"Tripoli, Libya, was ablaze for weeks after the start of the Six Day War in June 1967 as Muslim mobs terrorized Jews, destroying property and claiming lives. The Libyan government finally allowed - or forced - the Jews to leave the country, but anti-Jewish anger remained high. Regina Bublil and her family were on a bus that was supposed to bring them to freedom, but she didn't believe they were safe in the hands of the driver. When he pulled over well before they reached the airport, saying the bus had "broken down," her suspicions became stronger.
Bublil, 19, asked the driver's helper to call a cab for her family from a nearby gas station and then followed him. She overheard him telling someone that the situation was "under control" and decided to make her own call for help.
Bublil wrestled with him for the phone and then called the British engineer she had worked for that summer until the violence forced her to take secret refuge in his house. Her parents and siblings survived because their upstairs neighbor, a Muslim, hid them and convinced the mob surrounding their home that they were out of the country. Meanwhile they burned her father's factory and real estate.
Clutching the phone with shaking hands and speaking English so she wouldn't be understood, Bublil explained to her boss where the bus was stopped and told him to hurry. When she got back to the bus, she found the driver holding a match to the gas-drenched vehicle in order to set it ablaze with her family inside. But just in time, her boss pulled up and helped her and her family escape."BACK to Diaspora Recollections