Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Libyan blogging scene: Reflections on 2008 and The Highlander Award for Excellence

First of all Happy New Hijri (Islamic) Year 1430!

I have not been blogging as much as I had planned too. Also it's been the year where many of the Libyan bloggers contracted the Libyan Disappearing Syndrome ™ Chris in Manitoba :P

In fact back in October I wanted to write a longer post about this phenomenon but only managed this brief mention.

Many bloggers have not updated for months and others for over a year. We can see this in Khalid's very convenient aggregator called All Libyan Blogs.

There are also some blogs who have become 'open to invited readers only', so only a few enjoy the bloggers wit, which is as good as being closed anyway. Some bloggers have deleted their blog. Others have requested not to be linked to anymore.

I know and understand that it is the blogger's personal choice, this is their space and that sometimes life interacts with the best plans. Yet I still feel saddened when one part of the mosaic is missing.It means to me that one conversation that could enrichthe rest of the world about us Libyans is missing. It also means we are not able to keep in touch. And yes I do miss each blogger. One more thing is that we have all linked to each other and when the blog is unavailable the link and hence a good story is irrevocably gone.

I liked A. Akak's gesture, he has gracefully bowed out of the scene last month without burning bridges and has left his blog for us to peruse and check fond memories. Miss you.

Still all in all, Libyan bloggers have had many adventures and new experiences, some have gotten married, engaged, graduated, had children, moved abroad to study, moved our emotions for a cause, others have gone through heartbreak, lost loved ones or have fallen ill. They have all kept us riveted to their story.

I have lived to see a rise in blogging physicians and interns from Libya. They are keeping the tradition alive along with the older iconic generation.

I'm especially proud of the Libyan bloggers who are making the effort to write in English which is not their mother tongue and which they they only studied at the public school in Libya (I have yet to see a foreigner of non Asian origin blogging in Arabic :P ).

The end of 2008 and specifically the Internet cut ten days ago, has witnessed a resurgence of Libyan posts. As if we needed to feel the web slipping to be jolted back from our lethargy. Some of us made a spectacular comeback after being MIA for a over a year. A big welcome back to Romana and Lost Libyan, superb posts both of you.

To compensate for not doing the monthly roundups that I used to enjoy mulling over the last couple of years, I started my Libyan blogs competition last year calling it the Highlander Award for Excellence ( how corny is that eh ?). You can check last year's results here.

So the top Libyan bloggers for 2008 according to Highlander are:

(1) Anglo Libyan, he has been blogging non-stop, thru thick and thin even when the global economic crisis affected him on a personal basis and he was made redundant. He has kept his humour and civility and entertained us all. Good luck job hunting Anglo.

(2) Enlightened Spirit, who is now blogging from the US while she is doing postgraduate studies in medicine. I loved her spirited posts ( pun intended) and how she presents herself honestly and with no affectation.

(3) The Dregias, who warmly share their home and life with us and who have magnificently navigated through a 2008 which was full of blessings and pain.

(4) Khalidjorni, who is a genius at bringing out controversial stories on Libya

(5) PH, who is a genius at bringing out Western political controversial stories, and then follows with a joke in the next post to lighten the mood.

(6) Lebeeya, whom we sadly cannot read for the moment but who guarantees a good laugh each time she posts. Lebeeya expert at multitasking, handling a successful career, top notch postgraduate studies, a life full of fun and activities and still managing to share all her passion with us. She was last officially seen at the hairdresser and we miss her very much.

The top adopted Libyan for this year remains Ibeebarbie. ... While Khadijateri is runner up for the cute cameos about her life in Libya, but also the innovative approach to show us the negative aspects about Libyans.

From the non Libyan blogosphere my favourites are: (1) the Angry Arab, especially now that his comment section is closed and we can actually enjoy his posts without the rubbish that some commenters were posting. (2) Kabobfest and (3)Global Voices.

The Top Highlander fan for 2008 was Mitchell who has unfortunately deleted his blog.

On the personal side I have managed to meet some more bloggers this year, Libyan, Arab and foreign and the experience was refreshing. If I have not met you yet, then be patient it will come slowly but surely. I have been guilty of commenting very little; I don't really have an excuse, but I do hope to be forgiven because I have read all your posts :)
On the other hand I think I need to read more blogs in Arabic, the talent is palpable and I have no excuse at all.

I don't promise to be going back to the roaring blogging days of 2006 [that is over] but I promise to keep blogging.

Many emailed to ask where are my political blogs, didn't I care about Palestine or Iraq? Where are my opinions about the West etc.. I still have them, it's just that many others are expressing them better than me ... I'm also a bit war weary and need to recharge the batteries.I will get back to more of these type of posts as soon as I'm done with the Libya related ones lined up to be published.

Happy New Year 2009




غازي القبلاويGhazi Gheblawi said...

Hello HL, great post, we missed these kind of posts full of your lovely spirit, hope we read you more in 2009, happy new year.

Anglo-Libyan said...

thank you dear Highlander, I am well and truely honoured.

wish you and your family the best in 2009.

programmer craig said...

Happy New Year, H :)

Enlightened Spirit said...

That is an honor that I wish I can handle.
Atleast, I hope to keep u as a reader.
thank u Highlander

Romana said...

Happy new year to you too :)
superb post as always :)

and thanks a lot, im honored that you visited my blog :)

Lost-Libyan said...

Thanks highlander for keeping track of our blogs! yes, I guess we all need to take time out to consider next steps or better yet revise past experiences!
Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Arabic is one difficult language to learn ;-P. I know, I know it's a lame excuse but I can read Arabic, it's just that I don't understand it. Does it make sense?

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Highlander,
Happy New Year to you and your family. May you always be blessed.

MusicLover said...

Happy New Year,

My comments as a reader

I wish the active Libyan bloggers would delete their unactive Libyan blogs links from their blogs. It is not a good sign to keep them.

'open to invited readers only'
I understand this but how do you get invited, maybe I need wasta :-)

Another thing which I do not understand why some active bloggers have to approve my comments to be posted, you are restricting the freedom of speech for the readers, so what if somebody is rude,uncivil,ignorant with his/her comments, if the reader post vulgar comment just delete it.

Here is an example of a famous tech writer who got chewed big time for his review of Blackberry Storm, if he can handle the criticism so can the Libyan bloggers

David Pogue



Why it takes days to post my comments and others and at the same time the bloggers post a new post. How do you expect readers to be active when bloggers delay in posting our comments.

It is better a blogger to be consistent, even they blog once a month, than blogging whenever he/she feels like it.

I would like to see readers to post their comments on Libyan blogs instead of the bloggers themselves and greeting each other :-)

Johnny Clegg (With Nelson Mandela) - Asimbonanga




Chris in MB said...

Happy Late New Year

Beacon said...

Thank you for this lovely post and my best wishes for 2009.