A heartbreaking task ….

Working in a ‘Crises’ and ‘Post-Crises-Environment’ has its rewarding moments, when you can feel that you could help some people in trouble. In Libya for instance before the current conflict there were many foreign workers from all over the world. Some were skilled workers from Europe and Asia, others unskilled mainly from Africa. Some were legal and some were illegal. Many of them just crossed the border into oil-rich Libya hoping for better economic opportunities. OK, actually most of the illegals just hoped to ‘make it’ across the sea to Italy and on to all of the European Union. Being part of a project to evacuate such foreign workers and their families back to their home countries has its satisfying moments. So far more than 210’000 foreign nationals, more than half of them from sub-saharan Africa, have been assisted to return home.

More difficult is another task that comes with the ‘crises’ situation and that is to go and offer condolences to staff members whose brothers have been killed in the fighting. Today I called upon one of my colleagues. His brother was part of the intensive fight for Sirte in Libya. He was on top of a building with his gun fighting against pro-Ghaddafi forces inside the town. He and one friend took a brake from the fighting to perform the Afternoon Prayers last Friday. (Salat-e-Asr). Just after raising his hands and saying ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ a rocket hit him and killed him instantly.

The family residence was decorated with electric lights, befitting a Martyr. No doubt the children can be proud of their Hero-father, but, of course they will still miss him dearly all their entire lifes. I have made many such calls, unfortunately, previously in Iraq and now in Libya, but I still do not know what to say except ‘Inna lillahe wa inna alaehe rajeoon’… We all are from Allah and to Him we all return.

We pray that the fighting will soon end in Libya and that all the hopes of the courageous fighters and their families for a better future will be realized, Ameen.

For more on the fighting still raging in Sirte please visit:



Categories: Africa, Libya, War

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