Sunday, October 28, 2007

In Rememberance

In Memorial

Stanley Studney

Elizabeth Studney

Salem Sherif

Virginia White

George Pearson

Mustafa Benlasher

Haja Fatuma

Aiyada Abdulrahman

Sebastian / Bashir Mutawa

Khalifa Sherif

Mohamed Sherif

Charles Deffenbaugh

Marsha Bowman

Arthur Kelly

Florence Baker

Don Roy Baker

Haroun Hamed

Lorin Baker

Aileen Deffenbaugh

Saundra Kelly

Carole Anne Sedita

Dr. Ali Benlasher

Miss them all, may they rest in peace .

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tricker Treat !

Happy Halloween ! Keep a sharp eye out in case of any attacks by werewolves , zombies , witches, or ghosts ! And don't forget those pesky vampires either !
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Winter Is Here !

Winter arrived here two days ago . It made everyone go scrambling for the blankets and the winter clothes . Nice to be able to turn off the air conditioner for a change . It feels so good this cool fall/ winter weather we are having . Everyone has a kick to their step .The air is so fresh now that the rains have washed everything clean of dust from the last year .The sky has cleared . This is the first time most of us can remember it raining so much this early in the fall. It has rained almost as much now as we had all last year . Really great weather . Wish it could stay like this all the time .

We had a death in the family also this week . Mohamed's oldest brother Dr. Ali Benlasher has passed away from a stroke .We are at his funeral all this week. So many people are coming that it makes your head whirl . He was the very first person to graduate with a doctorates degree in all of Libya . He was something of a institution in his own right here in Libya . There was at one time not one person that went to the university here that didn't have him for their Maths Professor . We will miss him so .

Friday, October 19, 2007

Priest Moved By Islam

A friend sent this to me . I found it interesting , thought you might too .

Moved by Islam, Priest Embraces Two Faiths


Day to Day, September 12, 2007 · The Episcopal Church has suspended one of its priests, Ann Holmes Redding, for one year after her announcement this summer that she is both a Christian and a Muslim. A local Muslim leader's speech to Redding's church two years ago inspired her to begin attending Muslim prayer services while she was still serving her local diocese.

Chana Joffe-Walt from member station KPLU reports.

Hum !

Things that makes you say "hum" !

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Miracle

Today I was a participant in a miracle . It's true . I was , along with all the other drivers in bound to the City this morning on the freeway . I had to take Moe into town for an appointment at a ungodly hour and the only way to get there in a hurry was the freeway .

I never drive on the freeway , NEVER ! I avoid it like you would the plague . The people normally drive on it like they were NASCAR drivers at the Indianapolis Speedway 500 race .I kid you not , and that is like the very last thing you want to deal with first thing in the morning , or any other time of the day . They not only drive like speed manics but they will cut you off while nearly touching your bumper when they do . Total disregard for safety and life seems to be the main goal , and damn the torpedo's , full steam ahead is the motto for all . Thats why I never drive on the freeway .

But today as I said , I had no choice because we needed to be there quickly and also it has been raining off and on now for the past five days . Libya was not intended to have water on the roads. Many do not have drainage . Those that do don't drain as well as they should , if they drain at all . So , when it rains we have mass flooding .That meant that all the roads to that part of town we were going to was flooded in various stages and would need hours to drive on them . No time for that today .

So , I bit the bullet and decided to go on the freeway . First off the defroster didn't want to defrost . The windows were all fogged up . I couldn't see . Then there was a lot of water before we ever even got to the freeway . I hated that too . But here is where the miracle happens , as I approached the freeway there wasn't any traffic . Then once on the freeway everyone was driving an unheard of 60 - 80 kilometer per hour ! Un - you-know-what believable !!!! All the way into town no one cut off anyone else . There was no honking , no hand gesturing , no speeding , just good driving . If I hadn't seen it for myself would have never believed it possible !
The miracle continued on the trip home as well . I am still in shock .

Today is officially "Fight Poverty Day " all over the world . It affects everyone in one way or another . Think of ways you can help to fight this silent war to help others . Sometimes the smallest thing can make a big difference to someone in need .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Arabic Soap Oprea

Last year during Ramadan one of the Arabic TV channels brought a really good soap opera . I would tell you the name, but after exhaustively trying to pronounce this correctly , I've thrown in the towel and given up trying . Impossible for my tongue to pronounce .

It is about a small Arab town around the turn of the last century in Syria and the inhabitants lives . Somehow or another Moe and I got hooked , along with half of the Arab world , into watching this show nightly very religiously . It captivated your attention , the lives of the these people and at the same time gave you a slice of history .

The main character is married and has grown children . His oldest daughter is in a stormy marriage . His other daughter is a mute . Then he has two other daughters that are teenagers , and also two sons that are very different from one another. Towards the end of the series the oldest son marries and lives with the parents with his bride . Of course there is instant trouble in paradise and the ensuing troubles results in the father telling his long and faithful wife of many years he is divorcing her. That was a shock for all the viewers .

So, the next day after this show was the was the Eid . That night they didn't bring the story on ok , maybe because of the Eid ? Then the next night the same thing . I watched that Arabic channel for four days before the channel announced that this was only a Ramadan show . The next installment would be the following year , this year .

I never watch Arabic TV because my Arabic isn't sufficient even after all these years to deal with all the different Arab dialects and the nuances of the language . Moe years ago bowed out of being the translator, so I just sorta gave up on Arabic TV . Luckily for me the advent of satellite TV came along nearly the same time and I had English language TV to view . So , the fact that I watched this show , WITH Moe , and continued to search for it four days after the last installment was a big deal.

Then this year about two weeks before Ramadan started adverts for this same soap opera began telling viewers that it would be back on this year . There was a lot of buzz going around town when this news came out .And not just from the female population either ! The men liked this show just as much as the women .

The excitement built up . People were speculating on the threatened divorce , did the father actually divorce the mother ?The first show came finally and he had . Oh my! Things just went down hill from there it seemed . One misadventure after the other happened to the people in the town . Real cliff hangers . On the last night of Ramadan this year we had a conclusion of sorts to the story , but you could tell there was a whole lot more to be told . When the show ended , two of the main characters came out in modern dress to tell us , the audience, that we would just have to wait until next year to learn what had happened . I moaned . Moe groaned . I looked at him and made him PROMISE that if I were to die between now and next Ramadan he was to come to my grave EVERY DAY to tell me what had happened the night before on the show, and you know what ? He promised ! LOL ! Amazing !

My Visit

Last night I went to visit a good friend and neighbor for the Eid . I found her at her mother in laws house along with half of the tribe . Lots of children , sister in laws , aunts , and cousins were there and the chaos that comes with the territory .Lots of kissing and hand shaking , where have you been all year , and how are you's . It was good to see them all again . I always am made to feel welcome when I go to visit . My husband is slightly related to them so it was especially good.

We quickly exhausted all topics of conversations as a group, so my friend and I sat and talked quietly for a while among ourselves, always keeping an eye on our hostess for signs of any disgruntledness of our conversation making her feel left out .

After a while we noticed that we were being watched as a curiosity rather than a part of the group so we decided that it was time to speak in Arabic again , to include the rest of the ladies . I was at a loss for a topic since we had already talked about the usual things such as our husbands, our children , Ramadan , food ,who was sick, dead , and dieing . That about covered the whole spectrum as far as I could figure out except marriage and we had covered that one two hours ago .

Then I remembered a thing I had read from one of my e mail friends about the nose being as long as a persons thumb . I knew a couple of other things like that so I asked them did they know that their thumb was approximately as long as their nose ? That started them all measuring their noses with their thumbs .

We all were laughing about that . I then asked them who could roll their tongue ? That was really funny to watch while they contorted their faces trying to roll their tongues. Some could , while others couldn't . Just as they were recovering from that some one asked who could put their leg behind their head . Well , by this time all the kids were in on the act and doing what kids do best .This moved on to walking on crossed knees, pressing the thumb back against the inside of the wrist , much laughter , and measuring the foot along the inside forearm from the wrist to the crook of the elbow to show that it was the same size . By this time we were laughing so hard that we had tears streaming down our faces because these somber dignified women had become like little children having old fashion silly fun .When I left to come home some of the women were still trying to recover from their acrobatics . It was a fun time .

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Eid and Other Thoughts

I have to say this has been by far the very best Ramadan and Eid I have had ever in 36 years! Ramadan was easy and for the most part calm . The Eid has been delightfully filled with family and friends calling or dropping by at a nice steady pace .

So neat to see how the kids have grown , the adults have changed , and things just stay the same , lol . One person came to visit that doesn't talk to us all year and all I could only wonder the whole time he was here was what does he want ? Terrible I know but it does make you wonder what his motives were since he is the sort that ALWAYS has a motive for everything . My daughters called and made our day . We sorely miss them since they live over seas now and we don't get to spend holidays together anymore . My son and his wife , with the new baby came over too and that was fantastic !That baby ... well I won't bore you with all those typical grandmother stories but he is so smart . Heard from a long lost friend . That was pretty special .

I went visiting today . I had to get out of the Condo On The Seaside , into the fresh air that was cool , blowing right off the sea . There were promising rain clouds that made me yearn for "home" . I always get home sick this time of the year here in Libya when the weather hints of cooler days ahead .There is a taste of southern US fall in the air that causes memories to cascade in my mind that nearly transports me back to " home" . I stopped thinking of the US as "home " years ago since Libya is "home " to me now after all these years . I think that this is almost the only time I do get homesick anymore .

Later this evening after I returned from my visit it started to rain . Not in buckets or sheets , but in a gentile soft patter moved by a breeze that could caress your face like a lover would . Songs ran through my mind as I stood on the balcony and stared into the night . The Eurythmics song ," Here Comes The Rain Again " and Eddie Rabbit's " I love The Rainy Nights" tumbled over and over in my mind, until I had to come inside and play them on my MP3 player.

What a gift tonight has been . A wild thought ran across my mind briefly to go running through the rain onto the beach with arms thrown wide open , but then I got a grip , lol ! Can you imagine if anyone would have seen this happen what they would have thought on seeing this older foreign woman running wildly on the beach in the rain ? Makes me chuckle just thinking about it. Maybe I should have done it anyway . I could have started a trend ...... or maybe not .

P.S. Well, as I was fooling around on the net the gentile patter of rain and the soft breeze has turned into a raging storm with sheets of rain lashing the Condo and gale force winds bashing the shutters on the windows . Good thing I decided not to run amuck on the beach tonight after all !

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Turning Green

Khadijateri called this Fox News story to my attention .,2933,301541,00.html

All about the Empire State Building in New York turning Green, green being the Islamic color , in celebration for Eid El Fitr yesterday , October 12, 2007 ! Ok ! Way to go New York City ! Who would have thunk it ?



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Down By The Sea

This is one of my favorite pictures . It is of two traditionally dressed Libyan women and a child sitting on the rocky beach in ZunZur , a small bedroom community outside of Tripoli to the west.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm So Excited

Do any of you remember that disco song that starts like this ... "I'm so excited ! I just can't hide it"? Or what about this song ...." It's raining . It's pouring .The old witch is snoring !" ? Can you guess why I am asking these stupid questions? It's raining , pouring , thundering, and lighting outside as I type and has been for a good 20 minutes ! This is really, and I mean really so exciting !
This the 1st official downpour of the season . Wish you were here to enjoy it with me . Ok , according to the Werewolf Watch on my blog , the new moon is tonight . Does that mean tomorrow is the Eid ?Hum ? Well , anyway just wanted to tell you the exciting news .

It Rained !

It was a red letter night yesterday evening , it rained here in Tripoli ! Not cats and dogs , but it did rain . It smelled so wonderful . The dust was tamed today ,the wind fresh . I hope it rains some more soon .

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I'm Back !

Hi ! I am back on line now after waiting nearly a month for this new ADSL thingy to get connected . That was a major adjustment in my life ... no Internet . Thanks to Khadijateri coming over and connecting me up to the ADSL , showing me how to use the new programs she put on my computer , all kinds of new and exciting things will happen , so stayed tuned .

Ramadan has really kept me in a whorl this year . I have had lots to do , been busy coming and going here , there , and almost everywhere . Moe has kept me pretty busy being his chauffeur . SO ,what with the cooking and all this other stuff going on I didn't miss it too much , yeah right ! LOL ! Once I get caught up with my virtual world I will write more about whats happening in my world .

Friday, October 5, 2007