Monday, 30 April 2007

Libyan Mystery Weekend!

Saturday evening I received the following text on my phone, it was sent by a good friend of mine who is usually responsible for organizing gatherings and occasions for the Libyan community in London:
Please come to the community centre tomorrow at 6pm. This is a very important evening, please pass this message. Thank you.


For the past few years the Libyans here meet at every last Sunday of the month, this meeting became known as the Makarona (Pasta) Meeting, because we usually have Mbakebka (Libyan Pasta Dish) for dinner.
When this dinner gathering started, some used it as an opportunity to meet friends, have a laugh and dinner then play cards in the evening which is fine even though I do not play cards as I can never understand Libyan card games, some hard headed men complained about card playing and so this was stopped, then for a period of about 6 months we had some great lectures given mainly by Libyan intellectuals and some armatures as well about Libyan history, poets and heroes, that was the best period, it was educational, informative and very funny at times, of course it didnt last as some others complained that they didnt want lectures they just wanted to come and eat, so then it just became a Makarona meeting where many would turn up, eat, have a good old GURMA (gossip) then go home, many of us lost interest, I stopped going about a year ago until yesterday that is!!
I was intrigued by the text and was wondering what is so important, what is going on, of course I had a couple of phone calls from friends asking if I had any idea, no I didn't, I phoned my Friend the organizer, no reply!! so of course being inquisitive and like to miss nothing, I got ready and went to the community centre at 5:55pm, first thing I noticed that there were only 3 other people, one of them was preparing the dinner. After about 30 minutes the number went up to about 18 men. I saw my friend the organizer parking his car, I went over with another friend, we asked him what is going on? why are we here? what is the big mystery??
He started to laugh then told us that he had enough of organizing this evening every month and then people do not turn up so he thought if he made it sound mysterious then everyone would turn up, guess what?? his cunning plan backfired! as I said only about 18 men turned up which is a lot less than usual! He admitted that this would probably be the End of Makarona Meetings (sounds like a good title for a book) in fact the cost alone is not worth the bother as in top of the food expenses, rent has to be paid for the community centre. As usual we Libyans here proved that we are so un-united, surprise surprise!
Anyway the Makarona was delicious but it was accompanied by a fantastic culprit that I just could not keep away from, my friends warned me to be careful or I would have a bad tummy evening, I didn't listen, I just could not stop myself from eating it, here is a picture of last night's culprit that upset my tummy:
The good old Msaier (Chili Pickle) :o)

35 comments:

a_akak said...

LOL, now thats a good way to get all your attention as i am sure if he didnt do that only 5 or less would have turned up and judging by your comments, i doubt you would have turned up if he didnt do that

PS: Where are these meetings (Libyan community ) held? I am getting a bit bored in London, been to all the places and seen all the sights .....anyway drop me an e-mail if possible :)

Fe Aman Allah

Safia speaks said...

At my job the meeting culture is dominately Arab. Every 3 weeks we have a staff meeting at 3 o´clock, and every time people turn in around half past 3.
My boss always complained about that, so one day I decided to help.
I posted a message to everybody the meetings would start from now on every 3 weeks at 2.45.

Next time I waited anxiously, and sure enough: at 3 o clock people were all sitting around the table. But where was the boss?

He came in 3.15, angry that someone has preponed the meeting to 2.45

Proudly I rose and said: "I did it! You were always complaining about people being late. well, they aren´t late today!"

He looked at me and suddenly shouted: "What kind of joke is this? Do you think we are children? To lure us coming a quarter early to be on time?!"

I was soooo embarassed but everybody else was laughing.

End of story: next time the meeting was re-set to 3 o clock. Everybody turned in between 3.15 and 3.30 again.

Anglo-Libyan said...

Ahmed, you are right, I would not have gone if it wasnt for the text message :o)
its usually held as I said last Sunday of each month, if its on again next month, I would let you know.

the place is the Pakistani Community Centre which is in Station Parade NW6, just behind Willesden Green Station on the Jubilee line. usually the Libyans rent it for the month of Ramadan for Tarawee7 and Iftar, so keep that in mind :o)

Safia, that was funny and typical Arab behaviour, 30 minutes late is sort of not too bad, usually the delay is an hour or so, thanks for sharing :o)
people like you and my friend try to help but sometimes it just backfires!!

mani said...

BOY I LOVE MSAYYER!!!!

salam :)

white african said...

sounds like your friend has a sense of humour :@)

i havent attended an event like that in aaaaaaaaaaaaages.

imsayer tottaly loving it, mmmmm addictive stuff

i always go fo rthe carrots..

Anglo-Libyan said...

mani

BOY I LOVE MSAYYER

is that your shortest comment ever :o)

yes whiteafrican, he really is a nice & funny guy :o)
I like the chili and the carrots but hate the cucumber.

ibeebarbie said...

Salam AngloLibyan,
Well, I applaud your friend for his efforts. Moreover, applaud him for his willingness to ring-lead such an event. It seems when there is more than just yourself to manage things get out of control. :-) People complaining---for the sake of complaining. :-)
Sorry to hear about your tummy though. Did you eat ice cream? My grandfather use to say "eat ice cream after spicy foods that way it doesn't burn as bad". Thank goodness, I don't do spicy so never figured grandpa's words.

Lost-Libyan said...

yammyyy.....wish I can get Mbakboka here in Dubai! and Msayer is soooo addictive....:) anglo I think u should hold these meetings ever now and then it doesnt have to be on regular basis, but mara maray its nice to get together and mingle with ur nationals!
cheers,

ph said...

Once I invited an English coworker to a Libyan wedding and he tasted Msaier and loved it ,he then asked me for some. So the next day at work I brought him a container of Msaier, which he started drinking in the morning without any food, by the time he noticed who spicey it was it was too late....loooooooooooool.

Living Away said...

i liked your friend's style to get everybody together! very clever and i knew that men are very curious as well!

Highlander said...

ahhhhhhhh Msayer and mbakba I am so hungry now :)

loza said...

I don't know if can I publish a comment here or not .. but really u have an interesting blog .. I like it ..
for sure after ur excuse if can I say .. u have a nice meeting .. by all ways.. but always listen to ur friends ..there isn't any thing after ur health .. take care .. (^_^)..

Anglo-Libyan said...

ibeebarbie, no I didnt eat ice cream, your grandfather's advice sounds good, next time inshaAllah :o)

thanks lost-libyan and you are right, its good to meet up occasionaly.

ph, is your English co-worker still your friend after this? :o)

living away, he tries hard. men are more than curious :o)

highlander I hope you had some after reading this :o)

loza, big welcome to you and thanks a lot, I should have listened but I cant resist Msayer :o)

Trabilsia said...

Lovely post Anglo !

I liked what you said about :"the good old GOURMA"
This never ceases not only with Libyans but with all small communities. Another thing is that your friend is very clever and knew that you'd all be curious lol.
As for the IMSEYER is a real enhancer to LIbyan food. Only when its hot will you observe tummy aches.
Hope you feel better.
May Allah bless you .

Anglo-Libyan said...

Thank you Trabilsia.

where would we be without GOURMA :o)

my friend tried and im sure he will keep trying, he doesnt give up easily :o)

IMSEYER (have you noticed how we all spelt it differently) is great and the the tummy aches is worth it, im better thank you, til next time tha is :o)

Brave Heart said...

intelligent guy, i need emsyer now AL, how can i do.
in Birmingham the same last Saturday in every month, i went one time and i never do it again.they were old men and they talking about old memories in sixties and seventies, it's really boring

Anglo-Libyan said...

nice to see you ya brave heart :o)

although like you I can not cook but apparently Emsyer is very easy to make.

DaMoon said...

mmmmm mbakbkaaa, I think I'll make it tonite, I need to buy few groceires first, I'll stop by da 3arabi store run by a Libyan and get good stuff, mmmmmmmm I wish I have msaier too, sahtean Anglo-Libyan and gosh us libyan suck..lol but I love it

Anglo-Libyan said...

why dont you buy stuff for Msaier as well ya Damoon, have a lovely dinner :o)

Anonymous said...

Want to learn Libyan Card Games .. Pick up Shkubba from http://www.elmawrid.com/download/download.htm

M.B

Anglo-Libyan said...

thanks M.B, I know that Shkubba is available online but I think its me just not intersted really in learning :o)

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