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.
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
Thursday, April 7, 2016
“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
|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...