Malik, a 35-year-old Libya native and 11 year Fort Collins resident, said that Libyaâ€™s military seizes cities, unleashes its military and kills its citizens.
â€œItâ€™s bloody. Itâ€™s a massacre,â€ Malik said.
But he feels differently about the rebels fighting against Libyaâ€™s government.
â€œItâ€™s said to say that itâ€™s a necessary evil,â€ he said.
Malik, whose last name is withheld in the interest of safety, spoke further on what it was like to be a Libyan in todayâ€™s political climate to about 45 individuals attending a â€œteach-in,â€ or symposium, titled â€œTurmoil in North Africa and the Middle Eastâ€ and hosted by CSUâ€™s Peace and Reconciliation Board.
The eventâ€™s exploration into the unpopular nature of the regionâ€™s government discouraged CSU international students from speaking about their experiences at home, said Bill Timpson, a professor within the School of Education and founding member of the board.
â€œThereâ€™s a real danger that if they are identified, they will lose their government scholarships,â€ he said.
The event was the first of its kind to be hosted by the board, which was started by Timpson and other CSU professors in the weeks following Sept. 11, 2001 as a way to generate discussion about nonviolence philosophy. Group member also include students who wanted to know more about recent democratic revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.
â€œIn the 1960s and â€˜70s, anti-war, and civil rights and peace protests were common on college campuses,â€ Timpson said, â€œso we have that in our history and then we suggested it to the students, and they said, â€˜thatâ€™s a great idea.â€™â€
Professors Kris Kodrich, Nathan Citino, Egypt expert Sam Rachid and Malik analyzed the regionâ€™s turmoil in terms of its international media coverage, centuries-old history and gave firsthand accounts of what they saw and heard from the front lines of Egypt and Libya when the nations were undergoing democratic upheavals.
â€œIf I had been there one more day, I would have seen Egyptâ€™s step down,â€ Rachid said. But when he was there, the streets leading into his Cairo apartment complex were blocked off by fellow residentsâ€™ cars.
â€œIt was nice because you got a sense of cohesion. But it was still very frightening because people were being murdered in the streets,â€ he said.
Citino said that the turmoil is partly inspired by the fact that the regionâ€™s huge youth population has frustratingly little economic opportunities. He also is wary of politiciansâ€™ calls for military action as a blanket solution to any problems one might find in the region.
â€œThere are arguments to be made for human intervention as well,â€ he said.
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.