The changes resulting from recent fall of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi have brought music to Libyans’ ears. Libyans previously could only listen to government radio stations, dominated by pro-Gadhafi commentators and including programs advocating jihad. The radio, which had primarily been an instrument of state power now appears to be an opportunity for exposure to international languages, sounds, and perspectives.
With everything from newscasters speaking in French to Shakira singing in Spanish, the newly minted Radio Libya hopes to give the people of Libya a chance to be heard. While some of the broadcast is used to express complaints regarding Tripoli’s current state, the ability to speak freely on such matters is a profound change from the old way.
Other broadcast time goes to musicians who before had to write and play in secret. Ahmed Sharif, the assistant manager of Radio Libya was quoted on NPR, saying: “I’m going to cry, you know. This is first time we feel the free in Libya.”