Friday, May 19, 2006

another walk

I went for a long walk this morning - 8.3 km (5.21 mi). The weather was perfect and because it was early Friday morning everything was quiet and deserted. Above is a mosque that's on the coast road in front of the Mahari Hotel.

I walked past a small amusement park that had some rides for kids.

A cafe with a view overlooking the harbour and boats.

The sidewalks are wide and clean and the views are nice. It's a pleasant place to walk but I rarely see anyone taking advantage of this area. It's perfect for small kids on bikes and skates - I'll have to bring the kids here in the future.

This is the American cemetary. For years it's been just falling to bits and been looking really awful and when the American ladies complained to the American Interests Section and then to the Liasson Office we were always told that nothing could be done about it until an official embassy opened. How sad that even the dead have to suffer because of politics! - It was always overgrown and had all kinds of garbage thrown in it but was kept locked so we could do nothing about it. In springtime a few of us would get together and throw flower seeds over the wall in the hopes that some would take root and bloom. (Look in the comment section for an explanation of the site in a comment from Ghazi)

I dragged a big rock over next to the wall and climbed up to have a peek over the wall. I was so pleased to see that finally, finally, finally, after all these years, the cemetary had been cleaned. It's still crumbling but there isn't any garbage. Seeing that made me very happy.

The top of the wall surrounding the cemetary has bits of broken glass poking out of the cement to keep out intruders.

It's even got a sign. Anyone care to translate? A comment from Highlander: As for the sign it reads , protected by the Department of Archeology and they have the number of the decree .

The door to the cemetary is locked - I would like to be able to go inside and read the inscriptions on the graves. I'll have to check into it.

The view nearby the cemetary.

Continuing on my walk I passed these apartment blocks. I can not imagine what life is like for the people who live there. What do they do when the elevator is broken? I could just see me yelling at my kids to carry up the drinking water - we must go through at least 12-ten litre bottles every week.

This is the planetarium. I've never been inside but it looks pretty neat from the outside.

Across the street from the planetarium is a palace that was built in the kings era - I think his nephew was supposed to live there but never did. For years there were rumours that it would house the American Embassy - but they are planning to be out in Tajoura, not here. I think it's being used as a cultural center or something now. (don't expect miracles - LonelyPlanet I am not!)

Next to the road and beside the planetarium is a small farm. Actually if you are driving by in the car you would pass by without even noticing it was there. Right beside the road is an old well with a water resevoir next to it. These wells are protected by the law and cannot be removed without special permission. The road here was actually built over the water resevoir! It was in use and the farmer was out working.

There was alfalfa growing in the field next to the well. I always find interesting things on my walks. This was nice.

There are lots of new houses being built in the Novelene area.

People are taking time to fix up the entrances to their homes and plant things. I thought this looked pretty. It was a pleasant walk - I'm hoping to make it a weekly ritual. Posted by Picasa


  1. Hi Khadija , thanks for these beautiful photos you have managed once more to scoop me. I'm glad about the American cemetary though, never knew it though I pass from there daily , I always thought it was some kind of Wali.

    As for the sign it reads , protected by the Department of Archeology and they have the number of the decree .

  2. Great walk, Khadija. Here is some information about the old Cemetery from my old friend Abdulhakeem Altwaeel, who started his obsession with the site since 1993, when he got permission from the Archaeological Agency in Tripoli to research the site. and after more than 6 years in 1999, he published his research, and guess what, he found that the cemetery isn't and American Cemetery as it is used to be known, and he discovered the establishment stone that dates to 1830 and states that the name of the cemetery is the "Protestant Cemetery" and he managed to photograph and write down all writings of 36 tomb stones and most of it was for wives and offspring of foreign ambassadors to the palace of the Basha of Tripoli in mid 19th Century, most of them from Europe with small number from America, but no relation to the ship Philadelphia that was captured and later burned in 1803. So, why was it known as the American Cemetery, this was the same question Abdulhakeem asked, and found that before 1986 no one had the slightest idea what the sight contained, not even the Archaeology guys, but after the American bombardment of Tripoli and Benghazi (Al Ghara) in April 1986, the Libyan Media used the propaganda that the Americans were defeated like they were nearly 200 years ago when Philadelphia was captured, and to make their case, they made up the story that the remains of the sailors and marines of the ship are buried in this cemetery and they put a sign stating (this is the Cemetery of the American invaders), but it turns out this was just political propaganda, and cemetery was established nearly quarter of a century after the American campaign. Lastly, Abdulhakeem obsession with the place never ended and he got the permission from the Tripoli council (Baladeyah) to restore the site, and clean it, by him for free, and finished the job and got it listed as an Archaeological site protected by law. Hakeem is a hunter for old archaeological sites out side the Old city, a Libyan Indiana Jones, and he has many other discoveries. He is going to publish a book soon on the cemetery with pictures and details of the site. Meanwhile you can visit his website where you can look to photos from inside and the restoration work that he has done. the website is in Arabic… sorry for this long comment

  3. Ghazi and Highlander - Thanks so much for the info and the translation too.

  4. Gosh Teri, I love it when you go for walks with your camera. Very beautiful pictures. Thanks for pictures and thank you to all those who share their knowledge. Sandi

  5. yet again another walk with great pictures, the american cemetry story is very facinating (thanks to Ghazi for the extra info) i was young when i left Libya and never knew it existed.


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