“Celebrating Independence Day in Libya makes perfect sense to me!”
These were the first words I had ever heard from late American . . .[restrict]Ambassador Chris Stevens. They were spoken to me on the fourth of July at the American embassy in Tripoli, Libya, with Ambassador Stevens at the end of the procession line. Over the following months I would occasionally run into the Ambassador at events where he would always seem so at home, so comfortable.
It was only one week ago, while waiting for luggage at the airport with Sarah Al Fakih and Mervat Mhanni he walked through, his casual demeanor leading me to believe he was nothing but a tourist. It wasn’t until Mervat said “Ambassador Stevens!” that I paid attention. He replied, true to his down to earth nature, “It’s just Chris!”
Three days later I would again sit across from him and be amazed by his pride in Libya and his unwavering faith in our transition. Ambassador Stevens, aside from being a Libyan patriot, was also a truly remarkable person and friend.
On September 11th, the American Consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Fourteen people were killed that night; the ten brave Libyan souls who passed away attempting to defend the Consulate and four Americans, among them our friend Chris Stevens. I cannot put into words how difficult it is to come to terms with the death of a person who, at many times, had more faith in the Libyan people than we had in ourselves. Nor will I try. Instead I share with you beautiful messages to him from Libyans who he continues to inspire.
“We will deeply miss you, I will miss you, my family will miss you, may you rest in peace.” – Mervat Mhani
“Chris Stevens was one of us, he wasn’t just another Ambassador, he loved Libya and Libyans did love him in return and that’s how we will remember him. He was one of us!”
– I am Libyan and I reject the killing of U.S Ambassador Chris Stevens (https://www.facebook.com/RIP.C.Stevens?ref=stream)
“By all accounts, Chris Stevens was an outstanding diplomat whose life and career exemplified the values of the Peace Corps. With great sympathy to the family of Christopher Stevens and the others that were slain in the line of duty. You’re such a great loss! Libyan people will never ever forget you. RIP….”
– MJ Ahmed
“A sad dark day in Libya for the horrific criminal act of killing the US ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his colleagues. I met him on 29 August in Gharian city, he was such a gentle kind hearted man who loved Libya and was so sincere in helping the Libyan people. Our deep condolences to his family and all the American people.”
– Guma El-Gamaty
“Chris Stevens was a brave man. He remained with us in Benghazi when all others fled during the war, he connected with our people, he has done his best to help our civil society prosper and grow, promoting several cultural and educational programs, and he showed us what tolerance means. He certainly did not deserve to die this way, even if no one meant to hurt him personally, the consequence of the action touched him and his family and his friends. Our deepest condolences go to Chris’s family and his friends, and to the families and friends of his fallen countrymen who died in Benghazi.” – Dr Laila Bugaighis – National Protection Against iolence Committee.
‘I am so sorry that we didn’t have the ability to recognize, I am sorry we couldn’t hold gratitude and I am sorry you lost your life supporting us and we failed you.” – Eman Arebi
‘Thanks a lot for standing by our side and for all the help an efforts u did for Libya and all Libyans , we will never forget you ……R.I.P ambassador Chris Stevens – Siraj Lantern.
May you rest in peace Chris. Thank you.
Alaa Murabit – founder of Voices of Libyan Women