Many Libyans are getting ready for Eid al-Fitr, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in a mood of happy anticipation under a newly elected national assembly.
With a few days to go before the Eid celebrations, Tripoli residents went to market to buy new clothes and festive food for the forthcoming occasion.
Many residents said they were looking forward to celebrating the first Eid al-Fitr after the death of long-term leader Muammar Qaddafi, who was ousted last August in a revolt, and captured and killed last October.
“Regarding this Eid - it is the first time we are experiencing it without Waddafi. We thank God, we are very happy and the situation is very stable,” one shopper, Rawad Youssef, said
Tripoli resident Ezz el-Deen Mohammed said Libyans were happy Qaddafi’s rule came to an end.
“I feel like any Libyan citizen - I feel happy. The important thing is that we have got rid of the tyrant,” Mohammed said.
He added that those who lost their lives in last year’s fighting should also be remembered at the time of Eid.
“At the same time Eid reminds me of the people who lost their lives we must not forget them,” Mohammed said.
Another Tripoli resident, Jamal al-Gnedi, stressed the important work which has been done to unify the country, following the conflict.
“During this Eid we thank God all Libyans are happy and united under one idea which is there is only one Libya - not just east or west,” he said.
Discontent has long simmered in the eastern city of Benghazi, cradle of the anti-Qaddafi revolt, amid fears that the eastern region would be marginalized by a centralized authority in the capital Tripoli.
Calming regional rivalries is a tough problem for Libya’s new leaders.
Libya’s ruling council handed over power to a newly elected national assembly last week in the North African country’s first peaceful transition of power in its modern history.
Mohammed Magarief, a veteran Qaddafi opponent, was picked by the 200-member congress as its head.