Libyans received the 2nd anniversary of their revolution with great celebrations that were reported throughout Libya. In fact, the celebrations continued for three successive days, starting from Feb. 15, 2013. Masses of celebrators took to the streets of different Libyan cities in order to express their great pleasure on the happy occasion.
The city of Zliten witnessed a moment of great jubilation on the evening of February 17, 2013. The locals had a sleepless night as they were driving around the city and assembling in public places. The buildings and streets were decorated with colourful bulbs and the independence flag.
In the past, the Gaddafi regime was wasting a lot of money on celebrating the anniversary of his military coup. The Libyans were forced to participate in his festivals and attend his speeches which were delivered under tight security. Today the ordinary Libyans organize their festivals spontaneously and pay for the cost willingly.
In the past, the anniversary held Gaddafi's name because it symbolized his autocratic rule. Today, the anniversary belongs to the whole nation of Libya. Happily, many of those who were sympathizers with the former regime started to acclimatize with the new atmosphere as they have felt that the revolution is theirs.
They have indeed benefited from the political change in their country. Any improvement in the public services, any increase in the salaries and any grants will benefit all Libyans. All were given the chance to take part in the general and local elections and to vote freely for their favourite candidates.
If we are to list the achievements following the first anniversary of the Libyan revolution, one may regard the General Elections held in July2012 as the most important one. That public wedding led to having an elected General National Congress (GNC) and its government. The newborn political body, the GNC, is tasked with preparing a constitution on which the Libyans should agree as the guarantee of the stability, security, unity and prosperity of post-dictatorship Libya.
The GNG being involved in issuing executive resolutions that are supposed to be part of the government's duties is unable to both focus on its main responsibilities and prioritize what should be treated as important. It is of great importance to mention that the disputes among its members over decisive issues hinder its progress. The Libyans' experience with the performance of the GNC has shown that the congressmen are very much divided because of their conflicting interests and their ideological differences.
The sluggish performance of the GNC and its government and their failure to deal with sensitive national issues have resulted in many sit-ins and protests which are organized by the public or certain groups belonging to certain institutions and/ or regions as a way of voicing their anger over the unsatisfactory performance of the GNC. In many situations, angry protesters broke into the hall where the congressmen were meeting and interrupted them chaotically.
A year after the first anniversary of the Libyan revolution, the Libyan government is still struggling to establish the much-needed institutions, namely the national security and the army.
Many Libyans especially in eastern Libya believe that the revolution has been stolen, that the aims of their blessed revolution have not been achieved and that the government has shown no real intentions to meet their aspirations. Following calls for anti-government demonstrations on the 15th of February, some observers expected the uncontrollable spread of chaos across Libya.
However, the celebratory mood on this second anniversary was so joyful that the Libyans were filled with optimism with respect to improving the performance of the government. Although the government seemed more organized one year after the first anniversary, it is still facing many problems and obstacles. Libyans have marked the event with high spirits.
On the 17th of February day, the Libyans were reminded of their martyrs who sacrificed their lives for a national cause and felt committed to achieving the aims for which their heroes paid the most expensive price, their lives.
On this Memorial Day, Libyans expected a change in the behaviour of their politicians in a way that serves their public interests. They are very much eager to establish a functioning state.
They want their government to bravely open the sensitive files such as those related to the displaced citizens and national reconciliation, and cope with them fairly and effectively. They are enthusiastic about having their national media playing an essential role in guiding the nation honestly and wisely.
All Libyan citizens, the media and civil institutions are responsible before the future generations to work hard in order to cooperatively put an end to their suffering and their divisions.
The political, social, media, and religious discourse has to be completely uttered to suit the current stage. All forms of discourse have to send a clear message, indicating that all Libyans are equal; nobody is above the law. We must all agree on criminalizing any aggressive behaviour without insulting humans.
Although there are signs of some reforms, delaying completely the social and economic reforms may threaten the stability of Libya and its unity especially if taking into consideration that Libya still have enemies.
The Libyans are so optimistic that by the time they commemorate the third anniversary of their blessed revolution, Libya will be completely different in terms of fully restoring its security; that will pave the way for the prosperity of the nation.
(HussainKreiba is a freelance writer and a Staff Member at Al-Mergib University, College of Education, Department of English- Zliten. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)