BY the time of going to press all indications were that the curtains had come down on Libyan president Col. Muammar Gadaffi's regime.
Ascending to power after a coup in 1969, the then young colonel set about creating a welfare state.
Emboldened by his stranglehold on power and his country's enormous oil resources Gadaffi sought to become a champion of the Pan Arab movement in the 1970s and 1980s.
This ambition culminated in his global ostracisation following the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 killing 259.
With the end of the cold war, Gadaffi found himself even more isolated. He was "rehabilitated" earlier this Century when he cut a deal to compensate the victims of the Lockerbie bombing and surrender for trial in the Hague, an agent associated with the bombing. Back out from the cold, Gadaffi made Africa's unification his pet project going as far as declaring himself King of Kings.
An unforeseen social-media-driven revolt which first claimed Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, has proved Gadaffi's waterloo. The relief and joy of the population beamed down to our living rooms is almost palpable.
However, the rebel victory is really the beginning of a long journey to restoring the North African state. The reconstruction of the billions of dollars-worth of devastated infrastructure will be the least of the Libyans' worries.
The reconciliation between warring factions, the building of the pillars of governance and the cultivation of a democratic culture is where the challenge will be.
Regardless of the sincerity of the new leadership, things will get worse before they get better and our prayers should be with the Libyan people.