Showing posts from 2006

Last Day of 2006

Best wishes to all for a peaceful New Year!

Happy Eid

Eid Day started as usual with Eid prayers at the mosque, afterwards we set off for my mother-in-law's house to slaughter our sheep with the family. It probably seems appalling to those living in non-Muslim countries to think that kids would all gather round to watch an animal being slaughtered, but kids in Muslim countries are used to the idea of the annual sacrifice and look forward to the excitement.

Our sheep was ready.... or was he? No apparently he wasn't going to give up with out a fight. He managed to get loose and try to make a run for it. Big excitement as all the boys ran around chasing after it, while the girls all squealed and ran out of the way!

They managed to catch the poor thing, and in no time at all he'd breathed his last (Allahu Akbar!).
Everyone had a job to do - most important was my mother-in-law who made sure everyone had enough hot milk, coffee and tea to help them get a start on the day. She also made sure that everyone was doing their job. She'd …

Your own personal tour-guide!

This evening I was reading The New York Times on my newly installed New York Times Reader and came across an article about tourists using narrated walking tours that were pre-recorded and downloaded onto their MP3 players and iPods. [Away From the Tour Group, an MP3 Player as Your Guide]

Wow! I thought, wouldn't that be perfect for taking tours around the old city, museum and places like Sabratha and Leptis? It could certainly be an improvement of the kind of tours that Jax and Scoutie took while visiting Libya recently: Santa doesn't go to Libya. Does anyone want to try their hand at creating a tour of the interesting places around Libya?

Some hints for you...

I've added some hints to the Where is this? - #15 challenge. See if you know the answer now.

Winter weather

Nice winter weather today. We were blessed with a double rainbow this morning and then a gentle downpour.

Where is this? - #15

Here's a new picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.

***So far only Highlander has tried to answer this challenge... Is it because it's too difficult this time? I've decided to give you some hints! - see how nice I am!!

Hint # One : It's not in Tripoli

Hint # Two :
Hope this helps!!
Beacon commented: Is it on the way to or in Tajoura?

and I said: Beacon.... be more specific!

Then Syd commented: The old church on the Tagura high way that goes to Benghazi road ? It is on a small hillock that has been bulldozed on one side . It is on the left hand side…

Education in Libya

Recently an office opened up in a house in a residential area of Tripoli. While passing by I noticed that they had installed a sign announcing that this was the 'home' of the Libyan National Commission for Education, Culture and Science.

I found a few things rather strange about this. First, was that the sign was written in both Arabic and English. What's strange about that, you ask? Well, according to Libyan laws it is illegal to have any signs in languages other than Arabic. Stiff fines are imposed on anyone who breaks this law. I guess that the education commission is exempt, but that's weird because I think these are a the same people who are behind the law in the first place.

But what is even more of an eye opener is that on closer inspection of the sign I found this:

I wasn't sure whether I should cry, laugh, or just feel ashamed.

The neighbours upstairs are making us crazy!

The workers upstairs are so stupid! They've been banging away like mad in the bathroom. The noise has been deafening. Recently it sounded as though they would be breaking through the ceiling at any moment. Mustafa and Adam went up to investigate and what do you suppose they found?

The workers were indeed trying to go through the floor and into our flat! The had bought huge pipes, the kind that are used outdoors to connect the house to the sewer systems, and they wanted to connect these pipes from the bathtub drain across the bathroom and then on to the outside sewer system. But in order for them to fit they decided that they would have to go through the ceiling in my bathroom and then on and out through the wall of my bathroom. They said they wanted these big, huge pipes so that there would never be a problem with the drains getting clogged. (Maybe they think people are in the habit of using the bathtub as a toilet!!)

They'd managed to knock away the floor up there so that the c…

Well, here I go again....

Well, here I go again, posting a holiday story...

My students have been set the task of writing a childhood memory. I wrote one last year and posted it on our school's blog as an example. I've dug it out once again for my students.

I thought I would mention it on my blog for anyone who wanted to read it... it's got a nice holiday theme! Here's the link: A childhood memory - Christmas story

Happy Holidays to you all!

Some progress

The doors and windows are finally being installed in the house. They still need to be stained and varnished with the final colour (which of course we're arguing about). It's starting to look like some progress is being made but of course for every step forward it seems there are two steps backward...
The painter convinced my husband that orange ceilings were 'all the rage' nowadays and that we should paint ours that way. In real life the ceiling is actually a much brighter orange than it appears in the picture above. Needless to say, I was not pleased! The ceiling will be repainted, white .... OR ELSE!!!!!!

Aside from the fiasco of the orange ceiling the guest room's bathroom floor needs to be pulled up and tiled all over again because water pools in the corner instead of going down the drain like it's supposed to.

Eventually the house will be finished.... won't it???

A winner!

Someone has the correct answer to 'Where is this? - #14. Have a look to see who it is and to see the pictures I've added.

Air Show in Libya

I didn't have time to attend the recent air show that was held this past week at Meetiga Airport, the old Wheelus Airbase, but my husband went and took Ibrahim. He also took my camera and I've uploaded the pictures here: Air Show - Libya 2006

I'd also like to mention.... So far only one person has tried a guess at the latest 'Where is this?' challenge! What's the matter? Is it too difficult??? Have a look here: Where is this? - #14

Libyan Roads are Deadly!

In the past two days I've had two funerals to attend. Both were unfortunate victims of car accidents. Everyone in Libya knows how dangerous the driving is here and most people blame the drivers themselves. People do not obey the laws... I often wonder if there are any traffic laws here.

Lack of good old common sense is also a huge problem but the cause of one of the accidents was not the driver himself, it was because the roads are not being properly maintained. The driver hit a huge pothole in the road and lost control of the car resulting in the death of the passenger. The driver is in serious condition in the hospital's intensive care unit. Talk at the funeral revealed that the same pothole has caused the deaths of at least nine people so far.

Beacon, a Libyan blogger, has a new blog featuring road safety. Check it out here: Tripoli Nights
I'll add it to my sidebar for future reference.

A meme - 6 weird things

Ok... so I've been tagged with a meme by Zaynab. The 6 weird things about me, meme. Actually it's quite strange because I was only discussing my weirdness about an hour before I got tagged. This particular person seems to think I'm normal for some reason and gets angry when I say that I think I'm weird.

I suppose there are different degrees of weirdness and who's to judge what's really weird after all? Is anyone normal? And what is normal anyway?

Well, here's six things about me that are weird:

1. I work even when I'm sleeping. When I'm asleep my mind is going full speed ahead. Whenever I have a difficult project going I go to sleep at night and I figure things out while I'm sleeping. It works very well most times but it can cause me to wake up with a severe headache if I've been concentrating extremely hard about something. I get some of my best ideas while I'm asleep so an occasional headache is acceptable. I also use this method to find …

Where is this? - #14

Here's a new picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.


Onlibya says:

"It is in Hay Al-Andaloos, diagonal from the old Aluminum shoping center, north of the road going west." and "O.K, I think I got the answer for you there teri, it is the Language school in Gurji. Next to Alfurqan little shop of etc's. Did I get it? If yes, what is my prize? J.L"
Yes, that's it! You've won! The prize is knowing you've got the correct answer... but some people have suggested I give a 'real' prize. Maybe in the future... I'll have to think …

Libyan Museums

I found this on the web and thought it would be of interest to many who read my blog. Now I know which direction to head for next time I'm in the mood to visit a museum.

Museums and the Web for information, and Museums in Libya on Flickr for the image.

cooler weather has arrived

It's finally starting to feel like winter here. It's been raining on and off for the past few days and the nights are cold enough now that you have to close the windows and use a blanket. - my favourite kind of weather!

The banging upstairs continues. Yesterday I hung out 4 loads of laundry and then heard the doorbell ring. It was the guy from upstairs asking if I would move the laundry because they were going to be working on the balcony above it and didn't want to get cement on my newly laundered clothing. . . . They never bothered to tell me this last week when they were working on the balcony over my car. I came out and found spots and splashes of cement all over it. Thank God for the rain - it washed most of it off the car and there wasn't any damage. I do wish all the renovating would finish... the noise, the dust and the inconvenience are driving me mad. Now I've got a house full of damp laundry, hanging over every available surface.

This will be the day visi…

Hiking in Rega'at

Yesterday we went with some friends to Rega'at for a picnic and hike in the mountains. As we started out on our adventure it looked as though it might be a day of rain and it sprinkled a bit on the trip out to Rega'at. But by the time we arrived the weather had cleared and was perfect for the rest of the day. [click on the images to see bigger pictures]

After we filled ourselves with hamburgers we headed for the hills. Bates Mountain, named after the English man who surveyed it sometime in the 18th or 19th century, isn't very big as far as mountains are concerned, but it is quite a challenge for couch potatoes and housewives! It can actually be quite dangerous if you're not careful.

'Ibrahim! Watch out!' and 'Ibrahim! Be careful!' and 'Ibrahim! Stop throwing rocks!'

We all enjoyed looking at the mountain's many treasures. Here's a new friend, Ian, looking at some fossilized shells.

It's amazing to think that this mountain was once part o…

Laptops... an update

A while back I had a post about laptops. Libyan school children are supposed to be getting laptops, a part of the One Laptop per Child project. I found an update about the project, here. - there's even a video showing a laptop in action.

Rainy days

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain but it stopped after a bit. I really like rain, actually the only negative thing I can think about rain is the laundry. I only have a clothes line for drying clothes, no tumble drier - not that they don't exist here, I don't have one simply because the flat is too small and the electrical wiring not strong enough to handle the load. They weren't thinking about large electrical appliances when they built the flats over 30 years ago. So if it rains everything stays wet. Since I have eight people in the house to do laundry for I just keep washing and hang it out in the rain... eventually it all dries. If I stop doing the laundry it piles up too fast and I'd never catch up. So, rain or shine, there's always laundry to be done.

I remember once my sister-in-law had come for a visit and I had just taken all the clothes off the line and was sitting down to fold them. At the time she had two children, but only her son lived with h…

Autumn . . .

Autumn has arrived in Libya. The leaves on the trees are slowly turning from green to brown with all the lovely shades of gold and red in between. I took a peaceful walk at the farm yesterday. The weather was perfect; cool, fresh and the skies where blue with hardly a cloud to be found.

Though the trees are losing their leaves, the grass is green again, the effect of the recent rains. The earth has lost the dusty smell it has during the summer and you can walk without getting your shoes full of loose sand.

The very first wildflowers are beginning to appear. Always the yellow flowers show up first.

The olives are ripening, some are ready to be picked. Soon we will replenish our supply of olive oil and process olives for eating.

I watched the sunset and then went home just as the owls and bats began their day.

Giving Thanks My Own Way

I had a nice Thanksgiving after all! I didn't eat the traditional turkey and I had to work but I made the most of it and went on the have a nice day. It was really nice that I got so many nice comments from readers. Thanks! (There are too many nice's in there - I would blast my students for that!)

What really made my day was that I decided to share Thanksgiving with my students at school. I have a class that are at intermediate level and this particular class is comprised of Libyan, Egyptian and Iraqi students. I first asked them what their ideas about Thanksgiving were and they either didn't know, or they thought it was religious and somehow connected with Christmas and Christianity (which it is not). So the first thing I had to do was explain what Thanksgiving was about and then I handed them out a reading that I prepared that was about the first Thanksgiving. You can find it here: Thanksgiving

We had a good time learning about a truly American holiday and the students pic…


Today's Thanksgiving... I am here in Libya where today is like any other... I'll go to work, as usual.

It's not only Thanksgiving today, it's also Jenna's birthday today too. She wants a 'Fulla' jump rope - one that has a counter that will tell her how many jumps she's jumped. I'll have to go get her one, but she'll have to wait to use it until after she finishes her exams, otherwise she will forget all about studying on her quest for reaching a zillion jumps.

The banging upstairs continues... I'm really getting disgusted with the non-stop noise. I get a break when I go to work but tomorrow starts the weekend and I'll be stuck listening to it for the duration. Yesterday, while taking a shower they were above my head banging away. I heard a huge crash of what sounded like the idiot workers dropping the bathtub. I thought for sure it would come crashing through the ceiling and I imagined rescue workers would be pulling me out of the rubble, …

Thumbs down

I was really excited to see that after all these years Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens put out a new album, An Other Cup. I was looking forward to hearing something great... but did I? NO!

Stuck in the seventies, same old, same old and every song seemed like it had to have a message behind it. One song, Greenfields, Golden Sands, sounded like he was going to start singing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'. Imagine Cat Stevens singing that! uuugh! What on earth was he thinking???

A couple of the songs are not even songs... poetry read with music in the background. The good old days of having his music going through your mind all day long are over... at least not with this album. There aren't even any songs that are sing-a-long-able, it's kind of listen to only music... and I listened to it once... and felt cheated..... sigh...

Another weekend is over

Today marks the beginning of the kid's mid-term exams. They've been studying all weekend long. Well, actually, they've been mostly fighting with each other, or trying to watch cartoons and they've got either the CD player blasting away, or mp3 players stuffed into their ears. At least that what it seems they've been doing to me. When I tell them to get back to work they complain that they need an occasional break from study.

I've decided not to nag at them too much. They need to be taught that they are responsible for their studies - I certainly can't sit on them all the time, can I?

Ibrahim has been up to his usual tricks. He's broken the glass in the kitchen window. Thank God no one got hurt but it will be difficult to replace because the glass was a special tinted glass that we had installed before we moved in 16 years ago. I'm not sure I'll be able to match the same kind of glass and in order to replace it I'll have to take the window off…

Some Links

Survey - A daily doze of what might be exciting and informative.

Braveheart - A Libyan engineer furthering his studies in the UK

Hamza's Libya in a blog

Take it easy

Adventures of Mr Behi

As usual I will add them to the sidebar for future reference.

Life in Libya is changing

I often get email from people asking about what life in Libya is like. Sometimes they have a specific question and sometimes they just want to know about life in general. Oftentimes the letters are from people who have lived in Libya in the past and they want to reassure themselves that life here hasn't changed. I used to feel this way about my own hometown and then when I visited after many years of being absent from it I saw that though many things had drastically changed, there still were things that had stayed the same.

Chatalaine is someone who reads my blog and has started one of her own. She lived here during the 'Wheelus era', her formative years were spent here and Libya had/has a big influence on her life. Her letter began with the woes of finding something to blog about but then evolved into her memories of life in Libya as she knew it. This is what she wrote:

Sometimes I am at a lose for things to blog about. Actually lets make that all the time. I have such a…

Where is this? - #13

Here's the next picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.


A.Adam gave the answer:

'very easy, Wadi Ghan near to Al Hira or Gharian south Tripoli'

He's correct - Mabrouk A.Adam!

Wadi Ghan is a really beautiful place to visit. Water is collected there in a reservoir and there is also a plant there for producing bottled drinking water. The views there are breathtaking.

The wadi is abundant in wildlife. It's a peaceful and quiet place located about an hour's drive south of Tripoli. A nice place to have a picnic or for hiking.

This is the view overlooking th…