The alleys and archways along Rashid Street in central Tripoli were plunged in darkness Saturday night, as the Libyan capital struggled to cope with widespread shortages of electricity.
After sunset, the only light in one corner cafe came from two candles. Their flickering glow barely lit the faces of men seated at a handful of tables, where they were breaking their Ramadan fast.
Nearby, residents trudged down the center of empty streets enveloped in darkness. Some men played music from parked cars. Others sat silently in doorways, their presence only marked by the glow of a cigarette butt.
"It's a disaster. My father's neighborhood hasn't had electricity for five straight days," said one Libyan man who asked not to be named, for fear of attracting the ire of government authorities. He said he evacuated his entire family to Egypt and was staying behind to keep an eye on his property.