Ajdabiya honours fallen British photojournalist

Residents of shattered eastern Libya town name their largest square for &quotRestrepo&quot director who died in Misurata on Wednesday after a career of covering conflict zones.

    They didn’t name a street after Tim. Instead they chose the biggest square in Ajdabiya. If the rebels win this war, it will be forever known as Tim Hetherington Square.

    He’s not alone. There’s a Sarkozy quarter too. But everyone still left in this devastated city now knows who Tim was, where he died and why he will always be remembered here.

    This mild-mannered photojournalist made quite an impact on Dr Suleiman Refardi, the leading surgeon at Ajdabiya’s main hospital. Many journalists have visited him in the past month. It’s about the only place that stayed open whoever was in control of the streets.

    Before the doctors and nurses left their posts to march to the square to commemorate it in Tim’s honour, the doctor remembered his professionalism: “Tim Hetherington was one of the people transmitting the light of truth. The camera of Tim Hetherington is as strong as any cannon on the front.”

    “We have named the square after this hero and I now consider Tim as one of our martyrs.”

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    They then set off down Ajdabiya’s dusty empty streets followed by a convoy of ambulances, armed pick-ups and civilian cars with a deafening cacophony of gunfire, car horns, ambulance sirens and the song of the revolution blaring out through a megaphone.

    There’s a flag flying in the square and a banner made out of a hospital sheet proclaiming its new name. They promise to make a metallic sign will be made and erected after the war.

    I kept thinking what would Tim have made of all this. He’d probably have hated the fuss.


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