The ongoing protracted civil war in Libya; Contact from a friend who escapred the violence in Libya; Misadventure in the Middle East by Henry Hemming and simply reminiscing about my travels has me thinking about the Middle East and North Africa again. The two years and a couple of months spent living in two different (in every sense) Arabic countries and the experience in both these countries will forever stay with me as some of the most interesting, colourful, difficult, exciting, hot and any other adjective you want to place here in my life.
Despite the difficulties of those countries, I miss living in them. I miss it a lot. I miss the food. I miss the people. I miss the desert. I miss the scent of shisha. I miss the mistakenly angry sound of Arabic. I miss the Azaan. I miss the unorganised organised chaos. I miss the hospitality. Yes, I could go on forever, but won’t as it would make me way too sad.
During the time I lived in the region that makes up the “Middle East” or otherwise known as “where the terrorists come from” after 9/11, I got to see glimpses of the regions, its people and landscapes. The United Arab Emirates flaunting its oil money with speeding SUV’s and shiny towers. The boiling melting pot that is Lebanon and its fiery (yet stunningly gorgeous) inhabitants. The sleepy towns and cities in Oman. The ancient ruins of Egypt and the opportunists who make you pay for it. The bustling old city centre in Damascus Syria.
However I can count myself lucky to have lived for over a year in country which is in the news for the wrong reasons lately: Libya. It was an extraordinary experience, which I won’t forget and think about a lot, especially when I read about the region…
I have also been listening to Tinariwen a lot, a band I’ve written about before here and there latest single has played non-stop on my iPod… So I’d thought I’d share this great song and video which was shot in Southern Algeria, which is identical to Southern Libya.
*Shu hada means “What is this?” and Wallah which is used as an “Really” or “seriously”