Showing posts from 2007

My year

1. How was this year?

I survived it!

2. Was this year better or worse than last year? How come?

This year was much better than last year. I made some drastic changes in my life (stuff I don't blog about!... and you thought you knew The changes made me a better person, I gained confidence and I found out some things about myself that I didn't know about before (but people would point out - I never believed them until now).

3. What was the happiest thing for you this year?

Seeing my son Ibrahim make huge progress in his school life and behaviour.

4. What was the saddest thing for you this year?

Deaths of friends and family.

5. What was the toughest thing for you this year?

So far I managed to achieve what I set out to do. At the time some things seemed very difficult but when I struggled through and found that in the end nothing seemed that tough afterall. At the beginning of the year I was rearranging things both at work and in freindships. That was hard and stressfu…

Teenagers are driving me crazy!

'Yusef! You get out of my car right now!' I shout. 'But Mom, I'm only sitting in the car listening to music.' he answers back.

Lately Yusef has this idea that he can go off in my car for a joy ride every time he sees it parked in front of our building. When he's not riding around in my car he's sitting in it with his cousin listening to music.

'You are only thirteen years old! You get out of the car this instant!' I say in a loud and irritated voice. 'I'm fourteen!' says Yusef. 'You are NOT fourteen. Your birthday is not until next month and even so you are still not old enough to drive a car!'

Yusef has been practicing driving his father's truck around the farm. Two weeks ago, on the second day of Eid he lost control of the truck and drove it into a tree, much to the displeasure of his father.

Last night Yusef came in to tell me that he had moved my car in order to wash it and scraped it on the gate. 'It's dark outside …


If you are wandering about the countryside in Libya and come across this plant... stay away from it. It will cause you to itch and scratch like mad.

Been there, done that...

Getting back to a regular routine

Eid is over and we're back to a regular schedule today. I've been trying to straighten up the house and get everything organized again. All the pots and pans and other kitchen things we dragged to the farm have been washed and put back in their places.

What is killing me is the laundry... piles and piles of it! Eight people create lots of laundry. I've been doing it for the last two days. The poor washing machine is ready to surrender. My plan has been to buy a new one when we move. But of course I thought we would have moved ages and ages ago (like at least a year ago or more) .

This morning I took hubby over to the washing machine and pointed out to him that it wasn't going to hold out much longer. Get yourself ready to shell out for a new one soon was my hint for the day. He wanted to know exactly what the problem was... I think he is thinking about hunting down parts for it. The machine has been part of our family for about 12 years. It's surprising that I ha…

Survived :)

We got to the farm to see the last of the frost on some of the plants. We found a piece of cardboard that had been laying on the grass that was still completely covered in frost, glittering in the morning sunlight. After a while the weather warmed up and Eid went smoothly.

This is a first for us - The first Eid by ourselves (in 19 years). We've always done Eid with the entire family. Every year the family seems to get bigger, and noisier, and with that Eid becomes an unpleasant experience. This year we decided it was time to go it alone and it was wonderful. No crabby sister-in-laws or screaming babies, and best of all no brother-in-laws hanging about, so the girls and I could wear what we liked and leave our hair uncovered. Yeah!!!!

Hubby and the boys slaughtered the lamb and then we got to work. Nora cleaned out the intestines and stomach and we sent it off to my mother-in-law's house so they could make usban (Libyan sausage). I chopped up meat for the freezer, made igliyah…

Eid Mubarak!

It's cold this morning in Tripoli.... 2 degrees Celsius (36F). I didn't sleep well because one of my stupid neighbours left their water pump running all night long. Most likely they forgot to turn it off before leaving for the holiday. It's made a high pitched whining sound all night long. Now because of lack of sleep I have a nasty headache and I feel awful.

I hope the mirror over my dresser is lying to me... 'The bags under my eyes aren't real, are they?' I asked my daughter Nora. Why did she just start laughing? Sigh...

Have a great day. Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate!

More on my virtual world

Since my last post I've been busy figuring out Second Life and the virtual Hajj. I had to cover my exposed navel or risk getting possibly thrown out. A nice 'sister' pointed me in the direction of some green duffel bags that had all the gear in them you needed for a virtual Hajj. I had to get rid of the sword that I was walking around with too. I donned my hijab and went in to see what it was all about.

It's actually pretty interesting. All along the way there are information booths that tell you what you are supposed to be doing and you can interact with all the people there. Many are new and have never been to Hajj and others have been many times and are helpful. One 'sister' there said she had done 22 virtual umrahs... lol...

The virtual Hajj is virtually empty! No crowds like in the real one.

My virtual world

I went out shopping the other evening, leaving Nora in charge of her father and the house. I'd left the computer on so she could chat with her friends on the net. When I came home I found poor Nora near to tears. Apparently her father had been watching Aljazeera and learnt about a virtual Hajj on Second Life. He made her spend her whole Internet time trying to figure it all out. - Imagine that! My husband actually wanting to do something on the Internet! Is this progress?

Nora isn't too Internet savvy so she couldn't figure out how Second Life worked. So I sat down and had a go at it. You've got to join and download a program onto your computer so that you can enter the virtual world of Second Life. After doing this I created my persona.

'How come you didn't choose an Islamic name?' asks hubby. 'Why do I need to have an Islamic name?' was my reply. 'I don't think I need to have a name that associates me with any religion. There is probably d…

The farm, the house

We went to the house/farm yesterday to see how things were progressing. It was cold and rainy for the most part, but the kids and I took a walk around in between rain showers. Mustafa has recently plowed up all the fields and everything looks clean and neat.

The leaves have fallen off of most of the trees but there are a few that have still got green turning to gold leaves on them.

The hoses that are used for the drip irrigation system have been rolled up to enable the plows to go through. They'll stay rolled up as long as the rainy weather holds out.

The loquat trees are blooming. Their flowers are pretty uninteresting and don't have much aroma. I'm not a huge fan of loquats but as they are easy to grow and their fruit comes out at a time when there isn't much local fruit available. The majority of Libyan farms seem to have at least a few loquat trees. They are pretty much low maintenance as far as trees go - not spectacular, kind of ho hum.

On to the house which is prog…

Pioneer Spirit

A friend of mine and I were talking a few years ago about how women who migrate to foreign lands to be with their husbands had a kind of pioneer spirit about them. Not everyone is ready to give up the life they know and plunge themselves into a completely different culture to live out their lives. It takes a certain special kind of woman to be able to survive.

It's not even necessary to go halfway around the world to do that. I've spoken to women from Benghazi who moved to Tripoli to be with their husbands and they go through many of the same changes and feelings even though they are still within their own country. Lately I've been reading this Blog: Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and I am enjoying the similarities of thoughts and feelings. The stories and photography are really great!

Get ready... get set....

I'm starting to hear farm noises in my neighbourhood in the city..... Baaaa! Baaaa!

Yes, you guessed it... Eid is right around the corner. I am gearing up for it. Taking all of next week off work, hoping to take my mother in law out shopping, gotta sharpen the knives and get the pots and pans ready and of course put up the rope to hang the meat out to dry.

Thinking positive here (got the mantra going).... I like Eid... I love Eid....I like Eid... I love Eid....I like Eid... I love Eid.... It's gonna be great...
Baaaa! Baaaa! Baaaa!.......... WaaaaaaaK!

Recovered from gas pains

The gasoline situation seems to be sorting itself out. Last night I went out to find long, long lines at some of the gas stations in my area and other places were completely closed. I didn't bother to get in line. Today I went out and found the gas stations busier than usual but not too bad - so I got in line and filled up.

Sara and I were on the hunt for a winter coat for her to wear. She has a perfectly good, warm brown coat sitting in her closet but the school has decided that they can wear only navy blue or black. We looked high and low and found hardly anything - most were poor quality and wouldn't be warm enough. In one shop I found a man's coat - black, warm, excellent quality and it would fit her. But Sara said 'I am not going to wear a man's coat!'. I bought it anyway figuring either Nora or Yusef would wear it and because the price was right. Of course Nora was delighted with it when she saw it and then Sara decided she wanted one too...sigh... She'…

Who's got gas?

There's a gasoline shortage in Tripoli. That's hard to believe since Libya is an oil producing country. But it's true. The gas stations have no gasoline, though there is diesel.

Rumors are flying as to what's going on. All I know is that I have about a quarter of a tank of gas in my car and it's my day off. I'm not going anywhere because I fear if I use my gasoline I will be walking to work next week.

Oh Joy! I get to spend my day off at home watching hubby watch Aljazero. ..... sigh...

Ghat Festival?

Isn't the Ghat Festival coming up? They never advertise these things and you don't find out about them until after they are over. I know it's sometime the end of December... anyone know when? I want to go.

Cough! Cough! Cough!

I'm developing a cough.... It seems everyone around me is sniffling, coughing and sneezing. I just made it through the flu - I don't need to be sick again. Lemon and ginger tea to the rescue!

It tastes disgusting and burns your throat as it goes down... but it usually works!

I've returned

I'm back from my adventure. Where did I go, what did I do, and who was I with?....

The story begins on Saturday, November 17th, the day I took Ibrahim to the book fair. While at the fair I got a call from my friend Tara who said she was in the hospital with a ruptured Achilles tendon that she got playing squash. The doctors wanted her to have an MRI and suggested she take the results to Malta for emergency surgery. So I dropped Ibrahim off at home and met her at the clinic to wait with her while she was doing her tests. Then, while her husband left to make travel and hospital arrangements, I took her home to help her pack her bags and send her off with her husband to the airport.

She arrived in Malta and went straight to the hospital. The next morning she had surgery; everything going as planned. She was soon able to move out of the hospital and into a hotel. The only problem she faced was that her husband needed to get back to Tripoli for work and she couldn't stay alone - so…

Off on an Escapade

I'm hoping to go off tomorrow on an adventure.

It's a holiday tomorrow (Thanksgiving) but I'm not going to be doing any holiday celebrating... at least I don't think so. There will be NO CHILDREN OR HUSBAND involved in this adventure either.

Eventually I may decide to get around to blogging about my mysterious adventure... I'll let you wait in suspense...

I'm going to further drive you crazy by not allowing any comments on this post. Lately people have been abusing the comment feature of my blog and let me tell you this:


So have a nice Thanksgiving for all of you who celebrate it - Stuff your tummies with delicious turkey, creamy gravy and sinfully rich pie! Mmmmm yummy! Enjoy your families and count your many blessings.

For the abusers of the comment section of my blog:

I'm off.... having an adventure... be back soon... maybe....

Feeling better now

I think I've recovered from my bout with the flu. The rest of us who were sick with it have recovered as well.

Tomorrow starts mid-term exams for Jenna and Yusef.

I took Ibrahim to the book fair today to give the others a chance to study. Ibrahim behaved perfectly at the fair. I was so proud of him. He never left my side, held my hand most of the time and only touched things when I said it was ok. It was wonderful!

The book fair was OK too. Most of the books were in Arabic but there were quite a few books in English, both for academic reading and for pleasure. Ibrahim got a book and four hand puppets; a man with fuzzy black hair, a woman wearing an abayah, a child and a giraffe. We played with the puppets this evening, using them to work on some of the pronunciation problems Ibrahim has. We had fun.

Stunning Photography of Libya

There is some stunning photography of Libya on Eric Lafforgue's website.

Makes me want to get out my camera and keep working towards taking better pictures! His shots are lovely!

Still hanging in there

I'm still sick. One minute I feel like I'm freezing; teeth chattering and the next minute I feel as though I'm sitting in a hot steam bath. It hurts to swallow and of course the kids have found where I was hiding the throat lozenges and they have finished them all.

This morning while I was laying in bed I heard them all in the kitchen discussing how the microwave oven was broken. They were trying to turn it on, pushing all the buttons, unplugging it and plugging it back in again. Nothing worked. Maybe the microwave has the flu too.

Then hubby decided it was time to defrost the freezer. This is his big job. I refuse to do it because it was his choice to buy the cheaper model refrigerator. I mean really! I think it is amazing that they even make refrigerators that have to be defrosted in this day and age. So while I was 'resting' in bed he was banging on the built up ice with a hammer (and cursing).

I finally dragged myself out of bed around 10:30. No one had remem…

I feel awful

I've got the flu. It's been ages since I've had the flu and I had forgotten how miserable it makes you feel. This morning I didn't get out of bed until about eleven o'clock (instead of the usual seven). Of course the whole time I was trying to sleep hubby kept coming in and telling me I had to get up, insisting the whole time that I was just being lazy and I was imagining that I was sick. Mothers are never allowed to be sick (his opinion, not mine).

I dragged myself into the kitchen thinking if I downed a cup of coffee or two I would feel better. Did it work? No.

I'm going to get something from the pharmacy around the corner. I am too busy to be sick. I have a million things to do. I will push myself through the day and collapse at the end of it.

I feel awful.

I have a new boyfriend!

Today I was on the computer checking my mail and reading news and blogs. Over my shoulder I heard 'Who is this guy Mark Read?' I turned and looked at hubby and asked 'Whaaaaaat?' He glared at me and said 'Yeah! Mark Read. You've got all kinds of emails from him.'

'I don't know what you are talking about.' I said. The only Mark I know is my mother's neighbour's son and I don't think I have ever received an email from him. There is another Mark I know of - that's our neighbourhood tomcat who I have named Mark because he leaves his scent all over everything. I know for sure that I don't get any emails from Mark the cat.

Hubby was insistent that I was communicating with Mark Read. 'Look on your computer. His name is all over the place!' So I turned and looked. Sure enough I saw Mark Read..... On the Bloglines RSS feedreader I use there is a place that says Mark Read with a check box next to it on every entry so that you can…

I have eaten way too many sweets!

My friend's daughter got married and the bride wanted my girls to be bridesmaids. They all wore specially made pink satin dresses and they all looked lovely! They've been planning this for months and it all turned out just perfect. Of course I took lots of pictures and the girls all said 'Don't blog us!' but I couldn't resist this picture of Jenna sitting at the bride's feet. She looked so cute!

After the bride's party I went with the bride (at her request) to the groom's house. She said ' Oh please Aunt Teri you've gotta come with me.' So off we went, following the bride's car... Beep! Beep! Beep! all the way there.

They had the most awesome wedding cake! Covered in marzipan and filled with chocolate and hazelnuts. The bride found it on the internet and had it made here. Yummmmmmy!

Tonight is the last night - The Mahdar. I'm tired but I'll go. Gotta be there for 'my niece'.

Furniture ideas

Hmmm... sometimes I wish I was a dog!... hehehehe...

Zoom Room

Watch the video and find out why. I found this when I was looking for
furniture ideas for the room next to the garage that will be used as a
guestroom/office. Click the Watch Video button on the website.


Awarded by
to Teri


Awarded by
sydney hamed
to Khadija Teri

Work in Progress!

There are banners up all around the Medina in Tripoli proclaiming the area's renovation projects. Actually work has been underway for quite some time now.

The Medina is part of Libya's heritage and deserves to be preserved, not only as an attraction for tourism but mostly for the pride of Libya's citizens. The ancient sites and mosques contained in the old city as well as the bazaars are visited and utilized daily by both tourists and local people. Preservation of the area is key to its continued existence.

The city dates back to the 7th century BC when it was founded by the Phoenicians and named Oea. Its name changed over the years; the Romans called the city Regio Syrtica and later Regio Tripolitana which in modern times became known as Tripoli, the Arabic pronunciation being Tarabulis. The Medina has been continuously inhabited and evidence of the ancient Roman and Ottomon periods as well as the more recent Italian colonial period are readily evident throughout the city.

Happening now

Ibrahim is swimming in the bathtubJenna is decorating her notebooks and watching TVSara is washing the dishesNora is sleepingYusef is watching TVHubby is out buying vegetables I hope (he gets off track all the time)Adam is at his grandmother's houseand I am taking a break from marking papers, checking my email and chatting with friendsOK... back to work!

It's time to pay the phone bill again...

A few days ago I picked up the phone to make a call and heard the lovely voice of Fatima Omar... 'Time to pay the phone bill again', she said on the recorded message. For a few days the phone company lets you receive calls but not make them. Then they shut off the service until you pay.

I think my teen-aged daughters have the telephone glued to their ears from the minute they get home from school until late. I have even had the phone ring at 1 am and have had to tell Nora's friends that they are not allowed to phone her after 9pm. But they call anyway. One particular girl is a nuisance. I have threatened to send my husband to have a talk with her father. At one point we unplugged the telephone and locked it up.

In a way I feel bad because in Libya girls don't have much of a social life. It's not like they can go hang out at the mall together or meet for a pizza. If my daughters want to visit their friends arrangements must be made. You have to take them to their frie…


The story of an orphan boy in Libya:

Click here for the story

He's adorable! He needs a home...

Amusing ourselves

The last few weekends I've been trying to take the kids out and see what's available around town for them to do. A week ago we went to the zoo. Of course, we'd been there many times in the past but we hadn't been there for a while so we thought we would try it again.

We arrived at the gates to the parking lot and there seemed to be a huge amount of men of various ages hanging about and going in. Sometimes the zoo's grounds are used for exhibitions and such so I thought this might be the reason. Upon entering we found that there was indeed something going on, but of the unsavory sort. The place had quite a few families and women with their children, but mostly there were prostitutes and their customers hanging about - all of them busy bluetoothing - a craze that's emerging in Libya.

I decided that since we were already there we might as well make the most of it so we walked around to see what animals were there. Sadly, there were few animals (except the human kin…