UCLA Student Tries to Help Out in Libya | NBC Southern California

UCLA Student Tries to Help Out in Libya

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A UCLA student went to Libya to help the rebels. His trip was not welcome by all. (Published Friday, Sept. 2, 2011)

    "No bags, no cell phones, no wallet; just a passport and just one dollar."

    That was Chris Jeon's YouTube summation of his plan to audition with a friend for an internship on an undiscovered island in Panama. The 21-year-old UCLA math major is known for being a risk taker. But his latest adventure drew international attention.

    Two weeks ago, Jeon bought a one-way ticket to Cairo, and made his way to Libya to join the rebels fighting Khaddafy's troops.

    A photo that turned up in "The National," a Mideast newspaper, showed Jeon wearing a Los Angeles jersey, holding what appeared to be an automatic weapon. He told the reporter he didn't really know how to fire it.

    Students at UCLA said Jeon is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Former frat brother Justin Fareed said Jeon is known for his wild ways, but this latest adventure is crazy.

    "I was a little shocked," said Fareed. "He's a different kind of guy. He's very adventurous, to say the least."

    Jeon now has his own Facebook page. Some people think he's irresponsible. Others think he's a hero.

    "He told his friends he went because he had two weeks left with nothing to do over the summer," said UCLA student Neyamatullah Akbar. "He said it would be something cool to do. Then I don't really support that because he should have thought about all the things that could follow up after that. If he went there to help people, I support that."

    But it's questionable whether Jeon's efforts are welcome. A producer from Al Jazeera posted this on Twitter:

    "Our team in east Libya said rebels fed up with Chris Jeon, U.S. kid who tried to join, told him 2 go, last seen on pick-up going 2 Benghazi."

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