After years of insecurity in Libya, life appears to be gradually returning to normal, especially in the capital, Tripoli.
As the UN-backed government in Tripoli works to assert its full authority, Libyans are also getting out from the shadows.
“If I have to wait for the government or any other party to bring me what I need, I might wait for a long time,” Abdel muttalibTwijeri, owner of a cafe and a Spanish restaurant told AFP.
I pulled my wife from the kitchen to go to the restaurant. I do not want her to stay at home sad.
“Life goes on with or without us. Whatever happens, it bends, but does not break,” he added.
Restaurants and cafes, most of which had closed are now reopening in Tripoli. News ones such as the one run by AbdelmuttalibTwijeri are also popping up.
This is driven by the relative stability that has returned to the Libyan capital.
“Businessmen are investing in Tripoli, just as Libyans in the east are investing in restaurants. It is a sign of the return of stability and security in Tripoli,” said Abdelqader al-Kanouni, president of a local charity.
Tripoli residents like Abdelqader al-Kanouni, hardly stay at home all the time now. They are eager to be a part of the bustling Tripoli social life.
“Several times a month, I pulled my wife from the kitchen to go to the restaurant. I do not want her to stay at home sad,” he told AFP.
Tripoli’s residents say they have to put the past behind them and move on with their lives.
And they cannot do that without their treasured coffee, another reason why cafes are popping up all around the city.
“Libyans cannot live without drinking coffee. We drink coffee in the morning, in the evening, sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 times daily. Coffee for Libyans is an indispensable need,” Mohamed Agily, a cafe owner said.
Libya had been overrun by rebel groups including the Islamic State after the country’s long serving leader Muammar Gadaffi was ousted in 2011.
Apart from the rebels, rival governments also scrambled for control over the country with two governments operating from the east of the country and the capital, Tripoli.