Riots and Revolutions - Nel Hedayat - part two
Kids who looked about 5 years old were handed Kalashnikovs, and their mums were getting them to pose for photos with guns that were bigger than them! I could see that they were celebrating but it all felt wrong to see kids so young around guns. A year ago, few on these streets would have even seen a rifle. Now as I was deafened by the sound of anti-aircraft guns fired into the air in victory, it was clear that life will never be the same again for Libya. I smiled uncomfortably at the crowd as I was handed the new Libyan flag.
But that's just one country in a part of the world where things are changing so quickly it's hard to keep up – it’s the same in Syria. That's the Arab Spring for you.
I went to neighbouring Lebanon where I saw cyber-activists sit at computers watching video after video from Syria of bomb-hit homes; of soldiers beating people who say no to Syrian president Assad's rule and many people screaming for it all to stop.
I also met some of the people who call themselves the Free Syrian Army who were once part of President Assad's forces but are now fighting against him to the death. As far as we can tell, the fate of Syria lies in the hands of these self-appointed freedom fighters.
But, whereas the Libyans have got their freedom, reports say the Syrians are dying every day waiting for theirs. My Arab Spring journey has taught me one thing - that revolutions can be ecstatic and the best high you can ever know; but on the way they are also terrifying, brutal and murderous.
Riots and Revolutions: My Arab Journey is on Monday at 9pm