HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A second university professor with ties to Alabama has been selected to lead Libya.
Mustafa Abushagur was elected Wednesday as Libyan prime minister. A spokesman at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Ray Garner, said Abushagur taught engineering at the school for about 17 years before leaving in 2002.
Abushagur originally was named Libya's deputy prime minister in November 2011 following the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. At the same time, former University of Alabama engineering professor Abdurrahim el-Keib was elected prime minister of Libya by the nation's transitional council.
El-Keib spent about 20 years teaching in Tuscaloosa before leaving in 2005.
Abushagur's daughter, Soumiea Abushagur, said Thursday her father and el-Keib first met in Libya while at the University of Tripoli, where they were active in the opposition against Gadhafi before leaving the country.
"It was actually very coincidental that they both wound up in Alabama," said Abushagur, who now lives in Arizona. "They were definitely friends in Alabama."
The men returned to Libya following Gadhafi's ouster and rose to prominence at the same time more because of their longtime involvement with the opposition than their personal relationship, she said.
Abushagur said she considers Huntsville to be her "American home."
"That's where I grew up," she said.