Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Coffee and pizza a slice of life in troubled Libya  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 24/08/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) In corners of Tripoli unaffected by militia violence gripping the capital, Libyans sip espresso and eat pizza - defiantly, as the sound of gunfire echoes in the distance.

Since the fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, pizzerias and cafes have proliferated in the ex-Italian colony, which sits just across the Mediterranean Sea from its former ruler.

"I can't start the day without a coffee," declares Salem, clutching a Macchiato-like beverage as he sat with friends on the terrace of "Cafe Omar al-Mokhtar", named after Libya's anti-colonial hero.

But the retiree just pulled a face when asked about the worsening security situation in his country, where interim authorities have failed to establish order amid deadly fighting between rival militias.

Three years after Kadhafi's removal from power - and subsequent grisly death - Libya has slipped into anarchy, torn apart by clashes pitting nationalist fighters against Islamist-linked militants.

Thousands have been displaced nationwide, and the violence has made parts of the capital Tripoli no-go areas - the airport among them, where intense clashes have been taking place in recent days.

But in the peaceful areas of the city, the coffee trade is booming as young Libyans open new cafes and foreign businesses arrive, trying to capitalise on the post-Kadhafi era.

- 'Best coffee in town' -

At a coffee shop on a main thoroughfare, a sign proclaims "The best coffee in town". The cafe is open 24 hours a day so Libyans can enjoy their fix around the clock.

Until the Italians arrived, the inhabitants of Libya were known as tea drinkers. Now coffee is an integral part of their everyday lives.

Kadhafi, whose reign began in 1969, did not welcome investment from abroad, but since his fall a large Italian coffee company has opened three cafes in Tripoli.

"It's exceptional," said the director Rashid, a Moroccan who quit working for a coffee company in Dubai before deciding to try his luck in Libya.

"Our customers come back every day," he enthused at the cafe, where every table was full and women were present - a rare sight in the country's male-dominated society.

Mohammed - a thirty-something - owns the "Adreyan Cafe", a small place on the waterfront which he says offers high-end coffee.

"I choose coffee with the utmost care," he said proudly, pointing to the golden bags of a famous Italian brand.

- Pizza, Libyan-style -

Residents of Tripoli, it seems, also can't get enough of one of Italy's famous other exports - pizza. But rather than seeking the pure Italian taste, many pizzerias adapt their recipes to suit local preferences, often avoiding particularly strong sauces.

At "Il Forno" and a handful of other pizzerias, however, they try to stick as close as possible to traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, although procuring good cheese can be a problem.

"My kids want it every day," said one Libyan, surrounded by his three children, all tucking into pizza at the restaurant in the city centre.

Ahmed, a pizza chef, said young people made up the majority of the clientele. Customers chatted and ate, seeming a million miles away from the gunfire tearing apart the south of Tripoli, where the airport is located.

Libyans' love of espresso, pizza and pasta, which they are also big consumers of, underline their ties with Italy.

But so does something else. Despite the dire security situation, Rome is one of the few Western countries still to have a diplomatic presence in Tripoli.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Oct 31 2014 - MC4-1 Rambowleros Zuhair Fayez 1 rule 10th KAMC Friendship GamesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) In keeping with tradition the Employee Social Club and Recreation Services of King Abdulaziz Medical City-Jeddah Western Region held its 10th KAMC Friendship Bowling Games at ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Guardians overcome Absar host team Maskan Arabia bounces backArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) RIYADH: JOEY JULATON SALEMPowerhouse Guardians (Diablo) got the better of equally talented Absar team 108-104 in a high-scoring game during the second week of action in the 2nd ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Majid rolls perfect 300 Gilas back-to-back Team of Week in FTBJ-ICBL eventArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) For the second time in three weeks in leagues organized by Filipino Tenpin Bowlers of Jeddah perfect 300 game found a new owner in Majid Aslani.Following the lead of Randy Mata ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Al Faisaliah captures Inter-Hotels crownArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Al Faisaliah coached by Francis Balanquit finished off Sheraton Riyadh Hotel & Towrs by winning Game 3 of the best-of-three championship series 75-72 in a pulsating contest ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Lahore Lions win thriller against KFSHArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) RIYADH: Lahore Lions scored a thrilling six-wicket win over King Faisal Specialist Hospital in a seventh round match of the American Express Twenty20 cricket tournament organized ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Desert Warriors goes down fighting to ARM Afroz slams ton for TamerArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) JEDDAH: Desert Warriors went down fighting to ARM by six runs in the Ace Travel Premier League division morning session week-seven match organized by the Jeddah Cricket ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Amman accuses Israel of 'state terrorism' in JerusalemArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) AMMAN: Jordan on Thursday accused Israel of 'state terrorism' after it closed Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound the third holiest site in Islam.Israel said its ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Most erring doctors have master's Ph.D. degreesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A whopping 70 percent of medical practitioners who have committed medical errors over the last five years hold master's and doctoral degrees local media said quoting a report ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Energy efficient appliances and insulated houses can save powerArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Uninsulated buildings cars and industrial activity consume 90 percent of the energy produced in Saudi Arabia an expert from the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) said ...

 Oct 31 2014 - Saudi- Conference encourages media voluntarismArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A media volunteer group held its second media volunteers conference on Wednesday night at the Dar Al-Uloom University's auditorium in the Saudi capital.'This conference aims to ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help