Ten years ago, a remarkable event changed the course of history in Libya: the youth of Benghazi rose in revolt against their dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. On 17th February 2011, they bravely took to the streets and sparked a revolution that would later be referred to as ‘the Arab Spring’. Fast-forward to 2021 and there is no longer an all-out civil war, yet the country remains highly divided between rival factions. After much deliberation, a new government of national unity was recently formed in an effort to bring about reconciliation.
Despite this progress, the divisions between western coastal towns (which were largely supportive of the anti-Gaddafi revolt) and eastern regions controlled by Marshal Khalifa Haftar remain deeply entrenched. As such, no Libyan can forget the tragic conflicts which took place between Benghazi and Tripoli – two cities that have seen some of the most devastating battles.
But that’s not where the story ends. A decade on from Gaddafi’s downfall, families are still searching for loved ones who disappeared during those tumultuous months; former rebels reflect on their hopes and disappointments; and young people must also grapple with frequent outbursts of violence.
With recent events in Libya fresh in our minds, we have been granted unique access to a powerful documentary – ‘Libya: Ten Years After’ – which documents both sides of this ongoing crisis. It offers a fascinating insight into how Libyans are attempting to build bridges and move forward together as one nation amidst turbulent times.
We urge you to watch this documentary, not only to learn more about what happened ten years ago but also gain further understanding about what it means for Libyans today—their aspirations for peace, freedom and democracy—and what people around the world can do to support them.