Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Day's End Is Just The Beginning of Another

It's been a year of total chaos, absurdity, tears, tragedy ... and relief.

True that I might have had a different vision than that of what 2011 has shown... correction: what Allah has written for us in this year... I now find myself thinking of what I might have done had all these events not occurred. I have no idea. And that's why we are encouraged to keep faith and believe in the unknown, and all that comes with it.

And now, looking back, I realize how much it's been a year of transformation to millions, especially in our Arab region. What a delight? I mean, had we ever allowed such change to enter our lives had we been hit by a brick in the head? Of course not. It took a war to bring us back to the surface.

We should be content. Regardless of the great lack of organization nowadays. As they say, Rome wasn't built in one day...

So whatever awaits us in 2012, hopefully it wouldn't be worse than Gaddafi !! May we be wise in taking our country to another, better, level. It's up to us now, all of us, the people, to make it a better place.

As far as my family are concerned, they're doing well (they say it's freezing down there). My brother passed his senior year at high school with distinction. Which is just marvellous owing to the turbulent year he's had under indiscriminate shelling and what not in Misurata. It's fair to say that the worst is over. My dad's  back at work, though things are pretty slow and still no salaries. Most of my relatives are back in Sirte either to stay or check on their houses. Some of them actually had to move for good to either Tripoli or Misurata. 

The same goes for my Pro-Gaddafi relatives (yes, they do exist after all this!) and for those of them who're back in Sirte, they remain ever so loyal to the "Martyr" Gaddafi, saying they don't want whoever doesn't want him. And we're like, "Um, Ok. Fair deal?"


It's just so sad. To think that going to Sirte, or being there, has always been a joy. And now, all I can think of is all the damage and the tension this entity of the population poses. No matter how much people tell of what it's like there in the city, I'm pretty sure it's unlike being there in person... seeing, listening, and even smelling if that makes a difference.

Yet, it's kind of refreshing, on another axis, to see that life's back to normal lately. I've heard several people I know got married, and a couple of days ago my cousin got engaged. How delightful! About time to start over... keep the engines running.

I know I've been away from social networks lately, or rather, I've maintained a limit to my availability. For my own sake, and others of course, I felt it was the right thing to do. We've been exposed to one too many this year and personally I had to pull the plug at some point. Had to and wanted to. Hoping that someday, maybe someday, I'd be back with a fresh start. And what better timing than a new year?

Happy New Year :) 

Till next 'year' !

Hana S.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Diary Entry #1: La guerra è finita...!

Friday Oct 28, 2011
Dear Diary:

It's over...

The war in Libya is over. It all ended by the capture of Gaddafi himself last Thursday the 20th... in my home town Sirte.

It's so heartbreaking that when you look back, all it took to get rid of him and his regime was a prolonged period of fighting, massacres, oppression, disappearances, abductions, executions, sorrow, fear, threats... The scale of destruction and misery has spread across Libya. Sirte is no exception to that. It is now a city in ruins and its people are devastated.

The degree of suffering in Libya is insurmountable, at the time being. I hope my saying, "at the time being" does not sound too optimistic.

When man thought he was progressing for the better into the new millennium, he's disgustingly sinking in deep ****. As a normal citizen of the world, I feel embarrassed. And for sure I do not envy world leaders for their positions, because I'd feel really ashamed of myself for being one, if I were as passive they are, that is.
Wow. Shame on them! Hiding behind their piles of well-stacked money, and power. Shame on them. Shame on those who faltered. We've reached a time in history when the mass leads the country whilst the rightful leader stands like a wall flower, reluctant, worried about his rank, showering us with condemnations (which normally take ages to be excavated) that only evaporate in the air.

Right... why am I saying this? Since when did I ever have political interests? Or even loved them? "You're confusing politics with the humanitarian crisis in Libya," I console myself, "The word 'activist' doesn't necessarily have to be related to politics." Okay, shush!

I have no idea how they do this. I'm officially exhausted, both emotionally and physically. It kind of strikes you when you don't see things coming. "Be careful what you wish for," they say, and that's what came my way. But I'm thankful nevertheless. When you're earnest in asking Allah to grant you the means, any means possible, for you to be a part of a great cause. Then it's granted. And you can't back out.

A couple of weeks back I said to my colleagues on Facebook, "I need to retire soon!" and one of them replied, "You can't do that now! After all we've been through and us reaching the peak of things!..."


This reminded me of Mustafa Akkad's son-in-law quoting the late director who once advised to pull the plug when you reach the peak. Isn't it wise now?

I'm not saying we should throw our campaigns to the wind... all I'm saying, suggesting is more like it, is to move at a slower pace now, to think rationally, to evaluate, and face the music. The new Libya is the hardest reality that's ever crossed my path. The new us that emerged is ever so remarkable.

An up-rise in Libya seemed so larger than life once upon a time.

Till next time,

Hana S

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Um... Help ?

It's been over a month since many Libyans who've had relatives in Sirte were able to get in touch with them due to the communications black out over the city with the outside world. Now that Freedom Fighters have entered, thousands of people managed to escape their homes (prisons!) in Sirte and find refuge in neighboring cities, mainly Misurata. 

The first to have left from my family was my youngest uncle. He had fled Brega over 7 months ago when fighting started there and had come to Sirte. It's been a while now since he finally made it to Misurata.

And thank Goodness for the internet we were able to talk and he told stories of how people managed to survive the harsh conditions there.

I personally find it hard to believe, that in a time period such as the 21st century, that an urban city is ridiculously blocked from the rest of the country... let alone, the rest of the world.

When my folks were stuck in Misurata, our only connection was with my relatives in Sirte. So now it's vice versa. Before, it was kinda comforting seeing all those videos that kept coming on facebook of clashes and raw footage from battlefields mainly in Misurata, at least we knew, saw, what the inside of the city was going through. With Sirte, and especially now... we know nothing. 

I don't know if my grandparents' house is still standing or not, or whether my aunt's house has holes in its roof.  How much of the city has changed?

A moment ago a guy on Sirte's facebook page was asking if anyone had recent pics from the city. He wanted to examine the amount of destruction there. In a way, that's pretty wise. No one would want to be shocked by reality... a sad one. No one would want to hear his aunt's husband was killed when he's still alive. No one would want to go and see his house burnt down when he could've known from someone who already knew about it.

But that's life. You don't win them all. Yet, we can still help release each other's strains if we forget our grudges and focus on the moment. Now. Help save lives or even someone's sanity by giving a smile, a prayer, and any uplifting gesture within your capacity.

Keeping our hopes high... till there's a better Libya.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Updates From Sirte

Source: February 17 Sirte Revolutionaries (facebook)
Latest news received from contacts in Sirte, categorized by date of occurrence. News subject to alterations in accordance with updates.  
Names of men arrested on Sept 6th:
1- Zargoun AlHussein Al-Shibani Zargoun.
2- Ahmed Al-Tuhami Al-Shawish
3- Yusuf Muhammad Raheel
Names of men arrested on Sept 7th:
1- Gheith Muhammad Gheith Al-Haj
Sept 12th martyrs inside Sirte (#1 residential area)
1- Ussama Muftah Al-Safrouni
2- Elhadi AbdelSalam AL-Safrouni
3- Izzideen Faouzi AbuZeid
Names of people injured during clashes with Gaddafi thugs in #1 area, Sirte:
1- AbdelRaouf Rajab Rweiha
2- Muftah Al-Safrouni (Abducted from the hospital)
3- Al-Siddeeg Muftah Al-Safrouni (Same fate as his father)
Names of people arrested Sept 12th:
1- Emhemed AbdelHafeedh Buhreiba Al-Guntshi
2- Mansour Emhemed AbdelHafeedh Buhreiba Al-Guntshi
3- Salem Jamal Ehweidir
4- Hamza Emhemed Al-Mahdi Abdelaali
5- Naser Bueljiya
Names of people arrested on Sept 14:
1- Ahmed Al-Tayib Al-Zein
2- Unknown (arrested at #2 traffic lights)
Names of prisoners (undated)
1- Mustafa Elhadi Alaboub
2- Someone from Al-Mabsout family (name not mentioned)

Hana S.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waiting For Sirte...

Isn't it weird... that there exists on earth... at the heart of Africa's northern coast... the center of our planet's map... a city that's isolated from the outside world?

Bitter, and strange.

In the past, every time we went to Libya for our summer vacation, I always felt that our trip would be incomplete had we not been to Sirte. For me, that city is Libya. The people there are my family. I can't explain my love for its atmosphere, I just feel... home.

I love how, whenever we enter the city, Dad would turn off the a.c. and we'd roll down our windows. The blast of warm Mediterranean air is so soothing, let alone that we normally arrive there around dusk, a time when the city's crawling back to life :)


What's it going to be like, when I go there again (hopefully soon) and it's post Gaddafi? Will it be different? Will the people change? How will Pros and Antis get along?

How will my family get along?

Sometimes I like to believe that my distant relatives who are Pro-Gaddafi are already sick of him and can't wait to see him behind bars. Wouldn't that be a relief! I felt extremely happy when my cousin (who's from the Gadadfa tribe) visited my folks in Misurata over a month ago and was cursing Gaddafi! :) Wow!

Come to think of it, my side of the family who are Gadadfa are not that well off because of him. Yeah, except those who are established members of the regime's military brigades... those have doorsteps made of marble! But in the end, they just adore him to pieces -___-" 

Many a times we've been wondering how is it Gaddafi forces are fighting for him? Yes, there are extremely relentless ones whom we've seen on countless videos torturing and killing innocent civilians with cold blood. But then, there are the ones who have one of two choices: either to refuse fighting and be executed, or to go to the battlefield and get killed either by NATO or Freedom Fighters.

What I know for sure, is that if a gun were pointed to my head, and I was ordered to say, "Allah, Muammar, and Libya only"... I wouldn't say it. Yes, it's just a phrase and one can recite it to save one's life... but there's the issue of principles and beliefs. Strength, Bravery. And people differ in that respect. Like, I can't ensure to anyone that any of the ones I know who are in Sirte right now (regardless of their opinions and backgrounds) would do the same under pressurized circumstances. I know a guy who stood in the middle of Sirte's biggest square and declared that he denied his family in one of the liberated cities in Libya. 

Okay, this guy didn't have a gun at his head but surely there's some other means of pressure that led him to do so. Could be fear of losing rank? Wealth? Or the usual, his life? Right. He might still be a loyalist for all we know. We're just talking.

And we're still waiting...

Hana S.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gaddafi... Our Biggest Typo Ever!

click click click click... click click...
click click click click click

We're all busy lately and our lives seem to have changed. No. Correction: our perspectives towards life has changed.

In writing, there's this technique that helps you get warmed up and allow your ideas to flow. It's called free writing. You just write write write write without looking back at what you wrote, then once you're done, leave it cool for a bit (an hour, two, a day...a week?). If you're lucky enough to remember it again (jk) you go back to it and you notice that you're looking at it with a fresh eye. You read on and find yourself saying, "What the Hell is that?" "I can't believe I wrote this," and "Oops, typo."

Get the picture?

I'm not saying you use this technique in life. No. That's way too time-consuming, and what's worse, it would mess up your life rather than fix it. 

Perhaps, as Libyans, that's exactly how we led our lives. For decades now we've been using this weird technique of living along, stopping loads of times to look back and see where our lives went wrong, but little did we do to fix it. No proof-reading. No great big efforts to delete, copy and paste...

And we've avoided correcting the great big typo of all time... Muammar Gaddafi.

For those who don't know what Typo means, here's the definition: a small mistake in a text made when it was typed or printed (


So, when you have a typo in your written context, the whole thing becomes out of proportion, and its true value is lost. Wait. It has no value to begin with. People might let it slide, but since it's all wrong, it won't get anywhere. 

Gaddafi's regime started off like that. It didn't have a good proofreader, and perhaps they didn't want one. Remember when you wanted to do something so much that you were positive it was right, and didn't want anything to come in your way and say otherwise, that was probably thei philosophy too. But wait a minute. This is not just going out behind your Mom's back in Ramadan and grabbing a piece of embatin from the kitchen and then think nothing's gonna happen. This is about governing people and bearing responsibility. 

Gaddafi's reign was all wasted in gaining power, entitling himself, his family and members of his tribe to rule and sabotage.

Going back into all that is just a pain in the head.

By Maya Zankoul ^_^

I hope we've all taken the opportunity to vent out during the past - long!- six months, to say what we've always longed to say about the regime.

Now's the time to start rowing in a new direction, a better one.

The revolution is definitely a blessing from Allah to get us back on our feet and claim our rights, and start living a decent life. We need to work hard, plan properly, and even dream properly! Let's not be selfish for everybody's sake and dream about things that would profit our entire community.

If you dream to be a teacher, add to that how you can devise a teaching system to whatever subject you're specializing in, and how that's gonna impact on your students... and then future students. You'll be saving the next generations!

If you're a businessman, think of how you can benefit not just your pocket but also the country's industry which would eventually help decrease unemployment rates!

It's great to dream big. But always think about how it's gonna affect the world around you. Now that's what I'd call success!

Surely you've been told at one time- or many times if you live in a "nagging" environment- to sit down with yourself at the end of the day to go through your daily activity. So, if you've done good deeds then give yourself a pat on the back. Bad deeds? well, make sure you regret them and make up for it the next day... or even better, your days yet to come!

Yeah. Do this. You'll probably forget sometimes, so make sure you train yourself. As you rest your head to sleep at night, before or after you say your evening Athkar - please tell me you do that T___T - and start interrogating yourself.

Our country's gonna be a great place soon, that's for sure, inshallah. The important thing is that we make good use of the time being and think think think of those stairs that will help us rise :) 

Nuf said.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ramadan This Year...

Yet another year goes by.

It's amazing - a blessing too- to witness this holy month once again :)

It's also a relief that most Muslim countries are fasting together, or that our Lunatic didn't decide to fast differently than our freedom fighters. Lunatic: he can do anything!

This time last year, I was up to my ears applying finishing touches to my research project. The whole process was fun, but chaotic all at the same time. My family was here for the last 10 days of Ramadan and my deadline was a day or two after Eid. So you can almost imagine my being on my toes all along.

So, obviously, this year's different. My family's not here. It's my first Ramadan to spend alone; my third here in the UK. The first two my brother used to come ahead of time, enjoying the summer and then waiting for the remainder of our family to join in and then they'd go home together.

And then life goes back to normal. The dull normal.

But in the end, we get by. You remember you have a great faith in Allah, that these things happen for a reason, and I'm glad to notice that this predicament has made our family much stronger. You just don't know what they're doing every hour of every day, however, you keep praying for their safety and telling yourself that they're doing fine.

Fighting continues on the western front line of Misurata, and any wayward shelling from the opposite side is more than likely at any time.

Then again... there's the faith. You believe that nothing will happen unless it's in God's will.

Today's the fourth day of this blessed month. How're you doing so far? Are you pleasing God? Do you think you're doing it right? May Allah help and guide us all...

Ramadan Mubarak :)

Till next time,

Hana S.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Dreamer's Dream

Every pro-democracy seeking Libyan is now dreaming of the day when Gaddafi would be ousted... for good! So many times we've heard people saying on TV or commenting online that they want nothing but for him to go. Months have gone by since the beginning of the uprising in Libya, and this dream still remains a bit far-fetched.

Earlier today, I was chatting with a friend of my in Palestine, and we were talking about dreams, what they mean and how to interpret them. It's amazing how dreams are signs from God that, in a way or the other, assist us in determining a few things in life. Dreams sometimes give you hope, but very often scare you.

Last Saturday I dreamt that Libya was finally liberated. In the dream, it was a Friday and a Friday that preceded the beginning of Ramadan. Get it? Ramadan this year is either this coming weekend or the beginning of next week. And this Friday is the last one before the holy month!

I woke up excited and full of hope. It felt great in the dream. How would it be like in real life!?

Have you ever had a dream that really happened in real life?

The thing with me, is that I dream of wars... and they eventually happen :( Freaky, I know!

I remember back in 1998 I dreamt that Iraq was under invasion... and it was just horrible. Almost five years later in 2003 the war started there...

This yearو around February 17th, I had a horrible vision of war in Libya. In my dream, I was in my hometown Sirte at one of my aunts' house. There was a huge rumble outside, like thunder, but very bellowing it shook the whole place. I peered outside the window and saw a Beoing 747 nearing the ground. That was really weird, because, Sirte's so tiny and surely its airport's capacity wasn't suitable for such planes. The plane got eerily near to the earth and everything was so quiet all of a sudden. I looked on, horrified, as the plane crashed into a line of houses in the city. Shaking madly, I ran out of the house and found people running around with no direction. I saw my Dad and was about to tell him what I saw, but he stopped me and said that he knows and he'll deal with it.

That's about it.

Days went by and the horror materialized before my eyes as news flashes of massacres and vandalism took place in Libya. The question then was: How worse can it get?

Now we all know.

Okay, I'm not this creepy person who claims to have extra-mundane powers with dreams that come true. In most cases, it can be labeled as a gift. I only get these visions every once in a while and I value them greatly, because they offer me insight on what is to come/what to do next... so to speak.

I love how God helps us make sense of this world through dreams. They are surely a blessing and I strongly believe in that, and to contemplate them is always worth it.

But don't try too hard if you keep reaching dead ends. Sometimes, if not most of the times, they're mere ramblings of your subconsciousness.

Did you have a similar experience with dreams you'd like to share? Comment below :)

Till next 'dream',

Hana S.

  • i love how Allah helps us make sense of this world through dreams they are mere signs and i believe in them and contemplating them is always worth it

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Do We Even Bother?

It's none of my business.

                            Why should I care?

                                                No, thanks. I'm fine the way I am.


How many times have you heard these phrases and wished for real that you'd never hear them again... for a change?

Here's a better one:

Someone seizes an opportunity in an odd way and says, "I'm entitled to it. This is my share from the government."

Your share? Okay, nobody's gonna touch your share. But have you asked yourself whether you're taking it the rightful way?

Not so sure about that, eh? 

So, people start doing the same and crowding others to get their "share" or whatever (a scholarship, a loan, a car, a job...) without thinking twice of how they're approaching their goal. I'm not against seeking a better life. On the contrary. I'm just referring to those who slip tips inside their applications (per se) or pressure an "acquaintance" to put his file on top of the others because he's got a football match he doesn't want to miss...

I mean, will you seriously be content with your gain later on?

My point exactly.

The revolution in Libya was a sensation to almost all of us (yeah, never forget them Pro-Gs). Signs of liberation and relief was quite evident in the (then) newly freed cities, namely Benghazi and Misurata. 

Question of the day: Have you ever seen a Libyan pick up a broom and clean the streets? Voluntarily??

I sure haven't.

That's the difference between living in an era ruled by Gaddafi and another one that's not. This guy never planted in us the love of our country... in his reign. He was busy tending to his theory and making sure we all knew his phrases. He also made sure we were stuck on the fact of who's better than who, this tribe or that. But when it came to some kind of problem or legislation, he'd pompously say, "It's not my problem. I granted you authority to rule yourselves so you figure it out."


And that's why, to an extent, we led a meaningless life... a life of selfishness. When we clean outside our houses, we make sure we do not exceed our doorstep (Yes, that does not include the two feet between us and our neighbors). So why do we even bother? Our leader doesn't...

He just doesn't.

Which should've made us wonder earlier than now... how did we tolerate all this?? How did we tolerate him? An unfair leader. A criminal!

So, now that he's out of our dictionaries, we are seeing brighter days and more still to come. My brother in Misurata said the city's never been this clean!! Now we care! This land is now truly ours and we're gonna make it look better so we can live better.

Cleaning the streets merely as an example of a series of my country's downfalls throughout the years. And it is but a significant event that turns the head ... that this is actually happening T___T

I'm so proud of our youths. It is sad that they did not get any schooling since February, yet, they have instead made good use of their extra time to do good. Imagine how constructive this is going to be on their characters once they become adults? Or how they're going to pass it on to the next generations... the trait of caring for our homeland.

It will not be amiss...

Till next time,

Hana S.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Advice From A Dying 40 Year Old

In Unity... There is strength
في الاتحـــــــــــــــاد قــــــوة

Remember that story we took when we were in third grade? The one in which a dying father advises his seven sons to remain as one after he passes away? Okay, if you don't even know it, it goes something like this in brief:

So, as I mentioned above, a dying father gathered his seven sons at his death bed for his final request. He gave each one of them a stick and asked them to break them. Naturally, the sticks broke easily. Next he showed them a bunch of seven sticks tied together and passed it to each one of them, asking them to break the bunch. Even the strongest son wasn't able to do that. That's when the father advised them to remain together as one bunch that no one can ever break, and not live as separate, vulnerable individuals..


Oddly enough, I was reminded of this story at the break of our uprising in Libya. The past 40 years or so is more like that dying father. Frail and useless, yet provided us with this one last request. To stay together as one in order to defeat our enemy and gain freedom. 

I was happy to see many of us Libyans have stuck together during these merciless events. Online and on the ground. A clear message to Gaddafi's regime that we are united as people and we love each other no matter how hard they want to tear us apart.

We have proved our strength in the battlefields, fiercely fighting our opponent. We have proved our compassion with our prayers, aid convoys, emotional support, and generous donations.

Like it or not... we are one!

It's amazing that no one has stopped to throw blame at the past generation for not reacting to the regime earlier... because we know what it's like to be in fear. We hate it -definitely not proud of that feeling- but it's a fact that we grew up realizing. And because we have respect for the previous generation, we have more than willingly marked the starting point of the end.

Once more, I'd like to shed light to the strictly monitored cities of Sirte, Sabha, Tarhuna, Juffra and many others. There will come a day. I have no idea what to expect from those on the inside, but I'm positive that those on the outside (abroad) are doing a great job supporting Feb17. 

On facebook we are a lovely family. Sirte and Sabha pages are doing well to show the true image that Gaddafi has marred for more than four decades. Admins are truly respectful and are patient with those who feel contempt just because those cities did not publicly react.

We understand their feelings, but that does not give them the right to go hating on others. It's nasty to judge something you know nothing about and to make assumptions with no evidence is equally as mean.

Can we listen to the dying 40 year old period and stick together? And then tend to pleasing our personal egos? 

Thank you.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Smile, Though Your Heart Is Aching :)

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking

When there are clouds in the sky

You'll get by

There's this weird smile on my face... my tired face... that woke up at 9am today to the ringing phone -__-

It was my brother in Misurata. He had told me yesterday that he'd be going to a cyber café, saying that it would be early in the morning. The warning didn't help, but I got up anyway and scrambled to turn on the PC.

As always, it was great to see him. Yes, he's lost a lot of weight in comparison to the last time I saw on webcam (back in April) but it's nice that he's smiling. There was a man next to him speaking loudly with someone on the internet, giving him a number... we couldn't help but laugh. The number was long, and I told my brother that maybe it was a code or something... his eyes teared with laughter ^_^ cute!

Ah, well. He said he was bored like Hell... there's definitely no sign of schools reopening anytime soon, and I'm really worried about how this will turn out. I know the important thing is that everyone is safe and sound, but it kinda makes you upset that thousands of students are kept on hold just because of that evil G-Jerk.

My brother told me about our neighbor's son who had been in Benghazi at the beginning of the uprising, and when he came back to Misurata and saw his peers, he teased, "Man, are you guys on drugs?"

-___- heehee ... yeah, because, just like my bro, many of them lost weight.

What's interesting is that my bro had grown an afro during the first couple of months of the revolution, and now it's all gone as he shaved it all. So, from being Abu Shafshufa بوشفشوفة he's now Muzeel Elbatsha مزيل البطشة


Good to look at things in a light manner, don't you think? This crisis has taken its toll on all Libyans... yet it has provided us with loads of comical material! ^___^

So, just smile... Libya will be okay

Till next time,

Hana S. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Once Upon A Time In Libya...

Remember how we used circle around our grandmas or relatives to hear stories of the long gone past? We'd hear fascinating tales, both true and fantasy... all for the cause of getting a moral out of previous experiences.

Definitely, many Libyans around the globe, and in Libya too, are longing for such a gathering with family and loved ones... wanting to hear tales and accounts from those who have lived February 17th revolution.

Every time I contact my family in Misurata, I am told, "When we get together, we'll tell you all about it." And I can't wait. Though they've been leaking some stories every now and then, I would wish they were in front of me, so I could see their expressions, their true emotions as they recall the horrors of a tyrannic regime.

They are now glad that the situation is less dangerous than it was a few months ago in Misurata. Now they can freely wander about the city, visit relatives, go shopping, and see the remnant destruction of complete barbarians. 

As much as they're happy with their proclaimed freedom, as much as their major worry now is channeled towards the Freedom Fighters in the front lines. It is with Allah's mercy that these days the weather's quite mild for the month of June, and they keep praying for better weather to ease up their burden.

Yes, our neighborhood had its share from all the chaos. Two of our close neighbors were injured. One was shot by a sniper driving by in his car, another fell down an elevator shaft from the fourth floor while escaping Gaddafi thugs. Both survived miraculously. The former was taken to Egypt for medication, where he had one of his kidneys removed; the latter was lucky enough to have a visiting Italian surgeon operate on him before he was whisked to Tunisia. Incredible indeed.

Another neighbor was killed by a foreign mercenary (sadly from an Arab country). When the mercenary was captured, they took him to the mother of the deceased, where she took her revenge by killing him with her own hands.

Horrific, isn't it?

Well, there's more...

It's antagonizing to know that liberated cities such as Benghazi and Misurata are still suffering from Pro-Gaddafi loyals who seem to operate behind closed doors.

My sister said that in Misurata, certain areas have been volunteering to provide Freedom Fighters on the front lines with meals and any kind of supplies they might require. It was sad to hear that some food almost took the lives of those who ate it. It was poisoned. Another tale? Freedom Fighters received a Libyan pasty called "Sfinz", but couldn't eat it as fighting had commenced. When they returned, they found a cat lying motionless after it had eaten from that pasty...

So eerie and depressing.

Freedom Fighters even discovered that an old lady was firing an RPG from her house! I mean, what the Hell is that?! 


One can only pray for our fighters' safety from these goons... I mean... Gaddafi is a goner no question to that inshallah... what are they still clinging on to?

That's merely proof of what this regime is all about. A bunch of lousy people being herded like goats with Gaddafi's stick...

 We ask Allah for peace نسأل الله السلام

Till next time

Hana S.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sirte The Stigma... Till When?

So last post was more like a second rant of some sort, and I feel the liberty to do so once I'm sensing injustice. Don't you?

Now, some might think, "Why can't she focus on the fighting going on in Libya, rather than racial conflicts?" Well, the answer is, I'm focusing on both. They go parallel in terms of importance. I mean, it's a hard thing to ignore once you find yourself subject to it almost everyday on facebook, and in real life before that. This to me is more like a challenge I intend on taking. The challenge to free us Sertawis from the misconceptions and myths that tag us around.

Some days ago, I mentioned on Twitter that I was working on establishing a page devoted to news from Sirte. The page is up and running since last Sunday. Though it's hard to get hold of any news from there these days, I think it's important that we have a voice. So far there are 17 members :) I wouldn't- didn't- expect much to begin with, because, I know truly well that they wouldn't want to be mistaken for a Pro just because they like this page. The funny thing was the page attracted a Pro-Gaddafi (who had to be kicked out due to his inappropriate conduct) so, I hope you get what I mean lol

I do hope that by fighting to clear our marred history because of him I wouldn't be misinterpreted... Sirte, as many should well know, is not just Gaddafi and his people. And I wish that once all this is over, we could finally give it a rest.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Let Me Be... Let Libya Free

As far as I could remember, at least before the 21st century, Libya's main spite poured over Americans and the west. "America is our enemy," was Gaddafi's cliché phrase for ages every time he delivered a speech, and what made this concept more like a Libyan's motto was the American air strikes on Libya back in 1986.

There is a limit to almost everything. Even when doing good deeds one should be moderate (This is merely my POV btw)

And speaking of moderation... do I sense a decline in facebook big-mouths lately? XD I am totally ecstatic! Like whenever Libyans would come out with a video stating they're with the revolution and anti-Daffy (Gaddafi), loads of member would backlash yapping about how late these statements are and what not. Now, if that ain't aggressive and hurtful, I don't know what is.

Basically, coming from a city, which I predict would be like the last city to make a move due to the plague of Pro-Daffys there, these kinds of acts are pretty depressing and demeaning.

This was noticeable to me ever since Misurata had been liberated about a week ago (if not more?) ... Why is it people make it sound like Libya's been liberated from this antagonizing regime? Aren't there other cities facing Hell day and night?

I am not a prejudiced person, nor am I racist, but to rejoice with one's victory then start lashing at others because they're not from a victorious city is mighty incongruous. And I don't really know if I have full right to make remarks about this, but this is something that has touched me and I've seen how others on facebook (not necessarily from Sirte) were taken aback as well.

Like we don't choose our own parents, we don't choose which clan we're born into. I'm sick and tired of people turning pale every time I introduce myself as being from Sirte '___' I mean, logically, why relate a whole bunch of people to one individual?? Don't give me that "One rotten apple ruins a bunch", the other ones get rotten just because they chose to stick to it, and by that, I mean all pro-Gaddafis on this planet!


To be cont....

Till next time,

Hana S.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Keepin' It Real, Libya

"It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities." - J.K. Rowling

Spring cleaning's almost over in Libya. It sure has been a lousy long time doing it, but the outcome is almost evident now. To me, it's like when Beast's castle transforms from evil-dark to angel-white when the spell was broken... a widespread wave of fresh air seeping around Libyan sand dunes and rustling through palm trees.

There's no doubt about it that the uprising had uplifted millions of Libyans in Libya and around the world. The image of grumpy people wherever you go is still vivid. The oppression of demanding rights compressing their lungs. People have no patience whatsoever when their on the road. They would just hate that you're driving peacefully ahead of them when they haven't the time in the world to get to their destination! Brace yourself when they drive past you for an inaudible curse or two and an angry brandish of the hand       -___- I, as a female, get that a lot (lol)

I have no idea why that made me laugh??!

Ahem. Moving on...

It's hard to find a Libyan that doesn't smoke. The guys that I positively know they don't are my dad and bro. That's... a small number. I personally think my dad's a very calm person. That's evident in the way he drives... unless he's in Tripoli! lol

So, yeah I really do feel sorry for us. The war against Gaddafi is our therapy from Hell. Like when they say go hit something to release your anger? Our Freedom fighters were given the choice of grabbing guns to do that. And the cause is much greater here. They are freeing a whole country with their vent. Are we doing a good job acknowledging them? Especially those who have lost their lives, limbs... for the sake of our freedom? Doing so is likely to keep us awake for a few weeks.

At the beginning of the uprising, freedom fighters have been accused of being this and that. This is always the case when you're on the right. You get opposed for no clear reason, or for the sake of being opposite.

That's the price we are to pay for liberty. I am so proud of our men and women, hand in hand they have established a unity we hardly knew was there. With that, our Freedom Fighters were able to achieve successes in various parts of Libya. Recent one was Misurata... free at last. Now Fighters are moving west towards Zliten and news are coming in by the hour of clashes between them and Gaddafi forces in the city. Their ability to maintain strength and patience till this very day is outstanding. 

This is Libyans for you. This is their faith. This is what they believe in.

I would do anything...

As always we'll keep praying with full boost. We're getting there inshallah. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quick Rant!! @#$$%^$%

I just wanna say that I can't get over the post I posted yesterday T___T It disappeared after the site's maintenance...


Back to pen and paper -___-#

Hana S.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What Makes A Freedom Fighter

We have a saying in Arabic...

فاقد الشئ لا يعطيه

He who is deprived of something does not give it

Get it?


That's not one of my favorite sayings, because I don't entirely believe in it.

Our youths are an excellent example of this- the contrary, that is- of giving something that they were deprived of. Freedom. Safety. Incentive to all those around them. Pride. Respect.

Willing to try.... Willing to learn.

We take moments, hours, days! to try and perceive what went wrong to a country that is rich in values and heritage. A hundred years back we were fighting, we had fighters then too. We were ridiculed. How could warriors on horseback defeat the developed and magnanimous artillery (well, it was back then) of the Italian army? And history repeats itself with our current Freedom Fighters, who lack experience in military defense, they share the same force with which our grandfather Omar Mukhtar fought with a century ago.  

So why do the Freedom Fighters lack the ability to grab a gun and save the day?

For many years, I've heard of men trying desperately to skip/flee military service in Libya. Some have actually been residing abroad for a long time, away from family and friends, just for that cause. It's all because of the horrors of the regime's military technicality. As a soldier, you are dealt by ignorant, aggressive men who think you're not a man unless you are trained to be treated like trash.

Protecting our family and land is our top priority

Now we are witnessing a battle between Gaddafi's diabolic regime, who I'm positive most of them were lucky enough to reach junior high, and the educated entity of our Libyan population who have fulfilled an educated life (regardless of how they've achieved that) and seek freedom to and a better life.

We are the ones aware of how the world is getting about, prospering, figuring out sollutions to keep things going.

Our road is paved with our worship to Allah, with our faith in that He'll guide us to our release. And that's what makes us successful in reaching our goal.


Saif said there's going to be a civil war. Did he go and see how families are assisting each other in Misurata? Giving each other emotional boost and sharing their food... Or our fellow brothers and sisters in the liberated east who are preparing to march to the far west to free Tripoli and its neighboring cities?

It's time that this regime seriously clammed it and disappeared.

It is our chance to prove what we're really made of and capable of doing. We are not worthless. God valued us when he gave us minds and souls to live. Living under this regime is not our way of saying thank you.

The going is tough...

But we're getting there... With God's will we are :)

Till then,

Hana S.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gaddafi: Livin' La Vida Loca!

"Unbelievable sights... indescribable feeling."

To all of you who are familiar with Disney's Aladdin, then you pretty much know that part of the soundtrack.

Except, when Jasmine sang that verse, she was beyond happy, taking in the spectacular views of the world's wonders.

The one I'm singing is quite on the contrary. I don't see trees of green when I watch reports on Libya, nor clouds of white. I see destruction, men torn apart, children crying, women screaming ... those are my "Unbelievable sights". 

How come a whole community gets to suffer just because of a wretched individual who's got psychological issues?? One person!? 

Remember how it's like when there's an elderly in a family whose mind is outta this world? Other members ignore his actions and keep treating him with kindness... because!... he's of no danger to anyone. Well, of course unless relatives don't watch over him and make sure he gets his meds on time.

But this... this... grrr! (guy) is too much.

Back in the days during 'his' so called revolution, Libyans thought they were in for a real deal of freedom. Freedom from a foreign occupation that lasted decades, preceded by another which lasted centuries (The Othomons). So, year by year, it dawned at them that what was supposed to be ultimate freedom to the mass turned out to be a building empire at Gaddafi's disposal.

How ironic.

He became engulfed with the international attention he'd been receiving and thought he'd play with it... on our very own expense. Allow me to take you back with the word again. Remember. Remember when every time you introduced yourself as a Libyan, people would either mistake you for a Lebanese, or instantly say, "Ooooh, Gaddafi? Blood sucker?"


Imagine hearing that when you were a kid. I did. And it didn't make sense because I wasn't aware yet of his doings both inside and out of Libya. And most naturally, I get to understand later on why my folks have been giving vague responses once asked.

Well now I know.

During my frequent visits to Libya in the past, I used to feel sorry for the country. Not because of its government - Apparently there wasn't any- but because of the state it was in. When I left, my vivid memory of Libya was that of sand, sand and more sand, large scary ants, and looong weary drives from one city to the other.

I loved that memory of mine. And I secretly resented the change that took place in areas where I used to play in the sand dunes, that have overnight turned into buildings and roads. Ah, well.

Change in Libya, terribly slow as it was, happened quite recently. For example, Libya in 2000 was different from that in 2005. Man, I feel so sorry for the long gone generations who have lived through the hard times.

It's all been blamed on the UN sanctions that were lifted in 2000. Okay, so the country lived in near poverty during which... but that wasn't apparent on Gaddafi or his family. Their appearances in Europe! Their assets!

And when Feb17 movement errupted he asked his 'Trumpets' to go out and dance, sing... and get ready. In other words: Livin' la vida loca (Living the life crazy) Evidence of his command can be seen live almost every night on Libyan State tv from Bab Alaziziya (Gaddafi's crib). Let alone the crimes his mercenaries have committed around Libya. 

Live your vidas as loca-listically as you like... we will not forgive.

Till next time,

Hana S.