Gadhafi's death answers four-year-old girl's prayers

Story highlights

  • Dozens of Libyans gathered outside embassy in London to celebrate Gadhafi's death
  • Crowds chanted, cheered, sang and waved Libyan flag to celebrate dictator's end
  • Four-year-old girl had spent months praying for Gadhafi's death
  • Family says Selsabeel Ageli's grandfather was murdered by Gadhafi regime

With her cheeky grin and bright, mischievous eyes, it is hard to imagine that four-year-old Selsabeel Ageli has spent months wishing for the death of an elderly man.

But the British-Libyan youngster has done just that, going to bed every night in recent months praying that ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi would be killed.

On Thursday, Selsabeel's wishes came true.

The deposed tyrant was the reason Selsabeel never knew her grandfather, Libyan trade unionist Amer Deghayes. The family says he was murdered by the Gadhafi regime when her mother was a child, prompting them to flee to Britain.

Within hours of the news of Gadhafi's death, Selsabeel and her older sister Bilquees, aged eight, and their parents were among a jubilant crowd of former Libyan dissidents celebrating noisily outside the Libyan Embassy in central London.

"My father was killed by Gadhafi in 1980 when I was five," the girls' mother, Amani Deghayes, told CNN as her daughters waved Libyan flags nearby.

"They never got to meet him, so I am so glad that my kids have been able to see that there is a happy ending to this story.

"I never thought it would happen, really. Now I just hope that everything works out, and that Libya can become a stable, free and democratic country."

That is a wish echoed by many of those who gathered at the embassy, amid the beeping of car horns and waving of flags, to sing, chant and wish each other "Mabrouk" -- congratulations -- over Gadhafi's final downfall.

Mahmoud Al Nacua, Libya's ambassador to the UK, told those gathered: "Libyan freedom fighters have finally succeeded in throwing the curtain on Gadhafi's crimes.

"Their brave actions have spared Libya and the world from any further suffering of his evils. Today Libya's future begins. Gadhafi, a black era, has come to an end forever."

Lockerbie victim's brother calls Gadhafi's death justice

Gadhafi and the truth of Lockerbie
Gadhafi and the truth of Lockerbie


    Gadhafi and the truth of Lockerbie


Gadhafi and the truth of Lockerbie 02:38

Consulate worker Abdusalam Zbida told CNN he hopes to be able to return to his homeland to visit family for the first time in five years following Gadhafi's death.

"It is a big day for Libyan history," said Zbida. "It will definitely help restore peace and security in Libya. I hope it will be a fresh start."

Others who have not been in London as long are also hoping to go back to their friends and loved ones soon.

"It's been a tough couple of months, but things are getting better," said Amira Elgardi, whose husband and parents are still in Libya.

"We have a three-and-a-half-year old son, and we decided that with all the gunshots and everything it would be safer here, but hopefully we will be able to go back soon -- Inshallah [God willing]."

Victim's brother writes: I have fought for this day

They and many others spoke of their relief that Gadhafi's long reign of terror in Libya is finally over.

"I'm so excited -- look, I'm trembling," said Sana Maziq, who moved to London from Tripoli with her three young sons seven months ago to escape the trouble there.

"We knew that Gadhafi was basically finished, but it is so nice to know that there won't be any more bloodshed."

"We can't quite believe it," added her friend Aida Shebani. "The regime had gone, but Gadhafi still made us afraid, so now we are so happy. The Libyan people really suffered under him, so we deserve this happiness."


    • mann gadhafi speaks_00000000

      Moammar Gadhafi: A look back

      CNN's John Vause looks back at the rise and fall of mercurial Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was killed on Thursday.
    • A policeman examines the site where a Boeing 747 crashed after exploding over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988. The incident left 270 people dead.

      Opinion: Justice for Pan Am victims

      Brian Flynn, the brother of a victim of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Scotland, says Moammar Gadhafi's death is justice long delayed.
    • The end of the Gadhafi era

      After months of fighting between rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces, deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed.
    • DAKAR, SENEGAL:  Libyan Head of State Colonel Moamer Kadhafi (C) reviews troops 03 December 1985 in Dakar upon his arrival for three-day official visit to Senegal. Kadhafi, born in 1942, formed in 1963 the Free Officers Movement, a group of revolutionary army officers, which overthrew 01 September 1969 King Mohammed Idris of Libya and proclaimed Libya, in the name of "freedom, socialism and unity," Socialist People's  Jamahiriya. (Photo credit should read JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images)

      Why Gadhafi wouldn't surrender

      Fareed Zakaria on Gadhafi's fate: "He had always been a fighter -- romantic, mad, crazy -- so I always suspected he would go down fighting"
    • nr gadhafi last moments alive_00001224

      Gadhafi's last moments alive

      Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is seen in what may be his final moments as he is captured by rebel forces.
    • TRIPOLI, LIBYA:  Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi salutes his troops participating 07 September 1999 in a military parade in Tripoli to mark the 30th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution that brought Kadhafi to power. Troops from 24 African states joined the flamboyant, five-hour parade which also heralds this week's extraordinary summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

      How Gadhafi sought world stage

      Over four decades in power in Libya, Moammar Gadhafi portrayed himself as the leader of a united Africa and the "king of kings" of his oil-rich desert nation.
    • A National Transitional Council fighter stands on a small rug with a portrait of Moammar Gadhafi at the frontline in Bani Walid.

      Gadhafi's legacy in Africa

      The African stage once belonged to Moammar Gadhafi, nicknamed the "king of kings of Africa" by fellow leaders.
    • NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi addresses at the 64th General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters on September 23, 2009 in New York City. Over 120 heads of state will converge in New York for the 64th session of the United Nations' General Assembly over the next seven days. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

      A long 8 months in Libya

      Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a civil war.
    • Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, surrounded by his female bodyguards, attends a meeting with female personalities, 12 December 2007 in Paris.   AFP PHOTO / POOL / Jacky Naegelen (Photo credit should read JACKY NAEGELEN/AFP/Getty Images)

      World reacts to Gadhafi

      Reactions to the reported death of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has started to trickle in from around the world.
    • Libyan children waving National Transitional Council (NTC) flags celebrate in the streets of Tripoli following news of Moamer Kahdafi's capture on October 20, 2011. An NTC spokesman said Kadhafi has been killed by new regime forces in their final assault on the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte on October 20, 2011. AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI (Photo credit should read MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

      Warning to dictators: You're next

      Dictators around the Middle East should pay close attention to the fate of Moammar Gadhafi, opposition activists from Syria and Yemen say.