Sirte — Libyans saw fireworks and flags this week, but for many, they only served to showcase how little had been accomplished in the last three years.
The third anniversary of the February 17th revolution was greeted by questions and complaints in Benghazi.
“How can we celebrate when blood is spilled everywhere? How can we celebrate when rights are usurped? Shall we rejoice in failure?” said Um Marawan, 34, a Benghazi housewife and mother of five.
Rowaida Abdelkader, 29, a teacher, said, “Celebrating February 17th! What celebration are they talking about and what happiness are they lying about? Is that to celebrate bombings, assassinations and hatred?”
“Are these just lies, hypocrisy and bootlicking so they don’t accuse us of apostasy?” she asked. “This is because our revolution has become like a religion and those who dare criticise it are accused of apostasy?”
For his part, 39-year-old Arabic teacher Ahmed El Ourfi said, “I won’t celebrate while my father is lying in bed after an attempt on his life; while my colleagues are buried under the ground; while my friends are kidnapped and nobody knows anything about their fate.”
In Sirte, citizens were equally critical.
According to dentist Mustafa Abdel Kafi, 28, the festivities were an attempt “to distract people’s attention away from the deteriorating situation”.
Media activist Eman al-Saroui, 30, said that after the revolution succeeded in toppling Moamer Kadhafi, it failed to achieve its other goals, “such as improving citizens’ standards of living like other countries”.
“Our revolution was tough and is now difficult to control, and therefore, will need a long time so we can realise stability and achieve its other political, social and economic goals,” she noted.
For her part, 20-year-old student Tahani said, “There are people who took to streets out of a sense of patriotism; they want to build and forget hatred. Others went out just to have a good time.”
“Personally, I’m against celebrations now as there are people dying and the revolution hasn’t achieved what it aimed to do,” she said.
“Are we celebrating the blood that was spilled after the revolution, or what?” she asked.
Article by Izaldeen Ahmed Moktar and Asma Elourfi, allAfrica.
This article was originally published here.