Showing posts from October, 2007

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…

Going black and white...or maybe greyscale

I made it through this week. It flew by so fast I couldn't believe it! Now the weekend...

Tomorrow is the black day here in Libya - the Libyan Day of Mourning. Commemoration for the deportation in 1911, during the Italian occupation, of a number of Libyans. Thousands of Libyans were sent into exile against their will to remote Italian islands. Many of them lost their lives, dying of thirst and hunger aboard the ships that carried them.

Every year on October 26th the internet and international phone calls are cut off nationwide, all Libyan Airline flights are cancelled and International and national ground and marine travel operated by Government of Libya-owned companies are also cancelled. If it's a school day the children are asked to wear black. Usually the Libyan television channel is switched from colour to black and white.

So tomorrow I'll have no internet and you won't be able to contact me from outside Libya by phone. Don't worry about me. It's only for…

My Husband is an Aljazeera Zombie!

The other day my husband took the satellite receiver to be reprogrammed. He came back and plugged it in and immediately started searching for Aljazeera. Somewhere along the way he came across a concert with a woman singing and belly dancing.

'Hey!', he shouted 'You gotta come here and see this woman! Is this a new singer?' I came in to look and saw the singer 'shaking all she's got' on the screen. Hubby was completely mesmerized. He wanted to know who she was and where she was from. He was certain the Arabic influence had just invaded the world. I just looked at him in disbelief. 'Thats Shakira. She's been around for a few years now. Maybe if you watched something besides Aljazero you would know what was happening in the world.' I told him.

I really don't know what happened to that man. He somehow got stuck in the eighties and then after that Aljazeera somehow invaded his mind... is there a cure?

The mysterious visitor

I did a little research about the moth that visited us on my birthday. It's a pretty interesting character! Even it's name is unusual; commonly called Death's-head Hawkmoth. It's the largest moth in the region and it has some other amazing features.

This moth is tough! It lives by raiding beehives! You can read all about it here: Death's-head Hawkmoth

My special day

It was my birthday yesterday. Actually my friends have been getting into the birthday spirit for more than a week before the actual day. They started giving me presents early!

Syd got me a bottle of perfume... Romeo Gigli, an Italian scent that she swears she's been searching for in Libya for years. She made me put it on my list of things to ask for anytime I entered a perfume shop. I finally found it for her in a shop near the Mahari Supermarket in Dahara and she went the next day and bought two bottles of it; one for her and one for me. It smells kind of like Joy but more intense and it increases in potency as you wear it. It's really WOW! I told her they should rename it to 'Sex in a Bottle'. So now you have an idea of what I smell like (at home of course).

Tara made a recent a trip to Malta and came back with 'The Libra'; a black framed, black velvet background of a pewter goddess of justice holding high above her head the balanced scales. It's sitting on…

A morning out

I spent the morning shopping with my friend Tara. She's got some kind of a dressy event to go to. We spent the morning on Jaraba Street looking at tacky dresses in shops that smelled like cheap air freshener.

It was nothing more than an abuse of the senses.

Came home empty handed... of course.

Regrets... in the form of lunch

I made bazine for lunch.

It tasted great!

But now we're all farting like horses....

sigh... it seemed like a good idea at the time....

Surviving Eid

The first day of Eid is over and I survived it!

Bringing along a deck of Uno cards was a very good idea. It kept the older kids busy. I also brought my laptop along and filled all the boys mp3 players with music, so they were happy. And the smaller kids played with some pre-school/toddler games I put on the laptop just for the occasion. Even though the kids were busy, they were still noisy! A few of them had noisy toy guns and imitation mobile phones.

I spent most of the day sitting with my sister in laws and other female family members. Aside from interrogating each other about where they bought their Eid clothes and how much they paid for them, they talked about all kinds of really stupid and boring interesting things.

One topic kept them going nearly all day: They all compared who had stayed up the latest the night before. 'I didn't fall asleep until 7am!' one of them said. '7am! Oh I didn't sleep until 8am and then I got up one hour later.' said another. '…

Eid Wishes

Tomorrow is Eid. We're ready for it. The clothes and shoes have been bought and are waiting to be worn. All that's left is a stop at the pharmacy to pick up Tylenol Extra Strength to help me cope with the headache I am sure to get from all the noise the kids will make. Maybe I should see about getting something stronger...

I've got my iPod loaded with books to read. This will give me something to do besides staring at my sister in laws all day long. I bought some Uno cards to keep the girls busy. The little kids will have balloons, and guns to play with and toys that make noise... lots of noise! If I survive the holiday I will tell you all about it.

Eid Mubarak!

Finally getting around to this

I haven't added any links to my sidebar in a while. They've been accumulating in my 'to add' file in my Bloglines account.

So here are some more links to add to my collection. And here is the disclaimer that goes along with them:

"Please remember that even though I am adding these links their writers may not hold the same views I do. Also there are some blogs that are written in Arabic or other languages besides English. Although I can speak Libyan Arabic (my grammar is awful, but comical) I can neither read nor write Arabic, or any other language."

A New Life - a Libyan doctor in Ireland

Afnan and Aya - two Libyan students in the UK

Alone in Tripoli - a Libyan from Benghazi who is living in Tripoli

Being Me - a Benghazi citizen

butterfly - a Libyan/Arabic blog

CNN Libya - Khaled Jorni's news stories about Libya, and sometimes beyond.

Dusk till Dawn - a Libyan in Yorkshire

Epiphanies - An English Lit. student in Libya

Growl of the Sea - an Arabic/English blog by …

An update about Libyan lighthouses

Russ Rowlett's directory of lighthouses has had an update of the 'Lighthouses of Libya' page. He's added information about the ancient Roman ruins of a lighthouse in Leptis Magna.

Not much is known about Libyan lighthouses. Can anyone fill in the missing information?

Keeping busy

One of my main headaches during Ramadan has been keeping Ibrahim busy. Ramadan is difficult enough without having to chase a certified hyperactive kid around all day. Even on his meds he can be a handful sometimes. I've got too much to do to be wasting time so many times I bring him into the kitchen with me. I give him jobs to do, trying best not to give him ones that end in disaster.

He likes the whisk... Stir boy, stir! But not soooo fast... it will go over the sides of the pan!

He's a master at cheese grating. He was doing so good at this - He finished grating the cheese until he finished it all. Then I had to run and grab the dish because he was attempting to smash it all back together again!

Under a dark cloud

A friend sent me the link to this article written by an American woman about her Libyan husband and Ramadan:

Unfortunately, I read it first thing in the morning and it kind of hung over me like a dark cloud for the entire day...

Read it... what impressions do you get from it?

Making decisions

I found an interesting questionnaire on Learndirect. What sort of decision maker are you?

After answering the questions this is what it said about me:

You seem like an organised self-starter and confident decision-maker. Not only can you plan meticulously, you are also an ideas person and a problem solver. You have the adaptability to work on many tasks at once. You’re resourceful and like to gather lots of information and seek advice before making informed decisions. You’re self-aware and are sure of your strengths and weaknesses. You’re not afraid to try new things or take risks, and you learn from your mistakes.You seem to have a strong sense of identity and a good appreciation of your feelings and those of others. You understand how different feelings and moods can affect you and others, and you can describe these effects. Your self-awareness enables you to reflect on your feelings and moods and you can learn from previous experiences, which enables you to deal with future challengi…

Islamic lectures

The other day my husband came home and told me that there are some guest lecturers at Baggi Mosque (sometimes called Menshia Mosque) in Benashur. One lecturer, Dr. Jamal Badawi who is scheduled to give a lecture on Wednesday, caught my attention. When I became a Muslim in 1982 I read nearly all of his books and had his entire collection of lectures on cassette.

When I came to Libya in 1989 I brought my books and tapes with me but they were confiscated. When I asked the reason I was told it was because Dr. Badawi was a professor in Saint Mary's University in Canada and the guy said 'That's a Christian university.' My husband kicked my leg and glared at me as a warning so I would keep quiet. I was ready to blast the guy for being such an imbecile.

Of the eight boxes of books I brought with me to Libya I was only allowed to keep one Quran, the rest I never saw again. It was a painful experience for me back then, having been used to the freedom to read and listen to whatev…