A Broad Church


           We met over the reception of our hospital, and then he gave me a beautiful gift- a view into the Tripoli of the 1990s before the days of the embargo and then the following times. Before the informal –Tripoli Reading Group- met in the Grand Hotel for a coffee some more experienced members of the community helped sketch some pictures of the aspirations and issues of the community.




  A Broad Church-The flooring of a Byzantine time Church in Eastern Libya.

Seeing the tiles and mosaics of many centuries ago makes one reflect on the

different mosaics of life of expatriate communities. Some seniors helped me map these journeys….


            Walking through the St.George Church of Medina and seeing first hand the Greek Orthodox tradition , their chants and hymns was a life-changing experience. When the church was renovated I saw Indian workers carrying out the tasks. I recorded some of these in my diaries. The community of expatriate workers is a broad church with workers from different continents coming and building a new life over here. The different issues faced in different stages and phases of life as seen through the prism of an expatriate worker without any formal government or corporate support were a learning experience.


Together- Developing perspectives,mapping journeys

The journey of Jeevan from Karnataka makes me recall a journey of one “Bomma” whose story is written and traced by Amitav Ghosh in his book “In an Antique Land”. In an in depth anthropological study, Ghosh traced the journey of the worker-slave ‘Bomma’ around a thousand years ago. Through his different researches, Ghosh surmises that this person was probably from what is modern day Tunisia, he lived and worked in Egypt before going to the Western India via Aden. He lived in what would be modern day Karnataka, and had a successful and influential relation with his employer and would do trade-journeys for him to Aden.


We, workers from the Indian subcontinent, have done a reverse journey of sorts, and live in North Africa having trained and gained initial work experience in India. Given the different professional, managerial attitudes of private organizers, we have refined our approach and realized over the years that –Together, we can map out a better journey


For a more detailed version see this blog




            “The drafting of the constitution of the Indian school was done in the house of a person who worked in the Man-Made River project and had training as a lawyer” the veterans sketched a picture of the Tripoli of the 1970s when the community efforts crystallized around a school. These nuances come through our weekly walks at Abositta Ferasiya and the many discussions we had. In 2013 when one saw the brave efforts of some community organizers to re-build the school, one can trace the links with similar efforts around 40 years ago.

            We met over the reception of our hospital, and then he gave me a beautiful gift- a view into the Tripoli of the 1990s before the days of the embargo and then the following times.


            Maintaining a community diary can be a great way to enrich one’s perspective. In these journeys I was helped by seniors who helped map many journeys, told about the constitutions and buildings where they prayed, their children studied and where they went to put their papers in order for the yearly “Akama”.(Visa)


Part of the 500 words a day challenge by writer blogger-Jeff Goins.
For a regular diarist the interesting thing will be being selective


About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal : gracereadings.com
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1 Response to A Broad Church

  1. Pingback: Readings in a forest | Prashantbhatt's Weblog

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