By ALASTAIR MACDONALD | REUTERS
SIRTE, Libya: In the shattered Libyan town of Sirte, the hometown where Muammar Qaddafi met his end last month, the mood was grim on the eve of one of Islam’s great festivals — the only good news was for the sheep.
As fellow Libyans prepared on Saturday to celebrate Eid Al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, by giving thanks for liberation from Qaddafi’s rule with the ritual slaughter of tens of thousands of the beasts, those waiting their fate at a roadside market in Sirte were finding few buyers.
Sirte, once Qaddafi’s favored “capital of Africa,” lies in ruins. His tribal kin and loyal supporters in what became the last bastion of his 42 years of personal power were in no mood to join festivities that many Libyans will see as recalling the sacrifices of a war that has won them freedom.
“Who can celebrate Eid at a time like this?” grumbled Ali Al-Saadeq, 48, as he joined a group of men eyeing up small flocks corralled in makeshift wire pens or huddled on the backs of farmers’ pickup trucks by a highway on the edge of town.
“A revolution is supposed to turn things from bad to good,” he said as sellers manhandled their bleating livestock to show off their qualities and tempt reluctant buyers complaining of empty pockets. “But so far, we haven’t seen anything good…
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