Jenni Red

Jenni Red 

Je suis expatriée


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Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Ur opinion is important sur le forum Libya

libya2011 a écrit:

It is really nice to have you in Libya Jenni, was nice to read your sincere thoughts!

Thank you, Libya2011!!  I am very glad to be here!!  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Eating out sur le forum Tripoli

thefactorygirl a écrit:

In the old city close to Martyrs square there is Tripoli's restaurant. Fish soups, cous cous, grilled pumpikin and more!
We could arrange a dinner there. Ciao!

Hi Factory Girl - if you look further up this topic, you will see I already mentioned that restaurant...  ;-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Ur opinion is important sur le forum Libya

I have just moved back to Tripoli, Libya, two months ago, after having to be evacuated soon after the start of the revolution at the end of February 2011.  Before the war I had been living and working in Tripoli as a teacher, for 16 months.  I then had the privilege to be able to join a humanitarian group and take medical supplies into Benghazi during the war (in June 2011), and then I visited Tripoli last December/January, to celebrate with my Libyan friends, take stock of everything, try to recover all my things I had left behind, and discuss future possibilities.  I was invited to set up and then run a new language centre on the outskirts of Tripoli, as well as managing the English Dept of a small private Libyan school on the same premises.  It was to do this that I returned to Tripoli on 16 August. 

Before the war, Tripoli and all of Libya was in bondage, and you could feel the oppression in the air very strongly - in the streets, in the classroom, in the taxis, etc.  Nowhere could you speak freely, or say ANYTHING in criticism of the government or anyone of the "brother leader"'s family - and you werent even allowed to speak his name out loud, for fear someone would hear you and report you, and the next thing you would either be called in for a nice little "chat", or you would be escorted out of the country pretty sharply.  I discovered after the war that i myself had been under surveillance, simply because I had mostly Libyan friends - nothing more.  YET, I can honestly say it was the safest city I had ever lived in, and i could easily walk around alone, even late at night, without any concern that I would be attacked or worse.  I often said to friends and family outside Libya, that Tripoli was the safest city in the world - and WAY safer than my own country, South Africa!!  :-)  However, there was NO medical care to speak of, no road infrastructure, education was of an extremely low standard (and the main manual was the "Green Book", which was required reading and curriculum in all schools and universities), the police force and government was corrupt - and almost every taxi driver was working for the government as a spy!

(I am giving you this background so that you will know where I am coming from when I say what I am about to say.  :-) )

Now that I am back, I prefer to see the positive side of this revolution.  YES, there is still gunfire to be heard some nights (though this really IS getting fewer and fewer), YES the traffic is even more chaotic than ever, YES there is still corruption and bad/non existent medical care and no road infrastructure to speak of, and YES there are still the odd clashes in different parts of the country, as the people go about rounding up the die hard Gaddafi fanaticists, who insist on continuing the fight even though the man is dead.

BUT - the people are FREE - FREE - FREE - for the first time in 42 YEARS.  I wonder if those of us who have always enjoyed freedom, and a democracy of sorts, can ever really understand what it means to grow up NEVER knowing freedom?....And in fact NEVER having a democracy?....Because even before this awful regime came along, there was a king in Libya - and before him, the Italians...and so it goes on.  So NO Libyan living today has EVER known a democracy - and everyone under 42 has never been free!!!  We take our freedom SOOOO lightly, folks - and yet it is a valuable thing.  Something Libyans are only now beginning to taste.

So I am prepared to forgive the at times unruly behaviour demonstrated by some, as they try to figure out just what freedom means.  Most (even the passionate Tuwar, who fought so hard for freedom) do not have a clue what it really means - that with freedom comes responsibility.  This is like a pendulum - during the gaddafi era it swung completely one way - now it is completely swinging the other way, in reaction to just about everything he forced on the Libyan people.  I firmly believe (because I have made many many friends right across Libya) that the Libyan people are a good people at heart.  They were and are a friendly, hospitable people, extremely welcoming to foreigners (apart from the usual few you will always find in every nation!) - and have certainly always made me feel very welcome in their country.

Even now that I am back, although yes there are some incidents of rude and unfriendly behaviour (though I have personally NOT experienced this), this is NOT the norm, and I believe is due to the extremely dire and traumatic things experienced by most of Libyan society in the past 2 years.  I am trusting and I believe that as the revolution fades in memory, and people are slowly healed and re-integrated back into society, the true beautiful mosaic that is Libya will once again show itself. 

But it will take time.  Libya was ruled by a vicious dictator for 42 years.  That sort of evil brainwashing and oppression does NOT just disappear overnight (even among those who were AGAINST the regime), just because the perpetrator is dead and his minions have fled or are in jail.  It will take time for the Libyan people to heal completely, and for the basic infrastructure to be put in place - remember, the Libyans aren't starting from where they left off before the war (which was with nothing) - they are starting from BELOW zero - every single thing has had to be broken down and thrown out, in order to build a just and REALLY free society.  I believe it will take at least 5 to 10 years before we see the really positive effects of the revolution, and real change in the country.  I personally came here to help rebuild the country in any way i can, to help them along the road to democracy and true freedom.  I want to be part of that change, and part of the solution - NOT part of the problem.  Many Libyans know and understand that the real revolution didnt end on 23 October 2011 - the REAL revolution only STARTED then.  But many others dont realise this, and are impatient - as are the rest of the world, it seems.  Some Libyans (and some parts of the world) want everything to happen overnight, and get angry and argumentative when they see things changing only slowly - or not at all.

In the past, I also think many expats came here to make money out of the country and leave - they had no love for the counbtry or the people.  I think if we as guests in this nation come here with the right attitude, willing to make friends, learn from the people and the culture, and prepared to help them rebuild their country on THEIR terms - without telling them what to do - then we will be welcomed here with open arms and will not experience many problems - except for what should be expected in any country!!

I think in the past, we were spoilt in this country - in the sense of it being relatively crime-free.  Little did most people know at what price this country appeared crime-free.  Now that Libya is becoming more like the rest of the world (sad, but true!) we throw up our arms in horror and cry foul!!  When in fact, most of the petty theft that happens (bag-snatching, car theft, etc) - is nothing more nor less than what happens elsewhere!!  Before, people were just too scared to even consider doing this - but it doesnt mean everything was fine - just that people were controlled very strictly!!  Now, there is the natural reaction to a release of the pressure in a pressure cooker, as it were - and some steam - and violent pressure - has to be released.  It's normal.  Not nice, or acceptable - but normal. Shweia bi shweia, as they say here - step by step.

What about Tripoli now?...As a woman, I go about my daily business as before, I take taxis during the day and early evening when i want to go anywhere (on my own!).  I go shopping on my own during the day and early evening (i.e. until sunset - at the moment that is till 7pm).  Life here is pretty normal.

The main change for me is that now in the evening i dont go out on my own, but make sure I travel around with friends (preferably local male friends) - but apart from this change, we still do things in the evening as normal!  We go to restaurants (which are ALL now open again - including some new ones!!!  :-) ), we go shopping wherever we want, we walk around on martyrs' square with all the other Libyans (families, single men , single women and young girls), drinkling "Freedom Tea" and having the odd debate or watching some event, etc.  Life is (almost) back to normal - apart from the road blocks - which are now manned by official police and army - YES, in spite of what the newspapers (and some propaganda)say, there IS a real army in Libya now, with proper uniforms - and a proper police force, with official vehicles.  However, these forces are still quite small, so they DO get some of the militia to help them sometimes - but these guys have official permission to be there, and have badges and ID card identifying them as being official - and you are allowed (and expected) to ask them for their ID if they stop you needlessly.  Personally, i feel pretty safe seeing these men at the roadblocks, because at least this means the government is strying to bring some law and order back into the country.

And talking about law and order, think about this:  Which country in the WORLD (including my own!), if it had NO police and NO official military, and NO rule of law, would be as peaceful as Libya?....I KNOW that in my own country there would be complete anarchy if there was no police presence, etc!!  Yet Libya has OVERALL (I say overall because I KNOW that things are NOT all perfect yet) been extremely peaceful since the war ended.  So for me, there is hope.  I am VERY happy to be back here, and I dont plan to leave any time soon.  I definitely recommend Libya to those who want to make a positive difference, and who are willing to contribute in some way to this country's future stability, education, infrastructure, freedom and democracy.

PHEW!!  Sorry folks - that was quite lengthy - but hope it has helped some of you in some way.  Lets help to make Libya a really beautiful, fully functioning country.  Hope starts HERE, TODAY!!  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Expired Visa sur le forum Tripoli

MadAnnie a écrit:

I work with some people whose visa's have expired and the company say 'oh that is ok, not a problem'. Their visa's expired a month ago!

Also how long does it take to get residency these days as someone said today it is only taking 4 days.

Hi MadAnnie - I worked in Libya before the war, and came in on a multiple entry business visa.  After 6 months it expired.  my boss did not renew it, as he "knew someone" in immigration - and when the time came for me to leave on my holiday, he simply got this person to walk me through - passport stamped no problem,!!  LOOOL  A tad nerve wracking for me - but they were unperturbed.  Got a new visa in the UK while on my break - came in again no problem - and was evacuated at exactly the right time for me visa to be stamped legally!!  :-)  That's just my story - but there are many others like me.  Bottom line is - before the war (and it looks like after, as well) many bosses dont bother to renew the visa - they just used there connections to get ppl in and out when necessary.  It was never a problem then - hopefully not a problem now.

With regards to actual regulations for each visa:
1) Single Entry Business Visa: Usually valid for 1 month, can be renewed once inside the country for an extended stay - my friends recently did that and it was no problem.
2) Multiple Entry Business Visa: It is valid for 6 months - and you are supposed to leave the country every 2 months for a day or two, then come back in.  Visa should be stamped on departure and upon return.  Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need your boss' permission to leave the country on this visa - it is a requirement by law to do so!!  ;-)  But this is the visa bosses usually are lax about telling their employees how to keep it valid - cos it means that the employee leaves the country every few months - and they are petrified they wont come back!!  (LOOOL - thats my take on it, anyway!!  ;-) )
3) Residence permit.  If you are staying in the country for any length of time, then your boss SHOULD get you this visa once you are in the country.  it used to take anything from a few days to 3 months to get this one (:-( ) - but apparently only about a month now - and as has been said - it can take shorter, depending on your boss' connections.  This permit is great for being able to move freely within the country, and for opening bank accounts, etc - BUT you need a letter from your employer if you want to leave the country.  Can be a negative thing if you need to leave suddenly or have a bad relationship with your employer...but havent heard too many bad stories here....

Bottom line is - your friends shouldnt worry TOO much about expired visas - mine has also been expired now for 2 weeks, while my employer fiddles about getting my residence permit - and they keep saying "mish mushkela"!!  Have been through countless roadblocks - and so far have not even been asked for my passport, let alone the visa...

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Libya Nightlife sur le forum Libya

LOOOL - Scattered gunshots are the norm at the moment - but at least it IS better than when i was here in December.  Plus the military and police ARE finally beginning to have an effect on security.  Tho last night friends in Gargaresh reported TWO sets of gunshots - ONE came from a wedding - and one (the louder one!)  Came from a gunfight between security and a katiba that refuse to leave!!  Someone set off an RPG!!  :-/

HOWEVER - re: nightlife - there ARE good restaurants open again all over town - and it's perfectly safe to venture out at night - though as a woman I take care to go around with a few of my local (male) friends at night, to be on the safe side.  But for a guy I think it is totally ok to go on your own, even.  The restaurants and cafes are all open at least till 10pm - and a few until later.  Hay al Anadalus, Garageresh and SiyaHiya all have a good sprinkling - and the downtown area and the Medina do, as well.  PLUS - Meydan al Shuhada (Martyrs' Square) is a pretty "happening" place - especially on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays!  Families, young girls and women and men go strolling around and wander into the Medina souqs to buy things...

Just DONT expect "nightlife" as you would expect to see in the west!!  ;-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion How long does it take for Mail through Postal service? sur le forum Libya

Thanks for the extra info, Leptis - good to know!!  :-)

leptis2002 a écrit:

Hi all,

some people using Arabian company called ARAMEX located in Gargour area for parcels and they openning accounts with them .
DHL for documents and paper stuff because its expensive and you can trace the post route though the website

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion How long does it take for Mail through Postal service? sur le forum Libya

OH Trex - for SURE if thats where your box is then you can (and should) collect ALL your mail there - I was just talking about if you had a box at another smaller post office....  ;-) 

trex a écrit:

Thanks very much Jenni, a week to 10 days for an A4 letter sounds OK to me. I got scared for a minute when someone told me it could take upto 2-3 weeks for just an A4 letter to arrive in my box.

Now for collection should I not just go to that huge post office building can't remember the name of the place where it is but I can definitely drive to it. :)) I've got a key and my box is over there not sure how you can collect from any other post office?

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion How long does it take for Mail through Postal service? sur le forum Libya

Hi Trex - if it is a parcel will take about 2 weeks - but normal document or small package - about a week to 10 days.....

Not sure what procedure is now after the war - but before, any document (normal mail) or small package up to max A4 size would go to normal Post office and you could collect there - but any LARGE parcel/package - you would have to go the the main post office to collect it - and they would first have it opened by customs and checked for any "prohibited" items....  :-)

By the way - this time frame is ONLY for mail from the UK - as I have a daughter there who regularly esends me things.  But time frame will change depending on where mail is c0oming from, obviously - and if it was sent airmail or surface mail...  :-)

trex a écrit:

Hello Friends,

A friend of mine in the UK has just sent a mail via postal service to me in Libya. He sent it to my PO BOX here in Libya, how long does it take for it to arrive in my box?

Thanks in advance for the information.


Jenni Red a participé à la discussion 5 good reasons for living in Libya sur le forum Libya

Bizpuls as Aurelie has said - this is not the post or the forum to discuss jobs - please keep to the topic.  The only suggestion i can give to you is apply through the usual channels as most of us did.  I came originally though Libyan Investments...maybe try that?..I am sure if you google things like "jobs in Libya - you will find something.  But please stop asking in posts that are not related to your request, about jobs...  :-/  Thank you...  :-)

bizpuls a écrit:

Dear Jenni, I need guideline that how is the easiest way to come, I am a business graduate (MBA)having 12+years experience finance and HR in this connection how I can come?

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Getting together sur le forum Libya

LOOOL - Hilton - why does that bother you?....we will be better protected than most!!!  ;-) 

Hilton a écrit:

hi jenni i receive this message it is good idea to meet in Cornthia but as i know cornthia is full with amred soilders due to most of VIP staying there

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Eating out sur le forum Tripoli

I also was just introduced to a REALLY lovely Cafe/Restaurant in Gargaresh Road - just on the edge of Siya Hiya and gergaresh....called Veranda Cafe - it has just moved next door to where it was originally, and is now much bigger and better - and REALLY good coffee and cakes....  :-)

Another coffee shop that is fast becoming a favourite that I was just introduced to by a friend is Diplomacy Cafe near the Ministry of the Interior I think - close to the Radisson on the sea front.  Again, excellent coffee and cakes - and their burger is pretty good, too......  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Eating out sur le forum Tripoli

tarekuaee a écrit:

A lot of info for me in here guys can you till me what is the cost of meals in kook door?

Tarek - CookDoor no longer exists - its been taken over by Al Farouj (see the first post at top of page....  ;-)) - also fast food, but specialising in chicken - the decor hasnt changed much - and the food is as good if not better - and the staff friendlier and more helpful, especially when it comes to birthday parties!!  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Eating out sur le forum Tripoli

YES!!!  Thats the one!!!  :-D  Al Abiya.  My other favourite is the Al Attar - right next to Marcus Aurelius Arch.  Their speciality dish is "Al Jarra" - a kind of stew cooked in a pottery jar and then broken in front of you and poured into your dish...really superdelicious - and my favourite THERE is the baby camel!!  :-)  They also serve it with fish and mutton...superb - and the resident sax player is an added touch - and very romantic at night!!  :-)

m0j0working a écrit:

Jenni Red a écrit:

for a real Libyan restaurant - and if you like fish - go to the fish restaurant with the "blue table" in the medina al qedima!!  I can never remember the name - but they always put a little blue table outside the door to show that they are open - 3 course meal for around 8 dinar - its delicious!!  :-)

probably Abiya. simple menu but fresh. also the tripolis right in the middle of all the dive shops between marcus aurelius arch and casa caffe. i bit more expensive (i think) but bigger menu.

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Eating out sur le forum Tripoli

for a real Libyan restaurant - and if you like fish - go to the fish restaurant with the "blue table" in the medina al qedima!!  I can never remember the name - but they always put a little blue table outside the door to show that they are open - 3 course meal for around 8 dinar - its delicious!!  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Safety in Tripoli sur le forum Tripoli

I'm sorry Doug - but are you actually IN Libya right now?...Have you EVER lived in Libya?...Because your "path" and your comments appear as though you havent/dont....90% of my friends are Libyans actually living in both Tripoli and Benghazi - and some others dotted around the country as well.  As I am actually LIVING in Tripoli again, I get most of my information first hand, from them, and from other Libyans I am connected with on various forums via the internet.  So I do know what I am speaking about - as i get my info firsthand.  I never said that this is going to happen overnight - NOR do i recall actually saying that the government is made up of "democrats".  What I do know is that MOST Libyans do NOT want continued fighting, that they DO believe its now time to move forward, step by step (withOUT violence) - and that the REAL revolution (but this one a revolution of PEACE and of changing previous MINDESTS)is just beginning. I agree with mancunian - that it is going to be a slow process, but that it will happen - and it will be on Libyans' terms and NOT due to any outside forces.  The militias in Tripoli and Benghazi ALL handed over their weapons and left their barracks peacefully over the last few days, the roadblocks in Tripoli are calm and the men are polite yet authoritive - and so i have great hope for this country, that things ARE moving forward, people DONT want violence - and that one day there WILL be a fully democratic Libya - BUT on their terms and in their own way.  (There ARE many ways to form a democratic state, you know, not just one way....)  It will take time and is a process - but WILL happen.

...and YES in spite of what you say, there ARE still ex-G's and crazies and extremists - and also plenty who are STILL PRO-G - around!!  BUT these are definitely in the minority - and the bulk of the population is determined that they will NOT destroy what has been gained over the past 18 months.... :-) - hence the peaceful protests over the past few days against the attacks two weeks ago...

douglas1969 a écrit:

Jenni Red a écrit:

..they have shown that it most definitely IS the extremists who are trying to destabilise the country - AND that Benghazi as a whole most certainly does NOT want these extremist crazies ruling their lives..

You have very little understanding of what is really going in in Libya at present. Even I have very little understanding. The only people that understand it are the Libyans that are actually living in Libya and dealing with the aftermath of trying to rebuild the country. There are no ex-G's or crazies or extremists. It's plainly obvious that the division of power post the dictatorship has been done unequally and disproportionality favouring the self appointed government otherwise these militia would have put down their weapons and gone home long ago. A lot of people that put their lives on the line for a better future have gotten the shit end of the stick for doing so and you may want to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the real Libyans who fought to bring down the last dictatorship might be seeing the crumbs of a new one appearing and are trying not to allow it to happen again. Just because Western democratic governments are backing the current government does not mean in any way that the government in Tripoli is made up of "democrats"[1]. There are a great many other regiemes that the West backs in the arab world that are  anything but democratic and you as an expat in that region know that damn well.

1 - link

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Getting together sur le forum Libya

Hi Juan there is a new thread I have seen where the guys is already well into inviting people to get together - have you seen it?...if not - why dont you connect there - the guy arraning the get together goes by the name of Challenger...  :-)

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Safety in Tripoli sur le forum Tripoli

LOOOOL!!!  :lol:

cardinals1 a écrit:

Why cant we all just get along and agree to disagree. By the way, are there any good looking single women in Libya that like to fish?

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Safety in Tripoli sur le forum Tripoli

Doug I am afraid you have been anti just about everything from the start - 90% of what you say seems to be completely negative towards Libya.  It is you who have been flip-flopping between being against the Revolutionaries at first, and now against the rule of law.  Dont you realise that the Revolutionaries were not fighting just for the sake of fighting?...Thye were fighting a very corrupt government - and now that that government has been removed, they are focussing on rebuilding the country.  It is no longer the real revolutionaries who continue to fight - but pro-G's who cant accept that times have changed - and extremist groups who are trying to take their chance to take over in this transition phase.  Both groups are trying to destabilise the country and the new government - which IS trying their best to build a new Libya.

Well Doug - Benghazi came out yesterday and just overturned everything you said!!  They have shown that it most definitely IS the extremists who are trying to destabilise the country - AND that Benghazi as a whole most certainly does NOT want these extremist crazies ruling their lives - and that they DO want RULE OF LAW and PEACE!!  They will not stand for any sort of extremism in their midst - and came out in force to say so!!  My faith is in the Libyan people as a whole, as they work now to rebuild their country and move towards a democracy....GOOOO, BENGHAZI - and GOOOO, LIBYA!!  :-) … 293&type=1

Jenni Red a participé à la discussion 5 good reasons for living in Libya sur le forum Libya

Wow!!  looks like I am the first!  Let me give it a go:  :)

1) The people
2) The culture
3) The landscape
4) The architecture
5) The history / heritage

Hope that helps!!  :)  I wanted to say:

1) The people
2) The people
3) The people
4) The people
5) The people

Just to show what an amazing group of people Libyans are - but while Libya is MOSTLY about the people themselves - she is more than that!!  So I added my official "Top 5".....  :D

What other things make you want to live AND STAY  here?.... anyone?...  ;)


Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Safety in Tripoli sur le forum Tripoli

Hi Tarek - would def like to meet you AND GIS Girl in your restaurant - would be a blast!!  :-)

Doug - I echo what GIS Girl said to you - what made you so hating all of a sudden?...As GIS Girl said - I was answering a SPECIFIC question, not generalising.  The situation at Benghazi airport was a serious security situation - and the drones had government permission to come in and stop the guys from shooting wildly at CIVILIAN aircraft, which is why the no fly zone was briefly declared and then lifted the same day.

I am STILL strongly in support of the revolution and have not done ANY 180 degree turn, as you accuse me of - but I also know that all the REAL tuwar are now also fully supportive of the rule of law, and want this in place as soon as possible - it is no longer the Tuwar shooting into the air - the real tuwar are back at work and working on rebuilding Libya - just as I am.  it IS the few "crazies" who are now trying to destabilize this country and make it ungovernable.  The real Libyans dont want that.  They want Libya to move forward into a real freedom and democracy - and YES i agree with you it is going to take a while for that to happen (possibly 10-20 years, going by what happened in my own country, South Africa) - but we have to start somewhere - and everyone I have spoken to, believe that "somewhere" is in the area of safety and security...

Salaam to you - and to everyone else on this site!!  :-)


Jenni Red a participé à la discussion Safety in Tripoli sur le forum Tripoli

The air traffic control strike in Tripoli was over in less than 12 hours and Tripoli International Airport opened again - all flights were back to normal the same day.  In Benghazi - the no-fly zone was only in place for less than a day, to be able to get the drones flying in the air space to stop the crazies shooting at planes.  It was also sorted in less than a day and all flights back to normal again.  The Libya Herald is a very good English speaking newspaper reporting out of Tripoli - and usually has highly accurate and uptodate news, for those of you who are interested....  :-)

And by the way I am a foreigner who has been back in Tripoli for just over a month now, and most things in Tripoli are fine - I go out on my own during the day, and do shopping and business without any problems.  I take the precaution of going out with male friends at night, to be on the safe side - but it doesnt stop me from living a pretty normal life in Tripoli.  I am very glad to be back - and Libyans are mostly just as friendly and helpful now, as they were before the war!!  :-)

trex a écrit:

fatmakumru a écrit:

As of today Sunday 16th of september, does anyone know why passenger planes are not allowed to land at Libyan airports?
I don't mean to alarm anyone but am concerned as I heard that passenger planes had to return...

That was because the people working at the Air traffic control towers decided out of no where to go on a strike!!! Apparently, got to know they were demanding raise in salaries and other benefits.