On Wednesday, Libyan officials and ordinary citizens were united in their condemnation of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate.
Malik Sahad, a musician and Benghazi resident who lives close to the consulate, said the attack was not a reflection of Libyans’ feelings toward the United States.
Mr. Sahad spent the morning walking around his neighborhood talking with other residents.
“The mood is one of remorse and sorrow,” he said in a phone interview. “People are ashamed and angry. They are no longer talking about the film that provoked these protests, they are talking about the shameful incident that happened last night.”
The film was produced by a Jewish California businessman who has denounced Islam as a “cancer.”
Mr. Sahad received a call from a friend who phoned to offer her condolences.
“She spoke as though someone from my family had died,” he said. “That’s how the people of Benghazi feel about Ambassador Stevens. He was one of us.”
Mr. Stevens served the United States for more than two decades on issues related to North Africa and the Middle East, starting with his stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco where he taught English. As a Foreign Service officer, he served in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and eventually Libya.
Mr. Aujali, the Libyan ambassador, said Libyans owe Mr. Stevens gratitude for his years of service in support of Libya. Personally, he added, he will never forget the zeal and passion the American envoy brought to his work.
“He was a dedicated diplomat and a true gentleman,” Mr. Aujali said.