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8th Anniversary of the Arab Spring: Here’s What Libyans Think of the Fall of Gaddafi

A modern democratic state remains a distant dream in Libya years after the revolt against the “authoritarian” regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

While no major celebration is planned for the anniversary of the uprising that began February 17, 2011 in the heart of the Arab Spring, Libyans do not profess any nostalgia for the days of Gaddafi.

“I can not regret the days of Gaddafi, because today’s Libya is the product of 42 years of systematic destruction,” said Marwan Jalalal, a 43-year-old oil industrial engineer.

“Sooner or later, the Libyans will find peace, but the journey seems long,” he added.

Post-Gaddafi Libya has become a battlefield between a myriad of rival militias and political factions operating with impunity.


“Political and military divisions … are increasing and efforts to bring rival groups to the negotiating table have failed so far. There is no magic bullet to solve the crisis, “said Claudia Gazzini, an analyst at International Crisis Group.

“Any effort to unite Libya requires an integrated strategy with a political, security and economic component that complements each other and works together to achieve a common goal,” says Claudia Gazzini.

Mahmoud Abdelwahid, an Aljazeera journalist in Tripoli, said that although the country was riddled with political rivalries, divisions and military escalations by General Khalifa Haftar’s forces in the south of the country, Libyans are still eager to score the anniversary of the beginning of the revolution.

“Libyans say that at least they applaud the end of 40 years of dictatorship”.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday in the western cities of Tripoli, Misrata and Zawiya, where groups played national songs.

But the festivities were much more moderate in the east of the country, with only a few people gathered at the central Benghazi courthouse.


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