‘They’re In Love With Justin Bieber’: UCLA Student Spends Summer In Libya

LOS ANGELES (CBS)— Chris Jeon, a math major at UCLA, spent his summer living in Libya among a brigade of rebel troops fighting against deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Jeon says he made the approximately 7,000-mile journey in order to join what he said was one of the only real revolutions in the world.

But he quickly ran into one major problem: he spoke no Arabic and could only communicate using mostly sign language.

“For the first week, it was all charades,” said Jeon. “I became so good at charades.”

It was only when Jeon realized that he needed to find some common ground with the Libyans that he finally made a breakthrough using a most unexpected conversation-starter.

“Their taste in music was interesting,” he said. “They’re in love with Justin Bieber, and when they said that I was like, ‘Oh are you serious?'”

Jeon bought a one-way ticket from L.A. to Cairo and traveled by train and bus to reach his destination, ultimately hitching a ride into the nation’s capitol.

  • http://losangelesforme.com/2011/09/theyre-in-love-with-justin-bieber-ucla-student-spends-summer-in-libya/ ?They?re In Love With Justin Bieber?: UCLA Student Spends Summer In Libya | Los Angeles for Me

    […] For the rest of the world, it’s a violence-ravaged city besieged by civil war for the last six months ? but for one Southland student, it was the vacation of a lifetime. More from: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com… […]

  • Edward Salazar

    I wonder how many Black Africans this little hero has rounded up, tortured and killed.



    I wonder if he’s proud to be fighting alongside Al Qaeda led rebels who were killing our troops just months earlier.



    I wonder how many rapes and indiscriminate killings he’s participated in.


    There is no good side to the war in Libya and it frightens me that this guy will be allowed to return to Los Angeles after picking up arms and killing people. I could stomach this story if he went there as a reporter, observer or humanitarian but not as a rebel.

    • Alpha Kenny Juan

      Edward, I’m sorry, but your comments are highly biased and reek of pro-Kaddafi propaganda. These fighters are not, and have not, been led by Al Qaeda, and although there are reports of attacks on sub-Saharan Africans in Libya, it’s not fair to paint the whole movement with such a broad brush. I’m not advocating for or excusing this young man’s actions, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that the rebel movement, or by extension, this young man, is carrying out large-scale atrocities. They want their freedom — the same freedom that you take for granted.

  • Timothy McGarry

    If they like Justin Bieber, they’ve still got a long ways to go for freedom.

  • lala63

    I don’t know which is more stupid … what this guy did, OR the comments by the female newscasters. This is not funny. This is not big fun and games. It’s a revolution with people being killed on both sides. This is ridiculous. You’d think by all the light-hearted banter of everyone in this piece that the idiot had taken a trip to Figi. Unbelievable.

  • lala63

    yeah, yeah … FIJI I know …

  • ALG

    The kid is naive, a little stupid, but he wanted the experience. I don’t know what experience he got, because he was shipped back almost immediately. The rebels themselves didn’t want him involved.
    And I don’t blame them. It’s their revolution. This kid was trying to take credit for something that wasn’t his cause. Sure he had a little excitement. How did he get the money to get there anyway. Is he some rich kid, or is he spending his college savings his family worked for most of their lives????
    There is so much more tragedies going on the world, why am I even wasting my time here.!!!

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