Friday, 2 October 2009

Libyan Slap Up Meal

Salam, long time no see :o)

I have been away from the blog world for a while as I had some issues to deal with, I am not sure if I will continue to blog the same way I used to but we will see.....
It has not been long since Ramadan finished and we all celebrated Eid, I actually have a rant about Libyan Ramadan here in the UK which I know some people wouldn't like but still I have to say my piece, most Muslim communities in the UK celebrate Ramadan by doing the occasional Iftar (Ramadan dinner) for their community where families and single people gather together in a hall, restaurant, hotel or even a mosque, usually a selection of their national dishes are served and it can be very enjoyable if done correctly, now I know that the Libyan community here is not well off but there are other communities that are lets say, a lot poorer, I myself over the years have been to other Arab/Muslim community Iftars and they were usually simple but clean and well organised, after all here in the UK they cater for all pockets, you can actually organise a decent clean hygienic dinner for very little money which brings me to the Libyan community Iftars, one of the official Iftars held in Ramadan was advertised on the Internet and Libyan families were invited to attend, I didn't attend this one but have been to similar ones few times, the advertised Iftar I mentioned was attended by many Libyans, they even posted pictures on the Internet but is it just me or was that not right!!

people were served food straight from the cooking pot as you can see from the picture, believe me this is normal! it really does look like a slap up meal served in prison, I have even seen people serve French bread tucked under their arms (remember they work in hot kitchens and might be a bit sweaty!) then when they arrive at your table they break the bread with their hands and just pile it on top of the tables that have no dishes or even table cloths, some of these tables have old encrusted food stains that even Bacteria wouldn't like, how is that for hygiene? and if you dare mention anything you would just get: eat man its not going to kill you!

A friend of mine who lives in London but travels a lot to Libya told me that it is nothing like that there, that food events are well organised and clean and that the Libyan community here need to move on, I am not sure why we are not trying to improve our standards here, I only see this with Libyan community, of course I am not saying everyone is like that but it does seem to be the norm with most, maybe we should look at other Muslim communities here that are lees fortunate than us yet they got it right, we can learn a lot from them.

Looking at the picture again, I bet the UK hasn't seen anything like this since Victorian times!


Anonymous said...

wellcomebcak Mr Anglolibyan we miss you alot .

Living Away said...

hey anglo, i was worried about you. i hope everything is ok with you and your family!

i hope you get motivated in a good or bad way to keep posting.

take care!


Bumedian said...

It’s the (badawian ) culture bro. not gone to change in 1000 years . as so many other similar culture trying hard to learn and live the citizens life as it meant to be. Islamic? yes its Islamic to be civilized. So why they just keep holding to that rock that pulls them deep down, it’s the love of the dirt , its getting bigger and bigger but as the old saying… about the tale of the dog.
Am sorry but it’s the truth ,,, and it appear in the pic

Thank you

khadijateri said...

The very sad thing is that when the Libyans come to visit Libya again they have their noses in the air and act like they are all so very civilized. sigh....

Thanks for posting again - keep posting please!

abdullah SH said...

sad pic represent part of libyan behaviors from ppl most of them represents educated & students people & the sad thing as teri says when coming back to libya looking as who comeback from the moon all noses touched da sky !!

in the end i know those exceptions ..

salam & welcomback

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I am not with you on this one to be honest.

You complain about how they served food straight out of a cooking pot and that this is the norm. So where is the problem? The food isn't going to change whether it's served from a gold platter or the cooking pot it was cooked in. Poor presentation doesn't change the quality of the food and although it would be nicer it's not a complete crisis as you're making it out to be.

The tables have plastic covers, which seem pretty hygienic to me (Maybe tacky but thats not the issue here). Everyone seems to have their own tray with their own plates and I can see disposable cups. I honestly can't see what you're complaining about. One guy has even made the effort to put an apron on!

I can also assure you that in libya sights like this are completely normal. Of course not everyone is like that but poor people haven't changed much. Obviously richer people are making every effort to westernise, live the high life and pretend as if they have nothing to do with "libyans" or as someone else put it "badawian" (to that guy: seriously "bro" stop looking down on other libyans, I guarantee you that some of these people you look down on are better than you, stop judging people)

Honestly the picture seems completely fine and I've even shown this image to some of my fellow university students and work mates (English people btw). They have all said that it seems completely acceptable and that the only issue seen is presentation which they all don't seem to be too fussed about. All the people seem to be completely civilised so unless there is another picture, this isn't really illustrating your point.

Anglo-Libyan said...

thank you anonymous, I missed you too :o)

Leandra good to see you back too

Bumedian, yes its very Islamic to be civilised and well organised, thats, it needs to be practised by Libyans from all over Libya.

KT, thanks and I will kepp trying InshaAllah.

Abdullah Sh, thanks and salam to you too :o)

its ok not to agree with me :o)
my post was never about the quality of food, that I didnt complain about, yes it was about presentation and organisation which to me is very important.
remember I mentioned that I didnt attend the event in the picture but wrote about similar event I attend every year, still I think serving food from the pot is not nice.
as I said, it has nothing to do with poor and rich, poor communities here are much better at organising these events.
not sure if have been to any of these events, try to go then you might see my point.
remember that you are a lot younger than me, probably in my Uni days I wouldnt have cared so much about how food is presented but when you are older hygine and good presentation are as good as the food quality.
if you have the money to buy paper cups and plates and plastic spoons then you have the money to hire someone to clean up the real cups and plates usually provided in these places.

Luna said...

Hi ya Al !

Long time no see indeed .....
trust all is ok from your side-

Food events are very well organized here in Tripoli.
The Grandest was the Iftar Reception held this year at the US Ambassadors Residence -very nice of them .

Great that you get whats bugging you out in the open . Never keep things bulked inside!

If I was in your place I'd've left immediately !Call me imdela3, but Iftar has to be well presented and planned plus it doesn't take much money to do so . A great heart is all you need !

Thanks sooooooo much for posting.

Blessings :-))))))))))))

Weldemdina said...

Good morning my dear friend AL it’s good to see you again in this blogging world, many happy returns.
When I saw the picture at first before even set my eyes on the content of your post, I thought this is something to do with some refugee camp or a third world prison, and not an event in London during the month of Ramadan. From my experience in all those years here in this land I noticed the majority of Libyans who come to England either to study for few years and go back home or live here as professionals ,representatives of Libyan companies, government institutions, or a long term residents, most of them if not all of them tend to cling to bad habits taken from home and they never try to make the effort to learn a good ones, and by getting into their own bad habits they think they are preserving their own culture from getting corrupt by this land and its disbelievers ‘’Kofar’’ .
There are so many good habits and behaviours that could be learned and taken back home and tought to others, in this way we all contribute in changing our Libyan society to the better, good habits they could by like how to stand in a queue and get served, or how to pick up the litters and place it inside the bin, how to behave when round a dining table by not making noises while eating, how to respect the others while talking and not interrupt them and to be polite, etc . The list goes on and on, so long it goes for ever and it needs another post.
Unfortunately our Libyan brothers and sisters as soon as they arrive here they place themselves inside a cocoon refusing to get out of it, just in case they get tainted by the outside, this way they will never change and so are their children, till that day I would advise you my friend to be selective and chose a more civilised gathering or just have your meals at your own home at peace.

MusicLover said...

I have been away from the blog world for a while as I had some issues to deal with, I am not sure if I will continue to blog the same way I used to but we will see.....

Make sure blogging does not take over your personal life as it is not worth it.

Fleetwood Mac - Dreams

Anonymous said...

I am sorry! just reread my post and it came out a bit more aggressive than I first anticipated, apologies again.

I made the mistake to assume the problem was food, when quite obviously it isn't. I go to a group iftar with libyans every week during ramadan. The only difference is the number of people invited is limited and it's just a group of families that know each other really well. To be perfectly honest, you've actually hit the nail on the head, I am usually too hungry to care about presentation, living away for uni and coming back on weekends for iftar all I really care about is just the food. It's always better than the libyan stuff I attempt to cook.

Just for clarification, I am a new anonymous, I've never commented here before, I am new to your blog and the blogging world and the only reason I've commented as anon is because I don't have an account here.

BuJ said...

Dear AL,

Great to read from you again!
My first impressions on seeing the pic with blackened faces was something scary.. like a mix between group iftars and libyan Prison Break!!! Scary stuff man!

Anyway I am curious to know why you're not blogging as much but it's obviously personal and I respect it. However I hope life is treating you and your family well, especially in these difficult times economically in the UK.

I do not regret leaving the UK earlier this year.. I guess it was my time..

Anonymous said...

Um.. hi! i am a student at a school in libya.. and i need to know about libyan families!! ive searched everywhere and i cannot find anything, i need some help from a libyan! but my friends cant help so.. Can you plese help and i need it before this Sunday!!

Anonymous said...

Um.. hi! i am a student at a school in libya.. and i need to know about libyan families!! ive searched everywhere and i cannot find anything, i need some help from a libyan! but my friends cant help so.. Can you plese help and i need it before this Sunday!!

Anonymous said...

فعلا المنظر وكأنه احدى السجون, ولكن قد يكون السبب لعدم تعودنا على رؤية ما يسمى بموائد الرحمن اي انها لم تكن جزء من ثقافتنا الليبية حتى وقت قريب وكذلك تمويل المناسبة في حد ذاته له دور كبير فمن الصورة يتضح بأنه المكان والمكونات بسيطة جدا وكذلك قد يكون السبب عدم وجود اللجنة المنظمة للحدث وانه تم ارتجالي وغير منسق, ولذا وجب تنبيههم وارسال مقترحات اليهم حتى يتفادوا مستقبلا.
وكل عام وانت سالم

Maya M said...

I agree with one or two above commenters who do not see anything wrong with the picture. (BTW, in my country bread on important occasions such as Christmas Eve is required to be broken by hand; can't say why.) I remember similar parties from my younger years. Nobody cared about food presentation, formal clothing and so on. We served food from the pot and felt free and at home. I guess that in several years, when the people in the picture graduate and "settle", they will also abandon this lifestyle. They'll feel the duty to bring up their children in the true spirit of traditions, and the necessity to appease their in-laws :-). So I think there may be many acceptable (in principle) ways to organize an event and rules can vary widely, even within a culture.

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