Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Black Hole

...another nightmare ....feeling gutted... plunging into a major depression and a sea of blackness...for the time being I'm brain dead ...even blogging or reading my favourite blogs is not helping........hopefully the climb up shall be merciful . Amen

Usually the only solution is closed- circuit, high- volume, non-stop , mega-bass playing of Gary Moore's " Still Got the Blue" while driving the car with the foot firmly on the gas pedal till you hit the floor until you no longer know where you are... just make sure you have plenty of fuel to come back..... unfortunately I can't do that right now ...too far away from my car .....the next best thing is to listen here / now and pray that the neighbours DO NOT complain or get me arrested for disturbing the peace....but tonight I can't make me up my mind if 'Parisian Walkways' is more fitting ? Man that guitar high pitch screaming is enough to let the hair stand up on my skin and wake up the dead or cure any blues....

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Gary Moore's Still got the Blues

Used to be so easy to give my heart away
But I found out the hard way
There's a price you have to pay
I found out that love was no friend of mine
I should have known time after time
So long, it was so long ago
But I've still got the blues for you
Used to be so easy to fall in love again
But I found out the hard way
It's a road that leads to pain
I found that love was more than just a game
You're playin' to winBut you lose just the same
So long, it was so long ago
But I've still got the blues for you
So many years since I've seen your face
Here in my heart, there's an empty space
Where you used to be
So long, it was so long ago
But I've still got the blues for you
Though the days come and go
There is one thing I know
I've still got the blues for you.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Brazilian reader

This is a private post to one of my Brazilian readers.

Hi F . :) you asked me to send you a snail letter from Libya a few months back as you are a stamp collector and I agreed to do so.
Well I posted this letter over a month ago from Tripoli and I emailed to inform you about it and asked you to please let me know when you have received it. To this day I still have not received any confimation from your side although there are a few IP addresses from your city on my blog.

Would you please let me know what happened, it would also tell me how long does an ordinary letter take from Libya to Brazil ;).

I have taken a digital photo of the enveloppe before mailing it but I do not wish to post it now online just in case you wish to remain anonymous .
All the best ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Lover

My Iranian best friend called today to share the news that he finally was reunited with his ( دوست داشتن ) - ' dost dashtun' . I know he will be reading this blog so Dhafer, this post is dedicated to you and E.....

I remember all the times we spent in high school, then later over capuccinos or talking on the phone and emailing back and forth ;) that was crazy man - at last you got your wish...Here is a toast to a bright future.

با همديگر
تا ابد ....

You know what I want to say right ? we go a looooooooooooooooooong way. Hope I did not botch up the Parsi but I'm really doing my best.

The Lover by Iranian poet Baharak Sedigh ( English translation of course ..it is much more beautiful when you hear it in Parsi )

The true lover has everything to lose.
So, he fears nothing.Without acceptance, relationships become work.
As religion without faith is just an obligation.
Success without passion remains empty.
As love without trust -- just a restriction.
A life lived without love --
A life lived without love is just noise and commotion.
And we're capable of so much more .................................

* Dear readers, enjoy the break, I'll resume with the serious stuff in a few days time (I hope)....there is something I need to take care of.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Purpose of Blogging (attempted essay)

If you've been following my blog than you know what this post is about, if not then here is a summary, this is basically a reply to a questionnaire by a western journalist .

Why do people blog? or more specifically why does Highlander blog ?
Obviously as I stated in one of my first posts, I got into blogging because I wanted to create a website with a good friend of mine. We never got round to doing that. Then I read about Salampax, contacted him, toyed with the idea then started blogging. My primary aim was to reach a western audience to show a small glimpse of Libya, but through our interaction I hoped to eventually learn more about myself and who I am. So you can say it is a personal trip with an agenda of dispelling some strange impressions about my country.

I’m flattered when people read and interact with each other or with me on the blog . That makes it enriching and shows that my words have reached someone, even if they [the someone] react negatively I still appreciate that they took the effort to write about it. It means, as one reader said in her email that my words 'somehow echoed true in their innermost psyche and they had to lash out the only way they knew how'.

Sometimes I offer my ideas, at other times alternative ideas; if you have read all my posts you will see that for yourself. I think my main point is that on the whole this blog has been fair and objective to many subjects and thorny topics. Usually I spend about three hours daily on blogs, reading/commenting, including on my own blog.
Friends and family (those who know), enjoy seeing me happy and having my own little garden plot to tinker my writing in.

I believe that blogging has a lot to offer, the least being fresh opinions from a region traditionally mysterious, misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. Through blogging, the rest of the world could learn and make friends with teenagers, professionals, grown ups or whomever, without the need for go betweens, ‘au naturel’ sort of. The special challenges you refer too could mostly be technical. I’m not worried about my blogging because I believe that I have managed to present a calm and well balanced image of Libya or other countries in the region as you say.

You could officially call me a ‘news –addict’, as soon as I open my eyes and switch on the PC, I immediately turn to the news online. My choices are varied but that is how one forms an opinion I think. Reading several European, US , African Asian and Arabic websites is my daily stop. The reputable ones allow you to judge for yourself and make your deductions about the mainstream media. It has by all means influenced my desire to blog, in the sense of having my personal podium.

Blogging is definitely real; bloggers are revealing incredibly intimate details to the whole world so it must be real to them. Through this experience I met a whole lot of people who had similar interests and came from all over the world. I even became good friends with many of my virtual acquaintances, and the dialogue has moved to the ‘real’ dimension. However, I would venture to say that when one is sincere, then there is a dialogue, be it online or in our world as we know it.
I’m impressed by the sheer number and quality of Arab bloggers. It is thriving. The Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, Tunisians, Bahrainis, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Moroccans, and the Iraqi of course- and all the other Arab countries I did not mention- blog in many languages, French, English, Arabic . This is fantastic. There are even a few Libyan blogs out there now, which I’m trying to collect. Also blogging has allowed Arab expatriates to meet with their compatriots who remained home. Another aspect is meeting up with bloggers' it is a wonderful opportunity to dissect our common interests or disagreements even more.

Anonymity gives you the freedom to be who you are without the usual clichés attached to you by the people who might know you, and so you can let go of your creativity. On the other hand sometimes you wish to stop being anonymous to totally share events and experiences.
I don’t see why is it relevant what my attitude towards America is , why did you not ask me if I was pro- Australia or anti –EU for example. Do you wish to impart by this question that only the US counts? Still I will answer you, it is ‘neither’. I consider myself a citizen of this world and hence all countries matter to me including America.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Shoot to kill !

Remember the Brazilian guy who was killed by police in the London underground?
Apparently someone leaked a document which contradicts the earlier version of how he died.

Basically he was NOT running away, he did not know he was tagged, he did not jump the gate and was shot 11 times ( 8 of them in the head) inside the tube. I saw a partial photo of the guy in one of the paper dailies here in London this morning .

"There was no suggestion that this person was a suspect in any way, that he was running from the police".

Moreover, for those readers in the comment section who disputed about whether the policemen were wearing a recognizable unifom ....please read this :

'But had the normal procedures taken place in which a warning is given and officers wear specially marked clothing then this young man may not have been killed.'

In summary the guy was not a terrorist and hence no one was saved by murdering him point blank. Sad isn't it?
Therefore 'shoot to kill policy' is not such a good idea after all, and the 'threat of terrorism' is no @#@@#@ excuse.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Blogging in the Arab world

This post has been brewing in my mind for a while now. A couple of months ago, I received as usual an email from a journalist requesting an interview. I never thought that my rantings & musings deserve any kind of recognition let alone an interview. But I do understand that being Libyan is probably what makes me so ‘interesting’ in their eyes especially that Libya is so ‘mysterious’ in a way. So I usually either politely refuse, or honestly admit that I have no way of answering the questions they want from me even thoughI try to find what they are looking for.

For this purpose I always tried to put the links to each blog that comes out by Libyans which could perhaps answer those questions better than I would as each Libyan blogger, whether residing home or living abroad, forms a part of this kaleidoscopic puzzle.

However, this last request did not get my usual treatment. The reporter was very clear about what he wanted and followed up with a questionnaire. He was doing an article on Arab bloggers, and why were they blogging. I thought that sounded cool and for the first time I actually wanted to reply. I was allowed a free hand about how much info I wished to divulge, the only request was that I send my reply before the deadline for publishing.

Here is what happened. I wrote my passionate essay about blogging , then I just left it into the draft box to give myself the chance to reconsider. I was thinking that once my words were out I could not collect them back anymore, and that was difficult for me to accept because I like to be in control. I mean look at it this way , I had no way of controlling what would this gentleman do with my words ? Isn’t it a bit silly to think that I was so important lol. Who cares about a Libyan blogger after all . aaaaaaaah the grandiose ideas we hold sometimes he he he.

Anyway, this guy goes on vacation and sends me an email with his private email address in case I want to contact him there. So after a few weeks of deliberation with myself , plus I had other important personal stuff to do anyway, I finally send my email two weeks before the deadline, with a last prayer that things would be allright…..
Well, I don’t hear any news from the guy nor about the other things we discussed by email, so I write to ask what happened with those other things in which I was kind of interested and also that I would like to read his article. See I’m bad I’m curious after all.
Anyway, this gentleman kindly replies that the article was published but because I was late, I was not included. Phew , I sigh with relief and thank my lucky stars ,saying that this was a clear sign from God … I really had hesitated before sending that email. Then I go and read the article only to realize that it was although very nice, not scary or threatening as I thought it would be. I found it similar to many other articles about Arab bloggers. It actually containing nothing of the in-depth study I had expected from the questionnaire sent to me but only the usual stuff ;) ….

Here is the said article in which several of my favourite bloggers are mentioned "Attack of the blogs" by Nicholas Nesson. I would like to congratulate them again. And if you are interested you can read here ( in Arabic) and here ( Arabic) and "Blogs for everyone" only a little of what is said about Arab bloggers in the media.

Tune in for Part II soon as I've decided to post my ‘essay’ The purpose of blogging . So the readers will have to put up with it I guess , and this will ensure all my words come through.

Oh and lest I forget, I would like to thank all the journalists, reporters and film producers who got in touch with me over the years thank you each and everyone, it was really flattering but a difficult choice for me as I am not used to that kind of attention.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hiroshima Mon Amour...

On the topic of Hiroshima, I watched a DVD last night of the famous French movie called 'Hiroshima Mon Amour' made in 1959.
It is about a "A French young woman[who] has spent the night with a japanese man, at Hiroshima where she went for the shooting of a film about peace. He reminds her of the first man she loved. It was during World War II, and he was a German soldier. The main themes of this film are memory and oblivion."

I thought it was quite short and poignant and wished the end was different but accepted that this is life and it cannot be otherwise. In the flashbacks we get to see how horrible the effects of the nuclear bomb were , makes you wish never to survive an atomic attack. Death would be preferrable.
Here is the New York Times review about this much decorated movie. Go watch it en Francais, it is very easy to understand and stronger, for the lazy ones there are subtitles of course!

Personally I loved the actor Eiji Okada ( who died in 1995) including his broken French accent and jet black hair( simply gorgeous).

Saturday, August 06, 2005