A fist full of dinars: Libya unveils new note
The currency bill of a country can be seen as a representation of that country. Now Libya can say the same. This month, Libyans were introduced to the new 1 dinar bill; a smaller, more colourful bill that is a better representation of the country's values, and is a symbol of national identity. Here is why.
For the most obvious reason, the former bill was outdated because it featured a photo of none other than, Muammar Gaddafi smiling with his face rested into his palm like there wasn’t a worry in the world for Libya. Contrary to this, the front of the new bill shows an image of a celebrating crowd, much like the countless ones seen after the liberation of Libya.
In this way, Libya is represented as a country of its people instead of being represented by the dictator that ruled it with an angry fist.
Why else is the new bill so cool? Well, it has the word ‘Libya’ written on it. Sweet and simple, and without the long, tongue-tying description of a republic that Gaddafi spent his years of rule trying to persuade the world of.
On the back of the new bill is an image of the new national flag - perhaps the best representation of the new Libya that there is. Pigeons, which are known to symbolise love and peace in many cultures, can be found in this image fluttering around the wavering tricoloured flag. Taking an even closer look, the pigeons add up to a total of 17, and we all know what that number represents!
And perhaps, the coolest thing about the new bill is that when held to the light, the profile of Omar Mukhtar becomes visible. The war hero that led the resistance against the Italian Occupation and who eventually sacrificed his life to save this country from foreign occupancy and oppression played an important role in the 2011 revolution.
Famous quotes and the memory of Omar Mukhtar was one of the biggest driving forces of the revolution. Knowing that Libya was liberated before by its people was the best motivation to do it again.
Mukhtar’s words, “We’ll never surrender. We’ll win or die,” were at the backbone of the unrelenting drive to liberate Libya from Gaddafi's stronghold. Having the profile of the man who inspired the revolution in the background of the new currency bill is only fitting.
No doubt, your first introduction to the new Libyan dinar bill was as exciting as it was for me. For many it will be an experience worth remembering for a very long time.
Perhaps you weren’t expecting it when it came into your reach for the first time. Maybe it happened when you were handed change on your routine trip to the grocery store.
Or, maybe a friend walked into the room bragging that he got his hands on one before you did. However it happened, the first time you lay your eyes on one is a special moment, because it is visible evidence of how this country has changed.
The bill is a celebration of our national identity, one that has been lost to the Libyan people for far too long. The change we all witnessed in 2011, and continue to see as Libya progresses toward a stable democracy is now formalised in our nation’s currency, starting with the 1 dinar bill.
Knowing that these bills are not going anywhere anytime soon is comforting. Our children will see the big change we made so they wouldn’t have to.
What do you think of the new dinar bill? Share it with the Bifocal.
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