6th anniversary of regime-change in Libya

I write this poem to reflect  how I and many others feel about what we consider to be Libya’s 6th anniversary since the revolution. Whether we supported or condemned the revolution, or indeed recognise it as a revolution, this day remains a special day in Libyan history. So here I am, uttering my feelings to reflect the array of sadness,  frustration, devastation but also love and pride of where I come from. Today, I write a letter to my beloved Libya.

***

O my country,

O my country,

With your struggle and gladiatorial patience,

Today marks your 6th year free of the tyranny and autocracy of Gaddafi. But today also marks your 6th year of another system’s tyranny, other individuals’ autocracy.

Today marks the anniversary of our love and pride. A day where we, as the people of Libya, were united to take a powerful stand against those who wanted you to suffer, against those who strip us away of our rights. We were united to end violence, to end fear and to break the chain of silence. Today marks the day we fought to protect you.

Today marks the day of fear, of uncertainty.  It was like today where we, Libyans – Arabs and Amazigh – held your independence flag high. It was like today, we called for our freedom, for our liberty, for our dignity.

But what have we done!?

A day of celebration turned to be a day of sorrow; a day of regret.

Have we achieved independence? Democracy? Freedom? Liberty? Or even dignity? No.

Today, your people are living in fear; with no electricity or water.

Today, instead of having a democracy, we have three governments and armed militias and groups. Today, instead of having our freedom and liberty, we are kidnapped, tortured and robbed.

Today, instead of having our dignity, we travel through boats to seek better lives elsewhere. We do not have dignity, we have embassy doors closed at our faces. We don’t have dignity, they issued a ban against us.

So, my beloved country, tell me; do I celebrate this day? Or do I observe the day with tears and agony?

O my country, I have not forgotten the past. I do not wish for the authoritarian to rule you again. I do not regret your revolution.

Please understand that my agony stems from my unconditional love to you. It stems from my pride, for you had not only raised me but made me the person I am today. For you have filled me with passion to fight for justice.

So, no, I do not regret your revolution. I am just a wounded child, your child that continues to see you suffer as you continue to search for light. I do not regret chanting my national anthem, I however regret those who used it to fulfill their imperialist opportunist greed.

I am just angry, devastated and disappointed in how I had put you down. I supported your revolution, but I had put you down. I echoed at protests “down, down with Gaddafi, free, free Libya”, but I had disappointed you.

However, you continue to inspire me with your strength and patience despite all the storms. You continue to shower me with love despite your thorns. And for that, my country, I will never let go.

The road to independence is not an easy road, and we, as your people, love you regardless of what we have done.

Please forgive our greed and selfishness.

O my country,

O my country,

With your struggle and gladiatorial patience, I will forever love you…

 

A proud child of yours,

Shatha Sbeta

 

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