Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Fled To Save My Sanity...

What are you lookin' at?

Time flies and we're pushing into yet another month of crisis. Thousands of Libyans abroad are naturally either glued to their PCs or TVs for information, and basically the prolonged devastation is a cause of worry.

Ever since the protests began back in February, there were talks of the possibility that students' sponsorships would be cut... this led me to think whether this would be in effect only upon those opposing Gaddafi's regime and expressed so openly. Because, word has it, that a lot of Libyan students were paid a generous amount of money to go out in supportive protests for the 'decaying' regime. It's quite worrying because some say that they've been paid with the money which should've been paid to other students to survive.

It's crazy how the news keep flying by the minute all around facebook. There are hundreds of pages and groups that are dedicated to connect the outside world with the inside of Libya, that you just don't know which to like or follow!! @_@

Now my ongoing confusion during these events is the phone calls I get from my aunt in Sirt. One of my friends actually told that he would love to meet her! lol *sigh* Seeing that it's impossible to do it online, I'll give you a quick idea about her.

She's the youngest of my Mom's siblings, hard-headed, funny, widowed in 2007, has 8 kids and she makes sure to be the informed to inform... get it?

Remember Gaddafi's first appearance? Yeah, the 'Me and my umbrella -ella- ella' one as my friend likes to call it.

That's when Libyans were being told not to believe channels like Aljazeera, to the extent that even a sheikh in Libya stated a Fatwa (some kind of ruling system in Islam that would prohibit something) not to watch these channels. So, yeah, my aunt as well as relatives and friends in Libya keep telling us not to watch them as they are spreading lies.

I mean, the sole purpose of the whole revolution is to oust a liar along with his lying regime, and now they want us to listen to their lies about lying channels??!

That's asking too much.

Where's freedom of expression??

One of the best mottos in life is: Do what you please as long as you do not offend others or yourself.

I know this might sound like it's got too many restrictions, but this is how it goes. Freedom has a price to it, and in order to enjoy it, one has got to follow the instructions... per se.

So, getting back to my aunt's issue- it really is- I mean, I seriously appreciate her concern and her attempt to put me at ease... but, I honestly think she's doing everything but that... unintentially! T___T

This is even weird to talk about.

I really love her ^_^ but she's a tad bit of a drama queen when it comes to tension.

Wow... she's now become a public figure XP I wonder how she'll feel about that?

Yesterday she called again and said there were rumors about my family and I fleeing to China.


My family can't even move 20km out of Misurata!! And she knows I haven't been directly in touch with them so she feels it's safe stuff like: "According to a very reliable source, your folks are fine and they're in a refugee camp..." I swear my mind went blank at that!! "... and that they'll be arriving to Sirt any day now."


The only way to deal with this is by nodding (I know she can't see, but maybe she'll sense it in my voice?) and saying she's right and all will be fine.

Where does that leave me? On the verge of insanity!

By the time I think I'm getting into terms with all the chaos back home, you know, being your very own shrink and getting your own self your own medication...


I need to stop. To save my sanity.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Agree with Saif Al-Islam

Despise me if you dare...

'We are not Tunisia. Nor are we Egypt.'

That's what he said. And I agree.

Okay, let me set this straight 'cause I sense a grimace on your faces.

It's nice that he was able to make a sound statement, but the thing is, we both looked at it from opposite dimensions.

We share the same continent with these fellow countries. We share a faith, Arabism, culture... we share a revolution. Yet we differ in the means by which we have been triggered.

Tunisia went ablaze when Bu Azeezi set himself on fire. Egypt managed to pull itself together and swiftly organized a date via facebook.

Shortly after Mubarek fell off the wall, Libyans almost coyly set out, allowing the winds to propel their sails. And with Allah's will, mere drops of rain turned into a massive downpour. And here we are living the dream. The Libyan Dream!

Saif Al-Gaddafi (in Arabic: Gaddafi's sword) had a different perspective. He said we weren't Tunisia or Egypt because he was (sadly) certain that their regime had us under control; their underestimation of the Libyan population was at its peak level. "They'll never do it. Never dare." Was their bet.

Which makes me wonder... How many bets had they won in the name of Libya? To what lengths are they willing to drag us?

We're facing hardship under this regime during peace and wartime... God damn it!!

This is it for us to glorify our history, to pick up where our great-grandfather Omar Mukhtar had left.

The past couple of months witnessed a remarkable force from the Libyan society both inside and out of Libya. A force that many declared to have taken them by surprise... in a delightful way. It was exhilarating.

Thousands of Libyans took to the streets to demonstrate, express and demand their rights. Thousands resorted to facebook, creating hundreds of groups where topics are being tackled. Though many members are obstinate in arguments, the majority have shown civility in their newly acquired freedom to speak their minds.

It is vital, in my opinion, that we Libyans reintroduce ourselves to the world by means of cyber space. Twitter, facebook and blogging are by far at the top by which we can step into the world and 'represent'.

This our time, our chance, to put our lives in check. Put pen to paper and jot down our priorities in order to pave a slick and efficient path for us to follow once we are back on our feet and ready to go. We don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and say, "Okay... now what?"

It's not about fear anymore. We have unleashed the power within.

We are the lions of the desert.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Free Libya With Grudge

I'm from Tripoli. Tripoli's the best!

I'm from Brega. Brega's the best!

I'm from Zawiya. Zawiya's the best!

I'm from the east!    
   I'm from the west

Ya3ni, will racism end with Gaddafi?

This makes me think ahead for real. If this is how many of us are reflecting on current events, then we're in for disaster.

Saif Al-Gaddafi's first speech still rings loud and clear in our heads. There will be a civil war... There will be a divide...

There had been an uproar back then that we Libyans reject the idea of a divided Libya.

So what's going on??

How is it many members in facebook groups insist on shedding light to the unbalance between cities in Libya, the ones that have demonstrated publicly and the ones that have not. Are we that bad a people to focus on who's in and who's not, forgetting that our main enemy here is mutual? That there's a rising death of Libyans?

Libyans. Not people from Zawiya. Not people from Misrata. Libyans.

Stop claiming that these cities are the ultimate possessions of their inhabitants. All cities in Libya comprise of different tribes and nationalities. We have Egyptians, Morrocans and Palestinians that have died in this crisis. Mainly in Misurata.

But as we are going through hard times, many tend to jump to conclusions and question the loyalty of neighboring cities. They have translated their silence into fear. We've all been afraid for 42 years, remember? What difference does the past two months make? Why is it a surprise? These cities do have men, but they differ from others in seizing momentum. They simply didn't seize it right. And that doesn't mean the end of the world.

My nuclear family's in Misurata, and chose to remain there despite their ability to either go to Tripoli or Sirt (where it's safer) ever since the outbreak in February. Our house in Misurata has been damaged and my family had to evacuate and live with other relatives.

I am not defending anyone. We need not rub this issue on. Some people foolishly keep threatening that when the war's over, they'll take revenge from the "sleeping" cities.

Great. Go ahead and start another war! Let your personal grudges free Libya ...

This is not a tribal war. Don't make it sound like one.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gaddafi And The Fortune Teller

Fortune telling.

The art of predicting the future... divination... A fascinating field for the weak spirited.

This a personal POV blog (so don't judge me!) I mean, we're all aware of the consequences of such practice on a person's life.

During my frequent visits to family in Sirt, I got a very thick dose of what it's like to live in a multi-cutural city. And by saying that I mean a mixture of backgrounds; the openminded verses the conservative (that's another long story). It's amazing how different lifestyles the people are leading there, and they still manage to get along together with incredible balance.

My mom being from Tripoli, dad from Sirt, grandmothers from Misrata, relatives in Benghazi, unknown roots in the States @_@ There's good material for a novel series here, a lot of stories to tell I must say.

When my Sertawi (adj. from Sirt) grandfather passed away in 1997, I had no inkling of the great family discoveries I'd encounter during his funeral. Being introduced to my distant relatives from the Gedadfa tribe.

I never knew dad had half cousins within that entity.

It didn't bother me. They were interesting people. Though different from my family in terms of lifestyle and values. They are known to be rough and passionate at the same time.

Among these people spreads a story that is told with awkward discretion. Which makes you realize a gap in their loyalty, if ever it existed...

The story tells of Gaddafi consulting a fortune teller, a female one (Tagza or tagaza as we say in Libya) many years ago, wanting to know what lay ahead for him.

The Tagza looked him square in the face and said that his reign would last forty years, marking the end of him and his regime.

Other narrations say that this Tagza had predicted this on her own accord and she made sure he got the message.

It is also said that Gaddafi laughed it off and rewarded her generously despite the negative premonition of her inner eye.

In 2009, we saw Sept 1st celebration go by. Many who have heard the story were like, "There goes the premonition!" and we're back to leading our miserable lives.

But here we are a little over a year after that, and I'm thinking about this again. It all might seem to make sense, had the story been true, because there's no clear verification that it was. Which leads me to conclude, drawing 'weak spirited' people's attention to:

Soothsayers lie no matter how accurate their predictions.

I do believe, though, in visions. Some kind of prophecy. And had this lady been telling one, then Alah is proving her right. And until I get hold of my main source to the story, we'll leave it to that.

Till next time,

Hana S.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Charity Dinner - April 23rd

Click to enlarge

If you're nearby... drop by! :)

WMCL is running a fundraising event in London later this month. A dinner charity evening with exquisite Libyan cuisine, music, an auction of Libyan art and guest speakers.

If you're unable to attend or make a donation, please help by sharing the organization's link (facebook page: check out pics of aid arriving in Libya) and the event to as many as you can who reside in the UK.

This is for the assistance of human beings who are no different from you and me only in fate.

God bless,
Hana S.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Libyan Girl Power

Almost everyone on this planet has heard and was strucken by Eman Al-Obeidi's story.

Her story has become a nation's living horror of what Gaddafi's regime represents and stands for. Crime, sabotage, fraud... and the list goes on.

The Libyan revolution, I truly believe, would never have meant anything more if Eman hadn't lashed out and told her story. Nobody is going to tollerate mistreatment in Libya anymore. This is it. And the end of the regime is near.

Here's her recent interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper on ac360 where they managed to connect her with her mother in the east of Libya.

This is only the beginning of the end...

Hana S.

Soon: Gaddafi And The Fortune Teller.

I Only Ask Of God

A dedication to all the free Libyans out there...

       Love & respect...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don't Even Stop To Think!!

This is incredible... makes me sick!

Now that we know which Libyan cities in particular have defied Gaddafi's regime, and which hadn't, there's this stupid talk going on about how this city is better than that coz it's got the MEN, therefore promoting hate towards the other cities, which also has men. Apparently not men enough to lash out and riot.

Libyans know truly well the capacity of Gaddafi's regime. In a city like Sirte, you can see, hear, and feel that. In a country like Libya where people knew nothing but keeping their mouth shut every time a year goes by and September 1st comes with its parades.

Yes, many cities have not spoken out yet, or ever will during the regime's final period, but we haven't heard their reasons why.

Is that asking too much? Should we just regard it as cowardice? Or is there a greater force that rendered them silent?

So many questions on our minds... so little time and ability to know.

Hana S.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Closed For Spring Cleaning

With the fresh blossoming of Spring, Libya has decided to embark on some serious cleaning.

It's not just dust we're dealing with here. It's something as confusing as Rubik's Cube and as horrific as what a Tsunami would cause to a Nuclear reactor.

In a domestic Libya, we tend to clean on a regular basis, the initial reason being the unexpected popping in of guests every now and then. A typical Libyan day would be as such: Morning, breakfast, school for kids, work for employees, TV/neighborhood errands/nap...etc for housewives, afternoon, lunch, nap, random cleaning (my fav part is scenting the house with Bukhur *used in Arabia*)... then waiting for someone to drop by :D

This might sound over the top, because for some, a month can go by without a chance to entertain, when for the others it's literally the above.

Bottom line: it is a top priority within a Libyan household to keep things neat and tidy (the case is important especially when the majority of the family are females :] ). I don't want anybody who's from a different region to grimace while reading this, to defend, it's not everyday something's being told about Libya... please give us leave to express!! *sniff*

In recent days, we've been hearing loads of stuff about members of Gaddafi's regime defecting and fleeing the country. The one that made headlines was Libya's former minister of foreign affairs, Moussa Koussa, can you believe that he was born in Benghazi?? And... can you believe that I never heard of or seen this guy before in my life until the day he defected?? I tend to over look things that are of insignicifance, and with Koussa's case, it was a mere coincidence.

I'm sure many others share the same experience.

So, next in line, there was word of Ali Treki (he's 73!!!!), Shukri Ghanem (almost 70!!) and Abu Zeid Dorda (on the way...) leaving Libya shortly after Koussa, in an attempt to leave the fallen regime.

As humans, it is our nature to not believe things that are told (Divine matters are an exception) unless we see something tangible and hear it if possible. So, this is what we're all waiting for. For these men to come out and make a statement for the world to hear. And the same goes to Eman Al Obeidi's case... we do not believe till we see.

My friend yesterday asked whether it was possible, at all, for me to go back to Misurata at the time being (naive, I know ^_^ but it's always good to ask). That strictly a "No, no."

Because... untill all the snakes, rats and creepy crawlies are irradicated from Libyan coil... Libya is closed for Spring cleaning.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Hana S.

SoonGaddafi And The Fortune Teller