By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 17 February 2014:
Political problems and the lack of security were forgotten today as Tripoli embarked on . . .[restrict]raucous, if not deafening, celebrations of the 2011 revolution. Hundreds of thousands of dinars went up in smoke as constant fireworks from dusk onwards lit up the skies. Some were as loud a bombs, shaking windows and setting off car alarms.
Moving across the city became a major undertaking, not just because of the amount of horn-blowing, flag waving traffic. Camels as well as sheep were sacrificed in the streets to celebrate the day.
As happened last night, several thousand people again headed to Martyrs Square. There, families, young and old people alike gathered, spontaneously chanting “Libya is one body, and it’s for everybody” and other catchphrases. Many were wrapped in independence flags; others wore it, tailored into items of clothing as the fashion statements of the day.
Despite the regional and tribal conflicts in the south and the federalists’ demands in the east of the country, or perhaps in determined rejection of them, people joyfully celebrated the unity of the country, waving flags amid a sea of smiles.
One teacher taking part, Nafisa Al-Fazani, told the Libya Herald that Libyans had never paid attention to their country or taken pride in it during the Qaddafi era. Now, she said, they felt great delight when they heard the word “Libya”.
“I’m so happy and speechless. I can’t describe my feelings to celebrate the third anniversary of our great revolution.” Even though many of the revolution’s objectives were not yet achieved, she said, “just standing here in the square to celebrate and express my happiness is absolute freedom”.
An employee of Libya Africa Investment Portfolio, Arfa Ben Amer, said much the same.
“I can’t describe my joy,” Ben Amer said, adding he’d never been asked anything before by the media.
There was wide agreement among many of the revellers, however, that the reason for the failures in Libya was because of the poor performance of the General National Congress and, in particular, the existence of political parties.
“All the problems we are facing at the moment are because political parties were established too soon,” political activist Adel Al-Hadi Al-Mshairqi told this paper.
He claimed that the existence of political parties at present were the reason for the existence of militias. The situation would be different if they did not exist, he said.
The head of Tripoli local council, Sadat Elbadri, also among the revellers, told this newspaper that the celebrations of the third anniversary was a great moment in time.
“These are the real Libyans who are celebrating spontaneously and they are very optimistic about their future,” he said.
“Yes, we still have problems, especially given that there are people trying to exploit the situation. But 99 percent of Libyans want safety and security – and they will obtain them by their determination”. [/restrict]