Norbit represents Eddie Murphy going back to his comedic roots and creating hilarious jokes that would probably make you pee in your pants.
The whole story revolves around an orphan who is as naieve as a puppy dog and trustworthy to a pathetic state that he mistakes someone who stands up for him in his childhood years for the later love of his life and goes on to marriage.
Knowing later on that he had made a mistake, he goes on to accept his mistake and tries to live it off until things get escalated by destiny playing a wild card and setting up a small brief encounter with his childhood sweetheart from the orphanage that they were brought up in.
You can pretty much guess the contuination from thereon.
A true family movie for everyone to see.
- Meet Norbit
- Norbit trailer (youtube.com)
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 15:25
Back in the 20th Century, we were always happy and playful knowing that our country is one of the oil producers of the world; where the Middle East region produces a third of the world's oil production.
Time have changed however.
We no longer hear that our oil will still be there after 20 or 30 years time - even though some may claim so - but now the government is pushing the PDO to develop new petrol resources in order for it to keep it's budget running. But the inevitable shall happen; just look at how Bahrain has landed.
Fact is we gradually running out of resources financially and energy wise to keep our country running, but that hasn't stopped us from sinking into an inflation.
At first, the government denied ever - and still will, mind you - that our country has an inflation rate. At annual budget press releases it would account for 1% inflation. We have even heard of it even rising to 4% in the last 3 years.
But the staggering prices that has driven off the demand on products regardless of their nature has led to the questioning of whether this 'ill-transperency' strategy is getting the public anywhere. Everywhere we go, there is an outcry over how milk prices had risen because of no produce; then there was the issue of gas tanks being sold at a larger price other than the one quoted by the health and safety authorities. And we need not remind ourselves of how the price of land is increasing by the day to astronomical amounts, thus affecting rent prices for flats and villas by increasing them to the current rate of 30%.
And now, the latest addition to the victim's list is bread (a rise in 25%) and local cement bags (at a price of RO 1.800 instead of the government standard of RO 1.500).
Where does the list end? And if this the case to be from now on, how do the proper authorities expect the average citizen and resident to survive in the future with recent increase of private sector lowest income to be at RO 140?
The one thing I know about inflation is the in order to get things in order, the government will one day have to make the tough decision to cut down on public spending and start implementing more tax services. So, does this mean that this is an introduction to income tax just as the Minister of National Economy had stated that there will never be an introduction to such a tax in the Sultanate of Oman?
Too many contradictions.
But the one thing that I do know is that what is going currently does not bode well for any of us.
- Inflation pushes up bread prices by 25pc
- Cement crisis worsens; price hits RO1.8/bag
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:17
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Milan Macala was the only Oman Football Team coach to ever get the lads to the finals in both Qatar and Abu Dhabi. And despite what everyone might say, he is by far the best coach for the local team because he was the only one who could achieve such an accomplishment.
But last night's 'hasty' decision by the Oman Football Association has raised some eyebrows between sports fans and critics alike in the Sultanate.
Is this how we repay the man who got us to where no other man has gotten the Oman Football Team to before?
You judge for yourself.
- Milan Macala removed as football coach
- OFA decides to dismiss Macala
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 23:02
No one knew that he was around on a visit in Oman to consult on the Omani government's position on the upscaled confrontation with Iran.
No one at all.
He arrived today.
Why else do you think there's such tight security on the roads? The Saudi Arabian King has enough bodyguards of his own and he doesn't need any of ours.
Anyone happen to see three GMCs with flashing lights on the road this morning?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:48
Monday, February 26, 2007
After the last week when my previous article was published as an editorial for the Horizon SQU newsletter, the administration came back to me requesting that I submit another one and an additional story.
And that is what I did.
The poetic story that was approved for publishing can be found on Rapidly Blue under the title Change.
The following, though, is the second editorial that I submitted. I hope you all find it interesting as I hope to hear your suggestions and perhaps constructive criticism about the article.
Thank you all.
A Theory To Practicality
There is an opinion about the higher education system within the Sultanate of Oman, such as the Sultan Qaboos University and the many other private university institutions, too.
The basic idea or concept behind establishing a higher educational system such as a university is to provide the individual with the ability and the knowledge to be able to face future challenges in the economy on one hand and the society or community at a whole on the other hand.
A large number of high school graduates end up either in the Sultan Qaboos University or the many other educational establishments in Oman. But, those who don’t, end up going out f the country to pursue their education for one reason or another and it is said that they gain a better education over there than they do in their home country because not only do they get their money’s worth of tuition, but also that the colleges or universities there encourage them (not all of them) to enjoy practicing the theoritics they have been taught and to mingle along the society which invites debates and a build upon the present state of their perception on the various aspects of the host country.
Yet, this – sadly – is not applied here in Oman for reasons unknown. Would it not help our generations to come to learn the right way along the path of education they choose to take?
For, as Will Durrant – a famous US historian and author – once said, ‘Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance’
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 23:31
This blog has finally passed the 1000 posts mark.
I would like to thank everyone in the past few years that have helped contribute to Sleepless In Muscat and its development process.
Here's to the future and God bless.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 14:22
My new article in the Times of Oman has finally come out.
If you would like to check it out, please click here.
I would appreciate any kind of feedback that would lead to constructive criticism.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 14:20
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The way I see it is this; our countries, and the entire 3rd world population have been condemning, requesting, imploring and all that la di da for oh so long that it's become part of our national anthem when something atrocious happens in our side of the globe.
And what's worse is that the high end officials and possibly the leaders think that we love this coming from people we look up to and people we expect the perfect answer from. So they continue playing the scratched record over and over again.
And to be honest, I, as an Arab, in the ever so confrontational region of the Middle East have become so damn bored with the situation and lost faith in the system we live by thinking that one day we will one day get our rights back from those who have taken it away by force.
It is high time that the people with the great comfortable chairs with wooden arms to start doing something about the detoriating situation our region is ailing to.
Because, and believe it or not, one day, the people will start to do something about it by taking matters into their hands.
And may God have mercy on us that day.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 23:26
'Time is an ocean in a storm'.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:13
Saturday, February 24, 2007
The GCC council has requested from the International Atomic Agency through the UN to give it's acceptance to a GCC peaceful nuclear programme that would help create electricity and other means of much needed power for the upcoming projects each individual country is proposing to come up with.
Even though everyone in the world knows the consequences and responsibilites that would fall upon the individuals to operate such nuclear power plants, they still plan to go with it giving the excuse that there is much need for the extra means of power for the development of the country's infrastructure and also because water salnation producing plants aren't that cost effective and will one day run the countries dry of their natural resources.
No one has ever though about the alternative of using natural resources of energy such as the Sun, or the wind or other battery powered cells, especially here in Oman since the ministry involved in approving such a method being used rejects the mere idea even as the means are available like solar power panels.
The possible reasons that lie are possibly more financial than political due the economy's need for the extra cash flow to run through the routine financial cycle by not offering free sources of power. Although the Sultanate of Oman is a leader in preserving the environment - or so says the officials.
So good for us that we are getting what's coming to us. And welcome to your doorsteps the nuclear winter.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 22:51
Friday, February 23, 2007
There is an international movement being held well in advance to stop the use of personal computers worldwide for a full 24 hours rotation on March 24th, 2007.
It's an experiment that is in the process to see how many of us are willing to give up the routine day-to-day click sounds, the keyboard tapping and the compulsive use of the wide screen TFT or LCDs that brings together the current day PC or laptop.
But these people are not alone.
They are faced by a small but fair crowd of people who are challenging them to use their PCs twice as much on that very same day.
Whose side will you be on? And why?
- Shutdown Day
- Boycott International Shutdown Day!
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 22:56
And you thought you got rid of the Scary Movie franchise. Things just got better in the comedy industry.
Any Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia fans beware.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 04:19
If I haven't told you already
Then I am telling you now
You've taken my heart
Even a smile replaces my frown
You've made me see
That there's purpose to life, after all
That no matter what may happen
Passion never goes cold
That our lives are beyond understanding
No matter how we may try to comprehend
The solutions; the problems that are dissolved
Even the self-denial that we put ourselves in
If there was a way to repay you by putting on a show
I would ask the Moon for a spotlight on your face
The stars to dangle in your eyes to show the beauty you hold that should be embraced
And the breeze to whisk your hair gently as onlookers pass by
Under a drizzle of rain from the cloud woven skies
You are the beauty that can never be denied
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:34
I can't believe that they actually want to go on with this embarassing 'trade' exhibition.
COMEX 2007, Oman is supposed to be during the period between March 26th and March 30th, 2007 with over 100 participants from the technology and communications industry such as the OmanTel losers, and their subsiadary Oman Mobile firm that has won 2 awards for being the 'worst national GSM provider, the world over'.
- COMEX to begin on March 26, 2007
- COMEX 2007
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:17
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 02:12
Long gone are the days that we could make a choice over what we wanted in our lives, whether it was over circumstances or risks that we overlooked or perhaps the only possible reason left - fate.
Such are the examples like what kind of job we want, which person we want to have our longterm relationship with (i.e.: leading to a sucessfull marriage), or what kind of a choice of education we would like to pursue.
Reasons that overcome us could be either money, lack of class or standard or perhaps time itself but there is always something that always stands in the way between us and what we want diverting us to the path that leads us to what we can only have in our lives.
And unfortunately, this is a very visible trend in the Sultanate of Oman where many of the unemployed individuals or single folk exist - simply because their choice isn't available and unfortunately, those who do end up taking the choice that is available to them do so only because they have to either because of family or life pressure or because of the society/community. Either way, they end up doing it even though they are ill-convinced by the choice they are making.
Take me for instance, I entered into a higher-education institute that offered a Bachelor's in Business Administration, while I felt my calling was Arts - poetry, reading, writing, and the such. Something that was not existent and still isn't as a focused line of career to build a solid futuristic foundation.
And what happened next?
The obvious, of course. I stepped into a world still unconvinced by what I had studied and still had to follow through because society still does not recognize journalism and reporting as a career.
So what kind of an option does the new generation have left for them, I wonder?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:53
This year's Muscat Book Fair will be held between February 27th and March 9th at the Oman International Exhibition Centre. As a numerous number of participants of publishing houses from the world over in general and the Arab world in special have confirmed their participation.
I, for one, am looking forward to this year's exhibition as a start for my reading session with a dear friend of mine hoping to catch some really good titles, inshallah.
Hopefully, it will be well worth the wait and a lot better organized than last year's.
- Muscat Book Fair from February 27
- Muscat Book Fair
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:10
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I've just posted a new post on BizzWhizzDubai about Oman Aviation Services.
If you're interested in reading it, please follow this link.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:46
First, Hamas was designated as a terror organization because it 'illegally' fought the Israeli opression machine. Then Israel started holding off the funds that were coming in by the EU until the 'situation' calmed down. And even the fact still stands that Hamas was elected by the people for the people in the last Palestinian presidential elections, they were still not recognized by the USA.
And now, ever since the Mecca agreement to form a joint unity government that consisted of both Hamas and Fatah leaders, the USA and the state of 'Israel' is now threatening to boycott the new unity unless the newly formed government 'recognizes the quartet's demands to form peace with Israel'.
Fact: None of the GCC countries recognize the state Israel ever since it's formation by the UN.
Fact: Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel because of it's violent and aggressive oppression on the Palestinian people even since it invaded the occupied land.
Fact: The USA has told Israeli PM Olmert to withhold any talks with the Syrian side regarding the Jolan Heights to end the Israeli occupation in that area.
So, the question is here: Who holds who under their thumb?
- US and Israel 'back boycott plan'
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:06
A foreign friend of mine approached me one day to complain about something that disagreed to; the way that the Sultanate is slowly and gradually losing it's beautiful, picturesque and panoramic environmental features.
One of the examples my friend had cited was the breaking down of many mountain in the Amerat and Wattayah areas to give more space for businesses to open up branches such as a new petrol filling station or a new automobile showroom.
Granted, that it is more business that it is more business Oman is in need of to help diversify it's financial resources instead of depending solely on oil and gas produce to do the job and for the country to be able to reach the 3% Gross Domestic Product target in the year 2020 of which tourism contributes 0.5% currently.
But that shouldn't mean that we need to risk away the environment for the sake of future economic stability, or else, we will not have a future to live in nor an environment that would support the inhabitance of our future generations to come.
For the last 36 years since the Sultanate's renaissance, preserving the environment has always been one of the top priorities of His Majesty's government, but it seems that as the needs grow further and further for the country to set up more tourist projects to build for its popularity level through the tourist's perspective.
As it just seems that we are giving away what our country has worked so hard on preserving in the past years that have gone by. This is seen through many examples mainly in the Muscat area such as the The Wave project or the currently being built; Blue City mutli-billion US Dollar project or more like the two projects that are going to be built both in the Ras-Al-Had beach front along with the one in the Yiti area; both, of which, will be affecting marine life dramatically like the seasonal turtle egg-laying period that comes once or perhaps twice of every year.
Don't get me wrong, here. I am not saying that we shouldn't have development projects to help our country to move on in being stable and more competitive economically. But, what I am saying is that we should be more considerate where we put our projects and actually determine the consequences that may or may not result from establishing one.
This result could be how it affects a tourist's perception of the country's environment and wildlife. Or it could affect how our business establishments may grow.
But one thing is for sure, it will most definitely affect us and the direct environment that we live and breath in. Consequently, affecting our very own lives and the very things that we take for granted.
Question is here: are we willing to make such a sacrifice?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:04
Monday, February 19, 2007
Before I go on and give you the link to the latest article being published in the TimesOfOman.com website, I have an apology to make to everyone out there.
It seems, due to technicalities, that the articles will from now on be published on every Monday instead of Sunday. I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
And now, without a further ado, I give to you my latest article.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 14:14
The following is my the full text for my 1st article ever in the Horizon newsletter at the Sultan Qaboos University.
Since I have been given approval for it being run in the this week's issue, I am going ahead to publishing it here so I can see what you all think of it.
Please leave any suggestions or constructive criticisms when you are done with reading it.
Education: Not Just A Certificate
Ever since the dawn of time, man's greatest tool to survive in the world we now live in – was – his knowledge. His knowledge to learn and adapt to the environment that surrounds him. The ability to learn to gain technology; whether it was the primitive, yet, important, invention of fire or finding new and better, faster ways to communicate across vast lands and continents and reach another human being.
While the logical method to gain more knowledge is through education; there are various definitions to it of which people differ in, but, nonetheless, agree in the one goal it takes you to.
So, then, how does one differentiate between education and basic common knowledge in this day and age?
Forget about books, journals, and your basic 'old style' educational material, since education knows no bounds then one must embrace the technological know-how that allows them to gain more knowledge such as the internet; or the experience that takes us to new levels of knowledge; or the day-to-day events that teaches us in many ways the true meaning of education through life's lessons.
We are all pupils of 'Life 101'; and no matter what level of knowledge we gain, there is just no end to the path we take. But, there is no excuse to give in easily to the obstacles that are brought up our way; nor is it an excuse to seek the easier way – if it means losing on the fundamental values of the lesson.
For however knowledge is gained through the educational process, it should be always holding a bigger meaning than a mere certificate to us. For it holds our very future within its grasp.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 02:20
Don't ask me who I am
Don't ask me where I've been
It's not that important
Compared to the state of the world that we are living in
We live through our dreams today
Yet, we die tomorrow
We have no gain
Yet we go in vain
By killing each other
There's no such thing as peace
Unless we work on realizing the goal we want to achieve
We don't know what's right from wrong
The sins that we did in the past, to which, we do not own
The choice of life is given when we're born
But to speak your mind is considered a crime that we're ackuited of, when we're done
The time we live in
The path we take on
Choices we don't own
But are imposed
So you ask me; where I've been
And you ask me; who I am
Would you still like to know?
Would you, I wonder, understand?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:28
Work is now afoot on collecting new pieces of poetry for my 3rd poetry book.
The current going title for the collection is 'Private & Confidential'.
I am setting a deadline for me to finish it between 6-12 months time for an early 2008 release, inshallah
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:56
Sunday, February 18, 2007
No, the above picture isn't me nor of any newly born relative of mine.
But it is somehow the state that I come at - much to anybody's surprise - when it comes to article writing and what to do next after it.
My articles have started taking so much time of mine that I hardly even think anything then I have an inspiration for an idea. Last time I was working on one, I had stayed up until 5am in the morning working on it because it had been a rough day and nothing was leaving me any time for working on articles that had barely hours to their deadline. But I did it and I am damn proud that I did.
It works wonders when you know what you're doing and you feel the passion for your work that you put all your efforts into making the best out of it that you don't care about anything else unless it has dyer direct dyer consequences on you, your environment or the people that you love the most. Other than that; to Hell with everything else.
So what am I complaining about?
Nothing, I guess.
It was just a statement, I thought I would make to make clear on why I don't post as many posts on this blog anymore, because besides my blogging on different sites; I write two articles once a week for the TimesofOman online portal (incidentally, they won the golden web awards - a big congratulations to them is in hand), one article per month to theweek; 3 articles per month to the SQU Horizon newsletter; I am working on collecting new poetry for my 3rd book (which, the title is still under wraps); and my participation in Sleepless In Muscat, Arabia Calling, Bizz Whizz Dubai, and finally A Secret Arabian Journal.
And above all that, I am still trying to get other things into gear, but I won't be saying much about them so as not to ruin the surprise on you.
So you can all imagine that it is indeed my right to be scratching my head that way after all that.
And, yet; this is just the beginning...
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 03:18
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Unfortunately in Oman, there has been a new trend on the move up in the minds of our our young youth that is much cause for concern; vandalism.
Children, youngsters and young adults of different nationalities (and no this isn't limited to Omanis, so stop your dissing already) often look to different targets to take out their frustration, rage, and feelings on and that pretty much includes anything that falls in their path. Whether it was another human being, an animal or just public property.
The sad thing is that none of these youngsters instead of having to focus that energy at discussing it quietly with their friends or family or relatives they take it out in a frightening way that cause not just disruption for other people but loss of good time and money on things that had been worked on for a tremendous amount of time only to be trashed around with by their hands.
While local laws prohibit such acts by both the ROP and Muscat Muncipality; it is quite ironic that when such law enforcement figures pass by such atrocities that they do nothing about it. All too bad, though.
So should we stand aside when acts are done, or should we take an active stand and act as the law asks and dictates us to?
A question only we can answer between ourselves.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:58
Friday, February 16, 2007
I was thinking a few days back of actually quitting the whole blogging scene after I post my 1000th post on SleeplessInMuscat.
But after much thought and talk with people who actually cared I came to a conclusion that I should continue on with my 'message' to the world. Since I still have a raw talent that needs to be tended to throughout the 'net, the newspapers, the gazettes and other educational institutes' newsletters.
But most of all, I came to a conclusion that if I gave up now not only would I be deemed a coward by facing my inner demons, but I would also condemn myself to total isolation and my untarnished talent, too.
Not to mention, that it seems that a lot of you seem to like to read my posts quite a lot by stating that it is quite an interesting read coming from an 'intellectual and educated personality'. Words I wear on my chest as a trophy handed unto me.
So I guess it's on with the show
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 23:33
I wish you all the fun, all the games
I wish you a smile even when it rains
I wish you would always have happiness even if it's not with me
I'd love to see you happy but never cry
I'd love for you to see how the sun shines in the high skies
I'd wish for you that the moonlight shines down on you throughout the night
For if I didn't exist in your life
It's only because it's not written for me
And not because I never tried enough
For you to see me
Although it kills me inside
To wake up to every day
And see myself wake up to the sight
Of me being alone without you smiling silently my way
Although it grips my heart
To the very soul
That I shall never win your heart
But shall always be endowed by your soul
I have wished over and over again
That I want to become a blind man
So that I wouldn't see you and suffer in pain
So that I wouldn't miss you and cause my heart so much vain
So that I wouldn't feel your presence and miss you tremendously like sunshine is missed on a cold winter's day
But that is never going to happen
I am faced with life's miserable laughter in my face
I am challenged by fate to see it any other way
The pain is excruciating; I can just die from the pain
I am in doubt of myself
I cry out in the dark silence
Where only the lost souls grieve me away
They weep the tears of the past
Cherish not, they talk back
But I am what I am
This, I must accept
You don't see it that way
You choose to frail away
And life's imagination mingles away
At another problem, in my direction, to sway
I am that blind man, today
Since you stole my heart, my soul; I cannot have back what you have taken away
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:16
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Since there was no participation for a while on both Secret Arabian & Arabia Calling, I decided to notch up things quite a bit by posting a couple of videos on both blogs.
The first one is about a message communicae through a video feed by the Israeli Left Wing and how they are all against the illegal occupation of all Arab lands such as Palestine, Lebanon and the Syrian Jolan Heights.
The second is the debut music video by Carlos Mencia about his rantings against many celebrities, parental teaching methods, and obviously - the 'dee dee dee's'.
Stay cool, people.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 04:54
This is video that documents how Jewish settlers in 'Israel' truly respect the Palestinians and their rights.
NB: This video was later on showed to the Israeli PM Olmert who could not help but fumble and twitch his fingers at the sight of his 'fellow occupants' love for Arabs; especially, Palestinians.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 04:27
No doubt a lot of you have come to read about copyright protection in various methods and media means such as music, DVD movies, and books that have been out for far longer than any us have been on God's green Earth.
And while admittedly, there is a big need to give credit to anyone who makes new media material; there is still a hidden agenda behind the enterprise that control such copyrights in digital media services through DRM software: Digital Rights Management.
But what exactly is DRM?
The abbreviated term DRM is used when a company (i.e.: digital media company) wants to limit the ways of distributing it's digital media through the controversial 'illegal' copying method from one PC hard drive to another, or to another flash drive or to a digital media redistributable source, such as a CD, or DVD. Allowing the individual who buys the digital media, equipped with DRM within it, to only be able to copy the media to a hard drive, for instance, for a limited amount times, as is the case to another digital media source like a CD or DVD.
While digital media companies boast that this software inevitably reduces the amount of piracy that is fueled through internet download and hackers' hard earned work in breaking down the codes; the internet has only seen a further surge in the amount of downloads of songs, video files, and even electronic-books. Proving critics wrong for more than a decade ever since the introduction of the 'mp3' compression file format.
Another reason that digital media companies use to excuse the use of DRM in it's digital media, is that it helps them to raise the money needed to payoff their contracted artists agreements. While many critics believe that it is the single reason why CDs and DVDs are sold at such high prices.
The two main companies that support DRM so far in the I.T. industry are Microsoft and Apple, with both their respectable software operating systems (Windows family and OS X, respectively) and the distribution of digital audio tracks through their newest hardware additions such as the Zune and the infamous iPod.
So, if both companies were to drop the DRM protection plan that they both support, how would that affect them as well as the public, then?
In certain aspects, it will probably open the hinch-locked doors of DRM and allow the downloading, distribution and redistribution of audio and video files, and probably increase the amount of 'legal' contribution of the public to the digital media industry; but, on the other hand, it mostly mean that sales of both the Zune and iPod will take a dramatic nosedive causing the companies to probably drop the projects altogether sometime in the near future.
So, what is the solution then?
That - only time will tell.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:10
This is just a simple note from me to everyone out there who has actually found someone out there whose special enough to be in their life to share their life's moments with:
I wish you all a
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:51
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
How does one expect a country to go boldly into the 21st century in terms of embracing western advanced technologies, methods and strategies if their own country still runs on 3rd world development methodologies - specifically: beauracracy?
The government of the Sultanate of Oman has been pushing forward the devlopment cycle in the country so as to establish basic services for it's people in need. But it may seem to people that it is forgetting about equal distribution of such services as well the amount of efficiency that goes along with providing them.
If one were voyage into one of the ministries in the Sultanate, not only is he met by a receptionist who spends most of their free time (if not all) by squabbing away about how their neighbors are doing and how they spent last night, and by doing so, giving away important attention to people who are actually in need of their service.
Let alone the other people who are employed in various standards and positions, thinking of themselves as patrons of a mission once embarked upon then nothing else matters, by telling you to go off to someone else to help you out when it them that you need to be talking to and others that are ill-qualified for their position because either they were employed because they knew someone in the organization's district or because they needed despretely to employ an Omani to adhere to current Omanization laws that prohibit the employment of non-Omanis in most companies and government organizations.
Then of course, the inadaquecy of the services given to individuals such as not providing you with enough information to fully finish your 'social visit' to the ministry, or the dreaded 'come back in a week' term that is often used by ministry officials because they couldn't be bothered to finish it off right there and then for you unless their boss starts showing them his red eyes or starts breathing carbondioxide down their neck.
If the country is ever going to develop in a true sense, then there is dyer need for it start from the very foundation that the economy stands upon in co-operation with private sector business owners and officials.
Instead of using wasta, use your brains.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 13:26
Monday, February 12, 2007
Consider these small, yet, important piece of facts: Every PowerNet OmanTel subscriber has to pay a monthly rental of 12 Omani Rials; and a one-time connection fee of 10 Omani Rials if you have no previous internet connection set up for your household; and that your internet connection get's disconnected more times all too often.
Once considering these facts; what would your first move be to face such obstacles by a company that boasts about the latest technology, the greatest customer service offered nationwide; and the cheapest prices ever to be on offer in the GCC region?
The first logical step is to complain. But if your complaint is met by an ignorant person on the other line telling that the fault is within your hardware and not within your connection with service provider, when it actually is; then what?
Just because OmanTel currently dominates the telecommunications market by being a monopolistic internet and fixed lines firm does not mean that we should adhere to it by just giving in simply because we have nothing in our hands better to do about the problem.
There is a solution. We have the means to complain about such bad services through the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (T.R.A.) and about malpractice in the field of telecommunications. We have every right to demand for our rights from such a poor service provider.
The very fact that we pay OmanTel money every month is a an agreement on their behalf that they cannot operate financially without our money even with the government's backing. So, technically speaking, we are shareholders of this organization just as much as any individual who had invested in the previous IPO that was held in the Muscat Securities Market (M.S.M.) back in June, 2005.
So, this would mean that they are in debt to us by giving us the best service, the best products, and the best satisfaction. Things that OmanMobile - OmanTel's subsidiary company - has yet to understand.
And the rant goes on...
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 22:24
I've been officially requested to write out articles for the Sultan Qaboos University's internal newsletter - the Horizon.
Specifically, the forewords.
Hopefully, this will lead to further advancements in the very near future.
NB: Unfortunately, there is no internet link for the newsletter, when and if it is published. But as the articles/forewords are approved prior to publishing, I will be posting co-currently on the blog.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 22:08
The political course set in Oman has yet to steady it's course before we can ask for any development in such a complex because of environmental factors, yet so simple in our minds, process.
At first, there was the forming of the Shura council in the Sultanate of Oman (that I unfortunately could not find any link to) after which, there was a formation of the State Council, of which, both were established under a Royal Decree that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Sultan of Oman, had issued sometime ago.
The State council members consists of His Majesty, the royal family, and the current ministers that hold the ministries in that time period. Whereas in comparison, the Shura council, is formed by the people for the people; in a way, that there are people who represent the different and Wilayats and regions all over the Sultanate of Oman - regardless of the tribe, secterial movement.
Sunday marked the first day that I attended a political meeting to submit votes for our area - Muttrah - for a suitable candidate. Although the process was meant to be very easy and quite straightforward, there were, nevertheless, several grievances from the crowd attending and it felt like you were sitting in a restaurant less than that in a place of election where you would see more order and less unnecessary noises from young folks amongst themselves.
There were questions as to why we were not allowed to hear what each candidate had to say for themselves as it is done all over the world, especially in the developed countries. There was also concern as to why we were not allowed to ask or discuss each candidates campaign - even though we had a basic idea of who each one of us was going to elect.
The overall feeling is that everyone else was trying to get things into the quick track so as not to lose time because everyone had their own 'thing' to be attending to. Which was quite disappointing, since this was a political meeting on which candidate was going to represent us; thus, meaning that our voice lays as in their hands to voice our concerns and suggestions over to the government in the council.
There is still hope that this process will develop furthermore, but until then, we will always have something to criticize about in this process of political development that our young country is going through.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:19
Sunday, February 11, 2007
My latest column in the Times of Oman has just been published.
You can read it by following this link.
Please let me know what you all think of this article.
PS: Incidentally, theweek will be publishing my first comeback article on the 21st of this month (i.e.: February, 2007).
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 14:27
I have been accepted as a qualified student to take an insurance course here in Oman on scholarship at a local college along with on-the-job training at a leading insurance company also for a 3-year period, which, would result - if successfully completed - would land me a permanent position at an insurance company.
Something that I had applied for quite a while back and have been working on silently.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:11
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I finally got my name in the list of lands that are offered off to the nationals by the government. But I have a few concerns about this issue that I would like to share here.
But first, let me state the facts.
First of all; by Royal Decree, you are not allowed to sell off your land until two years have passed by of paying the amount to put the piece of land in your name. Secondly, most housing banks in the Sultanate of Oman have high interest rates that used to be 12% but are now on different sets of rates of 8%, 9%, and 11.5% per annum. Salaries have only been increased for those who work in the government sector whilst the private sector still has the same rates since the very first business established long back. Inflation in the Sultanate of Oman has risen up by 4% and as a result, the price of building raw material has increased to new heights affecting other businesses such as the grocery business; housing businesses; and petrol.
Taking this all into consideration; if I am about to get my piece of land after 2 years, and work on an average of 500 Omani Rials (about $175 US Dollars) and in need of a housing loan to that is on an average of 8% interest of, say, 40,000 Omani Rials ( around $13,920 US Dollars), then I would still end up paying back my loan after the day I die.
So the question here is, where exactly do we hold the line to credit and liability? And why should the national have to pay back interest on an amount that he borrowed years ago when he can barely pay up the amount itself?
There was a time back in the old Islamic empire when none of this existed. When none of these profitability schemes were existant - in fact, they were prohibited. Because of the mere fact that they asked for money over the actual loan that was asked for in the beginning.
The world turns one blind eye on the issue of interest which is also available in Islamic banks all over the Arab world but with one difference; it falls under the category of 'profitability' so as not to drive people from banking with it.
How hypocritical can we get?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 03:28
Friday, February 09, 2007
It has never been on my mind. Nor has it ever occurred once in my lifetime even when I was at a younger age.
But, out of the blue, I am thinking seriously thinking of uptaking Haj sometime around next year, inshallah. I have succumbed to the strategy of whereby I don't announce anything unless I know it is actually going to happen.
But, taking this into consideration, I will this one an exception just to see how far I am really willing to go on that spiritual journey.
The reason why it has popped into my mind is because of the mental state of a Hajj after they have finished their journey and how they feel towards the world as if they feeling everything like it was the first time; as if to be, born all over again. I remember a Hadith that talks about that very situation in the Prophet's (PBUH) own words, but won't quote it here because I don't memorize it well.
I suppose all I have to do right now is to see how far this sudden decision will take me.
- Hajj - Wikipedia
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 02:46
So Hamas and Fatah have put aside their differences, sat down at a negotiation table and agreed to shake hands on establishing the first united government cabinet in the history of Palestine.
All very well and good.
But does this mean that everything from now will be back to normal?
I think that it only means - if the two political parties are serious about this agreement - that this is the first step into the right direction towards getting Palestine and it's occupied territories back into the hands of their rightful owners. The Palestinians themselves.
But how well is it really going so far?
While they are sitting, smiling, and joining in the celebration of commemorating this occasion, the 'Israelis' have already cut through the foundation of the West wing under Al-Aqsa mosque, threatening, not only to break into foundations that hold up the very mosque, but to also trigger anger unlike any other of the entire Muslim world, the globe over.
So where is this really all going? And how is it that Saudi Arabia is suddenly interested in being the referry in this situation as well as the Lebanese crisis when it accused Hezbollah of being the trigger of the Israeli offensive, but, controversially, inviting them over to Mecca to look into the future plans of the country under political crisis?
Something's awry about all of this.
- Palestinian rivals in unity deal
- Israeli PM backs holy site dig
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:00
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I'm really getting the hang of this YouTube thing.
This is for all you SCRUBS addicts (like me) out there.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 04:02
I will always smile in your face
I will always shed a happy tear
I will love you even when you want me nowhere near
I will cry along with you
I will always cherish the good times that I have had with you
I will always try to make you happy
I will create rainbows from the clouds
I will be the one you want to be with all your life
I will be the sun that shines up your day
I will be the moon that hums you away to sleep
In pursuit of happiness
I will always be there for you
NB: The Pursuit of Happyness is a movie that is not to be missed.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:58
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
A.I.D.S. seems to be on the rise even with new ways to prevent it ever from happening whether it was by asking for fresh needles when taking medicine, or by using contraceptives that have become a sort of a fashion trend in the whole wide world that they could be sold off the shelves as if they chewing gum.
Unfortunately, the scientists' medicine has been unable to today to cure the sickness that could also be transmitted through the mixture of blood between a mother and her unborn child because simply the best advice is to make sure of always using sterilized components when taking medicine intravenously or by simply by avoiding sex altogether until the time is right; namely: in marriage.
A.I.D.S. in Oman has infected - officially - 1500 people in Oman, of which, in 2006 alone, around 500 of them passed away because of the ailing sickness.
Oman has just started to talk out loud about the issue after realizing the problem can no longer be concealed by establishing a private confidential hotline to help those who have been infected to help get them through the many taunts that a society such as the Sultanate views A.I.D.S. as.
This is also seen through giving detailed lectures about the many actual ways that a person can get infected with A.I.D.S. in contrary to beliefs sought by the local community at schools all over Oman.
Oman has a population of just about 2.5 million people, according to the 1993 census, of which 0.01% are infected with A.I.D.S.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 02:09
There's a possibility that something along the way might flourish..
In fact, there are 2 exact chances that something might actually come my way. I'm keeping mum on the word until it actually happens; until then you'll all have to keep guessing.
PS: All those people on my blog roll better getting blogging soon otherwise I am going to have to delete your links and substitute yours with someone more active and frequent on their blog. Sorry.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:45
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
As agreed, I am continuing on with the new tradition of announcing what new posts are posted by me on affiliated blogs that I contribute to.
This one is about a video post from YouTube on Secret Arabian Journal.
Please follow this link to see it.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 14:44
I read very recently about in India there was a ruling in a court of law to give free-to-air public channels the signal feed for broadcasting cricket matches within the borders since it was considered sort of a national sport that the whole nation glues itself to the television box to cheer on their favorite team.
I wondered, howcome is it that one country can impose such a 'law' on pay-TV channel owners such as India but the entire Arab world can do nothing about distributing the rights equally and fairly upon other Middle Eastern channels in our region of the Earth against such monopolistic business methods taken by media monsters such as the A.R.T. group to monopolize the feeds to their advantage only while they forget that the entire meaning behind the game of football is to enjoy how a certain team plays it's game; keyword being team, here.
It's just as well that Dubai Television did not give exclusive broadcasting rights to them as it was it was rumored.
Let's hope that by 2010, we will all be able to enjoy a good game of football without having to go to the nearest cafe to watch it.
And for those from the Americas; the reason why your team is such a miserable loser is the very fact that you call the sport 'soccer' and not 'football' like the rest of the world.
Good luck; you'll be needing it. :P
George Bush Junior was deeply criticized about why he tapped the American's telephone calls and internet transactions on which he justified that he would do anything to intercept terrorists and their sleeping cells for the sake of the 'nation's security'.
So how is it justified from our end if you were to find out that your phone was wired and every phone call or internet transaction you make over the Internet was traced by your government?
Privacy has become a major issue all over the world mainly because of the spread of the 'possessive culture' - at least in the Middle East region.
So how much do you value yours?
I stumbled upon this movie which I think, in my own personal opinion, is well worth a watch.
The content within speaks for itself.
Question I am implying here is: what do you think?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 02:43
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Some of the greatest summer movies to hit our cinema theatres during our lifetime are coming in very soon and they all spell the magic word: action.
Despite the fact that most of the movies belong to the category of fantasy and appeal far more to the male gender of the population than to the female counterpart, it seems that these particular blockbusters strike a certain balance making them equally successful amongst the two sexes.
The movies in mention are Spiderman 3; Rush Hour 3; & Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End. With release dates on May 2nd, 2007; June, 2007 & May 25th, 2007 - respectively.
All the above mentioned movies are the ending sequels to their predecessors except for Spiderman 3, that has it's sequel running fast forward into pre-production.
This coming summer is set to blaze.
Why do we put up with OmanTel? Will someone please answer me?
OmanTel's great new offer to Dial Up subscribers for free 1200 minutes online every month for 3 months (if I understood their ad correctly) just bugs me to pieces. The fact they are giving off people who they are trying to encourage to move on to the ADSL service some free time on the 'net while the actual people on the service are suffering from bad connections; poor service quality; and the company's ignorance towards it's own technical issues.
Unfortunately, it's not up to me on how to compensate 92,000 internet subscribers; but you would think, that far more stable connections are needed, less disconnections for hours and sometimes days, even, and most importantly compensation.
Stable connections because the entire Omani internet community suffers from irregular connections that keep connecting/disconnecting every now and then whilst our beloved coroporate's answer is that the fault is within our modem/routers/lines.
Less disconnections because we only have one base line for our internet fibre optics cable that the whole Omani population uses - imagine that. It certainly doesn't take a nuclear scientist to determin that you need more than one cable to let the the traffic run smoothly and without disruptions.
And last, but not the least bit least, compensation; since everybody in the Sultanate of Oman pays a flat rental fee of 12 Omani Rials every month, you would think they would invest that to develop their infrastucture, so when we lose our connections, we don't get an email from OmanTel saying 'we're sorry about the disruptions - here's a free 1GB download from us for your patience', for instance.
OmanTel is cheap because it is just that; cheap.
This isn't the last rant..
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 15:47
My 2nd weekly column in the Times of Oman.
Please let me know what your opinion is.
As any suggestions to future topics are also welcome.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
There have been so many times when were young and weary of studying up to the point that we wished so many long times that we just ended up not studying at all and having an eternal vacation - clearly, something that would just never happen.
When we grew up we realized the meaning of life in facing the responsibilities that were staring us straight in the face dead on; and how we need to work to stand on our own two feet and push for our independency from the world that we had gotten used to in our past by getting ourselves a job whether it was in the public or private sector.
Come back to current times and we remember the golden days and start to laugh about such issues and wish that we had the chance to go back and repeat them all over again; hence, the famous Arabic poetic verse, 'Oh how I wish that the young soul could come back again - so I can tell it of what the elder has done' (loosely translated).
But this hides the possibility of a small hidden agenda behind why the Georgian calendar has so many vacation enlisted such as Christmas Day; Valentine's Day; Birthdays; and so on, so forth. The possibility lies within in trying to make the world forget it's responsibilities and run by errands to fulfill the day's end of such a 'season' of moments to celebrate.
Could this not be?
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 22:53
In pleasure what we find
Satisfaction we embrace
In love we deny
Any problems we may face
Of Challenges of love
Of a helping hand
Of a childish rhythm
Of a moment's peace
And another of smile and a glance
Fight for the right
To own our heart
For do what we must do
The life we live during this time
The obstacles we overcome
And feelings that often subdue
Deny not, the laughter, that is in your heart
Deny not, the spirit, that lives within your soul
For times to come, people to move on
You'll be on your own, unless you make a move
What can you do at times but give in to the circumstances especially when nothing is going your way?
Bungy jumping would be one way of letting go of all the barriers that hold you within a certain cage. The more you fight against it, the more tighter it becomes to seem.
I had a chance at Dubai and I aim to pursue that chance even if it ends up killing me because it's my chance..
Friday, February 02, 2007
I try to always surround myself with a positive surrounding in order to be a more happier person everytime I go out and sit with my friends so I don't ruin the overall mood. But you can't always have what you want and there are times when life just turns your day upside down for one reason or another and it is up to you to keep as a mole or to make a mountain out of it.
And that's what happened to me.
I have been trying my best to keep my problems as much as I can far from being blogged on this here blog so I don't sound as sad as I am since I mainly have no social life of my own apart from the place where most the people know where I hang out here in Muscat. That, and also the reason of having to focus on world as well as local issues that are of interest to me and possibly to you folks.
That being said, I am in somewhat a sad mood for one reason or another that I just wish I could find someone to blurt it out all to, but won't because I am not a 'snitch' type of person.
I only wish that the problem that I am facing would just leave once and for all in no time at all. But, if children need to crawl before they can walk and run; then I would need to wait a little longer for my problem to dissolve throughout time, I suppose.
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 00:07
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I found out about this song while I wast listening to the radio, by chance, one day.
I just had to download it because it felt like it was speaking for me.
The song is sung by Natasha Bedingfield under title 'I Bruise Easily'.
My skin is like a map
Of where my heart has been
And I cant hide the marks
Its not a negative thing
So I let down my guard
Drop my defenses down by my clothes
I'm learning to fall
With no safety net to cushion the blow
I bruise easily
So be gentle when you handle me
Theres a mark you leave
Like a love heart carved on a tree
I bruise easily
Can't scratch the surface
Without moving me underneath
I bruise easily
I bruise easily
I found your fingerprints
On a glass of wine
Do you know you're leaving them
All over this heart of mine too
But if I never take this leap of faith
I'll never know
So im learning to fall
With no safety net to cushion the blow
Anyone who can touch you
Can hurt you or heal you
Anyone who can reach you
Can love you or leave you
So be gentle...
I bruise easily
I bruise easily
Click here to download the song
Posted by Sleepless In Muscat at 01:54