Libyans take back control


For the first time in 42 years Libyans have cause for celebration.

Not only did Aug. 31 mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, also known as Eid al-Fitr, it was also the day Libyans celebrated freedom from an oppressive leader.

More than a week ago the city of Tripoli, one of last four areas in Libya still controlled by loyalists, fell to rebel forces and leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown.

There is still fear and uncertainty.

Gaddafi’s son Saadi Al-Gaddafi stated in a TV interview that he was willing to negotiate to stop the bloodshed: “We acknowledge that they (the rebel-formed National Transitional Council) represent a legal party, but we are also the government and a legal negotiating party.”

Gaddafi’s other son Saif al-Islam, insists they will continue resisting.

“We would like to tell our people that we are well and good. The leader is fine. We are ready to fight. I tell our men to strike back against the rats,” he was quoted as saying on Arabic TV.

Mahmoud Shammam, spokesman for the NTC, told Al Jazeera that Saadi is not feeling safe, “He is not negotiating on behalf of his father, but negotiating on behalf of his [own] life.”

Saif al Islam is only trying to raise the morale of people who support Gaddafi and are willing to fight.

Forces loyal to Gaddafi had been given until Sept. 3 to surrender or face military assault.

Negotiations were renewed over the weekend between rebels and loyalists.

As someone who has followed the conflicts for 7 months, the events are surprising and expected.

It’s surprising to hear that in the modern world not everyone has their freedom.

I say these conflicts are also expected because of what we have learned from history.

Repression only leads to revolution.

With revolution comes the promise of freedom, but also fear, sacrifice, and uncertainty.

You have to admire the determination and bravery of the Libyan people fighting for their freedom.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron had this to say in his statement on Libya: “This has been a Libyan-led process, assisted by the international community. Cynics proclaimed stalemate and asserted that Gaddafi would never be defeated.

The Libyan people proved them wrong.

Work is not yet done, but the Libyan people can be proud of what they have achieved and we can be proud of what we have done to help.”