Ottawa Libyans celebrate Gadhafi death

Anti-Gadhafi Libyans in Ottawa are celebrating reports of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi being captured, wounded and killed by rebels eight months after the revolution began.

West Ottawa resident Ahmed Hussein said he feels, “great, ecstatic.”

Hussein said he got a call from family in Libya early Thursday, then turned the TV on and watched events unfold on Al Jazeera.

It was all “hearsay,” Hussein said, until he actually saw confirmation that Gadhafi’s hometown, Sirte, had fallen to revolutionary fighters.

Speaking to family in Libya, “it’s a big celebration,” said Hussein.

“It’s quite hard to talk to anybody. It’s emotional. It will bring some justice to all the martyrs who have died.”

One of those martyrs is Hussein’s good friend and former Ottawa resident, Abdel Hamid Darrat, 46, who disappeared seven months ago.

Darrat’s body was found among 70 others about two months ago in Tripoli where he was running a telecommunications company, providing IP addresses for Internet users in spite of Gadhafi’s Internet service ban.

Darrat’s widow and children are currently in Libya.

“We’ve touched base with them,” said Hussein.

Darrat was the second Canadian with Ottawa links to die in Libya.

Nader Ben Raween, 24, was also killed in August after leaving his IT job here last March to join the fight against Gadhafi’s loyalists.

“At least now Libya can start rebuilding and moving to the next step,” Hussein said.

Local Libyans are planning to celebrate on Parliament Hill at 7 p.m., weather permitting.


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