What’s your typical day like?
Most of my day is spent writing papers, preparing projects, attending classes and studying for exams. Studying during quarantine is quite difficult — you barely have the energy to get tasks done — but studying while living in a war zone and being quarantined is an outrageous combination I would never want anyone to experience.
Libyans are used to leaving their houses whenever there is intense shelling nearby. Unfortunately, during the era of Covid-19, that is not the case.
How long have you lived in Tripoli?
My whole life until 2018, when I got to study at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. I visited Libya every summer and winter break, but during these extraordinary times and despite the ongoing conflict, I decided to go back home because I believe that home is a feeling, not only a place.
If this pandemic is going to be the end of the world, then I’d rather die in my hometown next to my family.
What are you seeing and hearing around you right now?
Living in Tripoli nowadays means hearing drones flying above your head most of the time. It means hearing projectiles falling around you. It means seeing and smelling smoke and polluted air when you open your window because of the places that get bombed.
And finally, it means putting your earphones on whenever there is intensive shelling, so you can forget about the reality a little.
That’s it for this briefing. Try not to be “corona-shamed.” See you next time.
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about a Times journalist who was recently expelled from China.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Team building? (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Apoorva Mandavilli, who has master’s degrees in journalism and biochemistry and has been helping The Times cover the coronavirus pandemic, is joining The Times full-time as a science writer.