Interesting fact from the Libyan herald
While preparing all our wedding documents beginning this year we were quite shocked when hearing that the German embassy in Tripoli closed.
Fortunately we had all stamps and legalizations we needed shortly before.
Now it’s even more interesting to find the article below, explaining that the German embassy never closed down all work in Libya but instead just moved to another building.
And how were the “wrong” news spread?
Read it below 🙂
German embassy working as normal explains new ambassador
Tripoli, 23 September 2013:
Despite reports to the contrary, the German embassy is open and working normally, the new German ambassador, Christian Much, has stressed.
“We’re busy, dealing with commercial, cultural, academic and many other matters such as de-mining and visits,” Much said today.
The embassy had closed its building in central Tripoli at the end of April because of security concerns following the attack on the French embassy and moved operations to Palm City in Janzour. However, the change of location was not noted by numerous Libyan organisations and the belief spread that the embassy itself had completely shut down – a belief reinforced when the Prime Minister said on 28 April Libya was at risk of frightening embassies away and that it would make it more difficult for Libyans to obtain Schengen visas.In his statement, he mentioned that the German embassy had closed. He meant merely the building but others, including Libya officials, thought that the Germans had packed their bags and left.
Another of the reasons for the mistaken view was that as a result of the move, Germany stopped issuing Schengen visas in Tripoli.
That has now changed, the ambassador noted today. Visas are gradually starting to be issued again in Tripoli. The embassy was looking at organising the visa section by using a visa service, similar to what some other embassies are doing, which would help people to fill in their forms and submit the applications, he added. A full visa service would be up and running well before the end of the year, he said.
Much also indicated that once he had presented his credential to the President of Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, he would be looking to increase Germany’s profile in Libya.
Read more: libyaherald
Am I on Facebook?
Sure I am as several others, or let me say I hardly know persons who aren’t.
Why is Facebook not showing up on my blog then?
I mean, I’m just writing about it but there is no possibility to follow me on Facebook.
You want the truth?
My Facebook is my private fun.
A network where I’m connected with friends, family members and colleagues and it was hard to separate them into groups with restricted views on my profile.
I’m not shy or prude but I don’t believe that my colleagues need to have access to my latest holiday pics or need to know where I was exactly at which time where on the other hand my friends are allowed to see it.
I’m happy when friends just pop up in the same location as they have seen my status on Facebook. It’s also a nice way to stay in touch with friends or family spread all over the world.
Even now when I’m in the situation that the whole family of my husband is living in Libya I love to have a network like this.
Just yesterday my husband became a proud uncle of a little girl for the first time and the cutie was shown in our private family circle.
You see, this is internal stuff for myself on Facebook and that’s why I haven’t linked it to this blog.
My plan for the future is to have a public Miss Faith profile.
But this needs to be set up in a professional way and I honestly didn’t found the time yet to start working it out. Stay tuned, as soon as its online I will let you know for sure!
Now back to the private account.
What I recently discovered is that Facebook is asking its members directly how they feel, what they think or where they are.
Does they mean they care – I would rather say they want even more information from users.
Some are serving them well already nowadays or would you put in your status that you are just on your way to hospital for giving birth?
Not me, that’s a no-go from my point of view. Even if we are all and everywhere online and connected there should still remain some privacy.
As Facebook isn’t that easy to handle in regards to privacy I just post stuff where I would have no problem if strangers may see it. Means not posting almost naked pictures or status updates which carry my deepest emotions. Break ups are often posted and what for? Should my friends be sorry for me or back bite my then ex-boyfriend? If I want to share these stories with a good friend I pick up the phone and dial his or her number.
Preferred by me are updates like favorite songs, favorite quotes, some funny pics from time to time or congrats to whatever. I can show my new bought couch to my family who is not living directly around the corner or send my husband snowy pictures from Germany to Libya.
What are your favorite status updates and what would you never write on a social network page?
Let me know your “random” thoughts.
Yours Miss Faith
P.S.: the pic is my status on New Year’s Day 😉
The last weeks together in Munich we were painting my living room and made it more cosy for the two of us to enjoy every minute. My flat is now our flat, I emptied one wardrobe for his clothes and his shoes have a place next to mine at the front door. The couch area has lots of pillows on the floor which we bought together as well as two small tables where we sat on the floor to watch movies, listening to music and having tea or coffee. A bit of an Arabic style which I love so much.
When I returned from the airport it was a bit mean as there are so many memories in the flat. Not mean in a negative way because I love to have him around even if he is not here physically but mean when it comes to things like stepping inside and looking at his shoes. It gives the feeling of he is still around but he is not sitting in the living room.
Strange for me as I was so used to live alone after so many years and now it feels so wrong. From time to time I’m opening his wardrobe to smell him and after a few days I put his bathroom stuff out of the closet and put it next to mine in front of the mirror. I want to have him around me whatever I’m doing. Maybe that’s childish behavior but who’s making the rules? I feel better and so it is right for me.
In the end it’s just a matter of time until we are together again enjoying all this. He flew back beginning of December and probably will be back from work and back in Germany beginning/mid of February. I just have to go past the Xmas period and as I will spent this time with my family time will run, what’s left then is the nice month of cold, grey January and we are back together. Until then we bother Skype daily if possible and raise the missing. And to be honest, missing is something which is keeping a relationship more than alive. I don’t say that I want it for the rest of my life but for the time being we have no other choice and are making the best of it.
What is more romantic than waiting at the airport looking at each person coming out at the arrival gate until a bright smile covers your face when you finally see the one you were looking for. This is a scene replayed in so many movies – we are living our own movie.
Faith is keeping us moving on!
What else happened during the past weeks?
There is so much to write about from the past weeks besides the engagement, the family visits and our islamic wedding that I don’t even know where to start.
Shortly after my love arrived from Libya he proposed to me and made me the happiest person ever. But after a proposal the planning starts and this is honestly not that easy. Two cultures, two countries, Europe and North Africa, Christian and Muslim, woohoo, lots to keep in mind and focus on. But some wise man one day said ‘love can handle everything’ so here we go on our journey to be finally husband and wife. For the legal part the first step was to ask just for informations about a wedding in Germany. To make it easy we choose the registry office in my birth town. It’s a small city and you don’t have to wait ages until they have a date for you but it quickly turned out that we have to check it in Munich as I’m officially registered there. The first sentence almost before the woman working there said hallo was – you have to pay before we start to review the fact sheet for a binational wedding. What a start, the first money already spent before we know anything. Next was that she was approaching my fiancé in German. And what a surprise, his German is not enough to consent to anything legal so even if he’s speaking clearly English and also is trusting my translations we have to bring a certified translator when we want to apply for the wedding. As if that’s not enough we got a full list of documents he has to bring translated and certified in Germany! It is not sufficient if the translation and certification was done in Libya and the German embassy there, no, we have to authorize a German agency. Sure we have because it is more expensive to do it here and my feeling is that the registry office is supporting local agencies but that’s just my thinking…
If we have all documents in place and applied for the wedding the documents will be checked at several departments. This hopefully won’t take too long as most documents will expire after six months, they cannot be older than that, otherwise we have to arrange again the whole paper stuff. If they agree within these 6 months, then the registry office in Munich will send everything to the small registry office of my home town and we can schedule a date with them.
This would be perfect as it is smaller, more intimate, located in a small park instead of a grey building and most important, we would have our families around. Belgium is not too far away from my parents, so his uncle could be there as well as my family.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will work without major problems and we soon are also legally husband and wife!
Keep the faith and never lose hope!
How is it to meet his family
After we spent lovely days with my family we moved on to meet part of his family in Belgium.
I was excited as he told me so many stories upfront about his uncle in Belgium who is married to a Belgian. How will it be? Will I be accepted and welcomed in the same way as he was? Many questions for me as there still is a difference as his uncle is older and Libyan, kind of a respectable person. Even if he’s living in Belgium for a long time and his daughters were raised there I knew also stories about him having problems with the western life style of his daughter.
I’m completely western, yes, I had contact with Arabic cultures but first of all they differ from country to country and second is that people are always acting in a way they can justify for themselves. So what to expect?
I expected nothing, I just assumed from his stories that we would at least go along in a friendly way for the coming days. My thesis always is that I have to meet persons first to see myself how they are and I didn’t changed it in this case. For his uncles wife I was pretty sure upfront that we will like each other and it turned out to be right. When we arrived his uncle was still working but his uncles wife welcomed me in the same loving way I’m used to from my family. We were very quickly talking about each and everything as if we knew each others already. When his uncle arrived home he was acting a bit like my father, greeting me but then watching me eating, moving, talking. During dinner he warmed up and started to ask me what I’m working, about my family, normal stuff. His wife told me later that evening that he likes me and that he’s entirely happy for his nephew that he found his second part. My fiancé told me the same when we went to sleep. Sleeping in one room but in single beds, the uncle is the older one and he’s making the rules in his house. It was ok for two nights even if I think it’s kind of funny. We are no teenagers anymore but we accepted it. The next day was separated in the morning. His uncle likes to go to a big fruit market nearby because he can taste all fruits there without buying them and its kind of a hobby for him to do it. In the end he’s always buying but I like how he behaves, the little boy in the old man is visible. My fiancé was there with him already and liked it too, also in him the child is present, which is great. So the men planned to go there and I had to choose if I want to join them or if I go with the uncles wife to another biological market to buy vegetables for dinner. I choose to join her for several reasons. It’s not that I’m a big fan of shopping for dinner but I wanted the men to be able to talk just for them and I also wanted to listen to stories from a woman’s point of view. The decision was good as we talked non stop and became well acquainted within just a few hours. I heard stories about how difficult it was raising daughters and how they managed it, the mother is always on the daughters side and even more if she’s born and raised in a western country, at least it was the case for them and I can imagine myself being similar if we may face the same discussions to be honest. Maybe even harsher, who knows. We are not there yet.
On the other hand she told me lots about Libya and how much she loves the country, they lived in tripoli for quite a while before moving back to Belgium when the daughters were in a school age as they wanted them to learn French as well as Arabic. Libya is present all over the house, pictures, paintings, books, jewellery, small tea plates, lots of stuff she bought during her travels to keep part of it with her in Belgium. Fascinating!
During lunch time the men returned and we had a quick lunch before his uncle wanted to show us Brussels and Waterloo. He drove fast not to miss a piece of what he planned and guided us through the centre of Brussels, quickly showing all the important places. It was really cute, he was showing me that he likes me in his style. Standing beside me for pictures and happily smiling all the time. He even bought the chocolate I wanted as gift for my parents, not letting us pay.
In Waterloo we were climbing up the felt thousands of stairs on the memorial although it was foggy and slightly raining, breathlessly reaching the top. He was opening up more and we had a coffee together afterwards before heading back. It was a great day!
After dinner at home my fiancé and me went out on the terrace and what we were watching then was again so lovely, his uncle went into the kitchen and started to put dishes and cups on the table to prepare it for breakfast. He’s doing it every night so that his wife doesn’t have to do in the morning. When she’s waking up the breakfast table is already prepared. So much about the MAN in the family, he’s caring and loving. Cutting fruits for all of us so that we get enough vitamins in winter to stay healthy, talking proudly about his grand child’s, that’s why I said in the beginning, never go preoccupied into something, discover yourself how someone is and mostly it’s the small things which matter so much.
The next day we were about to leave after breakfast and the most impressive gesture for me was that his uncle was holding my hand closely, squeezing it while telling me that he is glad we met each other and he hopes to see me soon again. That was the “yes” from his side.
Faithfully, Mrs. Faith!
How is it to introduce a fiancé to parents
Exciting! Totally exciting!
For me it was really as if I’m waiting for Xmas like a child, I was so curious on how it will be when we arrive at my parents house. Shortly after our engagement we started to drive to my parents. My fiancé was cool, he told me he’s curious to meet them and can’t wait to arrive there. But when we drove into the street where they live he became quiet. It’s a habit for me to push the horn of my car as soon as I park the car in front of the house so they know I’m there. When I did hit he sank deeper into his seat and told me he’s staying in the car and I should wake him up tomorrow morning. Haha, Mr.Cool was a bit afraid of the first meeting. But it wasn’t to be stopped as all, means my parents and my sister, were already stepping out of the front door to welcome us. Mom was hugging me tight, congratulating to our engagement and quickly on her way to close her arms around a shy man, standing behind me. I think he was really surprised from the look on his face but positively surprised. I hugged my dad but a dad has to be the major of the family, so he was just shaking hands with my fiancé. My sister was writing and joking with him on Facebook several times before but it differs if you are standing in front of each other and she wasn’t sure on what to as was he. They also were shaking hands shyly. The first part was done. But what then, how to communicate, it’s already not easy to find topics in the beginning when you don’t know each other but if you don’t even speak the same language it becomes more difficult. My sister talks English so we didn’t had a problem there but my parents never did and my dad didn’t even learn it at school. He had a few years Russian during his school time but that’s not very helpful. I translated simultaneously, how was the travel, did you like it in Munich, again congratulations to our engagement, how is the family, how is the weather in Libya, it must be hard to travel into winter when being in the desert before, small talk.
The first ice was broken and the men, means father and fiancé, started to take the luggage up to my old room. My old room which has been completely renovated before. Noooo, sure not because we were planning to visit, according to my mom it was needed nevertheless. But to be honest, just because my dad is watching TV there once in a while she wouldn’t have painted the whole room, placed decoration all over, some in shape of hearts. Whatever reason it was, it was lovely, cosy, welcoming and like a new room. When we started to unpack it was the first moment to recap how it was and he was overwhelmed from the loving and kind way he was welcomed into the family. I couldn’t stop smiling for the most of our stay as it really is the best what can happen if you see your loved ones going along that way.
Before dinner my mum brought champagne to have a cheers for our engagement. One bottle of dry champagne for her, one of half sweet for my sister and me and one alcohol free for my fiancé. This habit was completely new for him as it’s not common to say cheers with alcohol, even if it’s alcohol free “alcohol” in Libya.
I’m not the fan of drinking alcohol but I do it from time to time a glass when there’s a special occasion. But the other thing is that I made a compromise and promised to drink nothing in his presence. This has nothing to do with not being allowed or cutting my liberty, I just said for myself that I don’t want him to be bothered by the smell of alcohol when we are together. I don’t miss it as I never drink lots and he’s happy with this compromise. So the idea of champagne was lovely but kind of weird for him. I drank the one without alcohol as he does and we said cheers altogether. Besides, we didn’t forgot my dad but he does not like champagne so he lifted a bottle of beer, what should I say, German, haha.
My dad was still a bit suspicious and during dinner he was watching him like a detective. But when I was alone with my dad in the room I asked him if he’s “approving” my choice and he answered with a big and happy smile. I write approving in brackets as I’m surely don’t need an approval but to know that they like the new family member is important for me and gives me a good feeling. It’s much more easier than going against opinions or struggle because they don’t like each other. The coming days were running quickly but from day to day more convenient, my parents even started to talk English, a mixture of German and English and my fiancé put the words he knows in German into the conversations.
All in all it was a great time being there and realizing that everyone is happy is so precious.
My faith wasn’t disappointing me once again so please keep yours!
Buying engagement rings
Sealing the bond of life or at least entering the stage of planning it with an engagement is great!
If you ever have the feeling you found your soulmate, your second half, the one who’s fitting, who’s giving you the feeling of being the most precious person on earth, who’s loving you just the way you are, and if this person is asking you to marry him/her, do yourself a favor and say yes.
Beyond what you can imagine is the love which is growing in the second even if you would have thought before it can’t get more.
Being engaged is great, I love it and I’m proudly wearing my ring so that everyone can see I belong to someone special!
But buying rings was not as easy as I thought before. Sure, as a woman I had a picture in my mind of how it should look like but also a limit in regards to the price.
Tiffany has great stuff if you robbed a bank before but there must be something similar which is affordable without committing a crime.
I started to ask google because in the pre-Christmas season it’s not much fun to go window shopping in Munich. You cannot walk, you will be pushed in directions you never wanted by the crowd of people running for Christmas presents. The other thing was that we wanted to have as much quiet time for ourselves as possible for the duration of my fiancé’s stay in Germany. But what google has shown me was awful, trashy, glittery, immature, ugly, too kittenish or girlish.
I don’t want to wear a ring with hearts on it and colored imitation diamonds. Maybe a twelve year old is dreaming about it but not me as a grown woman. The next was that if they looked acceptable the only difference between the man and the woman was a small “stone” on the woman’s ring but I don’t want a male shape for mine neither a female shape for my fiancé’s ring. Maybe I have to clarify one thing, normally the engagement ring will be switched on the wedding day from the left hand to the right hand or as in Libya the other way round, from the right hand to the left hand. In our case we decided to have an engagement ring AND an extra wedding ring. The wedding ring can be pure with just a little stone but for the engagement I wanted something special.
Means I had to forget the pair couple offers. You will not find a pair where the ring for the woman has a special shape or form, they are all similar.
Fortunately my fiancé was already aware that I’m not the crowd follower, I wanted something unique and different. And who is making the rules? We, as I don’t want to be told by others what and where I have to wear a ring.
After I disagreed on almost all rings I found on the web we went to a tiny small jewellery shop and decided to buy silver rings, but not to choose them because the fit together, instead to choose what we like and what we want to wear.
Our rings are beautiful, for us, and we know what they mean to us, even if they may not fit together in someone’s opinion, we don’t care!
The most important thing is that we love them, gave them their meaning and are wearing them proudly.
They have names inside and the engagement date so they will always reflect this special day for us.
Keep the faith, once again, you can only be happy if you are doing what you like instead of pleasing others.
I haven’t been in here for quite a while as my fiancé was in Germany and we tried to catch every second to be together. The are so many ‘updates’ to write about and I have to sort it out during the next days. Time is running as always, he was just her and is now already back in Libya at work. Also the year is ending soon and this means lots to do until I can relax over the Xmas days.
There are only less than two weeks left until I go to my parents for the Xmas celebrations and visit my best friend for New Year’s Eve. Unbelievable how quick one year is over when you are happy.
Wen starting to write this I realize that I missed it but as the electrician will be ringing my bell really early tomorrow morning even now I have to hurry and catch some sleep.
Stay tuned as there will be lots of news I want to write about, how is it to introduce a fiancé to parents, how is it to meet his family, how to marry in a mosque, will a marriage in Germany be as possible as we thought, and we already thought that its not that easy, and so on.
Bye for now & keep the faith!
The Sound of War…
A few days ago I was as always talking over the web to my Libyan fiancé.
I am already used to hear gunshots in the background from time to time. And to say “being used to” is kind of weird. I fortunately grew up in a peaceful area and to hear gunshots is frightening me. But I was convinced that they are far away from his house and he is not affected, so I got calmer.
It started with gunshots but in an unusual way as instead of stopping after a few minutes it was getting more heavy and was followed by sounds I never heard before.
He explained that they shot now with weapons used against tanks. While I was sitting frightened in front of my iPad he tried to call some friends to find out what’s going on and to locate the area.
About five kilometers away from his house and all started with a fight about a car which left one dead. The family of the killed was then looking for revenge and it was getting worse and worse. I’m not even sure about the details exactly and if the national security was involved at some point or not, but that’s not the topic.
After three hours of permanent shootings the next stage were weapons normally used against planes – anti aircraft – and that was the time when I was more quiet than ever before. He was a bit nervous and not as relaxed as one could be when he survived war times. The “normal” heard gunshots aren’t frightening him anymore as he is able after the war to locate just from the sound if it’s near to him or not. But for me, honestly, this was a situation where I realized even more than before how dangerous human beings can be.
To hear gunshots at night from afar where your loved ones are is a real nightmare.
Libya fought so hard to get finally the so long served liberty, they suffered more than anyone without war experience can imagine, and now the newly gained liberty is still a mess and has almost the same sound as a war.
Peace should be silent, comfortable and not frightening, don’t they deserve to live peacefully now, after all these struggles?
And it’s not only that there are a few stupid guys going against each other, no, it’s affecting so many.
Has one of them ever thought about the persons who lost their loved ones, about children survived a traumatic time and still not finding rest, all the innocent out there who shiver at each shot and relive cruel memories?
And even me and I’m surely not the only one having a close relationship to Libya from an outside position. We are sitting here, in a calm and safe area, and we are frightened and hope each time that our loved ones will not be affected.
A feeling I never experienced before, being completely helpless, powerless.
Why are humans like this? They gained the power and they won against a cruel dictator but instead of trying to have a better life afterwards they abuse the weapons they got for selfish reasons. In the end they are not better than the one they fought before. I’m not a political person, I just try to use my normal human thinking. What must be in the minds of those who act so cruel? In the end it’s good that I cannot understand because it would mean I think the same way. But from a realistic point of view they bring even more sadness into the country, the families, the people instead of taking the first steps into a better future.
I hope to be able sooner than later to travel there because from what I’ve heard and read and seen on pictures it must be a wonderful country.
Keep the faith that it soon will be safe first for the people living there and second to all those who already love the country without having been there.
If you want to read a bit about the history of Libya I can recommend this:
What was it about. It was because I met my fiancé who’s not German. Even worse, he’s also not fitting into the European picture as he’s from the unknown continent Africa. Mystical stories about people there are in the heads of the common German or even in the heads of the common European. And for my story it’s even worse. Not only that he’s not European, he’s also a Muslim. All cliches existent, you can be sure I heard them already.
Where is he from? From Libya. Oh god, you will soon be sitting completely covered on a camel in the desert. Yes, that was exactly what I planned for my life was my answer. You can only reply in a sarcastic way to stupid comments like this.
But what I realized in myself was that each time I was asked about him I was already answering in a defensive way. Yes, he’s from Libya but he doesn’t want to marry me for a residence permit. Yes, he’s Muslim, but he’s open minded and it’s ok for him that I’m not religious at all. Yes, he has a big family in Libya but they will not influence him not to marry a non-muslim.
I saw myself acting like this and questioned myself. Why am I answering like this? Am I thinking the same way, are these my hidden fears? Definitely no. We talked hours over hours and are both completely aware that we led different lives up to now. I’m living on my own since years and was raised so freely. He was always close to his family and surrounded by them. As long as you are unmarried it’s normal to stay with your family whereas for me it was normal to leave when earning the first own money and to start a life on your own. Religion plays a big role in his life, which is even bigger as we are at the moment within the holy month of Ramadan. Whereas for me religion was present in an easy way from childhood into the teenage years and as adult I decided that Christianity is not my path and I signed out officially. So I am without any religion at all.
But, and this is what we realized very quickly, even if it seems so different from an outside position, we are not too different. My family is so close to me. We are not living together, not even in the same city, but if we don’t hear from each other like we are used to we feel incomplete. There are never more than two days without contact and news or changes or questions are discussed with my family before anyone else will know. And for the religious part, even if I don’t have one it doesn’t mean I’m unbelieving. I have values in my life, which I’m believing in, most of them already taught by my parents, who still are Christians, but I see them as values of life itself. Being honest, truthful, good to others, not cheating, not stealing, not lying, never harm anyone, don’t kill, don’t do something to others which you never want for yourself, and, and, and…
These are common values in life which also exist in each religion.
He met me like this, I found so many good things in different religions but I also found parts in them, where I cannot say that I agree on them. What I try is to live in the most valuable way I’m able too and to find inner peace with myself. Wherever this way leads to, I will see. And he is completely with me as he knows that I’m not worse than one with an official religion. You will find good and bad people everywhere, this is no proof.
He is him and me is me and we are happy that we found each other – so more more explanations why, how, when and where!
Maybe I write some day sitting on a camel, who knows…