Libya's legacy - one year after Gadhafi's death
It's been a year since Moammar Gadhafi's death - how are Libyans going about their lives and what remains of his legacy? A photo essay by Gaia Anderson
A young girl runs past a wall at the corner with Tripoli street, in Misrata, which was damaged by shelling during the Libyan uprising in 2011. Misrata offered fierce resistance to the ex-regime's army and was consequently one of the most heavily hit cities in the country during the war. Signs of pride and joy offer a stark contrast to the scarred streets of Misrata these days.
Bullet-ridden road signs to Misrata's International airport (left) and Tripoli (right) haven't been replaced since the end of the Libyan war. Nonetheless, Misrata's airport resumed international flights in October 2011, while thousands of rebels were still engaged in the revolution's final battle to liberate Sirte.
Recent disarmament rallies in Tripoli have turned out positive numbers after protracted discussions on how to encourage civilians to hand in all sorts of weapons collected during the 2011 uprising. Flyers are still visible in many corners of the capital where the establishment of a national police force, as well as a united army, are hot issues on Libya's busy administrative agenda.
Women walk by a totem of Amazigh flags, the emblem of the Berber people, with the yaz letter from Tifinagh alphabet symbolizing the "free man." The Amazigh supported the revolution from the very beginning and claim proudly that despite Gadhafi's attempt to Arabize Libya during his four decades of ruling, they never lost their pride and identity.
A somewhat sterile, yet majestic, modern architecture characterizes many buildings along the capital's promenade between Martyr square, once know as the Green square, and the Mediterranean sea. Symbols of grandeur offer a conflicting reading of the country's political and social instability, at the same time a sense of normality has returned a year after Gadhafi's death.
Tripoli street in Misrata may arguably be considered the symbol of the bloodiest battle for resistance during the Libyan revolution. Sites of reconstruction alternate with mounds of rubble, shattered buildings and newly refurbished shops all along the main route of Libya's business hub.
The Martyr's Museum in Misrata reflects the story of so many fighters and civilians who fell during the uprising, and documents the consequences of a conflict that will inevitably leave its mark on Libyan society for some time to come. The walls of the museum are covered with the portraits of thousands of fighters, civilians and the missing men and women from Misrata.
Scores of young men, families, couples and souvenir vendors enjoy the emblematic core of freed Tripoli, renamed Martyr square, on a warm autumn night a few days before the one-year anniversary of Libya's liberation.
A year after the liberation from the tyranny of Moammar Gadhafi's rule, Tripoli awakes to bittersweet joys of recent freedom and doubts of where the country is heading. The road toward stability appears to be long and treacherous, nevertheless there is a pervasive will among many people in the capital to endure the hard times ahead for the sake of a better future.