Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Best of the Libyan Blogosphere: March 2007

I'm sure you are all waiting impatiently for this monthly post LOL ..ok ok I know I'm exagerating, but here we go...

Beacon from Tripoli Nights has made me tearful with his reminder about the Prophet's last sermon, part of which I've been proudly displaying in my blog header for years now. This is more special as this week we celebrated the Mawled of Prophet Mohamed.

"In the year 632 (After christ), 9th day of Dhul al Hijjah, 10 Hijiri in the
'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat, Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), spoke one of the most
important words ever to be spoken by any human, he gave his last Sermon, and I
believe its a Universal charter of Humanity, suitable for all time."


Mani from Sands of Time has not blogged since November, however his prolific comments on the Libyan blogs are stand alone posts and we are all mighty pleased when he makes an appearance as we value his opinion. I suggest he should go right now and collect them and post them again on his blog with the link to the original. That is why I am going to highlight one such post/comment that caught my eye and which I think deserves to be featured into the best of the Libyan blogs section .

"Reconciling this disconnect between perverted institutions and societies at
large is an issue of governance. Not 'good governance' as the neo-liberal term
implies (a set of policies designed to promote greater private control over
natural resources and human capital, and the complete 'marketisation' of state
economies, that they are connected fully to international markets) but GOOD
governance, one that reflects the principles of democratic societies and one
that ensures accountability at all levels of institutional development."

I think Hafed agrees with me very much as he dedicated a post to this comment :)

If you wondered why Safia was silent for the last few weeks you can now understand what happened as she explains it on her post "Breaking the silence" guaranteed cliffhanger ...

"Finally I am able to break the imposed silence on my blog. I am supposed to
keep blog-silence until Wednesday, but hell if I am going to accept anyone
silencing me into submission.Last year I joined people in Denmark defending the
rights of artists to draw what they want, but said I did not like what they did
while drawing our Prophet (saas).The same courtesy has not been extended to me."


Sereeb our romantic Libyan writer is happy and our heart is beating cheerfully for her happiness too .

"Well, the reason I’m up this early is, hmm, I’m so excited, I’m so happy. No,
no, I haven’t won the Lottery. Neither got a book deal (which I think it will be
imminent). Hmm, so what do you think is the reason of my excitement! Can you
guess! No! Hmm. Well, the reason is I just got my first invitation to do my
first ever reading. Hooray! Yup, the Bedouin Soadina is invited to do her first
reading and please don’t ask me where as I’m not going to tell, hee-hee."


Mabrouk ya Sousou , you go girl warihum :)

Besheshentra has made a hilarious post about Libyans and Meat - in Arabic , and oh boy her message is so true. One thing ya Bashush , in Morocco they are even crazier than us with meat so don't lament :)

The following post is one of the best I have read for a long time. First of all Happy Birthday to Hannu and to the rest of the Libyan bloggers who's birthdays coincidently enough fell on March. Secondly, no I am not born in March, but there is no need for you guys to know when I was born :P. Now most importanly the post I want to feature is a touching tribute from Suliman to Hannu.

"I wouldn't say it's been an easy ride, but it has been a good ride. I generally
like to see the process of learning and personal growth around me, that's why I
like teaching. But seeing growth in the ones you love is a whole 'nother' thing
all together. I never had a shred of doubt. Hannu is an A student in a ranked,
fiercely competitive program. She has been active in and out of the classroom,
awarded one competitive scholarship, currently in the running for a Pace Setter
Award, and the Fisher School's magazine wants to run a piece on her. If you
think I'm proud, you're damn right I am, but not at all surprised! I knew from
day one, :-) and I know there is a lot more to come."


This is the stuff of love and reminded me so much of my own dad and mom , maybe that's why I have been still holding out for Mr. Highlander ? ( more news on that soon :P ) as my criteria are quite rigorous it seems ! So Mabrouk Sol and Hannu - great job !

Many bloggers wrote about Mother's Day and Children's Day in Libya which take place annually on March 21 , but Trabilsia's post is the most heart warming one . She is reporting to us on the special day we spoke about here for the terminally ill children in Tripoli Medical Center. Thank you Trabilsia!

"I asked a teenager ( Basma) the oldest of the children on the ward what
she had, to which she replied Leukemia . Such a big word for a child , I hugged
her and felt her pain and she knew it . I had tears in my eyes as I desperately
tried to comfort her to which she said it was the wish of Allah . She introduced
us to the other suffering children as she was the oldest and knew what everybody


Dima Ghariba Shwayia is not as unconventional as she likes to think :P , many of us are in your boat habibti even though we don't live abroad . I could not make up my mind which of her posts for March would go on this post but I decided to judge by my favourite bête noire, the so called search for a Libyan/Arab Muslim hubby , and then it was easy to decide . Ladies and gents here is an excerpt from her post Unhushed Whispers...

"You would think that as big as the U.S. is, there really would be no trouble
meeting someone nice who shares many of the same qualities as you. I am here to
tell you that it is absolutely impossible for an Arab American girl to find
someone like that [..] Did you know that between 60-80% of the Arab Americans
who live in the U.S. are Christian? Most Americans are completely ignorant of
this fact, but female Arab American Muslims are not. Right away, the odds are
stacked against them, at least in terms of finding a potential mate. So then you
look at what’s left. There are three types of Arabic Muslim men in the US. "

AngloLibyan's post ' can we coexist' touched a raw nerve for yours truly it simply illustrated the sheer ignorant arrogance of some people .

"I saw my Scottish friend again, he told me what had happened after I left
him and his friend that day, his friend asked him if I was a Muslim to which he
replied yes, the other guy then said that he was surprised because he thought I
was nice (i.e. not a nasty Muslim terrorist), my friend asked him why he said
that to which the other guy replied that he does not trust Muslims, my friend
asked him how many Muslims he knows, the reply was non, he never even met a
Muslim before "

Finally Lebeeya had a comic post about the reason for the attempted ban of Libyan women under 40 to travel on their own. Going back to her blog to feature it in this post, I found that it had been unfortunately removed and we shall be deprived of the good laugh she usually gives us.
I'm wondering what prompted this action and whether it was the direction the comment section regarding of that particualr post took that led to its ban. I will take this opportunity to say that although I did not get the chance to read all the comments re. that particular post, I did however manage to follow on some regretfully hurtful accusations hurtled back and forth. With all humble experience as the first Libyan blogger I have seen this negativity only once before on a different topic and I would like to urge all the big Libyan blogger family to be courteous to each other regardless of differences of opinion. There is no need to name people in order to maintain each person's privacy and 7urma. I am so sorry about the very dear person who was innocently hurt there. Hopefully this incident would remind us that words are sometimes deadlier than a sword. Leebeeya you did well in removing the offensive stuff, however there is a tool which allows you to leave a particular post but not show its comments.
Keyword analysis - March 2007

14.29% grendizer free cartoon

14.29% faisal abu khadra

14.29% anglolibyan

7.14% arabic fashil

diamonds are forever,007

7.14% mawled of prophet mohamad birthday '07

7.14% milud un nabi

7.14% laptop prices dubai

7.14% space adventures grendizer

7.14% will i be charged a roaming fee for cingular, if i'm in kuwait?

7.14% she shall not be moved analysis by shereen
Top 3 Highlander fans for March 2007

(1) Libyan NBA
(2) Programmer_Craig
(3) AngloLibyan

Runner up Nomad :)

Last month's results

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Best comment for March 2007

Actually there are two this time :P

Mani said

"Thanks for the link -- great story. I only ask the question because it is a puzzle. I'm very much of a secular person and believe that people have to be allowed to make their own mistakes -- this is how people learn, but such a way can be very dangerous, as life can be, not sure what can be done about that. I just don't see enough concern about morality from secular sources and I just wonder what that will mean for the future of secular society."

Perkunas.. thank you very much.. you know, my english friends and I were reflecting on the same issue yesterday. I was telling them about the Laws of Allah swt(huddod)in the Quran and how the punishments for the major sins and their underlying conditions were described in the Quran. You see, its common sense to know that people should learn from their mistakes but its also common sense that transgressions that are not (mistakes) be dealt with approporiately because if they are not, then moral and social decay will incur. This is because man's knowledge is imperfect and between his uncertainty and limited reason man copies others. Th emajority of the people in the world follow a simple 'baa baa mentality' that makes them succeptible to being herded around like sheep. So moral decay is eating up the planet because fake role models and heros of modernity (celebrities, fashion people, fake stars, lewd people etc) are being paraded infront of us daily in the media as role model citizens that we should emulate, follow, dress like, sing to and about bllablabla. This, i think is your point.youd expect any reasonable system of governance to make room for both mistakes and correction. So the punishments that are prescribed in the quran for examble are protected by a combination of severe warnings , punishments for misuse of witness authority and all sorts of other measures designed specifically to guarentee room for privacy and personal learning. Not only that, but Islam is not just a system of governance or (law) as in other societies.. its a sytem of teaching. We muslims are encouraged to approach ourselves or other sinners in compassion and advice and the same Quran discourages revenge and scandalising while encouraging advice and respect for other's privacy. Believers who take this message of Islam should take it wholly, and under those circumstances I can see that the system Allah swt lay out for us is only for our own benefit at the end of the day.Islam is common sense .. thats why we have reason to identify it with.. not irrational attiudes of irresponsbile emotion..Id love to stay longer and write a bit more im not usually in these moods of reflection and writing flow too.. but I hope that I may have given you something to reflect on with me too.
Thu Mar 15, 12:11:00 AM 2007

Braveheart said

Highlander:i think u didn't understand the Libyan decision, the decision is to pan women to travl alone , not to pan women to blog in her blog.u understand me, long time we didn't see ur respected issues.come on, we're waiting
Thu Mar 29, 09:47:00 PM 2007
Happy Milud!

Tomorrow is the Prophet's birthday , an sms I received today to share with you:

بانوار النبي اصبح عليك و بالمولد اهنيك
وادعي ربي من الكوثر يسقيني ويسقيق

Have a wonderful Milud everyone and for my Libyan fellows try not to get hurt with the firecrackers.

Previous posts by Highlander with photos from Libya :

2006 The Mawled ( Prophet Muhammad's Birthday

2004 Prophet's Birthday

Friday, March 09, 2007

Highlander: to be or not to be grounded ? ( Updated)

Like Sereeb, Braveheart and Um Dania , many others Libyan and non-Libyan are outraged and talking about the latest hot topic; namely the purported planned banning of Libyan young women from travelling abroad without a chaperone, effective Monday ( which Monday? ) .

A lot of people and me included have only read very brief mentions regarding the issue such as in here , and are building whole theories on them, but none of us have any concrete proof.

The story began when the Aljamahiriya daily paper ( cartoon above courtesy of the same paper) ran an article on Monday March 5, in which a woman wrote to complain that she had been turned back at the airport apparently because of this new law. Well first of all this is the link to the full article in Arabic by two Libyan female journalists critical of this decision. In the same paper another Libyan female journalist wrote an Op-ed, in which Khjadija Bseekri wonders among others things in Arabic, how is the Libyan female pilot, judge or other professional going to travel and will she have to beg from her male relatives to accompany her.

It seems some women have been turned back, and I also read plenty of references to this Law , but I do not see the text or a copy of it anywhere. So I turned to the website hosted by the General People's Committee . This is an extremely popular and up to date Libyan governement site. It is very professional and all the decisions, decrees and laws are categorized and posted in pdf file mode. I was surprised to find no sign of this law, but only a clarification about it. I even checked the website of the Ministy of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice and still could not locate it . The clarification simply states that this decision aims to regulate the unecessary travel of Libyan women abroad due to some negative past activities and that it is the same as for men, i.e. you have to show why you are travelling and what for. It is well known that employees male and female are required to have a letter stating their purpose of travel if for business/study /etc... I am not translating the entirety of the article but just the salient points. Regardless of that I see no trace of that law yet so could it be that some overzealous people are implementing it already based on rumours ? trigger happy kind of ?

To be honest I am not surprised at this turn of event, I could see it coming for the last few years because of all the questions and hints I kept being bombarded with each time an immigration officer held my passport. I had an uneasy feeling because I had heard of the unfortunate misconduct of some of my Libyan sisters which meant that the reputation of many Libyan women travelling alone has a potential to suffer because they are looked upon as less than pure.
I understand this is discriminatory, because even if some girls are dishonouring themselves, or being sucked into crime, who is to judge ? and why not the men? some of them are behaving even worse. So the responsibility for honour and a crimeless life lies with both males and females as good citizens. If there is a criminal offense, then apprehend the offender, but if it is a case of morality then if someone has not been brought up well in their home whether male or female, then they will not be chaste in their own country or outside away from prying eyes and nothing will curb it.

Preventing Libyan women under 40 from travelling unless they have a male guardian with them is not going to stop depravity. In addition it implies that after the age of 40 you are less depraved and cannot become a criminal because you are mature ? or because you are less pretty and too old , very unflattering. Meanwhile , nothing, zilch , nada in the local press, except for the above mentioned paper.

I will not argue religion because if true this law is not based on Sharia and according to the clarification mentioned it is to curb criminal and depraved behaviour. Sharia has a different angle, and some of it is still under debate. So please don't bring religious arguments into the comments because this alleged decree does not discuss the Sharia as it clearly stipulates a certain age range and not ALL women. The Sharia as illustrated here bases its fatwas on several hadiths . I am not an expert on Islamic jurisprudence and as I said it is not today's topic.

Hence to this date, this decision against lone women travellers under 40 is still unpublished officially even though there have been a few cases of women being refused permit to leave. However, if true then it really clashes with several of our local laws here especially article 21. This is not only ironic as it comes into force concomitently with the celebratrion of International Women's day but if true it is indeed disappointing to say the least.

My personal prediction if it turns out to be correct is that I don't expect the decree to last more than a few weeks, and I have of course my own theory about that..

Obviously this means the farthest I will be travelling for a while could be my grandparents' house... ridiculous no ?

In the meantime, the Egyptians have a wise saying , 'yakhabar il naharda bi flus , bukra bi balash'.

Update 12-3-2007

As I said above this law has not been promulgated and there was no trace of it but only indirect references and allusions to security measures prompting the sending back of some females from the airport . Yes the General People's Committee issued an announcement for those who do not read Arabic, here below is the summary :

(1) denial that it was issued on its behalf
(2) confirming some temporary security measures and which have now been taken care off.
(3) clarifying that these organising procedures never aimed that discriminating against Libyan women especially since our ladies are leaders in being aircraft pilots, judges and lawyers etc..
(4) it has already explained before the causes of these temporary measure which have been duly carried out by those in charge , and that there has been a misunderstanding along the way.

So basically I'm not grounded anymore, and I told you so .... and what's more I still have my own theory about all this :P
The best of the Libyan blogosphere -February 2007

I've been too busy lately and missed out on posting these monthly items on time, but as the saying goes better late than never !

AngloLibyan made two outstanding post about Libya's AIDS children, if you still have not read them they deserve your attention :
(1) who is Michael Shields

"One of the strangest name calling I found which was repeated many times, was calling Libyans, gypsies! as far as I know Bulgaria has many gypsies yet they seem to use this word as an insult, I do not find calling me a gypsy an insult, Libyans are not gypsies but perhaps this shows how some so called civilised nations are racists against their own people, shame.' "
(2) Unite for children , unite against AIDS
"I keep leaving university then come back because I feel there is no point in studying, I am dead.
Psychologically I am destroyed from the inside, I will not keep quiet about my case ever, my life was stolen from me "

Ema from Ema's world , brought up the topic of the strange Gulf fashion sweeping Libyan females, the modern hijabi look. We Libyans add a twist to everything . I'll make a post about that soon, in the meantime enjoy modern fe3enak !
"I was never convinced that this newly imported style is something good, and I guess it's been imported from the Gulf countries cause the 3baya is originally from there, and after the opening in relations and economy boosting, traveling became easier to there especially Dubai where the trends came from I guess."

Abughilan posted about an Italian soldier who deserted his company joined Omar Mukhtar , became a Muslim and married a Libyan woman, until his capture and execution.

"Carmine Iorio became one of the soldiers in the Italian garrison of Derna. It seems that Carmine was very inquisitive of his new environment and wished to learn Arabic language and to understand the Quran" [more]

A.Adam' s we are toghether for children, a beautiful post to thank his Hungarian friend Nora for her hard work in helping Libyan sick children. !

"Nora is a Hungarian girl, she has did something to help Libyan children who has (HIV), she participate in a society projects to help those children,We are one Libyan group thanking Nora from the bottom of our hearts for standing with us.Who ever you are, wherever you are, together we can bring the light to the world and give children hope to live peace. And to all people, if there are some people like Nora who think others, we will live in peace. So thank you Nora" [more]

Libyano posted about donating blood which is badly needed in Libya :

"I donated before and I noticed something really different in the donation room from all the other areas in the hospital , you don't know how staff would be so pleased to see you and to serve you the minute they know you are here for donation , go to Alkhadra hospital on emergency entrance ask for the blood donation room and they will show you and help you out , and the same as in TMC ( Tripoli Medical Center ) go to the emergency entrance and ask in the reception where you can donate blood , they will take a blood sample from you first for viral screening HIV , hepatitis B and C , and to measure your hemoglobin level , the results will come the next day then when you come inshallah everything will be good and they measure your blood pressure and then you can give the liquid of life , you don't know how happy you will feel after that ." [more]

The Lost Libyano blogging from the US made a stricking post which brought so many lovely memories I am a 90s kid !

"If you grew up in the 90's, you gotta read this!!!!!Anybody under the age of 13 should not read this, and if you do, you should not repost this.Just because you were born in '97 doesn't mean you're a 90's kid.It's not like you could remember the original Simpsons. I am sorry but three conscious years of the 90's just wont cut it." [more]

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Keyword Analysis - February 2007

15.38% highlander blog

15.38% watch all arabic candid camera

15.38% arabic comics books grendizer

7.69% the wanderer poem

7.69% sexy arabic women => I know who this is :P

7.69% total solar eclipse affect mood 2006

7.69% hijab and modesty

7.69% marriage medical exam france

7.69% almawled

7.69% teacher name fatima benghazi libya

pretty tame by the usual standards no ? on another note coming soon ...the best of the Libyan blogosphere for February !
Best comment for February 2007

Ghazi Gheblawi said

"As much you made laugh as much you made me feel so lonely and missing all these intimit moments, thank you Highlander, hope that one day I come back to Libya forever... hopeGhazi
Fri Feb 16, 11:39:00 PM 2007 [sic]"
Top 3 Highlander fans for February 2007

(1) Programmer_Craig
(2) Nomad
(3) Chris in Manitoba

and runner up is Lebeeya :P

compare with last month

Friday, March 02, 2007


As you may have noticed, I've finally updated the template and the sidebar links, and have come around to accept the new Blogger, which I'm finding easier to use now.

The Libyan blogs have all ( those that I collected) been put in this blog here :

The Libyan blogroll go and read them , you may be yet surprised at how large and diverse our family is now!