Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taking A Break

Well , lets see , what have Moe and I been up too lately ???? Last Thursday was Thanksgiving . For the first time in years I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner .You can't find a turkey anywhere here in Tripoli , turkey breast maybe, but an entire turkey, no way. We have looked for months now for a turkey but nothing.We have even tried to special order a turkey, no luck .Sent Moe and our son out to buy some chickens , thinking maybe to cook chicken instead of turkey, but my son refused to buy any , saying that there was a bad/contaminated shipment of imported chickens in town. That they might have possibly been mixed up with Libyan chickens ?, Anyway, no luck with the chicken ideal. I thought to myself , why get so stressed over nothing .It's just another day on the calendar.

We went out that evening for a coffee run.While we were out Moe said why don't we buy chicken ( Yes I said chicken . Evidently chicken was safe after all !) shawarmas wrapped in fatera , which is one of our favorites .Then we stopped and got some gooey sweets . So this Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be one of my bests. I didn't have to cook it ! Any cook will tell you the best meal is one they didn't have to cook , lol .

Friday we went for a drive in the countryside around Tripoli. All the early rain we have had the last two months has tricked the grass and plants into thinking it is spring. There were tiny delicate little flowers strewn all over fields that haven't been plowed under for winter crops.Everything is so green . It is amazing how little water can turn the desert green.

Saturday, a  group of ladies I am friends with had a get together at Khadijateri's beautiful house.It was so nice to sit in some one else home , talking ,enjoying other women's companionship after months with no one but Moe to talk to , lol .Everyone brought tons of food.All sorts of delicious varieties that made one forget all about diets and other ugly words.We had a fantastic time.

I have started to read books again. I find I am able to concentrate once again now that there is more stability in the world around me. I have read three books so far and almost finished with the book " The Help". I am able to relate to this book being from the south of the USA and from the time period that the book is set in.Although I was raised in the south , my mother was from the north of the USA.She raised my sisters and I  not to be prejudice of blacks and other minorities. I was considered an "outsider" when it came to civil rights and "southern civil right philosophy" of the 50's and 60's .

While doing all this reading , I have taken a break from the computer , the internet , and the world at large.It has been actually nice not to be "so connected" to all the news , all the time .I feel less stressed , calmer , less worried about whether or not the world is going to hell in a hand bucket or not. I have stopped worrying about the Libyan political scene , for now.I have even taken a break from my daily household chores, doing only what is required.Yeah !I hate making the bed ! Life is good again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Turkey Day !

This is sooooo true , especially this year , at least for Mohamed and I . We survived a war, terror and fears we never had before the war, managing to come out the other side all in one piece .Thanks to God's many blessings .We have been so blessed with great family , friends , and wonderful neighbors that have helped us countless times this past year .Truly I am not sure what we would have done with out them all .

So , I wish to say that I hope all of you will take a moment today to count your many blessings and give thanks . You will be surprised at how many you have once you start the counting. Happy Thanksgiving to all from Mohamed and OTE .

New Libyan Government Posts And Libyan Womens Rights

Well , Libya is moving toward the long road of recovery. It may take a while but it looks like Libya just might make it.Below at the bottom of the page is a list of new ministers in the new  NTC Prime Minister Abdulraheem El Keeb's transitional executive board .

The women in Libya are also getting their voices herd as well .They are voicing their concerns for their future rights in the new Libya , along with their hopes and fears.Read this article , it is quite informative as to what Libyan women themselves are thinking .It covers all topics including their views on Shari'a law , polygamy , a larger and more active role in politics ,and foreign intervention on their behalf .The new NTC ministers have three posts held by women now. There are many assistant minister posts and assistant-assistant minister posts now being held by women in this new government. I take it as a positive sign that women are being given a more active seat in the government and not just merely as a show piece or window dressing.

New NTC Minister Posts :
Official List for Prime Minister Abduraheem El-Keib’s Transitional Executive Board

Prime Minister: Abduraheem El-Keib
Deputy Prime Minister: Mustafa AbuShagur
Minister of Religious Affairs: Hamza AbuFaris
Minister of Justice: Khalifa Ashour
Minister of Telecome: Anwar Fituri
Minister of Labor: Mustafa Rujbani
Minister of Health: Dr. Fatima Hamroush
Minister of Interior:  Fawzi Abdela’ali
Minister of Energy: Awad Beroin
Minister of Trade and Commerce: Sharkasi
Minister of Education, Sulaiman Sayeh
Minister of Foreign Affiars: Ashour Ben Khayil *
Minister of Defense: Col. Osama Juwaili
Minister of Planning: Isa Tuwaijri
Minister of Social Affairs: Mabrouka Jibril
Minister of Oil: Ben Yizza
Minister of Finance: Hasan Zaglam
Minister of Agriculture: Abdul-Hamid Sulaiman BuFruja
Minister of Industry: Mahmoud Fetais
Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education: Dr. Naeem Gheriany**
Minister of Investment: Ahmed Attiga
Minister of Culture and Civil Society: Abdul Rahman Habil
Minister of Electricity: Awadh Barasi
Minister of the Martyrs: Ashraf bin Ismail
Minister of Local Government: Mohammad Hadi Hashemi Harari
Minister of Housing: Ibrahim Alsagoatri
Minister of Transportation: Yousef Wahashi
Minister of Youth: Fathi Terbil
Minister of Construction: Ibrahim Eskutri
*earlier  reported as Ibrahim Debbashi
** earlier report as Fathi Ragab Akkari
  • رئيس الوزراء: د. عبدالرحيم الكيب.
  • نائب رئيس الوزراء: د. مصطفى أبوشاقور.
  • نائب رئيس الوزراء: عمر عبدالله عبدالكريم.
  • وزير الخارجية: عاشور بن خيال.
  • وزير الداخلية: فوزي عبدالعالي.
  • وزير الدفاع: العقيد أسامة الجويلي.
  • وزير المالية: حسن زقلام.
  • وزير البحث العلمي والتعليم العالي: د. نعيم الغرياني.
  • وزير الإقتصاد: الطاهر شركس.
  • وزير العمل والتأهيل: مصطفى الرجباني.
  • وزير الصحة: د. فاطمة الحمروش.
  • وزير الصناعة: محمد محمود الفطيسي.
  • وزير الثقافة والمجتمع المدني: عبدالرحمن هبيل.
  • وزير الأوقاف والشؤون الدينية: حمزة أبوفارس.
  • وزير التعليم: د. سليمان الساحلي.
  • وزارة العدل: علي حميدة عاشور.
  • وزارة الحكم المحلي: محمد الهادي الهاشمي الحراري.
  • وزارة الإسكان والمرافق: إبراهيم السقوطري.
  • وزارة المواصلات: يوسف الوحيشي.
  • وزير الشباب والرياضة: فتحي تربل.
  • وزارة الشؤون الإجتماعية: مبروكة الشريف جبريل.
  • وزارة التخطيط: عيسى التويجري.
  • وزارة الزراعة: سليمان عبد الحميد بوفروجة.
  • وزارة الكهرباء: د. عوض البرعصي.
  • وزارة الإتصالات: د. أنور الفيتوري

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Places I Have Been

I have......

 been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not!

I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there.

Prozac Anyone ?

There were a few Thanksgivings I wish I had thought of this ! LOL! Just a few more days until Thanksgiving . It is this Thursday , which also happens to be my oldest daughters birthday.For both of our sakes , I won't say HOW long ago that was , hehhehe. Hope it will be a happy non-Prozac Thanksgiving for all of you  Americans.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Men Want Shri'a Law In Libya

I found this article on Facebook tonight on some ones post. I think it says it all .In Libya, Young Men Who Don't Want Women Empowered, they like Sharia law I have talked to men of all ages here in Tripoli , of all walks of life , educated and not so educated ,and they all agree with this sentiment of having Islamic Shari'a law, as the law of the land.They think it is fair and just for all , including women

In the Quran it does say that women have their rights to own property , handle their money , right to inheritance,etc, but a women is under her father, her brother , uncle, cousin, husband, or sons guardianship all her life depending who is in charge of her .If they say she can not do something , go somewhere , have something , see someone, then she can not , no matter what her rights are , because it also says in the Quran a man knows best for a woman, and her guardian has the best knowledge for her. Period , end of story, no discussion do what he says .So yeah , for a man it is the ideal law . For a female , not so much.

I have heard university educated girls agree with this sentiment, saying a man will know what is best for me. Wives opt for the " no comment" silence when the subject of plural wives are brought into the conversation I have noticed , but in private it is a whole other discussion . Not a single one agrees with pluralism .Nor do I . It also says in the Quran that a man MAY have 4 wives ... as long as he can support them identically and most importantly and telling , equally. We all know that yes , you might have more than one love  in your life at a time , but never will you love them exactly the same . It is impossible to love more than one person at the same time, the same way as the other.Ask any parent .So , in essence Allah is saying in a very vague way , no to pluralism, I feel .

I feel that so many of these men are secretly afraid of women. The power of women , their strength, their fortitude , the ability to think for their selves, to reach a conclusion all on their own with out a man's input.Why it is so , I am not too sure since men owe their very being is due to some woman's willingness to put her life on the line giving him his own life  at birth.Her care in raising him to manhood , teaching him right from wrong , good from bad, to love and to trust. Somewhere in that man's life these teachings most have been lost,for him to be so fearful of the very beings that gave him love and kindness .It takes a strong man to love a strong woman.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Glass Half Empty

Things have been sorta crazy in different parts of Libya , mainly near Tripoli, the last couple of days . Here in Tagura it has been calm-ish . We had a sad incident here in our neighborhood over the week end, that is Libya's week end ( Thursday night , Friday, and Saturday) .One of the young guys that is a member of the Weapons Retrieval team that is sent to different areas of town to collect arms and ammunition from civilians was shot and killed . He was shot in the head by a Ghadaffy loyalist .One other member of the team was shot and wounded in the leg at the same time. We had a lone person shooting off gun fire Friday and Saturday in our neighborhood.That stopped yesterday thank goodness.

I have heard conflicting stories by this one and that one , depending what side they were/ are on, as to different reasons for the on going conflict. If you speak to a " New Libya " person , the majority are ":sunshine and roses, we can work it out, everything will be ok" genre . There are a few that are quit sensibly worried about a eruption of civil disobedience and possible civil war between the two factions due to Gadaffy's sons still at large , stirring up trouble among the population.The die hard Gadaffy supporters are enraged over real or supposed inequities or injustices shown toward them . Plenty of blame for both sides to go around , but when listening to them all I hear is , " I don't want compromise and I don't want to forgive and forget".How do you come to an understanding with such attitudes ?

Then there are the "moderates" who call themselves modern , open minded , " cool " Muslims.They want their country to be Islamic ,but not too Islamic , but Islamic , get it?Me neither.They want a medium , half way meeting place where the men can still have it all and " of course the women have their freedom too", but only if the men get to have a say in how , when , where , and how much freedom. Oh, they don't admit it publicly , but that is what they mean when you have a discussion in private with them.

Don't forget those earnest non moderate Muslims that want to rule by the strict Islamic code of law, the Shari'a .They at least don't try to hide the fact that they want to have complete control over everyone in their own little world , like their women.Got to admire them in their honesty at least.

There are the Libyans that don't want to have people that speak their minds freely on any and all subjects , the non freedom of speachers as I like to call them . I have heard some say in this new Libya there is no room for different religions , such as Christians or Jews.I wonder , do they realize that there have been Christians and Jews in Libya longer than Islam has been here ?Wouldn't that blow their minds if one day I just throw that fact in for chuckles and grins,lol.

On the plus side of things , I read where Egyptian Air will resume fights into Tripoli on Nov.17th.Turkish Airlines and Italy's Alitalia   are already flying in and out of Tripoli.Good news for those that want to return to Libya , or come here to help/work? I am not sure , but I haven't heard much talk to support this next news item ,but not too many of the previous foreign company's that were operating here in Libya are back yet.Many Libyans are eagerly awaiting for them to come back , reopen their doors for business , so they can have their jobs back .So many people waiting , doing nothing , earning nothing,depressed because they have no income , with sky rocketing prices on everything for sale , making it impossible to support their families.

I don't feel too hopeful tonight as I write this.I think Libya's glass is half empty right now.Can't some one go fill up that darn water pitcher up, so it will have water in it to fill the glass up ?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Someone Like You

Hope your Eid was as great as Mohamed's and mine ... filled with family and friends .

Wanted to share this song with you ,"Someone Like You ",by Adel. All of us has a "Someone " in our life somewhere in our past.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shoot Out At Tripoli Hospital On Halloween ?

Well , here I was just now bragging about how things were getting so much better and I learn about this ! There was a shoot out between two militia factions here in Tripoli at the main hospital from around 1a.m until dawn which is almost 7a.m.on Monday, October 31st . How's that for a trick or treat ,surely no treat ! I thought that was a thing in the  past , happening under Ghadaffy.Guns , machine guns , and anti air craft guns all being fired inside a hospital? Drunken militia men coming to a hospital to kill a wounded patient? Read the below report by Nick Meo for The  Telegraph.

Libya: revolutionaries turn on each other as fears grow for law and order

Hundreds of revolutionaries fought each other at a hospital in Tripoli early on Monday, in the biggest armed clash between allies since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya: revolutionaries turn on each other as fears grow for law and order: Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters fire at loyalist forces in central Sirte on October 16, 2011
A file photo of Libyan National Transitional Council fighters in action Photo: AFP
The fighting fuelled growing fears that nobody is in control of thousands of swaggering armed men who are still based in Tripoli and that the country's interim government will struggle to impose law and order.
Two people died from bullet wounds and at least seven fighters were injured during a battle that started when militia from the town of Zintan were stopped by guards from the Tripoli Brigade from entering the city's Central Hospital to kill a patient.
The hospital front door and entrance hall were afterwards left pocked with bullets, doctors and patients had to flee the building and two elderly patients died of heart attacks during the shooting, which lasted from about 1am until dawn. Heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns were used by both factions, supposed allies who in reality nurse a dangerous rivalry.
The shoot-out started when a group of gunmen arrived at the hospital in search of a man they had shot earlier in the night. Witnesses said the gunmen were drunk, and had come to finish the man off after learning that he had survived and been taken for medical treatment.
Doctors asked them to leave, at which point one of them pulled out a pistol and began shooting.
"He was overpowered, but then hundreds of Zintan men arrived outside the hospital with heavy weapons and shooting started," said Mohamad Hamza, a Tripoli Brigade fighter in charge of security. "We had to call for backup, and our boys came from all over Tripoli.
"We couldn't believe that they were shooting at us. I had to say to them, you are shooting at a hospital, not at Muammar Gaddafi's 32nd Brigade. Eventually, after several hours, a Shaikh came from the mosque and persuaded them to stop and they handed over three of them who started it to Tripoli's military council."
He said one Zintan fighter and a passer-by were killed in shooting, and seven Tripoli Brigade men were injured, two seriously. He said he believed Zintan injured were taken to other hospitals.
The incident will raise pressure on the fragile National Transitional Council to disarm the former rebel fighters who are still at large in Libya's capital, even though they were asked to leave weeks ago and have been ordered to give up their heavy weapons.
The Zintan brigades were some of the most ferocious fighters against Gaddafi's forces and helped lead the attack on Tripoli, but have outstayed their welcome, earning a reputation for mayhem and looting.
Thousands of them have ignored pleas to go, staying put instead of returning to their town in the mountains three hours drive to the south.
The battle came on the day Human Rights Watch warned in a report that the entire population of 30,000 people from the town of Tawargha, near Misurata, has been driven out by former rebels for siding with Gaddafi. There have been reports that some of its men, who are predominantly black-skinned, may have been shot or beaten.
Tripoli's residents fear that there will be more clashes in their city, which is desperate to get back to normality. Mr Hamza, in charge of security at the hospital, said he expected more trouble. "I think it will happen again," he said. "They will be back for revenge."
Peter Cole, Libya analyst with the International Crisis Group, said: “Rivalry between brigades from different cities has not been resolved and it does now pose a threat to Libya’s security.
“This suggests that the National Transitional Council needs to work harder with the militia groups to bring unity among them.”
The fighting came on the day that Nato formally ended operations in Libya.
The military action, unprecedented in setting out from the beginning to win a war while guaranteeing not to use troops to do so, was declared a success by Nato’s chief. “At midnight tonight, a successful chapter in Nato’s history is coming to an end,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general and a former Danish prime minister, said at a press conference with the interim Libyan president, Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
Libya’s interim leadership meanwhile elected an academic from Tripoli as the country’s new interim prime minister.
Abdel-Rahim al-Keeb was chosen by the National Transitional Council and will appoint a new Cabinet in coming days. The new government is to run Libya in the coming months and to pave the way for general elections

The Sound Of Silence

Another night of silence .This will make number six.It is becoming common place to have a peaceful nights sleep these days .We had gunfire just several days in our neighborhood but it was a short burst. I think the boy has either run out of bullets , or he has surrendered his gun as all citizens have been requested to do .They have options of course of joining the army or the police force if they still want to do armed duty .Right now there are groups of,  I think the army or the militia , not to sure which , but groups are going door to door gathering up arms.It won't be long before the gun/gun firing at random situation will be under control .Already about town you can see men and young guys getting their cars unconverted from a fighting war machine back to a civilian car .Nice. They did an amazing job fighting as they did with so little training and arms.But normal is nice too .

Went to the larger grocery store today and was dismayed over how empty the selves remain. It was almost impossible to find a simple thing like shaving cream .Had to go to several stores before finding any for Moe.But on the other hand , more and more of the food items we had taken for granted are beginning to appear. I found something I haven't seen in two yesterday . The wise businessman would load up in Tunis with all sorts of food items for here and make a killing. Food is still very expensive here with prices continuing to raise by the hour seemingly.

The Eid is coming this weekend . This is the celebration where Muslims sacrifice a sheep.I have heard different people say that the price of a sheep is anywhere from 900 dinars to as low as 450 dinars . This is for a Libyan sheep which most Libyans prefer. It is reported that the government has imported some sheep from Eastern Europe for people that want or can not afford the more expensive sheep at a much lower price than local sheep.We are leaving the whole thing up to our son this year.

Our weather has been very mild this past week, cool at night and comfortable in the day with sunny skies . But right now I can hear loud thunder booming occasionally in the distance.I have become spoiled by all this rain we have so early this year.Today driving past a field I could smell fresh cut grass.A unheard of thing for this time of year in Tripoli area.That is a late winter, early spring thing.Imagine grass tall enough to need cutting in the first week of November in Libya !Farmers are preparing their fields for winter crops.Not too many fields were planted for the autumn crops this year because of the war. Now , they will need a work force to harvest the fields when the crops ripen.Most of the guest workers went back to their countries when the war broke out . They have been slow to return.

Since NATO has ended it its mandate here the no fly zone has been lifted. As of now, only Haj pilgrims are flying out of Libya/ Tripoli, but reportedly some commercial fights will be allowed to begin flying in to Tripoli  starting next week .At least that is my understanding.I might be incorrect on this matter. It seems to be a " blurred" subject. I do know of different friends returning this week end though from abroad.

So, all in all it seems progress is being made on all fronts.There is a new prime minister that has hopes running high.New political parties are being formed here and there. New activists groups are coming together to test the new governments polices toward various civil rights issues that they feel  are long over due to be addressed. It is an interesting time in Libya.A very unique time .Some times it feels like not just Alice feel down the rabbits hole , but all of Libya too.