Libya: Do I Miss It?

why do people miss home? A question I often asked when I saw those living abroad. Why? I’d say, why would they miss a home where they wake up every day to the same scenario.

We wake up to no electricity, thus no internet (the horror). We say it’s fine, we’re used to it. We go to our schools and universities where we get shitty education, we meet people with stupid sickening mentalities. Then we come home to find out that electricity came back, but internet didn’t (the horror). We try to have a hobby, a talent but everything is against this suffocating society. Politically we’re screwed, and financially we’re broke. We cannot even enjoy the simplest of things such as buying the new book of our favourite series, or going to the cinema to watch the new film we’ve all been waiting for. We remind ourselves how much we hate our country every day, we’d say “I don’t hate my country as a ‘country’ I just hate the situation right now!” and no one can blame us honestly, we are teens full of wild dreams and we cannot achieve any of them.

So yes we all would want to get the hell out of there, it’s the only way we could be ourselves with no one judging us, with all the potential to do what we want, whether it was a better education or a better life or a better self.

So we start planning for that, for the moment we leave this cursed country. This country that brings us nothing but misery, this country that does not understand us, does not understand our needs, our dreams, our passion.

Some managed to do that and some did not. I happened to be one of the people who did.

All I’ve been doing ever since is confute all my opinions on Libya. I have not yet become that person who cries saying “I wanna go back and smell the sand of my dear country!” (honestly i don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon) but as cliché as this may sound, I miss many stuff that I did not even pay attention to when I was there. It started with the simplest of things like food (duh) (okay I’m a bit ashamed I put food before my parents and friends) but I miss the Libyan food! I miss homemade food in general but oh do I miss that ‘Tabahej’ dish or that ‘Couscous’ or ‘Bazeen’ on that fine Friday! I even started liking food I never ate before like ‘Bseesah’ that nowadays I steal from my Tunisian roommate every morning. I miss those 3AM nights where the family decides to make ‘Aseeda’!

Family. Something I miss dearly. And I don’t just mean my parents and siblings but the extended family and their gathering nights. Weird; because I never was the social person, I used to hate meeting with family relatives and always avoided it. But I miss the Libyan rituals of kindness and family/neighbour love; I surprisingly even miss the weddings! Me -a person who passionately detested weddings and probably is the Libyan Guinness winner of least weddings to ever go to- actually sincerely misses weddings. I don’t know what it is about those things that seemed so normal when I was living in Libya, now have a much higher value. I miss my friends and how we spend months arranging that one meet up somewhere (shout out to the boyfriends) and only half of us end up showing at the end. I miss the old city and its mesmerising streets that I never really valued until recent years. I can go on about many things that I miss deeply that meant almost nothing to me back there, that if I heard someone say they missed them I’d look at them with a perplexed face and ask them what do you see in those things?

Honestly I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I do see something in them, something warm and familiar that I long to feel again.

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Arch of Marcus Aurelius – Old City
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