were going to Misurata (Anyone leaving Misurata is assumed to be the enemy of Gaddafi) after passing them, we heard a gun shot. It hit our car but thank God it didn’t get near anyone of us! My dad’s friend drove at 180 km/hr , we arrived after 15 minutes to Tripoli, however, there were people lying on the highway at 5 KM from the airport because Gaddafi denied any airline to go over Libya.
My dad came up with the idea that we had to go to Tunisia, it was about 200 km from Tripoli and it was safer there. So, we took a taxi from an area called “El Zawya”, (After 30 Minutes after leaving this area, it was bombarded..completely destroyed). On our way to Tunisia, Gaddafi forces stopped the car every 10 km, they took our phones, cameras and laptops because they might contain data of what was happening inside Libya.
When we arrived to the Tunisian borders, we had encountered a problem. They wouldn’t let my dad come with us to Tunisia because he had a Libyan residence. My sister , my mother and I started crying and we couldn’t believe what was going on. The soldier wanted to pull my dad out of the car and when my dad said that he can’t leave without us, the soldier pointed the gun at him. At this moment, we cried and screamed and begged the soldier to not harm him. My mom remembered that my dad had the Tunisian visa with him, and Thank GOD that it worked and they finally let us in.
Thanking God that now we were safe, we left the taxi and walked 1 km to the Tunisian borders, and we saw the most beautiful scene: The Tunisian people were waving at the arrivals and there were lots of cameras and journalists. My sister and I spoke with the BBC, that was really cool, I never actually thought I would be able to be on TV. Finally, we took a car from Tunisian borders to the nearest village called Djerba, and wow, It was beautiful, very beautiful. We stayed for a night and we took the first plane to Egypt.
Until now, I can’t believe that this has happened to me. I have never felt being this close to death in my entire life. Almost got shot, almost lost my dad..It’s surreal, I thank God that I am still breathing, still alive.