September 2012 | Olive Branch Post by Manal Omar
This is the mantra I started repeating last week. It was the only way I could bear the calls, emails, and posts I was receiving from my Libyan friends. The news didn’t only shock me, but it had the potential to devastate me. After a year of traveling across Arab Spring countries, Libya had become my anchor amid the chaos. Despite the many challenges the country faced, I always left feeling hopeful and cautiously optimistic.
The attack on the U.S. consulate, and the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, threatened to stifle all hope within me. I could not bear the idea that Libya could dissolve into conflict led by violent religious extremism. I had spent the past year insisting that Libya would have its happily ever after. I was not blind to the enormous challenges that lay ahead, but I simply believed that Libya had all the right ingredients to overcome them.