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Sentenced to Death... Some by Dehydration

"A fight with no cause is a lost one,
A cause with no fighters is more likely to head for the graveyard!"

It was a moonless night. Dark, so dark, that it camouflaged the Chadian silhouettes. There were flaying bullets, blood splashes, and flying body parts. There were screams and cries, the aaahhhs and the moaning. Some of those silhouettes were armed with knives and machetes, and by comparison, they were well-organized savages having a slaughtering frenzy on a traditional and much better equipped army; a good-sized division of the Libyan armed forces sent to it's death.

It was this chaos that woke Al-faDHeel Emmhemed up. Al-faDHeel was fortunate not to get hit but his friend and comrade A'ttia had. A'ttia was bleeding severely and needed help walking. In the heat of the moment, they whispered to each other; their decision was for A'ttia to lean on Al-faDHeel and for both to quickly hit the open land. Opportunity presented itself and there they went. The red death to them, as we say, was so real that they did not take anything with them; no water and not even shoes.

Not knowing what lies ahead, they walked all night and most of the next morning. A'ttia's case was worsening by the minute and they both knew he was helpless. They also knew all four sides of their surroundings were equal trouble - the Chadian killing-machines on one side, and the unknown of the unforgiving Sahara on the other three- But they thought it might be safer to just keep on going and hope for the best. Al-faDHeel carried his friend, resting whenever he got tired. The sun was in the middle of the sky, a high noon, when A'ttia finally lay down motionless. Weak, exhausted and not knowing what to do, Al-faDHeel wonders what will happen. His mind was playing tricks on him and his thoughts were doing acrobats. Will he make it.... Will they come looking for him... Will he survive?....Water was no where but in the mirage..... The water sack and its carrier, the rescuers and the helpers were only in the hallucination. His happy moments were in the flashing images of his kids ľa two-year-old son and four older daughters and in the tickling scent of his wife, Warda.

The night for Al-faDHeel in our beautiful southern skies was again moonless and the stars couldn't be any brighter. Al-faDHeel laid on his back and stared at the happy skies. The shooting stars and the majestic scenery of up above were his last to see. And down on earth, he was about to meet his maker. Al-faDHeel died holding on to the hands of his dead friend.

It was only a shadow of a small rock that eased the heat of the sun; a shadow that covered his friend's head and barely covered half of his. The same shadow determined how they would forever rest. "Allahhhh... matoo medh-abdeen ba'dhum" commented a passerby who came across their badly decomposed bodies; bodies vultures had not completely consumed yet. They were, from what it seemed, giving each other their final good-byes.

The death choice for these two fellow countrymen, Al-faDHeel and A'ttia, my friends, was bad and not much of a choice. It was as bad as the injured but survived. Some of these survivors, later known as the short-lived survivors, had no remedy and no treatment for their injuries either. They were, after two days of waiting on the unforgiving terrain, put on a C-130 Hercules transporter and told that they were going straight to Tripoli's central hospital. After a flight that lasted about two hours, the cargo plane landed but was ordered to stay on the tarmac and be ready for another takeoff. Nearly four hours later, a bus pulled next to the airplane and picked up the minor-injured ones. Only the cargo crew was replaced and off it went again. It barely leveled its flight when the rear end of the aircraft suddenly split open. Most of the "cargo" was alert and to their surprise, were pushed After little experience of weightlessness, they felt the water splash. Only then did they realize, they had just been offered to the hungry fish and to the sea rats off the coast of Alkhoms, instead of to the Chadian silhouettes.

The killer gave the order for such barbaric and devilish act, for, he knew well that in convicting a wrong doer, evidence must be provided.

On this matter, Qaddafi, the solely responsible for their death sentence, denied it all. He claimed he never heard of Hafter; "We have wahed esmah eh-faeter" was his answer... "How could we have casualties if our armed forces were never involved in any kind of war?" he added. In civilized, semi-civilized, or otherwise humans, these soldiers would have had not only a good medical treatment but a commander's bedside visit and a great home welcome as well.

Al-faDHeel was a good man, a father, and a beautiful human being. You would never have heard him speak ill of anyone and was pleasant company. Al-faDHeel was my dear friend and childhood playmate. May the goodness of Ramadhan shower him with blessings.

Al-faDHeel's oldest daughter, A'isha, gave birth to her third child this past June; it was a boy. Her and her husband had one name in mind... through this little boy, Al-faDHeel's name shall live on.

My phone rang recently. One of Al-faDHeel's brothers was on the other end, "We are adults and we can take any kind of news, good and bad! Will you please find out what had happened to my brother, Al-faDHeel?" he asked. Only three phone calls on my end that rendered the above...on his question's follow-up... I, like many of you, didn't have the guts to fill him in.

-And again, the things we know; wondering how bad are the ones we don't could possibly be?!


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