In my last post I wrote about how I felt on the first day of my arrival back to Libya after a month's absence. I said it was dirtier and stinkier than I remembered and that Libyans smell like Libyan food (onions and spices). I wrote that the streets were lined with trash and rubble.
Lots of people agreed with me but some accused me of being everything from racist to suffering a mid life crisis. One commenter even threatened me: 'and be sure you will be treated so badly soon when i meet u'. There were a few comments that I didn't post because they were vulgar in the extreme.
I said Libyans smell like Libyan food.... well guess what? Indians smell like Indian food, Ukrainians smell like Ukrainian food, Chinese smell like their food and so on. The saying 'You are what you eat.' means just that. And don't forget that old people have a specific smell and babies most certainly have their own special odor. Does this mean that I hate them? Any of them? No! Of course not. How ridiculous!
And for the people that didn't like the fact that I pointed out the trash and rubble - OH PLEASE! Go outside and open your eyes for God's sake. There is garbage all over the place and you have no one but yourselves to blame for that. Probably you have gotten so used to the mess that you don't even see it anymore.
There are plenty of Libyans who care about their surroundings and try to keep things clean and make a difference. There are lots of Libyans who have lived abroad and have learned how other people and cultures feel about keeping their country clean (my husband for instance). They come back wanting to clean, save and protect Libya's environment.
For those that accused me of hating Libyans... I have watched Libyans throw trash on the roads and beaches for the past twenty years. Lazy Libyans who think that someone will follow them around and pick up after them. Oh yes... I hate THOSE Libyans. Wouldn't you?