Mohammed describes being born in the UK and moving back to Libya as a child. A “cultural shock” followed an ongoing challenge in discovering multiple layers of his identity. Mohammed personally experienced the turning point of the revolution in Libya in 2011, and how the values of freedom and independence; living under turmoil; and garnering courage helped him initiate changes in his life through seizing opportunities. This story was recorded in partnership with MALA and StoryCorps with Benedictine University’s 2016 MEPI Program.
“I was born and raised in Manchester UK, and stayed there for 10 years. Went to Libya at 2004, and that was a very big turn point of my life, because I mean you get used to a place for 10 years you have lots of friends, lots of memories, and then you just get that cultural shock the identity crisis starts to happen because you go to a different a not very…very progressive country and at such a young age.
As you know Libya had this major turn point in 2011 which was the Revolution of 17th February. By overtaking the country by rebels over the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Some people were pro Gaddafi some people were against him so that’s rather conflict between people nowadays in Libya. Like some people regret the revolution now because of how things turned out to be, but we all know it was a life-changing experience for all of us. I mean in my point of view the revolution open roads for us to feel more responsible of our future for our children’s future. Like before you knew that other people were controlling you, or they had all the right to do so…so after the revolution it’s more of us making our decision of living in better circumstances. Okay yeah right we are not living them right now, but that’s how nations build up it takes time you have to try different things to know what best goes for your country with your community. So I think the open my eyes for a lots of opportunities in life.
My message to all people in this world on the thing that I learned more this summer is live the life you want to live. You only live once you should try everything you’re afraid of because after trying it you’ll notice that you were never afraid. You’re always capable of doing things you didn’t know you were capable of so yeah so that’s my message for all your respective listeners.”