The first time I set foot in Libya was July 4, 2011, five months after the start of the February 17 revolution. This was a significant moment, because as a Libyan-American and the daughter of a political dissident, it was the first time I was able to visit. As my family and I crossed into Libya from Egypt, driving past the cities of Tobruq, Derna, Al-Bayda, and Benghazi, we saw the evidence of the Libyan people’s revolutionary enthusiasm. Nearly every available surface was painted red, black, and green—the colors of Libya’s newly adopted liberation flag—or peppered with revolutionary graffiti calling for an end to the 42-year rule of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. Against the backdrop of a civil war, a free Libya was on the horizon.