Saturday, October 29, 2011

About Last Thrusday

My internet has been acting up for several weeks now. It quit altogether week before last . Tonight I thought I would try it one more time " Just in case", to see if another miracle has happened. It has . It is working ... for the moment . I thought I would try to express  the emotions I have felt this past week.It is so difficult to put into words these feelings. So ....About last Thursday and the rest of this week.

Last Thursday, the 20th of October,Moe and I were leaving the Condo around 12:30 p.m.(noon) to the sounds of the neighborhood people shooting whatever they had available to shoot ,very scary,afraid we might be shot by a random bullet.  We drive to the cafe down the street from us to get coffee before going further , wanting to debate with Moe the wisdom of going back home since we didn't know what was happening.The coffee guy looked scared, distracted. People sitting outside looking very nervous . We could feel the tension building in the air . I became frightened but had to remain calm for Moe.The man brought us our coffee. I asked him what was on the radio we could faintly hear in the back ground.He look quickly around to see if anyone was listening.He whispered to us ever so slightly  over all the commotion around us, "I think Muammar has been shot, maybe even dead. No one knows for sure".Our hearts skipped a beat . We were not too sure how we should react to this news in so public a place.We stirred our hot coffee in silence , each of us lost in our own thoughts.My hands started to shake slightly.I glanced toward Mohamed just as he looked at me.Our unspoken thoughts were could this be true? At last?

I was of the mind to go home and the hell with getting my injection at the clinic in downtown Tagura , for by this time things were decidedly on the verge of chaos.Rocket launchers on the back of passing trucks were being fired into the air toward the beach.More gunfire from seemingly every passing car ,accompanied by shouts of Allah Akbar.Moe was insistent we go on to the clinic. He was hungry for adventure. I saw a look in his eye I haven't seen in a long time shining brightly. I was ready to crawl under any handy bed and pull the covers over my head.I was sure we would finally be killed by random gunfire.So , off we went , me driving  reluctantly , Mohamed fueled with urgency.

On the way to the clinic we were greeted by shouts of jubilation from any one on the streets. Passing cars honking rhythmically to enthusiastic waving hands holding the new national flag. Children marched out of their schools smiling ,waving their flags , shouting , cheering; down the middle of the roads. Mothers  and their children poured out of their houses in small  skittishness groups , like wild mustangs being herded .Still we disbelieved it was true , that Ghadaffy was captured or dead.It had to be another false rumor as all the others had been.I refused to believe.Moe was rocking on the brink of hesitation.I guarded my hopes close to my heart this time.I wouldn't be fooled again.  

The main health clinic in Tagura is situated next to the center of the municipal heart of Tagura.A traffic round about is there ,as well as a town square where celebrations are held. The 20 minutes it took us to get to the town square from where we had been,had changed the square into a melee of  cars , trucks with mounted guns on the back, young NTC fighters firing off any thing they could lay their hands on, to the man on the street with his own gun of choice.Smoke from so many guns being fired all at the same time had turned the air blue with smoke.It stung the eyes ,made you choke on the cordite. Our ears ushered us into near deafness.It was beyond scary.All I could think of was what goes up must come down.Shell casings littered the roads in bright copper sheets.

I found the back way into the clinic.We still didn't definitively know for sure whether or not Ghadaffy was alive ,dead, or what, at this point in time.The clinic was almost abandoned for most of the staff had joined the people on the main street that runs in front of the clinic.I found a lone nurse , sitting dejectedly staring off into space, a frown on her brow.I greeted her thankful to be inside somewhere that I felt safe from the gunfire outside.I asked her had she heard the news?Hoping she had . She gave me a go to hell look and said there wasn't any news , just false rumors. So , I asked her what she thought of all the commotion outside in the street , not realizing she was a unhappy Ghadaffy supporter.She told me a bunch of dead people were celebrating their demise .My blood ran cold with her words.That little tiny light of hope I had secretly held deep inside me went out with a sizzle.I got my injection and hobbled to the car feeling crushed , again.

I found Mohamed almost dancing a jig . If he had been capable , he would have danced. One of the clinics employees had a radio and the news was out , Ghadaffy had been captured and was now dead. It was official.It was real. A actual fact. The man was dead.Here we sat , at the end of a very long road for us.One we thought we would never see.Astonishment, amazement for the feat the young men and women of Libya had accomplished, the sacrifices we had all made , sorrow,the anger,the brains defense mechanism kicked in to protect us and refused to let us assimilate this news in too positive light. There must be a catch , there just had to be one somewhere.Then we would break into a tiny smile, as if a forbidden thought that we alone knew ,brushed up against across our conciseness. This was something that needed time.

We drove up and down the main street in downtown Tagura with the parade of humanity celebrating a miracle the rest of the day.Up and down  , back and forth we drove .Sometimes dazed,other times in euphoria bordering on hysteria .I still held something back deep inside me . I couldn't let go as the others were doing . I honked my car horn , flashed my peace sign like all the others but something said don't give in to joy just yet.Then a man on the side of the street , handing out paper to all that passed him , gave one to me.It was a picture.A picture of a man that had ruled my life in ways even Mohamed didn't know . A man that was so clever in his insanity , that he twisted everything he touched.That picture showed Ghadaffy dead.That was when I felt the dam break. The emotions came flooding out of me until tears soaked my blouse.I drove while wearing a veil of tears from pure joy and relief.

Since Thursday last ,Moe and I have run the gauntlet emotions.Disbelief still assails us off and on .Hope comes as a bright comet .We will hear a news report causing us to plummet to earth once again in near despair.Fear sneaks up to attack us in doubts for the future.Terror of the unknown lurks in dark shadows waiting to grab us if we walk to near.Happiness dances all around us in shades of  exhilaration and ecstasy.Bliss fights off  desolation.I think we will make it. I hope we will make it. I have my fingers crossed that we will make it.Good luck Libya !

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Land Of Confusion

Normally on a Friday Moe and I stay home especially since the war started.Sometimes we will go for a ride into town to check things out, but the last few weeks there has been some sort of march , festival , protest , or demonstration for the new government ,or against Ghadaffy.I don't particularly enjoy driving in the traffic , and as neither Moe nor I are able to do any walking , parking the car is out of the question. Generaly we drive around a certain area in town that isn't too crowded.

BUT.... this Friday I decided to surprise Moe and go off the beaten path. I choose to drive into town on the freeway instead of the coast road. I wanted to see where it had flooded . To see if there  were any traces of the flood we had last week .There wasn't ,but we did encounter check points on the highway leading to the freeway.Well , it was a Friday , so we really didn't think much about that.

We drove towards town and the exit that would take us to Bab Azazia. I changed my mind about going there as it would entail walking , so exited before we got to the off ramp going to Bab Azazia.This was the exit off the freeway ,on the opposite side from the Khaddbah and Abu Salim neighborhoods , that leads towards the Rixos Hotel.I haven't been too interested in going to the Medan Shuhada (or as it is known in English, The Martyrs Square) formally known as the Green Square, but I did want to go to the hotel and have a cup of coffee there.The most popular places to go to in town these days are the Medan Shuhada , Bab Azazia , or the Rixos Hotel. Here again we encountered check points along the way where before there hadn't been any.

We got caught up in a heavy flow of traffic coming off the freeway. This was unusual too , all this traffic on a Friday.We found the hotel but couldn't get to it. It was blocked off. Oh well .So , off we go to another part of town that was fairly close and easy to get to , so I thought.Once again we ran into traffic from check points . Lots of  NTC fighters to-ing and fro-ing all over the place, but this is the normal these days. Resounding shouts of Allah Alkhabar rang in the air.Moe said he heard shots, but I was too busy concentrating on driving to pay any attention to shots in the air.More check points , traffic , cars being check thoroughly , which is a good thing .Eventually we get to where we want to go .

We could hear reports now and then at different check points of trouble in first one place ( the ones we had just been near !) and then another .Fighting had broken out , reports of attacks and we could now see a pall of smoke in the distance hanging over the city.We decided it was time to go home . Enough of adventurous sight seeing in town.

We passed through so many check points between town and Tagura I lost count. I got to where when we approached a check point I automatically popped the trunk to my car. I didn't really mind as it was reassuring to see they were being so thorough in looking for any hidden weapons .

Later last night Moe was watching the Libyan news in Arabic. I could pick up key words now and then. My Arabic is atrocious. Moe's strokes have left him with difficulties with his speaking language skills , so it makes for very interesting and unique translations .More like a puzzle that needs assembling.I have to admit I am not very good with puzzles, so I am often in the dark as to what has happened .It wasn't until I could get the internet to open for me that I found out all the trouble spots we had been in the middle of ,or around yesterday. It probably was a good thing I didn't know at the time , lol .I am pretty sure it will be a while before we will go into town again.

One more thing I want to talk about before I go that happened yesterday .I saw on the news where some mosques had been desecrated in attacks by Salafi hardliner Muslims here in Tripoli. They said the mosques they attacked belonged to Sufi Muslims ,therefore Not permissible.They don't consider the Sufi's to be Muslims . The Salafi are a branch of the Sunni Muslims. The Salafi said that the mosques they attacked had relics , bodies of men buried in them that many ( not just the Sufi's) consider holy men or holy imman's (teachers) that are respected .They believed this to be wrong and took these drastic steps to right the wrong .

Here is the part I have trouble with, and many others may as well , almost all mosques here in Libya will be named after some holy man ,having his body buried within the mosque .It is just a custom that is a hold over from the time of Turkish occupation .

Another thing I find ironic is that during the entire time of the battles for Sirte , Bani Walid, and Sebha, the mosques all over Libya ,especially the Tripoli area, have played almost non stop a hypnotic chant over the loud speakers of " Allah Alakhbar" . Usually the mosques will broadcast this from noon prayers until the last prayers of the night , but sometimes even afterward.This is a welcomed and acceptable action from the mosques .The catch? This is in actual fact a Sufi custom, this chanting, therefore by the Salafi's own beliefs , not religiously acceptable. Religious intolerance should be unacceptable in the New Libya .

I heard this song by Genesis last night as I was waiting for the internet to connect.Thinking to myself how true this was for the world .Enjoy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Need $2,000,000 ?

Writer Nick Meo, for The Telegraph, wrote a great article on the search for Muammer Ghadaffy.Read below:

No stone unturned in the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi

Libyan forces are still on the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi. But, as one man leading the chase tells Nick Meo, they plan to "examine every grain of sand in the search for him."

No stone unturned in the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi
Col Gaddafi could be a fugitive in the desert, hiding in a secret bunker under the capital, or living abroad after a successful escape out of the country Photo: REX
His eyes burning, the former police colonel leant forward in his chair and described in a quiet voice what he would do to Muammar Gaddafi if his men were lucky enough to catch him.
Colonel Moftah Al-Swiah, a wiry 38-year-old former detective, was in the police force in a town near Tripoli until he defected last February to become a commander in Libya's revolutionary army.
Now he is using his investigation skills in the vast desert along the Algerian border in the biggest manhunt Libya will ever see.
"I would not kill him if I found him, I would put him in a cage and take him around Libya," the colonel said. "And I pray to God that it is we who get the chance to capture him; my men will not rest until they find that criminal."
His "men" were in fact mostly battle-hardened teenagers, 50 young rebels who were at school or university when the revolution broke out.
Since then they have fought through the civil war, and now they have joined the hunt for Gaddafi in the desert. They know it could be as dangerous as anything they have faced since they took up arms.
The clue that set the former detective on Gaddafi's trail came up as he interrogated an important regime supporter near Tripoli last week.
The man let slip to Colonel Al-Swiah a hint that Gaddafi's hiding place was somewhere near the town of Ghadames – the colonel will not disclose exactly who his informant was or what he said. But it was enough for him to jump into his pick-up truck and immediately drive for six hours south into the Sahara.
He outlined his mission sitting in the foyer of the Dar Ghadames, a luxury hotel usually full of tourists at this time of year, but on Saturday with none to seen.
Instead the hotel had been taken over by the colonel's men, who propped up their machine-guns in the foyer before relaxing on the sofas ahead of their next desert foray.
"The blood of 14 martyrs who fought with us and died is on our conscience," Col Al-Swiah said. "We are hunting Gaddafi because of them, so they can rest in peace. We will examine every grain of sand in the search for him."
In reality, less poetically, he was sending his men out to pick up Gaddafi supporters, then interrogating them for information.
Afterwards, when the colonel left to give his men their orders, Fathi Uoshi, the National Transitional Council's military chief in Ghadames, said: "He and his men had a hard time in the fighting; I think they feel guilty for surviving when their comrades died.
"That is what is driving them. We depend on men like them if we are to have any chance of finding Colonel Gaddafi."
The hunt for the fugitive former leader was infused with new energy last week.
Ghadames was flooded with NTC fighters from Tripoli and the north, after the interim government realized that it had to do more to try to seal a western border that was wide open to anybody trying to get out of Libya.
More NATO aircraft than usual were flying overhead, local people said, and the new government sent a military aircraft to be based at the airport, from where it is patrolling the desert, looking for convoys or unusual activity.
The town, surrounded by desert palms eight hours' drive from Tripoli, is one of the last habitable outposts on the edge of trackless sand-seas and sun-baked mountain ranges in the vast and empty south; the wastes, traversed only by smugglers and wandering Tuareg nomads, are an ideal hiding place for a fugitive, .
Colonel Fathi – a former officer in Libya's air force – was busy dealing with the messy aftermath of a tribal war that broke out in Ghadames two weeks earlier between Tuareg tribesmen, supporters of Gaddafi, and Arabs who had joined the revolution. Fifteen people died in the fighting, which threatens to re-erupt at any time – a problem hampering an effective manhunt.
Colonel Fathi, who is also in overall charge of the hunt for Gaddafi in the district, said he was exchanging information with NATO daily, and directing NTC forces, including 30 expert desert trackers, to search for signs of Gaddafi or other key regime figures making their way towards Algeria and safety. Patrols have been sent out along the unmarked border as well, to try to catch anyone going across, no doubt spurred to greater efforts by the NTC increasing the reward on Gaddafi's head to $2 million.
"All the NATO technology is trying to pick him up, they are using the satellites, the listening devices," Colonel Fathi said. "But perhaps an old man who knows the ways of the desert will be the one to find him."
The last reliable sighting of the former Brother Leader was soon after the fall of Tripoli in August.
He gave no inkling in his latest recorded message to the Libyan people, broadcast by a Syrian-based television station on Thursday, in which he called on them to "go out and march in their millions" in protest at the "unbearable" conditions they now faced.
He could be a fugitive in the desert, hiding in a secret bunker under the capital, or living abroad after a successful escape out of the country.
But the desert south of Ghadames seems one of the likeliest hiding places and potential escape routes; his wife, daughter and a son fled into Algeria from there in August.
Last week Hisham Buhagiar, a carpet tycoon turned leading Gaddafi-hunter, said he thought his prey was somewhere near Ghadames.
  Rumor and speculation are buzzing across the south; one story has it that Gaddafi is paying his way with stolen gold bars, each stamped with his image.
According to another he escaped in a $5 million armored BMW, supplied by France when he was friends with its government - a car reputedly bristling with the latest electronic-jamming devices and thus "invisible" to NATO's radar and satellites.
More likely is that he is being helped by Tuareg friends on both sides of the border.
The nomads have long been loyal supporters who were well-treated by his government, and Gaddafi was said to have relied for guidance on a Tuareg soothsayer, who has since fled her home. An impoverished people who once ran the caravan routes across the Sahara, they know the desert trails, and Gaddafi may have paid Tuareg guides for help.
If Algeria's government – run by old friends - was prepared secretly to take him under its wing, it could offer him a protection that impoverished African nations like Niger or Mali, also spoken of as possible refuges, could not.
"If he is still in Libya, Gaddafi probably travels in convoys a lot smaller than the ones he used to use," said Abdelrahman Busin, a spokesman for the NTC's forces, now called the Libyan Liberation Army.
"He probably doesn't move much, and when he does it must be under the cover of dark, discreetly and quickly. He may still have hundreds of loyal supporters, many motivated by money, although they probably function as a spy network. He cannot afford to draw attention to himself by having too many people around him."
For the NTC, beset with problems, catching Gaddafi is just one among a string of competing priorities.
But Mr Busin added: "As long as he is alive and roaming free we must expect the possibility of his supporters launching terrorist attacks."
Senior NTC officials in Ghadames are urgently trying to mend fences with the Tuareg after last month's fighting, fear that without their help and information Gaddafi will prove impossible to find.
"I visited the Tuareg refugees who have fled Ghadames and told them if you catch Gaddafi, you will be number one in Libya," said Sharif Abdulmula, 33, the field commander for Colonel Al-Swiah. However, many were still unwilling to turn against their former ally.
Commander Abdulmula, who had never been to the Sahara before, knows how much he needs their help; he was organizing a four-day patrol deep into the desert with his men who, like him, were all from the cities of the coastal north.
"It is very dangerous, with a big risk of ambush," he said, stroking the bushy beard which he has vowed to shave only when Gaddafi is captured.
Without the help of the Tuareg, it may have grown a lot longer before that happens.

Libya - THE IN PLACE For Hollywood

You would never know that Libya isn't the hottest spot to find the biggest stars by the way they have been flocking to Libya these last few weeks.Last week Sean Penn was here to inspect war damage.To show his support for the Libyan peoples struggle to win their freedom form 42 years of dictatorship under Ghadaffy's rule.Yesterday it was actress and UN Goodwill ambassador  Angelina Jolie. She was spotted in Misarata showing her solidarity with the Libyan people in their fight for democracy.

Late last night as we were going to bed ,we heard gunfire going off all over the area . It was alarming at 1st , as I could only think of one reason for that much gunfire so late at night , and it didn't seem like a good omen. Then we heard people shouting as they ran through the streets below the Condo firing their guns. They were shouting ,"We got him .Allah Alkabar !" Then we could hear the machine guns at the check points , along with cannon fire, and rockets. Car horns could be heard as they drove down the street. The ships at sea were tooting their horns too .We became hopeful . Maybe they captured Ghadaffy? At last ? Could this actually be the end?

We rushed to turn on the tv and there we heard the good news.It wasn't Muammar Ghadaffy himself but his son Mutassim .Mutassim was a national security adviser to his father.As a soldier , he was said to be one of the directors of the war .He was captured in the battle for Sirte and sent to Ben Ghazi for questioning.Although there are conflicting statements from various members of the NTC  as to whether or not he was in actual custody .

I hope it is true . As we were out and about in town today , we passed may funerals for too many young men killed in the battle for Sirte and Bani Walid . Heart breaking to think of so many dead and/wounded.The Ghadaffys have to pay for their crimes.They have committed so many crimes against the Libyan people and the world at large.They must be captured .Countries in which they have fled should be pressured into turning them over to the Libyan government.They must be forced into returning the moneys they stole from Libyan people.It is a shame the Hague didn't issue warrants for the entire family , as not a single one is innocent of crimes against humanity.

We still have cloudy skies and cool temperatures here in Tripoli. So unheard of for this time of year. Everything is emerald green. The trees shine as they wave in the wind . The grass glistens in the sunshine when it comes out.I have turned off my life support system , the air conditioner . We don't need it, as it is so pleasant outside.The only thing wrong with this "happy camper" picture is that the internet is so slow , or I have no connection at all . Just as things were going so well .I was becoming used to internet again. Oh well .

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Last 3 Days

Phew ! A lot has happened is the last several days . Hum....It has rained here in Tripoli off and on for the last  48 hours . Probably had more rain than all of last year? It seems like it.It began to thunder and lighting in the early hours of Monday the 3rd. Then around 8 a.m. the storm slammed into the Condo with hurricane force winds , slashing rains , thunder that rocked the building , and lighting so close it was at times in the Condo. Scared the you know what outta of us , Patches La Chat included !The bathroom window flew open and I had to climb into the tub to close the window , all the while being under threat of electrocution from the lighting .The winds were so strong I had to use my entire body weight to force the window closed so I could lock it shut.THEN... the shower curtain falls onto my head . Nice . And while I was trying to close the window uttering choice words at the top of my lungs , Patches our cat, choose that time to have a nervous break down in the hall outside the bathroom door.She was totally traumatized from the thunder.Moe was standing there watching me and the cat laughing his head off. I didn't speak to him for an hour.
This is a picture of the freeway in Tripoli under water on Monday.Go here for more pictures.

What else? The new Libyan Situation Report is out. This report gave us some good news and some sad news . Good news 1st..... they caught and arrested Moussa Ibrahim who was the Ghadaffy spokes person , a.k.a. The Liar . YEAH !!! You must remember him. He was the one that came on TV and said no one was getting killed .His song should be , " Would I Lie To You Baby"? And it is alleged that he was dressed as a woman when captured sneaking out of Sirte.Must be a good and close friend of Saadi Ghadaffy ,lol.

The sad news , well in my eyes it is ..... A Libyan war freedom fighter , who just happens to be a Libyan Jew ( yes it could happen) came to Tripoli with , he says , the NTC permission. He came to clean out the Tripoli Old City Synagogue of trash that has accumulated in it since the last of the Libyan Jews were forced to leave Libya by Ghadaffy in 1969.Mr. David Gerbi  was of course stopped. He asks the question, as do I , will the New Libya be a tolerant place to live or not?

Ok , here is how I feel about the Libyan Jews returning to Libya . If they don't live in Israel and never have , ok . If  they don't support Israel in anyway shape, form, or fashion , ok .If they are willing to return here and live peacefully as Libyans and not a crusading Jews, ok.They are Libyans that have been living in forced exile and want to return home like everyone else.You should read the article to get a better picture .

In the article on the Libyan  Jewish  Freedom fighter , Jalil was quoted as saying ,"Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said. "Everyone who holds Libyan nationality has the right to enjoy all rights, provided that he has no other nationality but Libyan." The thing with this statement is that many Libyans are living abroad with dual Libyan citizenship, including some  members of the NTC.  About yen years or more years ago , Libyans were told that they could hold dual citizenship in certain circumstances.Jalil is a lawyer and should know the law.

And last but definitely not the least .....If you are Libyan , living in the USA , here is a survey for you to take.
A quote from the survey introduction says :"The objective of this survey is the following: 1. Gather demographic data on the Libyan community in the US and collect contact information 2. Get a sense of where Libyans in the US get their source of information or updates on Libya 3. Assess all the Libyan organizations or groups in the US 4. Gauge the Libyan community’s interest in developing an umbrella organization or an assembly of Libyan American associations to unify the Libyan voice in the US." This is a very serious matter. Please take the time to do the survey.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Everyone loves babies , especially if you are not the one that has to change their diapers ,lol.Got this as a email and thought it might brighten your day .Enjoy !

Everyone loves A Good Song with Feeling.
I will slap you silly!!!
Original Gang Sign.
Sup, G?
Is that edible?
That’s right baby...I still got it.
Get Outta My FACE!!!
OH! C-c-c-cold Wipes!
I can’t believe this place...
Tonight you die in your sleep!
Yeah… I just farted!
Tell me she did NOT just say that!!