Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sheikh Saud Bahwan Passes Away

Al Mawaali, over at the Be in Oman Blog broke the story late yesterday.

The Arabic papers were sold out by the time I got to sultan center this morning, but the Times of Oman ( Here and Here) and the Tribune both had lovely eulogies, Far better than anything I could write here. In particular, the papers highlighted Sk Saud's many charitable endeavours. I think you all would agree, that he was a man of extrordinary generosity and business acumen.

According to the papers, Prayers will be performed at the Abu Bakr Mosque, Wattayah. His body will be carried to Al Amerat graveyard and condolences will be accepted at the mosque. In mourning, all the offices, divisions and branches of Saud Bahwan Group shall remain closed from August 20, and shall resume operations on Sunday August 24.

I counted 36 full pages of advertisements from various businesses in the English papers alone. I assume that these are being run instead of the regular adverts, and possibly at a discount. The rates for a full page b/w advert in Al Wattan are roughly 1,200 rials per day before any discount. Assuming a 40% discount, with six newspapers carrying 72 full pages of advertising , That's Maybe 51,000 Rials for Today's edition of the papers. I would expect just as many adverts in tomorow's edition . Call me a cynic, but I can't help wondering if the advertisement divisions of the newspapers high five one another every time someone important dies.

It seems to me that a better way to honor a man and family who gave so much to philanthropic endeavours would be to pull the advertisements for the day and instead donate, quietly, the amount that would have been spent on the advertisemsnts to one of the charities Sheikh Saud established. 100,000 rials in two days would improve the lives of countless disabled children, Diabetes patients, and the less fortunate famalies among us.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon--we belong to Allah and to Him do we return.


Twister said...

Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon.

May his soul rest in eternal peace...

omanymous said...

what a waste of money ...
Great Man ... he made sure he continues to help people even after he gone ..

i think people confuse the man with the Sb corporation ... i also find it hard to believe that he started his career when he was 9 years old .. sailing the high seas in the name of trade... i think that just the corporate talk ... its the same as photohopping his picture onto every poster they have of him ... hTHe pciture of him receiving .. the picture of him sitting with all his Omani employees (all 5 of them) ... the picture of signing papers ... he is always wearing the Musar in every picture ... i think its because IT IS THE SAME PICTURE !!!

Allah Yi7amah Inshallah .. He helped a lot of people ..

Inshallah said...

Omanymous what exactly do you mean by waste of money??
First of all, it is not right to say that of someone who has passed away.
Secondly, if you are Omani I am sure that he helped you indirectly somehow, as he helped an entire nation and many people across the world.
That is right he did start working at a very young age, and that is exactly what is so amazing about him! Its easy to say its just corporate talk because no one does that nowadays.
He laboured day and night to bring up his company, the SB corporation so why should you not associate the founder with the company!! He is inextricably linked with its foundation and future.
As for the photos they might be the same perhaps because whilst others like to parade themselves and pat themselves on their back for good work and rewards by taking many pictures, Sheikh Saud Bahwan was a humble person who worked hard and helped others in such a way that what he did with his right hand his left hand didnt know of.

May his soul rest in peace.

Many shall miss him.

omanymous said...

i bought cars from his company, and serviced them at the wakalah.. that was the nature of our relationship

Allah Yir7ama ... he helped many people doubt...

but i cant think of any way that he helped me personally ... maybe you can enlighten me...

and yes all those ads were a waste of money ... the cash should have been into the saud bahwan charitable foundation least there it would have helped people ...

and you really really think he started his career when he was 9? you really believe that is an honest statement?

and you dont think if he was living in oman .. they wouldnt use the same picture?

Suburban said...


It's a waste of money and an insult to Saud Bahwan himself. This was a man who is widely associated with cahritable endevours. Think of the good work that his charities could have done with the more than RO 100,000 which has been spent on advertisements. Stupid, wastefull advertisements.

The only use of these sort of advertisements is to allow the grieving family to measure thier own self importance, and for corporations to ensure that any oppertunity to kiss an important ass is fully expolited. It's shameful, it's tabtheer, and it's a disservice to those around us who are struggling to scrape by.

Inshallah said...

Every company advertises. It is the basics of business.
Think of it this way, if the SBG corporation didnt do advertisements they wouldnt make money, and if they didnt make money they would not be able to give money to charity.
That is what you call smart investing. Reinvesting money which he inadvertently didnt spend on himself!
Omanymous,get over it, he started when he was that young. Yes we all know that it is hard to believe!
I can understand why he wasnt living in Oman near the end, because of people who speak ill of him...
Suburban, the advertisements have nothing to do with his poor greiving family!
Its a pity to see to what extent people can be jealous!!

omanymous said...

thanks for the lesson in advertising .. but i dont think you were reading the comments .. i'll write really slowly ...

suburban was referring to what is called "condolences ads" the ads OTHERS place in papers when someone dies ..

those were a waste of money .. if these companies really cared they would not have advertised and just paid the money into the SB charity ...

g e t i t ?

and i refuse to believe that he started his "career" when he was nine..

one more thing .. if people start talking ill of you .. you'll go away ?

BTW do you work for the "SBG corporation"? you are not even Omani are you? where are you from ?

Inshallah said...

the condoleance "ads" as you call them are not ads at all they are called Eulogies! They are not ads but right our of the dictionary a Eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person. People wrote them to honor him. Also HOW do you know that they didnt write the eulogies AND give money to his charity? What makes you a source? DO you work there that you know? If you and suburban go on that assumption then I can go on mine that they did both write eulogies and give money.
Refuse to believe what you want only God knows what the truth is and that is the most important thing.
Also answer your own question would you stay somewhere where people speak ill of you?
And finally no I dont work for the company at all.
And Yes I am Omani.
What cant believe that too?? You have trust issues!!

SK said...

@ suburban, a full page costs 1,800 OMR B/W +-100 rials for all newspapers, colored copies are charged at 100% premium!

Sasikumar said...

I used to work for Suhail Bahewan his brother in Oman> I am ver very saddened to hear of this demise in the most respected and beloved Bahwan family in Oman. As a former employee, I pray for the soul to rest in peace

Sasikumar R Nair said...

I was glossing through some of the comments here today. As Inshallah rightly observed, a man's picture with comments on his death is to be called a eulogy(if it recognizes and/or praises his achievements). Otherwise it can simply be called an obituary. But certainly not an advertisement.

Its a practise done all over the world in acknowledgment of the person's contribution to society if any and is in the best tradition of honoring the dead.

But unfortunately, those who tend to see everything through the occluded telescope of money and profits will only see an advertisement there. Those who place money before men will fail to see the wisdom,the spirit and the vision that goes behind making great things possible. They become incapable of gratefulness to the hand that helped them and unfeeling to the sorrow and grief of a family going through an irreparable loss.

I used to work in the Suhail Bahwan group back in 1994. I am now back in my home country in India. I can decidedly say that what Oman is to the eyes of the world today is almost single handedly due to the great vision, spirit of enterprise and giving and wisdom of people like Saud Bahwan. As an ex employee of the Bahwwan group, I think what I have said here is only a miniscule tribute to a giant among men!

allen said...