Molly Tarhuni: We must not be afraid to build a new future

The future of Libya can now be written in the full awareness that our potential can be realised

Closure. After 42 years of terror and immeasurable suffering, thousands of dead, wasted millions and stolen lives. The death of Muammar Gaddafi finally brings an end to the darkness under which Libyans have lived for too long. It brings an undeniable end to the reign of a tyrant and marks the death of a merciless regime.

But it does not necessarily mark the end of the revolution. There is still much work to be done. The future of Libya starts now; just as we see the end of a chapter, we look to the beginning of a new and hopefully much brighter one.

The difference is the future of Libya can now be written in the full awareness that our potential can finally be realised. There is no more lingering fear that the past will come back to haunt us.

But it is up to us now to placate and rebuild the country we have fought so long and so hard for, with countless lives lost in that battle. It is up to us now – with no more excuses – as active Libyan citizens to participate and contribute in a genuine way to uphold the principles on which this revolution was based. We must build the blocks to create a free, democratic and just state, to create an elected government and hold it accountable to the desires of the people.

It is not about celebrating the death of fellow Libyans, but celebrating the death of fear and the throwing off of shackles which have prevented us fulfilling our potential. We have all suffered equally and we must now come together.

The fear has now gone – we must not now be scared of the future, of learning from our mistakes and moving forward. There must be excitement now about what can be achieved in the new Libya now a system designed to keep in the dark is gone.

We are all aware that there are challenges ahead. We must restrain any desire to be vengeful. There is also an awareness that it is up to us now, and we know that if it does not work we only have ourselves to blame. But at the same time, however, we should be proud of our achievements.

The onus of responsibility is on all of us – those in the country, Libyans abroad, as well as the international community – we all share the burden of responsibility.

Molly Tarhuni is a Libyan academic who was living abroad but returned to Libya earlier this year to work with the revolutionary forces