DENVER (CBS4)– A University of Colorado Denver student worked with Ambassador Chris Stevens, a victim in the consulate attack in Libya this week, and said he considered Stevens a hero.
“I’m as sad as if I lost a family member,” said CU Denver student Mouath Baesho.
Baesho, a Libyan-American studying in Denver, said Stevens was held in high regard among Libyans and that with his death, the country has lost one of its closest friends.
Baesho spent several years in Libya working with outreach programs that worked with Stevens, “He reached out, he said I want to come, I want to meet those people. He came twice and was very, very charming.”
Baesho said Stevens was the man who could relate to Libyans. Someone who supported their right to freedom.
“It was really sad. This is a guy who was actually considered by most Libyans as a hero,” said Baesho.
He believes that’s because Stevens was smuggled into Libya during last year’s uprising and was a strong advocate of enforcing the no-fly zone over the country.
“This is a guy who drove, risked his life in the midst of the uprising,” said Baesho. “In Tripoli just to see what was really going on.”
Baesho is now worried about how the actions of a few extremists will damage Libyan-American relations, “This is not how Libya looks at America. If it wasn’t for the U.S. and their help and assistance, it would have been very difficult for Libyans to liberate.”
Stevens was a man who helped make that happen and why many consider him a brother.
“They condemn this act and their heart goes out to the family of the ambassador,” said Baesho.
Baesho also said that Stevens was so interested in getting to know the Libyan people it wasn’t uncommon for him to invite people over for dinner.
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