Friday, July 29, 2005


In commemoration of the victims of terrorism (of all faiths) worldwide and in solidarity with Sandmonkey , Big Pharaoh and the rest of those who are holding their own silent vigil because of today's canceled event ( you know who you are ) .

These are verses from the Koran we use for praying for the souls of those who have passed away:
Surah One . The Opening (Al-Fatiha)

1. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6. Show us the straight way,
7. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

It is worth noting that others in Bahrain and Jordan ( hat tip Chan'ad) had also staged a vigil after the London bombings.
LOVE ...

While on the subject of memes, well here's another one from red_enclave this time ;) and it's all about love hmmm...actually I'm thinking these memes are quite revealing at times as they get you to open up to supposedly innocent questions on the surface and you end up divulging a lot of stuff he he he .. anyway here it is :

1- What does Love mean to you?
Love of God, parents and country.
2- What does Marriage mean to you?
A contract, you get a best friend + lover.
3- Do you believe in love at first sight?
4- How many children would you like?
One probably.
5-If given the opportunity, what song would you sing for me on my wedding day?
Hello by Lionel Richie
I've been alone with you inside my mind
And in my dreams I've kissed your lips a thousand times
I sometimes see you pass outside my door
Hello, is it me you're looking for?
I can see it in your eyes
I can see it in your smile
You're all I've ever wanted, (and) my arms are open wide
'Cause you know just what to say
And you know just what to do
And I want to tell you so much, I love you ...
I long to see the sunlight in your hair
And tell you time and time again how much I care
Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow
Hello, I've just got to let you know '
Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely, or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying, I love you ...
Hello, is it me you're looking for?
'Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven't got a clue
But let me start by saying ... I love you
6- What is your favorite holiday destination?
7-What are three qualities you would look for in a man?
(1) Intelligence, (2) Culture/Education (3) physical attractiveness as in here ;) . The character played by Chris North in "Sex and the City " epitomizes all these qualities ...*sigh* ...
8- What are the three qualities and three bad habits that you have?
Pluses: Integrity, diligence, patience.
Minuses: Hard headed, rashness, procrastinator.
9-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living on a farm with in-laws, screaming kids and surrounded by pets ;).

Can't tag Khadija as she already has kids etc... hmmmm, ok sorry folks it will be Sandmonkey again , and Tareq and Alan : an all guys cast !

Of course I would be more than delighted to have the readers' input too ;) to spice things up a little.
Pet meme...

Khadijateri tagged me last month , I promised to do it and somehow ended up not, well Khadija it is up now hope you'll forgive me ;) and thank you for remembering me .

1. What is your favorite type of animal that you have had as a pet?
2. What is the strangest/most different name one of your pets has had?
Calling one of the budgies "tutut"
3. Describe something bizarre that one of your pets has done.
The cat would enjoy toying and torturing cockroaches to death then putting them next to his plate every morning as if to show me what a good boy hunter he was.
4. Have you ever eaten dog biscuits? (or other pet related products?)
5. Have you ever let your pet sleep with you?
6. Do you take your pet on vacation with you?
7. Have you held memorials for your pets?
Are you kidding ? no we do not do that, though I cry everytime I look at photos or videos of my dead pets
8. Have any of your pets worn clothing?
No :)
9. Do you feed your pets before you feed yourself?
Yes always.
10. Does your current pet resemble you physically or temperamentally?
Absolutely not he is so cool and gorgeous ;)

I am taggind Alan, Sandmonkey and Tareq...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Libya doing it's bit for Darfur

In its NEWS RELEASE of 25th June 2005 ( hat tip Dr.Ibrahim) "The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) [..] welcomed Libya’s agreement to help cover the costs of its airlift of food aid to western Sudan’s Darfur region, where up to 3.25 million people will require its assistance. [...] The Government of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has agreed to waive tariff increases on jet fuel for this humanitarian cargo. Without this help, the UN agency would have been forced to suspend the airlift this month because jet fuel was set to rise from 13 to 33 US cents per liter, costing WFP an additional US$1.5 million a month to maintain the airlift operation. [...] Since August [of last year], Libya has a provided a crucial transportation corridor which allows for substantial deliveries of WFP food aid to be moved by truck and air from the Libyan port of Benghazi into eastern Chad and the three Darfur states in western Sudan. The airlift began on 7 May with an Ilyushin-76 aircraft carrying the first 38 metric tons of food from Al Kufra to Darfur. There are currently two daily flights to the North Darfur capital of El-Fasher and the South Darfur capital of Nyala. To date, the airlift has delivered a total of 5,623 tons of food – enough to feed almost 150,000 people for two months".

Kudos to Libya for that and hope that more efforts are done to also stop the genocide of Darfurians and the the talks and meetings going on about that in Africa are successful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Terrorism and Iraq

Iraq has been occupied/liberated(choose your prefered verb) by the US led coalition forces for a little over 2 years now, and thus we have gotten used to the atrocious news from there on a daily basis to the point where unfortunately they hardly register anymore. IMO it has turned like Palestine and Lebanon during the civil war, no matter how many horrible acts of violence are committed it is there in the background for most of us. Yes we care, but we don't know what to do anymore to show how much we care. It is evident, that without a miracle , Iraq will continue to be the hell on earth it is now. With the current world state of affair and my own nightmares this will not be anytime soon ( may God prove me wrong).

In my humble opinion , and I'm not lecturing to anyone here, just brainstorming for my pleasure, the problems in Iraq are multilayered.

First you have a foreign western occupation ( call it what you wish, for me it is still occupation, because it is still people who are not your own who are running the show in your country), the presence of these troops is exacerbating and humiliating, no matter what you think, and no matter what our wonderful Iraqi bloggers say ( no offense to anyone as I respect and enjoy reading them all). Absolutely no-one likes foreign armies on their land : a good example is Lebanon, the Syrians were begged to come and bring the peace 30 years ago during the civil war, the two countries are practically indistiguishable in language, food, ethnicity, etc yet after their job is the done the Syrian army is felt like a thorn in the side, because it has become a foreign army regardless of historical ties. We all know what happened this year !

But I' m digressing, so we have established that foreign armies are unwelcome, even when they come as saviours ( I am not comparing with the great job the US army did in Europe in WWI and WWII thanks Michael). The coalition forces on the other hand did not come as saviours , but now they are portrayed to be , I am not going to go again into the whole WMD, Saddam scenarios, it's been covered too much , feels like a broken record, what's done is done , this is reality now and we have to deal with it. So if many want to think of them as 'saviour' so be it, it will maybe get them out of Iraq faster? And if indeed they wish to be the saviours then they have to work on that image.

The problem is that we have to deal with the following issues:
(a) coalition forces -mostly US-: killing/torturing Iraqis
(b) insurgents/terrorists: killing/kidnapping Iraqis/foreigners
(c) insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters : killing US /coalition soldiers
(d) it's a free for all mass killing spree , with shia, sunni, kurds, and foreign arab fighters, civilians, ex-baathists, thugs, heros, warlords and mercenaries .
(e) the arab /muslim foreign fighters are subdivided into basically 2 groups, those who are of the terrorists mindset and those that have genuinely listened to their heart and naively come to fight -not the 'infidel or the heathen' - from Iraq , but an invading occupying army (in their opinion)...only to discover to their dismay how things are messed up there and not quite like they thought.
(f) you also have new Iraqi police and security:killing/torturing Iraqis .

In my opinion, everyone in Iraq has the right to kill/destroy the coalition forces by any means necessary if they want, that is not terrorim and not murder, that is legitimate self-defense and freedom even though it is stupid and suicidal. (just in case someone thinks this is a message of hatred, no it it not, it is directed at those in Iraq who profess that they are killing to free Iraqis) . The point is if one wants it then to get it done by not sacrificing your fellow Iraqis, otherwise it's murder. So if someone blows himself up in a US base that's legitimate struggle, and I believe all the people will help. But blowing a market full of Iraqis, or a queue of Iraqi job seekers, sorry that's terrorism.

What is going on in Iraq is terrible, it is a civil and regional war with onlookers, cheerleaders, entities and people settling scores.It's just that nobody wants to utter the horrible looming sentence Civil War, because that would even demonstrate more that this latest meddlesome adventure in the ME is not a 100% success.

I wish the US would leave and let the players settle their scores no matter what the toll, they have been wanting to do that for 30 years anyway. At least the toll would be less, in time, deaths and money then a prolonged war stiffled beneath the surface by the US forces. Iraq needs to burst its abscess and westerners are cramping its style. You cannot democratize by force but you can point in the right direction, educate and eventually create a correct civil society. The society will not decide of it's own to stop and start behaving in a controlled manner. It has to fight it out first.

The fact is no matter how much I sympathise with the plight of Iraqis, I can't really say anything, only my personal opinion, since I don't live there nor have been through what they have, this goes as well for those Iraqis who have not been to Iraq for years ( or to any Arab country for that matter).

What is the point of this post you ask ? hmm let's see. Oh yes , what I wanted to say is that in the middle of all this, no killing of any Iraqi should be undertaken in the name of religion or ideology, as the only fair target in Iraq should be the foreign forces so if the Arab fighter who went there with visions of struggle for freedom cannot kill a foreign soldier then they better go home or else pull up their sleeves and help rebuild Iraq. As for the Iraqis killing each other, that's civil war, however just senseless pointless explosions that is TERRORISM. While Iraqi authorities killing. imprisoning/torturing their own, that's business as usual with tacit approval from coalition forces.

So while the recent London and Sharm El-Sheikh attack may have deflected a little attention from Iraq recent attacks and spate of terrorism. Iraq has not been forgotten and the innocent victims of terrorism are also remembered dearly, may they RIP.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

On another sad note....

I retract my words about the non-hysterical behaviour of Londoners , while yes most Londoners did not go on a rampage , the police on the other hand have sadly shot at point blank someone who was running on the underground, well as I thought discussing this subject on Red_enclave's blog ( how intelligent are intelligence ?)this guy was plain frightened or just in a hurry to get on the train or plain cold coming from a warmer country. His ill luck was his colour which made him Asian i.e Paki to the London policemen... well gentlemen it seems you just murdered the wrong person and innocent bystander... and a tourist most probably it seems he is Brazilian according to the BBC article just mentioned above :( oh boy the terrorists are having such a laugh at us...

This has frightening repercussion , because that means that if you come from another climate and are not half naked in the cold British summer while you are visiting London you risk being suspect on the tube and even shot at point blank range by the police ...better restrict your travel till this dies out a little because you may not get the time to explain you are not a terrorist but only cold .... or in a hurry to catch a train...scary
23/7 Sharm El Sheikh bombing

Updated ! (please scroll down)
Many have probably heard by now of the horrible bombings which took place in the beautiful seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. The death toll has been horrific, double that of the London 7/7 while the injured are also by the hundreds. What is more terrible is that there is not enough coverage of it on western TV , and I see that lamented on several blogs, it is not enough that even the Egyptian governement is not announcing the real figure as Sandmokey says; but that the western media somehow does not see fit to show that the Egyptian count as much as the Londoners?
I must admit that some comments on the blog were heartwarming , but still that is so little from the collective brouhaha which happened with regards to London victims.

Anyway I would like to offer my condolences to the the people of Egypt and my friends , and also to the families of the tourists to. Some Egyptian bloggers spurned by Karim are going to try and hold a protest tomorrow ( see details here). This is Karim's message :

Stop complaining about others and realize your own apathy. Tomorrow the 24 of July at 5:30pm on the 6 of October bridge between Zamalek and Tahrir. There will be banners available but you are encouraged to bring your own. It should last until sunset.

This is not for foreign media. This is to send a message to elements in our own communities. We need to tell these bastards that they are not welcome here.

Wear white tee shirts

I would like to add that you don't have to be Egyptian to show solidarity with them I think , and I'm sure you will be welcomed . So if you are currently living in Egypt or visiting go to their meeting point as per the instructions and say 'No to terrorism!'. I hope someone gets a camera to record the event. I 'm not currently anywhere near Egypt but I'll be thinking about you guys !

Update: 27-7-05

Well here is the story of the protest at Sandmonkey's part I and part II ( with photos) and at Big Pharaoh's ...makes a helluva a read.

Friday, July 22, 2005

London, Iraq, petitions and banners

It seems there is no running away from the prerequisite post about the London attacks since on the second anniversary of 7/7 a copycat bombing took place today in London. Like all decent people in the world be they atheists of believers , one must condemn such atrocity, and offer one's condolences to all those who lost loved ones . I admire the Londoner's spirit and stoicism . It was business as usual and there was no great panic or hysterical behaviour unlike 9/11 ( of course I'm aware that the scale was less enormous but death is death ).

On this same vein then , every life is precious, be it on a London bus , or on a Baghdad street, and I wish that the Iraqi victims of terrorism ( be it Western, foreign, state sponsored or homegrown) are remembered as well.

A collective RIP to victims all over the world.

Getting back to the London attacks, it seems that perpetrators of 7/7 were local British boys of Pakistani and Jamaican ( does not even have a Muslim name) ethicities , this is an internal problem that the local authorities should solve, if they are Muslim that does not mean that billions of Muslims worldwide should apologize. It's like saying that all Christians should apologize for the IRA bombings ?

So I shall not get apologetic and start talking how Islam is all about peace, the British have dealt with that admirably and they have not gone berseck and started stabbing Arabs or Sikh , or women with headscarve.

What I will do though is this petition wich I received by email today, I already signed and sent it , you can do the same as well. No matter how wrong the British or US policy has been in the Middle East, senseless murder of ordinary citizens is not a solution ( even though occupation forces have been guilty of that in Iraq). So here it is :

Today, I call upon all my Muslim brothers and sisters to stand up and be counted. We must tell these so-called Muslims (if what has been claimed by a group on an al-Qa'ida-related website is true) that they do not represent Islam or Muslims. We Muslims must shout out loud and clear:


On a similar note I found this post by Iraqi-Canadian blogger Ihath quite fitting please read it here : Degrees of linkedness .

Karim Elsahi who seems to have a good head on his shoulder has come up with a nice idea, world wide prayer for peace , he calls it Pray 4 Peace . Please go check it and join if you wish. My friend T. was saying today' that if enough people prayed for peace toghether, something good should come out of it '

Karim also has a blog please also go check it at One Arab World and support his effort.

Mustapha from Beirut Spring has some great banners . Go and choose yours. I 've chosen this one. Congratulations Mustapha!

This banner from another site common is also great you can order a whole bunch, go check their choices.

I must conclude the post as I started it, with the London blasts. When I was in Tripoli last week , all the Libyans I spoke with friends, neighbours colleagues, were pained about the attacks and immediately reached out to their foreign friends and colleagues, and many of them said a prayer for the victims. In Islam we believe that the prayer will reach the dead even if one is miles away. However, since I was in London , I decided to pay a visit to the memorial that has sprung up at Kings Cross and pray for the dead souls in person on my behalf and that of my Libyan compatriots. It was heartening to see all sorts of people and sobering to see so many messages of love. Here is one of my photos.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Safe and Sound

I know I've been silent for a week now, sorry about that , this is a short post to thank all my friends, family, loved ones and bloggers who texted, phoned or emailed me. It seems I have a knack for premonitions, why did I go watch a play about terrorism in London ? talk about Karma....hmm

What happened was tragic, that is all I can say, and I kept thinking that Russel square is my favourite place and I always take the tube from King's Cross :(

Anyway for all those wondering about me, no I was NOT in London today. I've been back home for the last few days, I'm just busy with some personal issues. Your prayers and good wishes are needed.

Friday, July 01, 2005

'Talking to Terrorists'

For this trip to London I went to the theatre last night to watch the play 'Talking To Terrorists' .
This play has received a lot of wonderful reviews , check the BBC here and the New York Times here and a bunch of others here ; so my curiousity has been duly tickled and I booked my ticket a few days ago before arriving in London.

What could I say more than all those critics and journalists? I loved every minute of the play. Ir was fascinating to watch the actors change characters and accents each time, to the point that I was convinced they were different people and was looking for clues in their faces. The only expected aspect was the usual representation of Muslims, however I'm not taking umbrage as I can see now that this is mostly how the Asian Muslim community talks and behaves in the UK ( no offense to anyone meant, they behave rather differently than the Arabs).
All in all it was a successful night and a great idea.

Has any of you seen the play and wishes to share their thoughts about it ?
Libyan bloggers update

Blogging is fascinating, new Libyan blogs keep cropping up this year. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Tareq, who is blogging all the way from Arizona. He has a pet cat named Leo , he has internet overdose (i.e. it's becoming boring hmmm). Well anyone who loves the feline species is okay by my book. Tareq : Happy blogging , wait and see you'll make tons of friends!

I'm still waiting for E. who does not want to disclose her blog..please E if you read this your blog is wonderful and it's a pity not to let others share your emotions with you. I've reserved a link for you on my side bar called 'undisclosed'...allow me to change it ;)