Tuesday, December 27, 2011


to be continued in the nearest future

Thursday, May 27, 2010

shinas street lights

I had made a post complaining about the attack by unlicensed hooligan drivers of 2-wheelers attacking foreigner. I was a victim of one such attack, from which luckily I escaped without injuries.


I had also made a complaint to the ROP. However, I am yet to hear from them.

After the complaint, I noticed that the electric lamp posts were removed in the 1-km long stretch. It was just a coincidence, though!

For a moment, I thought it was in response to my complaint. By removing the street lights, the light-less scooters will have no chance of survival : so I thought that this was the right move in the right direction.

But this move became a menace for pedestrians like me as the entire area is totally dark and none can walk without light in the night.

Worse still, they have now replaced the lamp posts, but with less no. of support bolts on the foundation! It is a big mistake! Already one lamp post has fallen down. As the post is very long, collapses can happen unless properly anchored.

Now there are two problems - the bike hooligans continue their merry making and the increased risk of ill-fixed electric poles on the street! I was wrong to assume that my original problem would be solved; only one more problem was added to it!




Sunday, April 18, 2010

Expat attacked in Shinas by bike hooligans

I was attacked on Friday evening by a bike hooligan by throwing a bottle at my neck. Every evening the speeding bikers with no registration and no insurance are a menace in the locality. I wonder if it is possible to alert the police higher ups and start police patrols to control the bikers. Also the ROP must consider making it mandatory to register any powered vehicle. Will someone take up the issue and alert the powerful people in government?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stolen Xterra Recovered!!!

It was recovered in less than 30 hours, using, of all things, Blogs and Twitter.


Special thanks to @yasserameer for finding the stolen car, and @Shweman retweeting my initial request. I can't tell you how grateful the people who own the car are to both of you. Great Job Guys!

Now please go out there and Find my missing 50" Panasonic flat screen TV!!!!!

Stolen Cars and Crazy Crime

Update: The Stolen Xterra was recovered thanks to an Alert Twitterer and blogger! Good Job guys!

The Crime here is getting ridiculous.

We have had at least seven break-ins in our small neighborhood alone, in the last three weeks. In the Last two months, 2 families with whom we are personally acquainted have had their cars stolen.

See Below for the forwarded email from some friends who have just had their new Exterra Nicked. Please keep your eyes peeled?

last night our house was broken into and the thief found a set of keys, and stole our 2009 Xterra Off Road. The truck has been modified by Tadmur Auto in Sharjah, with a custom skid plate, bigger tires, a lift and new suspension, so it is easy to spot.



Thank God the ROP are doing everything they can to reduce crime by hassling my housemaids and threatening arrest if they don't produce labor cards, and accusing any random Indian who has ever been in our house of robbery, simply on the Basis that they are Indian. The words that come to mind are unpublishable, even here.

Lock your doors guys, and keep your car keys somewhere safe.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dead Blogs

what is happening to blogging? Oman Community Blog and the UAE Community Blog are dead or breathing their last one, is it out of fashion to blog now? is everyone twittering only? or have all the blogging expats left the Gulf?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'Brave New Media' seminar on May 4 at Grand Hyatt Hotel

MUSCAT - The territory once dominated by broadcast TV and print media is being swallowed up by subscription-based narrowcast digital television and the Internet, says Knowledge Oasis Muscat's (KOM) Knowledge Oasis Muscat's (KOM) Mulkie Al Hashmi and organizer of KOM's quarterly Digital Nation seminar program. The changing global media landscape will be the topic of discussion at KOM's 4 May Digital Nation seminar scheduled to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. (more)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Omani Society fo Writers & Literati Seminar Seminar on Freedom of Speech and Responsibility


يسر الجمعية العمانية للكتّاب والأدباء دعوتكم لحضور ندوة (الكلمة .. بين فضاءات الحُرِّية وحدود المُساءلة) ..


الزمان: السبت والأحد 18/19 ابريل 2009م.
المكان: النادي الثقافي.
الوقت: السابعة مساءً.



اليوم الأول: الكتابة.. مضامين وإشكاليات (السبت – 18 من ابريل 2009م)

يدير الجلسة: الأستاذ سالم بن محمد المحروقي (رئيس مجلس إدارة النادي الثقافي، كاتب، وعضو الجمعية العمانية للكتاب والأدباء)
وتتناول الأوراق المندرجة تحت هذا العنوان الكتابة بأشكالها ومضامينها المختلفة سواء على مستوى الطرح الفكري المتنوع والمثير لإشكالات الرضى والسخط، أو على مستوى الصحافة والإعلام بأنواعها المكتوبة والمرئية، انتهاءً بمناقشة القوانين المحددة لهذا الجانب بالسلطنة.


م ------------ المحاضر ------ ---------المهنة -------- --------------------- عنوان الورقة
1 - د.صادق جواد سليمان – سفير سابق للسلطنة بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و رئيس مركز الحوار العربي بواشنطن (الحرية والمسؤولية.. أيهما يأتي أولاً؟)
2 - د.أنور بن محمد الروَّاس - كاتب ورئيس قسم الإعلام بجامعة السلطان قابوس (القائم بالاتصال بين المهنية والمسؤولية)
3 - د.محمد بن مبارك العريمي - كاتب وصحفي (حرية الكلمة.. الواقع والطموح)
4 - الصحفي محمد بن علي البلوشي –كاتب و نائب مدير التحرير بجريدة الشبيبة (هامش الحريات المتوفرة في الصحافة العمانية المكتوبة.. تجربتي وأمثلة)
5 - المحامي خليفة بن سيف الهنائي– محامي وقاضي متقاعد (ثيمة الحرية في القوانين العمانية)
6 - المحامية بسمة بنت مبارك الكيومي – محامية (قراءة في كل من قانون المطبوعات والنشر والمادة 61 من قانون الاتصالات)
7 - حلقة نقاش


اليوم الثاني: الكتابة في الفضاء المعلوماتي وحريتها بين المحدودية واللامحدودية (الأحد 19 من ابريل 2009م).

يدير الجلسة: د. عبدالعزيز بن محمد الفارسي (طبيب، وعضو الجمعية العمانية للكتاب والأدباء)

وتتعلق بحرية الكتابة بالمواقع الإلكترونية مُتضمنةً أهمية وجود منتديات تناقش القضايا الاجتماعية والسياسية، وجدوى هذا النقاش في إثراء الواقع المعاش، والارتقاء بالشفافية بين المواطن والمسئول، مع طرح أمثلة على ما عانته وتعانيه هذه المنتديات مع المؤسسات الرسمية بالسلطنة من جانب، ومع الكاتب من جانب آخر.. ودورها كوسيط بينهما.
كذلك استعراض تجربة كتابة المدونات الإلكترونية، ليلي ذلك طرحا للرؤية القانونية حول النشر الإلكتروني بشكل عام.


م ------------ المحاضر ----- ----------المهنة ----- ------------ -------- عنوان الورقة

1 - الفاضل سعيد بن ناصر الراشدي – صاحب موقع سبلة العرب (تجربتي مع سبلة العرب)
2 - الفاضل موسى بن عبدالله الفرعي – مديرعام موقع سبلة عمان ..(سبلة عمان قبل المادة (61) وما بعدها)
3 - د.زكريا بن خليفة المحرمي – كاتب ومدوّن (محراب الفراشة.. وتجربتي مع التدوين الإلكتروني)
4 - المحامي يعقوب بن محمد الحارثي - باحث قانوني ومدوِّن (قراءة في النصوص القانونية الناظمة للنشر الصحفي الإلكتروني)
5 - د. محمد أبو عرّام – محامي (النشر الإلكتروني في عمان.. بين تطلعات المثقف وحدود القانون) -
حلقة نقاش


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Seminar on Ali Mehdi's Poetry


A seminar will be held on the subject of Ali Mehdi's poetry. It will include a poetry recital and the launch of his posthumous book, In The Dimmest of Light.

Details:

Date: April 15th, 2009
Time: 1pm
Place: Majan College, Muscat Hall 1st floor Block B

Please try to make it, and spread the word among Ali's friends.

Update

There's another event taking place earlier organized by Jama3at Al Tarjama at the Culture Club in Arabic. Details:

Date: April 4th, 2009
Time: 7pm
Place: The Culture Club

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Moody’s foresees stable economic future for Oman

According to an article published in Times of Oman recently, Oman is in a stable condition economically, and placed 36 out of the 180 or so countries in the list by IMF.

According to the article, the GDP (Purchase Power Parity) of Oman (per capita) is now almost USD 22,000. And Oman gets the A2 rating for economic stability because of transparency of the government in declaring assets and the track record of paying back liabilities on time.

Click HERE or on the title of the blog post to get to the original article.

Source: Times of Oman.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First paintball field in Oman

Xtreme Sports is soon bringing the first professional paintball field in Oman. It will be located at the Shatti Al-Qurum area next to Oman Women Association, according to the Xtreme Sports website [Link].

I think this is exciting news for many.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oman Wins 19th Gulf Cup - Live Pics

YES WE WON! 

Watch Finals Penalty Goals highlights here! 

Photographs & Video by Aswath Sridhar
Winning final goal by Mohammed Rabeea

Lucky miss - Penalty by Saudi Arabia


Nail biting finish with penalty goals!!! 


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gulf Cup Oman Vs Iraq -4-0 Hot Photos from the street


HEARD the news?   Oman Beats Iraq 4-0. 



Yalla oman....GO Get the CUP!







     Photo Courtesy:  Aswath Sridhar. Watch his video tribute here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gulf Cup 19 : Oman 0-0 Kuwait

We should be thankful we were not thrashed by a super-hatrik by Ahmed Ajab, he clearly missed 4 clear chances right infront of the goal. We should be thankful we have Ali Al-Habsi guarding our goal.

Yes, we missed two wonderful unmissable chances as well, yes, if Imad Al-Hosani did not dive and tried to control his balance at the begining of the match, we would have won. If our players tried to play as a team instead of individual skills we might have won. But these if's won't help.

We controlled the game with an average of 65% ball possession, but the opposing team were the most dangerous when it came to attacks. We were not sharp, we were not deciesive and our midfielders couldn't deliver the ball to our strikers.

I would like to compliment the Kuwaiti defense for their outstanding performance and sticking around with each other, not only that but the defenders had complete understanding with their goalkeeper, unlike our defenders who were humiliated and made our penalty box look like an empty street for Kuwaiti strikers to cruise around without any pressure.

The Kuwaiti team went there without having a heavy load on their shoulders, they were just told to go out there and get a satisfying result, draw, win or even lose without a huge difference, we don't want you to compete, we don't want you to bring the cup back home, just a satisfying performance. Which is why they went there and played calmly without being nervous or anything. They just gave it their best without any nerves. They played like the professionals they are. They had nothing to lose.

However, the opposite goes to our national team who know we expect a lot from them, they know they have to be winners of the cup and that they should do whatever it takes so when they stepped out to the pitch and started playing, that pressure affected them a lot, it's something psychological. They were nervous and did not know what to do, they did not know how to react to that pressure and instead of sucking it up, they let it control them. This goes for the whole team except the one and only Ali Al-Habsi.

Our midfield was too crowded, though the match was all about a battle in the midfield between both teams. Our defense was beyond messed up. They can never mark any of the Kuwaiti strikers. Our strikers just couldn't get the ball. I think Bader Al-Maimani should've stepped on the pitch way before the 80th minute, at the start of the second half would have made a difference I guess.

Fawzi Basheer was pushed back a lot, I don't recall seeing him attacking for some reason. Ahmed Hadid just came back from an injury I guess and started the game. That shouldn't happen.

Ismael Al-Ajmi was way out of his usual performance, the same goes to Hassan Muthafar and the rest.

This match was mostly based on the mental preparation of our national team. Mentally, I do not think they are ready. But this match may have made them ready. A draw could help them for the next match so they'd go with hunger and an appetite to score and win.

The performance was way below expected. We'll bounce back.

We love, because we believe, the team will never let us down.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gulf Cup 19 - Muscat



Less than 12 hours separate us from the opening match of the Arabian Gulf Cup 19. We Omanis have waited for that moment ever since Ismail Matar scored the winning goal against us in the Gulf Cup final back in 2006, in Abu Dhabi.

To the people in Oman, the gulf cup has started a few days or a week earlier. The preparations people have made from decorating their cars with Omani flags, slogans and pictures to decorating their houses and streets with the Omani flag and so on.

I really do hope we win this, we have it all this time. We have a great coach, we have the supporters, the crowd, the people, the land. This time we are playing at home. We gotta win this. We all should pray for the team to win this. We all know for a fact that everyone of us is expecting our national team to win this, we are all expecting to be in the final. That won't happen if we do not support the team and pray for them. Even if they don't, we should still be behind, supporting and thanking them.

To all of us, from Yemen to Iraq, Saudi Arabia to Oman, Bahrain to Qatar, Emirates to Kuwait. This Gulf Cup has a great value to us. To us, it counts as a World Cup. To us, it's the World Cup. This is the most valuable sporting event for us citizens of the Arabian Gulf.

I hope this Gulf Cup brings a lot of success, not only for the Omani national team, but it would be wonderful to have the most successful Arabian Gulf Cup to be achieved in Oman. I hope it is all positive no matter who the winner is, as long as the whole thing is a success.

To us Omanis, this is the time to grab the cup. We are hungry, ever since Doha 2004. We want this trophy and this time we have it all. Nothing can stop us but our own arrogance, the players should not get on the pitch thinking they've already won the match. Nor should they fear their opponents.

I wish you all a wonderful time at this Gulf Cup. Enjoy it while you're in Oman. All of us who are studying abroad want you to have a piece of it for us. Make it up for us. Sure it is hard to not be in Oman at this time, to most of us I think it would be once in a lifetime experience and have missed it.

Let's keep praying for Oman, let's keep cheering for Oman and finally..Let's paint the whole world RED, Green and White!

عمان نبض واحد

Discounts...Oh Really?!?

While my shopping continues, I come across one after another shocker from the retailers in Muscat...this time it's the BHS outlet (Oh yes, the graphic details will not be withheld this time!)...

First they use a conversion factor of 0.9-0.95 for the Sterling to the Omani Rial (by converting GBP 50 to OMR 45 and GBP 40 to OMR 38)...and this time they've just gone too far, even if for a single product...

I went to BHS a couple of weeks ago...and saw jackets over there...there was a grey moleskin jacket for OMR 45.000....no surprises except that it was converted from GBP 50...

Now they put up a sale with good discounts on quite a few jackets...except that the only sizes you see on the racks are S,M, and then 2XL...there was no trace of L or XL in all designs except one...looks like they take away the nice ones when the discounts go up....not surprising to say the least...

And to top it up, the grey moleskin jacket is now tagged as...any guesses? here goes:

Was 90.000
Now 45.000

surprise surprise...the jacket was NEVER ever at OMR 90...in fact 45.000 is the price it was actually selling for without any discounts.

Have ethics and morals disappeared from these idiots? If they dont want to discount it, they can just stuff it with the other non-discounted stuff and say "Not included in sale"...but the deception to lure in the customer with "discount" that is not at all there is nothing but deceit and cheating. Simple as that.

I think the Ministry of Commerce should look into such dishonest practices...the retailers need to get Ministry approval before putting a sale...they should also submit price lists to the ministry and specify the discounts etc...

Other than that, there's little way out other than consumer awareness...perhaps some of the media houses should highlight such practices?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ruwi Cinema Closes Down

"Ruwi Cinema, one of Oman’s oldest cinema houses, closed down yesterday as part of Family Shopping Centre’s expansion plans. The management of Ruwi Cinema said they were undecided on an alternative location or a temporary theatre that could show movies.

“We have not yet decided on an alternative location or on a temporary venue,” Hussain M.V., manager of Ruwi Cinema, told Times of Oman. He said the owners of the building had given a notice asking them to move out by December 31, 2008.

He, however, requested movie enthusiasts to be patient till the management comes up with a new location in a few months. “We have all options at our hand either to rent a building or construct one. But it will take several months for a new theatre to come up,” he said.

Hussain said if they get sufficient space, they might even consider building a cinema hall with more screens and also increase the seating capacity. “But you know the rent these days is very high and so we have to think seriously before committing on that option,” he said. Whatever be the reasons behind the closure of one of the popular theatres in the city that has been showing movies for 11 years, there is no doubt that the fans will be the worst hit." [link]

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Folks.

I'm 4 months new to Oman, & days new to blogging, so learning the ettiquette/ functions etc.

I've been enjoying the writings of many of you over the last wee while, so good to be here,

Have a great night,

JSM.

Happy New Year to all!

Here's wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!





Funscrape.Com | More Happy New Year Comments

Nawras and UK networks??!!!!


Hello,

Just a question…

Why does Nawras have contracts and dealings with some UK Mobile Networks/companies and don’t have with others?

I mean it makes hard to us who are in the UK and those who are having Nawras mobiles to send and received text messages!

For example, any one with Nawras can send texts to any network in UK but they cannot receive from any network from UK…its so annoying…which means its either us in here having to change the network sim card or the people in Oman changing to Oman mobile…

Anyone, knows any explanation to this kind of arrangements?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No To Plastic Bags

Just thought of bringing this campaign by the Environment Society of Oman to the attention of all the readers of this blog.

Kudos to ESO on the great job.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back To Basics

The Omani commentatorship webspaces have retaliated with admirable force to Majlis Al-Shura's recent recommendations regarding changing the weekend days from the current Thursday-Firday to a Friday-Saturday.

The idea was first introduced a couple of years back by royal decree, and little has been done to it's benefit since. A while back, the banking sector inaugrated the trial to the new system with less than satisfactory results. The frustration of the public is owed to the current 4 day banking week. This would not be the case if the entire country moved to the Friday-Saturday weekend, where the regular 5 day banking week is restored, but the trial shift had not in any way suggested that the transition would be smooth, seamless, or beneficial.

My argument is .. Why bother ? The benefits gained by the transition while valid, seem unattractive enough to make such irreverseible change. If anything, it's going to accelerate downloading more of the traumatized global economy to Oman.

This post, however is not about praising the merits of the transition, or griping it's faults, it's about the Omani web arena's very open contempt to Majils Al-Shura's initative which opposed the shift to grounds of social, economical, and religous technicalities.

It seems that a lot of people simply forgot that these people are elected officials. Electors voted for these representatives affliating themselves to the agendas presented to them during elections, rendering criticism to that very agenda a logical fallacy. Whether this was the way it happened or not, it does not negate the fact that these official are now morally obligated to push forward whatever they were elected for, and if that was absolutly nothing, then the fault is beared on the elector.

Collectively, Shura studied, and discussed, the banking trial and came to the conclusion that the shift is not to our benefit, and that business should proceed as it previously was. Their views are only influencive, and not decisive. It's now up to the case to justify itself, which it's not doing too well.

I think this is a very cowardly move. There's much to criticize about the way our government handles some things, but it remains the fact the public choses not to excercise and deliever this criticism for irrational fear of the concerned officials. I think it's cowardly, because the people who are criticizing Shura this vehemently would not as readily criticize unelected governmental officials who have more influence and blame to some of these shortcomings.

Not only is it cowardly, I think it's also stupid of us all. The Omani public, rightly so, assumes the problem of Shura being the fact that they do not have decisive power and that some of that power should be delegated to them from whomever has it, but we're too stupid to realise that no such powers will ever be delegated if there's no respect to the process itself. If the Omani people show that they strongly prefer, respect and encourage the contribuitive process of decision making, some of the decision making power will definetly be delegated to the Majlis. This is not an egg and chick question, so we should stop making it one.

My name is Mohammed, and I shall be here all week.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Growing Omani blogosphere?

Back in 2005 (I was still not a blogger back then, but I was a regular reader to many blogs), the Omani blogosphere had its own taste. There were many active Omani blogs, and blogging was just getting more and more popular in Oman. In 2005 there was even the Oman Blogs Award where The Muscatis got the first place. However, by the end of that year or maybe in mid-2006, these blogs suddenly became inactive for some unkown reasons. More and more blogs became inactive, and the hype of blogging was just lost and the Omani blogosphere became very dead. In 2007 and 2008 new blogs started appearing, especially in 2008. I think there is a very good number of Oman-based blogs today, especially blogs of expatriates who live in Oman and blogging about their experience in Oman. You might not agree with the "way" things are blogged in these blogs, but I think it's still good that the Omani blogosphere is growing again and now we have a fair number of active Omani blogs.

I have also seen a number of new Omani blogs in Arabic. In the Internet, there are only three major Omani forums in English and countless of Arabic ones. But for blogs, it's the other way around. About 15 months ago in our first bloggers gathering, Kishor asked me how does the blogging scene look like for Arabic Oman-based blogs, since he is a non-Arabic speaker and obviously will not know about Arabic blogs or forums. I told him that there were only a handful of Oman-based Arabic blogs, but countless of Arabic forums. Now, many Arabic blogs from Oman started appearing, and they're very active, to some extend. I think most of these bloggers used to be active writers in big Omani forums and they just saw that it was better to document their thoughts in their own blogs rather than forums! Either that's the case or not, it's very good to see a growing number of Arabic Oman-based blogs. Everyday I discover a new Arabic blog from Oman, and that's the very first reason why I'm typing this post.

Is the Omani blogosphere growing again? I think yes. And there's even a new flavor in the Omani blogosphere today, something that was not there back in 2005. Now we have expatriates blogging about their experiences in Oman, and we also have Arabic blogs that are very active. This is a new flavor, and a nice one if I may add. Below you will find links to some of the Arabic blogs from Oman. Since English blogs are easier to discover and they're pretty much known to almost everyone, I'm not including them in the list below. Whenever I discover a new Oman-based blog, I try adding it to the Blogroll of this community blog. But for the growing number of Arabic blogs which is a new thing to the Omani blogosphere, I'm creating this post for them. I hope we remain having these active blogs and have more active blogs in the Omani blogopshere so it becomes as effective as the blogosphere of neighboring countries in the Gulf region.

Links (in absolutely no particular order):

- Hamad Al-Ghaithi

- Muawiyah Al-Rawahi

- Oman name (عماني ممنوع من الكلام)

- Omani1970 (ليت لي جناح)

- Bin Mrhi

- Said Reviews (Said Al-Maskari)

- alwarda

- Fashkool2008

- Wahiba Sands

These are just the ones I discovered recently. Each day I discover more blogs, and someday I will try adding all these blogs to the blogroll here. I will even try separating the Arabic blogs from English ones, for those interested.

By the way, Blue-Chi blogged about a similar topic a couple of days ago, talking about his love with Arabic literature today due to the growing number of Arabic blogs from Oman. You can find it [here].

Saturday, December 20, 2008

ReBlog : On Publication & Media

At a very desperate attempt to reignite attention to the sad misanthropic episodes that my blog posts are, I am reblogging a post I wrote entitled "Under A Rock" which briefly discusses themes relevant to Publication in Oman, and New Media.

I haven't posted it here, only because it starts off being slightly personal.

For the faintly interested of you. The post can be found here. I will take comments both here and there.

Thanks.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dubai: Has the bubble burst?

Nov 27th 2008 | DUBAI
From The Economist print edition

As the sheen comes off glitzy Dubai, the other Gulf states are getting nervous too

http://www.economist.com/world/mideast-africa/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12684897


“THEY said you couldn’t create islands in the middle of a city,” shouts a property advertisement over a jammed Dubai motorway. “We said, what’s next?” The range of answers has become gloomier by the week, as the debate moves from whether the Dubai property bubble will burst to just how bad it is going to get. Some nervous bankers think property prices could fall by 80% or so in the next year or so. A few months ago, rich foreigners who had bought villas in Dubai were complaining about the quality of the sand on their artificial beaches or the difficulty of getting water to circulate around the twiddly fronds of the man-made island shaped like a palm. Now prices for some smart developments have been cut by 40% since September, shares in property firms have lost 80% of their value since June, and big developers are laying people off.

The region’s banks will suffer too. Gulf policymakers are still making cheery statements about the region’s limited exposure to subprime loans but are quieter about heavy investments in inflated local property markets by regional banks, particularly Islamic ones. But worried banks are sharply reining in their mortgage lending. A series of arrests of senior businessmen as part of a fraud investigation is also making people twitchy. There is even talk of a coming “Gulf Enron”.

While the stunning opacity of government economic data is increasing the air of uncertainty, Muhammad Alabbar, who heads Emaar, a giant state-controlled property developer, took the rare step of telling people how indebted the country is. Together, the government and state-owned enterprises owe $80 billion—148% of GDP. Dubai still has a far larger stock of assets, at least some of which are likely to be sold, to cover the debts, to Abu Dhabi or the federal sovereign-wealth fund of the seven-state United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the two richest.

The rest of the Gulf has met Dubai’s phenomenal boom with a mixture of envy and emulation. Now there are hints of pleasure at the idea that the epicentre of bullishness may be humbled. But there are worrying questions for the others, too. Could the Dubai property slump prove contagious? Will the Gulf Co-operation Council pull together to protect the region’s economy? Should its planned monetary union be set aside as governments focus on protecting their own currency?

Who do we listen to now?

Since everyone else has been trying to copy Dubai, it is unclear how economic policy should be reshaped if the model has to be rescued. Advisers who have been preaching free markets and foreign investment will have a tougher time as economic power shifts back to the more conservative, oil-rich governments such as Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

Political stability may be affected too. A worsening economy may encourage political reform, on the assumption that people can be more easily bought off in times of plenty. At a recent BBC debate in Doha, Qatar’s capital, on whether Gulf Arabs value profit over people, young Qataris said critics of their countries’ poor treatment of foreign workers should look on the bright side; local citizens benefit from large gifts of land and free university education. Since the oil boom began in 2003, mega-rich Qatar has ramped up public spending by an average of 28% per year; the less well-endowed states have had to make do with annual rises of some 15-20%.

Several GCC economies will go into budget deficits next year for the first time since at least 2002, including Saudi Arabia, whose budget is based on oil at around $50 a barrel but excludes the cost of Saudi Aramco’s massive programme of capacity expansion. Unemployment will rise as thousands more young people, many of them graduates with high expectations, enter the job market. Social unrest is likely to brew. The question is whether governments will meet it with repression or political concessions.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Obama tells his kids.....on the day before election


Remember those unusual but wonderful letters to Mrs. Gandhi from Nehru? I was reminded of them when I read this online. This is apparently from Obama to his daughters: Malia and Natasha (aka Sasha).------------------

Tomorrow decides your future.

Daddy will head off tomorrow to a tiny little booth knowing this.

I have watched. I have consumed. I have weighed. I have analyzed (mommy would say I should add “obsessed” to this list as well).

But I have done all of this because every day I look at you both as two little humans capable of limitless goodness within and unlimited greatness in this world.

I want each of your dreams realized.I want your hopes fulfilled.I want you to look at the person leading our country and aspire to be like him or her, not someone you support because he’s (or she’s) “just like you.”

I know that tomorrow I hold in my index finger the power to push a button — along with millions of other mommies and daddies – that can help to make these hopes a reality.

But please know, regardless of the result, that little index finger of mine is guided solely by a vision of a better place for you.

You both are my world. 

And tomorrow, I hope that I can make your world a better one.

Love,Daddy

Watch a nice Family Movie.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Muscat Confedential Not Blocked

Updated. Muscat confidential Not blocked anymore. May I proffer my most profound Oppologies to you all.

It was blocked for at least an hour this morning, but comments indicate it's Omantel incompetence as opposed to a delibrate action.

The immedaite assumption that the bock is an incursion on our already limited freedoms, is pretty valid when one considers Omantel's habit of blocking websites they think we are too stupid to be exposed to.

Once again, Sorry for Jumping the gun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oman Mac Users Group

Any one here a Mac user?

Would you be interested in joining up with other Mac users in Oman to set up an Oman Mac Users Group?

The goal of the user group is to begin as an informal group where members can get together occasionally and share experiences and advice regarding Macintosh platform. Eventually the group should set up an online presence and expand its membership and promote increased Mac usage in Oman. The group can leverage membership with the official Apple distributors in Oman to gain discounts on purchases for its members as well.

If interested please reply here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BLOGGER Meet in real world

Hello all Bloggers and Blog readers,

How about a casual meet?

All bloggers, blog readers, enthusiasts (even curious ones) are welcome. Hope to see some masquerade too!

Choose your dates: 17th / 18th / 19th December (just timing between eid hols and AGCC meet). Do make your response post here.

We are watching this space and taking a head count. Depending on the number location will be fixed and informed later.

You could also suggest what we can be in the Agenda. (Apart from refreshments :-0 )

Oman Blogosphere is calling you.............................

PS: Bloggers please post this news in your blogs too to widen the Net scourge. Tks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HM's speech in the opening of Majlis Oman

Part 1:


Part 2:


For those like me who missed His Majesty's speech in the annual opening of Majlis Oman (Council of Oman), it has already been uploaded on YouTube and you can see the full speech above. Beautiful speech.

May God bless His Majesty the Sultan and keep him for this great country. =)