Friday, September 11, 2015

A Child's Memory of Libya...

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.

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