By Rabia Golden, a freelance journalist

Today, on the ninth anniversary of the revolution in Libya, those who were most affected by the entire war, are also those who remember with both pride and sorrow what has been both established and lost since day one.

It was the beginning of new hope for Libya, a feeling so deeply stamped in the hearts and minds of those who had suffered enough oppression, lack of care, of education and just generally being used and abused by a regime without any standards of human rights or simple appreciation.

As the people of Libya stood up to be counted for the first time in a very long time, as mothers, fathers and family kissed their sons’ goodbye, praying for them knowing the very real and true danger ahead, the war dragged on, taking with it a huge portion of Libya’s youth.

Today is a national day of recognition of the sacrifice of all of Libya’s beautiful martyrs, those who gave their lives and limbs for a cause so dear to their heart that they did not even consider an alternative or blink, when under the most horrendous conditions.

The battles raged, the people rallied, the end was in sight or so everyone thought.

As the celebrations of the 17th of February roll along, the government forces officially recognized by the rest of the United Nations continue to fight the good fight, protecting our Capital from the onslaught of warlord Haftar and his band of illegal followers, who cannot be labelled as an army, due to their weakly forged links of mercenaries paid by both Russian businessmen and other Arabs opposed to peace through democracy and freedom.

History will show that the interference in Libyan matters by the UAE, Egypt, Russian Businessmen and indeed France along with many more silent backers were using their funding to cause chaos in a land which fought so hard to overcome adversity only to be thrown back into a whirlwind of killing, torture and illegal confiscation of properties of civilians throughout the outskirts of Tripoli.

The true revolutionaries who joined the fight at the onset of the Revolution in 2011 could not have imagined that Libya would be still embroiled in conflict on into 2020.

Although the feelings around Libya are mixed about the future of this great nation, the hope must and should be the same; to see this land whose shores were once flooded by Roman ships, whose future was moulded in part by one of the greatest freedom fighters of all times, Omar Mukhtar.

Libya is rich in history from the beginning of civilization and although there has been so much negative press about the outcomes of this revolution, there has been an influx of new hope, almost new civilization, which is seen in the hearts and minds particularly of the younger generation. A newfound skill of saying ‘No’, to sharing ideas and ideals in the workplace and in education.

The system is struggling, but the patience of the Libyan people is immense, with university education in desperate need of an overhaul, the students are not dissuaded and adapt themselves to be capable to benefit from what is available to the maximum.

Business sense has changed and people have been catapulted into the year 2020 with business entrepreneurs learning skills they only dreamed of previously. The government encouraging and funding new groups and training facilities, both within Libya and abroad.

Undoubtedly, many challenges lie ahead as Libya looks to what is considered normality internationally, however, a huge step toward for a society which has been starved of normality beginning with the dictatorship of a self-proclaimed leader for forty-two years, followed by several years of confusion, upheaval and lack of direction.

Finally, hope and light are on the horizon for a fresh start, providing the renewed threat of a ‘not so new’ dictator is averted, with the support of true Libyans with vision and leadership towards a visionary beginning, and a new awakening.