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.