Forget the stories you may have heard of little sisters and their insatiable appetite for hair-pulling brawls.  Or teenage dramatics that are supposed to be melded together with shared rooms and shared ... errrrr ... "borrowed sans permission" clothing. Let's throw into that unholy mix the presumption of fiery arguments over shared bathroom time that echo the theatrics of a showdown at high noon.

Never happened. Nope. Sorry. Not to me.

To me, having a sister is pretty much the best thing EVER — she's basically a built-in best friend that gets to live with you all the time (well until adulthood is forced upon us ... sigh ... ya hassra)! You can laugh together and at each other, and debate the most contentious issues with no hard feelings. AND BEST OF ALL, no matter how annoying you can be, she’s stuck with you for life!

Here are 5 reasons why my Libyan sister will always be my BFF for life.*

Disclaimer: Not claiming exclusivity to this list ... It might apply to you, Libyan and non-Libyan alike.  In fact, I hope it does!

1. Unwavering loyalty


Picture this scene: a prisoner in a Stalin gulag taunting his torturer to do his worst because he'll never squeal. Now times it by 10. 100. THAT is her. If you think I'm exaggerating (yes of course I am, I'm Libyan-it's what we do.  Shhhhh ...), you have obviously never felt the full brunt of a Libyan Baba's tefnees. Al tefnees is simultaneously the most soul-penetrating and most soul-searing stare that has ever existed on this Earth.

2. Brutal honesty

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You're human. And some days you don’t want to woman up and swallow the bitter pill of reality without a spoonful of sugar. That means your BFF Libyan sister sometimes has to grab it out of your hands and shove it down your gullet, right past your gag reflex. Unapologetically.

3. She's the Mr. Miyagi to your Daniel-san.

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We are all major box office stars in this independently produced film we call real life. I wish (like really, really, REALLY wish) life was an uninterrupted movie reel, resplendent with rainbows, unicorns, and gum drops. Or a ‘Care Bears’ marathon. In fact, I'd even settle for having the self-effacing, wisdom-dropping of "Karate Kid" on repeat. But it isn’t.

And because it isn’t, we need a jolt of perspective, by the can.  Or the gallon.  Sometimes, even by the barrel(s).  That's where your Libyan sister, aka the czar of keepin' it real, comes in.  She's the discordant voice of CAN, rising in crescendo, when the world converges into a choir belting out CAN’T.  She's your navigator; constantly pushing you past your self-imposed limits and pulling you back one step before the precipice.  Well...occasionally she's a second too late.  But she's always there to help you to your feet.

4. Partner in Crime.


We all like to break a few rules from time to time. After all, where would the fun in life be without that?  Your Libyan sister is down for whatever genius adventure you two manage to devise, even if it’s just to get food at 2 a.m. to satisfy your late night hunger.

5. Unconditional Love.


Sisters by blood. Best friends by choice.