Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Apology...

It is extraordinarily rare that I get an email these days that is not spam or a forward and I guess it just happens to be my luck that when I do get one, it’s someone finding my post offensive.

In this post I will attempt to respond to the allegations made in the aforementioned e-mail and hopefully clarify a few points made in my earlier post.

1. “Are you people trying to make fun of my blog?”

Yes, we are an organized underground group of evil, dark, satanic leprechauns devised simply for the sole purpose of shaming you into obscurity through the use of sarcasm and other dark satanic rituals.

2. “I don't think you can compare between the both blogs. I'm the only poster in my blog while you have many”

I just don’t see in which way the number of posters in a blog has anything to with the quality that a blog offers its readers. If you’re unfamiliar with the subject matter it’s suffice to say that you shouldn’t be talking about it.

3. “do you think saying every article I write ends up with a link to newspaper which means I copy paste stuff?”

You know, I apologize. My earlier post was hastily written and I am pretty sure you have all noticed that so I will go ahead and review the blog, one post at a time (The number before each comment is the post it refers to, starting from the first post up until his latest post for a total of 5)

1. A welcoming post, nothing copied off the internet here. He’s just saying hi to all of his reader and claiming he’s just decided to start blogging, while in the letter he’s mentioned that it’s been his desire for quite some time and hadn’t started for a bunch of reasons that were vague but what I’ve gauged is that it had something to do with OCB and him wishing to join the team.

2. Alright, here is where things get a little interesting. While I can’t claim that he stole this information because all he did was provide us with names of the three leading members of the Bahwan family and the name of each of three’s companies and annual turnover. How he came across this information eludes me but I believe it was simply copied off the companies site, which I haven’t bothered reading or checking out.

3. Photo’s of the Cornish located in the Mutrah area, he clearly mentions all photos are not his and that he has permission to use them. Clearly, nothing that wasn’t his was used.

4. Information about the Salalah Spring Festival or lack of it. Simply put, it’s a bunch of photos by Allan Rignall and a link to his site. It also includes a link to the official site of the Salalah Festival. It also includes excerpts and links from two different articles and a link to more images from the Travel Journal site. Of course all of this is very original.

5. Now here, I was astonished! This was a post with effort put into it! He managed to take an article in Arabic and translate it. With mistakes, this is probably a hint at originality or genius.

4. “I'm new in this blogging thing and I think you should support me other than attacking me at the end we are all trying to improve blogging in Oman, nothing else or more.”

Alright since you’re new at this stuff here’s a bit of advice: Get some original material and focus on something you’re familiar with, so you can actually write some original articles about it. Or just go the route of every member here and open a personal blog, because it’s really not so much as what you write as how well you write it.

5. “ I would be glad if you deleted that post and its comments”

I’m just wondering what happened to free speech. Obviously someone doesn’t believe in it.

Now, just a word to anyone else who wishes to file complaints against my posts, I advise you to direct all your complaints about my posts to me directly and to try and make a strong argument as to why my post is offending.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Helicopter Trip Around Town

We went on a very unique ride last week, instead of cruising around town like the majority of bored guys, we thought we might fly around town for a change. Well, it did not exactly start like that, but my housemates are helicopter pilots that work for Royal Oman Police and they occasionally go a routine round around Muscat on which practically anybody could just go. They asked me if I would like to come along and I said yes!

We took off from the Police Airport right next to Seeb International Airport, we headed towards Bustan and then turned back and flew all the way to Khaboorah in Batinah, unfortunately we did not reach Sohar cause it was already getting dark. Helicopter flights are very noisy and a bit bumpy at take off, I did not think that there was anything scary about it, the greatest part was how the helicopter leans forwards and the tail goes up at take off, so you end up with the pilots downwards while speeding ahead, I can't explain it more, but it was just really cool. The highest thing we reached in air was 500m. We also did some low level flying on the coast which felt just like driving when you look outside - it was that close to the sea level.

Muscat looks generally crowded from the air, Gonu damage could only be relatively seen in Aamirat area, otherwise it looks as good as ever. On the other hand, Batinah looked surprisingly greener than what it looks like from the ground.

Here are some of the photographs I took.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I hate Shatti cinema

I'd love to have started this post with "can someone please talk to the geniuses who run Shatti cinema..." Unfortunately, I actually know them and have spoken to them many times and it's an exercise in futility. As far as these guys are concerned they are the only people in Oman who know how to professionally manage cinemas, and as proof they'll repeatedly tell you how they started the first cinema in Oman and how they've been in this business almost 40 years. According to their market acumen animated movies are only for kids and therefore should only be shown in the daytime. Therefore, The Simpsons Movie, which is actually rated PG-13, is only being shown during the day. Working adults have to find a way to see it during the weekend because otherwise they will not have a chance again to see it till the next weekend. And that's only if it actually plays for another week. And as most of you know, since Shatti Cinema only has three screens they can't afford to keep movies playing more than a week or two or else they can't show new movies.

Meanwhile, the latest piece of sh!t movie by Jean-Claude Van Dammit is actually showing prominently on Shatti Cinema's screens making Oman one of the last countries in the world where his movies actually get shown on movie screens.

Go figure.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oman-based Arun among bloggers authoring a book

Have you guys checked this on yesterday's issue of TheWeek? It's on the 9th page.. Also I found out that there was an article about it yesterday on Times of Oman. [Link]

[Age of Conversation]

Big Business Idea Competition

On Saturday evening (July 21st, 2007) I have attended with a couple of colleagues the official launch of Big Business Idea Competition BBIC. A decent crowd of not less than 100 Omani youth were occupying the Sindbad Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The competition aims on encouraging the Omani youth to take the idea of starting their own businesses as a serious alternative. The common trend among Omani youth is looking for a placement in either the governmental sector or the private sector. Only few of the graduates start their own businesses. One of the major obstacles any fresh graduate might face is raising a capital to fund his/her dream project.

The winner of the competition will be eligible for earning an amount of 4000 OMR (10,500 US $) plus a 2000 OMR (5,250 US $) worth of phone calls and internet usage. Moreover, the winner will be entitled to have an office in KOM with 12-months free rental to start his/her operations from. It’s worth mentioning that a series of free courses and workshops will be held to help the participants with writing business plans and relevant topics.

The sponsors of the competition are Ernst & Young, Ericson, Nawras, Grofin Oman and The Knowledge Mine (TKM) For those of you whom might be interested in joining the competition be informed that the closing date for submission of entries will be September 9th 2007 (09.09.07)

Related links…

Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM)

BBIC inaugurated (Article published by Oman Tribune)

BBIC Workshops Dates

Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PPEIE)


Those are the brochures distributed in the BBIC launch

Some post cards from PEIE

You might have noticed the red brouchore labeled iSurf 2.0 This is a website where you can find about anything taking place around town! Whether you are looking for the latest movies shown in the cinemas, being confused where to eat out this evening, house hunting, selling your second hand car, trying to waste some time on a game or even hunting down a job! This website have it all! It seems to be very promising! Check it out!

iSurf 2.0


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

12 Years in Prison

Warning : Long Post Ahead

First of all, I apologize for not being able to write earlier than this. This inconvenience is only fractionally the fault of myself, and mostly due to circumstances out of my influence. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Sleepless and his team for their effortless works on the making process of this blog and hope that it will turn out as they please.

I wanted my first appearance here to draw the truest image of me and carve it as a first impression. An extremely angry individual. No extremely angry individual is born one. It's a painful process in which one or many factors come into play in carefully carving patience and consciousness out of that individual leaving behind an extremely flammable human being. Here, I tell the story of the factor that I'm the result of.

For most of the past 12 years, I've been a student studying under the educational system orchestrated by the Ministry of Education. After I've completely finished with it, I took time to digest the value of my time and effort there. Wasted. The people in charge made sure it went that way. This, non-arguably, left me deeply frustrated, which intersects to only one of two paths. Depression and surrender, or Anger. I've chosen the latter, and that my friends, is the factor that bred the anger you see today.

I've always thought of school as where I could go to ask questions, not to get asked questions. The Ministry Of Education has improvised an educational system inspired from the advanced elaborate educational systems from the Western world. They stole a small proportion of the application in those systems, and disregarded many important parts in the operating mechanisms of these systems. They also disregarded to learn the purpose of these important parts and how the desired result only comes from the correct integration of all these parts.

This improvised strategy has so far not been successful and did not create any notable change in the way education touches us. From one part the proceedings are constantly revised without noteworthy outcome and from the other, the curriculums and methods are completely disregarded and neglected. This, instead of paving our way into the future left us steadily falling towards ignorance.

I, as an Omani citizen, just like any citizen would, expect three things from my country. Education, Opportunity, and Peace. Education has clearly left me very well disappointed. Opportunity, is bound with education, and since the first one is a rotten apple, it ruined the entire box. That, too, was a disappointment. Peace, as much as I'd like to say I'm not disappointed, I can't. Knowing that there's a number of ill-educated disappointed people, it's just a matter of time until I feel ripped from the luxury of peace. It's starting to becoming worryingly evident these days as proof of that withdrawal.

Am I disappointed on being an Omani citizen ? Yes, maybe I am. I'm only a little disappointed about the things I said above. The larger disappointment comes from the fact that in terms of Education, the system has taken a wrong turn in every possible one. The system failed in being the very foundation of our future commitments towards the betterment of this blessed country.

But It's very difficult not to tackle these commitments. The foundations of our future have been rattled because Education has refused to be part of that journey. It has refused to understand how education is not a burden, but rather an investment. This refusal has developed a mentality that plays counter to our potential as a country. A mentality that left old men with old short vision in places of decision making, and refusing to let them go when it's time to. A simple mistake, that also caused the advancement ladder to stop short from target, which eventually created no new opportunities for the newer generation. Unemployment.

That would make sense of why governmental based colleges are considered so low in terms of quality. It isn't a safe investment for the government to consume financial and strategic resources that will not return beneficial. If you don't put effort in something, don't expect a good result from it. That's why we will never be in par with the country which is geographically that closest to us. The United Arab Emirates. Despite the little resources they have in comparison with our country, they've moved forward where we halted. Their firm belief in proper investing has paid them well, where our lack of investing has returned us with a lack of resulting.

It's time that we lay off the people who're having a hard time of understand modernization and change them with young people who have lived that modernization and not only witnessed it. It's time that we stop making the stupid mistakes we do with education. Stop building two schools, with two one-hundred class rooms, and two 1000 chairs and two everything. It's time we stop the sexual segregation mayhem and start making people understand that females will work alongside men in building this country and their refusal to do that should be accompanied with refusal of educating them. It's time we make just as much university graduates as school graduates. It's time we build more governmental colleges of high quality and equipping them adequately. It's time the Ministry of Higher Education enforces boundaries on private colleges and sees that the Six Million Omani Riyals granted yearly from his majesty to each private college in Oman is spent in favor of the Omani students, instead of against him when they raise their fees. It's time that we stop biting more than we can chew, stop stealing incorrectly from the west. Their systems are already established and ours are far from that, we should create a system which caters to our needs and not theirs. It's time we stop the joke that is the Higher Education Admission Center is, which basically is a multi-million-rial computer software program which ranks the students who are statically the most adequate in taking benefit of the governmentally allocated scholarships. No where in the world does a computer decide the acceptance for a scholarship and I dread the day that a probability software decides the fate of a human beings future. Take away HEAC, it's an immense waste of money and efforts. There's no way a computer with a software do what a human does with an interview. It's time we update the curriculums. Make them more digestible and relevant, and delete what isn't. Pay attention to teachers and professors, and honor their fine profession. They've taken a journey towards the greater good, instead of one towards self-fulfillment and that my friends, is a great sacrifice.

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos said in one of his speeches that knowledge without mind is like a fruitless tree. Not in defiance, but in contrast, I say a mind without knowledge is too like a tree. A dying one. It's our moral, social and national obligation to prevent that from happening. We have to make changes no matter what impracticalities they may face at first, because when its starts to produce, it will produce well. It will produce people who will be able to power this country the way it should.

In conclusion, I have to say that a person that can't do Maths or Physics does not necessarily have to be a person with little potential. Everyone has a way to project their intelligence, and only little of them can do maths. Intellectual adequacy does not have to necessarily be a product of academic ability. Issac Newton was not sitting on a school desk when the apple fell from the tree unto his head triggering the thought that later created the pillars of modern Physics. Albert Einstein failed his university entrance exam and had to wait an entire year before he can retake it and that did not stop him from creating a scientific revolution, which some of it's theories still mystify scientists today. Woody Allen failed his Film Production class in university before he later become one of the most recognized and distinguished people in the film industry and an Academy-Awarded director, producer and writer. Instead of standing still, let's take a step to the front with the right foot.

Thanks.

Screw Ministry of Education, Bless Ministry of Higher Education

I would like to congratulate all the Thanawiya Amma students out there - especially those whom are aiming to join SQU - for the changes made by the Ministry of Higher Education on the admission grades required for joining Sultan Qaboos University programs and other External and Internal scholarships programs.

Yesterday the Ministry of Higher Education announced that they've made changes in the admission grades required for SQU programs and other programs, due to the very low marks the students got this semester. The ministry understands that the marks this semester are much lower than the first semester, and so they had to reduce the grades required for joining SQU and other programs. Before the results being out, the requirements were already set but now they're changed because of how most of the marks are messed up this semester.

I guess many of you are aware of the changes being made in the systems of the Ministry of Education in the very few past years. When the system of the ministry was changed, Sultan Qaboos University was not satisfied with the new system of the Ministry of Education and a committee from the university and another one from the ministry were assigned and held a couple of meetings at SQU to solve the matter and see how will SQU evaluate Thanawiya Amma students after the changes of the ministry's systems. SQU wasn't satisfied at all, but in the end of they day they decided how to evaluate the students achievements. Now SQU is the only governmental university in Oman, and it is not satisfied with the Ministry of Education's system. And now the Ministry of Higher Education is helping us, because the other ministry screwed us up. What else is the Ministry of Education waiting for to reconsider their freaking new systems? Both the Ministry of Higher Education and the only governmental university in the country are not satisfied with what you're doing. What else are you waiting for dear Ministry of Education?

Anyways.. Asking about the new changes? Lets take College of Engineering at SQU as an example. Previously, they required an average of B grade in Chemistry, Physics and Maths for College of Engineering. Now they require a grade of C only. But of course priority is given to those who got higher marks. Getting a C in Chemistry, Physics and Maths doesn't mean you will join SQU, but still means you have a chance to join SQU. Depends on the seats available and how many students got higher marks than yours. This is still great I suppose. They understand that the marks this semester are very bad, and within NO TIME, they announced the changes they've made! :-)... In order to check the new requirements for SQU programs, [click here]. If you want to check the new requirements for other programs, [click here].

So.. Congratulations brothers and sisters. :-) The Ministry of Education screwed us, Ministry of Higher Education is helping. Screw Ministry of Education. Bless Ministry of Higher Education. :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Look out OCB! We've got a challenger!

So, browsing through some of the local blogs around here, I stumble upon a blog aptly titled oman-blog which claims to deliver to us local news about Oman and it’s community. (Ring a bell anyone?)

So, anyways regarding the quality of the posts in the blog it’s still a little early to judge but I doubt we’ll be seeing any article in the blog that does not end with a link to the original article off of an Omani newspaper or so.

Here’s my advice, if you’re going to open a blog about something at least let it be about something you’re familiar enough with so you can actually write something about it…

And for those interested, here's the link: http://oman-blog.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Hijab in America

Last night I agreed with three friends of mine to wear the Hijab for a whole day. I’m not veiled in real life so I was never in the shoes of veiled women in Egypt or even in the United States. I was told that in a post 9/11 world, being a veiled woman in the United States is hard. By putting on this harmless piece of cloth, I was putting myself in a dangerous situation. Obviously, I was expecting all sorts of impolite treatments including harassments, name-calling and suspicious looks. Not all of the above happened but it was a very interesting day.
In the beginning, I felt weird and uncomfortable because I’m not used to it and it was an extremely hot day. It took a lot of courage to keep it but as soon as I noticed the looks I was getting, I became more confident. We took a shuttle bus to the station where we were going to take a 2 hour-long tour bus. The first comforting thing was a smile I received from the bus lady who grinned not only smiled at me and said hello. I replied and kept reminding myself that being veiled doesn’t and shouldn’t suppress my personality. I noticed a couple of surprised faces on the bus but I didn’t mind that in fact, I replied to it by smiling and talking comfortably with friends. Thankfully, I had the chance to ride on the front row on the tour bus. I heard a lot of veiled girls say that they feel invisible sometimes. Unattractive. Not good enough. I didn’t want to be invisible. I wanted to see people and be seen.
Our tour bus guide was a young friendly guy who asked us where we were from. I expected this to be another bomb to the rest of the people. I expected some of them to associate Sudan with “Terrorism”. After all, it was a big possibility.
During our very exciting tour around the Yosemite National park, my hair was exposed once because of strong winds but I proudly put it back on. The tour guide kept looking at my friend and I every once in a while and occasionally gave us an awkward smile.
I had to break the ice. I had to make conversation with him. I wanted to break a very common stereotype as well. Many non-Muslims are convinced that Muslim girls “can’t”talk to guys. I started a conversation with him by asking about the history of the place but soon, we started talking about other things. Of course, I had to reassure him that my Muslim brother is not going to bury him in the desert and wait till the ants eat his face and then stone me to death in order to set a good example for other Muslim girls. I did say that, in my mind of course. While I was talking with the tour guide, many people gathered around us to witness this special moment. Muslim girls speaking up. I also had to pose a few times for my fans all over the Yosemite National Park. I felt very special because I was more interesting than the stunning nature around all of us. This was the case to many people.
After we finished the tour and everybody had a picture taken of me. We headed to the Museums. During my 5 minutes stay in the Museum, I looked at the pictures and diagrams they had while some people focused their attention on me. I went to the auditorium to watch a movie about Yosemite and as soon as I walked in through that door, all eyes were on me. I sat down, fixed my headscarf and enjoyed the movie. When we were leaving the auditorium, a committed boyfriend grabbed his girlfriend away from us allowing us to get out. I smiled at them and I thought he was such a gentleman. Was he a gentleman? Or was he scarred we might harm her? I know I don’t go around harming random girls but some people think we are hiding some kind of dangerous weapon under the thick layers we are wearing.
During my few hours as a veiled woman I applied makeup a few times. I would run to the rest room as soon as I can to re-apply kohl to my eyes or put on more lip-gloss. I was never a big fan of makeup. I do apply makeup sometimes but it’s usually very light. As I was trying to not be invisible, I thought makeup will make me more visible. I’m not sure if this is because I felt that something was missing and I was trying to replace it by something else or it is because I just felt that makeup will make my face look prettier. I didn’t know the reason behind it but for now, make up was important.
Wearing the veil today was worth it. I’m glad I didn’t get called any derogatory names or called any names at all. I’ve heard many stories about the plight of veiled women in the country but I just had to experience it myself. Today, I was in their shoes and I felt what they feel. Ordinary. I was just another individual on the tour bus and another visitor to the Yosemite National Park. The only difference was- I wasn’t wearing shorts or Jeans or a tank top. I was wearing jeans, a sweater and my hair was covered.
People say the way you dress says a lot about you and your personality. What I wore today told people one thing about me. I’m a Muslim woman. Although it might’ve meant to some people things like oppressed, submissive and weak. I didn’t feel this way at all. However, I felt sad because I was judged by my headscarf today. I was judged by what’s on my head however, what’s in my head was overlooked.

Thanawiya Amma Results

Do you know how do I feel like at this particular moment? I feel like bitching about the Ministry of Education.

About two hours ago, at 3:30am, I was awaken by my mother telling me that somebody called her and told her that Thanawiya Amma results are out. I woke up, grabbed my phone, typed my seat no. in a short text message and sent it to 90200. Few seconds and I got the reply from the Ministry of Education containing my result. I was not only shocked but indeed astonished. Those marks are supposed to be the average of both semesters. The message I got from the ministry today says I got 79% in Chemistry. I was like that is holy crap and cannot be true!!!!! If this is the average of both semesters, and the first semester I got 92% in Chemistry, this means I got 66% in Chemistry the second semester!!! ... Well, it was not only with Chemistry. Physics as well. My average in Physics is 84%. First semester I got 91%. Meaning that I got 77% in the second semester. Holy shit!!!! What the hell is this?? Why the hell did the ministry mess our results upside down like this? It's not only me, but all my friends whom I could reach till now got less marks than their marks in the first semester. Two or three got the same marks, but the rest got waaaay worse than the first semester!!!

I'm not writing this up and bitching about the ministry just because we didn't do as good as the first semester in this semester. No, my friends, that's not the case. The case is that our honorable and respected Ministry of Education lets teachers of elementary and preparatory school correct the papers of Thanawiya Amma exams. The teachers who correct our papers are teachers who don't have a single tiny background on our curriculum, Grade 12 curriculum, because they basically teach lower classes. They correct our papers based on what they see on the sample answer-sheet of each exam. The ministry provides them with the sample answer-sheet of the exams and they correct the papers based on that. If something in my paper is not written the very EXACT way it's written on the sample answer-sheet, they give me a BIG ZERO for my answer, in MY FACE. Not even a single mark for answering the question correctly but in another way than the one he sees on the sample answer-sheet. How fair is that? Well, I'm sure that most of you think that I'm babbling out of nowhere and all I'm saying is nothing but shit. Oh well. For your own information, this year, and for the first time in the history of the ministry, the ministry gave the students the right to actually 'see' their exam papers after being corrected and after the results were out, check the papers for only 10 minutes for each paper, write down your notes and they re-correct your paper based on the notes you've mentioned. In the previous years you could request to re-correct your papers but they didn't use to let you see the paper yourself. Sadly, I didn't go to check my papers the first semester, but MANY - if not all - of my friends went and checked their papers. Guess what? They ALL got extra marks because of correction mistakes. They all found correction mistakes in their answer sheets. In fact, some questions were NOT EVEN corrected!!! Each paper is supposed to be corrected by two persons, and some questions in their papers were not corrected by neither of the correctors!!! PLEASE tell me how fair is that?

If most of the students who checked their exam papers the first semester found correction mistakes in their papers, it means that more than 80% of the papers contain correction mistakes. Why? because 1) the teachers who corrected the exams have NO background on the answers being written and if your answer was right but not the same way written on the sample answer-sheet you get it wrong. and 2) they were rushing themselves in correcting the papers.

This semester I understand why did the ministry rush in correcting our papers and why they wanted the results to be out as soon as possible. We finished exams on the 4th of this month. Today is the 22nd and the results are already out. Brilliant! I'm not sure of the exact number of Thanawiya Amma students in Oman, but I'm pretty sure they're more than 20,000 students. Amazing! in 18 days, they could correct the papers of more than 20,000 students, multiply 6 subjects each student. very good job guys... but what is the percentage of the probability of containing correction errors/mistakes? I need an official from the ministry answering my question now.

Anyhow.. my average is not that bad, don't worry. The first semester I got 93.1%. And now my average of both semesters is 91.3%. All good anyways. but I'm really disappointed about the Physics and Chemistry marks. The first semester I didn't go check my papers because I thought there would be no use of it, but this semester I'm definitely going and will request to re-correct ALL MY PAPERS.

update: I just got the exact number of Thanawiya Amma students of this academic year 2006/2007. The number is double what I mentioned earlier. This year a number of 44,128 students sat for Thanawiya Amma exams. [Source]

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Going to Dubai / traffic.

If you are going to Dubai you really need to try and plan ahead.
Post Salik (road toll - 4dhs) there are parts of Dubai where the traffic congestion is horrific and it can take you much longer to get to your destination than you might expect. Think about where you are staying and where you are trying to get to .
If the congestion caused by Salik isn't enough then be aware that there are diversions that have been set up around big construction sites that are related to the Metro. Also the authorities are doing a massive expansion of the road system and that is causing big hold ups / diversions as well.
You will read in the papers that the traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road flows quite freely now, which is true but there are not so many articles that talk about the chaos in some areas which are adjacent to SZR (on the portion that is tolled) where people are trying to avoid paying the toll.
Plan your route carefully. Timing can be important as well, especially when the schools go back, we haven't seen the Salik impact yet with the schools open.

The above brings a thought about the development that is going on in Oman. Are the authorities on top of the potential increase in traffic that will result from the development?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Freeing Ouselves of Oil

Oman’s growth and development has been fueled by Oil revenues. The nature of Oil is that it is finite, and everyone knows that a day will come when it must run out. Although no one agrees on how long it will be before oil in Oman becomes a thing of the past, the country realizes that it must diversify its source of revenue.
As a citizen I was excited to see a July article by Oman Economic Review (OER), stating that non-oil revenues have increased by 46.3% from 2005 to 2006. Initially, I thought that this was an anomaly but the article clearly explains that non-oil exports have been increasing at around 30% during the previous 3 years.
A breakdown of exports raises another concern. Oman has decreased its dependence on Oil, however it remains a resource based economy. The principal portion of non-oil revenues is in the form of minerals, another finite resource. Additionally, the 46.3% increase in exports is due to the 327% increase in mineral exports. All while, textiles and food/Agriculture experienced a decline.
The diversification efforts are welcomed, and I’m excited to see new sources of revenue. Yet I ask; do we remain depended on the resources of the land? I look forward to the day we begin to export knowledge, services and man made products.

Rennaisance holiday


It has been announced that Monday will be a public holiday for both the public & private sector on the occasion of celebrating the renaissance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said - the Sultan of Oman.

This would mean that both the public and the private sector both have Monday the 23rd of July, 2007 off as a holiday to come back to work on the 24th of July, 2007.

Congratulations to every Omani out there..

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's left for us to do?

So, we’re about a month into the summer holidays and I’ve finally done just about everything there is to do in this city. There is literally nothing for a teenage kid to do in this city except the following:

1) Get a gaming console and play video games all day

2) Smoke Sheesha/Cigarettes at different places

3) Drive/Walk around in circles and/or stalk women

4) Go to Shatti and play video games

5) Go bowling (a very boring sport if you ask me, throwing a ball to knock a bunch of pins is only fun for so long)

6) Play football or some other sport

7) Sleep

8) Read a book

9) Join a gym

10) Do nothing

11) Go watch a movie (there are only so many movies a person could watch)

12) Go swimming or just pass by the beach to ogle 40 year old people (You need help if you do this often)

Alright, while that may not be a complete list of all there is to do over here, I’m guessing you all get the picture. There’s almost nothing “fun” for any teenage kid to do over here at all, and things are worse if you don’t smoke or do anything perverted.

I’m not going to start rambling about what I think is fun and what we need, I guess in the end all we’ve got left is to make our own fun.

Who knows, maybe we could start off some large community based wargame or something… :D

Monday, July 16, 2007

the miserable bunch


Oman lost today it's last chance in front of Iraq by a negative tie.

They were high on something but all their skills and techniques never helped out in the Asian Cup 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand.

What went wrong? Whose to blame? And why oh why oh why did they perform so badly?

They had their cheer leading team. They had people behind their TVs watching every second they made.

They just threw it all away.

PS: Why are the Australians playing in an Asian Cup tournament?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Khareef Salalah Festival 2007


On the eve of July 15th, 2007, the Salalah Khareef Festival 2007 is launched for more than 45 days until 31st August, 2007.

This year's festival bares 'the biggest family-orientated festival the GCC region has ever come to know' with a focus on family values and joint activities that bring the individuals of a family together.

There is a dedicated website for this festival that is published in the Arabic language, to see it - click here.

Google offers a translation of the website into the English Language, of which you can access by clicking here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer Love

Last Friday, my family and I went on a little trip to the Sharqiah region to visit family and I cant remember the last time it was as hot. I mean seriously its even worse then it is in Muscat. The humidity brings the temperature down a bit but makes it all sticky. In the desert its just blistering boiling hot weather. I even took a few pictures to illustrate my point.




And as much as I love to bitch about things, I make a point not to bitch about the weather. Cause there’s nothing you can do about it. Its annoys me to degrees I cant describe when every summer people complain about the summer heat, bitching and moaning about it. I just want to scream GET OVER IT. Its hot every freaking year. Did you forget it?? Was winter that cold in Oman? Just freaking deal with it. Its hot we get that we all feel it without anyone shoving it down our throats. You go without seeing the sun for two months, that kinda depression is not the good kind of depression. Good depression is the kind that artists need to nurture their art or something. Ok I’m begging to sound all random and neurotic. But that is probably most of what I will bring to OCB. Currently I’m based in Melbourne, Australia and the idea of this blog and other blogs is great for students like me to keep in touch and know whats going on back home and in the region. I will try to post regularly but it probably wont happen as much as I would hope.

This Car Has No Problems. Very Nice Car for a Lady.

Without further Adieu, here are the results for the first four cars I stumbled across that were American exports. The results were more surprising than I had imagined. All cars were found at small independent used car shops in the vicinity of the Al Ghubra R/A or the Grand Mosque. Next week, Ruwi.

Car 1 is a 2000 ford mustang, with 105,000 miles on the odometer. Asked about any problems the guys assured me that it was fine, but possibly needed a new power steering pump. The Carfax report revealed the following:

  • it's a 1999 make (the guys assured me it was a 2000, and insisted that the ROP had made a mistake when Issuing the Mulkia)
  • It's a former corporate fleet car (rental) that was owned by the rental company for an astonishing 6 years.
  • It's been in two serious accidents, the second one causing enough damage to make the vehicle a "Total Loss".
  • THe second one shows a police report- Ohio Police ReportCase #20068107401 Accident Reported in Franklin County Involving a front impact Vehicle ran off the road Moderate damage reported
  • It was issued a Salvage title, and sold at a salvage auction. They have no information on how it got here.

Car Two is a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche. It's clean, pretty, and has less than 1,000 miles on it. no sign of serious damage on initial inspection. The asking Price is RO 8,500, which is just a little more than what a similar one would sell for in the states. The CarFax report sheds more light on the issue.

  • It was registered originally in June 2005 in Bernice, Louisiana. Does that date and location ring any bells? Hurricane Katrina?
  • It was issued a salvage title, and a NAM (not Actual Mileage) title in November of 2005
  • It was exported in May of the following year from Houston to the UAE
  • On my inspection, I can see slight flood damage, but you'd really have to look hard to find it.

Car Three is a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, From a distance it looks fantastic, but on close inspection of the dash and door panels, It's pretty obviously been in a serious front-end collision. It also looks to me like the vin# plate has been tampered with or damaged in an accident.

  • Carfax reports that the vin # I submitted is incorrect. I'll go back and check it again.

Car Four is a 1995 Cadillac Seville sts. 1,500 rails asking price. I was unable to speak to any salesmen about this one. The CarFax report lists the following:

  • Vehicle exported brand new from Wilmington, DE. and imported to Oman. Looks like it was a bespoke special order. I don't know what happened to it here, but carfax thinks it's ok.

Of the four cars I checked, only one had anything that looks like a clean title. The flooded Avalanche is very overpriced for a previously flooded car, but my biggest concerns lie with the Mustang and the Tahoe, which have both been in serious front end collisions. I view those as somewhat serious safety issues in the long term. These cars should not be sold without disclosing the full history as it is known, and a complete inspection at the dealership.

Out of Curiosity, I also checked one of our cars which is an American export. It came up clean, but to my surprise spent 13 years of it's previous life in NYC, arriving in Dubai in late 2004. The guy we bought it from said it had spent it's entire life here in Oman, cruising between nizwa and Salallah. He said a friend had owned it from new. I plan to kick his teeth out when I see him next.

My Carfax membership lasts for another 28 days, so I'll report again next week on what else I find. In the meantime, if any of you are out car hunting and come across an American export send me the vin# and I'll check it and report here. otheroman(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, July 13, 2007

Borders bookshop


Borders bookshop, the 2nd best bookshop in the world has signed on to open up in the second phase expansion of City Centre, Muscat. It would be selling everything from books, audio and visual media and even stationary and light confectionery.

The bookshop has been rumored that it would open up on two levels with Starbucks coffee as its official coffee-shop here in the Sultanate of Oman.

I know for one, I am going to be the first person there when it finally opens in mid-September.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Omanbay.com


Seems like we have someone who wants to compete with Ebay..

A new online company has been set up under the local name of Omanbay by Omani, Jordanian, and British investors.

As the sites states:

Omanbay.com has been created as a resource for the multi-national community in Oman to use to trade with each other for fun and profit.

Our aim is that everyone in Oman can benefit from trading on Omanbay.

The New Guy

Do I give this place a flavor or what? Well, nobody would know anyhow...I love lame jokes, and that's probably the first thing you noticed about this post.
Anyhow, so I guess, from the way I saw some other posts on this pretty cool blog, that I have to introduce myself...
Threadlike...15 years on the planet, that's almost 473 million seconds. Anyhow...I've been in Oman since I was about 11. It's been a hell of a ride, I guess. It's been one hell of an experience to live an entire year in here then go back to my home country for the summer, for every year since 11. Yes, I have a 'home country', Egypt. Okay okay, you can stop reading now...I understand the impression many 'natives' get on Egyptians is either disgust, empathy or simply; we make you laugh the crap out of yourself with the trademark accent.

But I've grown around Omanis, and for some reason or the other, albeit the huge teasing I got from my fourth-grade 'colleagues', I think that I love this country so much. So much it feels like...I really am a half-Omani and half-Egyptian. I don't like the pyramids by the way. I think they're quite overrated. My discussions are very boring, I really am a bit close-minded and I can get offensive sometimes...Some say it's the Scorpio thing. I think it's just stupid to believe there IS something as Scorpio, Virgo, Gayo or whatever the hell they like to call it these days. I'm waiting for that golden day where I'd open the paper and look at the horoscope to see 'Scorpio' going: 'You gonna die!'.

The rule is three paragraphs at the least.
But who cares for the rules. This wasn't a very nice 'curtains-up' I guess, but you can always blame the insomnia. You know you're an insomniac when you repeat yourself. You know you're an insomniac when you repeat yourself. You know you're an insomniac...Dammit.

That was a Robin Williams joke by the way, but since I'm not alcholic so...lol.
God bless.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

our perspective on Oman

I think it's about high time I started jotting down something for this blog after more than 10 days of officially launching it. Mind you, I've been asked a few times as to why I haven't since I am the administrator here. Which is a good question.

I haven't posted on OCB because for many reasons. One of which that I was still busy tagging everyone to join in and following up on others who had joined but haven't posted yet. They gave their reasons and I understood, so I am still looking forward to their posts later on. Second reason is because I established this place to be a collabrative blog, one where all the bloggers who have signed on as contributers would join in as a joint effort to post on whatever experiences they have or had in their stay in Oman. So naturally, that means that their posts come first before mine to give them a chance to say what they want and let them express in their own unique way of what they are thinking or feeling.

I think you all know who I am, and if you don't, you're more than welcome to checkout my blogger profile through my nickname. So there is really no need for any introduction on my part unless you and I haven't met online.

I hope you all enjoy the different but respectable views and perspectives of Oman each and everyone of you has and again, should there be anything you would like to suggest to add to this blog or should you know of anyone who wants to participate, let me know. We're more than happy to get this show on the road and it is as they say; the more the merrier.

Cheers!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Questions Are The Answers


What’s a community blog? Is it a place for the contributors to rant about their daily lives? Or is it a place to discuss the latest news and activities in town? Or maybe it’s just another mean through which the contributors can market their own blogs?

Well, almost each and every contributor has his/her own blog, what for do we need a community blog? Ain’t we all special and “unique” in our own ways? (at least that’s what our mamas’ say!) Wouldn’t a community blog melt down our “uniqueness”? But, don’t you think that the content of the community blog would be so rich and satisfy all the various tastes? People/readers have different tastes, no? Can you picture how entertaining a discussion will be once every contributor chips in and view the topic from a certain angle? Or how a piece of news about OMAN might be useful to a person abroad?

I am currently doing a bachelor in Mechtronics Engineering in Oman. Sensation(my nickname) is enjoying the sunny weather in the sultanate and having a special interest in reading about business, tourism and learning languages. On the other hand I am running a blog titled Going Banana!

(Note: the blog is not listed in the blog roll)

We are Oman

Due to the fact that I did not partake in the initial development phase of this blog, the idea of a joint Omani blog seemed like a reasonable idea. However, as more contributors joined the effort I began to see that this is more than talking about Oman, its sharing ideas, views and experiences. The latter of those is what makes it interesting, because just like this blog, Omanis in general are diverse and their experiences are assorted. It will be interesting to have a single blog that will show how our views differ in regards to “Omani” Topics.

My views come to you from across the world, usually in the form of a proud Omani looking at the developments and change from far away. For the past 13 years I have lived in the United States, mostly in Kentucky but in DC and Los Angeles for a short while. Currently, I am in pursuit of a PhD in Economics at the University of Kentucky and therefore will be here for at least another 4 years.

I look forward to the information provided here. If you have ever lived out of Oman you will know that local news and information are hard to come across. I hope that this becomes a venue that serves as an introduction to the dynamic life of Oman, where old coexists with the new.

..ok..I'll try to introduce myself...

Hello Community!

..I'll try to fight against the shy side of me and say little bit of my personal experience in Oman.
First time i came in the Sultanate was February 2005, my Professor "sent" me to Salalah to attempt some consolidation works. I knew almost nothing about this country and didn't have time to read or to catch more information... (i wasn't a "sailor" of the net as i'm now!!!)
When i arrived in Salalah the people "of the group", working with me -not Omani-, just gave some "instructions": Do this, Don't do this. That's all. I spent a very nice time but in somehow i missed something.
After my short time there i still knew almost nothing about Omani and the Spirit of Oman but i felt that i had to come back...
Don't ask me why or what stole my heart... that time Oman was just a place... maybe the smell of the incense souq... the colour of the mountains at sunrise... or the sunset in Taqah.
I don't know why, but while i was leaving Salalah i said to myself: "..find a way to come back here..."

So i did, and not just for few weeks. Trying every time to know more, to feel and taste the sense of Oman... and even learn all this from Omani not just from my group (don't ask me why but we are kept separate than "locals"... and till now i can't understand it at all).

Anyway time by time thanks to the help of some collegues and friends -Omani, one of them studied for his ph.D. here in Pisa- i've started to learn the culture, traditions and values and to open my eyes upon many mistakes and ridiculos things... Upon all these mistakes we fall in whenever we think to know something better than everyone else... whenever we judge people and culture without trying to understand them...


My experience in Oman started just as a "working" experience and became an interesting school of life under many point of view... (...also for my Ph.D. studies!..but this is another story... for another post..)
I met "sleepless" for the first time in 6th of June -or something like that- just before Mr. Gonu's visit to Oman.. i heard something of that, but our tv speaker seemed to be more interested in gossips and VIP scoops... so i was looking for more news about the situation in Muscat and surroundings.
I remember that days i was driving crazy 'cause mobile net didn't work properly and was trying to call some friends of mine just to be shure that they and their family were ok..
Several blogs were the only available source of news, true news... ..and i get this addiction for blogs!

For a structural engineer like me, who is writing for the first time in a blog, is not easy to summarize two years of experience, emotions, toughts on a so peculiar country... -..and in the same time introducing herself without killing people with a boring post!!-...
Just I think this blog is a good chance for me to share ideas, point of view, news, advices... in somehow to grow up... and i hope i can give you something useful from my personal experience.

......
-i always have some problems in closing e-mails, letters..and, now i see, also posts!!...-
.....Ciao Ciao!

I’m a day late and thirty dollars short.

Or, Suburban creates a giant conspiracy but lacks the resources to prove it. But I'll get to that later.

This week’s car shopping has been a lot of fun, and more than a little interesting. The best find was a 1979 Datsun 280Z at the little boutique car showroom in Al Gubra. The name of the place escapes me, but it's located on Porsche road, below the shell station and around the corner from Zanzibar Island Restaurant. Which serves the best lunch around, by the way. I digress...

Anyway, they have a gorgeous classic 280 z which those of you old-school rally people would remember as a regular feature on the Middle East Rally circuit in the early eighties. A lot of rally heroes, Arab and otherwise made their bones driving these in the early days,

It's a thing of beauty to look at and drive, turning heads wherever you go. It says that you are a connoisseur of taste and style, and have the oomph to back it up. I don't want to be vulgar, but girls wonder what a man is making up for if he's driving a Lamborghini around in circles at Shatti al Qurm. Know what I mean? This classic sports car will raise no such manhood dampening questions. Also, it has excellent ground clearance, essential for tackling the interesting and seemingly random speed bumps scattered throughout Muscat.

My husband says it's a rolling hunk of crap, and has kindly vetoed my purchase. It can be yours for RO 2,300 or maybe less if you are good at bargaining. Maybe you can loan it to me, I'll trade you a spin in a clapped out bmw 7 series.

On to the conspiracy. I have visited five small showrooms so far, and all of them have a large number of used, recently exported American cars. I think a lot of the cars leave America via ports on the east and southern coasts, arrive in Dubai via Jebel Ali, get registered and re-exported to Muscat and elsewhere.

Hands up everybody who has personally cleared and imported a car through Jebel Ali.... Without a PRO..... Just me? OK, then Ill tell you one of the interesting things I usually see when I'm clearing my cars there.

Thousands of wrecked American cars intended for scrap yards and the occasional "hot" Japanese sports car.

Looking at some of the cars in these show rooms I can't help but wonder if they are repaired ex-salvage or formerly flooded and written off, arriving here to be resold as an unwrecked, low mileage used car. One, for example, had a sticker for it's last oil change just under two years ago at the Mobile Alabama KwikLube. Timing and location suspicious given the damage from Hurricane Katrina around the Gulf Of Mexico. Hmmm...

But fear not dedicated car shoppers! There is a fantastic service called carfax that can give you the whole history on any car registered in the states. Accidents, number of owners, Ex-fleet, and salvage history. Just by typing in the vin number.

To subscribe you need a credit card that bills to an address in the states. Which is something I don't have. So last night I called my Old Boss from ten years ago. After persuading him that I'm not a crack smoking prostitute impersonating me, Or a Nigerian Scammer impersonating me, and that it's just me, Suburban, who has really returned to the middle east, he said I can use his card to charge the thirty dollars and get my carfax subscription.

So, I'm off to gather a bunch of vin numbers this week. Tune in next Monday for the results.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Malak has just arrived

A Salam Alykum everyone

My name is Malak, am 23 , am new and this is my first new post .... it's an interesting blog and i found it very enjoyable to read and am enthusiastic to comment and post ...

That was a small introduction of myself and hopefully i will post a new post later ..

Thank you

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Age Restrictions...


Sometimes I wonder why movies actually have age restrictions on them in this country. Every now and then a movie will be singled out and will be for an over 18 only audience. Now there’s nothing wrong with that if it wasn’t for the simple fact that 14 year old girls were allowed to enter the show and guys who had only a couple of months left to reach 18 were not allowed to enter the movie.

Now, I must know why bother putting age restrictions if you’re only going to bar people from watching the movie if you simply don’t like the way they look? Shouldn’t there be a better way of screening people from watching the movie? And better yet, shouldn’t the ticket seller NOT sell the ticket to anyone who’s under 18 in the first place, instead of making them wait until the movie starts for them to realize that they can’t go and watch the movie?

And if we’re going to put age restrictions on movies, shouldn’t there be regulated body for it? Instead of every cinema deciding for themselves who’s allowed to see which movies or in this particular case, the security guard in charge?

Staring...

You know, just walking down the street has become a chore these days. It seems like no matter how you’re dressed or how you look like, you will be stared at by just about anyone passes you by.

At first I thought I was just too good looking for my own good but my little fantasy was quickly shattered when I noticed that just about anyone who passes down the street gets stared at.

I mean, just what pushes a whole nation to simply stare and gawk at any passersby? Are we really so bored? Could there really be nothing better for us to do?

I mean, just how hard is it to simply NOT stare at someone who’s passing by?

Rashad Al-Jamali. An Introduction.

Rashad Al-Jamali. That’s my name. I’m 18 years old and as happy as a...
Well alright, I'm unhappy with my life... Woe is me and all that stuff...

I’m not exactly a dedicated blogger and rarely do I talk about happy stuff. Most of my posts will be seeped in sarcasm and will be offensive might and I have a tendency to view myself as not only God’s gift to women but to humanity in general and no, I’m not exaggerating.

Anyways,

Love and Respect to you all…

SQU, who're you kidding?

Today earlier in the morning while flipping through the local papers I came across this ad on Al-Watan newspaper. It's an ad for Sultan Qaboos University announcing that the university is giving the Omani students whom are students of local private colleges and universities, giving them the chance to transfer to SQU but after fulfilling certain requirements.

Here in this post I will highlight the very first requirement because it's the one and only one which caught my attention and made me think "Who are you kidding, SQU?". The first requirement says that the percentage performance in High School of the transferring students should fulfill the same percentage was required for the college in SQU they want to transfer to, at the academic year they've done their High School. Now please tell me who are you kidding, SQU?

When I first read the title of the ad, I thought it's a great move from SQU because they are giving a golden opportunity to those students who unfortunately did not do very well in high school but worked hard in the private colleges/universities they joined and showed how preeminent they are and now you're rewarding them for their preeminence by giving them the opportunity to study at Sultan Qaboos University without needing to pay all that load of money to the private colleges and universities anymore. But I was totally wrong. Apparently this chance is not for those who didn't do well in high school but did well in university. Because if anyone got a great percentage in high school which would let him join SQU, he would NOT miss that chance and go to a private college/university instead. Now I wonder with the requirements you've set, how many students will transfer to SQU? I doubt anyone would, because apart from the first requirement I'm talking about here, the rest of the requirements are next to impossible.

This is nothing but a joke. If SQU was not a governmental university I would have said that this ad is a mere promotion and marketing to the university, but SQU doesn't need that. Someone please tell me SQU is not joking...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Oman Ya Wa6anna

I loved it...
I Hope You Will 2 ...
From Elagante ;)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Irresponsible Teenagers

Yesterday night I was at Sarooj area and witnessed this behavior from an irresponsible teenager and thought of sharing it here on the blog.

First off, I'm really so sorry for the bad quality of the picture. It's taken with my mobile phone and it's not very clear plus I assume that you still couldn't realize what's wrong with the picture. The picture shows a teenager on the other part of the highway [Sultan Qaboos Highway]. Imagine, this guy was standing on the side of the road where I took the picture from, and he ran crossing the highway. Yes, he DID cross the highway although there is a walkers path just in the same spot and it is even shown in the picture. I made sure I show this path/bridge in the picture and I can't believe he really did that! When I first saw him running and trying to cross the highway, I thought he was not serious at all. Because the walkers path is right in front of him, why the hell would he prefer to risk his life than using the path? Another guy was with him, but when his friend crossed the road he kind of frightened and decided to use the path. So they're two friends; one is irresponsible and crossed the highway instead of using the walkers path, and the other one is responsible and used the path.

As I told you, I thought he was not serious when I first saw him running to cross the road, and just when he crossed and reached the other part of the road, I thought of taking a picture. But unfortunately I took the picture when he already reached the other part of the road. I was not lucky enough to take a decent picture.

Those irresponsible teenagers never learn from each other's mistakes. Last April, a teenager whom didn't complete 15 years old passed away in this very same location, but not on the main road, on the subsidiary road at this location. He was crossing the subsidiary road and a car hit him and he immediately passed away. I'm pretty sure every single teenager in Muscat heard of that incident. The guy who passed away was in my school and his accident left an impact on every single person in the school; students, teachers, workers, principle and even the owners of the school. That guy passed away when he was crossing a subsidiary road, and this irresponsible guy I saw yesterday was not afraid to be hit by a car on the MAIN ROAD? And no, the main road was not empty as seen in the picture [again not lucky to take a decent picture].. There were some cars flying and he still decided to cross the main road.

Seeing this is really sad. May God guide those irresponsible teenagers to the right path.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Solafa's pen

Sallam and Hello to all,

I believe some have already seen my name around and some are about to get introduced.

==================

A quick introduction:

My name is Solafa [second name] and I am Omani. At the moment i live in Liverpool city in England . I have came in here as a student, and i behold an Advanced Level Certificate, Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering Studies and a B.Eng(Hons) Civil Engineering Degree; now I work as a Highways & Environmental Engineering in one of the biggest engineering organization in the UK.


I am a junior blogger and I am still trying to improve my blog in trying to post as often as I can, but my time is taken most of the time with work and when ever I get the chance then it the pleasure time to write and post …

==================


I have been away from Oman for about 9 years but I keep visiting my home land once a year apart of one time I stayed away for two full years then gone back on the third year. I do miss my country and the people but every time I go for a short time and return back to Liverpool I feel disappointed with what I see and witness of dramatic change within the society/community and the environment.

When I left in 1998 Muscat was a complete different city. Every one at that time was extra conservative to many things in their life style and thoughts. People used to be different and protective, well to me it was excessive protection that they were spread around but for the good propose.

I guess Globalisation at that time was something that people were not ready to face totally and were not sure of the real change that well come once they open their mind and hands wide. It was never clear what will the outcome be of such wave when it gets through or conservative and reserved communities, tradition and culture and not to forget religion.

From my own personal experience I do say that Oman and in exact Muscat had gone through a wide change in the past 9/10 years to within the community and the life style that I would have not imagined it 1 or 12 years ago. Just out of knowing how it used to be it would have been difficult to even picture it to be in the way it is now. May be if I was there within the years of changes and was never abroad in them years I would have look at it in a different prospective and I would have taken it differently than what I do now, cause when you are surrounded with change then you don’t witness or you don’t observe it to be major or dramatic, but being away and having to visit m home land once every year for say maximum of 2 months, then it is an eye that I have that says a lot to the level that one day I had tears in my eyes out of being emotional to what I witnessed at that time. I believe I was in that state cause I did not expect my home land to change and I was always carrying the image of where I had left it and how it used to be…

Some examples of what I think that has changed in my absences, although it could be minors to some but to be were the opposite:

*Girls used to wear more decent cloth and reserved within what suits the culture and religion. Not necessary to have to wear the Abbaya [the veil] but was decent and attracting within decency.

*Guys used to be more respective towards girls and they will still control their manners even if the girl started to play her game they will still reserve their morals. Although many guys used to chase after girls but still this was the norm of it nearly every where in this life.

*Social places and activities were within the reasonability such as a group of teenagers will end up in a park or a restaurant or by the beach, but there will always a limit to have far they can go with their behaviour or attitude and respective.

What I saw in my recent visits and with shock:

*Many girls wear cloths not within the decent category of how she should present her self as first a Muslim girl, second as an Arab and Omani. Many dresses up as if they are in the west and some are even worse than what I see of girls in the west. Many are drowned in make-up looking like a clown in the middle of the day, where this girl could only be going to either a clinic or a college.

*Girls are the ones who chase guys and they even degrade themselves to try to get the guys that their eyes had set on. They have lost their morals and principles and lost their self respective just for the sake of being cool and acting like the teens girls in the west.

*The only social places that I kept hearing were Muscat Festival, City Centre, Al-Bhaja, Cinema Alshaty and Love Road! Don’t get me wrong I like going to the cinema every now and then and I love walking by the beach and I do love shopping but only if I have something in my mind to walk and roam around a shopping mall. But for I wont be spending 3 or 5 hours just walking in a circle in one shopping mall and then go to another for another few hours. What sort of Social life is this? There are many ways to hang around with your friends and do something useful for you and others; it does have to involve wasting hours walking as if you are doing some sort of religious duties!


I might sound old fashioned but the truth I would rather have the old fashion brought back again than to see our youth getting destroyed in things that has no value or principle behind.

I am not denying that I do see these things happening within our own youth of the family members, and I do have my reaction when it comes to certain things and I will prove my point and I will get the message across the board. But what I receive is some negative vibes not because they don’t want to listen or they think that I am wrong but it’s the matter of following the trend and copy cat others. For this is the only way for them to prove that they live the COOL GANG life…

So pathetic life style but its true and its hard to change what it has been rooting well and strengthen its foundation and spreading the image around to be the right way to follow.

I would wish if I had photographs of what I mean to post in here, but sadly I never thought of taking any as it was already annoying to see things with my bare eyes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Is it only me, or life is really weird



For some reason bumping into weird objects has become a normal thing into my life. I guess strange and weird should be my last name. I intend moving along with my camera these days, afraid that I’ll miss something or not capture the moment. So I’m walking innocently in our most famous area in Oman (Al Sarooj) minding my own business in this heat UNTIL….



There IT was. Something I can’t name, I was confused. Is it a bird (*I said to my self*)? A guy wearing fur? Girl with a dishdasha? Girl being a guy or a guy being a girl? Uhhhhhh (shouted confused)...

My stories don’t end at weird, it always gets weirdER and weirdER at the end… Here you go...

I ran into to a hidden corner (MY CAMERA) thank God it’s in my bag. Took my weapon out of my tinny bag and started with the crime. At that stage I realized it was a he (lelasaf) HIS HAIR IS STRAIGHTER THEN MINE and maybe even longer. Uhhhhh
If you are wondering how I took this picture I stood there for almost two hours, trying to get the right angle and I zoomed X12. It took me a while until I discovered this object was a tarararaaaaaaa….


A fashionable MOTAWA3 on the run…

Elagante style….
Hi all. Hope I don’t offend any one by my posts. This is only my personal opinion and the way that I exaggerate in things. As I was told, you can always understand but you don’t have to always agree…
I must admit I never had a passion towards Oman until I lived in its beautiful lands. I am proud of being an Omania and so proud to write in this particular blog (OMAN COMMUNITY BLOG).

Enjoy,

Elagante...