Wednesday, 30 April 2008

New Mayor for London

Ken, Brian & Boris

Tomorrow, 1st May 2008, is an important day for most Londoners, it is the day that we get to elect a Mayor for the city of London, the past 8 years this role has been held by the famous Ken Livingston, this time there are 3 major candidates fighting for the mayor position, Labour's Ken Livingston trying for a third term, Conservatives weird man Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrats former senior police man Brian Paddick.

At the moment it looks like the fight is between Ken & Boris, with both exchanging insults and accusations all over the media. Ken Livingston is usually the favourite with the Muslim community here because of his support to Muslims and to the Palestinian cause in general, he has actually done a lot of good for London but he is not without faults.
Boris was accused by Ken of threatening to ban the Quran in the UK and of being racist towards ethnic minorities to which Boris replied that he never said anything against the Quran, he even went as far as saying that his family descends originally from Turkey and that his great grand father memorised the Quran by heart, the dirty campaign continues by those two.
While I find Brian Paddick very polite and keeping away from the cheap talk the other two are doing, I do not think he has much chance of winning. We shall find out on Friday the 2nd of May inshaAllah.

Incidentally, most schools in London are closed tomorrow because they are to be used as polling stations, last Thursday schools closed too because of a teacher's strike, I know this is going to be embarrassing to my daughter Aida but I have to say it:

After the strike was over, Aida came home and asked me if I knew what the strike was about, I said yes it was a strike by teachers over their pay, she said no baba, it was a NUT strike by teachers!I asked her if she knew what that meant to which she replied that she thinks it means that teachers have been banned from eating nuts at school so that is why they went on strike, I burst out laughing and explained to Aida that the NUT in the letters about the strike refers to the "National Union of Teachers" (NUT) and not nuts that we eat, poor Aida was very embarrassed but she couldn't stop laughing either :o)


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I found the following poster stuck on many trees all over the streets surrounding my work so if you know where Bear the bear is please get in touch :o)

Goes to show how much teddy bears are loved in this country.

Monday, 28 April 2008

When I met Al-Alousi!

The other day I was surfing the Internet when I found a website for the freaky Iraqi Clairvoyant Thabit Al-Alousi, many are familiar with this man from some satellite TV channels where he usually reads the stars and makes many predictions for the coming years and so. he used to publish a magazine here in London, I am not sure if he still does or if its only published online now! this guy became quite famous in the late 80s here in London where he lives and I used to see him in Edgware Road sitting outside cafes, he is easy to recognise because he is a hunchback.
Seeing his website brought back a memory from some years ago when I actually met him, a friend of mine called me and asked me if I was free to go with him and meet Al-Alousi, of course I said yes straightaway, my friend told me that he had a request from someone he knows that lives abroad to go and deliver some documents to Al-Alousi.

My friend picked me up and we drove to Bayswater where Al-Alousi lived, when we arrived the door was opened by a woman who lead us through this very long corridor to the main sitting room, the apartment where Al-Alousi lived and worked looked very big.
As soon as we entered the sitting room, I nearly freaked out, it was a very big room with lots of sofas and chairs, there were some people sitting, mainly women, I assumed they were there with appointments to see Al-Alousi just like us, the place was very quiet and the atmosphere very scary, the room was dimly lit and in the middle instead of a coffee table, there was what looked like a coffin, honest, a coffin covered with a colourful rug, a bit like a coffin you would see in an Arab country, on top of the coffin many candles were burning adding to the atmosphere of horror.
We sat there in silence staring at each other and at the others, not sure why we were still there instead of running out the door.

After a while the lady that opened the door told us that Al-Alousi was ready to meet us and she lead us to the kitchen which looked normal with a table on one side but it was a bit dark in there too, we sat at the table waiting for Al-Alousi to make an entrance, after few minutes he came in, I am a short man but he was a lot shorter than me, he was wearing jalabia, his face was so scary, I looked into his eyes and thought my God what am I doing here, this man looks really freaky.
He shook hands with us, sat down, then did the talking to my friend, he was so serious yet he was talking about predictions for the person that sent us there, by then I really wanted to laugh, all the scary thoughts I had and the scary image he surrounded himself with had disappeared, in front me was this man talking a lot of POO, even saying things like people can fax him a copy of a picture of their hands and he can tell their future from that!

After about 20 minutes or so he finished his nonsense and we left, as I passed the sitting room, I noticed that coffin again and I could see the women sitting there were staring at it, we were so glad to be out of this eerie place and we couldn't stop laughing about what this man told us.

كذب المنجمون ولو صدقوا .. الله الوحيد اللي يعلم ما في السماوات وما في الارض وسبحانه وتعالى هو العالم بكل شي

Friday, 25 April 2008

A Dane in Libya...

I found a travel blog of a Danish man that travelled to Libya during the Christmas/New year 2007/2008 holiday, it is a very interesting read, a bit long but entertaining with a lot of fantastic pictures of Libya, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.


who's a pretty camel then :o)


who said that there are no public toilets in Libya?? here is one bang in the middle of the desert :o)


*pictures taken from travelbuddy.com

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

A Burger, a Dog & a Flag...

Friday was the last day of the kids half term holiday, I took the day off work to spend it with them.
The kids wanted to go to a fast Burger restaurant, so as we got there by the entrance they have a box displaying the toys that come with a kids meal, this time they had girls toy which was a fairy doll and a boy toy which was a pack of dragon cards and a game CD.
Both of my kids usually eat an adult meal as they have grown up and a kids meal is not enough but sometimes Amir chooses to have a kids meal just because he likes the toy that comes with it, so I joined the queue with Amir, made the order, the man taking the order didn't ask me if I wanted a boy or a girl toy, I assumed it was because he saw Amir.
So the order arrives, the kids meal is in a little box, I asked the guy if he put a boy's toy in there, with a very strong foreign accent and broken English he replied that in this country there is not such a thing as boy or girl toys, he said all toys in this country are universal, I opened the box and surprise surprise, the toy was the girl fairy with wings! Amir looked shocked... I replied by saying that I am not a tourist and pointed to the display box and said to him please get me a boy's toy that is clearly advertised, he started raising his voice sir there is not such a thing, by then the manager noticed what happened, she asked me what the problem was, I told her that this employee is being a real pain all because he does not want to turn back walk 2 steps pick up a boy's toy, she took the fairy from me and apologised and went to get another toy while this silly man kept saying "this is sick, this is sick" I pointed to him to zip his mouth.
As soon as the manager came back with the boy toy, he said to her do not exchange the toy because he (me) had already opened the girl toy, I asked the manager if the toy was open when I gave it to her, she looked at him with an angry look and said No it was still sealed.

I laughed picked up the food and told the man "I told you to zip it but you didn't listen" :o)


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Driving to work this morning, I was listening to the radio, for a change the subject was not about Muslims in the UK, this time it was about fatal diseases that can be passed from pets to their owners, the program highlighted the fact that many people put themselves at risk when they share their beds with their dogs.
Many angry listeners phoned in saying that they do sleep with their dogs and that there was nothing wrong with doing that, one lady mentioned that she shares her bed with 5 dogs! the presenter asked her how she can tolerate the smell to which she answered that her dogs do not smell and in fact are much cleaner than some people!
On this point I do agree with her, I am sure her dogs are much cleaner than she is, I mean imagine sleeping next to dogs! I am an animal lover and I do like dogs but to be that close to them is not right, I once saw this lady with a lap dog, she put it on the ground, the little doggy did a poo then sniffed it, the lady picked him up straight away and gave him a cuddle but the dog did a poo so where did she think it wiped its dirty bottom :oS


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A Libyan blogger recently suggested a Bulldozer should be added to the Libyan flag, well it looks like somebody was listening to you :o)

خالد ابو الهول: بمناسبة هدم مدينة طرابلس.. علم جديد لليبيا

Thank you anonymous for sending me the link

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

My Poor Car!

2 days ago I was driving my car in north London in the evening, as I was driving through this road, I saw a car coming from a road on my right, I had the right of way so I continued but the other car just turned towards me and SLAM! just before they hit my car I could see a young man driving, he was looking and smiling at his companion (a girl) and did not pay attention to the road, now before anyone says anything, I am perfectly fine, it was a small accident with damage to both cars only.
My first reaction was of course, how am I going to drive the kids to school and myself to work?? the other guy came out of the car, he was only young, probably 19 or 20 years old, we exchanged paper works, everything was in order, being Libyan, we have this extra sense that we know if a person we meet is Egyptian! I asked him if he was Egyptian, unsurprisingly the answer was yes.
He actually was very polite and admitted he was at fault but was worried about loosing his licence and wanted to settle the claim privately, the only annoying thing about him is that he kept calling me 3amo! (uncle) but I am I suppose at that age!
My poor car was taken eventually to a garage where I was quoted an amount out of this world to fix it, I spoke to the Egyptian guy and obviously he can not afford to pay that money so I told him that I am making a claim through his insurance, I had no other choice but it was his fault after all.
The surprise was that I am entitled to a courtesy car until my car is fixed, the other party will have to pay for it as long as it is proved that they were at fault.
So couple of hours ago they delivered the new car to my work place, MashaAllah, a lovely car, I want to keep it, I wish they would take the other car and leave me this one but that is wishful thinking, Alhamdulellah, I am not carless anymore.
The courtesy car

Monday, 7 April 2008

Winter is Back!!

Winter returned to London yesterday morning, we woke up to a heavy covering of snow and very cold temperature, the snow settled for few hours but was gone by early after noon.




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Last week Amir my 7 year old son was invited to a birthday party by a school friend, he was so looking forward to going, the party was held at a sports centre, they hired a room with a huge bouncy castle and lots of other toys, I took him there at 1:30pm and was told to collect him at 3:30, Amir insisted that he is collected a bit late so that he can enjoy the party until the end.

I went back to collect him and took Aida my daughter with me, we arrived a bit early so we sat by the swimming pool just to give Amir extra time to enjoy the party, just after 3:30 we went to the party room, it was full of kids and parents, the adults were friendly and welcomed us in, we stood there watching the kids, soooooo many of them, I couldn't see Amir so we went to the bouncy castle, knowing Amir I thought he would be there for sure, it was packed with kids, we sat on a bench waiting for Amir to appear from the crowd but he was no where to be seen!
I asked one of the adults, they started looking for him, then it hit me, the kids were a bit young, like 5 years and under! WE WERE AT THE WRONG PARTY!!
I rushed out after saying sorry, found a member of staff and asked her, she told me that kids get to play in this room for one hour before they are moved upstairs into another room for the party cake and food, we went over and there was Amir with his friend Nathan, everyone else was long gone, Amir got his wish by being the last kid to go home, he had a wonderful time.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Libyan Flags!

During a recent post on one of my favourite bloggers page, the flag of Libya was mentioned, I usually get angry when I see the current Libyan flag, as with many things in our country, this flag was forced on the population, whether they liked it or not, the problem in the long run is that many Libyans have lost the sense of pride for their country, unlike most other countries in the world, we do not have a Libyan national anthem or a proper flag to make us feel proud.

The current Libyan flag

Most countries of the world introduced their flags after their independence or the formation of their countries, Libya was no exception, after Libya became independent in 1951 it adopted the flag that became known as the flag of the kingdom of Libya, many of us of certain age only recognise this flag as the true Libyan flag.

The flag of the Kingdom of Libya

Then after the coup in 1969, Libya became a republic and instead of keeping the original flag, they decided to change it, it would have been fair I suppose if they stuck to an original flag, but no not Libya, they borrowed an old Egyptian flag then added a hawk in the middle of it, which was yet another borrowed flag from the defunct Egyptian / Syrian union, that did not last, in 1977 the all green rug was officially forced on Libyans as their new flag, a plain green rug with no symbols, nothing to represent Libya, just an embarrassing green piece of fabric, of course for many younger generation, that is the only flag they are used to.

The borrowed Egyptian/Syrian union flag



Going back to the Libyan national anthem, again after the 1969 coup, Libya adopted or should I say nicked an old marching anthem from Egypt to become our national anthem, there is nothing to do with Libya in this anthem, nothing to make me proud or to remind me of my country, after all these years what some people do not realise is that many of the new generations have grown up without the usual sense of pride one feels when seeing their flag flying high accompanied by their national anthem, no wonder Libya has become what it is today, full of corruption, full of cheating people after quick money, fat cats that do not care about their country, was that part of the plan of taking our pride away from us?? I wonder!

One Libyan blogger joked about adding a bulldozer to the middle of the green rug because of all the demolition work that is going on in Libya at the moment, well it is funny but it is not a bad idea at all!

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Allah save Libya