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.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Royal Credit Crunch!!

I have been a bit busy lately to write anything plus nothing really happened, it has been a bit boring. Yesterday I had to babysit all day with the kids as their mum had a training day at the Arabic school where she works as a part time teacher, so I suggested to the kids that we go and watch a movie, my daughter Aida straightaway mentioned going to see "High School Musical 3" as soon as Amir heard her he screamed noooooooooooooo, I wanted to join him! I really would never consider watching this film if you paid me but Aida won! we went to watch it and the film did not disappoint me one bit, it was just as bad as I thought it would be, thank God I fell asleep and missed half of it.

This actually brings me to a point I wanted to mention before, Disney channel which produced the movie has more or less taken over other kids TV channels in Britain and probably all over the world, the problem I have with that is my kids know quite a lot about America, ask Amir about many American states and their capitals and he would give you the answer straightaway, you might think this is good! but ask him about Britain and London and England?? he is still confused about them, he is not sure if London is a city or a country, he even pointed out to me the other day when watching something with the Golden Gate Bridge that this is San Fransisco, I doubt that he really knows British or even Libyan landmarks, I am not against them learning about America but it seems American culture is taking over, there are many British TV channels but no one watches them any more, not sure what the solution is but perhaps Disney should consider showing home grown TV programs here in Britain and everywhere else including Arab countries but that perhaps will never happen!!


Britain has been hit so hard by the Credit Crunch, no one is immune!

Queen Elizabeth II trying to make ends meet :o)

One of the greatest things about living in this country is that you can make harmless fun about anyone you want without fear of losing your head.

* Thanks dear friend for sending me this picture.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Weird & Wonderful Pictures!!

Some weird and wonderful pictures from around the world!

Adverts in the wrong place!!


Can you Read the following text on the first attempt?

Not Possible to read??

then follow the guideline below

Close your eyes almost 90% then look at the picture again

You can see it now, Right?

isn't that amazing :o)

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Arabic School & Parking!

On Saturday the kids Arabic school started at last, the school did what Libya did, that is to postpone school until after Ramadan, this is a new trend that I can not get, when I was a child in Libya we used to go to school in Ramadan, anyway the Arabic school changed premises too, now they are based in Wembley which is still not far but I wonder what the reason is that they had to change places!! I do know that in the old place they had problems with the school owners, remember that those places are normal English schools during the week but are rented out on Saturday and or Sunday to schools of faiths and languages, the problem I witnessed before was the typical ignorant attitude of many Arabs and Muslims that have no consideration for anyone else, many would drive their cars through the driveway and leave them there blocking the one way system, the headteacher of the Arabic school used to urge parents through his loud speaker every single Saturday not to leave their cars there, he even mentioned that the authority threatened not to renew their Saturday school contract if the parking problem is not sorted! I wonder if this is the reason we have a new school and how long it will be before some of the parents find another ignorant activity to practice!!

The new school is actually a very old and creepy school, both of my kids loved it straight away because they said it reminded them of Hogwarts the school in the Harry Potter films, I too thought the school was great.

The day went well Alhamdulellah and hopefully the kids will soon get back into the routine of the Arabic school, it is not easy for them as they loose a day of their weekend and get extra home work but they understand they have to do it.


Have you seen this short video? lol it is soooo Libyan :o)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Request for Cross-cultural information about Libya

Few days ago I received an Email from the director of a website that is to specialise in cross cultural information, Mr. Michael Landers was requesting information about Libya, here is a copy of his Email:

"Hope you are well. I just came across your site. Great stuff! I am writing to you because I am launching a website that will be populated with cross-cultural information about every country in the world. We will be looking to the web community to help do this with all the information being available for free. I was wondering if you and/or members from your community may be able to help us out with the Libya pages. We would love your input. Let me know if you would be open to this and I'll send along a brief questionnaire"

I have replied that I would like to help and the questionnaire was forwarded to me, I was going to try and answer as many questions as possible but then I thought that since it is about life in Libya then I better ask some of you who are living in Libya to try and take part, some of the questions are easy and straight forward but there are questions about business and student life that I could not possibly answer as I have left Libya a long time ago.
Your help will be appreciated and please try to be as accurate as possible even if the answer is negative, no country and no one is perfect, many thanks.
Any one can contact Michael Landers at his Email if you need further details:

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Pictures & Libyan Stolen Art!

I was in Turkey recently for a few days trip, while I was there I took a boat trip round the coast, the scenery was very beautiful, as we were heading back to shore I started seeing a shape of a baby's head in the mountain, I took few pictures, what do you think? can you see what I saw?

Spot the Baby!


Here it is highlighted, Weird or what?? سبحان الله


I have read before that Israeli Jews of Libyan origins are probably the most loyal community to its old customs and rules and that they are very proud of their Libyan connection, I found the following video on YouTube showing or enacting the old Jewish/Libyan custom of marriage, I thought it was good and fun:


It was very sad to read yesterday about the theft of valuable items from the Islamic Museum in Tripoli, the strange thing is that whole exhibitions have been cleared by the thieves, it just does not seem to be a normal robbery, some people working there must have many answers, what a shame to loose such beautiful artifacts and furniture, I wonder how many more stories of stolen Libyan heritage there are? I bet too many.

Here are phots of the stolen treasures from the Islamic Museum in Tripoli, apparently everything you can see has gone!!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Toilet outside a Mosque!!

2 years ago I wrote about cleanliness in some London mosques or rather about the lack of it here, while London does have a huge number of mosques, west London seems to lack behind, many of us have to go to the Central Mosque of Brent as it is the only one in that area, I have known this mosque for at least 15 years if not more, it has always been under construction, they keep collecting money but it may not be enough or something, only recently they added a dome and the minaret is still being built.

The main problem with this mosque is that it really is quite dirty, the carpets are soiled, the toilets, well the less said about them the better! I usually pray on Friday in the basement because the main hall gets very busy, the basement is so dirty and full of greasy cooking pots and pans and bags of sand and cement that you end up with dusty clothes as you leave, there are even bags of cement there that have been there for years and have become rock solid yet no one bothered to remove them, this mosque is near to my work that is why I go there.

The reason I am writing this was because the Friday before Eid, after the prayers as I left by the side door I noticed a toilet seat & flush just by this side door and I thought this does not look good but no surprise here as the people running this mosque do not seem to care anyway. Few days later I saw a Friend of mine who is Scottish and Catholic, he works in a children's home just behind the mosque, he told me that as he left the home where he works going towards the tube station, he passed the mosque as usual and just by the gate's front door of the mosque, right under the sign with the mosque's name, he saw a toilet seat standing there and looking very offensive, he thought perhaps some Islamophobic person did that as an insult to the mosque to make it look like a public toilet, he actually went in and knocked at the door of the mosque, then spoke to some old man who could hardly speak English let alone look after a mosque, then he spoke to another man and told him about the toilet seat, the man admitted that it was their fault and that they were waiting for someone to come and collect it and throw it away, my friend told him that it is shameful to put a toilet seat outside like that, that they should have more respect to the mosque and that this might make other Muslims think that it was an attack by some ignorant non-Muslim, they agreed that it was wrong and thanked my friend.

Next day on his way to work as he passed the mosque, the toilet seat was still there only this time it had a bin bag wrapped round it! I asked my friend if he took a picture, he said he thought about it but didn't want to offend anyone, shame he didn't!

I wonder if that toilet seat was put there by an anti-Muslim person, what would have happened and how much crying of injustice and Islamaphobia we would have heard??

Are people running this mosque ever going to clean it up? it really does not cost much to be clean and tidy, it is part of our faith after all.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Libyan Eid in London

Salam everybody, we all took 2 days off work and school to celebrate Eid, as usual the first day was spent mainly with family and being sick to death of Magroud and other sweets as they were everywhere! still it was nice to be able to eat and drink :o)
Yesterday we headed to the Central Mosque, Regents Park, for the Libyan Eid Party, we arrived at about 6:20 pm, there was only few people there and the place was still being set up, I keep forgetting that I am Libyan and therefore I should turn up really late as most other people do, yet I still manage to be almost on time every time and find I am the first!!
The Eid party is sponsored by Takaful Trust who have managed to carry on with this Libyan tradition that has been run by other trusts before, as usual there was a large selection of soft drinks and lots of Arabic sweets.

MashaAllah, how cute is this little Libyan next to Amir?

Libyan boys doing what they are good at, fighting and pushing each other, some things never change! main thing is they all enjoyed the party but you can tell that the Credit Crunch has hit the event, in previous years, toys, crisps, sweets and drinks used to be given to all children, this year nothing was given to the kids apart from what was available to the adults and the 3 big bouncy castles, actually that was not a bad thing since Eid is always a bad time for junk food and sweets, the less the better and the Takaful Trust has at least managed to keep the party going even at these difficult times, I think most Libyans here are grateful to Takaful for what they are doing and for the happiness they bring to our children.
Yes that is me dressed in my Libyan suit but with a variation on the shirt! (Libyan suit makes me look fat!! I am not really) :o)

At Mughreb time I took Amir to pray with me at the main praying hall, while he has been many times to this mosque, he had never been inside the praying area before, he was amazed at the size and really was impressed with the huge chandelier hanging from the middle of the dome.

As usual it was great seeing many friends, some I haven't seen since last Eid and the main thing is that we get to wish each other a happy Eid all at the same time, London is a huge city and it would be impossible otherwise to visit people individually.