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February and the freedom of celebration


By: Idris Tayeb Lamin*

To celebrate or not to celebrate; to celebrate the revolution of

Idris Tayeb Lamin
Idris Tayeb Lamin

17th February or the catastrophe February? This is the question that have been prevailing these days amongst Libyans in the 5th anniversary of the 17th February Libya revolution.

The question stems from the assassination of the dream Libyans revolted for the sake of it 5 years ago, results caused tragic reality that is worse in most of its sides than the reality under Gaddafi.

The authoritarian grip then put security in place, while providing bread for people, so that they go out and celebrate the designation of the regime without asking this question.

The paradox lies in that this deadly question (to celebrate or not to celebrate?) wasn’t possible before February revolution; celebrating what so called (the revolution of the great leader) during Gaddafi reign wasn’t a matter of discussion or option.

After the revolution, Libyan who complain about the lack of security and deterioration of life condition didn’t notice that there is a variable that makes them able to not only refuse celebrating the revolution but also criminalizing it as the reason of all the current suffer, as if we had lived in the earth paradise as media named in Gaddafi time before the revolution happened.

This stems from a right proportional logic in its result not its datum; it is a thinking that stems from turning back and searching for results in the past as it -as a part of the nostalgic status- is always a sanctuary for humans from the problems of the present. People find it hard to search for solutions in the future as it is vague to them.

As the person is the enemy to what he unaware of, having a vision of the solution requires using a picture of the reality that have been lived before.

For us to answer the question; to celebrate or not to celebrate? We have to realize if we have or don’t have the free will to ask this question without fear.

Then, if we have the ability to answer it by yes or no. no one will hold you accountable for celebrating or not, but the motivations of the choice won’t –unfortunately – only stem from the frustration of failure of political powers in the project of building the Libyan state the Libyans aspired as a replacement for dictatorship but also the deliberate mix by the Libyan elites of the tasks of changing from a dictator regime to a transitional period that leads to a democratic one with the tasks of the (aspired state) not in the preparation stage, but the readiness and full establishment stage.

Not celebrating is not necessarily about regretting the revolution, like some gloaters of the past like to portray, in result, using all current crimes and problems for the interest of the beautiful past that if was real, people wouldn’t have needed to revolt on it demanding freedom that they missed amid the plenty of bread.

People don’t only live on the bread (that is currently missed), the human at least has 2 wishes; to have a river full of fish, and the fish being grilled. For that, a person doesn’t always revolt for being hungry, but sometimes he revolts for being full and wanting freedom. Connecting the state that is valid for free citizens able to contribute to the advance of humanity with the bread, electricity, gas and other services is miserable and almost animal; the state is an atmosphere, where a person can live and create, of course after being full.

If he is full, while not feeling his true self, he revolts like what happened in the February 17th revolution, without thinking about the hardships in the road to his goal, all what he has deep down is that an animal life full of only being full isn’t adequate, and what he lacks is something that can’t be tolerated.

This exactly what pushed martyrs who died while singing the freedom tea song to die, while feeling that they earn much more than what they are losing, even when they are dying.

If we will celebrate, we will celebrate them and their dream wasted by the political coverts, authoritarianism and the loots spirit that spread amongst their people.

We will celebrate their dreams to recall it, not let it go for the ghosts of the past or the criminals of the present, who were planted in the past and their cropping was left to us.

*A Libyan Writer and Diplomat