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,


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??!!!!


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.