Friday, March 25, 2011

Back to Libya: "The double life of a popular UW lecturer"

Katherine Long (Seattle Times):

A month ago, when professor Ali Tarhouni told his microeconomics class at the University of Washington that he had a death sentence on his head in his native Libya, but that he had decided to return home to help advise the rebel army on economic issues, his students were stunned by the news.
"As most of you know, I spent the better part of my life fighting to bring democracy to Libya and just about everything that I attempted failed," Tarhouni wrote in an email he circulated to friends and former students on Feb. 27. "Out of nowhere a volcano erupted. These young people who are marching only with stones in their hands facing grenades and live bullets are writing a new chapter for Libya similar to their brethren in Tunisia and Egypt."

He went on to write, "I am not sure who is alive and who is dead but I feel that I need to go back to help as much as I can."

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, got a call from Tarhouni in Libya about a week ago; the professor asked McDermott to support the no-fly zone — he does — and to encourage the U.S. to recognize the rebels' provisional government. MORE...

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