Monday, July 30, 2007

Looking Gruesome

Medusa sculpture in Tripoli's museum

This is about like what I look like these days.... It won't be long and I will be looking better... I called for an appointment today. I'm hoping that a bit of pampering will get me through the summertime blues. Poor Sheila - she's got her work cut out for her... Sheila come to the rescue! lol

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The Miss Arab World 2007 had a Libyan contestant. Was there a pageant here in Libya to choose her? I wonder what Miss Tripoli looks like? or Miss Benghazi, or Miss Sebha.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... Beauty is only skin deep - my father always replied with 'But ugly is straight to the bone!' LOL

Saturday, July 28, 2007

So totally gross

Jenna and I went out this evening and there was a car in front of us when we were stuck in the traffic. He had a dvd in the sunvisor thing... he was watching porn...ewe

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Should I take a break from blogging?

Lately I've been depressed. I get this way every summer. It's a combination of the heat, having to look at my kids 24/7 and lack of sleep:
  • The weather is hot and humid.. today the weather report says 86% humidity - it almost feels like Florida here.
  • I am sick of my kids. They do nothing but fight all the time and I even drag some of them with me to work so really I never get a break from them.
  • And I'm not getting enough sleep because the kids are up until late (fighting and watching TV) and even though I just give up and go to bed I still find the noise they make disturbing.
I was chatting to my mother about the idea of taking a break from blogging. My blog has just turned into a big long list of depressing! But my mother says she enjoys reading about what I'm up to and she likes knowing that the kids are driving me crazy. She keeps mentioning something about it being 'pay back time'.

Today I decided to break up the monotony and go to the museum. I took Jenna and Sara and we planned to meet Tara and her stepsons who had never been to the museum. I made sure to park my car in the safest place I could.. about 25 feet away from an ATM machine and on a main road. We did our thing in the museum and I was happy and content. The feeling of depression was fading! Oh at last I would be able to post something uplifting on my blog! Nothing to complain about now! I'm happy!

Then back to the car to go home. What do you suppose we found?

Car door open... no radio.... sigh.......

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

#18 Solved!.... Finally!

Yes, it's true... some one had the correct answer... go have a look and see what other pictures I've added.

One more clue added

I've added yet another clue... it should be way too easy now.... sigh...

Have a look here: Where is This? - #18

Monday, July 23, 2007

Clue Added!

I added another image to the Where is this? - #18 post. Go have a look and see if you can tell me where it is.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ok... it's my turn now...

Seems like many of the bloggers are posting about the Bulgarian nurses and the Libyan AIDS tragedy. Over the years I've been watching the events unfold and I am torn.

On the one hand, there are the nurses and the doctor who most probably could have been injecting people with infected needles. During the years of the sanctions when medical supplies were hard to find it is highly likely that needles were being reused. But then the sanctions did not prohibit the import of medical supplies... the fact that Libya was lacking was a local issue, not an international one. It was just so easy to blame the sanctions for not bothering to make sure there were properly stocked hospitals and medical centres. Regardless of whether there were enough needles or not, the nurses and doctors should have refused to ever reuse a needle. Did they? I am not sure if they did or not.

On the other hand, was it needles that caused the infection or something else? Hospitals in Libya both then and now are filthy places. I visited Tripoli Medical Centre just last week and found it no better than a sewer. There are more ways to get HIV and AIDS than by needles alone. Transfer could happen by any unsterilized surface and the presence of body fluids. Could it be solely the responsibility of the nurses to make sure entire hospitals and other medical facilities are kept scrupulously clean? Aren't the people who oversee the managerial side of things at the hospital responsible for making sure the hospitals are kept maintained? It is common even today to see broken plumbing fixtures and pipes, overflowing garbage cans, dirty sheets, bedding and every other surface that patients could come in contact with. If these areas are so visibly dirty than what does the rest of the hospital look like? The labs, the theatres, are these spaces just as disgustingly dirty?

Some bloggers have made statements about the personal behaviors of foreign guest workers in Libya - saying they are uncaring and racist. In my personal experience I have only come across one nurse that fit that profile - all others that I have met or dealt with have been hard working, dedicated and caring individuals. Most of these guest workers come here to make money to send to their families back home. They work long hours with difficult conditions and have to deal with more patients than is almost humanly possible to care for due to under-staffing. They look at Libya as a way to get ahead in their lives - a sacrifice to earn some money to advance themselves somehow. And if you speak to most of the nurses here you will find that most all of them work for nearly a year before they even see a cent of their salaries. Their wages I suspect are misappropriated... sigh..

If the nurses and the doctor did in fact intentionally cause patients to become infected with the AIDS virus then I am all for making sure they are punished for it. But in my humble opinion, after my own personal Libyan hospital and medical experiences, I find it hard to believe they are solely responsible.

Where is this? - #18

Does adding this picture help?

Another clue.... come on! This should make it too easy!

Time for another challenge. . . . If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.


At long last , and after more than one clue, there is a winner... A. Adam said:

it's an old church the Former Catholic Church (Saint-Mari) , Now it's Mohammed Ali La`a for Arts and he also commented this: by the way I posted some pictures before in my Blog

I'm not sure if the Church is called Mohammed Ali La`a for Arts or not though. We went for a walk in the medina and came across some workers in front of the church and they said we could have a look inside.

At the door is a box for donations to help with the renovation and repairs that are currently taking place. The church is still in use by the Christian ex-pat population here despite the fact that it's pretty much crumbling and needs some serious work to put it all back to rights. The workers said the building was about 400 years old but I'm not sure how accurate that is. It does deserve preservation as it's a historical landmark and the fact that it is used by people who live and work in Libya.

In the centre of the church is a painted dome surrounded by stained glass windows. Coloured fabric banners have been strung across to prevent debris from falling down on the worshipers below.

On the wall of a chamber on one side of the church is a mosaic that commemorates the churches founders who are named in the centre of the design.

The outside is in pretty good condition. On the wall outside are two marble plaques written in Arabic. I couldn't get my husband to translate them (too busy staring at Aljazeera) - would anyone like to have a go at translating them for the non-Arabic readers (and me)?

Well done A. Adam! You won it this time!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A little black dress

We've been out shopping every weekend for the past few weeks... looking for the perfect dress for Nora to wear to her friend's sister's wedding.

She wanted a little black dress.... something classic... something special... not too flashy...

Finally, finally, after going to every shop in town (it seemed like it anyway) we found THE dress. And of course we found it in a shop nearby. Why does it seem like we always look all over town and then end up finding something nearby? And the price was not bad either ... and we got the shopkeeper to take ten off. Thank God she already has shoes!

A blog for dental students!

I'm always thrilled to see blogs being used for educational purposes. Recently I was asked by a dental lecturer how he could put useful images and information on the net for his students and of course I said: 'Put them on a blog!' Then I told him how to go about doing it.

So starts the beginning of My Best Student - a blog for Libyan dental students. But really if you think about it it's not just for Libyan students because blogging is global. How wonderful to have teachers who care about their students. Good work Dr.Ziad!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Libyan Mystery

Can someone please tell me why they leave manholes open and uncovered all over the place in Libya? Usually they stick all kinds of garbage in them. Sometimes they even stick big pieces of wood, long pipes and sometimes even furniture inside the holes as a kind of flag to warn motorists.

Why are they removing the covers in the first place? Don't they realize that it is dangerous? Someone could fall in, a small child for instance. And hitting them or swerving to avoid them could cause drivers to lose control and maybe injure or KILL someone!

This particular manhole is on Jaraba Street and has been uncovered for about three weeks. You can see the cover over on the sidewalk next to the road. Why don't the boys and men that hang out for hours in the vicinity ever think to put it back on? ... Are they are too busy watching girls and women? ... Or is it the hole in the road they are watching? ... Is there a purpose for these deathtraps?

Who knows the answer to this mystery of Libyan life?

How Funny!... in a strange kind of way

America will finally have an ambassador in Libya. But I think it's kind of funny in an ironic kind of way. Why? Because the guy is currently the American deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Israel and Libya doesn't let anyone in the country that either holds an Israeli passport or even has an Israeli stamp in their passport.

My sister has been wanting to visit the Holy Land but never could because she was afraid the stamps in her passport would affect her ever visiting me here. We thought she should wait until her passport was nearly ready to expire and then when she returned she could get a fresh passport with no Israeli stamps in it.

So what does this mean? Have the laws been changed?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Best..... Really?

I was voted the Best Of the Blogs number one in Libya blog in 2006. I stumbled across this today. It says you can suggest my blog for 2007. I'm really amazed that I was best blog... Wow!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


The promise that we would get our flat painted as soon as all the exam results came in is being fulfilled. The paint has arrived, along with the rollers and brushes.

This evening the kids removed all the furniture and carpeting from the living room and entry. We are ready to paint. Now we wait for the painter, also known as Mustafa the Procrastinator, to get started. In the meantime the kids are having a great time singing, yodeling and making noise just so they can hear themselves echo.

I have a headache.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Adam Passed!

Imagine that ! I've gotten one kid through high school!

As soon as Adam found out the news he was on the phone with his friends making plans. He grabbed his shorts and a towel and took my beach umbrella and flew out the door to celebrate at the beach with his friends.

I'm so happy... but at the same time something about all this makes me feel old.

Best wishes to all the final year students.. I hope you are all celebrating today!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Where is this? - #17 was answered. Scroll down and have a look.

Where is this? - #17

If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.


Ghazi Gheblawi said...

This will be my first try in this competition, ok I think this is the entrance gate of Dar Al founon (the House of Art) from inside, it is situated in what we call Triq Al Seka (7th of November street), hope I am right.

Correct! Congratulations Ghazi!

I went this morning to The Art House with two of my daughters and my friend Tara. She'd never been there before. The Art House sells art supplies and does picture framing and also sells artwork and signed prints done by Libyan artists. Upstairs is an architect's office and on the lower level is an art gallery that hosts a changing display of local art. The staff is helpful and are available to answer any questions visitors might have.

The only problem is that the road it is located on is very busy and if you don't know exactly what you are looking for you will probably just drive right by. This is the sign on the wall outside.

We had a nice visit. There was a brochure available (in both English and Arabic) of the artists being shown in the gallery but my children took off with it to look at the pictures and now it's disappeared. I can't remember the name of the artists. You'll just have to visit The Art House and have a look yourself.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

My life's news

I spent the morning looking in shops that sell light fixtures. The house has reached the stage of installing lighting and I am not thrilled with anything I've seen in the shops. We drove from one place to the next, getting in and out of the air conditioned car and we finally found our way to Suk Thalat and parked and just walked from shop to shop. Nothing appealed to me. It was depressing. I just ended up making myself hot, tired and grumpy. Lunch was two roasted chickens bought on the way home. I don't think I could have faced the kitchen.

Facing the kitchen these days is depressing. My stove is in the shop getting repaired. It had started turning the bottom of my pots and pans black with soot. So I removed it from the kitchen and it sat in the stairway until Mustafa decided to take it to be repaired. In the meantime I have been using a tiny tabletop type stove that has two burners. I call it the Barbie stove. Unfortunately I am not married to Ken... cooking on the Barbie stove is getting old fast... Mustafa promised my stove will be back this week. If it doesn't come back soon I am going to go off to look for Ken. If I have to cook on a Barbie stove then I need to have Ken too!

It was a busy day. I went to work after my nice 4-day weekend to find
the electricity had gone out. Also another teacher was absent because
he had a death in his family. I gave my students some reading to work on and filled in for my colleague. The other teachers gave out extra busy work. No one wanted to get too 'into' anything because if it got too hot we planned to just send everyone home. Thankfully the electricity turned back on and we were able to finish the day.

Here is some good news - I have renewed my faith in the Libyan Post Office! Today we checked and found a copy of the National Geographic and also the Muslim Directory arrived - the one that has a picture that I took of the ksar in Nalut. I wrote about it in a previous post. The picture is on the page that lists information about Libya. It's not a colour photograph but it's there and that makes me happy.

Mom..... Where are you?

Friday, July 06, 2007


Toni On! Libya:

These videos look really nice... unfortunately LTT strikes again... connection is slow and I'm back to rationing out my internet time....
5 gigabytes a month...grrrrrr

Enjoy them if you can!

Day three of my long weekend

We all woke up late today. It was 11 am when I got out of bed and had my first cup of coffee. I started lunch (couscous) by 11:30 and then went on to enjoy my second cup of coffee. Everyone else was still asleep.

As everyone slowly started to wake up, one by one, the house became noisier and noisier. The males went off to the mosque for Friday prayers and I got the lunch finished and ready to put on the table.

After lunch there was a unanimous decision to shave Ibrahim's head. Why? I'm not sure... I guess it just sounded like a good idea - to everyone except Ibrahim. He had to be chased down and forced. Now that his head has been shaved he's happy.

The afternoon was spent just hanging out. This evening we highlighted Sara's hair and I did the usual run to the store for bread, tuna, milk and cheese.

Boring, the day was boring. Tomorrow hopefully we'll go to the beach. Ibrahim says I can take a picture of his head tomorrow at the beach.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A long weekend

Yesterday was the 4th of July, a holiday in America, but an ordinary day in Libya. But in a way it wasn't an ordinary day for me as I'm having a 4-day weekend. The break from work is because the building that I work in is being used to hold a wedding. I'm rather enjoying the much needed break.

Yesterday I spent the morning out scouting around Tripoli for a ceiling fan to replace the one in my entry. Libyans as a rule don't use ceiling fans. They think if you install an air conditioner that you don't need a fan, but I like the air to circulate in any season. Having a fan going keeps the house cooler in summer too. Unfortunately they only sell two models here - without lights, or with lights. A rather boring selection and both kinds are cheap. But I bought one anyway - the kind with lights. I also picked up an occilating fan with a floor stand and an electric popcorn maker. Guess what we had for lunch yesterday? POPCORN! (I made hubby a hamburger when he came home)

In the evening we went to the Islamic Gardens, or it is the Islamic Museum? or the Ola club? I'm never sure what they call that place. It's in Sidi Khalifa. It's a nice family place that you have to pay to get in, and then pay to let the kids play on amusement park rides. There is also a playground and various areas with tables. Who do you suppose I found there? Mani! We got a table in the fruit juice bar section of the garden and had tall fresh fruit drinks and the kids ran around while Mani filled me in on all his ideas of reform.... hmmm... reform... Well, I forgive him - he's only 24 after all.

This morning we got up bright and early. Tara came over and we piled in the car and headed for the beach to go snorkeling. It was wonderful. The water was nice and refreshing, full of fish. I saw only one jellyfish - by next month the water will be full of them as they seem to multiply in August for some reason. We saw one old man sitting in a beach chair - he looked just like an old man you would find on a beach in Florida. Tara and I decided he was a guy in the witness protection plan, living out his days on the beach in Tajoura (instead of some beach in Florida). We left him in peace and piled in the car to go home at 10:30.

The kids have all showered and are sitting in front of the TV watching 'The Wizard of Oz'. I'm going to take my turn in the shower and wash off all the salt and sand.

I have the rest of the weekend to look forward to. I hope all my friends and family had a nice and safe 4th of July.

Mom.... Where are you???

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I've got it!

It's finally arrived! My Magic 8 Ball. Now I will be able to answer all of life's questions - well, at least the important ones. I won't have to use the one on the net. Thank you Tara! Thank you so very much!... and my students will love it too... Yes or No questions!

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