Thanks for stopping by. If you've visited before you may notice that I've made a few changes - don't be surprised if I make a few more. 
Please see the tabs above for my Link List and My Journal of the months that the internet was turned off during the February 17th Revolution (March through July 2011). There is also an Archive of all of my posts in the sidebar on the left.

Almost like being in Libya

I came across a page that someone created on Facebook where they are uploading 360 degree images of Libya. So far it looks to be primarily from the Tripoli area, but hopefully the collection will grow. No mention is made on the page as to who is the creator. I think it's a fabulous idea!
I added the link to my Link List and a sample below. You can find the Facebook page here: 360 Around You

Click on the picture to go to the 360 image

A Day Away

We took a day off last week to spend some time at the Rainbow River in Dunellon, Florida which is about a two hour drive from where we live. The water is a refreshing 71F  all year round. We swam and snorkeled and the kids went off in the kayaks to look for alligators - and found one! They said it was a small one, but I could hear a larger one downriver on the other bank where there was some tall grass growing. 

It was a lovely day. Sometimes you just need to get away for a while. 

Some Updates To My Link List

Recently, I made a few updates to my Link List. I started putting together a Links List about 15 years ago. I come across so many interesting blogs, websites and news sources about Libya, when I find anything new I add them to share with my readers. A few of the links are in English and Arabic (or other languages) but the list is primarily sources about Libya that are in English. 
The list keeps growing and changing. I am calling out to my readers for a little help:  Do you know of any links that are not on the list? Let me know and I will add them. Have you come across any of the links on my list that are broken, or pointing to the wrong place? Let me know and I will fix or remove them. A few of my readers have mentioned that they have bookmarked my Links List page for easy reference. That's a good idea! You can find my Links List in the tabs at the top of my Home page, or find it here: Links List

Libyan of the Diaspora

Way back in 2007, I gave my friend Tara a kitten. We had just come back from the Nalut Spring Festival so it seemed only fitting that she name the kitten Nalut. 
Ten years have passed and Tara still has Nalut. After she left Libya she lived a while in New Mexico, then spent quite some time in Cyprus. Now she is back in New Mexico... but she is still very much a Libyan cat! 
The picture below is from 2007 - Nalut as a kitten on the day I gave her to Tara. Has it really been ten years? So much has happened and so many things have changed. I wonder if Nalut dreams of Libya like many displaced Libyans ... She is a diaspora kitty.

Quality Time

Mom hates pizza, but she agreed to go have pizza the other day. She decided that she hated pizza after my son Adam came to the US in 2008 to live with her. She said he ate a lot of pizza... pizza till she felt it was coming out of her ears. Now she seldom eats pizza, but on this particular day she said 'Let's get pizza' so we did!

Sometimes we eat out on the back porch. This particular day mom decided she didn't want to eat on a plate, instead she put everything in one bowl. Mom likes to eat on paper plates, but we had run out. Real dishes seem to annoy her for some reason. She drinks her coffee in paper cups too. When we were growing up we never used paper plates, but she insisted on us using paper cups when we were kids. She said they were more sanitary. Dixie cups... I always hated them!

One day we decided to have sandwiches at the park. After we ate we had a walk, I pushed mom in her wheel chair. She wasn't sure where we were and that seemed to bother her a bit. …

Something Extraordinary Happened: It really is a small world after all

Before I went back to Libya last September, I noticed an advert in the local newspaper about a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training course. It looked interesting for more than a reason or two. Above all, I liked the idea of learning how to be prepared in case of an emergency. I wanted to do something for my community, to help others and meet people. Also, I thought that this would be a way to learn about civic programs that might one day be useful should Libya ever become peaceful again and needed to rebuild – maybe I could help in some way, or maybe I’m grasping at straws, but it didn’t really matter because that wasn’t my sole reason for becoming involved. I emailed to see if there was any space left on the course. Unfortunately, the course was full, so I asked to be put on a list for the next course. Then I became busy with travel preparations and my trip back to Libya so I shelved the idea for a while.

After I returned to Florida I was notified that the next CERT train…


Mom's had more surgery since I last posted. All went well this time, and she is home recovering. We're mostly staying home and mom gets a bit stir crazy from sitting in the house all the time. Occasionally we go out, but we're pretty much limited to places that have motorized scooters because mom can only walk for a few minutes and then has to sit down. We have a wheelchair, but mom doesn't like to use it. She says it's low and she has to crane her neck upwards to see things. Apart from the scooter issue there is the problem that mom has difficulty hearing so that limits what we can do too. 
We try to keep mom as comfortable as possible. To make life a bit easier we got her an electric lift-recliner. She's been having trouble getting in and out of her chair so we hoped this would help. The only problem is that she hasn't been able to learn how to use the remote control for the chair. It has two buttons... up... and down. Push the up button and the chair pu…

LIBYA: 17th February Anniversary Six Years On

The following article was written in collaboration with my friend and colleague, Susan Sandover who is the author of the book ‘Libya a Love Lived a Life Betrayed 9/36’ 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Daily we (an American mother with a Libyan husband and a British Libyan widow) read, hear and see the ongoing tragedy and horror of the war in Syria and yet Libya barely warrants a mention in the British and American press. It seems as if the Libyans are the forgotten. Photos and video footage are seen periodically of migrants being saved in the Mediterranean but we have yet to read an article on the potential tinderbox situation in Libya.
The 17th February marks the anniversary of the commencement of the fight to overthrow Gaddafi but will this date warrant a mention in the international media? Most likely NO. The war finished quickly in just 8 months. Today what remains is the daily episode of the Libyan Game of Thrones represented by an assortment of grey-haired men in their expensive suits with allegiance …

A busy start to the year

So far 2017 has been a whirlwind. In my last post, which was about a month ago, I mentioned that my mother was scheduled to have surgery. She checked into the hospital as planned for what we thought would be morning surgery and home by the afternoon. 
Unfortunately there were complications. She had a reaction to some of the medicine that was used and went into anaphylactic shock. Her blood pressure dropped to almost nothing and then when they gave her other medicines to help with that her BP went sky high - her blood pressure was up and down, up and down. She also started to develop pneumonia. She was in ICU for two days while they stabilized her blood pressure, but to complicate things the steroids she was given caused her to go into steroid psychosis. 
Psychosis.... another word for crazy. She didn't sleep for 3 days straight. The whole time hallucinating that she was in Paris, in California, at a spa, there were water taxi's floating past the window and hundreds of dogs on…

Ending up 2016

The end of the year is fast approaching. When I look back it seems like it was a long year, but it passed so quickly. Since we got back to Florida it seems I have been running non-stop. 
First, there was Ibrahim to get settled in school. He's been changed to a different school, this time one that hopefully has a program suitable for him that will address his autism and ESOL issues. After a bit of a runaround, he finally started, but only a week before the Christmas break, so we won't know how things really go until he goes back after the holidays. 
Mom had a whole slew of doctor appointments, check-ups and tests scheduled for when I returned. Some of which had positive results, but unfortunately, there was the disappointing news from the cardiologist that an artery in her left leg has a blockage that needs to be cleared, so next week she is scheduled for surgery. I'm glad that I'm here to help my mother through this. It's a bit overwhelming and right in the middle…

The Challenges of Traveling to/from Libya

When it was time to start planning our trip back to Florida there was so much planning to do. There were so many decisions and choices to make. The trip going to Libya had been difficult and there had been the unpleasant experience with the airline losing my bags. Even though the luggage wasfinally recovered (one bag after 18 days!) it was still a big hassle. I decided to fly a different airline - this time going via Tunis and Frankfurt on Lufthansa. It worked out being the cheapest flight too.
But how to get to Tunis? Which airline should we use to fly out of Tripoli? I had flown Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah in the past, but had only heard of Libyan Wings. There are a few other airlines but these three seem to be most popular - but which was the most reliable? I wanted to be on time and I most definitely did not want to have lost luggage again. I decided to throw out some  polls on social media to see what people thought. The results were quite surprising. 

The poll on Facebook sho…

Learning a Lesson in Cultural Differences

In America when you go on vacation you might stop to pick up a few souvenirs and some postcards to send your friends and family. No one expects you to bring them back anything. If you do it's appreciated, but it's definitely not expected. It's different in Libya. Traditionally, when you have been traveling you should bring back gifts for your family and friends. You don't have to go overboard, something simple will suffice. Everyone expects something. Unfortunately, with the amount of relatives, even getting something small and inexpensive adds up - you have to consider the amount of money (the dollar very high now) and space in the suitcase (23 kilo limit). Over the years I've mostly dispensed with the gift giving with the exception of getting something for my mother in law - she always gets presents.
This time, before I came back I asked her if there was anything she needed or wanted. She requested body lotion and hand cream. She said only cheap imitation toilet…

Not Enough Negative Adjectives or Expletives

It's taken me a few days to process the outcome of the US elections - lots of TV news to watch and articles to read on the Internet. Plenty to keep busy with on social media. Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral vote. Many people are saying that the system should be changed and the vote should go with the popular vote. I noticed there were even some online petitions about it. For me, I would be happy if there was a requirement that every presidential candidate take and pass the FSOT - the Foreign Service Officers Test. I doubt Trump would be able to manage FSOT. There is an age limit that would have eliminated him right off the bat, but he doesn't have the brains for it. 
I've always felt that the president should be someone you looked up to. Someone dignified. Someone, that if you invited them to your home, would be considered an honored guest. Is Trump that person? Not for me. I don't think I'd even want him out in my back yard with the dog.…