April 2011

Friday, April 1st, 2011

I just want to wake up and find out it's all been some kind of bad dream, or that it's over and everything is back to normal. This is dragging on and on. It's depressing. I'm tired of this. I just want it to be over.

Ok.... now that I've gotten my minute of self-pity out of the way I can get on with the day.

Yesterday my husband went to a wedding in a town to the west of Tripoli. 'Why would someone want to get married now?' I asked. 'Don't ask me' was the reply. My husband was duty bound to attend and went in a carpool with his brothers in order to conserve gasoline. He left Tripoli thinking that he was going someplace to eat lunch and then would return, but he was at the mercy of the driver who had decided to stay longer and spend the night.

When my husband didn't return yesterday afternoon my son and I started calling to find out if he was OK, but of course there were no phone lines. Finally we managed to get through in the evening; he was safe and would come home the following day. He'll probably be crabby by the time he gets home, wearing yesterday's clothes and looking rumpled from a night of sleeping on a thin cushion on the drafty floor. I don't know if he'd brought his medicine with him - probably not...sigh...

I watched the news this morning to see what progress, if any, had been made. It was still about the same as the day before. One thing that struck me while I watched the team of Libyans who are representing the 'new Libya', is how OLD they looked. Shabanee (plural: shabeen) - old man. All of them are old, while Libya, the new Libya, is comprised of mostly the young (shabab).

Are these old men going to be able to run a new, young Libya? How many of their ideas are entrenched in the old corrupt ways of the past? Are they falling all over each other trying to make gains for themselves? Or are they selfless souls struggling for a better Libya? These old men meet, talk, wheel and deal, while the shabab fight, shed blood and lose their lives. Libya is made up of mostly young people, with a young spirit and new ideas - Do these 'shabeen' have the spirit of the 'shabab'? Do they have new ideas in their greying and balding heads?

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

I think I need anti-depressants... I think the entire country needs them... sigh...

Watched the news today. Finally, finally, finally... they've decided to get organized over there in the east. They have finally decided not to let the tourist warriors with their knives and machetes and their penchant for shooting their guns off in the air (at nothing, just to make noise and make them feel manly) get anywhere near the front lines.

Watching the news of the fighting in the east has been like watching the three stooges but instead of three there are hundreds or maybe thousands of stooges. I've been waiting for this to finally happen.  Hopefully with some organization the fighting will improve now, and I will be able to watch the news without pulling my hair out and screaming 'Oh my God! You idiots! Get those fools off the front lines!'.

I still think I need anti-depressants though... sigh... we all do.

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

We got the daily fly-over today, on schedule, as usual. Nothing in the vicinity has been bombed in days.

I took a walk in the farm, stopping to collect ripe loquats, called nesboli, in Libya. I don't really like loquats very much, but the choice of fruit available in the market is limited these days - apples, my favourite, are shriveled looking, pithy and expensive. So loquats that only cost the time and trouble to walk out to pick them are on the daily menu for a while. It won't be long before the apricots will be ripening. 

I've been working on a project that I had shelved in the past because I didn't have enough time. Now I have plenty of time, I need to pace myself to go slower so I don't finish it too quickly! How funny!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I visited a friend today. We had a nice chat - it felt good to get out of the house for a while and see someone. Of course the discussion was mostly about the war and wondering when it would end.

There is news of a Ukrainian ship in the harbor that will evacuate any Americans that want to leave. I'm not sure where they will take you. Once they drop you off you are on your own. I wonder how much tickets cost to the US for seven people. It doesn't really matter because the money is in the bank and the banks here don't have any cash to give you anyway. So we will stick around.

Someone mentioned today that they heard the war may last another six months. Is that possible? No one has been paid - or if they have had their salary direct deposited in their accounts they can't get to it anyway - no cash. I went to the supermarket today. Food supplies are dwindling. Soon people won't have cash in their hands to buy what is available. Six months? What will life be like in six months if things continue at this pace?

I've got a first draft for the project I'm working on. I feel satisfied that it's underway and I can now pick it apart and write and rewrite. It's giving me something to think about besides the hellhole that Libya is turning into.

No bombings nearby for four days. I feel like we've been abandoned.

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

I didn't sleep well last night. We could hear gunshots and machine gun fire coming from the main road throughout the night. I'm not sure what it was all about.

My husband went out at dawn and managed to fill up his truck's gas tank. Hopefully he will take my car tomorrow. We've been keeping driving down to a minimum, but still you never know what might happen - the idea that we have full tanks is reassuring.

People are running low on cash. The banks haven't had any cash in days. I spoke to a friend who offered a refugee woman from Mali some flour and baking powder in exchange for cleaning her house for the day and the women was more than happy to work for food. Another friend got her hair cut in exchange for a few packages of cookies. I'm now looking around my house with an eye for what I can use for barter.

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

The internet came on for about 5 minutes this morning. I was able to chat with my sister and reassure her that we were OK. I got to the comments on my blog and made a short post - thanks to everyone who commented.

My inbox is overflowing. Someone, I don't know who, signed me up for various facebook groups and now hundreds of emails are sitting in my inbox - clogging up the works. What a headache! Whoever signed me up for Libyan poetry group, among others, needs to take a netiquette course! How could you do this to me???? Eventually I will be able to fully access the internet and try to sort it all out.

I finished a really stupid book today. It was a ghost story. It was stupid to begin with but I kept reading it because it was a change from what I usually read. Now I have to decide what to read next. Another time waster for me has been watching Two and a Half men. I'm in the middle of season three. I don't really like the series but each episode is 20 minutes long and I can't seem to sit patiently through a movie these days. The main idea is to avoid watching the news if at all possible. I'm trying to only watch the news twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. The news is depressing and I'm trying to avoid becoming depressed (or more depressed).

I'm not just wasting my days. I've been doing productive things lately too. I'm nearly finished with putting together a presentation/workshop about how to implement reading programmes into English course curriculums, and I'm busy with a friend setting up a consultancy that will help repatriate ex-pats that were evacuated from Libya with their belongings that they left behind - a packing-up service. We're not sure if the packing-up service will get off the ground because of the lack of internet means a lack of communication - but it's worth a try. It's keeping me relatively sane and staving off the need to seek out anti-depressants!

Other news...

Some of the cousins came to visit. They said that an armed man has been stationed on the roof of their elementary school. We've been hearing that there are snipers all over town and my husband has seen them on top of buildings around the city with his own eyes. It gives me the heebie-jeebies to think they are even on top of schools.

Planes overhead tonight... we heard a bomb drop but we weren't sure where. We could hear the planes but we couldn't see them (sometimes we can see point of light in the sky). After a bit we went back inside. Later on we heard more bombing going on in the distance, but again it was too far away to tell where it was coming from.

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

NATO's planes flew over today near mid-day dropping bombs not too far away from where we live. Afterwards we could still hear planes for quite a while, but we couldn't see them. They don't usually bomb Tripoli during the day, we wondered what was happening. We'll have to watch the news like the rest of the world to find out what's going on.

The question in many people's minds 'Is NATO doing enough?'. It's so frustrating to know civilians are suffering and in mortal danger.

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Libya's re-opened the neighbourhood co-operatives (jamiyah). Each area has a co-operative that stocks subsidized food staples: cooking oil, flour, semolina, rice, tea, sugar, pasta and tomato paste. Each family is allotted a certain amount each month. For the past few years these co-operatives have been closed for the most part as the government declared that since they allowed privatized shops to open there wasn't a need for the jamiyah.

My husband went to the jamiyah the other day and came home with 10 kilos of sugar, a bag of rice and some cans of tomato paste. It's not the kind of rice we usually eat and the tomato paste is crap but I'll save it and use it for barter, or we may end up eating it if we run out of our supplies. Later when we were watching TV we flipped over to one of the Libyan channels that was having a programme showing that the co-operatives were back in business again. They mentioned how much each person's allotment was. According to the man on the show each person was entitled to 2 kilos of sugar. I got so angry when I heard that - we had only been given 10 kilos when we should have gotten 16 kilos! We were cheated out of 6 kilos! It doesn't seem like much but if they cheat each family it adds up. It really makes me sick to see Libyans stealing from each other. I was so angry when I heard about the sugar that I didn't pay attention to how much else of other things we were supposed to get. We probably got cheated on those too.

The excitement of the day was that my husband finally got around to putting up the pergola over the terrace. I'm not sure what inspired him but lets just hope he continues to complete all his unfinished projects around the house. The pergola looks great! 

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

The kids had exams today so I drove them into town for school. They haven't been attending school, they're just going for the exams. After I dropped them off I drove around looking for gasoline. After passing by four gas stations that were closed I finally managed to find a station that was open and the line wasn't that long either. Yipee! Maybe because everyone was more worried about getting kids to school for exams. I feel better now that I have a full tank, but I'll need it to get the kids to school this week.

I stopped at the supermarket that I usually frequent... there is less merchandise than before. They're trying to spread the merchandise out along the shelves so that they don't look empty - it's weird to see an entire shelf that has twelve cans of beans spread out on it. They're also bringing out weird things that most Libyans wouldn't eat, such as canned chicken flavoured cocktail wieners for three dinars for a small can, and bottles of eucalyptus/passion fruit flavoured drink for three and a half dinars. Who would buy that? Maybe they could put the wieners in their couscous? How much longer will we be able to hold out?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

I got a haircut today. It was really amazing how much my hair grew since I had it cut last, of course I've had plenty of time to watch it grow. I feel better now. Tomorrow I'm having a pedicure. Soon I'll be all dolled up with nowhere to go.

I tried to take a nap but the neighbour decided it was time to take out his tractor and plow his fields. So I got up with a headache. I'm trying not to be cranky - but it's hard. My new haircut looks great with the circles under my eyes!

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Other than getting a pedicure and stopping at the shop to buy some DVDs - nothing exciting happened today. We watched the news on TV. They got the guy out of the Ivory Coast... but nothing is going on here..... sigh...

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Last night my eye started to hurt. It felt like something was stuck in my eye but I couldn't see anything in it, it just looked red, swollen and was extremely painful. This morning I went to the eye doctor and he said I have an abrasion on my cornea, probably from rubbing my eye. Now I've got three kinds of drops to take. It feels better to keep my eye open, when the lid closes over my eye it really smarts. Hopefully after all the drops start to take effect the pain will go away.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2011

An afternoon bombing raid disturbed our afternoon of watching the news about the meeting in Doha. Later we heard lots of gunfire coming from the main road. Other than that it was a normal day, well, as normal as life gets these days.

Jenna had her last exam. She said that during the art exam the students were asked to draw a picture. Most of the kids in the class made good use of the colours red, black and green, although no one drew the flag.

Thursday, April 13th, 2011


Today I went to the hospital where I had been teaching English to staff for nearly a year. I visited with a few students, took down the posters that I had put up in my classroom, and packed up my students' journals to take home. I wanted to visit the head of the department to say hello, but I was told that he had mysteriously 'disappeared' weeks ago. His office door was plastered with pictures of Kadafy.  

I've been told by the 'language centre' that sponsored the programme not to give the students their final assessment marks or final report - if they ever come back to Libya it will be sorted out then. The students had been on this course for nearly a year and have nothing on paper to show for it.  To appease my soul and in all fairness to my students who have worked so hard, I've decided to write a personal reference letter for each of them and arrange to get it to them along with their journals. They can use the reference letter to attach to their CVs. It's the least I can do.

I still haven't been paid and there is no guarantee that I will be. I've spent a chunk of money making calls to try to chase down my salary.... sigh... no luck so far - so I guess I'm in the same boat as most Libyans now - most people who worked for companies are wondering if they will get paid or if they will even have a job in the future. I've been told if the 'language centre' I worked for reopens in Libya then I will probably get paid then... if they reopen... when they reopen... it's all very vague. My evening work is on hold as well since all this began - it's not safe to go out in the evening. I really miss my students.... sigh..

While I was at the hospital this morning I saw a sign pointing out the location of the blood bank. I didn't have enough time today, but hopefully next week I will go back to donate. I'm going to see if I can get some of my friends to come along and donate too.

In the afternoon we heard planes go over. Then after a while there were more planes, this time dropping four bombs. We could see the plumes of smoke rising - one cloud was an eerie looking yellow colour. 'What was that?' we wondered. Was it a chemical in the bomb or was it from the target? A short while later there were more planes overhead, they didn't drop any more bombs so we thought they must be coming back to check on their work.

What was that yellow smoke?

One of the cousin's came to stay for the weekend. The kids are enjoying their visitor. And I enjoy not having to nag them about cleaning the house. I've learnt that if you want a clean house all you have to do is invite one of the kid's friends or cousins over - the house is ship-shape in no time at all. :)

Friday, April 15th, 2011

It was a day for doing laundry and cooking a big lunch; rice pilaf, Libyan stew with peas, Libyan potato tagine and tabouli salad. Later in the afternoon Sara and her cousin made cookies.

We watched the news and I got depressed.

I spent the afternoon writing reference letters. I also started sorting through books - I've got piles of books all over the sofa next to my desk and stacked all over the floor surrounding my desk. Once I stacked them up I got bored (it just made me depressed) with the job and quit. I need to go for a long walk to clear out the cobwebs, then I can go back to attacking the books.... maybe later.

Writing the reference letters and watching the news just made me wish this was all over.

My eye feels much better today. The doctor called to check to see if I was better and to tell me to keep up with the drops for a full week. Such a nice doctor :)

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

It was a day for visits.

In the morning I visited a friend, on the way to her house I stopped by a supermarket and found some fresh croissants to bring to her. We ate breakfast together and caught up with our news.

My mother-in-law came for a visit in the afternoon. We made grilled cheese sandwiches and had tea and coffee. My mother-in-law looked tired, I think it's time for her check-up in Tunis but that's out of the question at the moment. As she was leaving, planes flew over and dropped bombs on the military installation next to Al-Nasser University. Afterwards we could hear anti-aircraft fire coming from the city.

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Sara baked a fantastic chocolate fudge cake today. It was the highlight of our day. :)

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I took Jenna to get her haircut today... super short! She looks great. I wish I could wear my hair that short. We stopped to pick up vegetables on the way home.

A friend of mine was coming over to visit so I made lunch: stuffed peppers, yellow rice, tabouli salad, and white cake with strawberry jam topping for dessert. Lunch was accompanied by the sounds of bombing. We didn't hear any planes so I guess it must have been a missile shot from the sea.

I took a walk in the evening. The air was fresh and I felt in better spirits today.

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

We were woken up at around three in the morning. There were planes overhead and we could hear quite a racket from anti-aircraft guns. I don't know why they bother because the planes are too high for them to hit. No bombs were dropped and after some time things quieted down but I had trouble getting back to sleep. We had planned to get up at dawn and go to line up for gasoline but we were too tired to get up.

We did a bit of gardening and I made more phone calls trying to chase down my salary. I've still got books and papers to sort out - piles of stuff all around my desk. I'm in no hurry but the mess is bugging everyone else in the house... sigh... I'll work on it more today.

My telephone rang off the hook. It's been a day for checking-in. Everyone seems to be hanging in, waiting for this madness to end. At the beginning we were all upset, bored and depressed, now it seems like the overall feeling is frustration. We're all getting fed up not knowing when this will end and wondering how to make ends meet in the process. Everyone is running very low on cash. What will happen when we finally do run out? Most people are out of work and the ones that do have a job can't get to their salaries - still no cash in the banks.

I made Libyan food for lunch; Rishta Boorma. In the evening I taught Sara how to make a Swiss roll cake. I haven't made one of those in years, since Ibrahim was a baby - 12 years ago. I didn't need a recipe book, I remembered the recipe as though it were yesterday! It's so strange; it was like instant recall or something. I've been getting that a lot lately - I think it's from having a break from non-stop work and now my poor brain has space to remember things.

My family are getting quite spoiled; home cooked meals, cakes, someone to fold their laundry... they're going to have a huge adjustment period when it's time for me to go back to work again.... whenever that is... sigh...

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

It rained last night. Thunder rolled in from the distance and the dogs began to bark and growl. Flashes of lightning and great bangs of noise followed by a downpour. I lay in bed listening to the rain hitting the roof and wondered if this would be the last rain of the season. The hot summer months are approaching. Back in February when all this started we were wearing winter clothes. We've put those away and have taken out lighter clothing. Soon we will have to take out our summer things. Has this really been going on that long?

This morning I went out to see if I could get gasoline. I have never seen the lines as long as they were today. Men were standing outside of their cars fighting in front of the pumps, pushing and shoving each other. There were police and security in front of most of the stations. There were very few women waiting. I went to about five different gas stations to check out the situation and finally decided to come home. It just didn't look safe enough. My husband can fill the tank later - I still have a quarter of a tank left. My husband's truck is empty. One of our neighbours was kind enough to lend him seven litres of gasoline. It's enough to get his truck to the pumps.

At around 10pm my phone rang. It was one of my students who said he was sitting in line at a gas station. He'd been in line since two o'clock in the afternoon - eight hours of waiting! He said some people had been waiting for twelve hours. Conditions were dangerous - pro-Kadafy supporters were waiving weapons and queue jumping.

On a positive note: The shops are stocking bags of fresh croissants and sliced bread. Trays of eggs are 2.25LD. We had French toast in the evening. Yeah!

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

I've been de-junking today - going through piles of books and papers. I've made some progress; there is now a clear path to my desk! A colleague of mine called to say she was leaving Libya and was donating her books to me, so my library will expand that much more. I'm getting rid of things I don't need so I can fit it all in. I've been working on it a little at a time. It's amazing how much accumulates.

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

I took a walk today on the track on our farm - I walked two kilometres. I've decided to walk at least two kilometres every day. It's not really that much, but it's about how much I can do before the kids discover me and come after me and bother me. Two kilometres of peace from the kids per day.

I took a day of from de-junking. It's Friday so we had Libyan cuisine for lunch; Roz bil baslah with chicken and a Libyan salad and emsayer (pickled hot peppers), dessert was fresh loquats from the farm.

Planes go over every day - in the mornings and afternoons. These days they usually bomb at night after we're asleep. The bombs drop and then we wake up to the dogs barking. When we wake up we aren't sure if the dogs are barking from the sounds of bombs or from people outside. We go outside to check and look for smoke on the horizon. Sometimes we're too tired to go out to look and we drift back to sleep. The news says that the US will start using drones. Do drones make noise? Will we hear them? Will we see them? Will they use them around Tripoli? Or just in areas of fighting?

Tonight we heard explosions but they were far away to the south of us. We couldn't pinpoint exactly where they were coming from. We could just hear the heart-stopping thud as they hit their target. We went to bed early.

Saturday April 23rd, 2011

We had a miserable night's sleep. Planes, explosions, the dogs barking and growling like mad. There has been a lot of theft in our neighbourhood. People jumping the walls and getting into houses and buildings. Gas cylendars are being stolen and even clothing stolen right off clotheslines. Our dogs were agitated almost all night long. They weren't barking just at the gate, they were running up and down the perimeter of the garden, all around the house. The dogs haven't done that since the beginning of the conflict. We suspected that there were prowlers in our area last night.

When I got up this morning I watched the news. Bab Al-Aziziyah had been bombed - the news reports showed a bunker (that the Libyans were calling a water tank). I wondered if it was done by a drone.

I've finished de-junking. My desk looks fabulous and I feel like I've accomplished something. I did housework all day to keep my mind busy. I'm tired from lack of proper sleep... nervous exhaustion.... bone tired.

Still no gasoline.

Planes have been overhead nearly all last night and all day today. It's nerve-wracking. It's impossible to rest. It disturbs your sleep at night so that all day you feel tired. I tried to take a nap but couldn't. If I had sleeping pills I would take them. But I don't.

After the evening prayers we could hear gunfire coming from all directions. It sounded like popcorn gone wild. I think it was just to intimidate people as we didn't hear any planes going over or hear any bombs exploding. Later, after the gunfire died down the planes returned and we could hear them for hours.

I keep thinking that something will cause the citizens of Tripoli to finally snap and take to the streets... maybe the gasoline situation, or not having cash at the banks, or food running out... something. How far do people have to be pushed before they react? Or are the people of Tripoli so hopeless that they'll do nothing to change their destiny?

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

We finally got to sleep but we heard several explosions during the night. This morning it was quiet up until nearly nine when the planes started going over once again. The sound of the planes seems to bother everyone. I think it's not so much the sound, but the anxious feeling that you get as you wait for the sound of the bombs hitting their target. Lately the planes are overhead almost all the time but drop no bombs - so you are tensely waiting all the time. After hours and hours of this you're full of nervous tension and it's exhausting. When you finally go to bed you can't rest.

Sara had an exam so my husband took her to school. He didn't know if they would make it there as the tank was on empty. He dropped Sara off at school and made it to the gas station.
After waiting hours and hours he finally got to the head of the line. Cars were trying to shove in from every direction. Fights broke out and a policeman standing next to my husband's truck starting firing into the air with his machine gun. One of the bullet casings flew into the window just missing my husband's face. Another policeman jumped up on top of the cab of our truck and started firing away like some kind of maniac. After things settled down my husband filled his tank and got away.

Sara had walked to her aunt's house after school and he picked her up and came home. We have gas and my husband had an adventure and he's got the bullet casing as a souvenir. Yusef siphoned off half of my husband's tank and put the gas in my car, so now we are both half full.

There were a lot less planes today and a few explosions early in the evening. Soon after we went to bed we heard about six huge explosions, all hitting within a matter of seconds, the sound emanated from the city. We went outside to see what was going on but because it was windy we couldn't see any clouds of smoke.

Whenever we hear explosions in the city we always check the Libyan television to see what's happening on the live cam of Bab-Al-Aziziya. All the Libyan channels were off so we figured they must have hit the TV transmitters (this was confirmed later on the news). After about half an hour, two of the channels started broadcasting again.

Because it was Easter I called my mom who was visiting my uncle and his family in Chicago. And then I called my son in Florida. I reassured everyone that we were all well. Aside from my husband's adventure at the gas station and the air raids in the evening and night, it was a fairly quiet Easter Sunday.

We mapped out the progress every day.

Monday, April 25th, 2011

It was hot and windy today. Sara and I went out to do a bit of shopping and to see what the gas situation was. Some of the stations are allowing female drivers to queue up in a separate line and get gasoline faster. But the lines were way too long and there were men fighting in front of every gas station we went to, trigger-happy angry men were shooting their weapons in the air. It was too dangerous to even try.

The food that we bought, with the exception of eggs, was at least double the price we paid just two months ago. In February I had bought a case of toothpaste for 18 dinars - the same toothpaste was thirty dinars today. There are seven of us - we go through a lot of toothpaste. Shampoo and antiperspirant were slightly higher than before. You gotta eat and you can't skip personal hygiene... sigh... we're forced to pay the price for as long as we can.

Our big splurge for the day was an electric standing mixer that we saw for 40 dinars in one shop but we shopped around and bought the same one for 25 dinars in another shop. We've been doing quite a bit of baking lately - the mixer will get plenty of use (and the girls arms won't fall off from beating with a whisk now).

Lunch: curried meatballs with noodles and a salad. Chocolate cake and tea for dessert. Yummy! The weather was hot and dusty so after lunch we stayed inside and took a nap. In the evening when the weather cooled down we spent time in the garden watering the plants.

After it got dark I sat outside on the front porch, listening to planes and playing solitaire. Right before the call to the evening prayers the planes got louder... there was a flash of orange light on the horizon and then... BOOM! Bombs hit a military camp a little over a mile away (as the crow flies). The sky lit up with an orange glow and the planes came screaming back a few more times, flashes of light preceding the dropping of more bombs. The bombs were hitting faster than the speed of sound. It was an amazing thing to witness.

This picture was taken hours after the air raid, still a pretty good fire burning. 

After the raid was over my husband and my son got in the truck and drove out to see what was going on. A few minutes later we could hear sirens from fire trucks and ambulances heading toward the scene. When my son and husband returned they said the site was teaming with people; military, security and police. There were lots of civilians that had been arriving to attend the evening prayers at a nearby mosque  but they didn't see anyone that had been hurt. The fires burned for hours, a golden glow in the dark sky and ash drifted in the wind. 

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

We didn't get much sleep last night. Not because there were more bombings but because we were on edge. It didn't help that the dogs were on edge too, barking at anything and everything. I tried to take a nap but kept getting woken up; Yusef came in to ask a silly question, Nora came in to try to steal my headphones, Ibrahim came in and turned on the lights, and so on. I finally gave up. Now my family will have to deal with me... and I'm GRUMPY!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

There is still no internet. It is really pissing me off. When I called the number for the company (116) the recording says my account number doesn't exist. What would happen if all of Libya marched themselves down to LTT's office and demanded a refund?

A few weeks ago I saw a banner near the university that said 'We are free with Kadafy'. Yeah right... and pigs can fly... I am waiting for the day when we can say 'We are free of Kadafy!' This must be the only place in the world where people are begging to be bombed.

NATO's planes flew over all last night. Some were so close it felt as though they were grazing the trees. My blood pressure has been high since Monday, when the bombs dropped so close to our house. Since then I'm nervous and can't sleep. I fall asleep for a few minutes and then the smallest noise jolts me awake. Then I watch the news and see what the people are going through in Misrata - and I feel ashamed of myself.

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

NATO dropped bombs nearby every few hours last night. I completely gave up on the idea of getting any sleep. At a little after three in the morning the planes dropped a bomb to the east of us, but we could hear that it didn't explode. Within minutes the plane came screaming back, dropping another bomb in the same spot. We heard two explosions almost at the same time. So we figured they must have exploded the unexploded bomb. There were more air raids throughout the night.

In the morning we had breakfast in the garden and then my husband set to work repotting all of my house plants, adding manure and mixing in a bit of clay to help the soil retain moisture. Planes were buzzing overhead all day, dropping bombs in every direction. Apparently NATO is stepping up around Tripoli. We kept working while we listened to NATO's music in the background. I cleaned out the balcony area next to my desk, then Sara and Ibrahim helped me put all the plants back. It looks really pretty now.

For lunch I showed Sara how to make moussaka and Greek salad. And Sara made freshly baked rolls. We're getting quite domestic these days!

In the evening the building ear Bay View (Beevee) that housed the Foreign Security was hit. The plane didn't do the usual fly over first before returning to strike. This time it just flew in and fired... boom.... then it left. The bomb was so loud that we thought it was much closer than it was but from the vantage point of our water tower we could see that it was much further away. We waited to see if the pilot would return for a second round but after a few minutes it was clear that they weren't coming back. Shortly after we could hear the sirens of emergency services vehicles arriving at the scene.

I was exhausted from not having a proper night’s sleep in days. My body and my brain decided to just give up. I went to bed and slept a dreamless sleep.

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I woke up at seven in the morning, reaching out to find that my husband had already gotten out of bed. I met him in the kitchen and asked him if I missed anything while I was asleep. 'It was quiet. Just an explosion or two.' he replied. We made breakfast and sat down to watch the news together. Mostly just bla, bla, bla about the royal wedding. A good day to turn off the TV, after a glimpse of the dress, of course.

I lounged around most of the day, reading and dozing. I'd closed the windows and turned on the air conditioners and shut out as much of the noise of the outside world as I could. After dark the wind picked up, blowing warmly in from the south. Tomorrow the weather would be hot.

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Another month has come to an end. It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be the first of May.

We slept well last night; the house was closed up tight and with the air conditioners running we didn’t hear the planes or any explosions in the distance. In the morning we watched the news. During the night the Libyan channel had aired a pre-recorded marathon speech by Kadafy. We were happy to only have to listen to the synopsis on the news. Apparently there was bombing during the night but we slept through it all.

Today's weather: ghibli - hot and dusty.

Bombs to the west and north of us in the evening. We could hear them but because the weather was so dusty, visibility was poor, so we couldn't see any smoke... just dust.

For a list of news articles, images and videos of events in Tripoli during the months of February, March and April: Libya Uprising Archive - Tripoli - February - April 2011


  1. You did not comment on the news of what Benghazi went through on March 19th I noticed, I hope that it is only that you are describing events around where you are !!

  2. You are right. I was just writing about what was happening around me. I watched the news like the rest of the world to find out what was going on in Bengazi. I had planned to add a comprehensive timeline if I ever published my story. And also to add more details about things I had just touched on. Its a lot of work.


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