Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

I have always been a fan of Will Smith ever since the good old days of his light hearted appearance on the early 20th century sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But, let's face it, times have changed and people outgrow such wild comedic outbursts the day they hit puberty or perhaps a few before.

But that's besides the point here.

The point I am trying to make here, is that Will Smith is a wonderful actor who knows exactly how to act when given the best lead roles in a movie with exception to his second action flop Bad Boys II. I say flopped not because there are underlying facts that it did just not hit the commercial nerve in the summer it was released but rather because it came out too late after it's first debut's success plus with the unnecessary vulgarity and obscene scenes that we just did not come to adone from actors such as himself.

But as I said, given the lead roles that would best suit him, he takes it all the way to success with no sweat. Take his last comedic venture Hitch, a wonderful comedy that touched both sensitive nerves in both the male and female kingdoms of our race. Something so wonderfully romantic and yet a very simple idea that just grows within our heads as the movie goes along.

The Pursuit of Happyness rides along that line with the idea coming from a father and his son having gone through every part of bitterness of life that anyone could ever bare to imagine in a personal manner, from losing a mother to another man, to losing your job and your home and having to live through each day as it's your last just trying to think of what you're going to do the next day in order just to survive.

The movie strikes a chord within all human beings because it brings out the human touch that shows us that it is when we are our strongest we can also be at our most vulnerable stage.

Unfortunately, The Pursuit of Happyness has not hit the Omani cinemas yet and I have no idea if it has even reached the UAE. But this is what I understood from its brief internet trailer and the official movie site.

A movie I think no one should ever try to miss, no matter what age you are.

Last but not least, this movie has been nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards. Somewhat of an achievement near to the Oscars for our multi-talented actor - Mr. Will Smith.



- Official movie site

- Movie trailer

- Movie info (Yahoo! Movies)

no longer an environmentalist's safe haven

Back in the old days - well, my old days, anyway - when Oman was still unknown to the world and it was called back then as the safe haven of all environmental breeds like the animals, birds, trees and even insects, it was hard to even think about how one day we would ruin our own country with our own two hands.

And this day, has unfortunately come to reality.

The growing demand for tourism to the Sultanate of Oman has blinded the fact that we are country that are out on a double mission; preserving the environment as well providing the economy with the amount of money needed for it's necessary growth.

And unfortunately, tourism - as an industry - needs the full co-operation of all the country's major industries pulled together in order to create a good opportunity for it to grow steadily. Something which, Oman as a new contender into the game, is pain-stain-kingly only beginning to fathom.

For Oman to build itself a proper base that can withstand the demand for future tourism into the country, it is having to sacrifice a great deal in order to attract the number of foreigners and regional visitors by building more roads, establishing more tourism spots, creating more hotel rooms, giving off lands to big multinationals to draw up their gigantic projects that will draw up millions of Omani Rials in the future to come.

But what is the role of the people behind these organizations besides making their beloved green bills grow and grow so that they can only make more? None Governmental Organizations such as the Environment Society Oman were given permission to be established by the government to create awareness to environmental factors that affect our country in all manners and types. But to what end? Is creating awareness really the solution to such problems with such an organization like the Ministry of Tourism holding the peer in hand to lead the industry really going to create a difference should there be an environmental concern in any project or area in the Sultanate of Oman that is under environmental threat?

The answer is no.

Mainly because the ESO is not given the right to intervene into any project that could hundreds, if not thousands of jobs opportunities and a load of wealth to the local economy.

So what is the point then of such an organization?

In my opinion, there is no such benefit other than having to teach yourself of the pros and cons of anything environmental of which was, is, and should it ever be there in the times to come. Something that should definitely reconsidered very seriously especially after such unions have been allowed to carry out duties to unfairly treated parties in the private sector.

Should the environment receive less of a treatment after what it has been through especially with the detoriating situation that our one and only planet that we inhabit is going through of late?

Such projects that are creating environmental threats are the new tourism projects in Ras Al Had, where there is an environmental sanctuary for the turtles. The new Al-Hoota Cave that has been recently established by the Ministry of Tourism in co-operation with an Arab tourism development company. Beaches are slowly fading away in Muscat because Muscat Municipality wants to develop those fronts for tourism development projects such as The Wave - Muscat, and The Blue City project and the new hotel spot in the Al-Ashkhara area. And with more underway, there is no doubt that we will have lost in no time at all everything that this country has worked so hard to preserve through our entire lifetime.

Something must be done.



- Ministry of Tourism

- Environment Society Oman

- Promo-Oman LLC (company responsible for Al Hoota Cave)

- Muscat Muncipality

- The Wave project, Muscat

- The Blue City, Oman

Saturday, December 30, 2006

how private sector employees waive off their rights

When the Eid Al Adh'ha holidays were announced for the private sector, most of the employees were rejoicing even though the facts stood that they only get 4 days off for the entire period in comparison to their public sector counterparts who got 9 whole days since their holidays would include two weekends plus the week that the government gave them off.

Having considered that if the entire private sector shut down then the country would come to an entire standstill and no one would stand to gain from giving the entire holiday for their employees, but there is also the matter of decency when, like Christians all over the world celebrate their Christmas and New Year holidays by staying at home and gathering around their loved ones, be it family, friends or close relatives that they know - the same should go for the Muslims who work in the private sector in such organizations that offer only a day's holiday on a shift rotation per week in addition to having this extra Eid holiday as a extra advantage in their pockets.

However, the laws of the private sector say that as long as the companies see it in their advantage that the employee should attend his work during the holiday they they may 'order' them to do so but by agreeing with each each other on proper compensation. Most of the companies ask the employees to attend the holiday just because they don't want to lose out on their business which serves services or products by adding the compensation automatically and not enquiring about the employees favoritism.

In a matter of speaking, companies can do that. But they can't get away with it if the employee is dissatisfied with the end result by losing out on a day that brings him joy maybe only twice a every year.

In this case, the employee can choose not to attend that day by leaving an early notification of this and if forced complain to the Ministry of Manpower as the law gives the employee to choose whether to be compensated or to take the holiday - either way, it has to be in agreement between the employer and employee.

Unfortunately, since this is a new update in the Omani labor law as of this year only, none of the employees in the private sector (irrespective of their nationality or gender or race or ethnicity) are willing to go down that road simply because of the saying that 'one hand does not clap'.

Employees who work in the private sector have that right yet waive it off because they are too afraid of the consequences that could come afterwards. And unfortunately, this issue is not addressed by the Ministry of Manpower since the new update to Omani labor law that was updated by a Royal Decree by His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos, the Sultan of Oman.

A dilemma that this country faces every year only to repeat itself time and time again.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

getting it off the chest

We only start to recover by pushing ourselves into further limits of toleration.

This is what I believe and this is what I am doing at this very time. I believe my sickness is because I don't do much and don't get around very often which is why I am pushing myself further and further beyond my limits to make sure that I don't get weaker to a point which I can't tolerate anything and return to the hospital bed again.

The same thing goes with the matters of the heart.

I know I am lonely as do I know that I am probably the least probable human being with a chance to be looked at twice (say what you want, me being pessimistic and all in that way) but I am pushing my sensitive feelings aside by trying to occupy my mind with other things of bigger importance such as this blog. Focusing my mind on the topics that I come up with on this blog pushes my mind away from pathetic nonescence about falling in love and feeling sad and lonely for myself because I have no one.

The only way to make yourself stronger is by pushing yourself further down memory lane and reminding yourself how things were far too painful for yourself and disregarding everything that could be a potential opportunity. That way you don't get broken hearted nor do you end up having high expectations of something that could have not been.

I guess I just wanted to get that off my chest.

so who is it all for then?

Tourists flocking into Muscat this year will have a fun surprise on their hands when they learn that a few of the 5 star hotels are closing up for renovations - woohoo for nothing at all.

That's what you get out of bad planning from both the Muscat group of Hotel companies along the help of the Ministry of Tourism.

Of the few 5 star hotels that will be closed up for total renovation over a period of 8 whole weeks, is the well known The Bustan Palace Hotel, which is known for it's royalty statement of enrolling its guests into speechless beautifully catered rooms at gasping views at the ocean from the behind and the mountains from the other side. This will be the second renovation this hotel receives in a period of 2-3 years. This very fine hotel was the top notch hotel until it was beaten the Shangri La Bar Al Jassa group of hotels that had been established by less than a year ago now, with also the comparison of The Bustan Palace Hotel enjoying the full support of government funding in all it's matters, the Shangri La is an overly high investment of private sector funding with little backup by the government.

Tourists now will have to go and reside into other hotels in Oman during the Muscat Festival 2007, which will commence on 1/1/2007 and end on 2/2/2007, such as the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Qurum, the Grand Hyatt, the Intercontinental Hotel, Muscat; and other hotel suites over Muscat amongst other 4 star hotels of which the government seems to be refusing to give further permissions to start newer hotels because it has stopped deploying grounds out for further commercial development but says that it is in talks with big names in the international hospitality industry in the GCC region for help in funding like the United Arab Emirates Al-Futtaim group of companies that has already set it's mark in The Wave project that should be finished in sometime in 2015 or nearer, as well The Blue City Project that still has a very long way to go with the largest investment in the entire Sultanate of over $1 billion US Dollars and another chain of small 5 star hotels to open up near the environmental sanctuary declared by the government of the Sultanate of Oman in the Ras Al Had area.

So whose really gaining here? Definitely the population - being the nationals, the citizens, the residents of Oman. Not the environment. But the economy is.

The question in my mind which I was settling down to was: is it the sound economy that enables a good political stability for a country or the other way around. Because as far as it seems, it looks like we are heading towards the capitalist system of world trade economies of worldly countries.



- The Bustan Palace Hotel

- The Shangri La Bar Al Jassa group of Hotels

- The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Muscat

- The Intercontinental Hotel, Muscat

- the Grand Hyatt, Muscat

- The Golden Tulip Hotel, Seeb - Muscat

- Muscat Festival 2007

- Golden Sponsor: Gulf Air

Eid Mubarak

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone in the blogosphere on an Eid Mubarak and to everyone else a Belated Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

May 2007 be a year fulfilled with the promised intention of getting to where you have targeted yourself during your entire lifetime and that you achieve that result with flying colors.

Take care of yourselves and have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

what's fair anyhow?

Long has the employee in the private sector - those who don't have a high qualification that enables them to get a very excellent salary - been dis-serviced for all his hard work during the 36 long years of the renaissance in many matters such as the number of holiday days he may take during one year, or his weekly weekend off his work, his work timings, his public holidays, and last but not least - his salary.

Unlike the public sector employee that follows a structural payment system enabling so much for the degree number he falls under and allowing that same person a chance to prove himself further to get to a higher position through gaining a better qualification. Hence, earning himself a better salary for him.

Up until now the private sector employee still works double shifts, less weekend hours and sometimes none in some newer organizations, less holiday days during a year especially during their first year of service (i.e.: 15 days in the first year of employment only), his public holidays in comparison to his public sector counterpart are very relatively less which means less time with the family (sacrifice is sacrifice but there are limits) and most of the employees who only have HNDs (Higher National Diplomas) earn no more than 200 Omani Rials ( no more than 2100 AED) (source: employees of the very same establishment - unanimously).

And this was after there was an intervention from the Ministry of Manpower.

But there have been stories - for instance - that when, for example, Starbucks first opened, it wanted initially to give it's employees higher salaries in the beginning that the very same Ministry pushed the organization behind the establishment in the Sultanate of Oman to bring down the salaries to the same line of that of other companies within it's field.

Fair, would you say? And for what reason? Nothing apparent. Though, this was more than four years ago when it was first starting up the chain here in Muscat.

Now, the head of private sector employee association is calling upon all private companies, establishments and institutions to set forth the same example when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos ordered that all public sector employees get a 15% raise in their basic salary income by asking the private companies to at least raise the bar for income by - at least - 10%.

Will they follow suite? No one's to know really? And should they? And if so, why and if not, why too?

No one really knows for sure.

But I know one thing for sure. It won't make a big difference in the salaries of those who barely earn 200 Omani Rials and can barely keep a roof over their head let alone help their families out, and still try to do their monthly shopping while planning to get married by getting a loan from a local bank which they end up paying for the rest of their natural lives? Let alone the problem of inflation that the country is now feeling it's bend on its curves.

What I don't get is why Oman insists on making all employees whether they are nationals or foreigners, making them work like they are damn slaves? People need time to breath to think, to eat, to dream, to sleep to do their other natural parts of their so called life. And not the other way around.

And in the end, nobody is really appreciated.

It's a shame, I tell you.


Update: The holidays for the 'big Eid' - Eid Al Adh'ha have been declared as follows; the public sector will have 5 days from Saturday 30th December, 2006 - 3rd January, 2007 (which makes the grand total of the days off 9 days including weekends); private sector will have only 4 days off from Saturday 30th December, 2006 - 2nd January, 2007 (making the grand total of 1 week off if you count both Thursdays as half days off together combined into one day). Still think it's fair? Happy Holidays and Eid Mubarak to everyone out there who does and doesn't celebrate Eid Al Adh'ha, and a Belated Merry Christmas to everyone out there and Happy New Year.



- Private sector union calls for higher salaries by private companies (in Arabic).

- Holidays declared for public & private sector (in Arabic).


Updated Links:

- Holidays declared (in English)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

the transparency effect

Everyone the world thinks that Oman is the most peaceful piece of Earth on this planet. But there are those hidden facts that are need the 'transparency effect' that Muscati calls upon in how our government shows in it's guidelines, in it's line of information to the public and everyone in this proud nation; because it's their right to know what it is going instead of being lead on.

Take into example, for instance, that when the numbers were released after results were brought together for the number of road accidents, the numbers had a horrifying effect on everyone in the street, parents, drivers, foreigners, and most of all, all the organizations who put young drivers behind the wheel. Raising standards for safety measurements everywhere - granted that only went on for only a short amount of time, nonetheless it had the needed effect to change the society's and community's decision about how things were done in the manner of driving. We had the 2nd highest death rate in road accidents after the United States of America and following us was the United Arab Emirates.

Not exactly something you'd be proud of. Though, it shows how information can be used to a certain advantage.

Now, having you know that the Sultanate of Oman is a Muslim country that would produce an image in your mind saying that it doesn't deal with issues that Islam prohibits in all standards like Alcohol, bank interest and the such, right? But if you were told that you can't buy Alcohol cannot be bought legally off the public shelves but can be purchased in hotels and places that have such licenses. What does that say to you?

Many are the GCC countries that follow this procedure even like Saudi Arabia - even if they shut down the manufacturing plants. Whose to say that they don't produce it locally for their own consumption? If Saddam Hussein had a wife and his sons had some different booty to choose of every single night they were with daddykins, whose to say that we are no better than him? All of us?

It is rumored that the number one crime 'infester' is alcohol in Oman. When you hear of people getting drunk in Oman and actually doing the most atrocious things that could ever be conjured up in somebody's sick demented mind. Like for instance, a father returning drunk only to rape his own flesh and blood. The poor soul goes to a police station seeking sanctuary. Or when a brother gets his own sister impregnated after the two get drunk?

I have a question to those who actually drink: Just what is it that makes you feel like you need to drink to have a nice time when you can easily do the same without having to sip one drop of that poison, without having to pay tickets to get inside a bar and having a couple of free drinks on the house? You could easily sit at a cafe', sit down with your friends have a couple of laughs and enjoy the atmosphere, the ambiance of the place and enjoy the please of being with the ones you really enjoy being around with - your friends.

It is this kind of information with-holding against the society that leades the society members on that they live in such a peaceful country when the truth is contrary on that. When confronted with such info there's always an answer to our question, like it is in the best interest of the country nationalits to keep such information out of reach so as not to panic society members and cause alarm, when the truth is that when this information is released, it lead to better control on the people who actually cause these crimes.

This may not be the last you see of such a post.


Update: There was a not-so-recent rampage of killing not so long ago in the Muscat capital of a drunk Religion teacher who got fired because they caught him drunk on the job and when confronted with the command he turned against all those were 'culprates' in his case killing several and injuring more until he comitted suicide. Such information was not released in local tabloids but was known through the informal marketing effect of word of mouth.

Monday, December 25, 2006

to be or not to be - bah! who cares!

While I believe that writing is my life after my life (if you get what I mean), I also agree that it is a passion that yearns within everyone who wishes to express their inner self in their own creative way.

This, in the Sultanate of Oman, can be done in several ways, one of which is the most famous is depending on the government to back you up. Which is what most of the newspapers and tabloids in Oman have taken on route. Now, don't get me wrong, if you believe you can't get to your target by going independent, then why go on such a failed-top mission in the first place? Just so you can make yourself an easy buck? I think not. Writing is about having to write with the biggest guts that you think you have because you have firstly the right to, and secondly because you know it's the truth when you write it with a conscience and not with an organization like the government that you have to keep looking over your shoulder to see if their still smiling at what you wrote or getting ready to pounce at you with their red tape.

The reason I am writing this is because yesterday - since I was sick - I never attended the inagraguation ceremony for the Omani Writers Association/Guild.

I was read in an internet article by a professional writer that if you seek glory to write, then you're not a writer, if you seek to be well known then you're not a writer, if you seek fame and fortune from writing then you're not a writer. For a writer is heart with a pen and soul that knows only the pen as their one and true love. And without such, there can be no life for either.

I think I made part of that up. Point is: you're a writer only if you write to tell the truth with all honesty even if it costs you your life. For thats where the honor is.

I don't think that I need some organization to tell me that I am a writer or not, nor would I ask for some organization to help me in financing the book because I know in the end that it's gonna slap me in my face some day.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

never giving in

I am the strength in the pain
I am the will in the power
I am the wind beneath thy wings
I am the glory that looks for no fame

I am the person who will never fall
I am the man who will always stand tall

I am the order behind the chaos
I am the chest of hope in a heart, robust

I am the man who will never more give in
I am the one who will stand up when everything caves

I am me

I am the pigeon that will fly up high
I am the bird that soar through the skies
I will cut the wind with my wings
I will soar like a kite never to land again

For I am me

And no matter how sick I may be

I will never, ever, give in

Saturday, December 23, 2006

straight out of the horses mouth

So we haven't seen anything or any movement from the government about doing anything to help out the people in Oman who had suffered from last Thursday's flood. All I had seen were a few sandbags waiting just in case should it happen again.

Muscat Municipality claims that it has nothing to do with planning out the streets of the Muscat capital but it has chosen to move most of the industrialized institutions in Al Wadi Al Kabir to a more reliable area - in which case, this would be Sohar and the reason would be the great big flood that hit that are too on Thursday.

Today, most of the roads were cut off because the Saudi King had come in for a visit - maybe this would be a good time to ask him why him along with all the Wahabis in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hate the Shi'ats so damn much. Because I would just love to know what his answer would be. 'Duh duh duh.....I don't know what you're talking about'.

And guys here in Oman still don't seem to understand that women who sit alone or with their friends can't be bothered about two-timing losers who try to impress them with their blue-tooth nicknames, Mr. 'I have a special number my daddy got for' and Mr. 'Bond'. Eat your heart out, you wuss.

Patience is a virtue, we are taught, but how long is it can you stand a man standing up in public scratching his unmentionables then moving on to his ass between garments and then lastly taking the odd green germ out of his for a lick on his tongue?

Friday, December 22, 2006

second of the wedding nights

He's busy running the streets
He's busy doing the chores
Three things he needs to do in one day
Yet what lies ahead, he does not know

He's got an appointment in the early morning
He gets it done in time to go for his second one in the afternoon
He barely makes through the second and goes home

He's sick
He's tired
He feels hot and cold
He feels like a big woodpile

He sleeps it off
He tries to shake it away
He wakes up too late
Too late because he missed his friend's wedding

That's how the second of the wedding nights was..

Thursday, December 21, 2006

here's a thought

When it was the summer here in Muscat, I was always wishing for more cooler weather because we would sweat like you hadn't seen before - even in the night as we go out. And it was totally ridicilous. Now that the climate has become colder and we had our fair share of scattered showers and adventure, I just want the warm weather back again. And I just know how that will feel.

And I can tell that I am to curse myself over this.

But seriously, when you can't take the heat and you can't take the cold, what do you end up doing? You'd either call yourself a bubble boy and live in or move to another planet like Saturn where the weather there this time of year is simply scorching to death.

I guess 2007 will mark for me the year of several changes.

My best friend will be getting married very soon, another friend of mine will be leaving the country for good and me? Well, I ...

I don't know..

humpty dumpty and the kings army

I was once told way back when I was young never to talk publicly about three different things because all they would do is create problems and tension for me and for who surrounds me. Those three topics were; religion; politics and finances.

At the time I took the advice to protect myself from being in harm's way and so to speak, it worked a great deal for me to some extent. But as I grew older, I began to realize that having to shut your mouth about what goes in your own country in those specific topics is just truly a crime. Because you're not voicing out your concern for the better welfare of the country. I was told that it was wrong and that I could get arrested one day for being so outspoken about such indecently undiscussed topics in our society and community. That may be the case to come one day; but, so help me, I will do what I think is right because I can't stand seeing something wrong happening in front of me and not having to discuss it out loud through this blog or my small circle of friends.

Like, for instance, last year when the rains hit hard on Muscat again but on a specific place called Al Amerat, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos had ordered to rebuild the houses that were infected by the bad rains. But you see none of that this year. Why is that? I mean, I know His Majesty is the leader of the country and that he has a great deal to do every single day of his life, but we could use a little help here after the rains on Thursday.

There was a Royal Decree by His Majesty to raise all government employees salaries by 15% beginning the 1st of January, 2007. But I have two questions to that; one of them would be: if the social services already deduct 6% from an employees salary and the salary increase is 15%, then effectively the salary increase would only be at 9%. So what gives? And another question; what about the private sector employees who work twice as hard as any lazy public sector employee on a desk and work 6 sometimes a whole week instead of 5 days a week. Why shouldn't there be a salary increase for them as well? Once again, there is an equality issue here that needs attending to.

And if I had to start about religion, good God, I wouldn't be finished if I was typing this post from now until sunrise. So I am going to leave this to the open minds to lay it out for themselves to talk about to themselves.

And just so that you all know, I am not afraid one bit of saying my true name here. But it seems that many just don't care about what I write as they only read it through as passersby, so I compliment them with my nickname.

Happy hunting, boys and girls.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

there's no excuse for this (part 2)

Following yesterday's post I am posting here several pictures of what happened during and after the rains that recently happened in Muscat and several parts of the Sultanate to show what kind of dimwits are actually planning out our own streets and safety.

I think you will all agree with me that they all look horrifyingly wrong.

Now, you tell me if I am being over-fussy over such a catastrophe?

I am demanding that the idiot who is planning our streets be relieved from his position to some other position where he can't create public problems.

I am pledging to His Majesty - The Sultan of Oman - Sultan Qaboos to do something about this whole incident. Please.

Monday, December 18, 2006

there's no excuse for this

People in Oman have obviously seen the effects of the latest rains to land on Muscat for 2 or 3 days since last Thursday. We've heard of so many tragedies, but this one the tragedies where you begin to ask yourself 'what have we done to deserve such a whoop ass?'

For those who went out in the rain as far as the Shangri La series of hotels on the way to the Al Bustan Palace Hotel to enjoy their bit of rain. Good on you. You were lucky enough to come back in one piece.

For those who lost a relative in this tragedy, I grieve beside you with all my heart and soul.

There was a news article that was printed just yesterday in the Shabiba Arabic newspaper about the ROP (Royal Oman Police) bringing out a body of an 8 year old child who was playing in the rain with his fellow mates and all of a sudden a sewage hole gulped him up in front of them. After hours of search, they finally found him between life and death and on the way to hospital - he passed away.

So for you all fools who played around in the rain thinking that all you'll ever get is a cold, keep doing that. Maybe, one day, you just might end up a dead body, too.

It was crazy when it rained here. And what was worse were still going along with their business. So what happened? Evidently, the entire Qurum commercial area was flooded with many businesses having water passing into their shops/malls on the ground floor - especially restaurants and cafe's.

It wasn't the matter of just pouring rain and a little wind with it. It was gushing down telling everyone to go home. That's the message that was later translated. Unfortunately, people who knew of the translated message either ignored it, or faced being flooded and entrapped in their automobile while being drifted when regret holds no price to take you out of the outcome you became blind to.

Kay shows some of the pictures that she managed to get from her friend on her blog and here are some I found on the 'net where a foreign correspondent reported how the situation was in Al Wadi Al Kabir commercial district.

If this has ever taught us anything, is that we need a re-restructure of our whole roads system from A-Z because the way it is now isn't working at all. And don't say that it would be a total waste of time and money otherwise I just might end up kicking your behind so far up [censored for so many obvious reasons] and start talking about how many projects in Oman end up being embezzled by the people in authority for personal reasons leaving the nationals/citizens/residents with the crappy material and projects that were not worth getting worked up about.

The thing that's most irritating about Oman, folks, is that nothing is done unless in four situations; one would be there would a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos - The Sultan of Oman; two would be if there was a big massive foreign investment from outside into the project (and when I say 'foreign', I mean GCC national big shots); three if there were many deaths happening or a clog in the traffic system such as what happened when they finally decided to make a bridge one the way to Barka because of a bad intersection location and so many people's lives lost or the latest building of the Express Highway that takes you straight from Al Qurum roundabout all the way to Al Naseem Park because of the massive increase of motor vehicle use on the roads; and four and this would be if it was done by using the great, the all powerful mighty use of W in Wasta.

So, how many more bodies do we need to lift from sewage holes, and creating wrong intersections, so that the people high high above us in their great mansions can hear us?



Update: A foreigner's body was found drifting off the wadi near the Sultan Qaboos University premises. It is said that the drifting waters pushed him all the way from Al Khuwair, which is about 40kms far.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

marriage? phooey!

Do me a favor and stop talking to me about getting married.

I don't need to get married; I don't want to get married and I couldn't care less about being involved with someone of the other sex or the same sex at all.

Just because I am next in line to be 'happily married' doesn't neccersirily mean that I have to get hitched. Does it, now?

From my experience, having to get involved with someone from the other sex is nothing but a great big headache. Seriously, I kid you not. All you ever get is how they did this that day and how they find that funny but when it comes to you and your problems it's just too much for them and if you complain about that to her - God forbid - then you're being insensitive. Especially if you're like me when you're angry and very sarcastic. With my fooling around with jokes you couldn't tell sometimes if I am being serious or funny. Which is a point to consider, yes. But, hey, doesn't everyone?

Seriously, who needs the headache?

I swear the next person to come up to me and say congratulations on being ' next in line' will get it so bad from me - and my friends all think that I am just saying this and that no matter what I say or do about it right now, it's somehow my 'destiny'.

Yeah, and Jack & Rose will rise up from the dead to make a sequel to the Titanic having Jack drifting off in sea on a broken ice capsule. Please.

The last time I believe in 'love at first sight' was when I saw Jessica Alba in her Dark Angel ill fated series.

If it was tied down to me and an Ant being the last two beings on Earth, I'd still not get married.

public announcement - end 2006

I've made some adjustments as to which blogs I would participate.

I've deleted the 'Starbucks Oman' one because it's about a store of chains and my marketing them somehow, which wasn't the case. So I just decided to delete it once and for all.

As for 'Topics from 192 countries' - I have deleted the link to the blog and soon I will send an email asking to withdraw from it as a contributor due the reason that author of the blog has requested all contributors to write a topic once a week at least about their country of origin, otherwise face deletion. So, I pretty much made up my mind on that blog.

I am barely keeping trying to keep up with writing in many blogs as much as I can to expand my writing experience.

People who read 'A Secret Arabian Journal' will notice that I haven't blogged there for quite a while as is the case with the other two blogs 'BizzWhizzDubai' and 'Arab UAE Community Blog'. This is a bit due to my recent falling health but hopefully will not last long - not if I can help it.

Just thought I'd make that clear.

it's not rocket science

People in Oman keep thinking that things can never get worse than it is currently. Apparently they were all proven wrong by nature - when Oman was struck, as much as some of it's neighborly countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

That's why, I have thought of introducing some new laws and practices that every Omani national, citizen, resident and tourist should adhere to:

  • There should be an appointment of a much better roads architect instead of the current one. Since this intelligent person never had the knowledge of knowing that Wadis do tend to overflow from time to time hence the effect of the current tragedy of what happened in the Sultanate of Oman.
  • There should be a law against people who make farting noises in public or even think of trying to humor themselves and their friends with such repulsive noises in Muscat.
  • There should be law to fine or jail every person who scratches their testicles in public. It's not amusing.
  • There should be a law against anyone who sits in their car waiting for the traffic jam to ease while picking his nose. That's what they made tissues for.
  • 'Dogs are not allowed to be walked on the beach'. Thats what the sign says made by the Muscat Municipality. Although every foreigner in the country knows how to read it - they completely ignore this sign. Stubbornness?
  • 'Spitting is prohibited'. This sign, though, is written in both the Arabic and the Urdu language of our fellow Indian brothers in the country. Does this mean that the white man is a total Angel and doesn't do the same? I wonder..

Saturday, December 16, 2006

racism - an even bolder post

I have written in the past about how Saudi Arabia has the intention to intervene into the worsening post-war situation in Iraq and how they intend on funding Sunni groups with arms and financial capabilities to set what they might think is an 'equilibrium point' until the Shi'ats no longer the stronger uphold of the government nor the country.

I also attached a news article on how the Saudi monarchy had denied such possibility saying that this was off their national security adviser and that it hold no bearing on the government's side nor truth.

At the time, I thought that this was a beat-a-bush game that they were playing under the table to put things into motion whilst no one is really watching of what is going on behind the scenes.

And that's exactly what happened.

A very close yet quite meeting was set up in Jordan and Washington between the Saudi prince, the King of Jordan and the president of the United States of America.

They've all agreed to allow the Saudis the power of intervention into Iraq should the US troops with-hold their promise of pulling out from there and giving financial & military aid to the Sunni groups what would hold up their rights of the bargain in case there was a face off to slay off all the Shi'ats.

What's more interesting is how the US is keen on giving away that right to Saudi Arabia as if it was their own country. It's not enough that they're not liked by their neighbors and moreso by their own citizens, that they go and have to create a clan war between Sunnis and Shi'ats which will probably throw the entire Muslim world into total chaos at who they support or who deserves to live and the whos, whys, whens.

The issue here isn't why I am so displeased by this unwanted development because I am Shi'at; it is, though, about how to avoid an explosive situation that would probably open Pandora's box and let loose all Hell.

Sunnis, Shi'ats - aren't we all Muslims?

When will Muslim leaders get it through their thick heads?



- Al Shabiba article ( in Arabic only)
- New York Times: Saudis Say They Might Back Sunnies if U.S. Leaves Iraq

Thursday, December 14, 2006

freedom to think = freedom of speech

Disclaimer: This is a very sensitive subject expecially to people in the West and Jews in Particular. This, however, is a subjective look in the topic at hand and by no means holds the writer to any damage, physical nor mental, in a court of law in any country whatsoever.


The west calls on many governments of the world to carry out democracy in their homelands and demands a freedom of speech right to every person that lives within the country. Though in this manner, it shows contrary actions when spoken to about other topics in which denial, or even the very mention of such a sensitive subject to the point where one could be deported or perhaps sentenced in time of imprisonment.

Such a topic is the Holocaust of whereby it is claimed that six million Jews were cleared off the face of the Earth by Nazi regime during the World War II time period.

At current, the only country that shows no compassion towards such an issue is Iran (Persia), claiming that the Holocaust is a mere myth that 'state of Israel' uses to get more financial aid from it's allies and to fend off people who call upon ending the 'statehood' of Israel in the Middle East region and give back the Palestinians what was taken from them by power.

The cry for freedom of speech allows you to say what you want against who you want in order to get the change you so call for, but infortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case with individuals who try to silence the people who even think of contemplating about the Holocaust loudly. So if that's the case, then does that mean that you are allowed to put your view out no matter how harsh it may be about any tacky matter this world has seen to but this? Freedom of speech means freedom to think about anything and speak in whatever subject you feel but in a respectable manner.

However, this is just the other half of the coin in the west, whereas in the other regions of the world you aren't allowed to speak about your rulers, their advisors and the such and could be given a proper whiplashing as it is in Saudi Arabia or as the situation is in Iran where "many Iranians are wondering whey they have the right to deny the Holocaust with impunity, but not to question their own leaders without risking jail". (Outrage over Holocaust conference)

In all aspects, Iran may have proven a point to the West about conferring about such taboo subjects but in doing so, it may have proven it in the worst way by inviting 67 researchers from 30 countries of which only 4 have served time and in former extremist groups - one of who used to be a white supremest and former KKK clan leader.

The question that is on the mind of everyone in the world who is seeing the situation escalate day-in-day-out is: why?

There are those such the British PM Tony Blair who says that Iran is a 'major strategic threat', and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel who rejected the very idea of having such a conference.

But what is it that Iran hopes from holding such a conference? Is it just a battle of power after it has already announced that it has the nuclear capability triggering a nuclear capability race between the GCC countries, Egypt? Is it the mere the power of struggling with the biggest superpowers in the world such as the USA, who - in Persian eyes - seem to be the weakest country at holding its word after failing in Afghanistan, and Iraq?

One thing is for sure, though. This standoff between the West and Iran will not bode well should it continue at the current tempo. If Iran's President really does aim to show the world a true picture then there is a need for foreign policy change, a better fundamental understanding of freedom of speech and the need to tread quietly along the line of diplomacy.

Else, it will mean a WW III.



- Outrage over Holocaust conference

- Why are Jews at the 'Holocaust denial' conference?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

brief break

Will be back on Thursday to blog normally with a really sensitive story..

'Till then.

somehow, somewhere

I think I am getting worse by the day. I have hardly been eating these days. I sleep a lot because my stomach is also unwell. But I feel alright by the time it's the evening yet I still grab myself a little hot drink to refresh the taste of the beverage in my belly.

I sit down. I look around and there's no one around. A waste of my time? Maybe. But I would be doing the same if I was staying in bed doing nothing but sleeping the entire day.

This isn't what life is all about to me.

Somehow it's gotta change at some point. But, when?

It gets so annoying when you figure out everytime that you're the only one of your childhood friends who is being single with no job and a sickness that's 9 years old.


Monday, December 11, 2006

this isn't what we aspire to, your highnesses (part 2)

Abdul Rahman Alattayah; Saudi Foreign Minister
making a statement before the closing ceremony

And yet again, the GCC council shows, once again, how concioucos about their own environment and their nations welfare and how far they are willing to go just to prove it.

The GCC countries now want nuclear power. And of all the excuses in the world to have it, is to be able to balance out the equation what nuclear capabilities that Iran (Persia) and Israel have. I can understand Israel because it's never been a secret that, as an Arab we were always scared about what it would do to us in case we did end up in a stand off. But - Iran?

Iran has only threatened that any western led strikes that are airborne from any GCC country it will retialiate defensively. And to be frank, they have every right to be in such a rowdy mood against a group of countries that are looking out for it's destruction.

But to be fair, I don't think there is ever a reason to be using nuclear technology to make power in the GCC. Why? Because there are other many other alternatives that can be used, easily and generate enough energy for the whole year for an entire city. Like solar power, or wind power for instance.

Why aren't those methods put to use?

Why the use of such a damaging technology to man, animal and habitat?

This isn't what we want. If the people know any better than to shout out in rejoice to this redicilous plan to make nuclear energy the next era, they have another thing coming.

I suppose this where we all get to say, 'there goes the Earth..'



- Arab states study shared nuclear program

true to the moment

There's a night to remember and that's everynight for me. Where I am left alone in the light. Alone with what thoughts talk about to me. There's a night in every week for me in my bed. Where wonders wonder around, and pile up the steps.

I am left here, all alone; inside my room. Thinking, wondering, why I am in such a mood so gloom?

There's a thought inside my head that goes to say. You're nothing but a useless piece of flesh. I look at myself, I wonder away. And as I do, I turn to the truth that looks me in the eye, the mere sneer in it's piercing baldy dives - the rotten potato head I have come to be.

With no job secure. With no love to endure. With no feelings, no trust. No halt of the moment to enhail the lust.

I choose to be who I am. I care not for thee. I care not no more. I care only for the society that I grow up and my soul will live in - forevermore.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In The Dark Window of The Night

He looks through the dark tinted window of the night
Holding his heart in his hand in pain, not delight
He closes his eyes
And just wishes away
Wishes, that his wish would come to be, one day

He looks around his room - what does he see?
A messy arrangement, a cabinet - maybe two
Past memories, come and go
Of people we used to know
And though we cry silently in sadness
It fills our hearts with gladness

Another look to the lamp-lit street
Another tear, another weep
Another wish, another cry
Another time, he closes his eyes

When oh when
Will his wish ever come to be?
When oh when
Will the agony of being lonely ever stop taunting him and let him be?

He looks through the dark tinted window of the night
Holding his heart in his hand in pain, not delight
He closes his eyes
And just wishes away
Wishes, that his wish would come to be, one day

Saturday, December 09, 2006

this isn't what we aspire to, your highnesses..

So, the GCC council meeting is coming up soon.

And once again, all we get to see on the TV and other types of media is what we always see, a group of high class people sitting together, probably waving at the cameras and at other royal guests whilst smiling off to the lenses and a small statement at the end of the summit stating that the gathering had brought Their Highnesses together - yet again - in an ambiance of brotherhood noting how nothing can divide these neighborhood nations ever as long as there is a GCC council that heads them all, and all that razzmatazz.

This year, the GCC council summit will be held at the Saudi capital, Riyadh and will notably discuss regional and global issues (as if).

Regrettably though, what the recommendations that are made by the Foreign Affairs ministers of the GCC countries haven't held up to what the nations or the people of the region aspire to.

They have already announced that this summit will discuss the railway link that will connect all the GCC countries and some Arabian countries and blocs. Along with the rumor that Oman has put in a formal request to the GCC economic council that it is to withdraw from the GCC currency project - somehow, I always kind of tell myself, wasn't Oman the one to suggest the project?

A series of condemnations and demands have already been preset for the GCC leaders to read out at the end of the summit; like demanding that Iran halts it's illegal occupation of the United Arab Emirates islands, Small Tanab; Large Tanab; and Abu Moosa (loosely translated), along with calling to the halt of the daily massacres that are happening in Iraq, and calling off the Intifadha in Occupied Palestine.

Something we have come to always hear that the only effect it ever has, is the ever deepening lingering feeling that we live in countries that care not about their Arab neighbors to push away the puppeteers' hands and actually commit to some action.

That is what I aspire from our great leaders, and not more industrialization, not more money for me, not more skyscrapers, not more blood at the price of innocent dying people who have done nothing wrong but ask for their basic rights back - what was taken away by power, will, one day, be given back, by power.

But don't ever come to us and say that you are doing what the nations aspire you to do. Because it has nothing to do with that.

An empire will crumble
The loss will be double

But give my hand, I will not

Surrender myself, only to God



- GCC considers railway link-up

- GCC website

Friday, December 08, 2006

predestined choice

What are you looking for?

A question that comes to mind quite often. A question, that unfortunately, up until now has no answer to succumb to.

People have always searched in life for what it is they want from products and services, and have always known the answer for as long as they can remember because the option was there. This is more or less the same thing, the product in display is your life, and the options are so vast, it's like you have a big feast and you don't know where to start.

Would you start with the sweets? Or with the sour? Or with spicy stuff?

As per your appeal to which type of food you want to try out first, your experience starts. You may end up having a sweet tooth because you like to always start with the sweets. Or you could end up - God forbid - with an Ulser, because you love spicy and chilly food. You pretty much get the idea here.

But what does that have anything to do with your life?

It could mean a lot of things. It could mean that you are the typical romantic type if you like to eat sweets a lot. Or it could mean that you are very confident of yourself should like to eat a lot of spicy/chilly food.

At the end of the day it means what it means.

But that is just a mere stepping stone to knowing your personality. And knowing that, is what helps you to learn what it is you want in your life.

Do you want to be the honest, naive type? Do you want to be the person who will always be the joker? Will you be the one to be dictator?

Remember that you were given a mind to make a choice.

Even though that this choice you are about to make is a predestined one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

racism - the bolder post

I have written in the past about racism in the country between different clans and tribes about how each tribe member favors their 'members' over the 'other folk' and how some tend to think that some people are slaves in their eyes. Which is quite a shame since we call ourself such a modern society that we live up to modern standards that are internationally known.

It is a shame. A big shame.

But not quite as shameful when you learn that a large country such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - in the personal security advisor's own words - that the Kingdom should intervene to help their Sunni 'brothers' in Iraq, so as not to let the majority of the Shee'ats kill anymore of their 'brothers'. Something that the Holy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had denounced and claimed that the Kingdom will 'never interfere' into the Iraqi internal affairs.

Now, it's not exactly a secret that the Saudis aren't too popular between their GCC brothers, but to be honest, what would they gain behind such a move apart from the fact that they would escalate the current situation in Iraq, increase the number of killings, murders and number of homeless and orphan people and all this in the name of helping out their 'brothers'? When it is their 'brothers' that are causing all the deaths and killings nowadays and in the past - just because they can't get along with the Shi'ats.

Now imagine that exact situation in all of the GCC countries.

Totally catastrophic.

Not to mention absolutely senseless.

And unfortunately, here in the Middle East our world isn't too different than it is in the West nor to the East. And all this in the name of power. Supreme power.

The truth is: we don't live in a perfect world.

Which is why most of the Middle Eastern people having that voice inside their heads nagging at them shouting that they should do something.

Which is why we see suicidial bombers. Which is why we see people giving their lives for the cause that that exact chance is their only chance for them to make a change in their lives. Which is why we see so many people wanting to get trooped into voluntary armies to be sent for those countries' causes.

But they are all stopped.

By their countries' security forces closing down access to get there.

That's why we are who we are.



- Riyadh denies report on Iraq Sunnis

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

more power to the people - say what? (part deux)

You all may recall the post that I blogged maybe a week ago under the title 'more power to the people' and how it involved shutting down an Arabic language-based forum that is seemingly popular in the Sultanate of Oman under the name of Sablat el 3arab.

In relevance to this issue, there was a reply from the authorities - namely the District Attorney - denying that he or any part of the security forces had pushed the involved party (i.e.: Sa3eed Al Rashdy), to close down the website. In fact, there was a total contradictory announcement by the very same person saying that closing down the website was a personal decision of the owner and therefore no pressure was put on the webmaster. Contradictory, because it was the very same person who put up an announcement on his very website saying that he had been pushed to close down the website until all matters are tended to.

So, what are we to believe then? And who exactly should we follow?

After all, even if it was the case that he wasn't pushed into closing down the site then why all the drama and contradictory remarks? And if not, then it may seem our 'friend' may have had his arm twisted.

Either way; something's fishy.



- Relevant article from Al Shabiba (in Arabic only)

- 'more power to the people' post

Monday, December 04, 2006

this'll drive you mad

So today's post is a mix. So just bare with me on the ideas that I throw at you and if you are offended you're better off just not reading it at all:

- I realize women in Oman are known to be the 'more sensitive' sex and that they should be treated accordingly to their soft nature that they can only take, but some of them - the ones that I have bumped into, at least - are really asking for it. If you're going to pass across a street, sure you need some time to look both way so as not to cause an accident. But the way these women are taking it real slow by crossing the road, you're just encouraging people like me to just ram you down. It's a pedestrian crossing dammit - not a long balcony. Same goes with women drivers. You have a huge 4x4 cutting off a tremendous traffic in a congested and populated area and you're taking your time. Get off the lane to the side and check where you are but don't drive at 5km/h.

- OmanTel. Yes, here I go again. Regardless about my past rants about this so-called 'company' and my opinion about it in the past, this isn't the case. This is about how 'efficient' these people are at returning my call for an application I made for the ADSL connection - 3 months ago. Yes. You read it right. I made it 3 months ago and they replied back by giving my number to several - actually, to be more specific 7 different companies - to install it for me quoting different prices and schemes and the what. My number means something to me. It's private. When I give it away to you to offer a service to me, you'd at least have the courtesy to ask me if I would like to be contacted by so and so for installing the service. Not to get called twice every freakin' day always being asked the same question and when I am through with that every single one of them has the same in-your-face question to ask: 'May I know who is installing for you?' It's absolutely none of your business. OmanTel, get your act together or otherwise you will have me breathing down your throat after the big mess up you did not so long ago.

- This last one's is made specifically for those American visitors who stop by my blog every now and then but don't bother to leave a comment (that's something you end up deciding on your own). My question is, how is it that you get to veto every single decision that the whole world agrees on that would have an impact on your economic principles? How is it that you can still blame the Germans for what the Nazis did when clearly they have nothing to do with what happened in the World Wars yet still end up paying the Jews of the world compensation? How is that you get off easily by ruining some nation's lives so easily like Iraq, Aghanistan, Vietnam and God knows what other nation there is in this globe that hasn't suffered under you army's hands yet the Japanese are not allowed their own army, the Chinese are called communists, and Israel can do whatever it pleases yet it was you who bombed Japan in World War II with two nuclear bombs and caused a massacre, when it was you who ended up losing the Vietnam War yet still went on with it and killed so many Vietnamese by the thousands if not millions. And yet, you are still called as a super power? How? How is it you can justify all that? I want an answer from an American for this.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Kaif Al Hal? (How Are You?)

The first ever Saudi Arabian movie to be made in the history of the Kingdom is coming soon to Omani cinemas, this December 6th, 2006.

Synopsis: In this first feature film from Saudi Arabia, we are introduced to newly graduated college student Sahar (Mais Hamdan), who is best friends with Duniya (Hind Muhammad). Sahar's orphaned cousin Sultan (Hisham al-Huwaish), who is in love with her, lives with her family and is trying to become an actor. Sahar wants to have her own identity and establish a career, while her elder brother Khalid has plans for her to get married and live as a housewife.

Director: Izidore K. Musallam

The film has been hailed by critics and audiences alike as an epic focus on what a true Saudi society looks like in Cannes, and the United Arab Emirates.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

brief announcement

I was supposed to start some work on the other participating blogs this week but because I have been having a fever lately since winter has kicked in, I guess I will just have to let it sit a bit more until I am feeling a lot better to do some drastic changes to them.

As you may have noticed, MJ, and Arabized's links from the blogroll have been removed completely from Sleepless In Muscat and Arabia Calling because both both bloggers have removed the contents of their blogs in an unwritten announcement that they have halted blogging permanently (hopefully, not). I wish them both the best in their endeavors.

Arabized and MD have also been removed from Arabia Calling's contributors list, due to their request to be removed. I am hoping it is not permanent. Again, the door is still open for those who do wish to join the blog in name.

And I guess when I feel a bit better I'll blog a better post this small newsreel.


Friday, December 01, 2006

intervention needed

The government says that our country's citizens live proudly each under a roof, with enough water and power resources that they would ever need and the necessary money to help them along the entire year's time.

If that's the case, pray tell, then; why is it that that us middle-class citizens get more visits from the poor from all over the country; Sohar, Ma'bailah, Seeb and other wilayats of Sultanate of Oman?

The country is running rapidly into the industrialization zone of investing into tourism resorts, factories, and LnG carriers. However, these companies only give away a fraction of their profits to the public under a signed agreement with the government's blessing (specifically: 1%). This kind of money is given into funding some small local projects at which the company/factory/resort itself sets itself up in. Like a school, or a group of air conditioners or even personal desktop computers for the local educational institute.

While on the other hand, what does the rest of the poor Omani population that has less 'class' get to do? Set up their businesses by taking interest loans from banks (which have been quite a trend lately, here in Oman) or having to settle with measly salary that barely covers their family's costs just because they barely have the experience or educational background or certificates necessary to step up for the positions that most public/private sectors put up in advertisements.

While the last population census counted Omanis to be 75% of the entire country while the rest were of foreigners. Omanization may have played down the problem this country has but it still far from being solved since we have over 500,000 new students graduating every year with high school certificates of which only 25% of that number is absorbed by local colleges and universities whilst the rest lay there with their heads on their hands thinking of what the next step for them could be.

Has the country planned out this cycle from the beginning putting into mind a solution that would solve this explosive situation? It is hard to say from this perspective. With the changes that come every year to the educational system, higher and school-wise, and the amount of colleges that are taking every advantage of the situation by renting out their courses with imaginary prices of which only 30% could actually afford the prices that conjur up, it seems the situation is escalating and worsening more than coming to an end.

It is high time someone of authority intervened by this writer's perspective.