Monday, 30 July 2007

Another Sunday Meeting (Updated)

Yesterday (Sunday) being the last Sunday of the month, it was time for the Libyan community in London to meet up for what has become known as Makarona (Pasta) meeting, you can read about it Here.
I had a busy day yesterday and turned up at the meeting a bit late, I was starving but thought I was too late for dinner, I wasn't, I got there just in time, Alhamdulellah.

We have not had this meeting for the past 2 months but this time texts were sent to most of us telling that this meeting was to be a tribute to one of the Libyan community's most respected men who is considered as a pillar of the Libyan community in the UK, that is Haj. Abdallah Busin. There was a bigger turn out than usual helped by the fact that some people drove all the way from Manchester to attend this dinner meeting. Unfortunately Mr. Abdallah Busin did not attend the dinner that was done in his honour due to ill health, I hope inshaAllah that he is feeling better now.


We me as usual at the Pakistani Community Centre which is quite grubby but we are used to it and I suppose we do not have another choice.

Dinner was taken care of as usual by 2 Libyan friends although the usual cook was not present but still they managed to make us a nice dinner.

Meat is roasted and is ready to go on top of the rice

Dinner is ready to be served, a simple Bedouin dish of rice and roasted meat, it was really delicious and was eaten in no time (these are not my fingers) .

Some of the people that attended enjoying the dinner which was served with Msaier (chili pickle).

I had a surprise while I was parking my car in the car park, look what I found! A Libyan registered car!!
I am not familiar with this type of registration, the last time I saw a Libyan car, the registration was طرابلس خاصة , it turned out to belong to a friend of mine who immigrated to Egypt several years ago, it was so nice seeing him there last night.

I will add more pictures if I manage to get them from my friend who took most of the pictures yesterday.



Update: here are few more pictures with kind permission from my friend the Libyan photographer, Omar El-Houni:


Thursday, 26 July 2007

Fathers Are The Best & Thriller!

Yesterday the family came back from their visit to Bournemouth, Amir got me some Bournemouth Rock, nice, I like it, Aida got me this little book which you can see in the picture above, its called "DAD you're the BEST" its a book of quotations for fathers.

It made me think how mothers are usually always remembered and rightly so, everywhere in the world and in Libya we tend to show a lot of love and care and appreciation to our mothers but hardly anything to our fathers, here in the UK we get to have Father's Day which is unknown in Libya, I think most of us do love our fathers a lot but we tend to think of them as tough and not in need of any show of love and appreciation, perhaps we are wrong, we should show fathers their share of love, I was very happy to get this little book from my daughter, I loved it so much that I am going to leave you with some of the beautiful quotes contained in the book:


my Father didn't tell me how to live, he lived, and let me watch him do it. Clarence Budington Kelland

one father is more than a hundred school masters. George Herbert

Dads are like sunflowers in the garden, head and shoulders above the rest. Mark Twain

Dad, Jack of all trades, counsellor and friend, storyteller, giant among men. Peter Ustinov

it doesn't matter who my father was, it matters who I remember he was. Anne Sexton

To become a father is not hard, to be a father is, however. Wilhelm Busch

A blessing so rare, a blessing so true: is none other than a daddy like you.

A good father is a bit of a mother. Lee Salk

the one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents. John J Plomp

There is, of course, no reason for the existence of the male sex except that sometimes one needs help with moving the piano. Rebecca West

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

we never know the love of our parents for us until we have become parents. Henry Ward Beecher

your children need your presence more than your presents. Jesse Jackson

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Do you remember Thriller by Michael Jackson? it was made in mid 80s and young people used to enjoy being scared by it, many of you are probably too young to remember it!

I found this video on YouTube, it is another version of Thriller performed by 1,500 plus inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines.
I am not sure who is more scary in this video, the Zombies or the lady in distress?? Enjoy :oD
The first video is the original Michael Jackson "Thriller, to see the full version, click Here
The second video is the prison funny version (watched 1.3 million times in just over a week!)


Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Libyan Bloggers Listed

(Click Picture to Enlarge)
Libya Our Home which is one of the oldest and most popular Libyan websites has added some of us Libyan bloggers to its list which previously used to mainly list Libyan blogs that are in Arabic, it was nice to see some of us listed there and inshaAllah they add the rest.
There are many Libyan websites that have a Libyan bloggers lists but they only list blogs that use the Arabic language and usually only blogs that belong to known writers, poets ...etc which I thought was a bit strange since blogs are usually for ordinary people like me and you, people that express themselves and share their thoughts and adventures.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

The Democratic Arab World!!



Today, they are heroes in Europe

Their ordeal is over, they will get compensated and get over it, if they are innocent then good on them and lets just face it, they probably are innocent but the fact that Europe never asked for them to be put on an international trial to prove their innocence will always put doubts in their story, Europe should have proved their innocence to the world if they have nothing to hide, showing statements from Aids experts is not evidence. Anyway at least the suffering of their families is over.
Today, for the children and their families life carries on, there is no happy ending here

The worst thing that made me angry for the past 2 weeks up to today was the response from Arabs on AlJazeera, Alarabiya and BBC Arabic websites.I know that many Arabs are decent and stood by the children and their families but the amount of Arabs commenting on these websites with hurtful and nasty comments is unbelievable.
Most of these ignorant people know next to nothing about the case but they convicted the nurses and the doctor and just sentenced them to death in their mind. The majority attacked the Libyan people for accepting the money to release the medics, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I see comments from Saudis, Egyptians and other Arabs saying that the victims families sold their own children, it makes you think that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are such democratic countries that the government can never force them to accept anything!!!
We Libyans know that the final say is to the government, Libyans have no say what so ever so how disgusting is it to read all these comments accusing Libyans of being greedy and child sellers??
I have a question to the many stupid commentators especially from the Arab Gulf: what happens to the European people that are caught committing crime in your countries? I often hear about British people or Europeans caught in Saudi or the Gulf drinking Alcohol or selling it then we hear how they were sentenced to 3 years or so in prison just to read a month later that they were released, of course had they been Indian or Pakistani then its a different story all together, as they are very likely to be even executed for crimes they didn't commit. I have never seen more double standards than this.

All Arab countries with no exception are ruled by a hand of steel and can not open their mouth to complain, Libyans are no different so keep Libyan families out of your disgusting big mouths that are no good for any thing, where were you when Libyan people needed help?? for all of you I dedicate this website: Arab-Jarab.

Monday, 23 July 2007

The Weather Again!

The weekend was very quiet, the family went away to the city of Bournemouth on Friday and will be staying there for few more days visiting relatives.

The weather has not improved, in fact it got a lot worse with flooding in many parts of the UK, it has been raining almost non stop and more is predicted, in fact we have to accept that this year there will be no summer here as bad weather has been predicted for August as well, how boring!

Yesterday, I fed my tortoises on vine leaves which I picked up myself from where I work, there is a small vine tree there and the tortoises love it, it probably reminds them of Libya :o)

After I tidied up one of their enclosures, I took out the smallest tortoise which is my favourite (it has no name!) and put it on the desk, it went straight to the keyboard, looks like another Libyan blogger is coming :o)


is that another Libyan blogger?

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Anonymous Commenting is OFF

I had to turn Anonymous commenting off because of a very ignorant person that sent me a vile comment on the last post about Libya's HIV+ children in which this stupid person accused Libyan people of infecting their own children (blaming the parents for infecting their own children), said that all young Libyans should be checked for HIV because of their parents activities then went on using such vulgar language that I could not possibly allow on my blog, he then posted another comment telling me I am wrong to delete the offending comment but claiming to be another person, I tracked both comments through sitemeter to the same computer just to prove to him that he/she is the same offending person. If that was not enough, then I got Music Lover on my back telling me I am wrong to publish this vulgar person's details and that I violated his privacy!
This anonymous person lost his right to privacy when he insulted the whole Libyan nation with such disgusting, cruel and nasty words that I could not possibly repeat, it was clear to Music Lover what was happening but he chose to insult me and accuse me of being wrong. I will not accept standing by my country and its people as WRONG.
I hate having to stop decent anonymous people from commenting here but I have no choice as this blog is frequented by many decent people including women and teenagers, their feelings come first.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Liar Liar, Pants on Fire!

As I was driving home, I approached the driveway to park my car, I saw a big white van entering the drive I share with the neighbours, I waved to the guy that I wanted to park my car, he stopped his van at the entrance and came out and asked me what I want, we had the following conversation :

van driver: what is it?
me: I want to park my car, can you move your van please?

van driver: do you live here?

me: yes I do and you are blocking the drive.

van driver: I live here too.

me: where?

He points at the house next door.

me: but a Somali family live here! (van driver is Asian)

van driver: yes but I own the property.

me: OK but the driveway is for residents.

van driver: I have to park my van in the driveway for 2 weeks as I'm going away.

me: but its too big and will just be in our way, by the way the drain between my house and your property is blocked again, I spoke to your tenants and they told me that you are coming to unblock it, so if you park your van here it will be right above the drain cover and will make your job more difficult.

van driver: what drain? I'm not here to fix anything!

I pointed to the drain and told him that is what he has to do

van driver: actually I am not the landlord, my brother owns this property and I am going to park my van somewhere else.

me: Bye (with a big grin).

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Tinker Bell

Yesterday we went to see the end of term play at the kids school which Aida took part in and has been rehearsing for months, the play was Peter Pan which was played by a girl which is a tradition. Aida had the cute role of Tinkerbell which she played very well Alhamdulellah. the girl in the pink dressing gown you can see in the picture played the part of Wendy, although she is only 10 years old she is nearly 6 foot tall! and towered over all the other children, Aida's lines were so funny at times and made fun of Wendy's height, like she said to her sorry I thought you were a woman or stop crying you are too big for that :o) The play lasted for about 1 1/2 hours, it was well made and the songs were really nice, Amir enjoyed the Lost Boys and the Pirates and the singalong. School finishes on Thursday then their well earned summer holidays starts. Well done Aida, I felt very proud watching my little girl being very confident and funny and MashaAllah looking very pretty.

The Purity Ring

This is 16 year old Lydia Playfoot, she has been taken to court by her school and her crime? she dared to wear a ring to school that symbolises chastity in the Christian religion, its what is called a purity ring and it means the person wearing it believes in chastity before marriage. Yesterday Lydia lost her case in court and was told to abide by school rulings against the wearing of religious symbols, her family is facing court fees of £20,000. Lydia's argument is that if Muslim girls are allowed to wear hijab and Hindus are allowed to wear bangles then why is she not allowed to wear something that symbolises her strong Christian belief! there has been a lot of debates online and on the radio about this case and in most cases people have stood by Lydia but the worrying thing is that many people seem to be directing their anger towards Muslims instead of the authorities, many said that Muslims are allowed this and that (other religions were hardly mentioned) and there seems to be a lot of resentment towards Muslims.

My view on this which is the view of many Muslims I know or heard speaking on the radio: Lydia has our full support, what is the problem with wearing a small Christian ring or cross? why is it deemed wrong by that school and supported by court to show your strong Christian belief? its not as if she came to school with a rude tatoo and very revealing clothes!

Decisions like that do create anger and resentment against other religious minorities who in most cases give full support to decent people like Lydia.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Libya's Aids Victims

The Internet is full of speculations and rumours at the moment about Libya's Aids children and the faith of the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor who has now been granted the Bulgarian nationality.
As usual nothing there is to be considered good news for the Libyans, if the news that Libya is to accept $400 million, about $1 million per family, is true what does that tell us? while many would consider $1 million a lot of money, it is not when it comes to compensating you for infecting your child with a deadly virus, its not a lot when medical treatments would cost a lot more for the duration of their life.
Libya led the world in proving that human life is worth at least $10 million when Libya agreed to pay this sum for the Lockerbie victims yet Libya is telling the world now that this only applies if you are not Libyan!
Many years have passed since this tragedy started, Libya shouted and screamed at the world to show their mercy to the children yet Libya never even attempted to make their life that little bit more comfortable let alone treat them with good medical care and respect.
Libya insisted on convicting the Bulgarian nurses and the doctor yet never really provided or showed the world any convincing evidence towards their conviction, no Libyan minister of health was ever prosecuted! no Libyans were ever stopped from working with the Libyan health system, I am just trying to imagine if this tragedy happened in Britain, what would happen? one thing for sure, The Health minister would go followed by many people in the NHS even if the culprits were foreign nationals.
After all this time and money spent to argue Libya's case they are saying Libyans are worth less than anyone else. Libya should not have ever asked for compensation, Libya does not need the money to look after its people, Libyans have been humiliated yet again just to save face but not to save life, we Libyans again prove to the world that we are the richest country with the poorest people, we have an Arabic saying: تمخض جبلآ فولد فأرآ , meaning a mountain gave birth to a mouse. لكم الله ياأطفال وشباب بنغازي
On the other hand, I would like to congratulate Bulgaria for sticking by its citizens, for never forgetting them, for never sparing any expense to show the world their plight. Europeans value their people even if they were guilty they will still do their best to get their citizens treated in the best possible way. There is a big lesson there for Libya on how to respect its own people and the sad thing is that we would probably never find out who the real culprits of this tragedy are.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Pride & Prejudice

This is something that has been bugging me for a long time, why is it that Libya & Libyans are ignored/shunned/neglected by most Arab media no matter what we do or achieve?
I always go through many websites on daily bases including many Arabic news and current affairs websites, many of them have guides and pages devoted to all Arab countries but not Libya!! is it a wonder that many Arabs when they meet us the first thing they say when we tell them that we are Libyans is Gadaffi! is that all they know about us? are we that unimportant? are we really the hillbillies of the Arab world, the laughing stock?? Do we only blame our government for isolating our country for so long and making our reputation as an uneducated non entity nation?
I don't think that its only the Libyan government that is to blame, many Arab countries have for a long time ignored us and turned their faces away from us.

Libyans as any other nation have a lot to be proud of, we have done OK internationally recently but did I see any of this reported anywhere?
Yes I did but only in Libyan websites/media. I did not read about the following in any other Arab media, as if it is nothing to do with them and nothing to be proud of:

The 2 Libyan brothers that made: Occupation 101, Sufyan Omeish & Abdallah Omeish and won several international awards.

Libyan Horse rider Abdul Majid Bushkaiwa, third place in the international show jumping competition held in Belgium last month.

Dr. Ashour Jebril, awarded the OBE by Queen Elizabeth for his medical services to disaster stricken countries and its not the title but the recognition of his excellent work recognised internationally but not deemed important to be reported on Arab media.


One of the most successful Libyans recently is of course Hisham Matar who won awards for his successful novel, In the Country of Men, the recent one being an award in Italy.

How could I forget this talented person?? Asia Al-Fasi, our own Anglo-Libyan who mashaAllah has acheived fame in the UK and Europe as a Manga artist and if that was not enough, she is Mani's sister too, thank you Safia for the reminder.

The only time recently where a Libyan topped Arab media headlines was unfortunately about the antics of the Libyan woman Shaha Riza Ali and Paul Wolfowitz, her story was headline news and many Arab readers made comments about us Libyans just because of her, to them she is our only claim to fame!

We might not have a proper national anthem, we might not have a proper flag to be proud of like any other nation but we do have people in our country that anyone would be proud of and say yes they are Libyan just as I am.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Arabic School Holiday

Saturday was my kids last day at Arabic school before the summer holiday, Amir didn't go as he wanted to stay with me, Aida went with her mum, they had an end of school year party for the children, they sang on stage while a TV crew from the Al-Hiwar satellite TV station filmed them. At the end of the day all kids got their certificates, Aida (mashaAllah) passed with flying colours on the other hand Amir passed (Alhamdulellah) but with colours that stayed on the ground :o) I am pleased with their progress, it cant be easy for them to learn 2 languages at the same time but it has to be done. They were also given small presents and the Embassy of Qatar (which runs the school) has given every student a £10 voucher from Hamleys the toy store in Regent Street which is considered to be one of the best and most expensive toy stores in the world, it was a nice gesture from them but now the problem is that the kids are nagging me to take them to Hamleys to spend their vouchers, the problem is that I have to top up their vouchers if they are going to buy any half decent toy there, as £10 would get you next to nothing!, it is such a brilliant store (I blogged about it before Here). I suppose I have to do it sooner or later.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

07/07/07

07/07/07 is a date considered by many as a lucky date and many people have arranged for their weddings and parties to take place today but this date has another meaning for many in London:

Today commemorates the second anniversary of the dreadful London bombing of 7 July 2005, 52 innocent victims lost their life on that day including at least 5 Muslims with many injured and maimed.
At that time I was working for an English/Arabic primary school in London and both of my kids were at this school on that day, when I found out that the bombing was taking place in central London, I walked to the school's office, I found the headteacher who is a Muslim English lady talking on the phone, she told me that the police have contacted all the schools in that area and were asked to evacuate the schools quietly, our school is situated in north west London alongside the main Muslim schools in this city including Islamia (Yusuf Islam) School and Al-Khoei Shiaa School, apparently the police got a warning that a bomb was planted in the local train station that serves all of these schools, within minutes many police vans arrived, policemen and women closed the streets around our school, no one was allowed to walk in unless they had a reason, I checked on my children, they were fine and happy to know that they were leaving school early, my neighbour arrived and picked up his children and mine, I walked with them to the end of the street as cars were not allowed in, I saw many parents that I know from school, most of them were concerned, one heavily pregnant mother ran all the way to the school to get her kids, she looked very scared, I stood in the street for a long time, it was a strange day, very eerie, very quiet and humid. We never found out if the claim that a bomb was planted in the local train station was true but it would not surprise me after I heard that a train was blown up in Edgware Road, an area famous for its Arabic/Muslim people and Aldgate which is home to many Bangladeshi, these bombers did not care who they killed and injured.
The first victim to be buried after this terrible atrocity was Shahara Islam, a young British born Muslim woman, her funeral was attended by many people.

2 years later, the Muslims in this country have lost their good reputation after being known for many years as hard working, decent polite citizens, all that was forgotten due to the terror act committed by the 4 bombers, of course the gutter press found a great opportunity to insult us even further but do we blame them or blame the ignorant mass murderers who thought they were going to be Martyrs after committing these crimes?

A fund was set up by the government to help the victims of the London bombings and their families, I do know for a fact that many Muslims here donated generously to this fund but unfortunately this was never reported or even mentioned.

A sad day to remember for a long time to come.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Rain Rain, Go Away....

As I was driving in the evening, I got stuck in a traffic jam, all I could see was a crowd of Hasidic Jews on the pavement and some on the road, as you can see in the picture there was a car with its boot open, I suspected it was a funeral, few minutes later I was in my car right next to the crowd but could not see what was in the car as it was surrounded by men, on my left there was another huge crowd but only of women and girls, some were crying, I could not take any more pictures as I thought it would be disrespectful.
I could hear the men chanting and it really did sound like Du3aa Muslim make during funerals, I asked one man if it was a funeral, he replied yes and came closer to my car, suddenly I was surrounded by many men in black all smiling and very friendly, they wanted to point out that the traffic jam was not due to them but to the broken down bus that you can see in the picture, I thought it was them but they were right, I had to wait ages until I managed to get past the bus right behind the funeral procession, most of the men followed the hearse for a while, then they just dispersed, I was stuck in that interesting jam for about 45 minutes.

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Rain rain go away!, it has been raining non stop for weeks now and its supposed to be the summer!! we heard so many predictions that we were going to have a hot dry summer, well we are in July, its miserable, cold and very wet, goes to show that all these weather forecasts are nothing but predictions that most of the time mean nothing, I do not like very hot weather but do not like rain either, its just that living with all that rain makes our life here even more indoors, which can be quite boring, on the other hand when I was in Tunisia, I used to go to the Air Conditioned hotel room when ever the heat became too much, complaining about the weather is a very British past time, I suppose I have been living here too long :o)


Happy 4th of July to our American friends all over the world

Monday, 2 July 2007

Heaven or Hell?

Did this fool really think he was going to go to heaven had he died while trying to blow up Glascow's airport?

I am so confused as how these criminals can justify using the name of my religion to commit acts of violence and murder and then call themselves Martyrs! what is wrong with these people?? it is not as if they are an uneducated simple beings, don't they know and realise the damage they are causing for the rest of us?

are they oblivious that their own families including their mothers, fathers, wives, sisters, sons and daughters might become a target to people that are angry and rightly so at the damage caused to their country?

If a Muslim person is attacked in Britain, they will be screaming at the injustice and discrimination Muslims are enduring but who do we blame? some ignorant vengeful people or the criminals that brought the name and reputation of our religion to the gutter?

Using excuses for these attacks as revenge for what is happening in Iraq & else where is just completely wrong, even if the entire British public supported the Iraq war still this is not the way to behave, the majority of the British public are against what is happening in Iraq, so what is this going to achieve? killing innocent people that will include Muslims as we are a large minority in this country makes these scum bags Martyrs?? who decided that? am I missing something? or am I just one of the majority of decent Muslims that will never agree to this nasty criminal activities? in this country we have the right to complain and protest about anything we do not like, something that most of the world can not give us, use it, protest peacefully but do not use my religion to justify yourself.

Most of us have had enough of you, you do not have our support, you do not have our sympathy, leave us alone, take your disgusting teachings away from me, my family and my children. and if you are caught in the act like that fool in the picture then I hope inshaAllah that you rot in hell.


LEAVE US ALONE, YOU DO NOT REPRESENT ME OR MY PEACEFUL RELIGION

Fun Pictures

3D effect






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oops !!

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Only in Africa, or it could be in Libya!!




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Dogs and their Owners!







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Women! :o)






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Finally, a Royal Palace in the Emirates