Nader Hashemi, an assistant professor in DU's Korbel School of International Studies, is gaining a reputation as an expert on the Middle East.
Hashemi answered Three Questions about the future of Libya, where revolutionary forces — with aid from NATO and the United States — brought down the government of Moammar Qaddafi and killed the dictator last week in the town of Sirte.
What does the passing of Moammar Qaddafi mean for the average Libyan?
The death of Colonel Qaddafi represents the end of political tyranny in Libya and the possible dawn of a new democratic future. The Libyan Revolution has now entered a new phase of re-construction and consensus building.
Qaddafi, it should be remembered, was the Libyan state. He ruled the country with an iron hand for 42 years and ruthlessly crushed all dissent. Most Libyans have no memory of life before Qaddafi. His picture and presence were everywhere and his secret police kept a close watch on society. Most Libyans, I suspect, are still in a state of shock. Yet with the fall of Sirte and the death of the despot, the people of Libya now have the opportunity, for the first time in modern history, to build a new society and political system. In a very real sense Qaddafi's death, therefore, signifies that Libyans have been collectively reborn.