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Monday, April 16, 2012

Shed Massacre Witnesses: Mohammad Gibran Ahbich

Posted by Petri Krohn 
April 14, 2012
update April 16

<< The Khamis Brigade Shed Massacre
      << Shed Massacre Witness List

The first person to speak to the press about the alleged Khamis Brigade shed massacre was Abdulatti Musbah Haleem, a construction worker from Zlitan. He was interviewed at the Tripoli Medical Center on August 25 by Andrew Gilligan of the Telegraph. He is also most likely the source from whom Dr. Salem al-Farjani first learned of the alleged massacre.

Transliterating his name to عبد العاطي مصباح بن حليم (Abdul Ati Mosbah ben Halim) gives a number of Google hits on the Facebook page of Zliten 17 Feb-2011, most importantly, in a list of "the Zliten rebel prisoners in Tripoli who have been freed from detention by the tyrant". Three of the names are said to be "injured and in good condition at the Tripoli Medical Center”. The two other names transliterate to Mohammad Imran Ahbich ( حمد عمران احبيش ) and Ahmed Hadid ( احمد حديد ). The witness list already has a Mohammad Jubran Ahbich as number 2 and a Ahmed Mohamed Hadid as number 16 in the possible escapee list.

On another Facebook page the name is given in Arabic as "محمد جبران احبيش", which transliterates to Mohammad Jubran Ahbich or Mohammad Gibran Ahbich. (Gibran "جبران" is the name used by the Lebanese-American artist Khalil Gibran, whose name is alternately transliterated as Jubrān, Jibrān, Gubran, or Gibran.) Gibran in this context seems to be a patronymic name (nasab) i.e tha name of the father. The Internet also knows of another “Gibran Ahbich”, Essam Gibran Ahbich (عصام جبران احبيش ) also from Zliten, who is listed as number 244 on this official list of people reported missing by their relatives. He is said to be last seen at the “Yarmouk prison.“

Mohammad Gibran Ahbich is best known for the long Interview, or monologue testimony he gave to a Misrata rebel television station. The interview has been uploaded to YouTube by user 17LibyanFree in four parts.

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

The YouTube video has a title that translates to something like "A young man from Zliten tells the story of suffering and death after surviving an attempted execution by the Brigades." The YouTube account does not mention the name of the witness, but the Zliten 17 Feb-2011 Facebook page links to the video, stating something like "part from the testimony of Mohammad Gibran Ahbich, one of the survivors of the massacre on the Yarmouk Brigades". The text also makes a reference to a dead or buried brother.

From this context it is evident that Mohammad Gibran Ahbich claims to be a witness to the August 23th violence at the Khamis Brigade shed complex. It also seems he lost a brother, Essam.


Because of a lack of language skills I am unable to understand, transcribe or translate the testimony. Help is needed here. Can anyone provide a summary on what is said on the video?

Update by Caustic Logic, April 16: Felix noted (in comments, below) that the video subject mentions a Mohammed Gibran Ahbich at 8:40. Would he refer to himself in the third person? We now have a part-time Arabic translator, anonymous, behind-the-scenes. He has a quick note to clear this up. Apparently he does refer to himself. The subject says at 1:33, apparently recounting part of his story where his name is asked (??) ""Who are you ?" I am Mohamed Ahbich."
At 8:40, he says, strangely: "Mohamed Jubran Ahbich, Abdel Salam Ramadan Abu Hnek and Essam Jubran Ahbich were driven to Tripoli."

Other details perhaps forthcoming.


  1. @ Petri : in the FB what happened in yarmouk club he was mentioned as nr. 3 survivor:

    3 رابطة اهالى ضحايا
    شاب من زليتن يروي قصة معاناته ونجاته من الموت
    شاب من زليتن يروي قصة معاناته ونجاته من الموت بعد محاولة اعدامه من الكتائب 03

    1. Is that at a Facebook page for the video? It's not at WHaY's Youtube. Just curious what being # 3 means.

    2. I put their list 'what happened in yarmouk' on blog before somewhere,before it became accessible just for members, [just 1 day after felix mentioned it.]
      They mentioned jabran as nr 3 survivor.

  2. Slick work, Petri! It was cool opening the page and seeing a new post I didn't even put together, it was just there, my formatting and everything. :) I thought there were two Ahbiches escaped, somehow, when you said brothers. Okay, the one will now move from the maybes list to compress with "unnamed," who will go almost at the top of the list and, once again, bump almost all entry numbers up one. I'll update this later today, so already the given numbers will be wrong.

    I think that's enough too to bump Hadid, making one more details-having escapee and one less of the other list.

    Mohammed's account remains silent to us for the moment, but this post will hopefully expand in time with a translation of key points.

    The feeling of teamwork here is quite cool, but the day calls. I'll be back.

    1. Seems like he transliterates his name as Mohamed Ehbish. He has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mohamed2010d

      There is also a page named "سند احمد احبيش", which translates to "Support Ahmed Ahbich":
      Mohamed Ehbish likes the page.

  3. Around 8.40 in video 1, he mentions both Mohamed Gibran Ahbich and Essam Gibran Ahbich, plus another name in between (I think). I don't think he would refer to himself as such.

    1. Hmmm! I'll watch soon and see what I think.

      Translation would be nice - just that segment should tell us how to consider this, vis-a-vis the Ahbich identity... will check into people I know...

    2. It does sound like he says his own name, if that's him. It would be odd. Needs clarified, still will check...

    3. First translation in-see post update.

    4. It's not reported speech at 1.33 is it??

    5. I think that's supposed to be it. He might sort of change voices into a response right after: "Oh, Mohammed, Mohammed, something." I think there's a bit more coming, if not a full transcript of this monstrous account. We'll see if it makes more sense.

    6. It's actually more like 1:31. The voice changes before and after - yeah, he's recreating a conversation.

  4. 244 عصام جبران احبيش 32 سجن اليرموك
    244 Essam Gibran Ahbich 32 Yarmouk prison


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