Kirill Pankratov (neznaika_nalune) wrote,
Kirill Pankratov

Революционное похмелье

Psychological scars of war take toll in Misrata

...The battle of Misrata became known as Libya's Stalingrad.
In the three months the city was under siege, Misratans say 2,000 died and 14,000 were wounded.

Some who have lived through the fighting also share a deep sense of depression and disillusionment at the lack of change they feel in the post-Gaddafi Libya.

..."I feel that those people who died in the war died for nothing. For sure they are martyrs according to our religion, but I think they died for nothing and that's what drove me to depression. For me personally, I feel my life was better before the revolution."

Before the war, Ahmed used to do some trading abroad. Today he says he can't even get a visa to leave Libya and sees no future. In his bleakest moments, he has even contemplated suicide, an action that is fiercely condemned by Islam.

"Before the revolution I had ambitions but now I'm really depressed and I don't have the ambitions I had before. Nothing is stable in the country.

"I feel it will take a long time for the country to get stable again and this drives me to depression, and sometimes to think about killing myself to get rid of that feeling."

Questioning the revolution in a city like Misrata, which has developed a powerful cult of heroism and victimhood after experiencing the brunt of the fighting and casualties, brings its own dangers in the new Libya.

"Of course there is no freedom of speech at the moment. I am Misratan, my father is Misratan, my grandfather the same, but I cannot criticise the revolution, even on Facebook," Ahmed says.

"The question that keeps coming to my mind, is 'What did we gain?' I feel we gained nothing, but I can't say that in public because some katiba [brigade] may harm me or my family or even arrest me."

..."I fought hard during the revolution, from Tripoli Street in Misrata to Bab al Aziziya [Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli] and Sirte," he says.

"I lost my business, I lost my friends and now I don't have anything left. My dreams are completely broken."

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