Sunday, 31 August 2008

Ramadan Mubarak to All

I would like to wish everyone in Libya and elsewhere a Happy, peaceful and blessed Ramadan, as every year I do hope that Muslims would fast together and celebrate Eid together but this is wishful thinking and is very unlikely to happen in my life time, Libya as usual started Ramadan on a different day than most countries!

For all of you with a Nokia mobile phone, Nokia has published this Ramadan Applications site where you can download greetings cards, Quran, Emsakya and other cool applications. Thank you Musiclover for sending me the Link.

For information and Ramadan time table in the UK, click on

For London Central Mosque information, click Here

Bad Deal for Libyans

I am not sure what to make of the news about Italy's compensation to the Libyan people, actually should I laugh or cry? one thing for sure I am not happy, far from it.

$5 Billion to compensate the Libyan people for about 32 years of occupation, $5 Billion dollars for the rape, exile and murder of about half the Libyan nation and if that was not enough, this $5 Billion is to be paid over a period of 25 years at about $200 Million a year.

Just a quick reminder, China spent $40 Billion on their Olympics games which lasted 16 days! So Libyans will be getting $200 million a year, take out a good portion of that for corrupt Libyan officials, the rest is supposed to improve the life of many Libyans?

To some spoilt sons of officials in Libya, $200 million is their budget a year to keep up their standards with private parties, private planes and yachts.

Why didn't Italy say that they will be responsible for the next 25 years for paying the pocket money for one of these precious sons?

Libya paid almost $3 Billion to compensate 270 victims of the Lockerbie disaster, what a shame that our heroes are so worthless.

Even the story about Italy building a coastal road running from Egypt to Tunisia through Libya at a cost 6 Billion Euros seem to be too much for us!

How much money does Italy and its companies make every year in Libya? how much are they going to make in the next 25 years? Billions of Dollars.

How dare the Libyan government sell the memory of all the dead, exiled and raped Libyans, they have walked all over our pride and joy, the memory of our heroes.

The simple white hat worn by Omar Al-Mukhtar is worth more than $5 Billion.

We are supposed to wish each other a Ramadan Mubarak, I feel I cant celebrate, I feel upset and angry as if all these people died today. I cant say that I expected more from the Libyan government but I thought maybe, just maybe this time they will feel that we deserve better, that we all are so proud of Omar Al-Mukhtar and therefore the Libyan government would respect his memory, unfortunately what happened was even worse than I expected.

لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله
On my last post, I got a long comment from an anonymous person that I thought is worthy of publishing with this post, I am going to paste it here:
Thank you so much for your brilliant post. I totally agree with you, we may forgive but we will NEVER forget what the Italians did to our country and our people. They killed hundreds of thousands and caused so much misery.Most young people today in Libya don't really know or realise the extent of suffering they caused to our people. The extreme racism, murderous brutality they showed was almost unprecedented. I remember a few years ago, the current Italian prime minister stated: "Western civilization was better (than Islamic civilization)for a number of reasons, including respect for human and religious rights".The "better" Western human civilization that he mentioned that wiped out aprox. half of our population, the western human rights that led to millions of deaths across the Arab and most of the so called "third" world during imperialism.I am fully aware that almost all of the Italians are peace loving and wish us no harm, but this is also true for current Germany and what they did to the Jews in WWII, they still bare responsibility as should Italy.It's not just about money, its about common basic human decency, that they should know what they did to us.I ask you to do one thing, go on any Italian newspaper, and read the Italian readers comments (use google translate) to the current talk about Italy's compensation offer, reading through the comments, I had a sense most Italians feel what Berlusconi is doing is wrong on agreeing on the compensation, and I also had a feeling that they are totally ignorant of what there parents and grandparents did to us. Is it ignorance or arrogance?I even remember that the Italians banned the film directed by the late Mustafa Akkad (Omar Mukhtar: The Lion of the Desert). Why I ask? Is the truth too much to bare?I remember not too long ago Mussolini's granddaughter who is an MEP said this about Libya and Libyans:"Libyans would still be on 'camels' if it hadn't been for her grandfather." ( )Forgetting the fact that her Grandfather's Italians murdered thousands of Libyans, forgetting that her grandfather forced Libyans to the desert and into concentration camps, where death, sickness, rape were inflicted by the Italian occupying forces. Libyans were forcefully denied any form of education or any dignity, they were forced into deprivation, poverty and death, and then this MEP with her shameful family heritage of which she is so proud says these blatant lies.The issue I have is that Italians hear her, and do not hear the truth of what really happened, they will believe her, and think that their occupation was a blessing on us, not the terrible curse it was.I don't care about our current political state in Libya, that does not change the facts about the brutal history of Italian occupation. We should all stand as one when it comes to this issue.Italians need to lift their ignorance and realise what we suffered, and realise it's not about money. In fact Italy up to today is our biggest trading partner and earns billions from us through trade and investment. So we are no beggars, in fact the Italians take more from us than we do from them. If we were vengeful like many Western societies we would have banned any form of trade with Italy. The 5 billion that Italy intends to pay to Libya over 25 years is pittance to what it did to us, and what we suffered, in fact most of the 5 Billion will end up in the pockets of Italian companies any way. It's not about the money, as no money will pay for what happened. It's about recognition, dignity and "never again".I am not against Italy, in fact most young people in Libya today ironically love Italy, they even support the Italian soccer team over most other European ones! I would love that we turn a new page, and our nations become true friends and partners, we have so much history, we are close neighbours. But, this will not fully happen if the Italians, both government and people continue to ignore and block out the crimes of their forefathers. True forgiveness will only come once they lose their ignorance and arrogance and truly recognize what they did, not just to do it to win trading concessions.We do not ask that they take the blame, but we do ask that they recognize the truth and do what other occupiers have done and apologize and repent.Please A.L and others watch this video (maybe you can post it): On a closing not, as stated before, Berlusconi once noted that Western civilisation which he thinks is superior to the Islamic one, we will never seek your form of superiority and will always be proud of our Islamic religion and our Libya. Thank you again and sorry for the long comment and Happy Ramadan AL to you and everyone.Long may truth and peace prevail.

Friday, 29 August 2008

We Should Forgive But We Will Never Forget

According to many news reports, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be travelling to Libya tomorrow to formally apologise for the awful atrocities committed by the Italian occupation in Libya.

He will in a speech to the Libyan people from Al-Manar Palace in Benghazi try to put an end to this very painful period that our ancestors have suffered, what the Italians did in Libya was a crime on a massive scale, a crime that still hurts and haunts all of us when we read or see pictures of the ghastly crimes they committed, including setting up concentration camps where thousands of Libyans perished and that was long before the equally disgusting Nazi concentration camps, the Italians used new weapons that have never been tried before, such as airplanes, tanks and different types of bombs, the Libyans were used as guinea pigs at the receiving end.

Can we forgive Italy for what they did? in my opinion yes we can, it was committed by a different generation and we can not hold Italian people responsible for what happened decades ago but Italy is obliged to compensate the Libyan people, this will not make us forget but it will at least make us feel that they are sorry for what happened, I have read about a new road connection Egypt to Tunisia through Libya at the cost of £6 billion Euros to be built by Italy, I am not sure if this is a good way to pay for their country's crimes, another thing I read was Italy is to clear Libya of all landmines, this is good and to be encouraged because this will benefit many, how about compensating all people that were killed and maimed by Italian landmines, how about opening schools and hospitals run by Italians with the latest in technology for our people to benefit from, these are really much better than just a road which probably already exists anyway.

It is time for us to forgive but we should never forget what our people went through, we should never forget Omar El-Mokhtar, Ramadan Elswihli, Suliman Elbarouni and many many others who were equally heroic and most of all we should never forget what happened to the thousands of unnamed men, women and children that fought the fascist Italians and lost their lives doing so, forgive Yes, forget No.

*Most pictures are from Libya Our Home

itoot Link

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The Big Bazeen!

Back at work today after the long August bank holiday which passed so quick and as for the weather, this must be one of the worst summers I have ever had in London, mostly rain and miserable grey skies, at least the Olympics entertained us for 2 weeks but now they have finished and what a closing ceremony was that, did you see the British segment of the closing ceremony? I thought it was very representative of London, Red bus, umbrellas, people queuing for the bus and bicycles, it was great and the icing on the cake was north London's very own superstar, Leona Lewis singing with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the nice touch was the 12 year old Muslim girl who won a competition to appear coming out of the bus (standing next to David Beckham).
Team GB had one of their best ever Olympics, well done to them, they made everyone here proud, London 2012 is next, it will inshaAllah be good.

A friend of mine told me about something disturbing happening on YouTube but I was not surprised by it. Apparently a Libyan guy is posting videos of Libyan girls and ladies dancing, while I have no problem with anyone that consents to their videos being shown on YouTube, what I found disturbing is that some of these videos seem to be secretly filmed at women only wedding parties without the knowledge of the girls dancing, this is such a shame as it shows there are people with no shame and no decency what so ever, to publish pictures or videos of people without their consent is evil and a criminal offence in most civilised countries, I am not sure what the solution to a problem like this, is it to ask women attending weddings not to dance and enjoy themselves? or to ask people not to take in their mobile phones with them? it is difficult to do any of that I think, perhaps if people watched the following video they would understand the damage they are doing:

On a lighter note, did anyone see the following video (collection of photos)? it is about a mass wedding in the city of Musrata in Libya, my point is not the wedding itself, half way through the slide show, a massive قصعة (big dish) containing a big Bazeen but not as big as I thought it would be, the bazeen ball looked quite lost in the massive قصعة dish. The mystery is that nothing was said about it! were they trying to create the world's biggest bazeen or what? and what happened to it?? I really cant imaging how it would be cut and served except by somebody probably climbing inside the dish to do it, now that would not be be nice, would it? :o)

Sunday, 17 August 2008

YouTube Libyan Murder! True or Hoax?

Couple of days ago I was on YouTube looking for new Libyan uploads, usually my favourites are video showing places in Libya, what I usually do is type Libya in the search box and look for new additions, I found new videos by the Libyan comedian Hatem Elkour so I clicked on one and watched it, very funny then I started looking through the link on the side when I suddenly saw something that grabbed my attention, it was a video titled. the murder of the Libyan traveller Yousef in Cairo, I clicked on it and I was shocked and disgusted to see a video posted by a group calling itself The Sons of Free Libya, basically it was a video glorifying the murder of a Libyan teenager in Cairo carried out by the above mentioned group, I had no idea who the victim was but it was easy to find many videos posted by him, this Libyan teenager who could not be much older than 17, lets just say lived a different life style than what most Libyans would approve of and many of his videos showed him being quite open about the way he was, he was given the name of Yousef the Libyan Traveller because of his extensive travel through out the world even at this young age, of course because of his DIFFERENT life style, there were many comments having a go at him and calling him all sorts of bad names and an embarrassment to Libya and so on...
Back to the offensive video posted by the sons of free Libya, it showed a man with his face hidden behind a scarf and holding a machine gun saying that they carried out God's justice and murdered Yousef for he was bad for Libya then went on to say that Yousef was working for Israel and deserved to die but they never showed any evidence of this! they then showed a fuzzy picture of a body dressed in long shorts, you can not see the head and it says that this is the body of Yousef after he was murdered and burnt, to be honest I am shocked that YouTube allowed such a video to be uploaded on their website! I read most of the comments on this video and others and many of them seem to insist that the whole thing is a hoax orchestrated by the victim himself, that he loves attention and publicity and many said that he is alive and will eventually show up to say that somebody did this to ruin his reputation! many others have insisted that Yousef was actually killed and his body flown back to Benghazi where he was buried last week, there were some comments saying he got what he deserved but the vast majority were decent comments, many did not approve of his life style but said if he was dead then we should not speak badly of him and only ask for Alla's forgiveness لا يجوز علي الميت الا الرحمة.
I myself of course can not confirm if this story is true or a hoax, perhaps people living in Benghazi would have heard about it if it is true and heard about the 3azaa (funeral) by his family, my main problem if it is true is who made this Sons of free Libya, the judge, jury and executioner?? who gave them the right to murder people they disapprove of and claim they did it in the name of Allah? if the story is true then all they did is murder a teenage boy, where is the justice in that? and they committed their crime in a foreign country, did the Libyans and the Egyptian authorities investigate this crime? so now if Libyans going on holiday and decide to do something different like maybe drink Alcohol or commit adultery then they are a target and risk being killed? if this is true then this is another proof of the failure of our society and it wont be long before it is a completely lawless land.
Anyone with information on this please update or confirm.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Guyliner & Manscara!!

The other morning I was watching breakfast TV as I usually do before I go to work, there was a report about makeup and while this is not usually an interesting subject to me, this report was different, it was about a new range of makeup for MEN!! they were specifically talking about 2 new products that are being introduced to the market, wait for it, they are called:
Guyliner & Manscara, that is eyeliner and mascara for men!

The TV program had a reporter in the street with the 2 products asking men if they were willing to try them, I am glad to say that the vast majority looked shocked and walked away, few tried them on as a joke and just looked ridiculous, I laughed so much, the whole thing was such a joke, except it wasn't a joke, now the big cosmetics chains such as Superdrug are selling them! what ever next?
Not so long ago when I ever went to the supermarket, there used to be rows upon rows of shelves stocking beauty products for women and then you would find a tiny little shelf that stocked few products for men such as shaving cream, deodorant, razors and hair gel, now it is different, men have a huge section with so much products that I just do not know what most of them are for! there are anti-aging creams, anti-fatigue creams, anti-black circles creams, anti this & anti that, 100s of different types of shaving creams, gels, after shave and so on..... it is so confusing that I feel sorry for young men, do they really follow all these trends? no wonder they are saying that men are taking as long as women now to get ready to go on an outing!

Staying on the subject of trends and new fashions, this website called In Eyewear which specialises in designer glasses has a try online feature where you can upload your own picture then try the latest in eye wear fashion at your own home, here is a sample with Spongebob modelling a Ray Ban for you.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Team Libya

The date was Friday 08/08/08 at 8pm Chinese time, I was at work the time was 1pm in London, I wanted to watch the Olympics opening ceremony but being at work didn't help plus it was Friday, I started watching BBC online who were showing the entire live event but 15 minutes later I had to drive my work colleagues to the local mosque for the Friday prayer, I thought OK plenty of time to watch the Olympic teams parading but most importantly see team Libya, I was back at my desk at 2pm just in time to see the teams, I thought it was easy to work out team Libya entry but the Chinese used their own system which depends on countries length of names or something! for the next 3 hours I was glued to the PC monitor waiting to cheer the Libyans but where are they?? I never saw them! how annoying? I watched non stop for 3 hours EXCEPT for 1 minute when a colleague of mine asked me how to switch the scanner on, I showed him quickly then back to my PC, can you believe it that in that minute I was away team Libya passed!! how is that for bad luck, first I thought Libya didn't take part but my daughter phoned me and told me that she saw them and that the ladies were wearing beautiful Libyan costumes.

Yesterday I watched the swimming heats on BBC but they never showed the 100-meter breaststroke that Asmahan Farhat took part in, the picture on the left is Asmahan getting ready for her swim, she did not do that well although she did manage to break her own record but she enjoyed taking part, you can read her blog entry, it was funny reading how she was dressed in an east Libyan costume by old ladies, to me this is the best and most beautiful Libyan costume.
Read her blog entry Here. It was annoying to read on some American websites some ignorant comments calling her a traitor and that she should be given a one way ticket to Libya blah blah blah... it is a common practice for countries all over the world to naturalise people of other countries so just that they can participate in sports, the UK has done it, even America naturalised the Sudanese man that was carrying the American flag at this Olympics, at least Asmahan does have Libyan blood, her father is Libyan after all, anyway she did her best and good luck to her.

The opening ceremony which has been described as the greatest show ever staged in history apparently cost £1 billion pound to stage, the budget the Chinese spent on these games is $40 billion, I am sure many Chinese people could think of a better way to spend this money!! in 4 years time London will host the Olympics, how would the British beat the Chinese to a more spectacular Olympics? they probably wont but I am sure Britain will still have a good tasteful games.
Of course there has been a lot of talk about the Chinese government's lack of human rights, many protests all over the world, I thought the following image which uses the Chinese Olympics logo is good and to the point.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Libyan Artist...

I am publishing a compilation or a taster of a talented Libyan artist's songs, most of his songs are sort of Reggie which is not my favourite but in this case the music is good, I have put about 1 minute each of a selection of his songs, tell me what you think, his songs are in Arabic & English.

I myself think he is quite talented, the music is well played, his English is good and his Arabic is a good eastern Libyan dialect, all work well in the songs.

Here is a link to his YouTube Channel, there is only one song there.



Monday, 4 August 2008

Libyan Matters

For many Libyans living outside of Libya (including myself) we do not get a lot of news about Libyan's everyday life and what goes on normally, I mean anything that is not political, for me I found out more about Libya in the past two years than I did in 25+ years before and that is mainly due to Libyan blogs writing about Libya and showing pictures, before that it was mainly websites from inside Libya would write mainly about things that never existed and were there just to make a mountain out of a seed, on the other hand we have many Libyan websites that publish from outside Libya and while many of them showed some reality of what is happening in Libya but most of it is just doom and gloom, that is why I am sometimes hungry for articles and pictures from Libya that have nothing to do with politics, just normal people, normal places, stories that talk about our culture, our heritage and so on...

One such story was about the Santa Maria Church in Tripoli and its return to Christians:

you can read the full article here, I just thought it was heart warming and showed the tolerance of the real decent Libyan people. The same website has many good articles about Libya, like this one about Libyan Tea and the world famous Libyan Truffle تِرفاس , there are many articles about Libya there, very enjoyable.

One other story that got my attention was about the Venus of Cyrene, which was stolen by the Italian invaders from Libya and put in the Rome Museum, the museum has lost its appeal to try and keep it in Rome and I am hoping inshaAllah that it is returned soon, just like the Libyan Aphrodite that was returned in 2002.

saying that, Libyans have responsibility to look after their heritage, I have read few times about how some of our artifacts are stolen and sold abroad and this is happening now, to me this is one of the worst ever crimes committed by people.

Finally I would like to wish our team at this year's Olympics the best of luck, I know it is too much to expect a medal but just taking part and participating in this major event is a reason to be proud of the 7 Libyan athletes, I wish there was more than just seven but that is how it is and inshaAllah they make us proud by being decent and fair.

Incidentally when I wrote few weeks ago about the American/Libyan swimmer Mercedes/Asmahan Farhat not being the first ever Libyan female swimmer as many Libyan and American websites were reporting, it was good to see The Tripoli Post writing exactly what I did weeks before them :o)

Top Row (from left): Asmahan Farhat, Ghada Ali and Ali Zaid; Second row (from left):Mohammad BenSalah, Ezzidin Tlish, Ahmed Belgasim and Sufian Aljaddi