Friday, October 7, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

US strikes ISIS targets in Sirt, Libya...

I support the US bombing of ISIS in Libya because it's an ISIS stronghold, and because I have very strong and repugnant feelings regarding ISIS, stemming from a personal one. What some of you may not know about was the kidnapping and murder of my nephew by ISIS in Libya, even though the ransom was paid. 
What I fear is that the lack of leadership and utter chaos and  breakdown of law and order in Libya is leading to the death of the country. Without help, Libya has the potential to be another Syria, maybe even worse. Each group holds the other hostage for their own interest, yet not a single one strong enough to unite the country, including the HOR. 
Libyans cannot do it on their own without international help. The death toll is rising, there is practically no medical care, no money, no law and order, daily kidnappings and assassinations, etc....and ISIS.
I lived in the shadow of a dictatorship, under Gadaffi. I never imagined it could be worse. 
Libya is dying a slow death while Libyans debate what to do. There is only one choice...unite under a majority, or die. Democracy is a political luxury that does not always work for different situations. It sometimes take many steps to get there. Libya is taking baby steps, and yes, in my humble opinion, Libya needs outside help in order to survive. 
Hopefully one day, Libya will find the form of government, a political model, best suited to its unique cultural, religious and social heritage.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

One reason why I wrote THE LIBYAN...

When I wrote my memoir, THE LIBYAN, I frankly had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew it was something I had to do, but I also knew I shouldn't do it until the time was right...

On the day Gaddafi died, I told my husband that I was going to start writing, and I did, that same night. It took me two and a half years to finish, and he and my daughter were my earliest and most fervent supporters.  They both believed there was a story to be told and a country and people to be introduced to...

Above all, I wanted to share my love for
Libya and Libyans, and that is the basis for this story...

One of the reasons I love getting reviews is because it's a way for me to gauge if I have succeeded in introducing Libya to someone who knew nothing about it prior to reading my book. 
That is why reviews like this is priceless to me, and makes it all worthwhile. 

Thank you, from my heart to yours...❤️

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya ❤️

Wishing a Blessed Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya to my Muslim friends, family, and wonderful readers who have shared my journey... ❤️

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thank you, Lamia El-Makki ❤️

لقد أنهيت للتو قراءة كتاب " الليبي" . وهي قصة رائعة تحكي مذكرات سيدة أمريكية تزوجت من سياسي ليبي في الفترة اﻷولى من حكم القذافي.  لقد أخذتني القصة في رحلة إلى حقبة من تاريخ ليبيا عشتها لكني لم أعيها  جيدا لصغر سني في ذلك الوقت..فترة طفولتي المبكرة ؛ لطالما سمعت أبي وأقاربي يتحدثون عنها.  انتابني شعور رائع وأنا أقرأ " الليبي " وكأني عدت ﻷعيش في ذلك الزمن البعيد أعيش يوما بيوم مع أحداث القصة وشخصياتها الجميلة تأثرت كثيرا بالناس الطيبين وكأن ' إبراهيم' هو سيدي (جدي) أنا و'رقية' حناي (جدتي) أنا ؛فهما تقريبا يشبهان كل جد وجدة ليبيين.. والعائلة كلها كأنها كل عائلة ليبية أصيلة.  رأيت أيضا عراقة بﻻدي وعاداتها الجميلة وتقاليدها وطيبة أهلها وكيف أثرت في وجدان شابة مغتربة تركت بلدها بكل ما فيه من تقدم ورفاهية لتعيش في بلد لم تسمع عنه شئ قبل تعرفها بزوجها.   إن القصة مكتوبة بطريقة سلسة وممتعة تجمع بين الرومانسية والدراما والتشويق وتجعلك متشوقا لمعرفة ماذا سيحدث ﻻحقا.  وتظهر في القصة محبة الكاتبة للبلد ولأهلها. لقد دمعت عيناي وارتجف قلبي عدة مرات خﻻل القراءة ؛ تعاطفا مع أبطال القصة حينا وخوفا عليهم حينا آخر كما وتنفست معهم الصعداء أحيانا أخرى . شكرا ﻹستر ﻷنها جعلتني أرى بلدي وتراثه بعين مختلفة وشكرا على إحياء وتوثيق فترة من تاريخه .     
  لمياء المكي 

  كاتبة قصة "حكاية طرابلسية" من كتاب                    Translating Libya

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tree Climbing Goats of Morocco...

The Tree Climbing Goats of Morocco...
"Found in a small village in Morocco, these goats climb Argan trees in search for the Argan berries. However, to reach the fruit requires them to be adept in an extraordinary balancing act that’s quite unexpected from a hoofed animal. 
After digesting the berries, the goats leave behind droppings that contain large kernels of the seeds they consumed. These kernels are extracted from the manure, washed, and ground pressed to produce Argan oil..."

Dear Mr. Hosseini...


I feel your words and I feel your pain because you were an inspiration to me when I wrote "The Libyan". For that, I want to thank you, from my heart to yours. 

Your books took me on a journey to Afghanistan, a country I knew little about. I was mesmerized, and I felt what you were feeling...without being there.  

I hope in some small way I was able to introduce my readers to another enigmatic world...Libya. I started writing "The Libyan" the day Gaddafi died. There was so much hope for a free Libya 5 years ago. 

Today, sadly, another form of terror has replaced that hope and dream, and I too am depressed... 

Esther Kofod

Friday, April 15, 2016


    "Libyan cuisine is the cooking traditions, practices, foods and dishes associated with the country of Libya. The cuisine derives much from the traditions of the Mediterranean (especially Italy), North Africa, and the Middle East..."
    These are some of my personal favorites which I sometimes cook...except for the Bazeen, which requires a little muscle...!
    ASSIDA is a breakfast favorite. It is basically boiled dough, vigorously stirred until smooth, then shaped and served with melted ghee or butter and date palm syrup. 
    BSISA, dates and buttermilk...Bsisa is based on flour of roasted barley which dates back to Roman times. It is often served at breakfast, usually mixed with olive oil. Dates and Buttermilk is also popular at Ramadan to breaking fast.

    COUSCOUS is the national  dish of Libya. It is usually made with lamb (in Libya it's prefered fresh) in a tomato based sauce simmered with spices, onions, and vegetables. The sauce is then served over the couscous. 

    BAZEEN is a Libyan specialty and one of my personal favorites. The boiled barley dough is served with an exquisitely based tomato sauce of lamb chunks, potatoes and boiled eggs.

    SHARBA is lamb soup (sometimes chicken is used instead), cooked with tomato paste, onions, spices, and finished with orzo, chickpeas, parsley and mint. 
    SHARBA is served every night during Ramadan to break fast. 

    MACARONI BECHAMEL is made with penne pasta, spiced ground beef and Bechamel sauce. 

    MAHSHEE is bell peppers stuffed with rice, meat, herbs and spices.

    EJJA is a frittata dish baked in the oven. It is made from eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and fresh herbs. 

    A meal in Libya is always followed by Libyan tea. The first shot (glass) is plain, then subsequent additions include peanuts, mint, almonds, attar (scented geraniums), etc.

    UMBACOUPKA  is hands down Libya's most favorite and beloved dish. You'll find it everywhere, anytime, with different names, and in different variations. The popular variation is  lamb, potatoes, carrots, different vegetables, and spices cooked in a tomato sauce. 

Friday, April 8, 2016


CHEFCHAOUEN...The Blue Pearl of Morocco

 Chefchaouen was painted blue by Jewish refugees fleeing violence and persecution from the Spanish Inquisition in 1478.

Refugees do not leave their homes for better lives...they leave to save their lives

Thursday, April 7, 2016

From my Singaporean BFF ❤️

“Esther and I have been friends since our high school days at the Singapore American School.  Even back then, I somehow knew that her life would turn out to be far from the ordinary.  Esther has a restless nature, not content to take the usual path mapped out by most of our mothers, i.e. to graduate from college, marry a Singaporean man and start a family soon after.  She was always curious and had an imaginative mind;  Esther had great romantic notions and would day dream about being swept off her feet to some far away place by a dashing hero!  Several years later when Esther was in college in Washington DC, she excitedly wrote to me about the man whom she had fallen in love with, a Libyan.
We did not see very much of each other in the years that followed, except for the few times when Esther visited her parents in Singapore.  During these visits, she would tell me about her new life in Libya, which always intrigued me, and then during her last trip home, Esther related to me about the suspense and horror of her escape from Libya with her children. 
In my mind at the time, Libya was so far away and foreign, and I must admit that I could neither fully comprehend nor grasp the intensity of the fear and terror of her circumstances then.
It is wonderful that Esther has finally told her story in a book, The Libyan.  Through her keen eye, perception and sensitivity, Esther has brilliantly narrated her life in Libya - new environment and experiences, her great and passionate love for her husband and his warm close knit family;  this was followed by the terror and fear of living under the Ghaddafi regime; and finally, her harrowing escape from Libya with her children.  
This book holds many wonderful memories for me, and it is so fascinating yet so full of suspense that i could not put it down until i got to the end.  Having finished reading it, I am now able to finally fill in the gaps between all the events about which Esther had tried to tell me during her few intermittent visits to Singapore.
My friend Esther is indeed an extraordinary woman who has led an extraordinary life.  And i am happy that she has found in her heart to forgive and is at peace with herself."
Ei-Ling Tan, 2016.

Monday, April 4, 2016

LIBYA pre-1969...

LIBYA pre-1969... 


Central bank of Libya, Tripoli Libya, 1956
Libyan women marching for the right to vote, 1963

Libyan Girl Scouts with Queen Fatima of Libya

Bookmobile, Libya, 1958

Tripoli, Libya, 1965

Catholic Cathedral, Cathedral Piazza, Tripoli, Libya, 1957

Libyan Police Regiment in the 1950's

Oil Company School in Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli, Libya, 1960's

Tripoli University, 1966

Sunday, April 3, 2016


What is the world and world leaders going to do for the millions of orphaned and homeless kids? 
I'm disgusted that people are more concerned for the welfare of animals than they are for unwanted children. Maybe it's time to set up shelters and a lobbying group for children...
This is humanity at its lowest, to not do something for our most vulnerable...


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Best friends...❤️

I have some truly awesome friends...

First of all, they're really nice, unpretentious, and to your face (not behind your back) honest people. As a result, some of us have been kicked out of houses and reviled by in-laws and outlaws...

We pretend we don't care.

We have each other, and when we are together, we have the best meals, the loudest gut wrenching laughter, and the warmest of hearts, knowing that confidences and words are honored. 

Coincidentally, my friends are also all beautiful, smart, worldly, generous, fabulous cooks...and most of all, FUN!
So, to my "bestest" of friends, gentle souls know who you are, and I'm sure you know that I love and appreciate you ❤️😘
P.S. You are also the most amazing supporters and publicists for THE LIBYAN, and I don't know what I would have done without you...

Monday, March 14, 2016

THE LIBYAN...A Gift from the Past

I had such a wonderful gift from the past  today, from my Singapore American School classmate Fielden Lundy. He sent me a pic from our graduation class which I had never seen before, and wrote a special review as only someone who lived a similar life in a similar time can understand and relate to. 
Thank you, Fielden, from my heart to yours 

The Libyan, by Esther Kofod, begins as a travelogue, the experiences of growing up in a foreign land, traveling for one’s education, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. The book changes to a love story, full of emotion and feeling. Then, it is a cultural narrative, the experience of new customs and foods and surroundings, the historical and modern view of Libya itself. Slowly, the story becomes a spy thriller, full of intrigue, deception, fear and terror.

Esther does a wonderful job writing these transitions and in weaving them together. We experience the wonder of foreign lands, the overwhelming feelings of love, the history and significance of Libya, the curiosity of new places and the fear of not knowing where life is going. There is joy, there is terror, there is resignation.

The book tells a personal story but with definite worldly undertones. It is often a mirror on the events of the present. Given the political and cultural forces currently at work in the Middle East and elsewhere, Esther’s book is very timely and relevant. It shows that Libya was, and is, far different from the Libya the news shows us. The people, the love of family and country are not so different from our own.

I grew up overseas as well. Esther and I were classmates at the Singapore American School. Reading her words brought back to me many of the feelings Esther describes; curiosity about new places, people, cultures, and foods. The feeling that you are never really at home anywhere. The realization that the world is much larger and fuller and more fascinating than you had ever believed.

I highly recommend The Libyan. It will open your eyes in so many ways. It will expose you to so many different emotions.

Esther Kofod

Sunday, March 6, 2016

International Women's Day...

My deepest respect and prayers for women everywhere struggling to make a life for themselves and their children ...❤️


Monday, February 29, 2016

Correcting liars and hypocrites...

The main reason why lies and hypocrisy is becoming more common, bordering on acceptable, is simply because it is "politically incorrect" to correct liars and hypocrites...
I asked someone once why he told his wife an unnecessary lie, and he matter-of-factly replied "I knew that's what she wanted to hear". His lie made him look good to his wife at the expense of another person, and he made me an unwitting accomplice because I never told her the truth. 
Donald Trump is a prime example of a liar and a hypocrite, who tells certain people what they want to hear, and because of that he's become an unstoppable political phenomenon...people get the government they deserve.
Unfortunately, there are too many people who would rather hear a pleasant lie than an unpleasant truth...

Friday, February 26, 2016

Remembering the spirit of humanity...

The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story tellers and lovers of all kinds...
Dalai Lama

Sunday, January 31, 2016

To an inspirational young Libyan...

Esther Kofod

Of all the reviews I have received, this one means the most to me because it is from a young Libyan woman who is not afraid to speak from her heart. I have never met her, but we started communicating after her review, and I am amazed by her. She is so inspiring, so articulate, and so special. 
I pray that Libyans will unite, so that brilliant young Libyans like her can start rebuilding the future with the traditions from the past. 
Thank you, Omnia, from my heart to yours, and God Bless Libya ❤️

  A very touching story with great storytelling skills
By Omnia Eteyari - January 27, 2016
Amazon Verified Purchase

I'm Libyan, and I found this book truly describes a lot of the old Libyan culture back in the seventies, and some of which remained till today. The details and heart it was written with made me so emotional in certain pages, either forcing a loud laughter while describing some very special Libyan traditions, or tears while memorising the horror that surrounded Libyans for 42 years. But above all, I can't help but feel so sorry and some sort of responsibility over the hardship, pain and sadness the author has gone through, either in Libya or by Libyans. I appreciate very much that she toke the time to write her story, which I think is a very good reference for the near history of Libya in a joyful romantic and dramatic layout. Thank you!!

It's been a while since a book was able to force me to keep reading non-stop. This one did, from the very first chapter I couldn't wait to know what's next, that I finished it in 3 days.

It is a romance novel written with a great amount of details and emotions, that makes you live in the story, see the people and places, hear the sounds, and feel the heat. It highlighted so much of the Libyan qualities, beautiful traditions, and good deeds; however, also shed a strong light on some of the dark parts of the Libyan culture, especially back in the seventies, during which most of the story events took place.

As much as I've heard about the horror Libyans have encountered because of Gaddafi in the late seventies and eighties, and even though things did not get much better after that when I became old enough to understand what was going on, but this is one of the few times where I actually felt it so strong, the effect of his evil on people's lives and minds, the power he had not only to kill, but to destroy families and poison people of principles and ethics.

This is the kind of stories that stays with you even after you finish reading. You know that it is not just a fiction, but actual facts and events that happened to real people.

After I finished, I couldn't stop the questions circling in my mind, how? why? what? and, until when?