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Libyans In SoCal Celebrate As Gaddafi Likely To Flee Tripoli

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Many Libyan-Americans in Southern California are hoping they will soon be celebrating the disintegration of Moammar Gaddafi’s regime.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports supporters in Little Arabia are among the millions of Americans that have been keeping a close eye on events overseas.

After decades of watching Gaddafi’s stranglehold on power, Libyans here in the Southland are giddy over the prospect of freedom coming to their native land.

“Yesterday, for example, it was just the happiest day of my life,” Salam Buzgaya, a Libyan native visiting from Sacramento, told KCAL 9’s Dave Bryan. “I wish I could just capture that moment and live it for the rest of my life because it was unlike any other moment in my life.”

And according to one analyst, the imminent overthrow of the regime in Tripoli will likely be received warmly by the international community.

“I think the perception was ‘the time has come’, and that time is for all Middle Eastern dictatorships, and certainly at the head of that class you have Gaddhafi,” said Edwin Smith, professor of law, international relations and political science at USC. “

Smith said one would be hard-pressed to find many Libyan supporters of Gaddhafi whether they live here in the U.S. or even back in Libya itself.

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