Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Freedom in Libya at last

Thank you all for asking about me and Pearl we are well and safe .

Over six months have passed since the first spark in February! Six months where Libyans have proven continuously to the whole world of what stuff exactly they are made.

It is not all over yet, some parts of our Great country ( and the adjective here is absolutely fitting still need help to be liberated, where complete safety still needs to be restored, where martyrs still need to be buried, prisoners released, injured treated and children reassured! But for sure the hardest part in the fight is over I hope.

Unfortunately many children including Pearl have lost the innocence of childhood, they know what a sniper is, and how a dead person looks, and the sounds of gunfire, and the sense that they cannot buy what they want, let alone what they need, they fear the security forces and are afraid of anything with a gun or uniform or to talk on the phone for fear of being overheard by someone who will harm the family. Pearl keeps drawing on her whiteboard an imaginary combat scene between the rebels and the Gaddafi militia where she says why don't the rebels pretend to give them presents as toys and have bombs hidden in those toys which will explode in the hands of Gaddafi's militiamen.

This had become her favourite game and it has been difficult to get her out of this mood. She kept saying "mummy is he not an evil man, why does not God make him go ?"
I wish it were that easy, it took so much doubts, hope, hopelessness, pain, sacrifice etc... to reach this point today where we are allowed to breath deeply and celebrate the achievement of the whole Libyan nation at their final attempt to unseat the Gaddafi dynasty. It has been a struggle of almost 42 years but at last this time it succeeded.

As a practical mom who does not have the luxury to rest but must think about the wellbeing of her child, I'm pleased that this is ending just in time for the new scholastic year to start. Pearl has passed her exams despite all the hardships. I am relieved to hear today during the press conference of Sarkozy and the Libyan NTC representative that schools will start on time in Libya. I'm currently unemployed because all foreign companies left hastily in the first week of the uprising but I'm not worried, we managed with so little for six months we can do it for longer and also there is going to be a hive of activity now to rebuild this country so I will surely find something I can do again.

I hope to return to love stories soon.

Meanwhile it is beautiful to see how much change there has been in the Libyan psyche, the wall of fear has been broken. Freedom is priceless.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Today , I am feeling hopelessness.... depressed about Pearl's future, our future and depressed that there is no one close on whom I can for just one moment rest my burdens and close my eyes. Someone who will tell me not to worry but he is here to take care of us.

I admit, I have received phone calls of support, but those are just words, there is no human presence to make whatever is convulsing this country more bearable.

But I cannot afford the luxury of such a feeling, because there is no one to take care of my baby Pearl

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lo my homeland Libya!

I cannot believe that it has been ten days since the descent into hell started. The conflicting news and the disrupted communication services are compounding the fears. Even the weather which has been bitterly cold, windy and rainy seems to have conspired to make the situation even more dramatic then it already is.

I'm hoping that soon we will be reflecting on this period, but right now every day is a struggle for survival and to keep our sanity.

Pearl is at the age where it is not enough to say "no honey you cannot go to school today". You can't prevent her from watching TV and catching a glimpse of things. So she wants to know why?and understand why is the city closed? and why can she not go out and play in the garden? and why we cannot visit her cousin? and why she cannot play her favorite games online, and why the mobile is not working? and why is mommy not going to work?, and why she can only have half the bar of chocolate? so many more why's.

She is almost 9 years old how can I explain to her that horrible things have happened and worse are expected? She has already asked if this was war and do they kill children?

I simply told her that there are good and evil men fighting each other and good will prevail. That's when she asked me: so when is Omar Mukhtar coming to save us?

That was the last straw and my heart there and then broke up.

I am so numb even prayers have become difficult to utter....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The first date

Hi Violet, my name is Reem and your posts labelled 'love is hard' have affected me especially the one about the married lover. I wanted to share with you and your audience if you will allow me the following story.

Reem is referring to this post and I was flattered that she wanted to contribute to my blog. Without further ado please read her email:

The First Date

The conversation had just began and I don’t know how it turned to exchanging tips about children and reliable paediatrician in Tripoli. Then he said “ I would recommend Dr Mansour at the x – Clinic” Without hesitation I retorted “ is that where you take your children Wael?” and almost automatically he replied “yes”, “ so you are married” I said trying to hide my disappointment at these news. “Reem” he intoned purposefully looking across to me from his seat in one of the new hot, flashy restaurants on the Tripoli seafront. “I wanted to tell you about this face-to-face and be transparent, it was not possible over the phone!”

In one second my world crashed and my hopes were dashed even before being allowed to fly. It took me 6 months from the time we bumped into each other at an exhibition to actually pluck up the courage to call him. When I phoned him the first time and he did not answer I was quite relieved, I could throw away his business card but something urged me to hang on to it and try again. I actually vaguely remembered his features, we simply were introduced to each other and spoke briefly and he expressed the wish to learn more about me. That’s the sort of chit-chat you do at business events and you forget about it, but I think the impression he left me with was one of simplicity, almost ascetic cleanliness and at the same time sophisticated. Plus he was so tall and I have a feeble for tall men. So I called again a couple of weeks later and this time he answered. The voice was polite, manly, very mature and self assured, and my heart fluttered... I was breathless and awkward… what was I going to tell him he probably had forgotten our 5 minute encounter. “Reem, this is me Reem, we met at the exhibition last year, I am terribly sorry for calling you like this and hesitated for a long time because I’m not at all sure how you will take this as a Libyan man, but you had asked me to call and I decided I will call you just to find out what type of person you are perhaps some good can come out of this? Please excuse me and I will delete this number from my phone” I was so embarrassed. To my ears I sounded like some infatuated teenager and barely heard him utter: “Reem OMG you finally deigned to call, I have been waiting for so long and you never gave me your number, when can we meet, where are you, where have you been, I have been thinking for half a year that no woman can be this arrogant!”

“ I’m really sorry to have put you through such anguish Wael, and as I said I won’t call, I just wanted to know that you really are a decent person and was curious about you”. Wael wanted to know when we could meet for lunch or dinner or even breakfast, and I was reluctant to commit to anything. I told him to take it slow and give me time to think. I went home and was thinking very hard that night. Why was I attracted to that man and why did I not want to meet him? Why did I catch myself hoping for his call? Is it because I was afraid for my reputation? I browsed my favourite blogs and Ibeebarbie’s words “I still felt the whimperings and longings of a cohesive partnership” seemed to be directed right at me. I was busy and successful, attractive by some standards, lead a very active life but at the end of the day was very much single, I wanted someone to have a family with, a child, companionship, friendship…and everything in Wael seemed to exude that. He would be a good husband material. That short conversation with him on the phone thought me a lot about him, his values and warmth, he was very respectful and very tactful. Actually I have rarely seen such behaviour in contemporary Libyan men and was curious about his academic background. I was relieved to find out he did have a university degree that actually needed someone to study to pass it. His family sounded stable also and that was important and obviously he has worked hard, no daddy’s boy or born with a silver spoon person. Those were all values I shared and respected. He called me two days later, and still I was not ready to meet him. Then I sat down and thought hard about it, why did I not want to meet a man who actually could be a success story and make me happy, why was I only interested in those impossible to get men? This questioning of my soul led me to one truth I have been hiding from myself for years now. It was a revelation, I feared rejection so much that I sought in advance relationships which were doomed to failure, so I would not have to be hurt and rejected by someone I actually, liked and valued and really wanted very badly. This guy seemed ideal, and I was afraid to loose him by meeting him, is that not a bit strange? A long weekend of self analysis finally led me to agree to meet for a coffee and that is how we ended up in the restaurant. Preparing to meet him took a lot of trouble from me, as I on purpose tried my best to undermine this first date. I want him to see exactly who I was and the way I was, no trying to attract him, in fact I tried not to look attractive. So it was I ended up wearing a pair of jeans, black shirt, sports shoes and leather jacket, with my hair in a plait, some sun block and barely there lip-gloss. That is a no-no outfit if you are trying to impress a man. He was even more handsome than I remembered even up to the gap between his top two front teeth which I found so cute. I feasted on the bronze colour of his skin which reminded me of another one and the beautiful full shape of his lips and the warmth and humour in his eyes. He was not classically handsome but he had so much appeal you could almost ‘smell’ the testosterone! And he had the most beautiful hands I had ever seen on any man. Their shape was perfect!

So when I heard his voice telling me he was married, it was a palpable physical pain that I felt in my heart and head. Before my eyes was the epitome of the man I always dreamt about and “yet again he was not going to be mine” a little voice told me. Married men are just heartache!

I was going to leave there and then, because why was I dating him in the first place, let’s not kid ourselves this was a date; we did not meet to discuss business. Instead I feigned an excuse to go refresh myself at the ladies. When I returned I had regained some of my composure and thanked him for being upfront. “ Thanks Wael for letting me know, this avoids having any daydreams or ideas now I know where are the limits of this relation ! i.e. no relation at all.”

“why do you say this Reem, my princess, why is it impossible to have a relationship based on trust between us, someone one can count on, some one to be your best friend, someone you can share with” … that’s where I interrupted him ( why is he calling me princess I thought ?) but I said “Wael, you should be best friends with your wife and share thoughts with her and your children why are you seeking that in me? It’s a pity we did not meet before but I refuse to have a relationship with a man that is not defined by a legal entity. We are not business associates so we can’t have the excuse to be meeting for business, obviously you like something in me and I found something attractive in you to be very frank and I’m not willing to commit or hurt myself to something that has no future unless you are considering right now a second marriage, and from what I understand about you, your wife is a good person”

“I’m really sorry Wael, this is not going to work and is definitely not fair on me. I appreciate that you did not lead me on, but I’m really not sure what you were expecting. I’m a very simple girl Wael, I’m not in a hurry, I’m still waiting for Prince Charming and won’t compromise on that even if the white hairs have started to creep in on me”

“ Reem he said, what I like about you is not your hotness, it’s the goodness of your heart which shines through, that’s what attracts people to you, but combined with the type of body you have I admit that is just a killer combination which you are probably unaware off, and that makes you more endearing. I want to be part of your life… that is something I am 100% sure of and have wanted to since the moment I set my eyes on you and heard your gentle voice explaining to the children at the exhibition about the items on display. The way you speak, the reservation, the passion you show for the subject and proud way you carry yourself and how the children were in awe lapping your comment and that flower print dress have haunted me for a very long time, if I can help it I will never let you go!”

After this confession, I really had nothing to loose Violet, total honesty was all I could go for. “Wael, the only way you could have me in your life forever is by marrying me, and yes I’m sorry we did not meet 10 years ago. Thank you again for your honesty, and I want to wish you all the best now I really should make a start to go home”

It’s heartbreaking Violet, we share so many common things, hard work, studious life, family bonds, care for parents and children, same hobbies, a man who likes to read, and play sports and takes his family out and travel with a penchant for more adventurous side of life…and unfortunately very much taken. Someone could say, that I could start a relationship and then take him from his wife, but I just don’t think that is right and therefore I believe that the 6 month period I was hesitating to call him may have been some sort of cosmic message to tell me that he was not available. Now it hurts so much to know that this type of Libyan man is available without the need for him to speak English well and I have missed him. One could say that he was a creep for being married and actually thinking of cheating on his wife and I thought about that but right now Violet, I’m trying very hard not to dial his number, because of this magnet I have for impossible love stories. One date and two ten minute phone calls was all it took to fall very hard. May God keep me strong as it will be a struggle.

Friday, December 31, 2010


"A love filled heart seeks renunciation".....more on that later ....

Happy New Year to all from Pearl and Violet

Friday, September 17, 2010

The haunting

She spent ten tumultuous years getting over a teenage love, and the next decade getting over her first and what turned out to be only love.

She had buried this fact deep into her soul and so never realized that all she was doing was trying to forget him.

One day like Snow White a kiss by a prince woke her up from the self induced coma. Yet despite the prince's sincere intentions - and those are what counts in fairy tales to perform miracles - he could never be her Prince . Because only the true Prince knew how to kiss her lips till they were bruised with engorged blood and until the ground would disappear from underneath. Only her Prince had the strength to carry her for miles in his arms and only he could rise out of the sea looking like the statue of Adonis come to live ... When she awoke and the last strands of the fog blew away all the bad memories had faded and the good times came to life even more vividly and it suddenly struck her that in all the years she assumed she was unlucky with men she was in truth setting herself up for failure by trying to find him again in another man's eyes when there was and never will be any man like her Man, Prince and King of her soul...

If you found and lost your soulmate once would you have the chance to get him back again ?

The pain seared through her heart and shot through her brain when it dawned on her that she was looking now at a dark precipice - a lifetime needed to get over that loss again. Like the tide and the waves and the song she loved so much the pain webbed and flowed.

Ten years to find out he was always "THE ONE" and to finally admit it so simply how could this happen? Ironically it took him ten years to bridge the gap and grow into the person she knew and predicted he was destined to be, but she was so old now and there was hardly any time left, and he was married...

“love is different than marriage, my love ! Love is forever and ONLY YOU have and will always have my love” - he whispered but she wanted his love and his flesh.

If she were not Muslim she would at least have the solace to believe in reincarnation and another chance....why was life playing such games with her ?

In a flash 30 years would have passed and her life would have gone by without a moment of peace or happiness.... is there a silver lining ? he mentioned wanting to sire a child? Would she accept a polygamous marriage? the prospect of dying without consuming their love was a black hole and she would accept such a marriage to him...

To have the next ten years with him would be perfect but did she have ten years to live still? Only God knew the answer !

Note and question to readers: this is part of my upcoming novel - very first draft so lots of editing , can you help me choose a name for the heroine? the only condition is that it hails from the Middle East or North Africa!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Physical closeness

With each physical separation it gets more and more difficult for lovers to stay without their other half..

I wonder what the readers think ?