Monday, 29 January 2007

Our Children Need Overdue Support

As a Libyan this subject is always on my mind, a mass murder has been committed against our children, many have died, many are dying, most of us felt a slight relief when we heard that all the infected children have gone to Europe with their families to get the latest in medical treatment no expenses spared just to find out that many of these sick children are being kicked out of hospitals and their families are being thrown out as well because it seems the hospitals are not getting any money from Libya, some children are being treated by hospitals run by Christian charities, these of course are to be thanked for what they are doing.
I think the way Europe dealt with this massive problem is disgraceful, after so much threatening behaviour & bullying directed against Libya, the Libyan authorities have put the Bulgarian & Palestinian medics on another trial that was watched by the American & the Europeans, the standards used in this trial was to their approval, in fact no Libyan would have a trial under these international standards, the verdict was the same, those medics are guilty, yet the west is still not happy and is still threatening Libya with a language that I can only describe as low class, I myself am not very convinced that the medics are guilty, there is more to this than we are led to know, if Libya has the evidence that would convict them without a doubt then it is fair that these evidence are made public and shown to the international community but what I found unacceptable is the American & European bullying and their insistence that these medics are innocent, why don't they show evidence of their innocence? and if they want to show support to their medics why don't they show some support to the children and their families? there are demonstrations, support ribbons ....etc for 6 medics that could be guilty of one of the worst crimes against children ever yet I have yet to see or hear any support or media coverage of our innocent victims, there are over 400 infected children & mothers it is as if they do not count, why is that?

I have lived most of my life in Europe, I have enjoyed their freedom, their democracy, their respect for human rights, what I am seeing now is plain unfair plus all this threatening behaviour is just a load of rubbish, we all know that Europe needs investments in Libya and that it needs the Libyan oil, there is no way that they will boycott any of that, on the other hand Libya is allowing them to bully and threaten and put Libya's image even more in the gutter.
If these Medics are guilty then Libya has to prove it to the world, has to prove that Libyan justice has been done, Libya promised to pay what ever it takes to treat the children yet this is not happening, the children are still suffering.

Are we going to see some sort of kind support from Europe towards these children?
Europe announced recently that it has collected about 120 Million Euros to help treat the children but that the money will not be be given to the victims until the medics are released! is this right?? so if the medics are still in Jail then Europe is saying let your children suffer and die, we are not helping them.

Of course if the medics are innocent then they need support BUT SO DO OUR CHILDREN
I have posted a video before which supported the Bulgarian & Palestinian medis, now I am posting this video which although is against them but it does not represent my opinion, I still need to see more proof that they are guilty just like the rest of the world I still think that there is more to this tragedy than what we are being told. I believe all sides stories should be represented.
This video/song is in Arabic but you do not need to understand Arabic to watch it, it is clear that these children need support, I dare anyone to watch it without shedding a tear or two!

Here is another upsetting video of the children and their families that I found on Google Video but for some reason I could not embed here!

Benghazi's Aids Victims , ضحايا الأيدز فى بنغازى

I am sorry if these videos made you feel sad, if they made you cry and if they made you think but I am not sorry for showing them, I think we all have a responsibility towards our neglected children, the world needs to see their suffering, children should always come first.

Living Away posted a good article about this tragedy last month, you can read it HERE.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

The Untouchable Policewoman

It seems here in Britain we have a story about Muslims living here in the news non stop, the latest damaging story is about the newly qualified Muslim policewoman, to be honest I have had it with those so called Muslims that are only damaging the image of Islam and are giving the gutter press the opportunity to attack our religion even more and as I said before how can we blame the press and media when our own so called brothers & sisters are fueling the situation and causing even more hatred and contempt, is this ever going to stop or are we going to continuously be bombarded by some Muslims that use a very intolerant form of Islam that would never work in the west? is there a way to stop these people interpreting Islam in a way that is just for their own benefit but is damaging to the majority of good proper law abiding Muslims.
The latest story, is that this woman insisted on her graduation ceremony that she would not shake the hands of Britain's top police officer, Mr. Ian Blair and her reasons for that is because she is a Muslim woman and therefore she is forbidden to touch men other than close relatives, understandably Ian Blair was furious with her but did not want to cause a seen.
I will not discuss if she is right about saying that or if she is wrong, that is not my point. I used to pass a police college here in London when driving and I used to see some of the training the recruits have to go through and it really is very physical and hard work, so when this lady joined the police did she have her training supervised by women only? did she only had physical contact with women only? I really do not think so and how can she explain her job to people? I am sure everybody will be thinking what a waste of time and resources spent on this woman, I mean I can imagine her being called to a bank robbery and when she gets there she finds two male robbers, Oh my God, MEN, What is she going to do?? she might say to one of them, excuse me Mr. Bank Robber but I am a Muslim policewoman and I am not allowed to touch you or your mate, could you please take these handcuffs and put them on your friend and then cuff yourself as well and do not come near me until a male police officer arrives, thank you Mr. Bank Robber.
How ridiculous is that? what was she thinking when she applied to become a policewoman and don't you think she cheated her employers by not disclosing this before they accepted her?If this lady or any other lady believe strongly about being touched by males then that is their own business and they are entitled to have this belief but do not apply to jobs that require physical contact, do not bring my religion into this unproductive criticism, find another suitable job, recently we had the teacher who insisted on teaching children in a Christian school wearing a NIQAB now we have the police woman that will not touch anyone, what is next??

Please Note: the pictures I have used have nothing to do with this policewoman.


Finally winter has arrived in London

It has snowed heavily last night, London woke up this morning to a beautiful covering of snow, there is something magical about snow that is loved by the young and the old even though it does cause travelling misery on the roads and trains still people enjoy it and feel good about it.

My car this morning

The kids on their way to the dentist this morning

Monday, 22 January 2007

Friday, 19 January 2007

The Big Brother Saga!

In Britain at the moment the main headline news is not about Irag, it is about the reality show Celebrity Big Brother , its a bit like the Arabic program STAR ACADEMY, this program is usually broadcast few months after the main Big Brother show and lasts for about 3 weeks, Channel 4 which produces this program has been struggling for the past few years trying to find proper celebrities to take part but the program has been loosing in its viewing rates mainly due to the majority of unheard of or very minor celebrities that are taking part.
This year's show which started about 2 weeks ago must be the worst as most of the so called celebrities are almost unknown, the opening show attracted about 7.5 million viewers but then people in their millions stopped watching, that is until few days ago!
This years celebrities that are taking part include Leo Sir, Jermaine Jackson (Michael's brother)and Face from the A-Team, the rest are mainly minor celebrities and an Indian Bollywood actress who is very famous in India, Shilpa Shetty.

Shilpa Shetty

Up until few days ago no body cared about this program, then suddenly Channel 4 started to get complaints from the public, it was 200 complaints that made the story come to the news, now the number has exceeded 40,000 complaints, what was going on?? three of the minor contestants, all English females, started to bully Shilpa and gang against her, suddenly the ward racism and racists started to appear on the news, those 3 women have been accused of racial abuse and bullying, the news spread fast and suddenly there are demonstrations in India and they are burning effigies of Big Brother, the Indian government has complained, even Tony Blair the Prime Minister has spoken against what is happening in the Big Brother House, Ken Livingston the Mayor of London said that this is bad for the UK Morally & Financially as he said many people will be thinking that the British are racists and will stop coming to this country.

Of course after all this publicity suddenly the viewing figures for this program increased by millions so I thought I must watch it as well and see what is going on, I switched on Last night and was confronted with the worst case of bullying I have ever seen.
Shilpa the Indian actress is a very attractive, very well behaved, very rich and a very polite person who speaks perfect English is on one side.
On the other side we have complete trash consisting of the leader Jade Goody, who is a previous contestant few years ago on Big Brother who comes from a dysfunctional back ground but sort of made a name for herself and is known to appear on some TV shows, she was supported By Jo O'Meara who used to be the lead singer of the now defunct music group S Club 7 and is hardly a celebrity, the third culprit is Danielle Lloyd who's claim to fame is that she was Miss. England then got disqualified for her bad behaviour.
None of the people inside the Big Brother House know what is going on in the outside world as part of this game is to be cut out of the outside world completely. As I was watching I saw Jade attack Shilpa verbally with a language that I could not possibly write here, it was painful to watch, Jade's sidekicks were supporting her by laughing and saying the odd bad thing to Shilpa, the Indian actress behaved very well and did not go down to their level, as for racism I did witness some racist remarks such as "go back home", "go back to your Indian slums" and calling her Shilpa Poppadom but in a more colourful language. I myself do not think that these women are racists what I mean I do not think that any of them was enticing racial hatred, they are too dumb to do that, they just said few things without thinking, not that it makes it any better as they should be stopped, this bullying is far too much for anyone to cope with. I think most of the bullying is to do with the fact that Shilpa is a very successful, very rich & famous celebrity unlike any of them, it is jealousy plain and simple.

Jade Goody

I am not sure how this saga will end but one thing for sure, Channel 4 and the company that produces this program are laughing all the way to the bank, they got people watching Big Brother in their millions now, they do not care about anyone as they insisted that there was not much going on and that they would not interfere or get involved.

Jo O'Meara

Danielle Lloyd

In a week's time after the show is over, Shilpa Shetty will return to India, to her million of fans, she has definitely made more fans in the UK but unfortunately she will have bad memories of how she was treated by 3 white women, the 3 witches as they have been called in the press, who entered the Big Brother contest hoping to improve their status and their fame will come out very badly, I am sure no one would want to do anything with them as for Jade Goody, I would be surprised if TV channels continued to use her.

I have lived most of my life in the UK, racism does not exist here and it would be a shame if people around the world thought that all British people are like these lowly trashy women, this is one of the most tolerant countries on the planet and I think some of the publicity is not fair for this country's image.

Shilpa Shetty has got the sympathy of most of the British public so much so that now many people here want her to win the contest.

As I am writing this post I found out that the main sponsors of Celebrity Big Brother, Carphone Warehouse have suspended their sponsorship of the program, the Perfume Shop decided to stop selling Jade Goody's own Chavy perfume brand Shh.
Today the British public will have the chance to either vote Jade or Shilpa out of the house, obviously Jade is the favourite to leave, she will not have a nice reception once out, in fact many threats have been sent against her and I am sure she will have police guard for some time to come.
This story still dominates the news in the UK and has been reported by many other countries as well. The Saga continuous....
Update: Last night (Friday night) Jade Goody was evicted with 82% of the British public vote, instead of coming out to a huge live audience as normally done, she was taken straight to a studio to be interviewed live, where she found out that she nearly caused an International incident, I think this is the end for Jade as a celebrity.

Best wishes for a Happy New Hijri Year to Muslims all over the World

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

This Really Happened!!

Staying on the theme of Saturday schools, I found out about this school this morning, it really is unbelievable and it happened here in the UK at a Libyan Saturday school:
A Libyan father took his children to the Libyan school in Bradford on Saturday morning as usual , the school day finishes at 4 in the afternoon every Saturday.
On that day he happened to be passing in front of the school at 2 in the afternoon when he noticed a group of Libyan children playing in the park that is situated next to the school, on closer inspection he was surprised to see that his children were there as well, the school and park are situated on a busy main street! He looked around but he could not see any teachers or adults with the children, he asked them what had happened and why they were there and not at school?? imagine how he felt when the kids told him that the school let them leave early today at 1 pm for some unknown reason, the school did this without telling the parents, they just opened the door and the children were let out, this is a primary school so we are talking about young children, understandably this parent was furious, he describes the area where the school is as crime ridden where any child could disappear and he said that the traffic is very busy only a short distance from where the kids were playing and Allah forbid an accident could have happened.
In this country, primary schools do not let any child out unless a parent or a guardian is there to take them home, what was the Headteacher of this school thinking??
This father is very angry and is trying to get some answers, this school broke the law, if this happens to my children, I would go to the highest authorities, I would go to the police, to the council, I would do everything I can to close it down until responsible people are found to run it, I do not only blame the useless Headteacher but even the more useless teachers, didn't any of them think that they should stay with the children!!

A message to the education authorities in Libya that are responsible for sending people to run Libyan schools abroad:

Monday, 15 January 2007

Saturday School

This Saturday was the first day for my children at their new Saturday Arabic School, my wife got a job as an assistant teacher there and so it was obvious that we would enroll them there, this school is run by the state of Qatar and is held at an academy, the premises are large and modern, the Arabic school is quite big, there are classes starting from Reception stage upwards, they charge a small fee per child and is a very busy school.
The children were not too keen to go to school on a Saturday as it is the weekend but we managed to explain to them that they need to learn Arabic since it has been few months since they left their old School which used to teach them Arabic as well, in this period they forgot quite a lot so I was really glad to find them a place in this popular school, as soon as we arrived I parked the car and decided to enter the school with them to have an idea, we walked in the reception area, both of my kids were understandably worried and were holding my hands tightly as it was their first day, then the worst thing that I could not even imagine happened! at the reception area there was a lot of parents and children, suddenly I saw this huge woman dressed in full Hijab & Aabaya charge towards a young girl of about 8 years while screaming at the girl at the top of her voice to put her hat back on! then she started hitting her with full force on her face and body this happened exactly as we entered, I was stunned, could not believe what was happening, my children squeezed my hands very tightly, this ghastly woman then turned around after she finished abusing that girl, she saw the look of horror on our faces, she smiled and said to us in Arabic Do Not Worry it is OK, she is my daughter, I would never hit a child that was not mine, I said no it is not OK to hit your child like this and in a public place, she did not answer me and just sat down and started gossiping to her friends, my wife told me that this woman is a TEACHER! at this school, I really was surprised at that, I mean I would never give her any job near kids, my wife said this woman would not be teaching our children, thank Allah for that, she really managed to scare my kids and I spent sometime explaining to them that this woman has nothing to do with them and that she would never come near them. I am sorry to say this but every race has good and bad, this one was definitely Arab Trash.
The school runs from 9:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon, they have breaks for a proper hot lunch and I am glad to say for Praying as they do get Islamic teachings as well, everything went well for the kids, they enjoyed the first day, my daughter sat next to a Libyan girl who is the daughter of a friend and they got on very well. Amir's first comment was that he liked the school but he couldn't understand a thing which made me laugh but he will get used to the language InshAllah, Aida can still write very neatly in Arabic but she still has difficulties reading it but I think we are doing the right thing for them even though it means having shorter weekends for them and extra hard work but that is the price that has to be paid if you come from a different culture, I wish them success InshAllah

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

To Return or Not to Return!

I found a post by Nura on Ly-Hub named: Urge to return?
I was going to post a comment there but I thought that this is an important long issue that a comment will not be enough and so I decided to write about it here.

Nura asked this question: "I wanted to ask you all - my fellow Libyan brothers and sisters - whether you also have the sporadic urge to return to Libya or not? "

I am going to start by saying this, many years ago when I used to meet my friends and relatives here in London during Eid we would say to each other InshaAllah we spend next Eid in Libya, now we do not say this anymore, so many years have passed so many people grew older yet we are still here, we just stopped saying it.
Of course the subject of returning to Libya is on the mind of most Libyans here including myself! I know people that returned to Libya and settled down, I know men that went back and started working there but their families are still here because of children's education or lack of housing in Libya and so on...
I have watched Libyan children grow to men & women, many of them have been to Libya for holidays, many of them are settled here and would laugh at their parents if they asked them to go back to live in Libya, to them Libya is a holiday destination but is not part of their future, they have jobs here that Libya can not give them, the important issue, is Libya going to welcome them there? are they going to be accepted by the Libyan people or will people in Libya look down on them and treat them like returning immigrants? there are so many questions but not many answers.

Most of us have spent a long time away from Libya, we have almost lost connection but as Nura said when you get older you do start thinking about your homeland and about returning to live.
Living here in the UK is very difficult, believe me, I know many will be saying that I am lucky and that they wish they could come here but these people have not experienced how difficult, expensive and lonely life can be here, AlhamduleAllah many of us just about cope, many of us do not own businesses or homes here so if we decide to go back to Libya for good this means giving up our jobs if we have any, giving up our rented homes then we go to Libya but are we going to find jobs there? are we going to find housing for our families? if things do not go well and we end up jobless and homeless we can return back to the UK or where ever but we will be jobless and homeless here as well, it really is not an easy decision.
Many Libyans abroad have good qualifications & experiences that can be of great benefit to Libya but unfortunately many that went back could not get proper jobs and had to return to the west where they are more appreciated. If you are financially comfortable then this decision is easier as you can always return if life in Libya did not agree with you, the majority of Libyans in the UK are jobless and living on the poverty line, a decision like this is very difficult for them, Libya has made many promises to Libyans living abroad but these promises are yet to be fulfilled, I could go on and on about this subject, we have seen the slow progress Libya is making but is Libya ready for us?

There are so many questions but very few answers

Monday, 8 January 2007

Good Sunday

It has been a while since I posted anything, mainly because things have been quiet since the beginning of the year and it seems the holiday mood was the same in Libya as many fellow bloggers are not to be seen anywhere! I hope all is well with everyone. Yesterday my daughter wanted to go shopping with her mother, I am not keen on shopping especially at this time of year when the Sale is on, my son decided that he did not want to go shopping either so he stayed at home with me, he was very happy to be with me and it was just a pleasure to spend the day with him, he got to draw his first monkey with no help from me which was rather good I think.
I was feeling a bit lazy it was raining heavily outside but it was not cold, in fact this winter has been the warmest on record in the UK, day time temperature is about 12c which is very warm for this time of year and looks like there will be no snow at all this year.
After a while Amir got bored and wanted to go somewhere but I wasn't really in the mood to go out, he then taught me a small lesson. He said that he loved being with me but gets bored when his sister is not with us! I asked him why, he said that every time when its only him with me and he asks me to do something or go somewhere my answer would always be No not without your sister so he ends up not going anywhere and becomes bored. Of course he was right, I usually never take him anywhere unless his sister is going with us, I felt a bit bad and thought his sister is doing something she likes, shopping, so why should he stay at home and get bored? I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wants to watch Happy Feet in the cinema, it was a horrible rainy day and I did not have much time to get there but we got dressed and left in the car, after a slow drive in the rain we got to the car park which is about 5 minutes walk from the cinema, as we were walking he kept telling me to hurry up or we will miss the film, we got there just in time, it was a cinema multiplex which has 8 screens, Happy Feet was showing in screen 8 which is the smallest screen, we had a problem finding good seats and he ended up sitting with his legs on the seat to give him some height and I thought charging us £8 for me & £5 for him was far too expensive for a tiny cinema like this one. The film which is about Penguins was OK, the penguins looked very realistic, the music and tap dancing was funky and the film had a good Ecological message, it is a fun film if you are 6 years old or younger!

I am glad I took him there, he was very happy and could not wait to tell his mum and sister about it and I learnt a small lesson from him about not taking him anywhere on his own, his sister had a good day too.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Eid & New Year

Today is the last day of my holiday, tomorrow it is back to work, it has been a good holiday and I got to spend a lot of time with my family which was great, Eid was very quiet, it rained a lot and it was no weather for a BBQ but we went out for a meal and a walk in an indoors shopping centre and we got to visit some relatives and friends, we did not go to the Libyan Eid Party yesterday as my daughter was not feeling very well but you can see pictures from the party taken by Mr. Omar Al-Houni here.
Yesterday I spent nearly 2 hours at the Lebanese butchers waiting for my lamb to be cut to pieces, the end result was well presented and clean as you can see in the picture.

Last night it was a quiet New Year's eve spent watching TV, most of the main cities in the UK cancelled their New Year's eve outdoor celebrations due to the bad weather, London managed to escape the bad weather and staged a spectacular fireworks display on the river Thames with the London Eye in the background, I could hear the fireworks from where I live which is about 4 miles away, I have attached a video from YouTube showing some of the show.
Lets hope InshaAllah that 2007 is a better year for all of us

Updat: I have just watched Ema's Libyan video, very impressive and with a catchy song.