Friday, August 31, 2012

My passion for artsy stuff and logo design in particular!

My passion for artsy stuff and logo design in particular!

The other day I checked the website and found two adds in the announcements section for logo design competitions. Ever since the Libyan revolution a lot of the governmental institutions both old and newly established ones started getting what I'd like to call the new look treatments which included in most cases a new logo! I participated in the one they had for the ministry of education but that was a while ago and until now no news of the new logo or the winner of the competition. Lets hope the Civil Aviation Authority Libya and the National Council of Civil Liberties and Human Rights Libya will do a better job!

I have to say that I hate the fact that most logos here are overly worked and have nothing memorable about them as a result. I have to admit I love simple, clean and memorable logos. They should be memorable and having a whole lot of stuff going on in whats supposed to be a logo doesn't help with that. I also love the incorporation of arabic calligraphy or text into a modern day logo. Of course with my beginner level Adobe Illustrator skills I still haven't dared try my hand at that. I already have two places in mind though that can make use of my humble logo making skills. See what I can come up with for them.

Anyways, this whole logo design competition business got me online searching for the best and the worst of logos. I especially like the human rights logo below:

The other logo I found in the best logos of 2010 (a blog site that had a whole bunch of the best of logos). I don't know for some reason the round shape full of letters and alphabets has an Islamic design feel to it and since this is a logo for some kind of research I love the connotation made.

Maybe next time I'll try posting some the logos I've designed myself. Some of which had some really good potential.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Teaching English in Libya!!!

I've always loved teaching and have always been equally passionate about it. I am a social person and enjoy the kind of interaction especially involved in a teaching/classroom setting. And while I am a chemistry major by schooling with a bachelors of science what I enjoyed most in my four years and a half  of studying  were the teaching assistant hours spent in the General Chemistry course labs! I mean no, not the actual experiments nor the actual research done but the mere teaching experience itself. I was lucky enough to land the job of being a chemistry teaching assistant for first year students at my college for two years while studying to earn my degree. 

Upon graduating I worked as a private English tutor along with my part time job as a business consultant. Funny how both of my jobs at that time had nothing to do with my actual education lol. But I quickly found out it wasn't those specific things you learn that helped  you but the skills you achieved over that long period of time while studying. The other funny thing is what started with tutoring our neighbor's little son and daughter in our house living room turned to a class size number of students wanting to be tutored!  I was tutoring 17 students in less than two months of starting.  There was so much demand I was drowning. I wanted to quit my job as consultant and focus on tutoring which I was enjoying so much but my boss then made me an offer instead. I was to give them (the company I was working for as a consultant) a certain percentage of commission and they would provide me with a place for tutoring ( a small school basically) and transportation for myself and my students. Of course I couldn't accept the offer as I was soon to come to Libya and start a new life here.

Now after being married and living here in Libya for over two years and my little boy is slowly growing up (I can't believe he's gonna be two in just five months mashallah!) I am starting to think about my past endeavors. I am seriously thinking of teaching English as a foreign language here in Libya. I regret the fact that I didn't take a CELTA course while back in the gulf. An online search didn't yield any such courses being offered here in Libya. I wonder where I can get a TESOL or CELTA or TEFL  certificate for that matter here? And would I have to get out of the country in order to get one? Please dear viewers do enlighten me if you have any information with regards to teaching English (EFL) here in Libya.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our deen...

I think this photo is worth a thousand words...literally that is! Absolutely love it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Simple sweet Debla!

Today I made debla for the second time after taking its recipe from my sister during the first days of Ramandan. And again it turned out just as wonderful as it did the first time. Crisp, light and sweet!

I've always be drawn to debla recipes but I'm immediately put down when I see how they all involve complex shape forming or rolling dough around the fork or your fingers in some not to mention to the long ingredients list. I even tried the Moroccan shabakeyia. I love its taste when presented to me ready made. Making it myself however hasn't been such a pleasure! Nonetheless, even a quick online search for debla recipes proved useless. The simple easy yet tasty debla recipe was in my own sister's hands.

Below are photos of today's debla in its simplistic shape: a bow! And the recipe is even simpler with only 3 ingredients. The availability of pasta making machine is a bonus but not a necessity. Rolling the dough out thinly with a rolling pin after it has rested for 30 minutes or so is no sweating business. Neither is cutting it into rectangular shapes and firmly pressing or folding them in the middle to voila a bow shape! And lets not talk about how good it tastes because nothing does that better than giving it a try yourself.

Here's the recipe:

2 cups flour
pinch of salt (literally a small pinch of salt between your fingers)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water

Knead the above ingredients into a slightly hard ball. IF the dough is still floury (I am not sure if that's a word) but what i mean there are still remains of flour and you are having a hard time collecting the dough together add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp water and keep adding slowly equal tablespoons of both liquids until you can collect the dough into a slightly hard ball. The quality of flour determines how much oil and water are exactly needed. Leave the dough to rest covered well for 30 to 40 minutes.

After it has rested, divide the dough into two portions. Leaving one portion covered, work with the other portion rolling out the dough from the center outwards using a rolling pin until you have a thin semi-transparent sheet of dough. My counter-top is beige brown with a grayish/black marble effect. And I know the dough is thin enough when its slightly transparent showing the grayish black marks beneath it on the counter-top.

Cut the dough into rectangular shapes. I like them about 3cm by 6 cm in size. Then pinch the dough in the middle or fold it in the center to get a bow-like shape. Make sure you pinch firmly so the dough doesn't open up back to a rectangular shape in hot oil once you deep fry it. Having oil heated to medium heat will deep fry the debla in a few minutes. Once light golden drain on paper napkins to get rid of excess oil. Then stick them in sugar-water syrup (2 cups sugar, 1 cup water, juice of half lemon cooked until slightly thick) for a few seconds to coat them then take out drain of excess syrup and serve. One last tip, adding a bit of vanilla infused sugar to the the syrup just before use and after it has cooked gives the debla this amazing light vanilla taste (and smell for that matter)!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I've wanted to start blogging for a long time. And I even had a name in mind. I wanted it to be called 'silent spring'. I know I know. Its a name of a book I came across in an environmental chemistry course that was published sometime ago. But I fell in love with its paradoxical effect and the alliteration in it. Unfortunately though it was already taken and in a hurry to start blogging I settled for royalpurple2012. Its good enough for me I guess. I love writing and have been following quite a few bloggers whenever I get the chance! Wish me a good start into the blogging world!