When fighting broke out in Libya this spring, the Rev. Dallas Brown wasn’t surprised when he heard his friend and former colleague, Mabruk Eshnuk, returned to his homeland to join the resistance.
Eshnuk , who lived in the Scott Township with his family, returned to his home country with his son, Malik, to join rebel forces trying to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power.
“He was committed to freedom in his country,” said Brown, who worked as a spiritual counselor alongside Eshnuk at Allegheny County Jail. “If he had the chance to fight for it, I’m not surprised he did.”
Mabruk and Malik Eshnuk died together last weekend when a mortar hit the vehicle they were riding in, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The family could not be reached for comment.
Brown said he worked with Mabruk Eshnuk for nearly a decade at the jail, where the imam offered spiritual counseling to Muslim inmates.
“He was great, very personable with the inmates and the staff,” Brown said. “Very committed to his faith, as he should be. Very committed to his family. He was a great family guy.”
Brown said he and Eshnuk struck up a tight friendship with a rabbi at the jail, and often gathered at picnics with all three families. They fired up three grills to cook foods that each of families could eat.
“He and the rabbi would play Frisbee,” Brown said.
Eshnuk worked with Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania for nearly a decade before moving on about three years ago. The Post-Gazette reported he recently had a real estate business before leaving for Libya last month. His son, Malik, was studying chemical engineering at Pitt, the newspaper reported.