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A year ago, thousands of Libyan civilians became soldiers overnight. Opposed to the rule of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, they took up arms, many of them for the first time in their lives, and joined a ragtag rebel army. Now, after eight months of brutal violence, they are struggling to return to their former lives.

Libya's rebels: then and now (PHOTOS)

With the fight over, many rebels struggle to return to their former lives.

Libya's rebels: then and now (PHOTOS)

A year ago, thousands of Libyans left their lives and families, took up arms, and joined a ragtag rebel army to help fight Muammar Gaddafi, one of the world's most powerful dictators. Most of them civilians with little knowledge of war or weapons, the rebels were thrown into a violent and chaotic conflict that dragged on for eight months. Now, with Gaddafi dead and a new Libya struggling to gain its footing, the former rebels are attempting to get back the lives they left.