Monday, April 14, 2008

Damn, now what am I going to do with that Free Tibet banner?

I was interested to read in yesterday's Times of Oman about the plans for today's Olympic torch relay. The media and the various ministries seem quite excited about it all, though I am slightly disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm shown by most of my friends and associates.

That's not what this post is about though. I laughed out loud when I read the following :

Oman announced yesterday that the nation is all geared up to host the most peaceful leg of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay tomorrow. The claim came from Oman Olympic Committee vice-chairman Habib bin Abdulnabi Macki, who addressed a large press gathering at the Crowne Plaza yesterday.

“Our security is tight and anyone trying to put a hurdle will be severely dealt with,” said Habib Macki. “The Royal Oman Police is ready to handle any such situations.”

Did you catch the pun? Hurdle! get it? Hurdle?

After I stopped laughing, I spent another twenty or thirty minutes marveling at his poor choice of words regarding how protesters will be treated. I can't believe that nobody prepped him for the question, or if they did that that was the quote he was supposed to give. That is textbook bad Public and Press Relations.

With the eyes of the world on us today, the OOC would have been well advised to trot out a someone more seasoned to deal with the media, or to have prepared statements that didn't quite present the plan for crowd control so bluntly.

That said, I think it's a real mark of distinction that Oman was chosen to host a leg of the relay. For those of you who want to attend, the relay starts off from the Dhow at the Al Bustan R/A at about 17:00 and continue along the coast through old muttrah, and up through the darsait heights area, then Past the refinery I think and down into Qurum. The relay is scheduled to finish amongst great fanfare and fireworks at around 20:30 tonight, in the floating theatre in Qurum park.

Be there or be square Hip Cats.

A slightly more Caustic version of this is Cross posted on my Blog, Other Oman


Té la mà Maria - Reus said...
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ColOman said...

we must be proud that no ' hurdel' took place in Oman unlike the rest of the world. Even the most advanced countries had issues.

The quote was taken from an Arabic papaer so the word 'hurdel' could have been used in a wrong way... but I do not get what is the big booo boo about using it?

Suburban said...


Sorry it took me a while to reply. Reading the post, it was a little veague.

So.... to clarify:

I am also proud that there were no problems with the torch, because I don't belive the olympics should be politicised.

I laughed my ass off because Hurdle is a great Pun. Like in track and field, hurdles are an event. Get it? Hurdle? It was brilliant, and that was praise. I never would have thought up a pun that clever.

The big Boo-Boo, was to say in public (at a freaking press confrence!!!!) that the police would use violent means to supress any form of protest.

Remember Tienimen Square?

This relates to China because china has a history of violently supressing peacefull protests, as well as a miryad of other human rights violations. Many of them similar to the human rights violations that recently landed Oman on Tier 3, so we can hob-nob with such notables as China, North Korea, Saudia, and Iran... (I think)

It was potentially catastrophic PR, and something that Ministry of Sports Affairs could have avoided by bringing in a seasoned PR professional to handle the Arabic and enlglish Press releases, and coach the people speaking on hot button topics.

Oman doesn't need any further publicity in the west detailing how peaceful protest is illegal, and free speach a concept still alien to the governmental powers that be.

Hope that clarifies?

Anonymous said...

Open your eyes and read some histroy of Tibet. You will see the truth and start to see how free Tibet become a "fashion" in West world which 99% of the people join the protest have no clue where the hell is Tibet.

The "shows" in London and Pairs are disgusting. Everybody has the right to protest but who give the right to to ruin something other people think important. They are nothing but stuip and selfish.

allen said...