Saad shares his expertise with media, campus community

As the world woke up on Oct. 20, 2011, to reports that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi had been captured and possibly killed, WCSU Professor of History and Non-Western Cultures Dr. Abubaker Saad was fielding phone calls — first from a friend who called him with the news, and then from a slew of international media outlets seeking his perspective on the situation. “I’ve been waiting for this day for 33 years,” Saad said.

A member of the Western faculty since 1996, Saad formerly was a Libyan diplomat and worked in Gadhafi’s office as the dictator’s personal interpreter. He was part of a plot to kill Gadhafi that was discovered, forcing Saad to flee the country.

“The plot we planned had 500 people. I was able to get out with six others. You know what happened to the other 500? Executed summarily.”

It’s because of this first-hand knowledge that Saad was in extremely high demand on the day the Libyan dictator died and for several days that followed. He divided his time between his Warner Hall office, where television news crews lined the hallway awaiting their turn to film him, and a studio in the Office of Media Services in the basement of White Hall that contained technology that enabled him to respond to international interviewers via Skype.

Saad ruled the airwaves for several days.

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Dr. Abubaker Saad, professor of history and Non-Western Cultures, makes a point during a discussion at his WCSU office about contemporary developments in Libya and the Middle East.