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Defiant Libyans Rejoice Over Justin Bieber Haircut
TRIPOLI, Libya (CAP) - With continued unrest on the streets of major Libyan cities between anti-government protesters and supporters of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi came news from the west that brought a glimmer of hope for a possible end to the violence. An eerie calm began to seep in to parts of the country as word spread that American pop star Justin Bieber had gotten his hair cut.
"Like our western brothers, we knew this day was coming, but we were ill-prepared for our own reaction," said CAP News Libyan correspondent Abdul Aleem Al-Ala. "After the initial shock, the general sense was one of relief, that even the impossible may be possible."
Libyans who just moments before had been only too willing to spill the blood of their fellow citizens over mere political differences gathered together around rusty old transistor radios and scratchy black-and-white television sets to learn the fate of the locks that had captured the hearts of the world.
"I turned on CNN to find out how the rest of my country was faring with the government protests," said one Tobruk resident who called himself Yaseen. "Instead I was faced with Carmelo Anthony's difficult decision to leave the Nuggets, the sad situation with Two And A Half Men, and the stunning news of Justin Bieber.
"It was at that moment I felt shame as it struck me how selfish I was being," added Yaseen. "We are not the center of the world - there are others who feel pain, who have struggles just like us. Our hearts go out to them."
At that time, even if just briefly, they realized there was something bigger, something that transcended their individual needs. At that time, even if just briefly, Libya was united.
"But then we heard that Jennifer Aniston had also cut her hair and it was just too much," said Al-Ala.
While the Aniston news itself did not spark violence, protests erupted as Qaddafi took to the airwaves to condemn the 42-year-old actress' new look and demand a return to the hairdo she made famous during her years on the hit TV show Friends. Pro-Qaddafi factions squared off with pro-Aniston contingents, once again splitting not only the heart of a nation, but in many instances individual families as well.
"Oh, Qaddafi is one to talk about hair with that mop on his head," shouted one man from a Tripoli street corner. "Oh, Col. Qaddafi, Miami Vice called and they want Philip Michael Thomas' hair back!"
Diplomatic leaders in the region have long maintained that had Qaddafi just "run a damn comb through his hair now and then," the country might not be in such turmoil as it is now. Reaction from the west has followed a similar vein, with Justin Bieber himself expressing cautious optimism that his coiffure could be a catalyst for change.
"If my hair can bring peace to just one country, then it was worth watching those beautiful strands fall to the salon floor," Bieber said in an interview with TMZ. "And when my hair grows back in another six months or so, I'll cut for another cause, maybe human rights or something.
"I'm looking at you, China," Bieber added with a wink.
A spokesperson for the pop star confirmed that the singer's hair will be donated to the Locks For Libya international foundation.
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