By | 16 Feb 2023 at 11:03 PM
February 17th Revolution: Date, History, Facts about Libya

The 17th of February Revolution is a Libyan holiday that is observed on February 17. As it marked the beginning of the end of Colonel Gaddafi’s four-decade authoritarian rule, it is considered one of the most significant events in Libya’s history. This day also serves as a reminder to Libyans of the struggles and lives lost in the pursuit of a democratic Libya in which human rights exist in their authentic form. During this time period, Libya experienced a series of turbulent events. Many consider the Arab Spring to be the primary catalyst that led to the 17 February Revolution in Libya.


Conflicts that erupted after Libyans demanded a regime change left an indelible mark on their psyche. Idris I became the nation’s first king in 1951 after Libya achieved independence from Italian colonial rule in 1951. Idris I was a politician and religious leader whose conservative nature made his government unpopular. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi overthrew King Idris I in a coup d’état in 1969 with the intention of elevating the country. Gaddafi ruled for four decades, making him Libya’s leader with the longest tenure. During his reign, all social and political organisations were prohibited.

In 2010, The Arab Spring — a coalition of revolutionaries, agitators, and activists — deposed numerous rulers in Arab nations, beginning in Tunisia and Egypt, where leaders conceded to the demands of the masses and voluntarily resigned. However, Gaddafi took a firm stance against the destructive Arab Spring revolution in his country. Benghazi witnessed the first protest against his government on February 15, 2011. Hundreds of peaceful protestors who gathered at a police station were executed. In response, organisers mobilised hundreds of protesters to gather at various locations across the country on February 17 — a day dubbed the ‘Day of Revolt’ There were demonstrations in Benghazi, Darnah, Ajdabiya, Zintan, and elsewhere. Dozens of protesters were killed when Gaddafi’s security forces opened fire with live ammunition, an act that precipitated the outbreak of civil war.

Later in 2011, protesters defeated Gaddafi’s forces, resulting in his capture and execution at Sirte, which signified the end of the civil war and ushered in the desired change. In 2012, elections were held, and Ali Zeidan was elected prime minister.

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Libya contains the largest proven oil reserve in Africa.

Libya has the driest and most severe desert climate.

The nation imports approximately 80% of its food because it lacks sufficient arable land.

Libya has the highest adult obesity rate in Africa.

King Idris I was Libya’s first and only monarch.


Year Date Day
2023 February 17 Friday
2024 February 17 Saturday
2025 February 17 Monday
2026 February 17 Tuesday
2027 February 17 Wednesday