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wheelsup_cavu
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Joined: Mar 29, 2010
Posts: 916
Location: Corona, California
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:30 pm
Post subject: College student summer break vacation

Brilliant kid Rolling Eyes


- Kristen Chick @ msnbc
UCLA math major joins Libya rebels on 'vacation'
Source: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4...?GT1=43001

Al Nawfaliyah, Libya - At this rebel outpost in the middle of the desert near the front lines of the fight with Muammar Qaddafi’s loyalists, a gaggle of rebel fighters gathers in a circle, laughing, cheering, and filming with their mobile phones.

In the center stands a 21-year-old American college student from Los Angeles.

Chris Jeon wears a cobalt basketball jersey emblazoned with the words “Los Angeles” and the number 44, camouflage pants, and black and white Converse sneakers. Around his neck hangs a spent ammunition casing on a string, and a black and white scarf is wrapped around his head, courtesy of the rebel fighters.

Why is he here?

This is one of the few real revolutions,” he said. “I just thought I’d come check it out.”

It’s an unusual summer break for a college student, especially for a math major at University of California, Los Angeles, who says he spent his last spring break in Quebec. But Mr. Jeon is near the front lines of a conflict that has already taken thousands of lives, and is likely to cost many more if rebels launch a planned assault on Mr. Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

Jeon doesn’t seem worried.

“I just go and see what happens,” he said. “At spring break I told my friends a 'sick' vacation would be to come here and fight with the rebels.”

He spent $800 on a one-way ticket from L.A. to Cairo, then traveled by land across the border into Libya, where he has now been for nearly two weeks. His parents do not know he is here. He speaks no Arabic, and has been staying with fighters and families in the area.

“I haven’t spent a dollar in weeks,” he says, because the people of Libya have extended such hospitality.

He has no way of contact with the outside world, and on Tuesday was unsure of the date. Yet he seemed to be having the time of his life.

At the rebel checkpoint about 80 miles from Sirte, he held a Russian-made shotgun the rebels had given him, appearing to be unfamiliar with it. Then a rebel handed him an AK-47, and he awkwardly fired several rounds into the air. The fighters cheered and laughed before quickly taking the gun back.

The boisterous rebel fighters, clearly enjoying this foreigner who had joined their ranks, shouted competing offers for him to join their respective brigades. Jeon needed translation to understand what they were asking. He communicates with sign language, and broken Italian.

He said the rebels had bestowed upon him an honorary Libyan name: Ahmed El Maghrabi Saidi Barga. As he said it, the rebels roared in approval.

Jeon said he was “helping” the rebels, though he didn’t appear to be using firearms.

He was among the first rebel fighters who drove into Nawlifyia to take it from Qaddafi troops, he said. And he’s not worried about staying safe amid the possible battle for Sirte – the rebels have set a Saturday deadline for Qaddafi loyalists there to surrender, before they attack.

“I believe in destiny,” he said.

This article, "American college kid joins rebels for 'vacation'," first appeared on CSMonitor.com



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JG300-Ascout
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Posts: 6256
Location: Cyberspace
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:18 pm
Post subject: Re: College student summer break vacation

All good things come to an end. Ahhh...but the good times, eh? Laughing

American's 'sick' vacation in Libyan revolution may be over
'Rebels fed up with Chris Jeon, US kid who tried to join, told him 2 go,' tweet says.

An American college student's "sick" vacation with Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi may be over: The 21-year-old man was sent packing from the revolution, according to tweet from Al Jazeera on Friday.

"Our team in east Libya said rebels fed up with Chris Jeon, US kid who tried to join, told him 2 go, last seen on pick-up going 2 Benghazi," Al Jazeera producer Evan Hill tweeted.

Jeon, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, joined rebel forces near the front lines of the conflict after buying a one-way ticket to Cairo two weeks ago, The Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday.

“This is one of the few real revolutions,” he told the Monitor. “I just thought I’d come check it out.”


He purchased a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Cairo, then traveled by land across the border into Libya, according to the Monitor.

A friend of Jeon's described him as “thrill seeker” who refused to listen when friends tried to stop him from embarking on the trip. His parents didn't know where he was, either, according to reports.

"He's becoming a thrill seeker. I love him to death, but he does plenty of stupid s---. ... I'm very glad that he's still alive," Peter Duan told LA Weekly.

Duan also told the Weekly: "He told me, 'If a rebel's running at me with a gun, I won't hesitate to shoot his head off.'"

Jeon was photographed at a rebel outpost in the middle of the desert near the front lines of the fight with Gadhafi’s loyalists. He made fast friends with a gaggle of rebel fighters.

“At spring break I told my friends a 'sick' vacation would be to come here and fight with the rebels,” he told the Monitor.

He was among the first rebel fighters who drove into Nawlifyia to take it from Gadhafi troops, he told the Monitor.

But it seems his time in the Libyan sun may be over.

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