TRIPOLI- This is Mohamed from Benghazi.
The last time I saw him was in Al Jdaida prison on May 10 or so.
He was the first guy I met in Jdiaida. We were shuffled into the same crowded cell on the same day. We always seemed to be on the same prison bus to the courthouse because of this timing. He taught me to time my steps up the court house stairs in leg chains.
One time some young guys who looked like soccer frans also wearing wrist and ankle chains, yelled “fuck you” at me, probably trying to ingratiate themselves with the guards. Mohamed just nodded. He knew how to take abuse.
He was pretty unflappable unless he didn’t get enough cigarettes or food. Both of which he was sure he and I had while we shared the cell with 8 other guys.
Once when we were lined up outside for the court bus, one of the prison managers known for wearing a big picture of Muammar around his neck told Muhamed to say “Muammar Libya or Bes!” pointing to the picture. Mohamed seemed puzzled. He kept saying “huh?”
Mohamed said he was shot in the leg trying to open the cells of his fellow prisoners in Jdaida. He had been organizing the men to break while he was on prison food delivery. He managed to get out and with a kalashnikov go back in to free more.
Now he is married, and considerably slimmer. He lost his younger brother in Ajdabiya; and is living in a small container house on the outskirts of Tripoli.