It has been said that Libya’s destiny is to live in the darkness forever; for many Libyans it felt hopeless to imagine that one day they would practice real democracy, freedom of speech and simply being able to demand their rights without fear in their hearts.
It has also been said that Libya’s path was never going to be easy, but it has been inspiring to see how Libyans have grabbed this opportunity, not as something to fear, but to determinedly work towards.
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“There are a lot of things going against the revolution goals. But freedom is the best thing ever,” said Talal Burnaz, an activist and a great example of the Libyan youth, who worked hard to educate themselves when their own government didn’t pay any attention to them.
There has also been a flowering of civil society after decades of nearly having none; “there are many positive changes, one of them that Libyan civil society is being stronger and more effective,” Talal continues.
Thousands of Libyans have started to share their opinions about politics and the importance of transparency across the different institutions of the Libyan authorities.
“If I were the prime minister of Libya, I would fight the politicians who use religion to only seek power as well as the ones who are stealing the Libyans money,” said Tahani Alameri, a student and social media activist who runs a Facebook page called “In my society,” where she addresses social and cultural issues, relating them to the role of norms and traditions.
Independent women’s rights group didn’t exist before the revolution, as any activity to promote and protect women’s social and cultural rights must be sanctioned by the state. But now we can see that women are free to participate and influence community life, social development and politics on the local as well as national level. For the first time in the Libyan history, women are represented with 17% of the seats in the temporary parliament, the National General Congress. They are also being appointed as ministers, and many women are either co-founders or active members of the new-formed political parties.
Although many say that the situation now in Libya is complicated, as it looks hard to achieve a sustainable security, economic and political stability, hopes are still high on the Libyan streets. Now they feel that they are engaged to decide Libya’s destiny, whether taking the country in the right direction or not. Today, like never before, Libyans have the right to decide what they want.