The Old City

Anyone living in Libya knows how difficult it is for a girl to walk around anywhere at any point of the day comfortably, The Old City though is the one exception, pick the right time in a day and you can walk around the Old City with your camera  un-bothered for a few hours.



These specific photos were taken early on a Saturday morning, where Nada Harib (An amazing photographer) and I mustered up the courage to sacrifice a few hours of precious sleep to simply wander these streets alone.


I can easily say that the Old City is my favorite spot in all of Libya, but the truth is its a lot more than that.  It is a city that has remained unchanged, and whether that is  due to neglect or mismanagement of funds, the result is a mosaic of objects that have survived the people and the passing of time.



The old city is the one place I am at peace with my Libyan-ness it seems, since everywhere else to be Libyan is but a mesh of pessimism and waiting in long queues.


Do let me know what you think of the photos  below in the comments …


On becoming a hermit and coping mechanisms…


It has been a very long time, and I must be excused for life has been overwhelming, so much so that I it has been two months since I finished reading any book. Books are easy enough to start reading, but its the commitment and dedication to finish that is hard to come by. Lately I have started reading  Dosteyovsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Jean Jaqcques Rousseau’s Confessions, Simone De Bouvoir’s Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter, and a new sort of book called Quite, by Susan Cain on introverts, something I can easily be suspected of.

This is probably the first time in my life where I don’t feel compelled to finish a book, but its not just books, I have generally adopted a Screw it  kind of attitude towards everything and regardless of what anyone says, that sort of attitude is anything but healthy. It is easy to put all of this on Libya, I mean it is a tough situation, because really thats what Libya is right now to most of us just starting out with our lives, a tough situation of instability, violence, and decline which has made getting by hard, let alone flourishing in anyway.

In the past I have always had something that would shield me from all of this, work, people, projects, books,music,  and most of all; coffee, and these things would temporarily blind me from all that we are in until the next time, kind of like an antibiotic, but like I have mentioned, nothing works lately.

Perhaps that is due to  the fact that antibiotics aren’t supposed to be used for that long of a period, or because the exposure to all the of negative embodiments is finally overwhelming all my senses. Just a commute to work is enough to make me call in for a sick day (I don’t though) ; Lakes  in rainy days, crowds of people waiting in front of banks, Lines for gas-filling stations, lines for petrol stations, people begging near speed bumps and outside bakeries; all impossible to escape.

That is of course besides the alarming stories that are coming into attention lately, just today I read a story on the EL-BIRO site about an underage female prisoner in Tripoli talking about the city in a way I can’t even imagine, we know horrible things happen here, but detail-wise we are happily ignorant for the most part which is honestly a privilege I’m not looking to give up anytime soon.

Despite me hermit-ifying myself into a work and bingewatching routine, Tripoli has been everything but quite. Art Galleries, Events, and even a recent comic con have taken place in the past two months, and it is those things and those people that really do, very cliche-dly, give me hope in it all, they are people who are continuously pushing themselves and others to reaching their potential even when its hindered by the very people its aimed to improve.

One positive thing I can leave you with is that Nothing Ever Lasts Forever, it all has to come to an end, and whether by force or good old human nature, so will what we are going through, but until then I need to find what it is that can keep me moving and perhaps transform all the negativity I see into a fuelling agent so that instead of slowing me down, it does the opposite.

We all experience this but I’d love to hear it in your own words and know what is it that keeps you moving.  Just comment below

Inthaar // Warning

Walking into Waraq Art space is an experience within itself, let alone walking into it during an exhibit. Waraq, located near the heart of Tripoli by BenAshour, is an underground sort of headquarters for artists and art-appreciators where countless art workshops have taken place, and recently a Van Gogh day on the anniversary of the artist.


The entrance to Waraq, above is the poster for the Inthaar Exhibit.

Most recently though, Waraq was the home to  an art exhibit titled “Inthaar / Warning”. As I walked into the exhibit for the first time I could tell that this was not an escapist exhibit,  Neither the artwork, not the atmosphere were meant to transform you anywhere, but to reinstate the lack of stability, the looming possibility of a war, and the after effects of the previous one. I later found out that the poster for the exhibit (Created by the graphic artist Alla Buddabous)  was inspired by Picasso’s Guernica, a painting Picasso created as a response to the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish civil war ( A 7.76 meter wide black and white painting hailed as one of the most powerful anti-war painting ever made) .

The lighting of the venue transformed from that its usual white into a hazardous red highlighting the warning signs that were plastered across the exhibit made for an eerie atmosphere, an almost discomfort that left you feeling slightly disturbed.  Although some of the art is humorous (The caricatures created by Suhaib Tantoush) the rest were either disturbing or morose, many left me squirming in my place.


Some of which caught my attention were a graphic piece designed by Razan Alnaas, an image of an elderly man on a background of cash notes with the words “Kidnapped and yet to return” printed under in Arabic illustrating the grim reality Libyans face nowadays with the countless kidnappings and the hefty ransom orders that for many are simply impossible to pay off.


On the left, a work by Razan Alnaas, Right, a work by Ziad Alhmedi

Ziad’s art approaches the theme of the gallery in what may seem like an optimistic manner with its bright colors and minimalistic illustrations, his contribution half blue, half red, representing the two genders and their roles in today’s Libya. Where he shows the male half in a sea of violence, and gives the female the benefit of escape, of living in an isolation of what is taking place, although to disagree with Ziad, women are just as much in the midst of the violence as the men, we however find better ways to live in the seclusion society is only too happy to hand to us.



A painting by Faiza Ramadan

A full wall of Photography took over the exhibit. The photographers Mohammed Almehdewi, Nada Harib, and Nazeeh Mghedir work simply reinforced what was being symbolically conveyed by the other artists, sort of photographic evidence.


A collection which did stick out was the Children of Wars, inspired by what I can only assume is the Star wars saga (or maybe Star Trek, I can never tell the difference) demonstrating the effects of war  playing a large part in the upbringing of a whole generation.


This exhibit is a small testimony as to what young people in Libya can achieve despite the effects of war, or perhaps even with them, as we can’t deny that we owe a large part of our resilience, innovation, and optimism to the hard circumstances we have been thrown in.


Enough of my excessive babbling, I will leave you with these photographs, and don’t forget to leave your comments down below :)!

Is it “love what you do” or “do what you love”?


Being proud of your work is not easy, especially in a place like Libya where many work in pursuit of financial stability in a time where everything and anything is all but stable. Which is why I am more than ecstatic to present The Saturday Show in its online form.

With teaching, I was motivated, I was even dedicated but I was certain it wasn’t what I wanted to do for a life time which is why it took me a few months before completely giving it up and focusing on the other aspects of my life that have been terribly ignored.

One was the blog, the other was something that would help me creatively grow, as university daren’t  challenge any of it’s students creatively, and my at-the-time didn’t have the endless bounds creativity I craved, I looked elsewhere. The radio was automatically my next attempt, I had been hosting a show at Radio Alsa3a for a while before yet I wasn’t going 100% in it for many reasons.

Lately however I embarked on a new endeavor, hosting The Saturday Show with a dearest friend Taz. Now the show is a summary of everything we love to talk and find out about including the twice a month interviews with accomplished figures from right here in Tripoli, actual examples of success that undergo all the crippling circumstances that we associate with living here.

Click here to listen to our 1st episode:

The revival episode of The Saturday Show with Sawsan Werfelli, Amideast’s representative in Libya

AURA, The art exhibit.


I personally welcome anything that help break the monotonous daily routine of University, work, and home be it a clean up, a debate, or a gallery. Even though I have never been to  gallery in Tripoli, somehow I have managed to skip each one to take place until yesterday, where I and a fellow photographer excused ourselves of our late lectures (I doubt university professors read my blog anyhow) and went over to Daar Hasan Alfgeeh which is placed next to Marcus Aurelius arch, just about the most iconic location in Tripoli.


Besides its location, Daar Hsan Alfgeeh was the first french consulate in Tripoli and remained so until WW2 where the building was sold to one of the locals and was later used as accommodation for sailors, however in 2001 it was renovated and reinstated as an Art Gallery and renamed Daar Alhsan Fgeeh Hsan for arts.


The actual gallery showcases the work of different Libyan visual artists, some graphics, painting, Photography, and Calligraphy.




The artists:

Rawan Almontser, Rawia Alkikkly, Taqwa Barnosa (Calligraphy), Alla Budabbous (Graphic art) ,  Basma Alzoubi, Mohammed Algadi, Ali Abulqasem (Origami) , Nada Harib (Photography), Salem Bahroun. , Mohammed Ellafi (Graffiti).




I hope enjoy the photos, leave a comment below and don’t forget Sharing is Caring 😉 !



Libya’s first ever Comic Con

September turned out to be quite a month, yours truly here became 21, and for the first time I had no desire what so ever to celebrate the stepping stone. Since lately I have stopped looking at birthdays as a cause of celebration and more of a time of reflection , however that didn’t stop me from heading over to O2 for a spot of birthday  pancakes where I ran into one of my favorite people!


Another even that marked September was in fact the first ever Libyan ComicCon, woohooo!


Comic Con is not something I expected to see in Libya anytime soon, majorly because I feel that it is one of those trends that can be seen as strange and unnatural and while  a large percentage of the public deemed the event “Satanic” “A Halloween Celebration” and the “epitome of ignorance” which was quite ironic as everyone making this statement was (lets admit it) simply ignorant about all things comic con.










Starting on Friday the 23rd of September, Tripoli’s comic con took off in one of the halls in Tripoli International exhibition with high expectations and a mighty crowd armed with their tickets  (Which came at the affordable price of 1 dinar sold at different spots around Tripoli). The opening day I went by in true Libyan Fashion, with the electricity cut, leaving the hall steaming hot, also managed to cancel tournaments, the music and disable the gaming contest.








However, I was amazed at the number of people who showed up in cosplay (Costume), at some point I even stopped counting. One of the most popular figures seemed to be The Joker, as around 4-5 people came dressed as him sporting the green hair, full face makeup and purple suit!




I went back on the third day in order to see the events procession without the electricity cut and was absolutely amazed (How much of a difference can electricity make you ask? A HUGE ONE!) The music, the gaming spots, the screen in the booths all came together to create a great atmosphere, not to mention the AC’s keeping us from melting!




As part of Radio Alsaa’s staff, I had the amazing opportunity to interview some of the people involved including the Japanese community founders, some cosplayers, and the people selling the merchandise. Although I personally did not purchase anything, my brother the actual geek brought some sort of key, a poster, and a ring from a manga thingy majigy, which is how I really know the event was a success, it pleased the audience it was targeted towards. I personally was about to attend dressed as Professor Snape when an ex-Friend pointed out how that was non-comic related and made me give up on the whole notion of cosplay.


Why am I writing this, while the reasons are many one of them has to be pride, I am overwhelmed with pride of everyone involved in this event, everyone who fought against circumstance to make it happen and while it may seem rather trivial, it certainly adds a sense of normality to our daily lives, the fact is Libya may be the hot spot of serious violence, hardships, and civil unrest the population has not forgotten how to enjoy and celebrate different cultures and this event is a living proof that this generation, while living against all sorts of odds is doing its best to move Libya and Libyans forward despite the popular misconceptions.

At Home…

Ever meet someone who had a silly obsession and wouldn’t stop talking about it? Well that’s me and tea.  Since I was 16 I was quite the tea fanatic, even while being in a simultaneously loving relationship with coffee, I do want to have it all.


But still once I heard about the new tea room At Home opening up in Tripoli, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I spent a sinful amount of cash there and after what felt like ages of routine days of work and home and work and home, I finally did and it was worth it.










Let me get straight into it, the decoration is simply superb, it has this Knick knack vibe that fluctuates between feeling like Kensington Palace and your grandma’s antique filled home. With portraits, paintings, and vintage bits and bobs around every corner, it really is an eyeful and does take a while to absorb in but once you do that, you settle in their comfortable sofas and can’t help but feel at home.









The menu was quite extensive and this is where you thank the service because taking 15 minutes to decide what to order really is a crime, but the employees were lovely and simply welcoming. In the end I ended up having a red velvet cake which was amazing as you can see.


And then came the pancakes, which I would like to thank At Home for,  I had seen a picture of pancakes with figs and when I asked about them, I was told that they used whatever fruits were in season and that the pancakes came with apricots and grapes, and this is one of those rare cases where I never finished my food because  the portion size was great and I had already had cake, but I still couldn’t help having chocolate straight from the pot.













Another reason to stop by the place is also because Amira Made, one of my favorite Libyan Blogger/Photographer is offering portraits for At Home customers at a great price!


Thanks again to At Home and the owners for bringing a new concept into the Libyan business scene and introducing everyone to the beauty that is Afternoon Tea, which I can’t wait to try for myself soon…

Sara Bilghasim