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Published March 23, 2011, 07:25 PM

GF Native, Journalist Heading Back to Libya

A Grand Forks native who worked as a journalist in Cairo during the Egyptian revolution is heading to Libya to cover the conflict there.

A Grand Forks native who worked as a journalist in Cairo during the Egyptian revolution is heading to Libya to cover the conflict there.

Rachel Anderson is going back to Libya for another 2 months after being kicked out of the country just a month ago. She was working as a journalist in Benghazi when the fighting started and she was forced to leave.

"We basically had to leave because things were getting a little too intense, and they were pushing back the front lines back to Benghazi. They were worried about Gadhafi's troops cutting the city off and actually blocking Benghazi or blocking the border so we wouldn't be able to leave," Anderson said through a Skype conversation.

On Thursday, Anderson is going to take her chances and take the 30-hour trip back to Benghazi. She says if it wasn't for outside intervention by NATO forces, the town of Benghazi would be no more.

"If people were unable to come in and and had help from France and the US and everybody else that participated that Benghazi would not exist right now. That it would be completely shelled and ridden with bullets and they were scared and they said this was a saving grace for them."

Anderson says being in the middle of the action gives her a whole new angle on the fighting.

"From just getting an email and a high resolution photo once a week to actually having a Skype conversation with an activist or somebody who is on the frontlines, asking them anything you want and having a free reign to understand how they live their lives," Anderson said.

She says bringing a first-hand look back to the United States is her major goal.

"You need to give anyone context to care about it, so finding a way that someone can connect with a Libyan that's fighting or a Libyan that's being held captive. Somebody who is living thousands of miles away and finds that one little link showing there is not that much difference between the way you're living in Grand Forks, North Dakota to how they are living in Benghazi, Libya," Anderson said.

Anderson says she plans on taking a break and making a trip back to North Dakota sometime this summer.

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