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Festival celebrations dampened in Libya

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Festival celebrations dampened in Libya
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Residents of Colonel Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte are struggling to deal with the scale of destruction of their city as one of Islam’s most important festivals gets underway.

Libyans are celebrating Eid – the feast of the sacrifice – but in Sirte there is so little money that very few people can afford to buy the sheep to slaughter as tradition dictates.

Most buildings, including the banks, were destroyed in the struggle to liberate the town from Gaddafi loyalists.

Sirte has been liberated but the cost has been high. Many families have lost loved ones and many more have been left destitute.

One mother said: “There is no Eid here. There’s no new clothes. We have nothing to give to the kids, nothing to eat. We have no gas to cook with. We have nothing.”

In Tripoli, it seems things are a little better. Some people are buying sheep, although, at three to five hundred dollars, this year sales are down.

Eight months of civil war has taken its toll. The feast of the sacrifice will go on for several days. Rebuilding Libya will take substantially longer.