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21 year old Laker fan flies to Libya to join rebels fight vs. Gaddafi


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#1 MDI

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 04:04 PM

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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 American expression “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.

In a daring, one might even say foolhardy, decision two weeks ago, Mr Jeon flew on a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Cairo. He then travelled by train to Alexandria and by a series of buses to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. From there, he hitched a ride with rebels heading west towards the Libyan capital of Tripoli. After a 400km (248-mile) trek across the desolate North African landscape, he was now in the town of An Nawfaliyah, the toast of his comrades and a newly anointed road warrior.

“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.

Nevertheless, the rebels have clearly taken to the mathematics student with no obvious political leanings who decided to slum it as an Arab Spring revolutionary before going back to his calculator for fall semester.

At first glance, Mr Jeon looked like someone who took a wrong turn on their way to the beach or the Santa Monica Pier. He wore a blue basketball basketball jersey emblazoned with a script “Los Angeles” and the number 44. The rest of his outfit, including army camouflage trousers, a grey-and-black kaffiyeh on his head, clear safety glasses and a bullet hanging on a necklace, came courtesy of the rebels, he said. He had been sleeping in the homes of local families or in the open air with the insurgents.

On Wednesday, Mr Jeon was carrying a Russian-made 12-gauge shotgun, not a typical accessory for a student strolling the country-club campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he expects to graduate next May.

His new mates have even bestowed on him a moniker that is a mish-mash of the names of local tribes and areas: Ahmed El Maghrabi Saidi Barga. When communication invariably reaches an impasse, he merely repeats his name and the rebels erupt in raucous cheers.

Although Mr Jeon did not arrive in Libya in time to catch the liberation of Tripoli, he has seen history unfold. He was aboard one of the first cars to roar into An Nawfiliyah last weekend, armed with his shotgun and a camera that no longer works because the battery is dead. “I have great footage,” he said.

As with most students, money is a concern. He did not buy a round-trip airplane ticket, he explained: “If I get captured or something, I don’t want to waste another US$800 [Dh2,900].”

As he waited along with the rebels this week for what many expect in the coming days will be the climactic battle for Colonel Qaddafi’s stronghold of Sirte, Mr Jeon wondered how he would deal with the inevitable question, “How did you spend your summer vacation?”

Only a few friends back in Los Angeles knew his true plans, he admitted. His family? Well, they thought he was going on a different trip.

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.”


Edited by MDI, September 01, 2011 - 04:06 PM.

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Props to sidthekid871


#2 Beethovenite

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 05:31 PM

O
M
G

HE IS MY HERO


Well done, fellow Korean laker fan!!! Way to rep the UC system!

#3 LakersGAFan

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 06:35 PM

damn

#4 Beethovenite

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 10:11 PM

You know it's a long offseason when one of us decides to join the rebels...

#5 5thDroog

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 11:02 PM

wow, lockout drove him out there.

#6 Saber

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Posted September 01, 2011 - 11:26 PM

I don't think his place is there .. This is not a game. He can get killed there .. :nah:


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#7 NYCLakerfan

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 06:32 AM

He's bugging but what an experience he musta had.

#8 UKUGA

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 09:30 AM

I don't think this is something to be celebrating.

http://www.telegraph...aeda-links.html

These rebels have links to Al Qaeda, the same group that attacked this country 10 years ago.

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#9 LakersGAFan

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 11:01 AM

I don't think his place is there .. This is not a game. He can get killed there .. :nah:

This is what I thought. Especially when I read the part about him not knowing how to operate the safety on a AK47. Which btw is extremely eazy compared to most assault rifles. When I read that I was thinking....man...dudes in way over his head.
In the pic hes not holding a AK hes holding a 12 gauge shotgun.

Maybe theyll be nice to him and put him in the back lines or something. But the back lines duty is usually to make sure enemy troops are dead by shooting them in the heads when they find them still alive, laying bloody on the ground, and at times begging for mercy.
That would be hard as [expletive] for me to do. And I enjoy guns and shooting.

But mentally speaking about us as Americans who do not grow up in militia based war zone societies and generally have it easier regarding that aspect of life.....could you make the decision to end someones life like that?

Edited by LakersGAFan, September 02, 2011 - 11:03 AM.


#10 NYCLakerfan

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 11:04 AM

This is what I thought. Especially when I read the part about him not knowing how to operate the safety on a AK47. Which btw is extremely eazy compared to most assault rifles. When I read that I was thinking....man...dudes in way over his head.
In the pic hes not holding a AK hes holding a 12 gauge shotgun.

Maybe theyll be nice to him and put him in the back lines or something. But the back lines duty is usually to make sure enemy troops are dead by shooting them in the heads when they find them still alive, laying bloody on the ground, and at times begging for mercy.
That would be hard as [expletive] for me to do. And I enjoy guns and shooting.

But mentally speaking about us as Americans who do not grow up in militia based war zone societies and generally have it easier regarding that aspect of life.....could you make the decision to end someones life like that?


As I am in my current state of mind hell no

Edited by NYCLakerfan, September 02, 2011 - 11:05 AM.


#11 Notorious Arab

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 01:35 PM

This is what I thought. Especially when I read the part about him not knowing how to operate the safety on a AK47. Which btw is extremely eazy compared to most assault rifles. When I read that I was thinking....man...dudes in way over his head.
In the pic hes not holding a AK hes holding a 12 gauge shotgun.

Maybe theyll be nice to him and put him in the back lines or something. But the back lines duty is usually to make sure enemy troops are dead by shooting them in the heads when they find them still alive, laying bloody on the ground, and at times begging for mercy.
That would be hard as [expletive] for me to do. And I enjoy guns and shooting.

But mentally speaking about us as Americans who do not grow up in militia based war zone societies and generally have it easier regarding that aspect of life.....could you make the decision to end someones life like that?

If I'm fighting for my country then yes.

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#12 leor_77

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 01:36 PM

Him being a Lakers fan has nothing to do with the story...

He is an idiot, to be honest. Too young to know the implications of what he's doing, and what each side stands for.

#13 UKUGA

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Posted September 02, 2011 - 01:56 PM

Him being a Lakers fan has nothing to do with the story...

He is an idiot, to be honest. Too young to know the implications of what he's doing, and what each side stands for.


Exactly. We don't even know who stands for what.


All we know is that the POTUS (and John McCain, as well) says these movements are "inspiring".

Was 9/11 inspiring?

Ladies and Gentlemen, your government.

www.twitter.com/ukuga


#14 TKainZero

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Posted September 03, 2011 - 01:10 AM

I thought it would be a cool read...
until i read this line...

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”


This guy is a mental ZERO!!!!
What a moron...
What a idiot...
How is Libya a real revolution? and others are not?

Idiot MORON!
This is why some pathetic dictator and his sun can control half of Korea for half a century!

IDIOT STUPID MORON!!!!

And, the real question is, WHO ARE THE REBELS? Now, i will read the rest of the article.

“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


WTF!!!! IDIOT MORON!!!


Either way, kudos to HIM...
He really is a man, a dumb one, but, i give him credit.
What a man, the world needs more men like him, willing to go with what they fell, what they want, and just do it.

Big credit to him!

#15 Saber

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Posted September 03, 2011 - 02:02 AM

This war is not his .. These people are fighting for their freedom and he's there fooling around just for the [expletive] of it .. Not to mention he'll probably be a burden for his rebel comrades, rather than be any helpful .. I hope nothing bad happens to him, because it's going to be one stupid way to die ..


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#16 urkle9

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Posted September 03, 2011 - 07:19 AM

Surprised Artest didnt join him to get the media attention

#17 Junayd

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Posted September 04, 2011 - 12:09 AM

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@MooMeezy | Tumblr
“i have more respect for a man that lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong.
than one who comes up like an angel but is nothing but a devil.”


#18 5thDroog

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Posted September 06, 2011 - 08:56 AM

is he still alive?

#19 TKainZero

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Posted September 09, 2011 - 12:45 AM

is he still alive?


He is not black, so i guess he is safe from being rounded up and put in a prison camp...

#20 Hero

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Posted September 09, 2011 - 08:27 AM

Well, that's an experience worth telling to your kids when they grow up. I hope he makes it our alive though.

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