MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
But as NPR's Jason Beaubien reports, Libya's airwaves now have a new sound.
JASON BEAUBIEN: In Tripoli, the radio has changed completely since the fall of Gadhafi. The airwaves which used to only carry four state-run stations are now filled with broadcasts from across the Mediterranean and North Africa.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
BEAUBIEN: The main national radio station which used to be called Allibiya has been taken over by the rebels and renamed Radio Libya.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the radio. Radio Libya.
BEAUBIEN: But even complaining is something new. Sharif says people didn't call in to complain or criticize under the old regime. Down the hall, four young musicians from Tripoli are being interviewed. It's the first time they've ever been invited to perform on the radio.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
BEAUBIEN: in the control room for the broadcast studio, tears well up in Sharif's eyes as he listens to the young men sing in Arabic, English and French.
AHMED MUSTAFA SHARIF: I'm going to be cry, you know. This is the first time we feel the free, you know, in Libya.
BEAUBIEN: He says Gadhafi kept Libyans in a big jail for four decades.
MUSTAFA SHARIF: You cannot move free. You cannot say anything on the radio. So free now. They are working free. We can put English singers, Arab singers, any singer, you can put it in the radio. But before, no. Before, we don't have this free. Also, he didn't like anybody to be star. You know, just for him. This country, just for him.
BEAUBIEN: Fuad Ramadan, who was playing guitar in the studio, says up until a few weeks ago he could have been arrested for performing most of his songs in public. He says he used to get together secretly with a group of friends to practice English and write music.
FUAD RAMADAN: (Singing) I believe in everything good. I believe the deserts will lead to oasis. I believe that everything you do will leave a smile on their faces...
BEAUBIEN: Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Tripoli.
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