Sunday, February 17, 2013


It is the second anniversary of the Libyan uprising. Here are two reports that are worth reading. Both record the anxieties, failings and uncertainties of the country emerging from the Gadaffi years. Both call for patience and hope that it will be given. Yet the theme is the same from the stories they tell. First, Chris Stevens writes:
Cab driver Ishmail Shebani has two flags on his taxi, the Libyan tricolour fluttering alongside the blue and yellow of the Amazigh, a Berber people in the western mountains who endured persecution under Gaddafi. The revolution, he says, means he can give Amazigh names to his children, something banned under Gaddafi. 
"I'll tell you why it's better now," he said. "I get Gaddafi guys in my cab complaining that they lost the revolution, and they don't mind being open about it. But if Gaddafi had won, the rebels would be too scared to complain out loud."
Then, Martin Rose tells us a tale of three desks to illustrate the post-revolutionary work of the British Council and observes:
The real energy of Libya today, though, is in the extraordinary feeling of elation and moral vigour that many of its people have about them. Another colleague said to me, “It’s not just that we’ve overthrown a dictatorship – we’ve wiped it out as though it had never been. No one talks about Gaddafi – and it’s a great pity so many of the books about the revolution seem really to be about him more than the tuwar who overthrew him, and what has happened since.”

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