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Martyrs And Mixed Messages On Anniversary Of Libya Revolution

Post-Gaddafi Libya is a mix of newfound freedom and political instability. The latest news includes worries of an impending coup d"état after a top general suggested that the way forward for the country was to suspend Parliament.

Still, Libyans celebrated – or at least were free to acknowledge – the third anniversary of their 2011 revolution that overthrew long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It was Feb. 17, 2011, when members of the Libyan opposition declared a "day of rage" against the regime, which culminated in Gaddafi's death during the ensuing civil war.

Despite serious security concerns, Libyans seemed to share a guarded optimism about the state of the nation. Here's how it looked on Twitter.

One of the more hopeful posts included a festive photo of decorated streets, and the declaration: "Libya is celebrating its third year of freedom, today everything is under control and accounted for, God is great."

ليبيا تحت�ل بالعام الثالث من الحرية ،، لاخو� �ي ليبيا بعد اليوم الكل تحت الرقابة والمحاسبة ،، لاكبير إلا الله. pic.twitter.com/SfwtpYYTcg

— عمر بن عبدالعزيز (@oamaz7) February 17, 2014

A young Libyan woman living in the city of Misrata — where the revolution was born — tweeted a message of thanks to those who had died in the uprising.

It is now #Feb17 . I just want to take this opportunity to thank our Martyrs who died for us and our Freedom Fighters.” #ليبيا

— Omaimah_Basheer (@omaimahbt) February 17, 2014

Images of martyrs were also tweeted, accompanied by prayers. One tweet remembers pilot Muhammad Mubarak Al-Aqili.

الشهيد العقيد طيار محمد مبارك العقيلي صاحب اليمين الشهير "عليا اليمين بنغازي ما تخشها يا معمر" pic.twitter.com/IH1JtiV77A

— تغريدات ليبيا (@LibyaTopTweets) February 17, 2014

Another similar tweet reads, "#memories of the revolution #that we may not forget the martyr Muhammad Nabus."

#ذكريات_الثورة#لكي_لا_ننسي الشهيد محمد نبوس pic.twitter.com/MHgmHnrMcT

— Tawfik Bensaud (@TBensaud) February 17, 2014

Using the same hashtag, a young Libyan woman in the revolutionary town of Benghazi recalled: "#memories of the revolution — making food for the thuwar revolutionaries."

#ذكريات_الثورة making food for the thuwar ✌�

— R. (@3doditee) February 16, 2014

Not all tweets were thankful and celebratory, however. ">The same young Libyan woman who tweeted about making food also recalled: "#memories of the revolution — when we could walk around Benghazi alone and still feel safe!"

Twitter debates also ensued over whether a revolution actually happened, and whether it has been successful.

For All Those Who Don't believe The Revolution Was Successful. #17Feb#Libyapic.twitter.com/IrseMuNUXK

— Areej أريج ↑ (@3alaDil3owna) February 17, 2014

Still, the tone on the ground seemed to be one of guarded optimism. One tweet featured an image of a Libyan man carrying a poster, reading, "In spite of the shortcomings, I will celebrate the February 17th anniversary."

Dear negative people #Libyapic.twitter.com/gCvyP4XCpz

— R. (@3doditee) February 17, 2014

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