Last night the Libyan community in London gathered outside the embassy by Hyde Park Corner, to light sky lanterns in memory of the lives lost in their fight for freedom, and in remembrance of other countries in their own struggle for democracy. Libya's revolution was marked on February 17th of last year, when defectors and loyalists clashed following protests in Benghazi two days before.
Despite the lingering troubles in Libya and its difficult transition to democracy, the progress it has achieved in a year has been remarkable. We may be guilty, in the West, of placing undue pressure on the countries of the Arab Spring. It took hundreds of years of toil for us to achieve our democracies - why do we expect the transitions today to be smooth and efficient operations? We must support these nations with understanding and patience, in what will undoubtedly be a long road ahead.