So What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation (Besides Overthrowing Gaddafi)?

by Julian Ku

Well, at least one student at UCLA will have story to beat all others.

AN NAWFALIYAH, LIBYA // At the centre of a circle of cheering rebel soldiers near Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown this week stood an improbable figure who gives new meaning to the term “road trip”.

Chris Jeon, a 21-year-old university student from Los Angeles, California,shrugging cooly, declared: “It is the end of my summer vacation, so I thought it would be cool to join the rebels. This is one of the only real revolutions” in the world.

“How do you fire this thing?” he asked on Wednesday as a bearded rebel handed him an AK-47. Locating the trigger of the assault rifle and switching off the safety, Mr Jeon fired it in the air in two short bursts.

“I want to fight in Sirte!” he proclaimed, using hand gestures and pointing west towards Sirte. Whether the rebels understood him was far from clear. “It’s hard to communicate. I don’t really speak any Arabic,” he said

As he recalled that deliberately vague version of his itinerary, it dawned on Mr Jeon that he might be blowing his cover by speaking with a reporter on a far-flung stretch of desert more than 11,200 kms (7,000 miles) from home.

“Whatever you do, don’t tell my parents,” he pleaded. “They don’t know I’m here.”

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