Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fixing Stuff

I read in the news that Ace Hardware is going to open up in Libya. Hardware stores are the realm of men in this country. You seldom see a woman shopping in a hardware store. I like going into my neighbourhood DIY shop even though I know it makes most of the men in there feel uncomfortable.

I'm not even sure Libyans are interested in maintenance - usually they wait until everything falls completely apart and then they just knock everything down and start from scratch. But I like to keep things in working order and every time I go to the shop I find something I need and I get ideas about things I can make and fix.

The shop that I go to the most often has a pretty good selection too - they've even got duct tape and WD40 - two things that will fix most anything!

But by far, the most interesting thing about the shop is the doorway. Now what could possibly be interesting about a doorway, you might ask? Well, I never noticed it until one day last year when my friend Tara and I decided to see if we could find a hack-saw with a special blade that could cut through a carbon fiber mountain bike fork. I suggested we go ask the guys in the hardware store for advice and they were happy to show us their entire stock of saws and saw blades.

And just where do you suppose they are displayed in the shop? Directly ABOVE the entrance's doorway, of course! Just waiting to fall upon some poor unsuspecting person's head.

Libyan logic.... sigh.... Either they have a really sick sense of humour... or they are just plain stupid. - but I bet Ace Hardware won't be nearly as interesting a place when they open.


  1. Do u know Mrs.Khadija,i am really feel sorry 4 u.Each time u try 2 relief your unsatisfaction toward living in my beautiful country,by being ironic toward us....
    plz,if u feel depressed seek a psychotherapy..2 help your self.
    Thoes "stupid"libyans could be your husband & children as well.
    so, u just mimicing your self.

  2. by the way,this way of behaviour will have a great impact on your children(if u concern).
    so try 2 make the future life easier 4 them,as i expect that your daughters may marry one of these "stupid"libyans.
    last but not least,Don`t be offensive .in the end of the day,we all r humans.

  3. Anonymous... who said I'm unsatisified? I'm just pointing out the weird logic behind hanging something lethal above a doorway? Who on earth would do such a thing? And another thing is that those saws have been there for a long, long time.. and no one seems even the slightest bit concerned about anyone's health, safety or welfare.

    Am I the only one that notices such things? All around me I see stuff like this... and Libyans just walk right on as though it's perfectly normal.

    My husband is definitely not stupid when it comes to things like this. He is the first person to advocate safety and made sure that the streets in my neighbourhood were one of the first to have speed bumps and school crossings installed. We also make sure to teach our kids about such things.

    Yes Libya is a beautiful country... but it would be so much more beautiful if Libyans would stop being so careless and lazy.

    Make your country a safe place, make it a clean place - It's not! - And Libyans only have themselves to blame for this!!!!

  4. that'z right . as libyan people saying wat can we do...!?الله غالب

  5. AGREED !!

    Libya has SOOO much potential.
    However the general population just DOES NOT care.
    The garbage that is simply everywhere is heartbreaking. Why is it ok to drop everything on the ground AND the water bottles littering the countryside uugghhh!
    You have the loveliest stretch of sand on the coast with so much potential for beaching - but no one takes the time to clean it. The debris from the sea - ok but the crap that families leave behind ....
    How can you leave this next generation with the idea it's OK to not care about your land .... The Libyans consider owning land an asset but not when it comes to preserving it for the next generation.
    I also agree that Libyans logic is very weird at the very best of times.
    One can own multiple land titles but still walk around with holes in their knickers....uugghh
    Or, dispute land ownership that has been divided unequally amongst sibling ie girls got nothing - yet are only concerned with leaving your own land titles to your sons but not daughters. ( deep sigh )
    Being concerned with a woman's hair being shown - yet at women only wedding the young girls showing so much cleavage you can't see their beautiful eyes...
    Male sons being coddled until they're 40 - while marrying off they're daughters to strangers.
    Libya is a beautiful country with many beautiful people - but the general thought process must change.

  6. The hardware/DIY shops you seem to get everywhere in Libya are one of my favourite aspects of Libyan life: they show that most people can get on and do things themselves, even if they often do it not-very-well.

    A less attractive aspect of Libyan life is the anonymous blog commentators who misconstrue affectionate criticisms as an attack on "my beautiful country". If you love it so much, open a blogger account and tell us about it, "anonymous", you idiot.

  7. i as well agree with this.
    my husband is a Libyan but he is the "safety officer" at home. we have two sons who are of course Libyans too but are being trained to grow up responsible, non-lazy, and "thinking" individuals.

    this news about Ace Hardware opening here is good. Its probably a sign to start training the future generation of Libya on proper Repair, Maintenance, Development and General Safety of things - material and non-material. :)

  8. Teri, So true!

    To the anonymous poster, my husband is libyan, and he is the first to say just how stupid SOME libyan's can be! No offense to all those non stupid libyans out there!


  9. Foreigners, & good Libyans beware
    When you go to your local hardware
    Stop at the entrance of one if you dare
    A saw above your head is a nightmare?

    Is it a really sick sense of humor
    Or comes from ones brain tumor

    Love & caring comes from cupid
    Some Libyans are just plain stupid

    Find a Libyan handyman for instance
    Have no tools or care for maintenance

    Some Libyans hide behind thick walls
    Using anonymous and have no balls
    Ignorant, & Ace makes them an Aceholes

    Constructive criticism, debate face to face
    Will only make Libya a better place

    PS. Aceholes is in reference to Ace

  10. Its so funny Khadija, my husband and I spent all weekend trying to get a plumber to fix the hose in our bathroom...and ended up just buying one for 7 dinar and easily replacing the old one. I couldnt believe how easy it was. I felt like remodeling the whole bathroom! About all the debate, Im Libyan and I just moved here with my 4 year old daughter who is constantly questioning me about all the garbage and "litterbugs" here. It is definitely a beautiful country which God has entrusted us with caring for.....theres no reason for people to get offended by reality. Instead of putting all this energy into defending bad habits....why don't we Libyans try to make some changes in the country! I've noticed that a lot of bad behavior gets ignored here. It seems like people fuss at you if you are doing absolutely nothing wrong (like driving at a normal speed or letting your child wear a t-shirt when its warm in the "winter")...but parents ignore their children's terrible behavior and cops ignore huge traffic violations. Nothing is going to improve if we dont identify the problems here.

  11. anonymous sounds like well i havent been hurt so it must be ok kind of person....but just wait anonymous some day someone or yourself will be hurt(god forbid) and you will say WHY ME... why does this happen to me or mine... teri is just stating the obvious... a saw above your head is dangerous...all it takes is one child to be hurt and most people will say how stupid was that.... you should thank your lucky stars you do not live in the u.s.a. where the store owner would have alredy been sued because someone will have figured out how to have that saw land on their head(hand arm leg you name it)just to get money out of them...

  12. Hello Everybody
    I was really excited about all of your comments,
    Khadeeja, you are simply acting like those Libyans who refuse to believe that the change can start by them, those Libyan who wants others to change without going ahead to affect these changes,.
    I am simply the agent of ACE Hardware in Libya and our fist store will be in the Tajoura road Bevu . and the motive that drive me to invest in such industry was in fact the business opportunity available from my point of view.
    Yes the market is totally disfigured, unorganized and very low in quality,. And any good quality service will definitely succeed.
    people (customers from my point of view) like to see good things and sure will try to compete. so let them compete in quality.
    I promise you Khadeeja that we'll not put any thing above the doorway specially saws, cuz simply the ACE standards won't allow me .

  13. Walid - thanks for your input! I imagine that Ace's standards for health and safety of both its employees and customers will keep you on your toes. Glad to hear you aren't planning to put the saws above the door.



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