Friday, September 23, 2011

Pouring Their Hearts Out

I've been busy getting myself back to some kind of normal. Life in Tripoli is improving everyday but it will take a while for everyone to get back to work and on their feet again. 

I went back to work last Saturday and resumed classes that had been interupted since last February. Not all the students have been able to come back yet. Although stability is returning to Tripoli, the war continues in Sirte and Bani Walid as well as part of Sebha.

Some of my students are fighting at the front, some are involved in getting supplies to the fighters and some I haven't heard from at all -  I pray they are safe and well. The rest are coming to class and we've been doing some review to get us started again. But most of all the students want to practice their speaking/communication skills.  They finally have something to talk about! Never before have I seen such an outpouring of thoughts, feelings and ideas from my students. They have discovered the freedom of being able to speak their minds for the first time  in their entire lives. It is an amazing thing to be a part of this, to hear them express themselves like never before. It's so wonderful!



  1. I hope you all will take the step back to a regular/normal life soon! It's nice to read your students use the possibility to speak free about the things they are thinking about, topics which are important for them. It's very important to keep this possibility alive and dont let it be taken away by anyone, anyhow, in anyway! ;-)

    Best wishes for all of you!


  2. We found the same in Tunisia after the revolution. We were working for the British Council at the time.

    By the way I was put onto your blog by a mutual friend Rob Tovey who used to work at BC Tripoli. He's now in Saudi.

    I found your blog from Feb to Aug extremely interesting and I hope things only get better now for you and your family.

    Trish Pearce

  3. You’re a free Libyan today

    We cleansed our Libya from the stench
    With bravery we liberated it inch by inch

    We turned the world’s attention to our way
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    Celebrate, enjoy and lift your head high
    With our strength we will reach the sky

    Salute our red, black & green every day
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    Beloved Libyans shake off the old shackles
    We got a load of work a head of us to tackle

    With the smell of freedom blown our way
    On every beach, mountain, valley & bay
    So be proud, you are a free Libyan today

    By: mahnud abudaber
    Sept, 10, 2011

  4. Mahmud- excellent poem. Thanks for posting it. I'm going to print it out and put it up in my classroom.

    Trish - thanks for stopping by! I'm still only hearing rumours about the future of BC Tripoli. It's kind of sad that all my colleagues are scattered to the four corners of the world. I wonder if we will ever meet again.

    Horst - thanks - freedom is a wonderful thing.

  5. I accidentally deleted some comments but was able to find them in my email... so here they are:

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Pouring Their Hearts Out":

    Coming from the Netherlands, it's hard to imagine never having been allowed to speak your mind. From the time I was 9 years old (I'm 38 now, so that's a loooong time ago!), when I was confronted with footage on tv on the famine in Africa, I have always realised, that while my life has never been easy, I am blessed in that I was born in a country where I have enough to eat, a roof over my head, a family (however unconventional) that loves me, I could get an education, and I could think what I wanted and speak my mind. All things that are just dreams for so many people in our world.

    Khadija, I enjoy your blog, and sincerely hope the Libyans will find peace and freedom. It won't be easy, because most people were kept from getting any experience at governing and running a country by the regime, but you'll get there. I hope the same for the Egyptians, Tunisians, Yemenites and Syrians. May the Arab spring lead you to a fruitful, peaceful, free and lasting summer!

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "August 2011":

    Thank u very much for ur blog, for sharing ur expierence. Hello from Russia. Wish u and ur family all the best.

  6. Serious question.

    You state: "They have discovered the freedom of being able to speak their minds"

    What would happen to me if I flew the green flag of the Jamahiriya from my balcony in Tripoli?

  7. Anonymous... this came up with my students who thought that as long as Libya was still at war the freed areas must fly the new flag (red/green/black). In the class are those who still support the old regime and of course everyone's choices/ideas/opinions are to be respected. The students were very thankful that they were finally allowed to voice their opinions (no matter what they were) - something they could have been imprisoned or possibly lose their lives for in the past.

    If you hung your green flag in Tripoli would you be killed for it? I doubt it.


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