Saturday, June 30, 2007

well done Oman!


Congratulations to the Sultanate of Oman, to the Ministry of Regional Municipalties, Environment & Water and a big congratulations to the Environment Society of Oman.

We are all in so much debt to you.

Why?

The United Nations (the international body that I have never believed in) has taken the protected Al-Maha territory off their list of International Heritage Sites. That's why.

According to information sources here in the Sultanate of Oman, the UN has taken off the protected Al Maha territory off their list of the International Heritage Sites .

As the International Heritage Council took the action due to closing up more than 90% of the territory for real-estate development and the decrease of the numbers of surviving Arabian Maha from 450 numbers to an astounding population of only 65. This was mostly due to the wild hunting that still goes in that part of the country despite a Royal Decree that prohibits such an act.

Now there are only 4 pairs that are able to mate.

Source (in Arabic)

Friday, June 29, 2007

last week to summer break

Ahhhhhhh.

Can you smell that?

That, my friends is the hot summer breeze hitting at us and telling us that we are going to have one long siesta. At least, you folks.

But me?

No way hosay.

Because we only get 3 freaking weeks as a summer break. That's why.

I need to go to where there is snow and have an iceicle growing on my nose or something for God's sake.

Not stay here where the weather's warm more than you get sunshine in the North Pole.

Damnit.

Sultanate of Oman gives reason why no international donations

The Minister of National Economy has declared that the country can handle the aftermath after Gonu perfectly well and the country's financial situation is stable.

He has also added that the reason why the government of the Sultanate of Oman has declared it does not need international donations because it would make it cheaper on the budget to use local inventory of what is available.

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Link:

- Minister of National Economy: Rebuilding will not pressurize the budget and we won't need international loans either (Arabic only)

ReBlog: Emax Makes Me Happy

Suburban has posted a follow-up on the bad experience she had with the E-MAX store from City Centre, Muscat.

In it, she explains as to what actually happened in the matter of resolving the issue and how the company manager is trying his best along with all the group's official employees to get the company back on track after a long list of complaints that never made it to high management.

Suburban has also posted the email/letter she got from the same person in regards to the happening and how he would like to reach out to other customers who have had a similar experience to give his company a second chance at it.

If you're interested in knowing the details - click here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oman Community Blog - special announcement

I have just sent out some invitations to the Omani bloggers of whom I could get my hands on their emails. However, I would like to say that if you haven't received an invitation from Blogger, it's because I couldn't find your email address.

There is still a chance that you can join up the Community Blog if you leave it here in the comments sections of this post or send me a personal email or rather a blank email from your address so that I can add you to the list of contributors.

My email address is: pennedthoughts@gmail.com.

I am currently adding up the contributors and I ask that no one publishes anything until I have things ready for the full opening which will be soon enough. I urge you all to comply.

Thanks everyone..

featured articles on Gulf News


Great news..

Two of the articles that I had produced on the Secret Arabian Journal blog had been featured on Gulf News.

One of them was about Survival Instincts used to stay alive during the Gonu epidemic and another was about the escalated movements from the West to move and Rage A War On Iran.

I am extremely happy that someone else has appreciated my writing apart from the local people here at newspapers who have nothing to talk about but yesterday's news and don't care about people's opinions even if they have to take a chance about it.

Transformers lands July 4th in Muscat


It's been confirmed.

Transformers: the movie, is all set for a July 4th release in Muscat's Shatti Plaza screens.

I was checking out the torrents, too and it seems someone got their hands on the early bird version of the blockbuster and is leeching it off to the network.

Someone's got their panties in a twist, I'd say.

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Links:

- Oman Arab Cinema: Coming Soon

- Yahoo! movies: Transformers (2007)

WE ARE NOT FOR SALE


You may all recall the newly announced mobile service that both the Times of Oman & Al Shabiba had delivered to the public some time ago before the cyclone ever hit our beloved Sultanate of Oman.

It goes by the name: Khabar.

So far, nothing's new in this piece of news up until here.

But here's where it gets very wrong and distasteful: I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper today about them doing a promotion for customers to download Gonu disaster pictures after the cyclone had hit them and for a price, too.

Let alone that I know that they couldn't have acquired the rights to sell these MMS pictures to anyone through any means of communication possible to mankind on this Earth; but they are selling off disaster pictures of how Gonu's rains affected us.

We were at the mercy of God, and nature's fury. We were thrown to our knees asking for forgiveness because we did not know what we did or did not do to have this calamity coming our way. And now, some corporate has decided to take the subject lightly by offering pictures of our misery, pictures of how we fell to the ground with a large thump because it needs to make a business?

I think we all agree that what this service provider is doing is awfully wrong.

And I ask that everyone send a letter of complaint to the TRA and tell them of this incident and send a letter of complaint to the head of this company to explain to them the nature of their wrong-doing.

We need to tell them that: WE ARE NOT FOR SALE.

--------------------------

NB: It seems that the 'contact us' feature on the service provider's website has been disabled for one reason or another. If anyone should know who to contact in that company, then please do so immediately.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

the Oman Community Blog

Progress is up and running with the updates that I am applying towards the upcoming Oman Community Blog.

Access is still not granted to it since there is still a lot left to be done.

But I am posting this for another reason, if anyone out there is interested in joining up into this blog please let me know as soon as possible. The Community Blog will be a joint effort for those who wish to contribute news and views about Oman whether their experience was bad or good, thus, making it a very informative blog for those who don't know about Oman and for those who do but just didn't know that.

Again, if anyone is ever interested, you know what my email is, and if you're too shy to come barging into my inbox - fair enough - you can leave a comment on this here post.

I'll be back with more details about the official online access date quite soon.

Cheers!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gonu Relief Blog - special announcement

Since it has been almost 3 weeks since the establishment of this blog, there has come a time to know when to fall back and just stop giving - so much, that is.

The Gonu Relief Blog will now take sort of a backseat because there aren't that many developments in the relief efforts that are going on after the storm scarcely passed by the Omani coastlines not too long ago.

Therefore, we have decided to keep it as it is for those who have still not gotten acquainted with it to know what has happened and what had been done in terms of relief efforts.

I have personally enjoyed contributing to the blog because I felt that I did something worthy of being done and people would appreciate long after the incident is forgotten. And if the blog had been of any use to anyone around the world, then I carried out the message fairly. Otherwise, I know that I did it because it all the work for it wasn't to get some sort of medal of honor, nor some monetary compensation but because it was a cause well worth fighting for.

I salute you, Sultanate of Oman.

And I salute His Majesty - Sultan Qaboos bin Said - Sultan of Oman.

local social & cultural magazine?

I had been recently approached to start-up a local magazine that would involve discussing social and cultural issues here in Oman.

It would be offered in both Arabic and English languages on a monthly basis.

We have yet to look for an interested investor and to prepare a solid plan to look into the entire project for us.

Guess I am not the only one whose interested in writing out there, huh?

The Dead Zone: Series 6


Looks like the folks at 20th Century Fox have finally got their act together by bringing back John Smith and his psychic abilities in the sixth season of The Dead Zone.

To be honest, I have only seen two episodes so far and I can't judge much about it but it seems they are willing to end it this season - just a hunch.

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Link: - The Dead Zone coming back for season 6

the sick, the needy, the proud

You'll have to excuse me a little these days because I have been having a big fever and I can't seem to get rid of it for the last 3 days now.

So, this would mean a little less posts from me in all the blogs that I participate in until I can become better.

Fortunately for me, I finish first semester next week at the College - so, I guess all's well that ends well.

Eh?

summer article #4: control

What has brought us to where we are today?

I'm not asking that as an individual, but as a group of people or society or community, even.

Why is it that we submit to the will of others of being controlled than to be in control ourselves?

I'm talking about it on a much wider scale than in our own respective countries. More on a global scale. The fact that we have to agree to par up our own standards to the standards of others otherwise we would not be accepted as global players. And yet, if we choose to stay within our walls, we are condemning ourselves to total isolation.

It's a matter of give and take, I suppose.

Where if you give enough, then you take your share. But in a world more like a jungle, that no applies because of competition between neighbors. Everyone is looking for the biggest share in the pie. And sadly, when they do get it, they don't realize that they have cut out their neighbors' share of the same pie or they do know and plan on selling it to them for a much larger price in non-monetary terms.

Chess is no more a mere game that was used by the ancient Chinese to settle war tactics, it is now more of strategic multi-purpose mutli-generic moves used by a many group of people but at the same time. Each one of them trying to determine the right piece and the right move to make next.

Our societies have now been infected with the western capitalist approach to all that exists. A choice not made by the people but get unfortunately, get greatly affected by it. Thus affecting the practices of the normal people in our community such as the new laws to come into effect by the new year of applying a Friday-Saturday holiday. The mere idea of having such a holiday never made any sense some 30 years ago but due to rising economical demands, it has become a need to adhere to global standards in banking and business holidays.

It all starts with something so little so simple and along the years it just grows and grows until it cannot be contained any longer.

And the day will come when it will burst. But not because of economical instability.

But merely because the people will have nothing of it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

scenes from Live Free or Die Hard

Bruce Willis complained that he had to a lot of his own stunts in the fourth installment of the Die Hard series. I never heard of him ever having a double in his previous three installments, so, naturally, this is a surprise to me.

Anyhow, here are a few scenes you can expect to see from the upcoming movie - Live Free or Die Hard.




And by the way, just in case if I hadn't mentioned this before - they are planning to make a Die Hard 5. Maybe this time, Bruce's sidekick would be his trusty cane. :P

come in, world..

So, apparently, there are two more weeks left of this terrible course until our three-week summer holiday begins on this insurance course.

I don't know about you, but I am hoping that I will leave the course during the holiday and set off on my long-life dream of becoming a real writer where-ever that may lead me to, mainly because I feel I am not cut out for this hard work even though I have gotten through this much and there's only like 2 and a half years left to go.

But one does never know. Eh?

You'll have to excuse the Gonu Relief Blog for their ill-posting about the progress in the Sultanate because we have all been immensely piled up with work but that's come down a notch or two for some of us while the others will catch up later on.

By the way, I just want to make a big thankyou! out to everyone whose put in an effort to help us bring our beautiful Oman to the way it used to be. Your donations, your participation, your high spirits, your positive words are what keep us moving on forward so thankyou!

I am hoping in the next 2 weeks to open up 3 new blogs of which 1 only will be a solo act of mine, mainly because it is the brainchild of my terrible sense of humor and I can't imagine anyone else doing it unless I see it fit sometime in the future. The other two will be a community and a poetry blog - respectively. Both of which, I am hoping, to involve as many contributors in Oman as possible (and many English & Arab poets from anywhere in the world for the poetry blog).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ReBlog: Buy a New Washing Machine From E-Max and Get Harassment and Initmidation at no Extra Charge!

Following Blue Chi's bad experience with the electronics appliances store E-MAX at Muscat City Centre, Suburban published her own experience and urged all bloggers that they post at least a link to her post about it so that they may learn never to trust this organization.

Having said that, and without further ado, to read the entire post - please click here.


Ice Age 3


Fox has finally announced that there will be a 2nd sequel to the animation franchise Ice Age.

20th Century Fox is hoping to get back all the original voice-overs from the original series from the first two installment and hope to have it rolling out in summer of 2010.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

wow - what a waste


...As journalism reflects the conscience of the people and because His Majesty the Sultan is the guardian of the profession, the Omani Establishment for Press, Printing, Publishing and Distribution found it fit to cover itself with a 24 X 12 metre poster of His Majesty to show its gratitude for the fruits of the Blessed Renaissance. It is one of the biggest posters of His Majesty in the Sultanate.

Oman Tribune


So instead of paying that extraordinary amount towards people who are in need of food, water, and shelter through donations - they go and waste it on an advertisement?
You're right.

That makes a lot of sense. Ill-sense, that is.

Friday, June 22, 2007

the time


There isn't much to be said really when you think of the world that we live in, is there? You can barely just glimpse at something happening in front of your eyes just to forget about it in the next second. And when your memory is recalled upon that moment it's either despair or pure fondness that you sense.

Like that moment in time when I was very young - some might say that I am just making this up but I am not - when we were back in our old flat in Oman, and this stranger comes by says to me that he has a flock of pigeons he wants to show me. I told him that I would have to ask my parents permission to go with him first but he says he's already asked their permission and that they agreed to it.

Naturally, being the naive person I was then, I fell for the bait. I followed him all the way up and along the flight of stairs, my mother pops out from the flat doors and asks whose that guy and what am I doing roaming with him. It seems he panicked and ran away and she pulled me into the flat giving me a well deserved yell.

Thats what you get for being naive.

Unfortunately for me, I still am.

I've been told many a times that being really nice and sweet is cute and all but it really gets on people's nerves a lot of the time. Maybe that's why I only have a handful of friends.

Robbin Williams used to make a lot of strange voices when he was young because he had the same problem. Was that also because he was a very nice person?

You grow up on certain expectations, certain vision, certain horizon that in the end you think you will reach it one day and you have you all that spirit within you pushing you there but you topple - you say it's ok - you move on. You trip - you still scurry along. Yet, when you hit a great big mounted wall and you're not able to climb over it nor are you able to dig under it.

Would that then mean that it's not your time, yet?

I've given up to the fact that destiny is only in God's hands and that I am only here to make the choices and understand why I made them. Therefore, that would mean giving up on the hope of ever reconciling with another half of me.

Tobey Maguire in Spiderman 2 once said 'Am I not meant to have a life of my own?'

Live Free Or Die Hard: 1 week to go


The countdown is set.

There are exactly just over 6 days to go until the world premiere of Die Hard 4.0 or as it is known in the USA market: Live Free Or Die Hard.

How bad are you a 'Die Hard' fan?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

summer article #3

The article that I was supposed to publish on Sleepless In Muscat was sent to the folks at the Horizon newsletter in Sultan Qaboos University because they wanted something Gonu-related rather than the last article that I had submitted to them.

It has been passed onto me that they are still considering it but it seems that they will approve it for publishing.

As you all know, also, that the TimesofOman.com deadline is nearing in and the decision for me to take is to either stay with them as a columnist or let them go since they hold so much control over what kind of topics they publish and how unjustified it seems for me to be writing for them without pay.

The day of recommencement would be the 2nd of July, 2007.

I have yet to make up my mind about it.

think different


The whole issue of going around seeking attention of other people is completely wack. Just look at Paris Hilton and what a brat she turned out to be.

No. Its the matter of the ill-choices that we are made to do these days that are getting on my nerves. We are stretched and stretched to the furthest yard of the yarn and what do we get at the end? Misery, depression and a whole lotta nothing - if you ask me.

Life's not easy - yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know that. But it doesn't have to be difficult either, does it now?

There are people on this planet that make choices - oh so many choices - because they have to satisfy the people around them and make them feel comfortable. And what do they get in the end? Total depressive feelings, that's what.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against guidance or anything. But have you ever considered that the love you show for the person whom you love the most would eventually push them away? Or is it your fantasy only that portrays that in the end they will appreciate what you did for them just because you were doing it out of love?

Get over it. This is the real world.

There's a great jungle out there and it's not sparing its sharp teeth for the museam anytime soon, I'll tell you that.

The mere fact that we are given choice upon birth should be the start of what our future would ever hold in for us. Whichever side we choose to be in. It's because of choice that we are here today. Its because of choice that we are who we are.

But it is because of fate that we get the blindfold taken off our eyes and see the world for what it truly is and who are friend, enemies and inconsiderate people there are who were in hiding.

'Seize the day' was a famous quote by Robbin Williams in the Dead Poet's Society movie. A drama about how a new English litreature teacher changed and evoltunized the teaching method in one school - just because he thought differently.

Apple, the famous computer hardware and software company evolved once upon a time - not so long ago - using the phrase ' Think Different' and pasting it onto a black and white picture of Einstein.

The question now that begs to ask is...

Are you going to be the leader or the follower of the pack?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the Horizon gives a call..

You all know that I have a longstanding professional relationship with the media team at SQU who are in charge of publishing the University's internal newsletters and such.

I was given a call today by one of them - who is also a friend of mine - asking me to submit an article about Gonu and the whatnot.

So I sent them an article that I had earlier published on Sleepless In Muscat here under the title 'Gonu: Everyone's An Omani'.

To be honest, I actually thought that I was going to get a straightforward email or call from them some 10 minutes later saying it's not publishable. But it seems up until now they are still considering it.

I do hope they get to choose it because I wrote it from the heart.

today's re-exam

I was in no mood for taking our exam today. I didn't even prepare for it but when it came to be in class, we had to stay in.

Where's an option when you need one?

So what did I do, eventually? I took the test - again. This is the same test that we had to take a week before Gonu had happened and unfortunately, everyone got a low mark - including me (blame it on the lecturer, I say).

I tried to do the test all over again with a clear mind but went on feeling that I had made the mistake of my life. At least one thing is in my advantage - is that if I ever get a worse mark in this they'll retain the bigger mark.

Yipee for me, eh?

4 weeks

I have 4 weeks to get something that's in my head going on.

4 weeks only.

What is it?

That's for me to know, and for you to eventually find out - right here.

God, that sounds so childish..

suddenly, Oman is ... well, Oman

Gonu came and went. And we thought it would change people's lives here forever on.

But that's a fairytale ending.

Unfortunately, the minute everyone in Muscat sensed that things are getting bad to normal you see the same old pattern here happening all over again. I guess that's how people become more retarded, I mean, intelligent.

Yes, you see people doing the same stupid things all over again because they 'need' to go back to wherever they came from. Whatever hellhole that is.

I mean - seriously, people - do you ever learn?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

from me to you

I was supposed to write my 4th summer article today but I couldn't even start on it for some reason. Probably because of the circumstances that I am now living in after what had happened.

It seems to me that all the lights in the world have been dimmed and that there no longer lies a hope in the slim horizon.

I am trying so hard to continue writing on my blog but my fingertips will not assist me for the time being. I am forcing myself to pounce back at the keyboard. I feel like I am drained of all my soul and that I can no longer smile nor laugh nor nod at a whim or excerpt a flirt nor a joke.

And although this is the case with me now, I am confident that this will all by one day move on and just be a horrible memory that I would forget in time to come.

So if I don't write anything worth of writing on this blog - please forgive me.

But I will try as much as I can to keep the Gonu Relief Blog alive and kicking in the manner of being updated. Since it is suffering from ill-post-syndrome.

Rest assure that you will always find updated news about the relief efforts on that blog from me and my colleagues.

can't focus

I can't focus even after going to College today.

I suspected that they would tell us that our attendance would be prolonged. And I was right. They informed us that would we have to attend classes until the 5th of July.

And we only get 3 weeks off. Everyone else gets 2-3 months but not us. We have to show that we can sweat and smell like someone's dirty pants just so that they would allow us to attend the next semester come August.

And what's more they hit us with a double wammie: one test this Tuesday; and another the upcoming Saturday.

I feel like giving up already.

I can barely focus on anything let alone the fact that I have attend classes in this humid weather and suffocate like desert animals. Do I look like I have humps on my back?

I seriously need a break from all of this.

Which brings me to the issue that I found an add in H! weekly paper asking for writers and reporters to work for a salary. Only tinsy bitsy catch is that these are the same guys behind the Times of Oman.com website and the hard copy edition.

Did I happen to mention that I can't focus?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

pre-rant

Oh boy, did they screw it up this time or what?

And look at the mess they've had to deal with after it happened..

I told you all that this was going to happen.

Read it all on Sunday's summer article #3.

the friday post

Unfortunately, it's not been a very good week for me. And it isn't likely going to be any better, either.

Tomorrow, College begins all over again and even though I know that we're supposed to be done by the 27th of this month; I have this very sneaky suspicion that is saying to me that they will prolong that to probably halfway through July just to make us sweat it off.

You could put me in a freezer and call me a popcicle but I cannot stand the intense heat that we are getting these last few days here in Oman. I mean, bring on winter - anytime.

Yikes.

And, yes; people. That is me trying to act all normal.

Cheers..

Thursday, June 14, 2007

life and death: the balance

After trying to recover from what I have experienced. I still feel depressed from the shock of losing someone I felt who was just like a father figure even though the fact still stands that may father is still alive and kicking. After what seems to be like eternity from a word's silence to one of the greatest people I have known I have to face life all over again battered by emotions, bruises of time, and selfish thoughts of Heaven, Hell and the life we live between here and there.

There will be no one like the person I miss now most.

And it shouldn't be right if there was one. It just wouldn't feel right.

But life is supposed to go on - right?

I can only say that they will always stay on my mind, in my heart, in my tears, in my gloomy face although I may attempt to put on a clown's mask.

I ask you, God.

I ask you - that you fold over them with your eternal mercy from hereon until Judgement Day.

And that you comfort them by the Angels that lay beside them now.

I only wish it was me instead of them..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

R.I.P.

Due to the passing away of a very dear relative of mine, I hereby announce that I will be away from the blogging scene for the upcoming 3 days (including today).

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I only ask of life
What life may ask of me
For forever is my time
And my time is at end, is what I see

Does the air ever ask to whom it shall speak?
Does the water ever ask to whom it should speak?
For it is I, neigh me
Of spoken words, I truly seek

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gonu bank account details..

It's finally been announced..

The bank details for your donations towards the Gonu relief efforts have been published on the Gonu Relief Blog.

Please visit the blog to know the account details.

Help spread the word!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

summer article #2: Gonu - Everyone's An Omani

6 days ago, Oman had it's first warning about the worst storm that could ever come to hit it's shores. The authorities turned the emergency status to it's maximum level. The nation panicked by frantically buying anything they though they needed by emptying entire shelves into their trolleys in hypermarkets.

48 tense hours stood between waiting for it to happen and when it finally hit the Sultanate.

The worst storm in history having to rain more than 150 mm of water on lands all over Oman, with very strong winds up to 200Kmph and pushing the waves to hit the rocks and wave-breakers at around 10-12 metres in some areas. The worst to happen since the last storm back in 1977 where it hit the Masirah Islands with a downpour measured at 400 mm, ultimately killing more than 700 innocent victims.

What seemed to be mere days as the storm hit all over the Sultanate but fortunately staying on the coastline felt like eternity. As citizens and residents embraced the very fabric of their mortal souls, hearing their heartbeats faster and faster as the storm grew nearer and nearer and then passing by to give them mercy over the damage it caused along the way.

It tore buildings, roads, walk paths, power lines, water pipes, communication towers and flooded mostly the entire country except for some lucky parts that did not see anything of this disaster but a drizzle and a little breeze such as Nizwa.

As people came out to see the light of day to estimate the damages and put things back on the path to normalcy, they were devastated to see the amount of destruction all around them. But none-the-less put aside their grief to reach out for those who were less fortunate in their peril all over their neighborhoods, village, city and region, too.

The Omani spirit put together what was thought would push a nation down to crumble under the pressure of a disaster. But the spirit of love, warmth and togetherness paved the way to everyone's hearts. In this period; we saw Omanis and other nationalities side by side aiding one another, aiding others and breathing life to a city that once opened their hearts to them, to a city that gave them everything they needed and so much more and what's more; the feeling of giving back to that country was a feeling beyond comparison.

Today, everyone was an Omani.

Gonu Relief Blog Banner

We have developed a new banner for the Gonu Relief Blog.

If you are interested in joining in the cause you can join us by sending an email or leaving a comment on your email address so that we may add you to contributor's list.

Below is what the banner would look like if you were to put the code on your own website or blog. You will need to click on 'get banner code' to get the code. The banner directs the individual who clicks it to the Gonu Relief Blog.


Get my banner code or create your own banner


Please help us spread the word.

I would like to thank lipzickle from Omanforum for developing the banner for us.

Cheers..

Guno Relief Blog - new post

There's a new post on the newest addition of a blog.

It holds within some pictures of the disaster that had set in Shatti Al Qurum and also a very small video.

If you wish to read it, please click here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Gonu Relief Blog

In light of my attempts to get the information needed for the Omani, Arab and international community to know more about the relief efforts in the Sultanate of Oman - I have established a new blog along with Amjad under the simple title: Gonu Relief Blog.

The blog will mainly address how the efforts are going on towards the relief of the victims of the Gonu Cyclone that has recently torn the country apart.

We'll try as much as possible to keep the information up-to-date so please bare with us. We welcome all suggestions from anyone anywhere about how to meet such a goal.

I am trying to also get my hands on the bank account number that would help the people outside of the country to donate to the citizens and residents of Oman - so as soon as I get my hands on it; I will publish it.

Gonu Relief Blog is in it's very early stage of establishment as we continue to get all the information and process it to keep it in a neatly manner.

Please visit it and help us rebuild Oman..

updated news bulletin - part 13: world coming apart?




Some of Oman's media houses have come back online and are showing startling facts and pictures of what has been dubbed as 'the worst is yet to come'.

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Links:

- Oman Tribune: Gonu's worst is behind, worst is ahead

- Oman Tribune: Untold devastation

- Oman Tribune: Relief services arrive

- Oman Tribune: Flights services resume from Seeb Airport

- Al Shabiba: Malik bin Sulaiman: "Life is gradually coming back to normal; thank you for all the efforst." (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Ministry of Internal Affairs opens Wali offices around-the-clock to direct citizens and residents (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Continuity of relief efforts (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Water services are back to neighborhoods in Muscat governate (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Royal Oman Police employs stricter offences on hiking water tanker prices (in Arabic)

- The NewYork Times: Cyclone hits Oman, halting oil exports

- Al Shabiba: Rains and wadis in Samayil (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Disconnection of electricity services in Dama'a (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Cracked bridge in Bidbid (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Total halt in services in Ja'alan, Al Kamil, Al Wafi (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Cracked roads in Aawabi (in Arabic)

- Al Shabiba: Sur residents living difficult times (in Arabic)


For further updated news on the situation in Oman please click here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

updated news bulletin - part 12: donations


The National Committee for Civil Defense has finally opened up the door to accepting donations (from Omanis only) at the International Exhibition Centre at Seeb next to The Golden Tulip Hotel. The Ministry of Social Development shall be organizing the donations in the way it sees fit to be sent out to those in need using every means of transport available whether by land, sea or air.

The number to call for further information in this regard is: 24512111/0.

In regards to international donations, I am working on a solution with someone online here on developing a website that would accept just that, although I am not too sure if just the two of us can get it up and running considering that we both have a limited knowledge to such technicalities. But we shall attempt our best and keep you all informed all the way.

For those of you who have been worried sick about their relatives, friends and families in Sur and the Sharqiyah region, they've all been accounted for - I suggest you give them a call to let them all know how much you missed them so dearly. I know you all want to since you've been flooding my comments about who/what/hows about them. So, go right ahead - enjoy while you can, I guess. :P

Qurum has been totally destroyed and the only way I think it would ever be revived is if they broke all the commercial complexes down and built them from scratch but with better planning ahead ideas.

Three bridges have fallen down, the one that takes from Qurum to Darsait; another on the 'love road' Shatti Al Qurum; and lastly the Seeb beach road. All washed away by heavy rains.

I have a rather big rant about the amount of destruction that has happened to our beloved Oman and especially Muscat. But I am bottling it up so I can get to focus on the help efforts that we are so despretely in need of here in Oman.

We need road construction vehicles, bulldozers, fork lifters, electricity generators, batteries. Foodstuff is in shortage and clean water is in even immense shortage (for purposes to clean, cook, wash, etc.), mineral water is also in desperate need. Any sort of expertise that could present themselves to help out please do at the nearest school you can find - if it's not that one, ask where it is. Al Eiman Private School in Madinat Sultan Qaboos is helping in gathering donations for the Quriyat village. You can also volunteer at the Muscat Municipality office daily (I think) but you have to be there by 5:30-6am to register your name with them. A number of government schools and the Sultan Qaboos Sports Stadium in Bowsher is being used as a temporary shelter for those who have evacuated their homes in fear of Cyclone GONU.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD

Thursday, June 07, 2007

updated news bulletin - part 11: disaster media






I enlist below all the videos that I have managed to get my hands on from Omanforum members showing exactly what type of plight we are under right now along with a few pictures to detail the scenes that happened in the past event of Cyclone GONU.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

For those of you who fear for the lives of their loved ones, Oman TV is still offering around-the-clock bulletins about the situation where you can watch the online feed here.

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UPDATE: All the Omani newspapers have stopped printing along with their online websites updating. So I have had to resort to international media.

Links:

- Gulf News: Cyclone damages Muscat roads

- Gulf News: 25 confirmed dead in Oman

- Gulf News: Expat's body fished out from Wadi

- Gulf News: Residents wake up to devastation

updated news bulletin - part 10: help needed


The video you see above is what happened to my car after driving around in some areas. Nothing a little water won't cure. :P

Back to the serious issues.

There has been news about the Royal Oman Police encatering some 20,000 inhabitants from various areas over the Sultanate whilst there has a been a report of a death of 12 people of which until now, their nationalities are still unknown. It seems that they were too close to the beach and the waves engulfed them with it.

There has been a lot of damage all over the Muscat capital whereby trees and large plants were uprouted from their roots. The Shatti Al Qurum 'love road' has been demolished due to the heavy rains and a part of the Qurum-Darsait bridge has fallen down onto the lower road beneath it.

The entire Qurum, Madinat Qaboos areas are full flooded with mud, floods and piles of stones scattered all over the road from Madinat Qaboos towards the Qurm roundabout. The Qurum roundabout is a total mess as it is flooded and only large vehicles can seem to get through.

Telecommunications seem to be coming back to some parts of the Sharqiyah region such as Jaalan bani bu Ali. There has still been no reports about Sur but as they say 'No news is good news'. Hopefully all the residents are alive and kicking.

The amount of the water that had fallen down on Muscat has been the most that the capital had ever seen in decades with the latest record being 1981.

For further information and updates about the ongoing situation in parts of Muscat, please refer to Amjad's Blog in these posts: here & here.

I would like to take this opportunity to address anyone outside the Sultanate of Oman to please come forward if you have any expertise in the rescue or machinery field to lend a helping hand. As it is, there are still a lot of places in Oman that need to tended to and although the authorities think they are in control, the truth is quite the oppisite. Oman TV has asked anyone from inside the Sultanate with any sort of machinery or such large vehicles that could assist in the rescue operations to restore power, telecommunications and provide foodstuff to the people of Oman to come forward.
We need all the help we can get..

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

updated news bulletin - part 9: aftermath still not safe


By Thursday 2am, Cyclone GONU would have skewed off completely off course and headed to the ocean water between Northern UAE and Southern Iran.

There has been various damage reports so far from friends, and relatives in the Muscat area reporting that the entire Qurum area has been flooded again, the walkway taking you towards the 'love road' has now entirely collapsed due to heavy rainfalls. In Khuwair, there has been a collapse of a sunshade over the cars by the wall toppling over them due to heavy downpour that is near the court. There is now no way in or out of the Qurum area even with the most powerful 4WD you own. The entire turning towards the Shatti Al Qurum on the service road from Madinat Qaboos has been totally flooded to the top.

Oman TV has lost it's power as well as some residents in the Madinat Qaboos area. So far no casualties or injuries have been claimed yet it is still unsafe to go out in the current weather.

It is predicted that the entire Al Wadi Al Kabir area has been flooded, too because of the heavy rains as it happened in last March's heavy downpour. There is still continued heavy rain and strong winds that would eventually die out soon enough according to images provided by the BBC World Service probably between 2am and 2pm Thursday.

CNN.com has posted another report on the situation, to read and watch the video also - click here.

To see the animated satellite images for Cyclone GONU, click here.

This is a video that has been uploaded on YouTube by an Omanforum user.

If you are in the Sultanate of Oman and cannot get the Oman TV signal, just switch onto 100Mhz FM - Shabab FM. They should have the latest updates.

Stay put, keep safe.

The way things are going now the eye of the storm is far far away from Muscat but we'll all experience moderate to light showers during the night. By morning time, everything would have cleared up.

If you are outside of Oman and worried over your loved ones, please call them up now since there has been loss in telecommunication and power in several parts of Muscat and the rest of the Sultanate.
We're going to survive..

updated news bulletin - part 8: is it a hit and run?





So far the only indications that we have had is that it is heading directly to Southern Iranian territory. The metrology centre has had very conflicting pieces of information regarding Cyclone GONU.

There has been news of dirt roads falling apart due to the heavy rains and there has been some damages (somewhere in Oman) where some houses were taked out from their routes. It seems as though these houses had been made from wood and were very close to the shores. Thankfully, though, no loss of lives has been claimed due to that happening.

Right now in Muscat, heavy rains downpour continues accompanied by strong winds although it seems as though it has quietened down just a bit right now.

There have been rumors spreading that the Cyclone is heading back towards the Muscat shores. This is not true, however. As sattelite images show that it is staying the Gulf of Oman on a route towards Iran.

The local telecom company Nawras, has been updating its subscribers all through the night and day today of any emergency messages from the proper authorities. Keeping its subscribers posted about every development. It is unknown whether the Oman Mobile team is doing the same.

All the hospitals have been on high alert along with 7,000 personnel of the army awaiting orders to scramble to the rescue. The army has evacuated both Masirah and Halaniyat Islands habitants to the Muscat governate until the storm brews over.

According the BBC World Service website, the image the news medium has provided says that Muscat should be expecting another heavy rainshower along with strong winds by 2am Thursday by which at 2pm Thursday it will have moved out of Oman territory between the UAE and Iran.

The Police have urged all citizens and residents who stay nearby the shores to move further inland or safer higher ground as soon as possible for fear of their safety.

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Links:

- Yahoo: Muscat Weather update

- BBC World: in pictures: Cyclone hits Oman

- CNN.com: Rare rains lash Gulf desert states

- Omanforum: Tropical Cyclone to hit Muscat tomorrow

- Oman Tribune: Cyclone Gonu hits Sultanate coast