Showing posts from October, 2005

A Libyan Halloween Monster!

According to Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who was beloved by Zeus. When Hera, Zeus's wife, robbed her of her children from this union, Lamia killed every child she could get into her power. Stories were also told of a fiend named Lamia who, in the form of a beautiful woman, seduced young men in order to devour them and who also sucked the blood of children. Such nightmarish legends uncannily compelled poet John Keats, and many other writers before and after him, to write their own tales of Lamia, which still haunt and terrify those souls who dare read them.

Image: British Museum, London

Things that Make You Feel Good

Read through the list and then click on comments and add a few of the things that make you feel good! - Just reading this list will make you feel good!

1. Falling in love.

2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.

3. A hot shower.

4. No lines at the supermarket.

5. A special glance.

6. Getting mail from a friend.

7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.

8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.

9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.

11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)

12. A bubble bath.

13. Giggling.

14. A good conversation.

15. The beach.

16. Finding a 10 dinars in your coat from last winter.

17. Laughing at yourself.

18. Phone calls that last for hours.

19. Running through sprinklers or walking in the rain.

20. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.

21. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.

22. Laughing at an inside joke.

23. Friends.

24. Accidentally overhearing someone say
something nice about you.

25. Waking up and realizing you still…
Something I did last year. I looked at it today and it kind of represents my mood today so I decided to post it on the blog.

news of the day

I think I've finally finished with the dentist. It seemed like I lived in that chair for a while. Hopefully I won't have to go back for a long time. I really hate going to the dentist!

Ramadan is almost coming to an end. The kids only need to buy shoes for Eid. They can do that with their father. The shops are so jammed packed it is unbelievable. 'Push & Shove' is the phrase of the day. I'm counting the minutes until it is over!

On another note:

I got some really depressing news. My friend's sisters were coming to visit Libya from the US but it seems that the current political situation isn't favourable and they cannot get a visa to get into Libya. They've had to cancel their trip.

On top of that I find out that Americans can't renew their passports at the US Liaison Office here - you have to go either to Tunisia or Malta to apply and then make a second trip to pick up the passport when it is ready. This is just ridiculous as we used to be able to …

An early Halloween

This year Halloween falls during Ramadan so my friend Margaret had an early Halloween party for the kids and ladies. It was a nice chance to get us all together. Margaret had her whole house decorated. It was really special! Thanks Margaret for a wonderful evening!

Wearing a costume was optional - Margaret was a doctor - but who is that ghost? It must be Charleen!

The kids had all kinds of things to do to keep them busy. Colouring and puzzles.

The pinata was a big hit. I think it took them over half an hour to finally break that thing.

There was a ton of candy for everyone. This is my friend Cathy with her son Amir and his bag of candy.

On the way home we got stuck in the Eid shopping traffic.

It was gridlock on Jaraba Street. It took us an hour to drive about 50 metres. At 2:00am we arrived home at last.

About a week left to go

Ramadan is coming to a close. The last week always speeds by because it seems there is just so much to do before Eid. The kids are all excited to be shopping for Eid clothes. I really hate taking the girls out shopping so I asked my friend Nadia to help me out. She took the girls shopping twice and they got everything except shoes. Thanks Nadia - I could not have done it without you!

I took Ibrahim out on a special shopping expedition to buy his clothes. It was just the two of us and we had a very nice time. It was made even more pleasant by the simple fact that Ibrahim was behaving himself in public. Yeah Ibrahim! - No disasters or embarrassing situations happened in the shops - a miracle!

Mustafa dealt with Adam and Yusef's Eid shopping. I didn't have to get involved in that at all. And Mustafa picked up some things for himself too.

As for me, I'm undecided. I'm not sure if I'll buy any new clothes or not. I saw a few things I liked but then when I look in my closet…

some thoughts . . .

Ramadan is a special month and the last ten days are very rewarding to those who prefer to spend them in the mosques praying and seaking Gods favour. I found the following hadith about how Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) spent his time in the mosque.

Narrated By Abu Sa'id al-Khudri:

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) used to spend the middle ten days of Ramadan in retirement and devotion (i'tikaf) in the mosque. One year he had retirement and devotion in the mosque (as usual); when the twenty-first night came, and this is the night when he used to come out of his devotion in the mosque, he said: 'He who engaged himself in devotion along with me should do so during the last ten days, so seek it in the last ten days and seek it in every night with an odd number.'

Abu Sa'id said: 'Rain fell that night. The mosque that was a thatched building dripped, and my eyes saw the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) with traces of water and mud, on his forehead on th…

Ibrahim - an update

Ibrahim has been taking his medicine for a little over a week now. There have been lots of improvements.

First of all he is still active, but not wild like before. He will listen and he will sit down when you tell him to. Mostly he isn't aggressive like he was before. No more beating up on anyone and he hasn't attacked the cats since he started taking his medicine either. He's had only one temper tantrum (when he wanted to go out shopping with his sisters and I told him he could not) and that lasted about 30 seconds so that was pretty normal I think. He is actually sitting down and finishing his homework! And I've noticed that he actually has started to go to sleep at night like a normal kid! Before he would run and run and run until he just dropped. There was no way to settle him down and get him in bed and read him a bedtime story. Now we can do that! Truly amazing!

He still gets into things but you tell him to stop and he does. Not like before, he was so distructive. …
Ibrahim in Sabratha
How many ways can you spell a person's name? Click on the image above and have a look - quite funny!
Sormon Beach, Libya


I can honestly say that I believe honesty is one of the most important qualities a person can have. I've always hated dishonesty.

Of course cheating is a common practice here in this part of the world. Most kids become very good at the art of cheating early on in their school years. Unfortunately they are helped along by teachers who either look the other way or even encourage it by supplying the kids with the answers. No one is even ashamed of this behaviour and I wonder why since this is a Muslim country and they are taught that it is wrong. I have never understood this. If you can't achieve something by your own hard work than I don't think it's worth very much (if anything).

I hate going to the shops and have the shopkeeper raise the price on something. Shops here are starting to put prices on their goods but it's really not the real price as you end up haggling over it in the end. But usually it's an inflated price. Sometimes I just want to go out and buy so…

A visit to Sabratha

Another Friday in Ramadan - it's the 18th day of Ramadan and since it was a Friday we decided to take a drive out and visit Sabratha. The weather was hot, dusty and hazy. We haven't been to Sabratha in quite a while. One of the first things we noticed was that they have put up a fence surrounding the theatre. It ruins any pictures that anyone takes of the outside of the theatre, but I guess this must be neccessary to secure the site. There were also about 4 huge tourist busses and about 12 smaller ones in the parking lot.

We looked at the museum first. There is a better collection of artifacts in the main museum in Tripoli, but many of the mosaics have been moved to the museum to protect them.

The main hall has some huge mosaics on display.

This mosaic was absolutely stunning.

A closer shot.

There are also quite a few statues represented in the museum. These are carved from marble and are imaculate in their details. This is a close up of the details on the clothing of one of the st…

I feel as though I have been on a treadmill!

Wake up.
Get the kids off to school.
Start in on laundry and housework.
Get in the kitchen and cook, cook, cook.
Yell at the kids about doing their homework.
More cleaning.
More cooking.
Not enough sleep!

The girls have been pretty good with helping out, but I have had to push them a bit to get them away from the television.

In between all the cooking and cleaning we've been trying to get all the little things done that I won't have time for once I start back to work after Ramadan.

I've been back and forth to the dentist getting three crowns at once. I hate going to the dentist. While the dentist was filing down my teeth into little pegs getting them ready for the crowns he asks me if it hurt - I said the noise hurts! If only they could make the equipment quieter. I hate that noise. I have to go back on Saturday and because of Ramadan the appointment is at 11:30 pm. I may be spending the night at the dentist. I wonder if I should wear my pajamas.

Mustafa has been going to the doctor …

I took this quiz . . . here's what it said.

How You Life Your Life
You are honest and direct. You tell it like it is.
You're laid back and chill, but sometimes you care too much about what others think.
You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.
You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.How Do You Live Your Life?
Getting the kids away from television is very dificult, especially during Ramadan when they have all kinds of fun specials and programs on. Here's Yusef looking like a zombie.

Here's Sara with her book pretending to study - notice her eyes are not on the book but on the TV!
Today is the second Friday of Ramadan - the eleventh day of Ramadan. We decided to take a drive and also go to our farm. The weather was dusty.

The leaves on the trees are just beginning to change colour and we saw birds migrating. Autumn is here!

Ibrahim's visit to the doctor

Mustafa went to the school to check on Ibrahim's progress.

At the beginning of the year (a month ago) Mustafa had a conference with the teacher explaining that Ibrahim was going to be extremely difficult. Of course the teacher said 'I have been teaching for years and I've seen everything. Just leave your son in my capable hands and he will be just fine.' Well she is singing a different tune now - saying she has never seen the likes of Ibrahim in her entire life!

Of course I have been telling Mustafa for ages and ages to have Ibrahim evaluated by a doctor. Finally he has seen the light and we took him today. Since it's Ramadan the clinic's hours have all changed and we had to go at eight in the evening to take an appointment. The doctors started arriving at nine and slowly but surely worked through the long list of patients.

While we waited, Jenna and Ibrahim found a wheelchair and had some fun. Finally it was our turn, Ibrahim saw the doctor and had a brain scan a…

Jenna's freckles

I was noticing Jenna's freckles today - soon they will fade as winter sets in. I really like freckles because I think they look cute, but most Libyans don't like freckles for some reason.
Jama Maidan Jazair - Tripoli, Libya


Hmm ... it was in America - I was going to get out with my sister and go to the movies and my mother was going to babysit. Sara (who was about 3 at the time) wanted to go with and after we got in the car and left she ran down the street with both my mother and brother chasing her. She bit my mother's hand so hard that it started bleeding! I can't remember the name of the movie - I just remember how mad my mom was!
I just finished a book called 'Chasing the Dime' by Michael Connelly. I haven't started anything new yet.

Of course that would have to be the board game I created for IELTS students to help them with their speaking - and the students really like it too!
National Geographic without a doubt - beautiful images and a wealth of information. hint, hint - Mom! send me a subscription for my birthday please! (only 10 days away)
Neutrogena Body O…

More bloggers !

Poking around today - I found Thea, a Maltese blogger who travels the world and will soon be living, working and blogging in Libya. Stop by and visit her blog: Thea keeps Painting the Planet Welcome to Libya Thea - I hope you enjoy your stay!

A new blogger is Nura - a sweet Jabali girl who lives in Geneva, Switzerland. Her blog Nura's thoughts highlight her life as she lives between two cultures. Well written and with a different perspective - go visit!

The Dreaga family has a fun blog called D-Log. It's filled with adventures of a Libyan family living in America.

And then there is Tyeness at Dunia, a blog of a Muslim Arab (Libyan to be super-specific) female -- with all the opinions that implies...

Happy blogging!
Today was the fourth day of Ramadan and it was also a Friday. We decided to take a drive and ended up in Tajoura. We had Jenna and Ibrahim along with us and they couldn't resist jumping into the sea for a dip. They didn't have any clothes with them but I said what the heck - go for it!

While the kids where swimming I took a look around the area. During the summer months local investors rent out spaces on the beach for the Libyan people's use. Unfortunately they leave behind all their garbage and turn the beach into an environmental disaster. I can not understand how Libyans can have such a poor attitude about the garbage they create. Do they think that some one will be coming around behind them to clean their mess? It's appalling!

At the entrance to the area we found this sign. It says: 'Cleanliness is part of faith' - Either they don't care about cleanliness or they think very little of their faith (or maybe both). So sad.

Here's another sign we came a…