Saturday, December 31, 2005

Highlights of 2005 , Happy New Year 2006

Reflecting on the ending year of 2005, it has not really been one of the best in the world you are all aware of the events that took place so I'm not going to bore you with them here . But I think for Libya it has not been that bad, it is slowly but surely patching up its relationship with the West in general and the US in particular. I still am not sure if that is such a great thing or not but anything that would lift it out of isolation and get it back on its track is good , details can be taken care of later inshallah.

On the other hand,2005 has been cathartic for me as I've had some closures and made tons of new friends among bloggers and readers. I've met some bloggers in real life also ( Arab and non-Arab) , you know who you are, I'm not going to talk about that , but I would like to say that the bloggers I met where even better than I imagined they would be. The blogosphere is a nice community. I just wish I had the opportunity to meet the others, and I'm planning to meet some more in 2006 !I also wish the anonymous Libyan readers would email me as well. I love you all .

In Libya we do not have a tradition to celebrate the Gregorian calendar New Year, but we do wish people and each other a Happy New Year. So while I will not be partying I shall be relaxing at home with family or chatting and talking to friends online ( note for those who left me offline messages on yahoo or invitation to chat, they may have been lost as my line dropped a lot these last few weeks). Our own Eid al Kabir ( great feast) or Eid al -Adha which comes right at the end of the Hajj will be in about ten days time, while the Muslim New Year ( Hijiri) should be in approximately one month...which is a low key affair. Here are some Islamic holidays.

Anyway I'm not going to write a special post for today although I do have a few controversial topics up my sleeve ( viz. Bulgarian nurses, Ramadan TV series, the Rise of Islamism , yes or no ( for outlaw Michael)? Syria bashing etc..), because anyway you are all going to be busy enjoying your time hopefully with family, friends and loved time to read the rantings of a Libyan from her rock ;)

However, I would like to leave you with a compilation of my most popular posts since I began blogging , at least this is what the stats tell me are the ones that you guys keep reading over and over or whoever lands on my blog reads.

Scarves, hijab, veil, modesty and the right to choose ....

My night of terror...

Milud, the Prophet's Birthday in Libya..

My trip to Egypt 2004...

Scarves part II...

Replies to your questions I ...

Replies to your question II...

The trip to Syria series One, two, three , four .....and life in Syria... since Syria has been thrust on the international scene it is a popular topic .

The Libyan system of governance ( in theory)... and Thea's impression .

Italian occupation 101 ...where most who searched for Omar Mukhtar got that link there are 3 posts but this one is the most linked to I guess no one wanted to know about the genocide and concentration camps .

Christmas trip to the ME...Egypt, Syria, Jordan..

A midsummer night in Libya...

While some of my personal favourites were:

The motives for western warming towards Libya...

Acts of barbarism...

Eid Al adha in Libya...

My nightmare before Hariri's death which opened 'gates of hell'...

Highlander's blog in Spanish he he he and in Japanese ...I'm blushing, wish these readers would get in touch with me.

Tour of old city in Libya and a synagoge..

Is there humanity or are we all monsters... it's a pity that DNA pulled the plug :( - hope he is reading this and decides to blog again or at least let us know his news.

The black hole...

The Lover....

The purpose of blogging..and blogging in the Arab world.

Katrina and lessons in humanity..

Ramadan TV series ...sequel coming up soon.

Hybrid languages..

And the photolog ...

If all the above are not enough , I'm sure you will find something to your taste in the sidebar. In some of my older posts the comment section had not been activated. If you wish to leave a comment about any of the above please do it on this post and point to wich title it refers, it will just make it easier to all of us :). I always reply to comments by the way.

Peace everyone and happy new year, and as is the tradition here in Libya, I would like to ask forgiveness from each and everyone of you if I have hurt them unintentionally or intentionally!. We all need a clean slate to start a fresh year . سامحوني وكل سنة وانتم طيبين

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A summer night in Libya : 10th of July 2002

Feeling a little bit blue, I rummaged through some old diaries and came up with this entry . I recall how good it felt to write and wished to share it with you.

Now let me tell you about a summer night in my beloved country.
In Africa summer nights are enchanting so imagine how it could be in an African Arab country on the coast…you feel you have stepped into wonderland if a magician has used a big wand to make everything just perfect !
As soon as the sun sets very late at around 8 PM a dark purple light gradually fills the sky and suddenly everything seems somehow dimmer…then the night in all its glory is upon you . I'd be sitting in the swing in our garden enjoying the light summer sea breeze and almost falling asleep with the pleasure, when slowly I would realize that there was a silence within the silence. Truly it is a blessed piece of land. My area is comparable to a village. It is so silent, yet so alive. I could hear the happy trills of the women at a wedding in the 'street ' behind us . The dogs who were resting throughout the day start to roam and cats are looking for a prey and a bit of fun. People are sitting on mats in their own gardens or backyards sipping green tea and eating watermelons . The crickets are singing can hear all that yet the silence is overwhelming so much so that I have the impression that the clicking sound made by my keyboard is terribly disrupting to inner peace. Yet I continue to write because apart from telepathy , e-mail is the quickest way to convey a message.
As the night gets darker, the sky is sapphire blue and the stars illuminate everything ..there are no street lamps ..and so you really feel out of the century ....out of time. The palm trees make a lovely curtain to the velvety smooth sky. I have the impression that I could touch the stars and hold them in my little hand if I wish.
The night here is so beautiful it feels like a blasphemy to think otherwise. Then the smell of the earth rises up to your nostrils …you could almost think you were in heaven…At such times I remember even more God's grace & mercy upon us and fall down on my knees to thank Him. I have learnt that you do not pray to God when you are unwell or want have to remember him even when you are full of happiness to thank him gracefully for his blessings.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Libyan Arab Airlines

The national carrier of Libya since it was a kingdom. Whenever I recall LAA I’m flooded with warm childhood memories of travels and adventures from Tripoli to other lands. LAA has a distinctive logo which won a prize for best logo back in the 70s. LAA won best airline in 1978 only to go downhill following the implementation of UN and US sanctions.

I was a bit saddened to read this month (see photo) that it will be soon replaced by the Libyan Airlines Company : LAC.

Please note the disappearance of the word ‘Arab’, I guess it is more western-friendly ;) .. sigh

Maybe I’m just being paranoid, because anyway in Arabic they always used to say Libyan airlines.

Whoever remembers what the logo meant in Arabic please forward it to me . I know it was something about a gazelle overtaking someone ..but I’m not sure if it was the competition or what. I will look it up but I appreciate if someone already has the answer. I hope they keep the logo it really is unique.

We will miss you LAR.

Note : other Libyan carriers are Afriqiyah and Buraq.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas seems even the world is taking a break from killing sprees while this lull lasts I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My 5 secrets ...

It's meme time again; Khadijateri has tagged me ( thank you ) : "Five things that most people don't know about me " you want to know my secrets ? eh ?seriously lets see

1. I believe in aliens , i. e extraterrestrials, but please behave as if had not said that; I'm really not the tinfoil hat type ..
2. I dream of having Condolizza Rice's job , just don't tell her that please.
3. As much as I love travelling , the US was never on my top list I don't know why really, but India was especially the Rajisthan..but now I'm saving up for a visit next year :)
4. I like to think that I'm an expert bellydancer - but it's probably only wishful thinking ..

update 24/12/05 I guess I hit the publish post too fast or I don't have that many dark secrets anyway :) thanks Khadijateri for reminding me that I forgot no.5 my bad , so here it is folks:

5. Oh and I can't wait to start learning Hebrew and Farsi ....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Arabizi, Franco-Arab, Arabeng and other evolving linguistic hybridization

This recent article ( from Aljazeera) about the phenomenon of speaking a mixture of Arabic and English that is sweeping a certain strata of the Jordanian society has brought to my mind earlier conversations and viewpoints discussed with peers in the past.

But first let's see what “Arabizi” is? It's a contraction of the word Arabi-Englizi (Arabic -English), coined by Jordanian youth.

"Mixing Arabic with foreign languages has long been commonplace among Western-educated elites in Arab countries".

This was especially evident in Lebanon where your status was proportional to how many French words you managed to put in one sentence. I'm talking about this with firm experience. If I spoke generic Arabic with no accent where my interlocutor could not place if I was from the Gulf countries or other non-oil Arab countries ( therefore poor) I would be treated differently. I decided to try it for myself. As soon as I added phrases en Francais to the conversation, the attention span would pick up and the mood would become friendlier. In this way I have the seal of approval of belonging to an 'elite' of some kind.

In Algeria it is different, although most of their conversation is strewn with French it is not really a sign of elitism but rather mostly due to the protracted period of French colonialism - since 1830 - which tried to eradicate that country's heritage and effectively make it a part of the Republique.

Tunis is midway between both, a relic from the colonial era, but also a status symbol for the westernized people.

"But in Jordan, a poor desert country" states the article” the sudden popularity of Arabizi reflects deep changes in society since the early 1990s".

Another word synonymous with Arabizi , is Franco-Arab, this word was popular among my parents' generation where French was more of an international language especially among the cultured elite. It also covers the earlier mixture of Arabic and Western music which created many interesting hits which our parents enjoyed as teenagers and youth. This hybrid music is now of course 'normal' and we see it not just between Arab and western music, but western and Latin American, or even Asian. A good example is the new punjabi beat, or some of Shakira's hits. It's great for dancing.

"Linguists blame the growing use of English among young Jordanians on American pop culture inundating the Arab world.”

I'm not sure about that, because we have always been watching American pop culture. Moreover, I don't agree that Arabizi or other such manifestations is any threat to Arabic language or culture. Arabic in my opinion is a rich language, with a continuous potential for growth (I won't even get into the argument that it is the language of the Koran and hence its longetivity is guaranteed, because that is faith based).

Hybrid language™ ;) maybe new to Jordanian youth in general but I'm sure it is not new to graduates of science and medical schools in many Arab countries. For example in Libya, medical college students use it not as a cultural expression but out of necessity because their syllabus is in English. But the fun thing in Libya is that they end up Arabizing the English language or vice versa, and I'm not the first one who brought that up in the blogosphere. Dunia which calls it “Arabeng” has posted about it here , let me quote a hilarious extract from her post.

“Another example of Arabeng is a really funny sentence my little brother used a few days ago: "he ifsheled". Now to "ifshel" in Arabic is to fail, as in fashala, yafshulu, fa hua fashil. So "he ifsheled" uses the Arabic verb, but the English pronoun, and the English past tense suffix "-ed".”

“Arabeng is not restricted to Arabic words with English grammar though. There are quite a few instances of English lexemes changed with Arabic grammer morphemes tagged on. Usually, and a bit confusingly, those people who use Arabic words and add on English grammar are more used to English rules, and those people who use English words with Arabic grammar are more used to speaking Arabic. I think.[sic]”

A long time ago I tended to use a hybrid language with my peers unconsciously but a few weeks in Libya knocked that habit out of me because I would actually be looked down on as someone who was trying to show off.
Using a hybrid language then could also be threatening enough to destroy a relationship. A vivid example is that of my friend's cousin R. R is an MD married to an officer. Every time she meets her friends in social gatherings or would talk on the phone she would sometimes use medical expressions in English just out of habit. Her husband (who obviously has insecurity issues - sorry R if you're reading this) would never pass the opportunity to denigrate her by saying 'oh we know you are a doctor and can speak English, stop showing of'.

As for me I consciously started using a generic Arabic, and only lapsing into hybrid with those who would be of the same mentality. Of course if I'm in Lebanon or at any event in which Arabizi or Franco-Arab or any hybrid Arabic is preferable and more advantageous socially I would not hesitate to use it to further my cause or blend in, even though I believe to be fully capable of convincing someone of my point of view in classical Arabic.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Libya and the World Heritage

You love your country and you know it is beautiful and contains wonderful and magical site, yet because you live in it you are used to the presence of these treasures on a day to day basis. So once in a while when you think deeply about it you realise how lucky indeed you are .
I am one of these people and have at times taken for granted all the gorgeous yet familiar landmarks in Libya.
I would like to share the most recognised of them international. Did you know that there are at least 5 registered UNESCO world heritage sites in Libya?

Many bloggers such as Khadijateri , Fatimaslibya, Redenclave, have shown their photos of some of these place. But if you want more here is an official site, with tons of photos and relevant links.

If you have been to Libya ages ago or recently, have photos, love Libya and want to share them with us why don't you put them online and send the link in the comment section ? I'm sure everyone would appreciate it.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bird flu: is there a reason to worry ?

In the past few weeks there have been rumours of ‘bird flu’ contamination in Libya, with accusations and disclaimers flowing back and forth .Of course upon hearing that there is even a remote possibility that this could be true and some poultry is indeed contaminated, I started to worry. Worrying is inversely proportional to knowledge, especially when world wide press and so called experts warn of the next pandemic , whipping our collective fear.

What does that mean ? simply that because I know nothing I’m just as likely to be scared. The logical step was to tell my GP about this and ask his advice. He was very cool about it and said ‘this is rubbish , you shouldn’t worry, bird flu does not affect humans’ . Hmm I’m telling myself, that’s comforting what is the fuss about then? Apart from the evident loss of poultry stock , which is very saddening it is not the human tragedy we have been led to expect. I wasn’t satisfied by this answer, dismissing my fears as if they were idiotic is not ok. So I tried to do a little research by myself to allay these fears and fill the lacunae. I’m sure you have read it all somewhere but I wish to add my 2 cents.

Basically bird flu ( or avian flu ) is propagated among the bird population, that is, it supposedly does not jump species. However, according to the CDC :
“infections with these viruses [though rare] can occur in humans [and] confirmed cases of human infection from several subtypes of avian influenza infection have been reported since 1997. Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry (e.g., domesticated chicken, ducks, and turkeys) or surfaces contaminated with secretion/excretions from infected birds. The spread of avian influenza viruses from one ill person to another has been reported very rarely, and transmission has not been observed to continue beyond one person.”
So far that does not sound bad, especially that the individuals most likely to fall sick are “people who have contact with infected birds or surfaces that have been contaminated with secretions or excretions from infected birds”.

The H5N1 strain, reportedly the most deadly is the one being contested locally, so an outbreak could be fatal , the WHO has nevertheless reported only 130 cases in the world since January 2004.
Birds migrate, and poultry is imported from abroad so these events cannot be hermetically controlled . Currently cases have been confirmed in Asia and Europe . The White House it seems is testing the federal readiness for such an onslaught with a sophisticated ‘drill’ and experts are ‘watching’ … “Because these viruses do not commonly infect humans, there is little or no immune protection against them in the human population”.There is no vaccine and the antiviral treatments are expensive and not always targeted at the particular virus. So may God help anyone who catches this virus.

So now I’m not worried anymore, my GP was right. I figured out that the lowly common flu is just as deadly in the right environment. I have an equal chance of dying of cancer or any other disease anyway. Death is inevitable. If bird flu is present we should do something about the poultry infected and take no risk with the humans involved in their care. Basic hygiene/sterilisation procedures in farms and laboratories should do the trick. As for imported poultry for consumption well what are the quality control and quarantine people doing ? They should guard our borders, and I’m positive they are doing this in view of all these leaked rumours. As for migratory birds? You cannot do anything about that .
So I’ll continue eating chicken and turkey and fowl, there is nothing that fire and microwave cannot take care of.

For further info check the bird flu Q&A here, it is jargon free and comprehensive.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tunis Trip 2005 PART III

I had to divide the post into a third part as I've been having connection problems these last few days in Tripoli due to the rain and wind. The satellite dish almost flew off our roof this year and each time it rains there is so much static on the telephone line that there is hardly any tone.

What was I talking about ? aaah the Tunisian capital is a charming little city, please have a look at some of the streets.

A restaurant cafe?

In each country I go to I like visiting their main ‘old’ market, well here is the entrance to the medina/souk .Just like we have one in Tripoli only more commercial , i.e. geared for tourists perhaps ? I loved the antiquarians, but I have no way of knowing if those are real antiques or not so I did not buy any.


Their traditional clothes carry a lot of similarities to ours, witness those beautiful silks here..

So I'll log off and let you enjoy Tunis.
Tunis Part II

As I was saying, this trip to Tunis was my best one so far. I really had a great time enjoying the famed Tunisian hospitality. But first let me just wrap up the rest of the WSIS exhibition. You’ve probably heard a lot about it on the news, and Tunisian bloggers have covered it quite extensively.

I was thrilled to see the unveiling of the cheap laptop to be used for ‘third world’ countries. When produced – hopefully by next year – it is supposed not to cost more than 100$ . Many countries have already pledged funds for this. I’m just wondering will the disadvantaged really benefit from this technology ? or will it end up as a gadget to be shown off by those in power and their offsprings in the poor countries at which this is aimed? I mean imagine you have a sturdy, portable tiny computer which can rewind manually when you need electricity and which is able to run basically the programs we are used to including browsing the internet all for approximately 100$? Hell I want one of those for my self why should I go buy the state of the art one for 3000 Dollars , then have to take an insurance for fear that it falls or gets stolen or the new Dell Inspiron ?

At the exposition the participants were asked if they needed a hostess for their stands …to make things look nicer and more attractive I guess ;) well look at this gorgeous Tunisian babe.

While I was taking a break at the cafeteria this girl was talking with her colleague then a Tunisian man came over to them and told them why are they dressed like this they should cover their legs and charms as the other men were looking at them in a bad way. She replied “ well it’s their problem not mine . I’m fine like this and this is the uniform of the company that I’m representing and I’m working for them now. If I have pretty legs it’s none of their business”. The guy was flabbergasted, he had to apologize saying that as far as he was concerned they were free to do what they wanted, but he was just warning them what most of the Tunisian guys were thinking behind their backs, and he was afraid for their reputations. I was under the impression that Tunisian men were permissive, it seems I was wrong. Talking about reputation here is a good comparative post from an Egyptian blogger Freedom for Egyptians (hattip Programmer_Craig ). She tackles women’s reputation and its importance in Egypt versus the US. Please remember she is talking about Egypt not about other Arab countries so do not make hasty judgments.

Another interesting item I found at the exposition ( yes we are still talking about it ) was a kiosk : called the ‘freedom toaster’ – no not related to freedom fries. Do you give up? Well in South Africa an entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth came up with the brilliant scheme of installing these little kiosks everywhere. The idea is that they contain open source software which is distributed for free. You only bring your blank CDs and burn/download it fast inside it . It can ‘toast’ 3 CDs at a time. I think that is a swell idea because if you have a slow dial up and it takes you ages to get this stuff online you can do it in a couple of minutes here for more details chexk their website . I relished getting my own CDs though I’m still using Microsoft and Windows XP , but it’s good to know I have alternative choices.

Did you know that the the UNDP supported by Sakhr ( an Arabic software development company) had launched project ICTARB which means 'get closer'. It aims to help the blind and those with special needs to get involved in ICT ? I think we need more of this in the Arab world.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

World Energy Report in Arabic

The EIA ( Energy Information Administration) has recently released an Arabic version of the International Energy Outlook 2005 which forecast energy consumption.

The Annual Energy Outlook presents a midterm forecast and analysis of US energy supply, demand, and prices through 2025. The projections are based on results from the Energy Information Administration's National Energy Modeling System. AEO2005 includes a reference case and over 30 sensitivities

Well it 's about time there is an Arabic version especially that a very large share of the oil is in the Arab world. Anyway according to this report the annual consumption of oil will increase from 78 million barrels per day in 2002 to 119 mpd in 2025. Moreover, the US demand for oil will increase to 28 mbd in 2025. Please check the tables in the link provided above if you are interested.

So why am I bringing this up ? simply because if these forecasts are accurate. Then not much will change 20 years from now, the US governement will be forced to accomodate those entities strong enough to impose their will on it with the democratic process and the lobbying at the expence of the average American John Doe in the name of "special interests" which will continue to poison lives. i.e. Middle East unchanged with all that this implies.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sunday, December 04, 2005

From here and there

Have been gone for a while since Tunis right? well sorry about that, was just too caught up in a lot of work - yes I work for a living you know :) not always blogging !

Anyways I wanted to say that I am officially back from Tunis. It was a lovely trip, I met many interesting people. A few of them I'm sure will become friends for life. I've been too Tunis several times before but this trip was one of the nicest, despite the internet connection that kept 'dropping' in my hotel even though it was the week of the 'information' summit. Lool it was a crazy, busy time but very enlightening. I'll blog the second part a bit later.

I first wanted to thank whoever had enquired about my absence ( special reference to Twosret :)) . No I have not quit blogging ...just did not feel like it.

Second I'd like to thank the Maghrebian bloggers and especially Tunisian blogger Adib (who blogs in French) for visiting here and for caring to search for Libyan bloggers and mentioning them - including yours truly- on the Maghrebian compilation blog. Dare I say that Adib is very prolific in his writings, and due to him I'm happy to note that traffic from Tunis has increased over here. I've been reading several Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian blogs but tried to keep a low profile ...Now my little secret is out :). ! All you francophone people go check his sidebar links for great reads. One correction Adib, I'm not an expatriate, I live in Tripoli just a travel often...

What else has been happening? Oh you'd be delighted to know that it is 11 degrees Celcius in Tripoli , it's rained a few times since I returned, I already had the flu - no not that one silly . I also find the winter flies pretty annoying..aargh

What has been happening in the Libyan blogosphere ? hmmm let's see Smokey is still AWOL . But then we know by now she works in bursts of excitement. Khadijateri has told us about Jenna's freckles and attending a wedding with overexcited teenagers, about finnaly getting tiles for her new house but also about the tragic death of her friend's husband recently ( driving in Libya is a HAZARD). Redenclave is 'enjoying' the cold weather in Turkey. Do go and check her photos and cheer her up. Tareq has been silent for a month now . Is he busy too with the new house ? where are you Tareq? Tyenness has also moved to a new house and has no internet access there , so she reports to the blogosphere sporadically from those famous Tripolitanian internet cafes, all her posts are cool but my favourite is the Libyan folktale...please go read it ! Hibo is telling us about the recent tradition of 'singing tents' i.e. tents specially set up to gather a wide range of Libyan artists who will perform to either live audiences or for TV. The songs/lyrics are usually of great quality. This tradition has become a must in Ramadan and I believe that this was picked up by other Arab countries like Lebanon and Jordan and Egypt -with their particular add-ons- were Ramadan evening are spent eating listening to singers , drinking/smoking sheesha etc.. ( those elaborations do not take part in the Libyan version which is less materialistic- no offense to anyone). But if you are curious like me and click on Hibo's sidebar links :) you will discover that she has another blog - well done my dear - hip hip hurray for Libyan female bloggers. Hanu is celebrating the 7th annivesary of her wedding - check the story of the lamb with a pink scarf - alf mabrouk habibti. Nura has moved to Canada and is still settling in, we hope to hear from her soon. We love you Nura ! Barnita from India is still very busy !

Oh and last but not least, do you recall when I was wondering aloud about a Libyan blog aggregator? Well we had been chatting about it with Smokey a while back, but it was ever-active Hanu (thank you) who actually took the initiative and created a Libyan Hub for us. It has been up for a while but we had not officially shared it yet.You are all welcome into our combined piece of Libya. It's still humble but a lot of fun ! - Redenclave I'm sure would love to put the link up ! Thanks Haitham for the suggestion, I may still take you on it !

This post was supposed to be short and sweet, some kind of comeback but has turned into a marathon so I'll stop here and start working on the next one . I'm sure you'll have fun with all the links..should keep you busy .

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bridging the 'digital gap' in Tunis

Well Highlander is travelling again, yep no resting yet .. this time yours truly is in neighbouring Tunis which is hosting the World Summit on the Information Society ( this is the UN link here ) or WSIS. This is a map of the venue. There is also an exhibition going on at the same time. The expositon centre is called Le Kram as per photo on the left above. No efforts have been spared.I have been to the stands yesterday and I could vouch that they are awesome even Kofi Anan was present :). The security measures also for this event are tremendous, you could feel it from the airport and at the hotels and almost everywhere. I mean imagine being asked for your badge in your own hotel?

The city is decked in the red Tunisian flag, and the plain clothes men are not being discreet at all, I guess no risk is to be taken when you are expecting 17000 guests including foreign dignitaries and heads of states, especially with the sad recent news from Jordan.

My favourite stand is of the course the Japanese one , they have all sorts of gadgets.This is my dream vehicle, GPS, motorbike , laptop , internet cool eh?

The WSIS objective is to come up with solutions 'to help poorer nations benefit from the digital revolution' , but according to various programs and interviews on TV and articles it seems that there is an argument running on who should run the net.

Here are yesterday's results of a vote on the BBC website to the question 'Does the US have too much power over the internet?'
and this is my screenshot of it- on the left.

We shall see what the participants come up with. In the meantime it's wonderful to meet with people from all over the world including Israel. The Israelis were pleased to attend for the first time it seems in Tunis and to find out a different image from that provided by the mainstream media. I think this summit and the exhibition have if nothing achieved to promote dialogue between many peoples.

Part II will be blogged tonight or tomorrow.
Out for now H.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Jordan sequels

A Jordanian reader, and blogger Lina has graciously left the following comment to my previous post which I thought was worth highlighting here : "I am so thankful to God that you were not at the Radisson SAS that night!! I know this sounds very selfish of me to say, but I hope you would still consider coming to Amman... just as people still go to London and still go to New York! I hate to see those terrorists have their way, and succeed in shattering our sense of stability and security.(and if you don't want to stay in a hotel then you are most welcome in our house :) )"

Thank you Lina for the offer of course it would be a pleasure to meet you anytime.
With regards to my post, I meant to say that with the grace of God my plans had changed and I was not in Amman that day because I had other obligations elsewhere.

However, I intend soon to visit beautiful Jordan again just as I have not been deterred by terrorists to go to London or Egypt or Lebanon again.

In my view death comes in its own time according to God's will so I will never cower or be afraid.

On another note the media and many bloggers have mentioned that Syrian-American producer Mustafa Akkad was among the victims, apart from Halloween he was famous for producing 'The Message' and 'Lion of the Desert' as previously mentioned on this blog. So I won't dwell on that much longer .

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jordan's 9/11

(image courtesy of BBC)

This latest in the series of bombings by Al quaeda franchises was not unexpected. Jordan had it coming, I was just wondering 'when'? and hoping it would not. Thank God I canceled my trip to Amman I was actually supposed to be there yesterday and specifically at the Radison SAS . This is the second explosion I miss in one year , first it was 7/7 comment . May the victims RIP ; and at this moment I cannot offer any solution since the perpetrator was a suicide bomber anyway. This will not stop soon I'm afraid and the Middle East is going up in flames. Maybe I should keep to Libya for a while ? Now let me go check on friends and loved ones ...

Update 13/11/2005

Appart from two people , everyone I know is accounted for, maybe they are just travelling abroad ...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eid Fitr Mabrouk from good old Tripoli

Yes folks there is nothing like Eid with the family, and the noise of the kids and our sweets and visitors .... It is such fun to see twice removed cousins and discover ones you never knew existed and find out the recent additions to one's family . All this to announce that I am back home from this recent trip to London and I'm basking at the moment in the glow of Eid after missing most of Ramadan abroad.

So to all friends ( cyber/blogger and flesh ones ) and family عيد مبروك علينا وعليكم و انشاء الله عايدين فايزين

Now let me go enjoy the final episodes of the Ramadan series ...yes and that includes the Hur al3ayn one as well ....blogging will resume afterwards.

out for now Highlander

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Technical Difficulties PART II

Here is a webshot of the popup - for the curious ones ( hattip P-Craig). Still trying to delete the java thingys ( or whatever they are called) which caused it. Interesting popup don't you think ;)

I'll get back to proper blogging soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Technical difficulties...

It has been brought to my attention that some of you were experiencing difficulties in accessing the comment section. Until yesterday Saturday, I was able to use the comment section, and it does not seem like Blogger are doing any maintenance on their site, but I had been getting some spam lately so that may have been the cause . Anyway I have reset and republished the whole template to try and get around this bug and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Also some of you have been getting pop-up ads when loading the blog . I don't know how that happened either as I have no commercial ads on my site at all, and I'm not sure if it depends on which browser you use. Programmer_Craig who first noticed this suggested it might be because of my "make poverty history" banner, I'm not sure it is because of that as there were no problems before ..but I'm going to do my best to trace this thing and eliminate it , if I need to remove the banner I'll just have to do it.

In the meantime, please all be patient , stick around and don't be discouraged.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Snippets and there

Libya calls for an international investigation into the death of Yasser Arafat...and I say why not if so many suspicions are held, many people would like to know the truth once and for all, just like Hariri's death is being investigated.
My theory: it's an inside job he has been poisoned by either the Abu Mazen gang or another hopeful...

On another note with regards to the devastating earthquake in Pakistan I'm pleased to see that Libya is sending relief :

'A plane carrying 40 tones of food from the Libyan people arrived in Islamabad airport Tuesday morning.
Sources at the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation told Jana reporter that this air bridge will continue, as tomorrow Wednesday, another cargo plane will transport tents and blankets. ' Here is the link scroll to Tuesday 11th October JANA NEWS (I'm not sure the link stays live for long though).

This is all great news as the desperate families in Pakistan need a lot of things, however I'm wondering if they will get a hundred million dollars from us like the victims of Katrina?

Related post.

Oh and by the way ...MaGdee from The Rossetta Stone is back from his honeymoon dare I say we missed you;) or will that get you in trouble?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A python in Libya ?

As far as I know this is not a typical Libyan fauna, so it was more likely someone's pet who got dumped later .. This is crazy and irresponsible. But I don't know the story about it, just received it by email saying that it was found in South Tripoli hmm.. I'm waiting for updates. I'm really curious how this monster got here. If someone reading this blog knows anything please share with us.

Libyan Canadian blogger

Nura's blog is proving to be a treasure throve of bloggers :) here is Aisha a Canadian blogger of Libyan origin who has just established her own blog Aisha's musings ...she thinks she has nothing to say , but I'm sure you have tons of questions to ask her ... Aisha welcome and hope you enjoy it; this new dimension of virtual reality ... we are a fun lot: The Libyans....

On another note since there are so many Libyan bloggers it may be time to think of making some kind of aggregator - or whatever that is called - but I'm technically hopeless so if someone can give me some hints out there it would be appreciated . Though I won't be able to work on that till the end of the month.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hur al3ayn - aka the '72 virgins' - and other Ramadan TV series

Sandmonkey is surprised that "there is a syrian TV-show, being broadcasted on a Saudi-owned TV network, during Ramadan, that attacks terrorism and Jihadis."

I was deploring the fact that I have no satellite TV to watch here while abroad ..but look forward to seeing the re-run or at least the last episodes soon, but I did not think that the foreign media will pick up on what we watch in Ramadan ;) Boy was I wrong eh ? This series is now going to be praised in the West and damned by the militants lol.

Najdat Anzour's series are ALWAYS great, the man is a genius.

Let's recall another controversial series last Ramadan : The Road to Kabul a love story in Afghanistan, which had to be taken off the air, apparently due to threats from militants also who did not want any badmouthing of the Taliban.
But somebody has another plausible 'conspiracy' theory and rumours :

'One such is that Condoleezza Rice, President George W Bush's national security advisor, phoned the Qatari leaders to ask them not to air the series.'


'The series is woven around a love story between a Palestinian whose parents lost their homes when Israel was created, and an Afghan woman whose family were forced to flee Kabul when the Communists seized power in 1979.
Once he develops an interest in the Afghan imbroglio, the Palestinian quickly concludes that this is the wrong war, provoked by the United States against the Soviet Union in the context of the Cold War. In one dramatic scene, he gives an Arab volunteer who is going to Afghanistan a lecture on how the whole thing is an American conspiracy to divert attention from the only war that matters: The war to liberate Palestine, presumably by wiping Israel off the map.
That view is hammered in throughout. One scene shows American intelligence agents encouraging Afghans to grow opium poppies that can then be used to produce heroin to be sold to Soviet soldiers.'

very very's a pity they cancelled it .

Apparently the series 'suggests that the jihadists chose the wrong enemy.'

No Comment .

Check the whole essay here.

Talking about controversial Ramadan series, we can't forget the Egyptian Horseman without a Horse aired in 2002 in spite of US and Israeli requests that it be banned as anti-Semitic, because *gasp* 'it includes a sub-plot involving a [n allegedly] forged document - the Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. It gets funnier because forty-six members of the US Congress saw it as their duty to actually send a letter to President Mubarak expressing concern about it. hmmm talk about heavy lobbying here. If they had actually watched the show this is what they would find, read Alahram article about it.

'The show reviews the history of Arab struggle against imperialism, from Ottoman rule to British occupation. It tackles the Balfour Declaration and the role of imperialism in planting Israel in the region, together with the Jewish assault on the rights of the Palestinian people. The show only mentions The Protocols in passing.'

I enjoyed watching the show even though I think that Muhamad Subhi 's ( Egyptian actor) theatrical antics were overdone. But honestly without the hysterical outpouring from the international media I probably would have skipped it .. on hindsight maybe they should not have concentrated on it mush kiddah ? ;)

Thank you ( to whoever is in charge) for not cancelling it and hardluck for caving in on The Road to Kabul

Here is a good list of this year's Arab crop, here also . Unfortunately I can't see any of these at the moment. So I get to watch only one Ramadan series on Masriya TV: Places in the Heart- which so far looks a tiny bit *ahem* controversial to me..... more on that later ;) excuse me now I have to go and break my fast....
Yet another Libyan blogger

I think this post is becoming a feature spot now .. ladies and gentlemen I discovered this young Libyan medical student blogging from Indiana ( US) on Nura's website.. . Welcome Ayman Grada. And a bonus ..he's got two blogs : The Oasis and a place he calls HIVstop AIDS and he is learning French I think. You go Ayman.
The Lockerbie bomb -revisited

Was Libya and the Libyan citizen now in jail setup for larger and more evil political plotting and scheming ? I've always maintained that there is a larger chance that my country had nothing to do with this atrocious event, that we should look beyond to WHO benefits ? Cui bono and Cuoi prodest? These are the questions we should always ask ourselves. People just don't shoot themselves in the eye if they are already in a tight spot. It is the same thing with the Hariri assassination...why would the Syrians be so stupid ?

There has been talk recently of a lot of irregularities at the trial of Megrahi:

The fresh doubts over the forensic evidence are being considered alongside recent claims by an anonymous former Scottish police chief who last month gave Megrahi's lawyers a sworn signed (please check the links on the right in The Scotsman) statement claiming that key evidence in the trial was fabricated.

After the trial, legal observers from around the world, including senior United Nations officials, expressed disquiet about the verdict. Many believed the true suspects in the case were members of the Syrian-led Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC), a terror group backed by Iranian cash. Documents leaked from the US Defence Intelligence Agency two years after the Libyans were identified as the prime suspects still blamed the PFLP-GC.

Further tests are now set to be conducted to see how the mix-up happened.

Not accusing anyone here ..I have my little theory on the subject. But paying compensation to the victims is insignificant to get out of international isolation, if that is the price even if he is innocent because stagnancy on the issue dragged on too long. As the old adage says "when you can't beat them .join them !".
If further evidence prove he is innocent, then he should be compensated, Libyans should be compensated, the compensation money we paid should be returned and the world will owes us a collective apology. If he is not innocent ..well he is in prison anyway and compensations to victims have been settled. All is legal.

Memeeeeeeeeee again

Redenclave is definetely curious about us bloggers ;) ( just joking are'nt we all?)..thanks for tagging me again sweetie. Well I guess I should not procrastinate more now should I ?

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?Harry Potter and the half blood prince.
3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME?Does monopoly count? Somebody is teaching me chess also ...and I'm enjoying it immensely ;)
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? The Economist, Top Sante , Science et Vie , Zahrat Al Khaleej.
6.FAVORITE FOOD? lasagna
7. FAVORITE SOUND? my car engine
10. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE?Any street shawerma stall in SYRIA!They are the best in the world.
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME: I'm not telling you that ....
12. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY: I would help my family and sponsor some orphans.
13. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? Do you need to ask ? I'm a road hazard !
15. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? It depends, if you're home safe then they are cool ..otherwise hmm.
17. FAVORITE DRINK? strawberry milkshake
18. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD...": watch more movies.
21. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN:Please go to this map here for full information.
23. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH: Are you kidding?
24. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS! she is very photogenic!
26. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP? well done
28. FAVORITE PIE : cherry pie

Alan K are tagged my friend .... the rest ;) consider yourself tagged and start thinking hard about those answers know what I meant right ?
A harvest of souls -Pakistan

There are too many sad news going around the world lately, it seems like the Archangel Asrael is having a field day, from Katrina, to Rita, to Stan, to Pakistan, India and Afhganistan, not forgetting the daily souls reaped in Iraq...and now there are warnings over the flood defenses in London ...too many deaths too many tragedies ...... I'm just wandering is it the end of times? It is depressing but what is more depressing is how come Pakistan is not receiving massive aid from other Muslim countries ? This is so far the list of pledged aid . This is the list for Katrina and Muslims donating to Katrina relief even Libya has donated 100 million dollars .

Quote Sunday, 25 September, 2005: When Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, Americans and people from around the world were quick to offer help. And although some Muslim-dominated nations have been at odds with the U.S. in recent years, those nations were among the most generous donors. Kuwait provided $500 million in oil and cash; Saudi Arabia donated $255 million; and Qatar and Libya each donated $100 million. The U.S. Muslim Hurricane Relief Task Force donated $10 million. Total Katrina aid from Muslims and Muslim-dominated nations exceeded $1 billion. A disaster such as Katrina tends to erase political antipathies. [Tucson Citizen] Unquote

Ok still too depressed to think . May God rest their souls in peace especially that it is Ramadan.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Ramadanyat... the humour continues

...some cartoons about Ramadan effects from the local media.....
(thank you N. )

cats partying in expectation of lots of leftover food ....

Libyan family comparing Ramadan and the football World Cup.... ( anyone wanting to volunteer a clarification or translation is welcome).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Customer Helpdesk

Well I've already wished everyone a Blessed Ramadan and Khadijateri has a wonderful essay about Ramadan in Libya so if you wish to learn about it that is a very no nonsense version with non of the obscure jargon ..go on click on the link.

So in the meantime I received this email, and though it might be a little bit cheesy I thought I'd share a few laughs with you -- at least I laughed , but maybe you have already read these before ? ..whatever..

The following are true telephone conversations recorded from various Help Desks around the U.K :

Helpdesk: What kind of computer do you have ? Customer: A white one... *********************************************
Customer: Hi, this is Celine. I can't get my diskette out.
Helpdesk: Have you tried pushing the button ?
Customer: Yes, but it's really stuck.
Helpdesk: That doesn't sound good; I'll make a note ...
Customer: No ... wait a minute... I hadn't inserted it yet... it's still on my desk... sorry . *******************************************************************
Helpdesk: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer: Your left or my left ?
Helpdesk: Good day. How may I help you ?
Customer: Hello... I can't print. Helpdesk: Would you click on start for me and ...
Customer: Listen pal; don't start getting technical on me ! I'm >>>not Bill Gates damn it ! >>> ******************************************************************
Customer: Hi good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Everytime I try it says 'Can't find printer'. I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it... *******************************************************************
Customer: I have problems printing in red...
Helpdesk: Do you have a colour printer ?
Customer: No.
Helpdesk: What's on your monitor now ma'am ?
Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me in the supermarket. *****************************************************************
Helpdesk: And now hit F8.
Customer: It's not working.
Helpdesk: What did you do, exactly?
Customer: I hit the F-key 8-times as you told me, but nothing's happening. ****************************************************************
Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.
Helpdesk: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer ?
Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.
Helpdesk: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 feet away.
Customer: OK Helpdesk: Did the keyboard come with you ?
Customer: Yes Helpdesk: That means the keyboard is not plugged in. I
s there another keyboard?
Customer: Yes, there's another one here. Ah...that one does work ! *******************************************************************
Helpdesk: Your password is the small letter a as in apple, a capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
Customer: Is that 7 in capital letters? *******************************************************************
A customer couldn't get on the internet:
Helpdesk: Are you sure you used the right password ?
Customer: Yes I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Helpdesk: Can you tell me what the password was ?
Customer: Five stars.
Helpdesk: What antivirus program do you use?
Customer: Netscape.
Helpdesk: That's not an antivirus program.
Customer: Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer. ********************************************************************
Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screensaver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears !
Helpdesk: Microsoft Tech. Support, may I help you?
Customer: Good afternoon! I have waited over 4 hours for you. Can you please tell me how long it will take before you can help me?
Helpdesk: Uhh..? Pardon, I don't understand your problem?
Customer: I was working in Word and clicked the help button more than 4 hours ago. Can you tell me when you will finally be helping me?
Helpdesk: How may I help you?
Customer: I'm writing my first e-mail.
Helpdesk: OK, and, what seems to be the problem ?
Customer: Well, I have the letter a, but how do I get the circle around it ?

Next time I phone any customer service helpdesk ( I know they always record stuff in the UK) I am so going to watch what stupid nonsense I will be uttering . I'm not sure how technically challenged the above people were, but really I can't totally blame them, I've done worse things and they were a major embarassment ..hmmm I still don't feel I can share them here one will ever read this blog again if I do , thank God they did not cath me on tape ...hmmm ok now to think of it maybe they did ...*gasp* I'm outta here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Libya Solar eclipse October 2005 and March 2006

I wanted to mention this event but was waiting for the date to be near to talk about it. However, blogger Khadijateri broached the subject earlier last month and since I won't be in Libya for the event. I would like to ask her and the other bloggers and readers in Libya to check it out on my behalf and tell me how it went, any photos would be welcome of course.

In the meantime I'll leave you with the following

courtesy of I just copy pasted the article below

Libya will become a tourist destination and a perfect place for sky gazers as it will witness two solar eclipses in October 2005 and March 2006.

Researchers and astronomers, and even sky watchers will flock to Libya (I hope) to enjoy a spectacular view of the two eclipses, as Libya is in prime position for the solar eclipses.

The first eclipse is a partial one and will take place on October 3rd 2005. It is confined to the Eastern Hemisphere. The track of the annular eclipse crosses the Iberian Peninsula and stretches across the African continent. Europe, Western Asia, the Middle East, India and most of Africa will fall within the Moon's penumbral shadow.

Six months later Libya will cast into darkness as a total eclipse will be visible in the skies. On 29 March 2006, a total eclipse will be visible from north and central Africa, Turkey and southern Russia, ending at sunset in western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be seen across the northern two-thirds of Africa, central Asia and Europe.

The Libyan Center for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing said it has received many applications from world researches who wish to visit Libya and study this phenomenon.

“ Libya’s total eclipse will last longer than other countries because of the fine weather and clear skies here, in addition to the location of monitoring center, which will be stationed in the desert.” The Center said in a statement.

Heading for Libya

Tourists and sky gazers will rush to the country to caught glimpses of this spectacular phenomenon which is expected to propel Libya to the top of the heap.
( I'm not there yet so I would not know )

Holiday company "Explorers" is offering tours to Libya to enable curious eclipse-hunters enjoy a better view of the solar eclipse.

“Already 90 per cent of the places have been sold and we are now searching for a second vessel to cope with the influx of travelers.” The company said.

"It is a very, very beautiful event and I defy anybody not to be moved by it," says Brian McGee, of the holiday company Explorers.

The programme went on sale with prices ranging from £1,000 to £2,000. All the cheaper cabins sold out quickly. At close of business only 10 per cent of the original 600-plus places remained. Mr. McGee, who has been organizing eclipse expeditions since the Kazakhstan event in 1981, said: "I've never known an eclipse exhibition to sell so fast".

On the day of the eclipse, passengers will make a 4am start by bus to the viewing site deep in the Sahara; after the event, they will be taken back to the ship and set sail.

Libya is already preparing to cope with the expected influx of tourists. The Secretary of Tourism has held meetings with some specialists and experts from the Secretariat of the General People’s Committee for Tourism and the Libyan Center for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing.

The meetings focused on the preparations to receive thousands of tourists and researches, and offer all facilities to them.

“ This phenomenon is a good opportunity to build-up tourism in Libya, and a lot of tourists will arrive here to enjoy the solar eclipse and visit the country’s archeological site, so we should prepare our selves to accommodate the huge numbers of tourists.” The Secretary said.

Specialized Committees have been set up to arrange and plan the reception of tourists, and build desert camps to them where they can catch a better view of the solar eclipse. The propgramme includes visiting some of the ancient sites.

Solar eclipses

An eclipse of the Sun (or solar eclipse) can only occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between Earth and Sun. If the Moon's shadow happens to fall upon Earth's surface at that time, we see some portion of the Sun's disk covered or 'eclipsed' by the Moon.

Since New Moon occurs every 29 1/2 days, you might think that we should have a solar eclipse about once a month. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because the Moon's orbit around Earth is tilted 5 degrees to Earth's orbit around the Sun.

As a result, the Moon's shadow usually misses Earth as it passes above or below our planet at New Moon. At least twice a year, the geometry lines up just right so that some part of the Moon's shadow falls on Earth's surface and an eclipse of the Sun is seen from that region.

The Moon's shadow actually has two parts:
Penumbra - Faint outer shadow; partial eclipses are seen from within this shadow.

Umbra- Dark inner shadow; total eclipses are seen from within this shadow.

When only the Moon's penumbral shadow strikes Earth, we see a partial eclipse of the Sun from that region.

Partial eclipses are dangerous to look at because the un-eclipsed part of the Sun is still very bright. You must use special filters or a home-made pinhole projector to safely watch a partial eclipse of the Sun.

However, if the Moon's dark umbral shadow sweeps across Earth's surface, then a total eclipse of the Sun is seen. The track of the Moon's shadow across Earth's surface is called the Path of Totality. It is typically 10,000 miles long but only 100 miles or so wide. In order to see the Sun totally eclipsed by the Moon, you must be in the path of totality.

The total phase of a solar eclipse is very brief. It rarely lasts more than several minutes. Nevertheless, it is considered to be one of the most awe inspiring spectacles in all of nature. The sky takes on an eerie twilight as the Sun's bright face is replaced by the black disk of the Moon. Surrounding the Moon is a beautiful gossamer halo.

Libya's last total solar eclipse took place in August 30th 1905. The Western North part of the country fell in darkness for 3 minutes and 46 seconds.

These people are providing tours to Libya for the eclipse and the Explore company as well.

The Beebs says 'it should be quite a show' check their article here ...oh why am I away when there is fun ?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Stolen moments

Ok I haven' t done much blogging lately I apologise to anyone who is still interested in this site ;) to keep coming. I have personal reasons and will blog about them when it's all over .

Today I've managed to steal some moments from those reasons and to try and update this blog before I 'loose all my fans' as one guy said in an email ;) ..guess this will be a longuish post keep scrolling till the end it's not a farewell ..I'm not least not yet ....

Now first on the list ...I've stolen this test from the Egyptian Sandmonkey ( check out his results and that of his readers) , well I turned out to be *gasp* Democrat ! I don't know if I like it that much knowing the connotations but another friend told me "at least it was not socialist" so I guess I should count my lucky stars and pin up the results here....31% economic permissive is that bad ? Anyone please explain

You are a

Social Moderate
(56% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(31% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Just make sure to read all today's 5 posts see below :)

The second post for today ...

...a meme ( again ? they are everywhere)

Sandmonkey tagged me for this one ...and I have not been lazy but have my reasons ( see here) . So since I have a few stolen moments ..I will take care of all the stuff that I have postponed lately.

10 years ago- I had just finished an important chapter of my life and look forward to the next one with hope and anticipation.

5 years ago- I turned the page of another cornerstone in my life which would set the pace for the next decade's all about choices I guess as dear SM would say ..Iwas grateful for the opportunity to learn a wonderful lesson and that it all went well .

1 year ago- Again exactly this time last year , I was at another crossroad , saying "yes" and the future could have a different taste.... saying "no" and I could regret and live with the bitterness of "it could have been" ... therefore after much careful thought I agreed ... 3 is the magic word , it already happened twice before ..therefore it had to be ..there was no way I could refuse this time. I'm glad I did not ...I have grown so much and learned even more at the great school of life I feel I'm ready for the next step.

Yesterday- Actually I slept for the most part ... I think I deserve some rest after all that's been going on.

5 snacks I enjoy- Plain yoghurt to which I love adding honey, Ferrero Rocher , M& M's , Maltesers , and for the ultimate sensation? Nutella spread on homemade bread washed down with a glass of full fat milk ...

5 songs I know all the words to- Al7elm al-3arabi الحلم العربي ( the Arab Dream - a 'we are the world style song' see link here for explanation and lyrics) , Still got the blues ( by Gary Moore), Hello ( by Lionel Richie, Soldier of fortune ( by Deep Purple), Nothing else matters (by Metallica).

5 things I would do with $100 million dollars- (1)Take care of any financial needs of my family. (2)Invest part of the money for the future. (3)Sponsor ten orphans until they graduate from university, because making children happy especially orphans is one of the basic tenets of Islam and apart from the joy that you bring them you hope to accumulate brownie points with God and these will stand you good on the day of judgment and have ten people praying on my grave and remembering me would be awesome. (4) buy a house in each of these places: Beirut, London, and Cannes. (5)Get my own 2000 acres 7waza or farm in Libya complete with satellite system, sheep , camels, swimming pool , 4 wheel drive van , settle in the community and help the young minds there and perhaps write my book in peace without having to worry about the finances.

5 places I would run away to- (1)There is one where I know I will always be welcome maybe someday I will tell you about it. (2)The Omayyad mosque in Damascus, (3)the Holy Qur'an ( I guess you can run to God it would be the safest place right?), (4) my parents houses, (5) a loving heart.

5 things I would never wear- black lipstick, plastic accessories , plastic earrings , faux bijoux and nylon socks...yiiiiiiiiikes

5 favorite tv shows- Lost, Buffy the vampire slayer, Dark Angel, Sex and the City, all Ramadan shows on Arabic TV.

5 biggest joys- (1) Sharing thoughts with parents, (2)Talking for hours with friends -on the phone, in a cafe or wherever (3) curling up with a good book and snacks, (4) reading my email, (5) Travelling.

5 favorite toys- My cell phones, my PDA, my laptop, my digital camera, and my car.

5 people to tag ...hmm ok Khadija, Redenclave, Tyeness , Tareq and last but not least Smokey ( if you can muster the time;) )..good luck !
Post number three today- Desktop challenge

Last month , Khadijateri ingeniously invented her own meme, well bravo Khadija as she kept wondering what bloggers desktop looked like ;) he he he talk about being curious K ? well the people she tagged have all answered, here have a look at their desktops ( one , two, three ).

On the other hand, Redenclave's innovation was to tag a reader! - a fan of Libyan blogs , Programmer Craig .

Well my camera is finally back Khadija , so I can take up that challenge. Also P-Craig was kind enough to agree to Redenclave suggestions and mine to send either of us his desktop photo too ( now all we have to do is convince him to blog ;) ) ... so yay double treat for you mish hikki?

Programmer- Craig's desktop (so much nicer than my space ....see below)

Highlander's desktop

Okay I wish to tag you guys ..please quench my curiousity ..thanks in advance: Smokey , Tyeness , Sandmonkey, Ritzy , Nadz , AlanK , Twosret and Big Pharaoh. Also any reader that wants to show us his/her desktop please post or email them to me and I promise to post them here ok ?

Post number 4 : Libyan bloggers and Libyan fans

Lately I can hardly keep up with Libyan blogs ..which is good ...2005 is a bumper crop year .

So another (hattip Programmer_Craig for pointing me to her on Tareq's blog ) Libyan female blogger from Switzerland and soon to be in Canada..if you ever wondered about banking issues go ask her..she says she's a banker in her profile..for the moment all we know about Nura is that she holds a fierce respect and love for her parents that in my book is 100% okay .. welcome Nura and let's hear more noises from your head.

Barnita or Paula is from India and she looks on her past life in Libya with fondness.....I have always noticed the fascination any foreigner who lived in Libya would have with the country...Even when you leave..Libya always stays in your heart ! Oh and her boyfriend is pinup material go check her blog:) .

This is exciting.
Post number 5 : Ramadan Kareem

Each year we expect this beautiful month..may it be merciful and bountiful on the Muslim Ummah. Ramadan Mubarak to you all friends , family , readers and passers by..

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Snooping around Libyan blogs

Being the eternal sleuth as usual ;) I went on a search for some more Libyan blogs for my dear readers . Because you don't want to have only my opinion about all things Libyan don't you ? That won't be fair or balanced ... but also because I'm curious about my fellow Libyans.

Well a fresh crop of blogs have turned up, I arbitrarily chose the most interesting among them to display here , the rest will be advertised when they start updating - not just having a "testing" sign on their website...

So not necessarily in order of preference here are Wissam and Lina , the current Libyan Romeo and Juliet of the blogosphere lol. Wissam is an anime fan who laments the lack of readers , hopefully after today he should get some more. Lina is a student in high school I guess, they keep a blog as a way to date when they can't meet and tell each other their thoughts and share their love with the whole world, just hope your teacher is not reading this. Well guys all the best and please invite us to the wedding.

The next one is by Mabrouk ... I have hopes for this guy ... but please Mabrouk you need to write a bit more! Anyway he sounds like an economist, but I still can't figure what is the connection of tomato paste and the market economy ... aaah but you all already know that I am nil in economics. My suggestion to readers is to go email him , which should jolt him back on stage.

Hanging around Tareq's and Smokey's blogs ( thanks guys) I came accross this Libyan-American blogger Hanu recounting the adventures of (her family) the Dregias family in the US ... complete with slumber parties an bbqs. Pure joy !

Keep coming and I'll keep digging for those elusive Libyan bloggers ... they are all so endearingly shy cute eh ?

Dear All, this is a very brief break in my hiatus , so the rules still apply, feel free to comment on anything as already mentioned before . I just could not resist presenting the above gems when I found them, especially knowing how some of you are avid for fresh Libyan blogs ( big hint here to some people - you know who you are !) .