06 Dec 2013 04:00
As news of violent militias, unchecked powers, rebel uprisings and high profile kidnappings fill the pages, turmoil and discontent fill many minds. Though, it is easy to get caught up in the loudest elements of regime change. We often forget that Libya, is home to many people, many of whom are trying to rebuild and grow after years of hardship.
As this fledgling democracy finds its feet, Libyans enjoy the freedom of daily life. Despite all the hardship Libyans struggle with due to the conflict, there is room for new opportunities because of the war. Booming after the controlling government of the Gadhafi era, many of the spheres he regulated are now wide open. News outlets in Libya expanded from a handful of censored papers to hundreds of newspapers, radio shows, and cable channels. Many presume that the countries new constitution will hold greater rights for women and minorities. Intrepid women have taken to running for elected office and opening small businesses. Libyans feel liberated and can indulge in pastimes banned under the strict Gaddafi regime such as boxing and several media outlets have launched on account of the new freedom of press. Much has changed for the better, shelled stores have been rebuilt and are back in business and the fragile government grows more cohesive every day.
After a year of civil war, life has begun to move beyond the revolution. Babies are birthed every day into the new fledgling country, marriages officiated and soldiers repatriated. While the violence in Libya has diminished allowing room for regrowth, sporadic flares of conflict take the main stage while a critical part of the story of the revolution is ignored. Libya, now more than ever, isn’t simply violent rebels in a dusty desert depicted in western media.
Students have returned to class working through the summer to make up time lost and progress with their degrees. Student government, which was also banned under the previous government is now a popular club as Libyans; who haven’t voted in 42 years exercise their rights regularly. Often voting on even the smallest things.
Though some things will never change in this desert country. The beach is still a popular destination, with families filing the sand every evening. Amusement parks are now open, after crews were quickly dispatched to fix the damage and cover the bullet holes.
The Libyan people are experiencing a whole range of emotions that go beyond violence and suffering. Libya’s rehabilitation efforts as a country move slowly though they are much more powerful and important than the dissonance among few and with that, healing can begin.
Rebirth has come to the country, and with that the brave can find forgiveness among neighbors and a country can find peace.