Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Last Day of Eid

Today was the third day of Eid. We decided to take Jenna and Ibrahim for a long drive setting off at almost noon and driving to Ben Walid. We'd never been there before and I wasn't sure what it would be like. I've got students from there who have always said it's nothing but desert. So I was expecting something quite different than what I found.

To get there you have to drive south of Tripoli and turn off on a road before you reach Tarhouna and from there it's about another 45 to an hour's drive. The terrain was indeed barren, rocky desert just as my students had described. There were also 12 different security stops along the way which was annoying but at least it made everyone drive a bit slower. When we reached the town we found something we weren't expecting. There are stone and rock covered hills that surround a verdant green wadi. How could my students have not ever thought to mention it? It's lovely!

We drove around on roads that overlooked this wadi or green valley. The surrounding area was mostly houses with roads leading to other parts of Ben Walid. We stopped at a supermarket and picked up some bread, cheese and tuna to make simple sandwiches, some cookies and some juice, orange soda and a bottle of water for an impromptu picnic.

We drove down a narrow road that led into the valley. It was so green and this is the end of the dry season. We wondered what it must be like in springtime after the rains.

We ate our sandwiches under the shade of olive trees and then we cleaned up our picnic and took a walk. It was beautiful; birds singing, butterflies, small frogs jumping about, date palms and green, green grass.

Jenna climbed up into an old olive tree - next time we go there we'll have to bring more suitable clothes.

There were places where there was standing water. A bit murky and green and not inviting to swimmers. There were mosquitoes buzzing about but they only seemed to bother Mustafa.

We came across shepherds grazing their sheep and goats and some families collecting ripe olives.

We got back in the car and drove around exploring the area surrounding the valley. In some places you could see evidence of ancient dwellings made of rock. Most of the doorways had arched doors and the ceilings had the trunks of trees as a support for the roofing materials that were long disintegrated in most of the structures. We didn't get out to explore on foot, only looked by car as we weren't dressed properly for rock climbing.

Along one road we found cemeteries with simple graves marked only with boulders or rocks. Occasionally there would be the tomb of a marabout, or holy person.

We headed for home at five o'clock, dreading the stops we would have at each checkpoint. To our surprise at the very first stop the officers were giving roses to the women in each car that passed! It was a day full of nice surprises and a perfect way to end the Eid holiday.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as much as I enjoyed mine.


  1. What an amazing day!! It couldn't have been more perfect.

  2. Happy Eid to you and to your family Sis. Khadija, What a pleasant coincidence, I was in that area (Bani Walid) for the last two days and came back yesterday as well. The nature there is really beautiful especially if you go out of Bani Walid to the Wadies in the south of Bani Walid they are less inhabited and effected by manmade acts. If you have another chance to visit Bani Walid again try the Archeological Museum and some archeological sites (like Ben Telese city) ..etc. They are unique and interesting.

  3. Ok so now I'm jelous. Keep up the wonderful photos.

  4. Eid murabak again. I have to say I am STUNNED. What I wouldnt give for an hour or two walk in this olive trees?

    Those pictures made my morning. Thank you.

  5. great pics teri.... hey did you change your layout of the blog i cant get any of your links any more mom cant either hugs holly

  6. Libya is just about the most exotic place I could imagine. Lucky you!

    And I loved that part about the roses...

  7. Holly - it's working from here... keep trying (I'm using firefox)

    Dr Imbarek - Thanks for the other information about Ben Walid. Is there any chance that they will resurface the road anytime soon? It's the only thing that might keep us from returning. :)

    Maryam - Morocco is pretty exotic too! Most Libyans never even think to explore their own country. I'm never bored here, there is so much to see and do.

  8. Hey those are lovely photos Khadijateri, exploring Libya is nice you just need good company for those picnics and long drive :)

  9. thanks i downloaded firefox and lost all of my favorites.... oh well it will give me something to do today.... have a great day holly

  10. Nice picture as always.

    @ Holly
    you need to backup your favorites bookmark and then simply imported via Firefox.

  11. a adam thanks but i removed all the new programming, i didnt like the bookmark part it wasnt very user freindly.... the great thing is some of the old programming from firefox must still be in the computer because now im getting all of teris links... thanks again a adam


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