Degaddafinated, the Libyan Twitter slang for being free from Gaddafi, is not like decaffeinated. Only traces of caffeine remain in coffee that’s labeled decaffeinated. But while Colonel Gaddafi himself is gone, he lingers everywhere in modern Libya, and it’s hurting the country’s ability to move past his rule.
That’s the argument anyway from Gada Mahfud. Writing in a column in The Tripoli Post, Mahfud says that while Libya is “degaddafinated from Gaddafi’s presence, the mindset that he saddled the country with still lives on.”
Libyans distrust authority now, which means they won’t cooperate with the transitional government.
Libyans are also pessimistic, the result of years of disappointment at the hands of Gaddafi. In Tripoli, the country’s capital and most advanced city, merely 40 percent of roads are paved, hospitals lack equipment and staff, and schools use antiquated technology.
Mahfud writes that “the Libyan people need to acknowledge that the NTC [National Transitional Council] does not possess a magic wand to vanquish away their many troubles.”
Once they do, they can get on with the hard work of finishing the degaddafination of Libya.