Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Have you read any good books lately?

I've been sorting through my shelves and put together my books about Libya. They're by Libyans, by and about people who have passed through,  some by academics and journalists and others by regular every-day folks. There are stories, poetry, essays, articles, history, culture, fact and fiction. Over the years my collection has grown and has become quite a large stack that continues to increase in size. 

I have decided to make a page for them on my site. You can find it here: Libya: Books

Monday, March 08, 2021

Do you want to learn how to speak Libyan Arabic?

After living in Libya for twenty-six years you would think my Arabic would be perfect, but it is far, far, far from that. I do get my point across and understand most things. Learning to speak Arabic was difficult, partly because in Libya rarely anyone will correct your mistakes - they will laugh at you though!! And to top that off people would speak to me in baby talk or they'd throw in Italian words like bambino (baby) and mangiare (eat). Of course, I would copy what I heard so I was throwing in the Italian and baby talk. 

When I spoke with my husband we would always speak to each other in English. One day he heard me having a conversation with his sister. He asked her "Why are you speaking to her that way?? She isn't a baby!" My sister-in-law said she thought it sounded cute. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy with his sister, but thankfully he had discovered this before it got way out of hand. I spent most of my time in the company of women so I had problems with masculine and feminine. I was used to speaking with women in the feminine, so I would address everyone in the feminine. This didn't always go over very well with men. I would struggle to correct myself.  

I realized my Arabic was improving when I was finally able to understand jokes and to tell jokes. And I could understand my father-in-law's subtle sarcastic sense of humor. Once my mother-in-law asked him "Hajj, can you buy two bags of flour?" and he took a sip of his tea and a long drag on his cigarette and replied "Do I look like I'm wearing my coat?" He always made me laugh. 

Libyans learn Egyptian Arabic from watching old Egyptian movies and programs on TV. They address Egyptians using their dialect, so Egyptians in Libya don't bother learning Libyan Arabic. Unfortunately,  I  never managed to understand Egyptian Arabic. Once an Egyptian tailor opened up a shop in our neighborhood. I decided I wanted to have something sewn with some fabric that I had stashed away. I went in the shop, but I couldn't understand his Egyptian Arabic and he couldn't understand my broken Libyan Arabic. In the end, I had to go home and bring my sister-in-law to help. I told her (in broken Libyan Arabic) what I wanted and she told the man using Egyptian Arabic. Back and forth until we were able to come to an understanding of what I wanted him to do. 

Recently a  friend sent me some online lessons for learning Libyan Arabic. It's really nice to see this as most  Arabic courses are either Egyptian or Levantine dialects. The first thirteen lessons are free, but then you have to pay to do the rest - there are over 150 lessons.  The rest of the course is a bargain. For only $25 (update: the price is $10 now) you get access to all the videos and audio files and there is a PDF of each lesson. 

If you are interested in learning Libyan Arabic, you can find the sample files and information for the course here: Free Libyan Arabic by Adel Sample Lessons. 

UPDATE: After posting this article I received a comment from Adel:
Thank you sooo much Khadija! We love your blog and have lowered the price for the whole course of 160+ videos and PDF's to Only $10 :) Whatever your reason to learn Arabic is, this simplified approach will assist you. Just a few minutes of study a day, and you will surprise yourself. Try these free lessons today to find out!
You will have access to download all the course videos, PDF's, audio files, and can view them just online as well. Thank you for your support!

I will also add this to my Link List

ANOTHER UPDATE: There is a newly created mobile app in the Google Play App store: Libyan Arabic Learner's Dictionary and Quiz

Thursday, January 28, 2021

My Opinion Hasn't Changed

Phew! The last four years have been interesting to say the least, but I kind of predicted this in November of 2016 in my post titled: Not Enough Negative Adjectives or Expletives where I wrote: 

"I've always felt that the president should be someone you looked up to. Someone dignified. Someone, that if you invited them to your home, would be considered an honored guest. Is Trump that person? Not for me. I don't think I'd even want him out in my backyard with the dog."  

I still feel that way, maybe even more than before. The last four years have been such an embarrassing disappointment, culminating in an attempted coup, lives lost and probably much more to come if today's news reports come true. - this from the New York Times: Extremists Emboldened by Capitol Attack Pose Rising Threat, Homeland Security Says and from the Guardian: National terrorism bulletin suggests attack may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks

Having lived in a country ruled by a dictator, gone through a revolution and suffered from the lasting effects of the war - even though the last few years I haven't been in Libya, my family, friends and heart and soul were there. Honestly, I can say that I don't think I will ever fully recover from all of that. The last few anxiety filled weeks have been frightening, triggering PTSD and nightmares (when I was finally able to fall asleep). 

What is next? There is a new president - one that I would definitely invite to my home as an honored guest. Not likely to happen of course. We will all watch and wait to see how things go. Meanwhile, I'll keep praying - for calm, for peace, for safety. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

I've got no time for the pandemic blues

I've been quietly hanging in here, staying mostly at home and wearing a mask and taking all precautions when I go out into the world. Just as things seemed to be looking up everything was turned upside down. My work is on hold until there is an improvement in the situation. Life seems to have slowed down to a crawl. 

For a while they had closed all of the beaches. It didn't make much sense because the parks were still open - what is the difference? They are both open spaces. I missed going in the evening to watch the water, birds, families, and most of all the sunset. Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, the beaches were reopened. Now, weather and time permitting, we head for the beach in the evening to watch the sun set. Of course we make sure to maintain social distancing and wear our masks when we're in the parking area and as we walk along the path to the beach. Once we have settled ourselves a good distance from any of the other families, off come the masks and we breathe in the fresh air. We are so blessed to have the beach nearby. 

Lately there have been scattered showers most evenings. Sometimes we go anyway and get rained on. As long as there isn't thunder and lightning we stay. The rain is usually over in a few minutes. This week we were treated to a rainbow followed by a gorgeous sunset. 

The pandemic has given me time to count blessings and I realize that life has not been all bad. The highlight of the summer has been Ibrahim's graduation. He has another year of an extended transition (a skills and training program)  after which he will get his diploma, but he walked in the ceremony this year. 

I'm so proud of Ibrahim. This summer he is working on a project for an internship program. It's keeping us both focused on something positive. We don't know what tomorrow will bring, but we are thankful for what we have and hope for our health and safety, the end of the pandemic, and a better future. 


Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Added a Link about Libyan History

I came across a Libyan themed blog recently. It's been around since September 2018, but for some reason I missed it. The blog titled The Colonial History of Libya is described as:

The Colonial History of Libya blog: https://libyacolonialhistory.wordpress.com/

"Libya’s colonial experience was not typical. As one historian posits: “The Ottoman influence in the province in the first two decades of the twentieth century was unusually strong; the Italian colonisation of the province was unusually brutal; the resistance was unusually fierce, and its failure unusually devastating”.

Between 1911 when colonial rule began, and 1951 when an independent Libya was established, more than one million Libyans perished, many of them in concentration camps established by the Italian colonial rulers.

The purpose of this blog is to document the crimes perpetrated by the Italian colonial forces against the Libyan population."

You can find it here: The Colonial History of Libya 
I have also added it to my Link List

Friday, October 04, 2019

Need to update

I haven't posted to my blog in a very long time. Hopefully I'll be able to get a post together soon.

Watch this space.....

My Link List