Biography
On The Issues
Editorials
Libya
California
Resources
Audio Clips
Video Clips
Contact Omar
Return to Home  

Recent Events

 

 

 

Biography

Click here for biography in Arabic

Omar Turbi (Fathi) was born in Derna, Libya. Recognized for lobbying and credited for persuading the U.S. government to take part in NATO operations to save Libyan civilian lives during the February 17th, 2011 revolution.  His work included one-on-one communications with the White House, U.S Department of State, and other branches of the U.S Government at the highest level. He carried his message on major international media; like PBS/News Hour, BBC, and many other TV and radio networks.  

TURBI ARRANGED FOR THE SAFE ENTRY FOR CNN NEWS CREW INTO EASTERN LIBYA, THE FIRST WEEK OF THE FEBRUARY 17TH REVOLUTION.   CNN's Ben Wedeman gives a firsthand account from a rally in Benghazi, Libya 2-23-2011. The first television crew to enter Benghazi.  

The Libyan revolution succeeded by ousting the Qaddafi dictatorship eight months later. 

It must be noted, throughout the first eights months of the Libyan revolution, Turbi diligently assisted the Libyan people with humanitarian and medical aid and served as an advisor to the National Transitional Council. 

Turbi is a distinguished Arab American, recognized for his support for democratic institutions, and Muslim causes in the United Sates. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of American-Arab Anti discrimination Committee , (AADC) the largest grassroots Arab American organization in the USA, an active member of the Republican Party, and a Chairman Emeritus of the Arab American Republican Club. He served on the board of Trustees of the World Affairs Councils of America, an organization widely recognized for successes in international affairs & foreign policy.

Turbi, is a prominent human rights activist with a keen interest in Libyan, Arab and western affairs. In 1984 his life was profoundly effected when the Libyan regime arbitrarily imprisoned his older brother Dr. Omran Turbi, and many friends for over 17 years. 

In March, 1985, Turbi, founded Libyan Human Rights Commission. The Commission gained prominence when it delivered the 1st ever, intervention speech in the history of the UN Human Rights Committee at its Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in February, 1989 on Libyan government human rights violations. The Commission also participated at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in June 1993.

The Libyan Human Rights Commission helped hundreds of Libyans secure political asylum in Western Europe throughout the nineties.  

The year 1999 marked a turning point in Libyan history. The Libyan exiled community, and members of the opposition reached a level of hopelessness, and helplessness in trying to overthrow the dictatorship, and affecting democratic changes in Libya.  It became apparent to Turbi, and many Libyan exiles then that the only path for improving the lives of the Libyan people is working on change on the inside of Libya. Towards that end, Turbi began to promote constructive engagement between the U.S government and the Libyan regime. His efforts paved the way for the release of 413 political prisoners in 2001, and the safe entry by thousands of opponents to the Libyan regime into Libya for the next seven years. Turbi Encouraged Libyans to return. (Interview on Al-Jazeera September 20th, 2004).   

Turbi’s testimony to the U.S House of representatives in July 1999 & participation in think tank forums on U.S Libya relations sparked a debate in Washington, DC. He continued to advocate constructive engagement and  dialogue with the Libyan regime. He laid out a vision then that served the mutual interests of the United States, and the Libyan people. Turbi’s agenda began with negotiations with the Libyan regime for the release of over 413 Libyan political prisoners in 2001, and the appeal in person to all members of the Libyan regime for the safe passage and return by members of the Libyan exiled opposition community.

After working in exile for over 25 years promoting democracy and human rights in Libya, he returned to Libya in July, 2004 to continue the same work on the inside.  For the next seven years, Turbi traveled into Libya as a U.S citizen, and continued a mission of engagement through political, educational and cultural exchanges. He was offered government posts as honorary Consul in 2004, and Executive Director of Libyan Economic Development Board (EDB) in 2008. Turbi declined both proposals.  His testimony to the U.S Congress in March 2004 summed up the successes of his vision born in 1999.  Only recently, and post the 2011 Libyan revolution, it was revealed that Turbi was instrumental in the overall design of  a strategy to persuade the Libyan regime to give up its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s).

It must be noted that two attempts were made on Turbi's live while leading Running the Sahara filming expedition from Libya's borders with Niger to the Egyptian Libya borders early 2007 (a Film documentary produced by Matt Damon & National Geographic). 

Turbi was denied a visa to enter Libya for over 18 months leading up to the February 17 revolution, as he became more vocal in opposition to the regime, on the absence of free speech, increased levels of corruption and lack of progress on democracy.

Since the start of the Libyan revolution in February, 2011, Turbi relentlessly lobbied the U.S and EU governments for intervention to save Libyan civilians, and  remove the Qaddafi regime. Late March 2011, He helped draft U.S Congressional resolution HR188, and pushed for recognition of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. He was appointed as an adviser to NTC in March, 2011. 

Turbi is a frequent commentator on CNN, BBC & Al-Jazeera and other major TV and radio networks.

He holds an engineering degree in power systems (BSEE) from the University of Wisconsin,  in addition to  graduate work in business and international relations. He worked for IBM, and later Motorola, where he learned Six Sigma Quality Systems and became expert in off shore high technology manufacturing. He set up several major plants in Asia. Turbi co-founded several high technology companies. He is currently President & CEO of Orbit Systems, Inc. a semiconductor, computer products, and IT services, commercial & defense based in California. The company ships products from 39 locations throughout the USA, Asia, & EU.  

Turbi has three sons, Omar, Adam, and Zayd. His hobbies include, flying, skydiving, skiing, horseback riding, fishing, and writing.

 


Click here to view photos of my family


 

 

Home | Biography | On The Issues | California | Libya
Contact Omar | Editorials | Audio Clips | Video Clips | Resources |
Patron