@WheelerTweets “Freedom Fighter Stories” from Tunis hospitals – tales of bravery and no money

Libya, Middle East & North Africa, Military | | July 11, 2011 at 12:37

3 Guys from Kikla at a tunis hospital. Rida (far right) says the pain is gone when I'm there. That's me, James Wheeler, the guy with the camera.

Many of the freedom fighters are in a long-term care facility in Tunis. Libyan FFs here are the most forgotten of all. Lights are turned off to save electricity (expensive in Tunisia). Untended cleaning carts litter the halls. Dark and dreary.  Some of the injured FFs in Tunis are going from hospitals to apartments, or even back to Libya, before they should – because of money issues. There’s an endless parade of ‘fact-finding missions.’  But the fact is, this problem is getting worse. Not better.

When I say no official help for these brave fighters, I mean no help from a national council or a town council or the UN or any NGO. More fitting to say TNC unable to help any, not all. At least over here in Tunisia. TNC has limited funds and other priorities.

Kudos to the Canadian Libyan Assoc Ottawa. Their name is up in this Tunis hopsital room because they paid some expenses.Â

Salem, Libyan FF, shot 2x in arm, 1x in leg had surgery in Tunis and going back home to Kikla next day. Kikla has no electricity no electricity & ppl living in caves due to Grads. He was basically kicked out from the pricey Tunis hospital in background.

The Canadian Libyan Association of Ottawa paid 10,800 DT for 5 injured FFs to stay 10-14 days each. But alas, that money has run out for guys like Salem from Kikla (in photo below being released from hospital).

Gaddafi forces are still firing Grads at Kikla everyday from Alasaba. And Kikla still has no electricity.

Salem isn’t the type to complain.  His latest surgery was 3 days ago and he’s in no condition to go to Kikla, so staying for now in a rented flat here. But that’s reality. He’s a 32 yr-old English teacher. Not the image of a Libyan FF that many foreigners have in mind.

Its shameful. There are more and more FFs like him. Gaddafi is not only one responsible. They are getting next to no help. Medical treatment in Tunis is essential for many injured Libyan FFs. Pricey for unemployed displaced heroes.

Back at the hospital, Ahmed, an injured FF from Zintan,  is checking into a Tunis hospital right now. He seems to be the 1st to arrive from Qwaleesh battle – no – correction. He’s the 2nd that I know of.  And the 1st who can be discussed.

This is a hospital room in Tunis. Both of these guys are freedom fighters from Misrata. Muftah 25 (standing) has a severe head injury under that hat. He's visiting Walid 24 who had more leg surgery.

Two injured FF in the lobby of a Tunis hospital yesterday Ali from Shakshuk and Massoud from Zintan. Injuries are not often obvious. Massoud has a Gaddafi bullet lodged in his brain. He's functional but not 100%

Ali Alkoud, Misrata FF, paralyzed from Gaddafi missile shrapnel in his back.

If Ali doesn’t get to you, another guy in there surely would. Chest wound. One leg amputated, multiple breaks in the other. Gaunt. Extremely visible wounds & circulatory issues, with just a bed sheet wrapped around his groin. Yet he smiled and made light of his condition. Gentle, with a twinkle in his eye. He said I was welcome to take a picture, but I couldn’t.

Brothers Ahmed and Suleiman from Ajdabaya in the lobby of their Tunis hospital. They're looking better every day. Ahmed's arm bandages have been removed & he can walk better. He stopped to visit with me & was happily surprised

Ahmed (kid in photo with Ranger UP t-shirt) stopped to visit with me and was happily surprised to be able to speak to @Worldloverpeace a Libyan in the US, who called my mobile phone to talk to us. A real treat. Ahmed brought his brother Suleiman down to say hi a few minutes later. Glad he can get up more now, even if it’s in a wheelchair.

By the way – had a homecooked lunch a few hours ago with 12 injured FFs from Kikla, Libya in a flat they’re now sharing in Tunis. So many war stories.

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