Showing posts from September, 2006

Where is this? - #9

Another picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments.

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.

I noticed that they are doing a similar Where is this? on Libyan TV this Ramadan.... I wonder if they got the idea from me?


Since no one seems to know where this is I've decided to post a few more pictures as a hint.

Does this look familiar?

What about this?

How about this?

Where is this???


At last! Someone has the answer! - A.Adam posted this:

I know this mosque it called " El Turki mosque "located near to El Burj Bakery in Arad'a (3rada).

You're correct! It is El Turki Mosque in Arada, an area of Suk Juma. It's currently under…

A drive to Gharian

We got up early and decided to go for a nice long drive. We headed out for Gharian. A hairpin turn road leads up the mountain into Gharian.

Dangerous curves. . . .

Along the roadside are stands that sell pottery that is made locally. We stopped and had a look.

We drove around, wandering on different roads, looking at the views.

We saw what looked like an old Italian church in the distance and decided to have a closer look.

Sure enough on closer inspection it was in fact an old church. It was abandoned and protected by a wall surrounding it.

Next to the church was a school that was from the same period and is still in use.

We had a look around and then went on our way.

It was a nice drive, but it was time to go home and cook dinner. One week of Ramadan is over... three to go.

The latest craze

The noise in my house must be many decibels above what is probably considered safe. Not only is the television blasting in the living room, the girls have the CD player in their room going at full volume and the play station has a constant 'Vroom, vroom, vroom' with Driver being played non-stop, or so it seems.

Lately the boys have taken it one step further. When Ibrahim and Jenna were small I bought them a plastic see-saw toy; a 'zingy-da-da' as they call it here. They outgrew it long ago and I threw it into the storage room thinking eventually we would move to the farm and I could take it out if small children were visiting. The boys were digging around and found it and discovered that they could go all the way to the top of our building and sit on it and ride it down the stairs.

They've even invited the neighbour kids to have a go at it. They all arrive straight after school, still wearing their school uniforms. They've been riding the stairs for the past few …

Some Blogs to Keep You Reading

I've come across some more blogs that are either being written by Libyans, or by people who have been here in the past, or are staying here now.

Chatalaine - Spent her high school years here in Tripoli - she's a Wheelus High School alumni who yearns to visit Libya again one day.

Small Digital World - a Libyan software developer

Huk Huk - Aimen is one of my students. He's on an adventure in Germany, doing a training program in architectural design at a company located in the Black Forest. He's writing his blog as a way to keep us informed about his many adventures. (I'm always so happy when my students start blogging!)

On Tripoli - A blog about things to do around Tripoli.

The Bedouin Project - A student of Middle East Studies working in Libya.

Sorry, You're Not Entitled - This is the true story of one family's emigration from England to Cyprus. Part of the story takes place in Libya.

I'll add them to my sidebar for future reference. The list keeps getting lon…

Where is this? - # 8

Another picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments.

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.


Dania2004 guessed it first when she commented: 'shat el hensheer area in treeg al shat', so congratulations dania2004!

Later in the day Trabilisia said: 'near the sea -side just after Libyana and Bu- sitta areas'. But Dania2004 answered correctly before Trabilisia so she gets the credit for having the correct answer first.

The picture is of a shop that specializes in selling lighting for decorative purposes. I'm not sure why anyone would want a glowing palm tree, but there are some people who must really love them because I see them…

How to Survive Ramadan

People in Ramadan are just plain ole grumpy! I got up yesterday and sorted out what I was going to do for the day and then went to the small grocery store where I usually buy my vegetables. They were just opening up the store (at 11 am). I noticed that the guys working in the shop (about 6 of them) were having some kind of argument but as soon as I walked in the argument stopped.

They were the surliest bunch! Not one had a smile or a kind word. I bought my vegetables and fruit, the whole time thinking that the atmosphere was thick with anger. I got out of there as quickly as I could. No one offered to help me out to the car with the bags. As soon as I got out the door they erupted into their unfinished argument.

I piled the bags into the trunk and got in the car only to be startled by a hard rapping noise on the window glass directly next to my ear. I looked and found a begger woman pounding away on the window - she wouldn't stop banging away. I just drove off, the whole time hopin…

Warm Wishes

Wishing you all the very best this month. For information about Ramadan in Libya please see the post below. I'm playing with widgets and installed a widget that will let you see the page on my website about Ramadan in Libya.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan in Libya

The last day before Ramadan begins...

Tomorrow is the first day of Ramadan so we decided to spend the afternoon today at the farm, cleaning things up and organizing some of the mess that the builders seem to have made. We got the kids busy moving all the assorted pieces of wood into one big pile. Notice Ibrahim, hard at work, wearing his shib-shib on the wrong feet, as usual.

After the kids moved most of the wood they noticed some kind of nest hidden underneath and we all went over to have a look.

When we uncovered the nest we found a mother hedgehog with five babies!
The baby hedgehogs were so tiny and their eyes were still closed. Their spines were sharp as needles!

We had a good look and then put them back and replaced some of the wood over their nest.

The olives are nearly ready to be picked....

The house is coming along slowly. Mustafa says the workers will work during Ramadan, but I think he's being rather optimistic. The plasterwork is finished. It was a big headache. I'm a 'jibs' minimalist - I hate plaster - I think it looks ugly. Mustafa on the other hand thinks 'jibs' is great. We compromised and got the simplest looking plaster we could find. I still hate it, but he seems happy now. Sometimes you have to compromise. . . sigh . . .

The garage door has been installed. It will have glass panels behind the metal but they won't do that until the house is nearly finished.

Jenna found an interesting looking grasshopper and the kids played with it.

I went for the last walk around the farm. The leaves on the trees are just…

The Friday Market

The Friday market - Suk Aljuma, Tripoli Libya

Going to the Friday market is a tradition for many men and boys in Tripoli. It's a crowded flea market with people buying and selling new and used things. Few women go to the Friday market because it's crowded and most are busy at home on Friday mornings.

Lots of bargains can be found there... and lots of junk too. Usually my husband takes some of the kids with him when he goes and leaves some in the car to make sure the radio or tires don't get stolen (or maybe the whole car!). My mother in law is always concerned that someone might steal the kids, but so far it's never happened.

[ Click on the pictures to see an enlarged version] .

Getting Ready for Ramadan

I've been getting ready for Ramadan. Every year I go out and buy some new dishes, not necessarily because I need them, but in the hopes that it will make me feel better about having to spend so much time in the kitchen.

Yesterday I took my mother in law out shopping. It was a novelty for her as her usual route of getting things for the house is to ask someone to bring them to her. I don't think she had ever been in a house wares shop before. I took her to a nice shop that has a wide range of merchandise so she would have a good selection to choose from. The shop is owned by one of my students, so of course we got royal treatment.

Hajja had brought about 40 dinars with her to spend. She hadn't a clue how much anything cost and she kept asking me 'How much is this?' because she couldn't read the price tags. I would always tell her the wrong price (intentionally) and then take what she wanted and give it to my student to put behind the counter. I didn't want her…

School ????

We're still getting into the swing of things with school. Jenna is still in the afternoon and Nora has a disaster with her studies. It seems that they've decided there will be no second year English in High School (Nora is in the program for languages/English - Social Sciences). They are switching from a 4 year program to a 3 year program this year and to do this they've cut English for 2nd year. They told her to repeat the subjects that she did in 1st year and then go on to do English next year. What!?! She did the first year of General Sciences and decided she wanted to switch to English. Last year she had to repeat the first year since she switched (even though she had passed it in General Sciences). Now they want her to do it again.... a third time?? The second year students are furious. The school principal asked that they bring their parents to the school to discuss the situation, so Mustafa went off to the school to see what's up.

Jenna is in fifth grade this ye…

Where is this - #7

Another picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is, or was, (or you want to guess) click on comments.

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.


Good job N! - N knew the correct answer: 'It is on the street on the side of El Bourgh El-Fatha. A sign that says NO BARKING.'

The picture was taken quite a while ago so I'm not sure if it's still there. Here's another picture with the El Fatha Tower in the background.

Getting an Education

Today was the first day of school here in Libya. Actually, Ibrahim has been going to school for the last two weeks, but the other kids started today.

Last night I had to yell at them to get their stuff all in order and ready, and of course they were all sitting there staring at the TV, ignorring me. Finally I unplugged the satelite reciever. Summer is over - no more TV. I get to go back to being mean old mom again. When Mustafa came home the kids ran to him and complained and I told him if he wants to watch Aljazeera he can take the satelite up to the farm and install it there. He looked at me as though I'd gone crazy or something. Maybe I have, but I've found the only way to get the kids moving is to remove TV from their lives. I've tried to just turn it off, but as soon as I leave for work, or even leave the room, they turn it back on and stare at it. I've decided to get them into the routine of school and study from day one and that means 'NO TV!'.

Last nigh…

Free Zone

You know that Libya is going to open up this new 'free zone' between Zawara and Bukamash... It's going to have it's own laws and court system (so they can have all kinds of wild stuff happening there).

Well, I think we all need to cash in on this - real quick like! - Since we're going to burn in hell anyway I think we should die filthy rich! So I suggest we get together and open up the following out there in the free zone: bars, strip joints with lap dancers and pole dancers, a few brothels, a chain of liquor stores, male strip clubs, a casino or two, a tatoo parlour and peircing palace, and a sex toy shop.

Have I forgotten anything?

Taweel bila ghalla

My mom says Adam is 6 foot 3 now! He's gotten taller since he's been gone. Yusef is taller than me now too. A few weeks ago we were the same height but now he's a few inches taller than me. We went out to buy school clothes and I made sure that his trousers were nice and long. They'll be short in no time at the rate he is going.

I've always prayed that my boys would be tall. For the most part, Libyans are short. The tallest man in the world for a long time was a Libyan man, Suleiman Ali Nashnush. He was 8 ft. 1/2 in. tall. I could never really figure that out because this is really the land of short guys - how on earth did that happen? On the other hand, my husband thinks being tall is pretty useless. When I say about someone 'Oh look how nice and tall he is!' he always replies 'Taweel bila ghalla!' which means tall but useless. There is a nursery rhyme about the fingers of the hand - a kind of Arabic version of 'This little piggy' and the m…

Now that's hot!

What happened in Libya on September 13, 1922?

A world record was made! A temperature of 57.7°C (135.9°F) was recorded in the city of Al 'Aziziyah, the hottest recorded temperature on the surface of the Earth.

I can't imagine what that must have been like for the people that had to live through that day. They must have been miserable! No air-conditioners 84 years ago - and probably no refrigerators or freezers either. I'm not sure how long it was before the weather broke and cooled off, but I am happy I wasn't there.

The weather here lately has been cooler. It rained yesterday and there was even some thunder. It made everything kind of steamy and humid, but there was the feeling that the season has changed and autumn is here at last.

self portrait (?)

One of my favourite games when I was a kid was Mr Potato Head. Yes... I'm weird - I admit it! Anyway I found something similar but different - Mr. Picassohead. I used it to create this self portrait....

Hey! I don't really look like this - it's supposed to be kinda like something Picasso would have done... or maybe I do look like this....hhmmm... my face is rounder... Anyway, let us see how you look... create your self portrait and put it on your blog.

PS. - Highlander and some of the others are showing us their mobiles (I don't have one to show) the contents of their bags, their feet (I did that one a long time ago - look in the archives), and their closets (mine will have to be cleaned before I let you see it). I'll get on it... if I can find a spare moment or two.... promise...

A bit of history

I was reading an interesting story yesterday about old King Idris's Mercedes Benz. It seems that when he was in exile in Egypt he gave the car to an American man who brought it to the US and used it for many, many years. Finally the man decided to give it back to Libya. And it's being shipped back here.

Photo is a model, not the car described in the story
Why do I find this story interesting? Well, mostly because the era of King Idris is a taboo part of Libyan history. It's ignored. The castle in Dahara that was built for the old King is crumbling as is most anything from that era. So what will become of the King's Mercedes if it comes back here? Will it be put on display in the museum, next to the blue VW?

photo: Gary Cook Photography

In the same boat

Living half a world away is not an easy thing. You miss all the things from home; junk food, conveniences, the sights and smells, flowers and plants, wildlife. But most of all you miss your family and friends. This is especially true during holidays. Last weekend was Labor Day weekend in the US - I imagine there must have been family reunions all over the country. But more difficult than missing out on holidays is not being there when your family and friends really need you. Like when they are sick, needing a shoulder to cry on and the very worst on the list... death.Yesterday I got an overseas call from the niece of one of my friends who lives here in Libya. It was bad news. My friend's best friend in the US had passed away. She'd been sick for a while and it had been arranged that the family would let me know first so I could break the news to her in person. It was hard, but I was happy to do it because I know how hard it is to get news like that. It's not something you …


I think the garbage collectors in Libya are probably the most organised people in the country! It always amazes me to see how neatly they can stack up all the bags of rubbish in their trucks. I should see about getting my closets as organized - as it is now I can't even close the door on the wardrobe... probably it would be a good idea to get rid of some of my clothes so I have more space.

a family outing

Yesterday was a day spent with in-laws. My husband's neice had a baby and we were all invited for lunch. She lives outside of Tripoli, nearly an hour's drive away. I suggested taking two cars so that I could drive myself, but dear husband was against this idea. He was the driver for the day. The way there was fine, with only a few arguments over what music we would listen to.

I expected it to be boring (and it was) and brought along some exam papers that I needed to mark. I quietly marked papers while listening to the ladies gossip and chat, the kids ran around or watched cartoons that were blasting away on the television and it seemed as though there were at least a half dozen babies that were all taking turns screaming. Typical chaos.

Lunch was traditional Libyan cous cous, salad and fruit. And there was lots of tea served, of course.

About five o'clock, I had had enough and sent Jenna to tell her father it was time to go. He wanted to stay longer (!) but I reminded him it …

Where is this? - #6

Another picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments.

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.


The winner is Youcef ! He posted this in the comments: Okay, my friend says that it most be the area behind the chrch in Al-Dhahra region...

His friend gave him the answer...but Youcef will get the credit as he posted the comment. Youcef himself is very interested in historic buildings in Libya and has written on his website about historic buildings in Ajdabiyah.


I came across and interesting web-based program that takes search words for Google images and makes them into a photo montage. I had some fun playing with it. First I tried out 'KhadijaTeri' and came up with the image above.

Then I put in the key words 'flower power' and came up with this.

What do you think the key word is for this photo montage?

It's kind of interesting to see what comes out. I'm thinking about using it with my students as a game with vocabulary words. If you want to give it a try yourself, just click on this link: Montage-a-Google