Monday, 31 July 2006

More Protest

Here is a link to the Soliderity with Lebanon and Palestine demonstration pictures, this demo took place on Friday 28 July 2006 outside No. 10 Downing Sreet London, these photos were taken by the Libyan Photographer: Omar El-Houni.


http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2006/july/n29jul6a.htm

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Onions


Today I found this piece of information on the internet, its up to you to decide if its important or not but i cant say i was surprised about it!


Libya's average per capita consumption of onions is 66.8 pounds (30 kg) per year, which makes it the world leader among onion eaters. [Fredericksburg] .

Monday, 24 July 2006

Sea of Flags

Saturday 22 July 2006
The day started early for me and the kids, after we got ready I decided we would go by public transport as driving into Central London on a Saturday is very difficult due to the parking restrictions.
We took the London underground to Embankment station, as soon as we got out of the station door, we were confronted by a sea of Lebanese and Palestinian flags, it was very comforting to see so many people of every shape, colour and religion there.

We were told to gather by 12:00 noon, we arrived about 11:40 but had to wait until 1:00 for the march to start as the police would not let us start until they made sure the roads on our root were closed to traffic, the children got a bit bored of waiting as it was a very warm day. I was wearing a hat with the Libyan flag on it, I was approached by a group of girls who asked me if I was Libyan and I said yes, they turned out to be the daughters of a friend of mine, it was good to see them there.

On the picture above you can see Nelson's column which is in the middle of Trafalgar Square.

There was a large police presence which was really good as we all felt safe and police were very polite to everyone, this probably discouraged certain people from attending and hijacking this march as happened before which would have only served to ruin Muslim reputation even further as some very extremists groups did during the profit Muhammad cartoons demonstrations, I was so glad that they kept well away.

An old English man approached my children and started talking to them, I thought he was being nice but when I came closer I was shocked to hear him say: all Jews should be exterminated, I was so angry and told the fool to clear off and leave my children alone, my kids are 7 & 5 years old, they attend an English/Arabic school that teaches Islamic studies as well, they learn there to be tolerant with everyone and they visit Christian and Jewish schools.

The picture above shows only one of the many peace loving Jewish people that attended this march, there were many Christian peace groups as well, that can only be good. I have a lot of respect for all of them.


The spirits were high, there was a large group playing march drums which gave a carnival atmosphere to the march, even the heavy poor of rain did not dampen the atmosphere. Kids all over the march were happy to be there.




Big Ben at the back

The march ended up in Hyde Park where many well known people spoke against Israel and what its doing in the middle east, including George Galloway and Tony Benn.

It was estimated by the organizers (stop the war coalition) that about 30,000 people attended this march. in total 11 marches took place in Britain's major cities that day which goes to show that the majority of people in the UK are against what is happening.



Wednesday, 19 July 2006

A Scorcher

Today is predicted to be the hottest day in London since records started more than a 100 years ago, the highest temprature recorded was 36c in 1911, today it is expected to break the record at 37c or more.

Some of the newspapers in Britin are saying: the heat will melt roads and some went as far as saying Brains will Boil!! obviously they have not been to Libya in the summer.



It has been a very hot summer in London this year but its very difficult to cope with in Britin as buildings are not designed to withstand the heat and Air Conditioning is not available everywhere, the heat just makes you feel a bit misrable because you would rather be on holiday by the sea somewhere not stuck in a hot little office.

Friday, 14 July 2006

In the Country of Men


Yesterday i received my copy of "In the country of men" by the Libyan writer Hisham Matar which i bought online through Amazon.co.uk , i have read a lot of good reviews about the book and the writer who lives in London, i hope that they were right. I cant wait to start reading it.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Palestine and Lebanon no matter what creed or religeon they are

Monday, 10 July 2006

Islam Expo









On saturday i took my children and a British friend of ours to visit Islam Expo which opend on 6th July for 4 days.

This Islamic Exihibition was scheduled to coincide with the first anniversary of the dreadful 7/7 attack on London last year. The main idea of this expo is to promote tolerance and to teach non Muslims about Islam and its history. It was held at the famous Alexandra Palace in London, as we arrived there, stewards directed us to car parks then we walked up the hill to the entrance where we had to queue for tickets, my first surprise was the high price of entry to the exihibition, £20 for a single person or £35 for a family of four, i thought this was very expensive as this show was aimed mainly at non muslims to learn about Islam. I was not surprised to find that about 90% of visitors were Muslim, my British friend told me that if he didnt know me he would not have come to this exihibition because it was very expesive, i think for this reason that most non Muslims stayed away, the Expo was extensively addvertised in London.

We all enjoyed the show once inside, there was lots of stands and activities, sections on Islamic art and history, seminars and a theatre showing short plays and films, there was a large market (souk) selling food, clothes, holidays and Islamic products, everything was well organised and enjoyable both for adults and children.

The kids kept going on about visiting the kids zone which was advertised as a separate area for families with young children with lots of activities, so after we finished with the main section we started walking to the kids zone area which was about 10-15 minutes walk away, as we got there i was completely shocked and angered when I was told that i have to pay £3.50 per child to enter, i told them that i bought a family ticket on the understanding that it includes everything and why i wasnt told that i needed to pay even more money on top of the high entrance fee i paid already?! I refused to pay this extra money and instead I took the kids to the funfair nearby, I was not surprised to notice that the kids zone was almost empty.

The organisers of this event have made a good job of this massive exihibition which was the biggest Muslim event in Europe but they got it completely wrong when they decided to impose an entrance fee, there was a lot of companies and big organisations with stands inside which must have paid enough money to cover the entire cost of this exihibition without having to make anyone pay to enter. This Event should have been Free for all, this way many non Muslims would have attended and learnt a lot about Islam and it should have been free as a tribute to all the victims of the London bombings, what a shame to miss such a good opportunity, unfortunately i consider this event to be a complete failure as it missed its target audience. what a shame.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Buster

An English friend of mine had a Golden Retriever dog called Buster, he had him for about 13 years, in human years Buster would be about 90 years old.
I quite often visit this friend and usually take my children to play with the dog which they loved very much, he was a big fat kind dog that just liked everybody, few days ago Buster became ill and he could'nt stand on his back legs, when I went there with the children on friday evening, Buster was lying down and he tried to get up to greet us but could not do it, the kids got upset as they could see he was not well.
Sunday morning my friend phoned me and asked if I could come over to his place to take Buster to the vet as I have a car and he does'nt, I went over and it was sad to see Buster close to death, we picked him up and took him to the vet that morning who said that Buster has to be put to sleep as he will never recover again, it was very sad to see my friend who is usually a tough man suddenly breakdown in tears, he told me later that Buster was a companion he had for the past 13 years that was loyal to him more than any friend would be, Buster was put to sleep that morning, after I took my sad friend back to his house, I had to tell my kids who were very sad to know that they can never see him again.
Being brought up in Libya we sort of learn not to get too attached to animals, did life in Brittin make me a softie? I think I learnt many things since I left Libya, some good, some bad, becoming more affectionate to animals is one of the good things.