Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Best Wishes For 2009

While I do not feel it is appropriate for me to make a big Happy New Year post at these sad times, I still would like to wish everyone all over the world a Happy, Prosperous, Healthy & Peaceful 2009.

Monday, 29 December 2008

God Help Us All...

The Christmas holiday is over, I am back at work for the last week, the break was nice, I enjoyed spending time with the family but of course it was marred by the events taking place in Gaza, so much death, so much destruction, my son keeps asking me what did these dead and injured people do to deserve that? my only answer was "Nothing" they are innocent civilians, the children are learning on their own from watching the news and not Arab news but mainly BBC News that there is a bad monster called "The Israeli Army" killing people that they kept under siege and treated worse that caged animals for over a year then the Israeli media has the nerve to justify what they are doing, their foreign minister looked so ridiculous saying on Sky News that to minimise civilian deaths they told people to move out away from Hamas compounds, I mean how stupid is this woman?? The whole world knows that Gaza is the most crowded land on earth, move! move where exactly?? would she let them move into Israel perhaps?

The honourable (not) Arab leaders as usual are only worried about their precious seats, no one did or is going to do anything to help, the disgraceful Egyptian president has proved that he is one of the worst, he made sure not even aid is getting to the Gazzans while telling the world that Egypt will do everything to help, Libyan leadership, full of hot air and nothing else, as usual, we have seen it all in 2006 when Israel nearly destroyed Lebanon, no one but the Lebanese people helped their own country.
Some of my decent British friends are enraged at what is happening, Israel & America can not continue to mislead the world about who is the terrorist now, how can anyone justify murdering hundreds of police men on their graduation day? I myself like many others are not jumping in defence of Hamas or any leadership, it is the Palestinian people that are being subjected to a genocide, I am not speaking against the Israeli people, there are many decent Jewish people that are against what is happening, many Jews protested against Israel in London yesterday as you can see from the pictures taken by Omar El-Huni during the anti war demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London, you can see the pictures Here.

Unfortunately another year is coming to an end while the whole world is watching a nation reduced to starvation, taken back into the middle ages with no fuel, power or medications and now being slaughtered like unwanted animals, God help us all.

Here Whiteafrican speaks for many of us in her latest post

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Holidays....

Today is Christmas Eve, I would like to wish all people that celebrate it a Happy and peaceful Christmas

As the world looks towards the Holly land in Palestine at this time of year, we must spare a thought to the Palestinian people that are still living under oppression, even more this year, we should spare a thought for our Christian Palestinian brothers and sisters who have been enduring the same hardship along side their Muslim brothers and sisters, I find it strange that their plight seems to be ignored by the Western media as if they did not exist, they are well known for their strong defence of their country and their heroism, I wish them all a happier time and may Allah give strength to the Palestinian people.

As it has become a bit of a tradition every year at this time, my children were invited by my Scottish friend to help decorate his Christmas tree, an activity that they enjoy :o)
So here are the children wishing everyone a happy holiday....

Monday, 22 December 2008

End Of School Term

I am back today at work after having some time off just to complete my annual leave before I leave my job on the 31 of December.

Year 3 Choir, Amir 5th from left, back row

The kids have been busy at their school at this festive time, the school has shown a great deal of tolerance to non Christian children, first by letting Muslim kids have up to 2 days off school for Eid Al-Adha then offering a Halal Christmas dinner to any child that wanted it, that included a traditional Turkey dinner with all the trimmings and even a Christmas cracker each! but I think the best move the school did and they really did not have to do that, at the end of the day this is a Christian country, was to organise a Christmas concert where children will sing Christmas songs and non Christmas songs too, so when Amir came home to tell me that he is part of the Year 3 choir that will be singing at the concert, before I opened my mouth Amir said: Baba do not worry, there will be no songs mentioning that Jesus (PBUH) is the son of God! that there will be nothing offensive to Muslims so that they can take part. I was impressed by what the school did and had no problem letting both kids take part, many other Muslim kids took part including a number of Libyans.

The concert was a sell out, it started with good Eid wishes to all Muslims, I just about managed to find a place to stand and watch for nearly 2 hours although I did get a seat for the final performance, I thought it was good, I was proud of both kids singing confidently and having fun, here is a clip of the final song by the school choir which Aida my daughter is part of, singing "I am a small part of the world" Aida is first on the left, there are 2 other Libyan girls singing as well.


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

First Day Of Eid....

Yesterday the first day of Eid after seeing a couple of cousins there really wasn't much for us to do so we decided to go and visit London's newest shopping centre, Westfield Shopping Centre, we got there early afternoon after getting stuck in heavy traffic due to road repairs, the place was impressive and very massive, it is supposed to be the biggest city shopping centre in Europe but straight away I noticed that there wasn't many people around even though it is nearly Christmas and people are shopping every where, of course the credit crunch must have had an affect but I think the main reason is because this mall houses mainly designer expensive stores, there are few high street shops in there but overall most shops were expensive for most people I think and that is why they stayed away, who can blame them at these times!
Most people in there were Muslim families just like us, no where else to go on a cold winter day.

The car from Batman's new movie, The Dark Knight, was there and they were taking photos for anyone that wanted it for free, so we got a nice family photo and the best thing was that they looked very bored so no one tried to flog the DVD to us or anyone else :o)

For lunch we had a choice of two places, a Lebanese restaurant or Nando's, of course the kids chose Nando's which was packed with Muslim families, so it was a meat free Eid for a change.

Amir sitting inside the "O" in Nando's!

We all had a good time, it was different but sort of enjoyable, a lot of eye shopping is good for the pocket, hope everyone had a nice memorable Eid.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Eid Al-Aldha Al-Mubarak....

Speaking to my family back in Libya last night, they told me that they along with many people this year decided not to get a sheep because of two reasons, the news of the blue tongue disease that is apparently affecting many sheep in Libya at the moment and the other reason is because of the greed of people selling the sheep who have increased their prices much higher than usual, so my family thought the best and healthiest reason is to opt for meat from the butcher (I think they said chicken!!) while Eid will not be the same this year for many but look on the brighter side, it will be a lot less messy :o)

Wishing everyone a Happy, peaceful and Blessed Eid Al-Adha

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Road Accident....

This morning as I was driving my kids to school we got stuck in heavy traffic, as the traffic moved I could see what was happening and it was a terrible sight, I really wanted to prevent the kids from seeing it but I had no choice as there was no chance of reversing or doing a U turn, a teenage boy of about 13 or 14 was lying on the freezing road face down, he had been hit by big 7 Seater car and was not moving, it was clear that he was not well, possibly even dead, there was a small crowd of people around him, many were on their phones probably calling the emergency services so there was no point of me stopping as there was nothing else for me to do so I just carried on driving and waiting for the kids response, they were quiet for few minutes, they both could not take their eyes of the boy and I could tell that they were troubled by it. After few minutes Amir asked me if the boy was dead! I didn't really want to traumatise them even more so I said that he was only hurt then Amir said: but the boy was not moving, I think he was dead, I had to tell a small lie here and told both kids that the boy was crying so he was not dead, they both cheered up a bit, of course then I had to remind them of road safety and how if people do not keep to the road code that accidents could happen, all the time I was thinking of this poor boy's parents who were probably at home or work not knowing what happened, Allah protect us all.
Amir celebrates his 8th birthday today, with many many happy returns inshaAllah

Amir had an early birthday party on Sunday with mainly his cousins attending and a couple of friends, they had a great time with Aida organising a lot of party games for all of them.

Friday, 28 November 2008

I'm A Celebrity.....!!

For the past 2 weeks or so I have been watching one of my favourite programs on TV, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! is usually on for about 3 weeks every year, it is a program famous for gathering a bunch of celebrities hasbeens, unheard of so called celebrities and WAGs, they are all put in a jungle in Australia and are left to fend for themselves living in horrible conditions, they have to do what is called a Bush Tucker Trial daily in order to win stars which they can exchange for food items that they have to cook themselves, the less stars they win the less food they have to share.
This year alongside the hasbeens and the WAGs, 2 major stars are taking part, they are Martina Navaratilova and George Takei from the Star Trek fame.
The daily bush tucker trial usually involves one or more of the contestants having to either eat the most disgusting food which can be cockroaches, worms and grubs and delicacies such as certain bits and pieces of animals that you wouldn't eat in your worst nightmares, I don't know what it is but most people (including myself) enjoy watching other people especially if they were annoying minor celebrities being tortured this way, it just makes great TV viewing.
The contestants are then voted out one by one on daily bases by the viewing public until one is left who will be crowned the King or the Queen of the jungle, this years favourite to win is ex-EastEnders actor Joe Swash.
Here is some clips that you might enjoy or might make you run for the bucket!
This first clip shows 2 contestants eating a selection of critters and delicacies, it really was my favourite clip (2 parts) the second part of this clip is even more Yummy :o)

This next clip, called the John Trevolting suite might make you scratch a bit!!

The next clip has David Van Day screaming like a girl :o)

There are many more clips on YouTube, there will be another trial tonight, I wonder who will be doing it!! I hope I didn't spoil your lunch or dinner, it is meant for entertainment, hope you all have a nice day :o)

Remember, all people taking part in these trials, do not have to do any of it, they have the optoion of opting out.

Monday, 24 November 2008

The Camel & The Train!!

The job hunting is still going on, I have now officially received my letter of redundancy from my current employers, I have been in this job for 6 years, I have enjoyed being here and got on with my work colleagues but it is time to move on.
I know I need to start tidying up my desk soon but I just cant be bothered at the moment, there is so much stuff that needs sorting out but it can wait a bit, a lot of it will be binned anyway!

When surfing the Internet, I found this new Luxury Chocolate makers called Al Nassma from Dubai that sell their really nice and delicious looking chocolates online but this chocolate comes with a difference from any chocolate I have ever seen or ate, it is made of Camel milk and supposedly it tastes really nice, I wonder if the big London department stores will be selling it soon, I really would like to try it.


Many people complain about the heavy traffic at rush hours when going to work or school, be it driving, on a bus or a train (I do), it can put us in a bad mood and we start thinking how bad it is for us blah blah blah.... well spare a thought for those people riding on a train in Pakistan, surely our rush hours are never like that :o)

I wonder if any people actually fell off the train and if any one had noticed!!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Job Hunting!

I have been away from blogging for a while due to being a bit busy and due to that annoying phrase, The Credit Crunch! which has affected my work place and it seems job loss is coming sooner rather than later, couple that with the difficulty of finding a new job, any job, really not easy but hopefully inshaAllah things will get better.
Unfortunately at times like this, coming to work becomes stressful and you loose all interest in doing your work and just wait for the day that you have to leave, I really cant wait! and wouldn't mind having some rest but having a family and responsibilities means you can not rest until you find a new job, so its going to be a, New Year No Job or New Year New Job :o)

For something lighter, my kids have told me to watch this new Christmas TV advert by John Lewis Department Store which they find very funny not just for the weird characters but mainly for the baby that appears towards the end of the advert, I watched it and yes I laughed too, what a baby, keep an eye for this mega cuteness with a clump of hair, here it is on YouTube:

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

More Rare Pictures of Libya's former Queen

Last year I posted a rare picture of the former Queen of Libya, Queen Fatima El-Sharif, for that was the first time ever that I saw the Queen, it is a shame that in countries such as Libya they would completely erase parts of our history just because it does not suit somebody, here in Europe many countries used to be kingdoms then they revolted and replaced their kingdoms with republics but they never hide their history, they teach it as it was, with its bad and good, yet in our country they only mention the Sinusi family in a bad disgraceful way when the truth is completely different, no one is perfect but compared to what Libya has at the moment, many can only say please bring on the good old days.

Having the Internet is such a blessing sometimes, it gives us the chance to research information that we do not have or we are not allowed to know anything about. During one of these searches I found some pictures of King Idris & Queen Fatima during a visit to Egypt in 1964, again as with the first picture I published, I saw an elegant lady that by far exceeded in her elegance Egypt's first lady and her daughters, who just could not keep their eyes off the Libyan Queen.

A good friend of mine told me that Queen Fatima was always very down to earth that when ever she came to an event, there would be a luxurious seat set up for her and that she always refused to sit there and chose to sit with the people instead, I bet not many can do that these days!

Here I leave you with some pictures that I am sure many of you have not seen before:

Queen Fatima on the left with the wife and daughters of president Jamal Abdul-Nasser

The following picture was sent to me by a friend and as far as I know it is the most recent picture of Queen Fatima and was taken in the mid 1990s during a Haj trip, may Allah give her long life and the best of health inshaAllah:

Friday, 31 October 2008

An Old English Cemetery!

The events on this post happened few weeks ago but I thought it was appropriate to post it now since today is Halloween :o)

During Ramadan, I went for a walk with a friend and my son Amir, we passed a very old English cemetery and Amir got exited and wanted to walk inside, so we did walk around and it was very interesting seeing very old graves, some hundreds of years old, the place was very creepy and looked exactly like an old Hammer House of Horror English film setting.
(Click on pictures for a better view)

A row of very small grave stones, I think these were poor people that could not afford the big graves and so were stacked next to each other!

Creepy Walk

There were many family plots in there with old and some more recent graves

Some damaged graves, the cemetery is kept wild and untidy which makes it even more creepy and adds to the atmosphere

This was the newest grave I could see (Year 2000)

is that a ghost in the window? No, it is Amir!

A small disused church in the cemetery

These graves look out of place!! and the flowers are Plastic!

This is the grave of William Booth, he was the founder of the Salvation Army, Amir keeps telling people that he saw the grave of a King!

It was a very interesting and educational walk, we enjoyed it and had a lot of fun trying to find the oldest and the newest graves without any disrespect to the dead people and of course I made sure that Amir did not walk on any graves.


About 3 weeks ago both of my kids were invited to a fancy dress Eid / Birthday party at the Muslim College in London, the stores were full of Halloween costumes and at good offers so we enjoyed buying the costumes and kids loved dressing up on the day, here is some pictures just before they left for the party which they enjoyed very much:

Amir the Biker Werewolf and Aida the Witch

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Child Abuse in Arab Schools

I have been appalled by this story about the 11 year old Egyptian boy that was beaten by his teacher which led to his death and the reason was because the boy did not finish his home work, it wasn't a freak accident or anything like that, the teacher beat up the boy and kicked him in the stomach repeatedly, he killed him and should be charged with first degree murder, how awful, how disgusting that in the 21 century many school teachers in the Arab world are still beating up children, hitting a school child is considered child abuse in the UK and rightly so.
How terrible for the parents of Islam Amro to lose such a lovely boy and in a place they trusted that it will look after him.
When I was young, I went to a secondary school in Tripoli which was supposed to be one of the best at that time, it was Haidar Al-Saati school, during the three years I spent there 2 of my friends were injured badly by a sadistic teacher, I witnessed one of them, my friend was hit badly by this teachers on his arms, when the pain became too much he kept his arms close to his body yet the teacher continued to hit him, it was horrific, I didn't see the boy for few days then when he came to school both of his arms were broken, another friend of mine was hit by the same teacher and broke his collar bone, he had to wear a neck brace for a long time yet what I remember clearly the teacher was never prosecuted, in fact he continued to teach us!, during the 80s I went with my brother and a friend to Spain for a holiday, we went one day to the Libyan school there, 2 teachers came to say hello to us as they recognised our names, I was horrified to find that the sadistic teacher was one of them!, with a record like his he should be locked up not promoted to teach abroad, how awful!!
London this Morning

London this morning, it snowed last night, apparently it was the first time in about 50 years that snow fell on London in the month of October, at the moment it is very sunny and freezing, I wonder if this is a sign of a cold winter to come! this year AGAIN we had no summer, it just rained non stop.