Museums have been erected to commemorate the battles fought and the martyrs lost. Schools are back in session—even the shell-shocked ones. Hundreds of former rebels are training to join the new national army. People are even talking about tourism and business.
Women are discussing women’s rights and lecturing men on politics—a newfound agency that they’ve capitalized on since the revolution. Where the weak transitional government is failing, ordinary citizens are helping one another rebuild. Young people are getting creative. All this induces optimism; optimism of the wild, determined sort. Libya is set to hold its first democratic election in July. No one knows how many bumps lie in the road up ahead. But despite all those challenges, and the years of heartbreak behind them, the Libyans seem hopeful. (All Images by Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for Time)