The Journey to The Land of Opportunities (Part II & The Last)
|Story credits to History of Libya facebook page|
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a story about how my grandfather came all the way from our hometown, Al-Qalaa, in the western mountain to the capital, Tripoli. It is one of the most inspiring stories and it tells so much about determination and dedication in making anything possible and that we must keep fighting for what we hope to achieve. Needless to say, this article is going to be a finishing for the first part. I hope you enjoy reading the final part of this story. Check the link for the first part in case you haven't read it yet: http://mylifeasahumanandasalibyan.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-journey-to-land-of-opportunities.html
As for the people who read the story, so many guessed that he finally made it even though he missed the ride that was supposed to drive him to Tripoli. Despite the fact that he missed that ride but he decided to walk until he reached Al-Rabta crossroad where he can find people to help him out.
After that, my grandfather found an old man with his wife working on their land so they asked him what was he doing and he told them his story, they were very impressed and invited him for some dates and milk before he leaves. He thanked them both and kept on walking until he reached a place called Dar Beer Suleiman and found two men and one of them had a bicycle. They asked him what he was doing and again, he told him his story from the beginning. One of the men admired my grandfather's bravery and offered to take him to the nearest district to Tripoli where the Italian colonization cars used to pass by and take people to Tripoli. Once they arrived at his destination. The sun was about to set and he kept on walking until he reached a place called Sabutenia (Italian origin word) where there was a small store. The owner offered my grandfather some tea but all he wanted was to drink water so he drank water and slept at the old man's store. In the next day, my grandfather found the car that takes people to Tripoli but the driver asked him to pay 10 cents in order to take him but he got no pocket money.
My grandfather decided to walk instead and after few miles, Tripoli was clearer to his sight with every extra step he took. Finally, he reached Tripoli the capital. This whole journey took him about two and a half days of sweat, exhaustion, and dedication. My grandfather was tired but filled with joy and pride that he finally made it. My grandfather's oldest stepbrother, Abd El-salam, lived in Tripoli so my grandfather decided to go and see his brother who lives in the old city. When he met his brother, he was happy but his brother was shocked and told my grandfather not to stay here and that he must go back to Al-Qalaa. My grandfather got very upset because his brother did not want him to stay in Tripoli for reasons he did not know. He stayed at his brother's house for about week but then, he went back to his hometown and stayed there for two or three months until he figures out his next plan.
After long thinking, he decided to go back to Tripoli and find a job. First, he found a job as a driver for an Italian man but the salary was not convenient for the effort he made. So, he quit the job and started to think of an alternative option. He thought of selling soap blocks so to start this business, he needed about 2 and a half Libyan dinars to buy the soaps and sell them so he went to his brother's store and asked him for the money and he promised to pay him back. Abd Al-Salam was talking with a friend when my grandfather stopped by and asked him, soon, his brother refused to give him the money and started to come up with excuses that there was no way for my grandfather to make money out of this business but his brother's friend offered to give my grandfather the money.
Later on, my grandfather bought four blocks of soap with the money he borrowed and sold them all. He paid back his brother's friend. He felt good about himself and kept on buying goods and selling them. After that, he rented his own place because he did not want to stay with his brother until he started his own business and opened his first store in Tripoli. My grandfather learned the hard way how to earn a living and he proved those who stopped him at first wrong.
Hearing the story from my grandfather himself was greatly inspiring and moving. I was barely holding back the tears when I saw how his eyes lit up with a bittersweet look. My grandfather has been one of my role models. I know for a fact that hearing about his determination and fighting through tough times was one of the things which shaped my personality and inspired me as a young girl.