Middle East

Libya’s Battle for Freedom from the Diaspora’s Eyes-Doha News

The hopeful call for change turned into a harsh memory in the struggle for liberation. More than a decade later, the Libyans remember the battle for freedom.

What started as peace demonstration In Libya, in opposition to Mu’ammar Al-Kadafi’s 40-year dictatorial rule, it slowly became one of the worst political and humanitarian crises in the country, but in the eyes of those who lived it. The story is different.

It was on February 15, 2011, when anti-regime protesters gathered in Benghazi, Libya’s main port and city, resigned to Gaddafi and thousands of political prisoners were unfairly detained in his deadly prison. It started when I asked to release him.

Salma, a Libyan student living in Qatar, was only eight years old at the time, but her chant memories are still in her. She remembers going to demonstrations with her friends and family, looking up at hundreds of people around her, and feeling the heartfelt energy of everyone seeking change after years of suffering.

“My first memory of the Arab spring was” Al Sha Abu Uried Iscat El Nizam. ” [the people demand the fall of the regime] With my friends in protest of the Libyan dictatorship, “Salma said. Doha News More than 10 years later.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but I remember being very inspired by the excitement and empowerment of everyone.”

Demonstrations and concrete hopes for change were clear across the Libyan border. Egypt Until Tunisia, where the movement that affected millions of people and became known as the “Arab Spring” broke out in early January. People of all demographics and ages, from young to old, have joined and become one of the masses who made history throughout the region.

However, despite supporting the changes that were unraveled in front of the world, some could not physically exist in the area and saw it from a distance. Born and raised abroad, her mother, Fara, witnessed a revolution through her news channels, the “hometown” of her family and friends, and the stories of people she knows, but that’s not so realistic. was.

“I saw the first image of the Arab spring in the Tunisian news, where I paid attention, but then spread to Egypt. This definitely caught my attention. And as the interview continued, I had this idea, is it possible ..? Could this extend to Libya? It seemed impossible at once and miraculously possible. ” She said, remembering the first memories of the revolution.

“The most proud moment was to see people take that very risk and fill the streets when it wasn’t safe. There’s no such thing as that moment. You’re far away and safe. Overcoming the pride of the community, knowing that we don’t have to share that risk, but we can benefit from it. “

Torn between fear and hope, Yemen in Qatar looks back on the 2011 revolution

But unlike its neighbors in North Africa, the Libyan revolution never had a decisive end. Regime violence and Kadafi’s security forces against protesters slowly turned the revolution into a bloody civil war, eventually intervening by foreign countries.

After several days of clashes and ongoing violence, primarily by the Kadafi administration, his son Saif al-Islam vowed that the administration would fight “until the last bullet.” And he wasn’t wrong. Kadafi’s men decided to fight for all the suffering that had endured the torture chamber, freedom of speech, and lack of authoritarian rule over the past 40 years, and to subdue both protesting and armed revolutionaries. Sticked.

Meanwhile, Salma and Farrer lived a revolution through television screens and elders, while others stayed on earth, old enough to handle the complexity of the situation, and lived the experience until the final beat. ..

Ahmed Salem, who was 21 when the revolution began, was in the crowd from day one. He saw it all and witnessed hopeful cheers, massive escalations, and finally, a deadly war.

“It felt like fighting for your life. The country was so fragmented that we had to always look over our shoulders to ensure safety. We protested violence and our eyes I went to see the worst and most brutal conflict in front of me, “said Salem, who is currently working as a journalist reporting the conflict.

The activist was one of the front lines of the demonstration. Growing up, he lived a very tough life in a family of five. “We don’t sleep hungry because my dad doesn’t eat,” he said. Doha News..

For this reason, his chanting on the streets of Libya was burdened with years of hardship and struggle when he finally had the opportunity to demand change.

But his voice wasn’t enough to end it all.

“I lost two of my best friends. I held their bodies in my arms. How can I hope after that?” Salem said. “I remember people talking about asylum and panicking. They were the same people who were chanting for a better life. Now they are looking for it elsewhere. And are desperately afraid of their lives. “

Thousands of people have begun to leave the country hoping for a better future and a safer life after the conflict has begun to seriously impact the country’s security and living conditions.

In early 2011, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Gaddafi administration, imposed travel bans and arms embargoes, and frozen family assets. The United States has also frozen at least $ 30 billion in Libyan assets.

Over the course of several months, some offers by the administration to ceasefire were rejected by domestic rebels because the removal of Gaddafi was not a stipulated condition. Given the seemingly impossible agreement, the conflict has intensified and as of August 2011, rebels have been backed by NATO.

On October 20, 2011, Libyan rebels captured Kadafi and killed him in Sirte. Most Libyan people regarded it as “Libya’s liberation” on the premise of the end of turmoil and violence.

But violence never ended. Currently, there is a power vacuum, and despite efforts by local councils to form a provisional government, both rebels and Kadafi’s Loyalist groups have refused to cooperate, leading to a protracted civil war and numerous self-proclaimed governments. Driven me.

Power struggles by various groups have grabbed the heart of the country, leaving thousands of casualties.

Disappointed to see the event unfold in 2019, Salem knew it was time to look for life elsewhere. He packed up his luggage, said goodbye to his family, and traveled to Qatar to work as a journalist. But he didn’t leave the fight.

“I’m covering Libyan politics right now, so I always feel like I’m somehow connected to my house. The fight isn’t over, one day this generation will do it. Even if we don’t witness, our Libya will be free again, “he said. Doha News..

Meanwhile, for Salma, who grew up watching the history of Libya spread in front of her, her future is still hopeful.

“I feel that everything I do is in anticipation of another Arab Spring. The revolution has taught me the importance of major systematic changes, not just symbolic ones. “She said.

The memory of the Libyan Revolution is still deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, more than a decade later, as the battle for national freedom and better governance continues.And for many, it’s not over yet

“It was the Arab Spring, whether it succeeded in all missions or made things worse. At that moment, it was a frustration of anger, an overflow of demand for justice.” Said Farrer.

“But we care and worry about each other. They are all genuine, genuine emotions, the true impetus for change, and what follows cannot rob us of it.”


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