Sunday, September 4, 2011

Libyan Women Celebrate Freedom

A sea of colorful headscarves filled Tripoli's Martyr’s Square on Friday afternoon. The crowd danced and sang, waving flags and balloons in the air. Joyful smiles beamed between cheeks adorned with painted colors of the rebel flag.

The crowd was almost 10,000 strong but there was not a man in sight. The women of Tripoli gathered to celebrate their freedom from an oppressive regime.

"I am 30 years old and this is the first time for me to stand in this square, and it is the first time I am free to talk to someone like you," said Arwa Mohammed Hassan as she waved a rebel flag above her head. "Before I was not proud of my country, but today I am so proud to be Libyan!"

Behind the scenes, women have played an unsung but crucial role in Tripoli’s revolution. Many have bravely spoken out and joined in the protests across the country.

Hundreds spent tireless hours preparing meals for the men on the frontline in makeshift kitchens. Others bravely smuggled guns and conveyed vital information from inside Gaddafi strongholds. Hundreds more nursed the wounded.

Today they gathered to show their thanks and support to the men still fighting to liberate the country.

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