Friday, December 18, 2015
A Historical and Archeological treasure in eastern Libya...
Cyrene was an ancient Greek and Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region, and gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica.
Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) uplands. The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo. It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the 3rd century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates. It was then nicknamed the "Athens of Africa".
Thursday, December 17, 2015
To all the readers who took the time and made the effort to write me a review for THE LIBYAN...
Thank you, from my heart to yours, for sharing my journey ❤️
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Four years ago today, my children's grandfather, my hero, passed away in Sabrata, Libya. He adored and spoilt all his grandchildren every opportunity he could. Sadly, because of the political situation in Libya and personal circumstances afterwards, my children only knew him for a few years. He was an extraordinary man, and had they known him longer, I know he would have been a major force in their lives, as he has been in mine. When I am around my dear nephew, who adores his Jeddi, I feel sad that my kids missed the opportunity he had, to have known what a great man their grandfather was. But, I remember Jeddi Ibrahim very well, and I will take every opportunity I can to remind my children of him, if they will let me...
I did not grow up with grandparents, but from my children's Libyan Jeddi and Jdeda, I saw the pure love and essence of being a grandparent. I hope with all my heart that my own grandchildren will remember me one day with the love and memory that I remember their great-grandfather.
When we lived in Libya, we always went to the family home in Sabrata on Fridays. All the sons and their wives and children would be there, unless they were out of the country...every Friday, without fail. Jeddi and Jdeda would come out to the car to greet their grandchildren with a million hugs and kisses, and the joy on their faces was priceless and always worth the drive. From that point on, we relenquished our children to them. Their Jeddi would have already raided the shops in town for clothing, toys and special sweets, and their Jdeda, who had spent the whole morning cooking, was just waiting to put her food in their mouths, as if we hadn't fed them all week. We all let them do whatever they wanted, because they were their grandchildren, and because they were the undisputed patriarch and matriarch of the family. It was that simple. No one argued with Jeddi or Jdeda.
Life is simpler in older cultures because of thousands of years of traditions. There are distinct codes of behavior and expectations. Unfortunately, many families in America are conflicted, including those whose parents come from traditional cultures, because they have shunned the old ways to make up their own haphazard new ones. Their concept of being modern and American gets warped in experimental trends du jour, in the process denying and eventually losing their own rich heritage.
When my children went to Sabrata, there were no instructions, rules or orders for their grandparents to follow. Their Jeddi would have laughed and probably scolded me if I had said no chocolate or juices allowed. He loved his grandchildren unconditionally, and I let him, because I loved, trusted and respected him. I hope my children will let me do the same so that my grandchildren can experience and remember the pure love of a grandparent.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
It is time for #US #UK #EUROPE #RUSSIA to stand together, with the support of the Arab countries, to extinguish ISIS from the air and the ground once and for all..
They are also terrorizing #Syria #Iraq #Libya #Lebanon. #Tunisia #Egypt #Yemen #Afghanistan #Pakistan...
And they are whom the refugees are running from...
What is the world waiting for?
Friday, October 30, 2015
Benghazi was not the first time an American diplomatic outpost was attacked. It has happened many times before, in different parts of the world, usually in war torn countries. One of the worst US Embassy attacks in recent years happened in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, where 63 people were killed, 17 of them Americans. Foreign service officers and staff realize that there is a certain amount of risk involved in diplomatic missions overseas...It comes with the territory. I am bewildered by the continual blaming of the consulate attack in Benghazi exclusively on this administration. Rather than focusing on the reason why it happened, the emphasis should now be on how to better secure an American Embassy. About a year ago, the American Embassy in Tripoli was closed due to security concerns. In December, 1979, less than a month after I left Libya, the American Embassy in Tripoli was burnt down. In my book, THE LIBYAN, I wrote about a meeting in the "Bubble Room", which I suspect is the equivalent to a safe room. It was in such a room where Ambassador Stevens was overcome by smoke inhalation. He was eventually rescued by some Libyans who managed to get him to a hospital where he died, despite attempts by Libyan doctors to save him. Why does it matter what spurred those fanatics to attack an American outpost? Isn't the answer obvious? In the past, when these tragic incidents occurred, Congress worked as one, as non-partisans, as Americans, together...to examine and improve the security for our diplomats overseas. Instead, millions of dollars and countless hours on Capitol Hill have been wasted for no reason except to try and discredit the then Secretary of State. I have friends who knew Ambassador Stevens personally, and every one of them speak of his love for Libya and Libyans. The feeling was reciprocal. Thousands of Libyans went out on the streets all over Libya to protest his death and reaffirm their love for him. Sadly, the attack on the US consulate, the death of Ambassador Stevens, and the other three Americans emboldened the extremists and other militia groups to continue their attacks on Libya and Libyans... The destruction of Libya is ongoing, with Benghazi suffering the worst. Besides the four Americans, thousands of Libyans have lost their lives since that fateful night of September 11, 2012 Esther Kofod
Friday, October 2, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Saturday, September 19, 2015
A little Syrian refugee girl offering a Hungarian policeman a cookie. It was her lovely and touching response to someone who was blocking her and her family from crossing the border...
These are refugees, not migrants looking for a better life. They are running from death and destruction, from Asaad, and from ISIS. They are Christians and Muslims...they are our fellow human beings and innocent, frightened children.
The Hungarians seem to have forgotten how the world reached out to help them in 1956 when they were refugees. And yet now, they treat these poor people who have walked hundreds of miles like criminals...
How long more is the world going to pretend to be blind?
Friday, September 11, 2015
Kfalik, sidik! I read "The Libyan." My heart still aches over your story, and the current plight of Libya. I thought it was a tremendous book. I was enthralled with your love affair and marriage. But what a let-down at where it went! I cried for you and your children. But I learned a lot about Libya. The book left me with sleepless nights over the tyranny of Ghaddafi's rule, how it separated families, and ruined and took away peoples' lives. Thank you for making it real to me. I could not put the book down until finishing it. I didn't want it to end.
I lived in Tripoli as an older child, '59 to '61. I remember Homs Road, and the stunning old ruins of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, and the Lady of Gharyan; Giorgimpopoli; the old palace in Tripoli on the water front, and the beautiful sea (all very vividly), under the pre-oil reign of King Idris, with the American military at Wheelus Air Base, where my father was stationed.
I remember the beautiful citrus farm we lived on, with it's endless groves of fruit trees, the lime tree outside the back door of the Italian villa we rented, with it's wonderful scent, bamboo that reached 40 feet high, huge poinsettia plants (anyway, that's what they looked like to me) that seemed to grow wild, acres of peanut crop, loquats, kumquats, date palms, and the irrigation pools that we splashed in, filled with pure well water. The farm bordered a road that came in off the desert, so we often saw caravans of camels passing by, laden with provisions. We children loved our Egyptian houseboy, Mohammed Homs Lumeidi, and how everybody was named Mohammed, Ali, and Fatima or Maria.
I have always wanted to go back again and visit. Your book especially renewed that interest. Now, at this time, I wish there were a way to help bring peace, democracy, and prosperity to a suffering, divided people. I want to thank you for your book. I feel blessed for having read it. God be with you and your family always.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Children washing up on beaches in the Mediterranean, families crossing seas in rickety boats, human beings dying by the hundreds every day...dying for freedom to escape death at home.
While thousands of refugees die in the pursuit for freedom and a better life, most governments discuss the situation and just hope they don't have to deal with the influx of these poor souls in their own countries. Shame on the people smugglers, and on the countries who are not helping them.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
The Berbers, or Amazigh, are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. Their identity is based on a common language, ethnicity, geography, and an ancient history.
The Berbers have lived in North Africa for thousands of years, their presence recorded as early as 3000 BC from rock art found across the Sahara Desert...
THE LIBYAN PINTEREST
THE LIBYAN AMAZON
Monday, July 13, 2015
|Click on the photo for more images...|
The Libyan landscape is rich with the treasures of ancient civilizations dating back thousands of years. Many are still in superb condition, particularly the more popular ones in Sabrata, Leptis Magna and Cyrene.
There are numerous magnificent examples of ancient worlds in Libya, perhaps not as superbly preserved, but definitely as historically and archaeologically awesome. Over the years, and especially during Gaddafi's time, many of these ancient treasures were ignored and neglected. My children played among the ruins of Sabrata when they were growing up, and never once did I see anyone else there besides our family, not even a guard. Sadly, the history of ancient Libya has not been taught in schools for decades, replaced instead with readings like the Green Book and praises of Gaddafi for 42 years.
The sands of centuries has covered, protected, or eroded away some of the more ancient and untended settlements of Libyan history, but fascinating examples still stand stalwart against time, waiting to be noticed and treasured...
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Buy The Libyan here!
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Monday, July 6, 2015
Logistically, it should never have happened. But it did...
The result is THE LIBYAN, my memoir of marriage to a Libyan scholar and diplomat. His love and obsession with Libya became a story that I've always wanted to share, and felt needed to be told.
Multicultural and multiracial marriages are becoming more common. With that comes a myriad of multi problems as well as a better shot at world peace and beautiful children! For myself, a Eurasian Catholic born and bred in Singapore, multi anything comes easily. So it was with great bravado and armed with naïveté and limited knowledge, that I married a Libyan and moved to Libya.
Having visited Egypt and Lebanon in my college days, I knew Libya was different and more conservative.
My husband had courted me with Arabic poetry and stories of his large family, which was very romantic and appealing to an only child. What he had not prepared me for was the lack of diapers, random arrests, and public hangings. After five years, we had to flee the country for political reasons, leaving everything behind, including my loving Libyan family.
A Singapore girl marrying a Libyan is like the difference between Durian and Assida. If you have experienced them, you'll know what I mean...
Friday, June 19, 2015
Monday, June 15, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
You are the person I spent thousands of hours alone writing for. I wanted to tell you about the Libya I knew, about passion, and about betrayal. You heard me...and I thank you from my heart for reading, understanding, and getting it...