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Qaddafi’s Death Gives Local Libyans Hope

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Libyans regain their freedom — they are also losing their fear.

Many fled from the country during Moammar Qaddafi’s 42-year reign.

Qaddafi’s death has now given some Minnesotans an opportunity to move forward and strengthen their family history.

For 11-year-old Al Zaidi, the smiles on his parents faces are priceless.

“They were laughing and having fun. They were happy,” he said.

His parents, born in Tripoli, have been in the United States since 1980 — they left when Qaddafi was in power.

Now, they celebrate the liberation of Libya — and the capture and death of the dictator who kept them from returning to their homeland for more than 30 years.

“Every single street, every alley, what they call zinga, zinga, every alley — they have celebration over there,” said Jamal Zaidi.

Phone calls from family members celebrating in Libya keep Jamal up to date with what is going on.

He watches Al Jazeera, to show his son the history-making events happening in the place where he grew up.

“I’ll be taking my son to Libya to see and to come back and have a good report about Libya,” he said.

Al is excited and knows the death of Qaddafi means connecting with family he’s never seen.

“The only family I’ve seen is my mom and my dad and one uncle in real life and their two children. I really want to see a house full of my family. I really want that to happen,” he said. “I’ve always seen them on computer. I’ve never seen them in real life — what they do, what they wear.”

The trip will not happen until school is out.

Until then, Al can now dare to dream — a dream his father never had the opportunity to have.

“When I go I hope I become the new president,” Al said.

He said he hopes to see the sites in Libya his father has told him about since he was a baby.

Jamal said he hopes the Libyan people are ready to accept a new government and a new democratic way of life.

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