Hassan Abdul Khalid is an Egyptian shop owner in the Kerzaz district of Libya’s besieged city, Misrata. I met them as he stood with two other friends, one being Syrian Adel Ajjamiya (2nd image, above), outside of the shop above which they live.
“I was asleep upstairs when the shells hit” said Hassan, talking of a few nights previously when this huge crater in front of his shop was made. Qaddafi forces had been shelling this neighbourhood in Misrata for several days, and our conversation was punctuated by nearby shells.
Hassan and Adel know that there are boats coming to take foreigners out of Misrata, but they have also heard of the people sleeping in the street, near the port, hoping to board them. Several days previously, a rocket had hit a bakery as people queued to buy bread, killing several. “There is nowhere safe to go in this city” Adel says, but prefers to wait here, at home, despite the shelling. “We will leave when it is our turn” he says, stoically.
Hassan’s more immediate concern is for his family. They had fled Misrata when the revolution started, and believes them to be now living in Benghazi. With no telecommunications in Misrata, and with much of the Libyan cell-phone network not functioning, he has no way to reach them.
“I hope they will see this picture and known that I am alive”, he says.