Countless Libyans headed to the landmark of newfound freedom, Martyrs’ Square on Tuesday, which was known as Green Square under Muammer Qaddafi’s rule.
Celebrations marked the fall of Qaddafi’s regime, and atmosphere was carnival-like.
“This is the first time we witness freedom, and it’s important. We are very happy, and for the first time we can express our heartfelt emotions without any pressure. I look at my kids and see they are happy, smiling all the time. Every day they ask to be taken to Martyr’s Square," said a Libyan resident.
Crowds joined together in song while children enjoyed cotton candy. Merchants were selling the ubiquitous black, red and green flags that have become the symbol of the new Libya.
People lined up to have their photos taken with the rebels who are seen as heroes by the residents, while some chose to pose with the weaponry used by the rebels in their fight against Qaddafi forces.
"Every day you see faces in the hundreds and thousands. It's very crowded. Form early morning to late night, you see 500 to 600 families coming to have their picture taken with us," said an anti-Qaddafi fighter.
The rebels or NTC fighters have been fighting to topple Qaddafi for six months; the uprising began in mid-February, and Tripoli fell to rebel fighters at the end of August.