Throughout the generations, the Middle East has been a hotbed of geo-political and social upheaval. What is there about it that makes it so?
Libya, situated in the midst of the historically, geopolitically, and socially strife-riddled Middle East, has grown and developed primarily as a totalitarian state, on the brink of dictatorship. In fact, when Gaddafi was on the verge of being overthrown, he attempted to declare himself king. The social and economic gaps suffered under Gaddafi’s regime generated much pressure and pain within the country’s population, which exploded violently into the streets to the extent that people put their lives on the line and were not afraid to throw themselves right in front of the army that attempted to thwart their protest. And here the question arises: How can one come to such lack of care for one’s own life, as masses of people were willing to give up their lives so readily? It is as if the citizens saw that they had nothing to lose.
The struggle in Libya, just as in Syria, Yemen, Jordan, and Israel, brought with it fresh tidings. People woke up and expressed their long years of pain. We are at a point in history where civilians want to take a more active role in the decision-making process that will shape and define their lives. Libya is a country with no shortage of resources: oil, tourism, fish, agriculture, and manufacturing capabilities. Why can’t a country with such vast resources provide for the needs of its public? In reality, millions in Libya are living in poverty.
The Miracle of Nature
The greatest wonder is how in a country such as Libya, where people are so unequivocally and clearly controlled by the regime, and where citizens have been indoctrinated to blindly follow their ruler for generations, such a sharp could transition transpire? How did this whole situation come about without any forewarning? It seems like a miracle of Nature. Of course, every human connection has its own dynamics; things do not happen randomly. But still, it is truly a wonder that nowadays you cannot control another person by force, and Libya is the living proof.
The Day After
Just as we saw in Russia and Germany the day after the Berlin Wall came down, quite a complicated question surfaces: How will the public adjust to the new situation? The control over freedom of movement has loosened to some extent, and this is where the spaces form that the new leaders need to fill. Can the sharp transition yield growth? We will discover this with time. Until then, we can only hope that the Libyan people resolutely strive for freedom, unity, and collective responsibility.