Archive for the ‘ocs’ Category


Posted: October 3, 2007 in memory lane, mi vida loca, ocs

The once defunct OCS libya website is now up and running, thanks to Cindy McIlquham Burke for messaging @ posting me the news.

So, guys, all you have to do is type this addy:


Memories … for Romana

Posted: August 9, 2007 in Libya, memory lane, ocs

What’s left with me are only memories, the objects can no longer be seen or found. Most have disappeared with time and travels. What’s left are only the vivid scenes in my mind and heart. How I dream to turn back time and gather all my belongings which I may have discarded on my journey home. Life taken for granted, thinking one will come back one day, how ungrateful one can be!

Memories … what’s left of it …


Where art thou?

Posted: March 10, 2007 in Libya, memory lane, mi vida loca, ocs

The OCS Alumni web page is currently unaccessible due to some unforeseen reasons, it has been difficult for us to stay & keep in touch with the rest of the Alumni. The last news or message I’ve heard was from Reem Ben Halim aka Ocsgal. Reem, I’ve replied to your message, hope you’ll have a nice trip back to Libya. Do remember to snap a lot of pics of the school and Tripoli if or when you have the time. Plus if you do meet up with any of our friends or ex-teachers, do send them my regards.

What about the rest?

  • Üner – he is lecturing in Greece
  • Lana, Ban, Erin, Dimple Shah – in the UK
  • Arvind & Parisa are in the States
  • Timur – in Egypt
  • Asim – back in Pakistan
  • David – in Sweden
  • Yakub – Turkey
  • Cristina – Switzerland
  • Omar, Sheba – Canada
  • Dong Young – Korea?
  • Reem – Norway
  • Evelyna & Turis – Malaysia


Ferial, Claire, Sevgi, Miroslav, Mikko, Hana Hilal, Hana Nafati, Ursula, Aeysha, Riham, Awet.

We’ve missed:

Elena Gent – You will always be remembered.

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Posted: September 29, 2006 in culture, Libya, memory lane, mi vida loca, ocs, ramadan

Looking at my little cousin breaking fast reminds me of myself at her age or maybe a few years older. Kids these days have been trained to fast since the tender age of 5 or 6. Some would fast for half a day for a few days or weeks, it all depends. Some would fast the whole day. I for one, didn’t start fasting till I was about 7 @ 8, I guess. It was a very difficult start for me. I was a very sick & weak child, I had to endure such pains for days. I had childhood asthma and upset stomach. So, most of my primary years I would fast for half a day.

I remember fasting during the summer of 86. It was my first year studying at OCS. School was on, so were our PE classes. I could recall our coach teaching us about baseball. Imagine playing on sand under the hot summer sun. We were asked to bat while our friends would take our place to run to the bases. I insisted on running. Coach was surprised but I managed to convince him that I would not faint and he does not need to worry about me. Well, I ran a few rounds, didn’t faint as no one knew that once I reach home I’ll have my lunch! ;P I cheated!

In the evening, mom and dad would go to the market, I would tag along, we would buy fruits like tangarine, fresh dates, figs, watermelon, honeydew and/or grapes. Whatever is available. We would break our fast with dates and milk or mineral water. we then proceed with the main dish wish consist of rice and home cooked dishes. In fact, we’ve experienced breaking fast in total darkness.

A little bit of History

Posted: April 8, 2006 in Libya, memory lane, ocs

I have no idea who wrote this, but I found it at the web site. Here is some information about OCS.

The Martyrs School (formerly Oil Companies School) is located three miles west of Tripoli. The school was originally designed to meet the educational needs of the major oil companies in Tripoli. However, in recent years, the school has been opened to expatriates not affiliated with the oil industry. The school was founded in 1958 and offers an American-style, coeducational education from pre-kindergarten to tenth grade. Arabic and French are taught as foreign languages.

Situated on a five-acre campus, the Martyrs School consists of 11 buildings, 47 classrooms, a 14,000 volume library, 2 science labs, a computer lab, auditorium, infirmary, gymnasium, and tennis courts. Students are grouped according to their abilities, with an accelerated study program available for gifted students. The school year lasts from September to June.

In addition to its traditional curriculum, the Martyrs School offers an extracurricular program that includes gymnastics, computers, yearbook, school newspaper, field trips, drama, student council, soccer, tennis, floor hockey, basketball, softball, volleyball, and numerous social clubs. The school’s mailing address is P.O. Box 860, Tripoli, S.P.L.A.J. (Libya).

additional info:

The International School of Martyrs (ISM), Tripoli:

This school, established in 1958, was originally named the Oil Companies School, it then became the College of US Aggression Martyrs (CUSAM – commonly known as the American School) in the 1970s and finally became the International School of Martyrs. It is occasionally referred to as the American School of Tripoli.
The ISM is now owned by the Libyan government. The school used to follow the US curriculum, but was forced to move away from this under sanctions. The school has since followed the Canadian and now the Irish curriculum in an attempt to circumvent government legislation and offer students a qualification in English. The Irish Leaving Certificate is taken by many students, but IGCSE and A-levels are also now studied here. There are a number of British/European teachers employed at this schools – a fact reflected in the high fees. The average fee is 5000LD per annum – making this the most expensive school in Tripoli.


Posted: November 23, 2005 in culture, Globe Trekker, Libya, memory lane, ocs, Snaps

More Libyan pictures (1986-88)

Oil Companies School, Tripoli, Libya

Posted: November 23, 2005 in memory lane, ocs

School’s Open Day


Parents waiting patiently at the the school’s corridor

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In the school gym, all students are to dress in their national costume.

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Preparing for school performance

Posted: November 23, 2005 in Libya, memory lane, ocs, Snaps

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Forty-five students at the International School in Tripoli, Libya, will sit the Leaving Certificate this June. Under the desert sun, they will apply themselves to the very same papers as the 60,000 or so youngsters who will take the exams here in Ireland.

The ISM international school was founded in 1958 for expatriate pupils whose parents work in the oil business, medical field and the diplomatic community. When the school expanded to include older students in 1995, school officials opted for the Irish Leaving Certificate as the best final examination for their multi-ethnic student population.

“We have students from 52 countries studying at our school,” said Donna McPhee, principal of the International School.

“The Irish Leaving Certificate programme offered us the kind of academic standard and subject spread that we were looking for. As a Canadian myself, I consider the Irish secondary education curriculum to be far superior to the Canadian, US or UK models.”

McPhee contends that the Irish exam system maintains rigorous academic standards and serves stronger students well.

Tripoli is the only location outside the Irish state where the Leaving Cert is held on an annual basis, and the school is charged with complying with the same rules and regulations as Irish schools, with some compromises. For example, students are allowed to take Arabic instead of Irish.

The 45 candidates in Tripoli will take their papers at exactly the same time as their Irish counterparts and completed exam scripts will be returned to the State Examinations Commission in Athlone for marking.

Ms McPhee says parents and students are happy with the programme. “We get no complaints and very few requests for papers to be rechecked.” (The Irish Times)

ISM was formerly known as Oil Companies School (k-9) back in the 80’s. After the American bombing, the school was renamed as CUSAM & have recently renamed the school to ISM. The syllabus used were based on the American curriculum. While I was there, I was surprised when I flip through my Social Studies text book and see pages covered with black inks. We are not to read anything about Zionism, Judaism & Jews. But I remember learning about the greek myths, Roman empire, Mesopotamia etc. My time there have actually changed me & moulded me into the person I am today.