Showing posts from January, 2012

Going through stages

The euphoria stage is pretty much over in Libya. There are still lots of flags to be seen all over, and people are still proudly displaying red, black and green, the colors of independence. In the weeks following the liberation there was a rush to hold bazaars where they charged an entrance fee and sold crafts, plants, home baked goods, clothing, and offered games for the children while in the background, music inspired by the revolution was blasting. In those early days there were charity events of all kinds, anything to raise the spirit and make money for those in need. Actually, I heard that the number of new charity organizations soared to over 700 but I'm not sure what the official figures were and if there are still that many. 
There were huge drives to collect old clothes. I don't know what they intended to do with them, because I know very few Libyans wear used clothing. One woman told me that many charities sent much of the donated clothing to recyclers and then late…

At a standstill

It's been an interesting week. My kids are still sorting out their schedules for school and we're trying to transfer Jenna to a different school. Yusef still has to be registered, somewhere... how to deal with five kids in five different places? On top of that, one day we dropped Nora off at university only to have to go back to pick her up about an hour later because there were no classes. Students were demonstrating - they want reforms, a clean facility, a change of lecturers, and some feeling of security, among other things. 
On our way one day we got stuck in a huge traffic jam. One lane soon became six as you can see in the picture below.

For forty-five minutes everything came to a complete standstill as drivers did their best to push their way through. Lots of shouting and then some stupid idiots took out their guns and started shooting. Was this all necessary? Someone could have been killed for God's sake! After that day I decided to skirt this particular traffic j…

School Daze in Libya

I've got my first cold of the new year. Cough, cough, cough. I'm self medicating; nighttime cough syrup, hot tea and ibsisa with honey. Ibsisa is a Libyan concoction of ground roasted barley and spices mixed with a bit of oil and toasted nuts and honey. God alone knows how many calories are in there, but it's supposed to be good for you. So far my cough hasn't got any better, but it's not got worse either.

This week was back to school week in Libya (Finally!). So far there are no books and no curriculum but the kids are out of the house and mothers all over Libya are finally getting a break, myself included. 
I visited a school this week to see how things were going. The principal showed me around. Some of the kids were out in the schoolyard kicking a ball around while their teacher disinterestedly looked on from a bench on the sidelines. Inside the school the noise was deafening. We looked in on one classroom that had kids running around, jumping on the desks wit…