Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Economy: Oman now open to general public access

Despite it is still being in it's starting phase and a little few changes remain to be tended to - I have decided to open up the newest blog in my blogroll collection; Economy: Oman.

Feel free to look around and make your comments and see what you think what can be added as an improvement, baring in mind that it is still a work in progress.


2nd Cup & Dar Al Atta' lend a helping hand

If you're a frequent 2nd Cup visitor, chances are you already know about this.

2nd Cup has teamed up with Dar Al Atta' charity association in selling plastic wrist bands with 'HELP! Make a difference!' imprinted on them in different colors for the small price tag of R.O. 1 only.

The entire money goes directly towards the benefit of helping out the less-abled (I hate the word 'disabled' they use, it is so demeaning) people in the Sultanate of Oman by making their lives easier in any which way.

I encourage you to seek out these wrist bands and possibly buy them in bulk so that you can also spread the message of love that we owe our brothers and sisters who have been left out.


PS: Does anyone know the official website address of Dar Al Atta'?

Monday, October 29, 2007

as promised..

As I had promised you earlier, this is the link to the article that I proposed for the for publication, today.




- The Election Experience

post # 1500

Well, it's been a really long ride.

1500 posts on one blog is a huge number for me, even though I am not looking to add up the number ever since I found out my fascination with writing.

But it's something to think about, eh?

Here's to the next 3500 posts. :P

Cheers everyone..

proposal - Horizon newsletter: the bigger picture

This is the article I have pushed forth to be published in the upcoming edition of the SQU Horizon newsletter of this month, dated October 30, 2007.

Although it more or less talks about the same subject, I am hoping it would help open up the student eyes to future responsibilities to bared.

Do let me know what you think about it.



The Bigger Picture

History in the making is what they called it.

A change in the path that the democratic solution for a developing country such as the Sultanate of Oman that would ever take place.

It was a day whereby both men and women over the age of 21 took in the responsibility to say that they are proud – as ever – to be an Omani. To hold their heads high with confidence to show the entire world that they are eligible of the responsibility and the educational level to take a decision into casting their votes for the first ever overall Shura Council elections to be held in the country.

It opened up the opportunity for people to actually sink in the idea of taking participation in the decision making process on an overall. For this not only meant that this was a beginning to opening up further future doors to allowing the simple Omani to take participation in electing the rightful candidate and what goes beyond such a decision. But, it also meant that one day – when the time is right – the Omani population will also come to understand the responsibilities and burdens that rest on their shoulder in making the right decision.

It was a day where Omanis – men and women, alike – took to the voting centres with one thing in mind, to make sure they made the right decision and of true understanding that their decision, by result, would make an impact on future generations to come. Whereby they would take the reins themselves to make a similar decision and most probably, more important.

But, for now – this is just the beginning.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

proposal - The Election Experience

This is the article I have submitted to the website editor for publication of. I am hoping that it would .. get published, that is.

In the event it should, then I will post the link to it in another different post for your reading pleasure.

Let me know what you think of this proposal, though.


The Election Experience

History was being set in this moment; a chance to make a decision in the country's overall decisions was slowly being opened up to the Omani population. That day was the day that had introduced one of the first steps towards a democratic process of selecting a candidate of a certain district or Wilaya in the Sultanate of Oman.

Many were the years we dreamt that this day would finally come and show itself, and we all know that it would take the Omani population time and effort also to understand the responsibilities and the burdens that would lie upon such an important decision-making process. It's not enough to know your know your candidate and entrust him with your loyalty and candidacy, but it was also important to understand the role that this candidate would play for people such as us in the Shura Council in raising awareness of issues that concern the public, the general state and the country in general, too.

The overall process was very easy, even though with a very high margin of people going to cast their votes for their likely candidates, holding only their National IDs in their hands and their loyalty in their hears (and a possible bottle of water in the other hand, too). People were turning up from all over the country to cast their vote at the centres, with the authorities on standby for any assistance should the need arise.

In it's entirety, it did not take more than five minutes whereby you stood in a line to wait your turn to cast a vote, where in between you were asked for your ID card; you are marked by your finger that you had indeed visited the voting centre; and you cast your vote on a nicely printed colored piece of paper where it includes the pictures, names and lined-up numbers of the candidates themselves, to which you cast your vote into a large box and leave.

I for one had imagined the process to be a bit more complicated from seeing similar voting and registration lines being formed up on the television. But I guess that is the difference between TV and Oman; it's more realistic when you get into it.

It's something I am proud of doing for the overall benefit of my country...

another private station?

We already know of how there is the existing two 'oldie' radio stations on the airwaves which are state-run, and we also know that there are another two - one, supposedly, successfully established and the other, well, still on test.

But this one about having another yet another private radio station in the country is a bit too much. Can the market actually take it? And who would find time to scroll through the many different frequencies on their radio dial-tone just to get that one station?

Personally, I think if this contender aims to be on the top of the list, then they should be the top notch of their business and know exactly what they should be broadcasting.

Hopefully, they will.



- Oman Tribune: New radio station on the way

Saturday, October 27, 2007

changing trends

In a world of competition between different and various countries of the world, the battle has moved on - long ago - to between the two sexes; men and women. While men have long dominated the hardships of a career-born life for a number of reasons - respect, love and pride being on top of that list - women have long over-stepped the red lines put to them by societies and communities alike to prove one thing: that they are just as strong (and at times, better, too) at men's jobs and and they deserve the chance to take opportunities such as the ones that are vastly open to 'mankind'.

And while it's commendable for such a trend to surface up in a region such as the GCC, in general, and in a country such as the Sultanate of Oman, especially, and encouragingly, so. It's consequences go to lengths beyond imagination to which this writer tries to point out. Such as resulting in bringing down the female youth's interest in settling down and leaving the matter to a higher age and possibly (although, never proven) the reach out to other methods of 'satisfaction'.

Lifestyles have changed leading to more sicknesses, more mental problems with direct relation to work anxieties leading to an increase in depression cases and higher fatality rates in general all over the Arab world and one of the main reasons this is happening is the women's loss of interest in marriage and increased consciousness of general society welfare. This isn't to say that this is wrong. Women have a basic instinct of trying to take care of things and when put to the test, they dedicate their all to it until it is achieved even if it means isolating themselves from everything else that would distract them from that goal. Even if that means going against the society, the community in terms of legal bodies, authorities and societies at one go - just so long as they believe that they going along the path of the 'greater good'.

It is understandable that current market trends have pushed both men and women to extreme measures and fashions of the working culture, to the point whereby love, feeling and all the important things in a personal lifestyle take a backseat until a certain point in time they are brought up by 'special circumstances'. But that does not mean that it should be a permanent position that our society should ever adopt - ever.

A certain compromisation should be resolved - and desperately - before things get out of hand. A man should devote to his household as much time as he can so he can set an example to his wife, for instance, to prove that life isn't always about being 'professional'.

It is life's imperfections that let us enjoy it's fruits and, therefore, we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to embrace these fruits of our long-awaited much-need natural bliss.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Saturday is business as usual..

The government has announced that it would be business as usual for anyone who works in the public sector since that would be the day that the 6th Shura Council elections. The government source also stated that anyone who takes a leave for attending the voting cast will not be penalized in their month-end salary.

It is worth mentioning that there would be around 388,000 candidates who are eligible for selection as a successful Shura Council member on which the election period would be on October 27, 2007 from 7am to 7pm at the appropriate voting casts designated for each Wilaya.

There has been, though, no news about how the private sector would deal with any Omani employee who does not attend work on that day as that day closes nearer.



- Shabiba: 2 days to Shura race conclusion (in Arabic)

- Times of Oman: Ministries to function as usual on Majlis election day (English)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

isn't bad enough to know how Gonu was handled?

From the Times of Oman:

Abdullah bin Abbas bin Ahmed, chairman of Muscat Municipality and head of the main committee of Muscat Festival 2008, said yesterday that the festival would begin on January 21.

In an exclusive statement to Al Shabiba, he said the festival would include a number of new activities and the preparations for the festival would begin early, pointing out that Muscat Festival is regarded as one of the major festivals in the region, with many achievements since its inception.
Why do they go on and on with such a stupid excuse to waste money that is needed much more elsewhere?



- Times of Oman: Muscat Festival from January 21

Monday, October 22, 2007

Child Exploitation

It's a shame there isn't such an agency like this in the Middle East because we need it so badly.

Don't just watch the video - spread it.

Everyone counts in this fight..

For more information about this programme - please visit this link

Games Galore now open to general public access..

The latest blog that I am launching - Games Galore - is now open to general access from the public ever since it has been included into the blog roll.

Check it out if you're a fan of the latest video games that come out on the PC; Wii; X360 or the PS3.

I am more than confident that you will all like it.

Any suggestions are also welcome..


Sunday, October 21, 2007

By Royal Decree: Journalist Club to be shut down

I read this excerpt of news on the Shabiba website after the wee hours of midnight with a bit of shock and amazement as well as some frustration and confusion.

His Majesty - Sultan Qaboos bin Said - Sultan of Oman, has issued a Royal Decree, due to have an effect from October 20, 2007, to shut down the Journalist Club and move all its financial aspects to the Ministry of Information.

Something which I cannot comprehend as to why such a decision was made, even though it may not be in my place to question such a Royal Decree; but none the less, it drives one to speculate a dozen reasons as to why such a decision had been taken.

Don't you think?



- H.M. Issues a Royal Decree: Close down of Journalist Club and transfer of financial aspects to Ministry of Information (in Arabic)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Horizon newsletter: Success Comes From Defeat

Finally, I have been able to update my article portfolio with a new one for the Horizon newsletter at the Sultan Qaboos University with a powerful article (at least, I think it is) under the title 'Success Comes From Defeat'.

I enlist it here for your reading pleasure, feel free to drop any comments about it.


A short-spend of time is a time well spent; a sentence that occurs in times of peril, difficulties, and much less ease in the small life of an individual on Earth. Something we so foolishly lack in the face of our desires and needs and forget the very reason as to why we should ever be here.

A sense of purpose, the life that we truly deserve to live by and aim for, as well on the path of seeking a soulful redemption of the mind, body and soul.

Why is it that we live to regret every single day of our lives when we could do entirely the opposite and face our fears, overcome the challenges and at the end of the day, have an undeniable sense of satisfaction that we have done what we had to do and so much more to acquire such a small goal in small period of time?

Why is it that we live with the fear that we should never push beyond the limits that we only bind ourselves by? How would we ever know how we can achieve anything if we cannot attempt? After all, success is another way of overcoming defeat; and almost nobody succeeds from the very first time.

To alter our way of thinking and the way we react to present and future events in our lives, we must be willing to change ourselves; even by drastic measures. That is not to say that we preach and bestow upon ourselves the grace that is an undeniable feature of self-perfection. But to start through ourselves by carrying out the very negativities that we hold within ourselves to inspire others to look at us as role models worthy of being followed in the footsteps of regaining the once lost confidence.

A feature that is no doubt difficult – yet, never impossible.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the story so far..

Right, so here's a size-able recap on what's new with the new blogs that entered into the collective blogosphere rat race.

First off, there's a new post about the Nokia 8GB N81 on the Gadget Garage, which is one very nifty device if you ask me, something I might consider buying if it does go under the $200 US Dollar mark.

Then there's there are four new posts about different movies such as The Comebacks; Darfur Now; the Fred Claus; and finally Talk To Me on the Movie Guide blog.

If you're a fan of Eric Clapton, then you'll find his latest album - Complete Clapton - slightly reviewed on Music Control, Inc.

Of course there's been little or no progress in Pens of Passion or the Photo Generation blogs mainly because people are still unacquainted with them and/or still are in the Eid holiday moods. So feel free to browse them and if you care to join them, you can always email me about it.

The Ramadan Kareem blog has been put on hold until next year by

Thursday, October 18, 2007

have you got a 'HateBook' account?

This is so funny.

I was just browsing the BBC world service site and found this by coincidence.

Apparently, someone has invested the popularity of the famous facebook service that has been recently acquired by Google and launched something similar only quite the opposite in purpose:

Check it out..

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Gadget Garage open to public access

I have finally opened up general public access to the latest renovated blog experience to Gadget Garage.

On it, and in due time, too; you will find the latest news that I can find about gadgets, technology and software that is or will ever come out in the many years to come of humanity's rise above the evolution pattern.

Take a look and tell me what you think, and I am sure you will find it to your liking whether you're a buff or a beginner.


the foiled Omani telecommunication industry

Things are getting a bit turbulent in the telecommunications sector here in Oman, things like how well the service is becoming and how bad each competitor needs a good section of the pie. And this time it's not just about one of the companies in the leading branded mobile technology. But it's more of how well the two of them (Nawras; Oman Mobile) are both handling their customer share and the services they provide them with.

Oman Mobile has always had it's issues ever since I can remember, things like service, accuracy, compensation for lost service, try outs, and most of all prices were always hideous (at least in my opinion). Nawras sort of cleared up the picture through its clarification of service list against price, better customer service but are still lacking - as Muscati would say - the innovative edge to lure the present mobile customer from one network to another.

And no time like the present has been more clearer than now through this philosophy. As the troubles have started to begin with the Nawras networkd during the last Eid holiday (which is still an issue to be resolved, mind you) because almost all your calls are disconnected because the network is always busy. A new service that has been launched by the mobile telecommunications company similar that of to the one by Oman Mobile to have a caller ring tone and even though it is a bit cheaper by the minute through instruction time, the lack of options, the mere boredom of having to listen to an automated voice repeating itself all over again and again plus the issue of having to pay for something that has only been launched through an SMS service is somewhat disgraceful for a company that boasts about being the number one customer-orientated company in this form of technology in my opinion.

So if you're asking me if I still like Nawras as my mobile telecommunications provider; I would say no. But if you asked me if I would like to come back to the previous mobile company; my answer would be a 'Hell, no'.

This was an opinionated post.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Prince of Persia 4 coming 2008

Finally, we have some concrete evidence to now that there indeed has been a behind-the-back development on the famous all time game series that this generation (and the past) had ever come to see.

Ubisoft can deny all they like, but we have them red-handed right now after they had managed to keep a lid on the subject for oh so long. But folks we have proof that a new Prince of Persia game is all set to have it's launch around late 2008 with a title that could surround the vibe of what was previously posted on this blog as being 'Ghosts of the Past' to be set as a prequel to the older Prince of Persia: Sands of Time/Warrior Within/The Two Thrones series.

What's more you can find two screens from an early build for the game with Surfer Girl reporting that

'...stylistically and gameplay-wise, the game has abandoned the dark edginess of the last two titles in favor a fantastical cross between The Sands of Time, Ico and Zelda.'
With work also on the way to have the second part of the said new trilogy by 2009 in time for the Prince of Persia movie release set by action premiere Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney studios.



- Surfer Girl: Exclusive - Prince of Persia 4 Screens and Information

- Gamespot News: Prince of Persia prequel trilogy unearthed?


Since I never got the chance to produce anything in the blog that was supposed to focus on the religious and cultural aspects of 'celebrating' Ramadhan that has just passed us by due to many circumstances, I have gone and changed the blog from the root.

The result is what you see you above and you can access also through the newly revamped Photo Generation blog that was once Ramadhan Spirit.

Check it out and let me know what you think about the idea and concept. If you'd also like to contribute then by all means you're most welcome.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

so, now what's new?

As you may have slightly noticed; I have done a little tidying around here and there in the blogosphere.

I have renamed the Ramadhan Spirit blog to another of my choice that would most seemingly interest every single one on this planet. But can't tell what's it name is yet.

The other yet mysterious blog that I have launched is hereby dubbed Gadget Garage - something to do with everything in the tech world. I have only opened it to an elite number of people to get their opinion on it. But it'll be open soon enough.

The third announcement is that I am now officially back onto the list of contributers of the UAE Arabic Community Blog. At least they are interested in good articles and have a respect for people's mind and sanity in this insane world we live.

That's all for now, I guess.

Friday, October 12, 2007

ain't that the truth

Source: Al Watan Dated: 12/10/2007

yet.. another blog in the making

Yes, you can boo me all your like. But it's not like it will ever stop me.

This time I establishing a new blog of which, if your are smart enough, you will tell in a second, which one it is.

The picture above is what it looks like - for now.

But once it's open for general public and fully stored up, you will find it up to date on ...oops. Almost did it.

See you there!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What The Hell: Omanis are throwing their folks into housing homes?

This is exactly what's happening under our very noses.

I wonder if any of you are actually doing it, or even - under any excuse; justified or otherwise - then shame on you.

Reported by the Gulf News:

The elderly are being forced to live a lonely life as an unfortunate impact of rapid urbanisation - thus the government is gearing up to take care of the ageing population, said Barka Al Bakry, an Omani social worker.


"The Health Ministry is gearing up for such an eventuality because a lot of children drop their elderly parents or relatives at hospital and eventually abandon them," Al Bakry told Gulf News.

She said that in the past Omani families took care of their extended family.

"Unfortunately, now the increasing needs of an individual is gradually tearing society's fabric. People want to buy luxury cars or go on holidays and thus have little time for elderly people."

Are you people getting this? You have all the luxury of the world at your fingertips, and yet you still have no time for your parents?

It must because you hang out with your friends so much, or can't take care of them because of the big new business idea that's flourishing away. This is, in my opinion, one of the many disadvantages of the development process, we want to have this and leave the rest. Moving from rural to urban cities leaves those places unprocessed and underdeveloped. Our poor parents have it worse - by getting a bite in the ass - that's how.

And what's more worse, the government is stepping in to accommodate to those needs.

"The aims of such services are to support older people and their families in maintaining an independent lifestyle in the familiar surrounding of their communities," he said.

He added the ministry had already taken several initiatives in relation to elderly citizens.

"A home for elderly people has been set up in Nizwa with the collaboration of the Ministry of Social Development," he said.

He said another home health care project had been doing very well since 2004 in the Al Amerat area of Muscat.

I do not for one accept such an adoption legal because the government is taking a responsibility that is supposed to be on the shoulders of the children that be damned for leaving them at such places. I would it unlawful to do so, too. After all, is this what we Omanis were taught by our traditions? By our religion? Is this what Islam taught us to do in taking care of the elderly?

I am astonished. Absolutely dumbfounded.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

from Your Choice of Music to Music Control, Inc.

I've done a slight change to the name of the musical blog that hasn't been paid attention to so far due to my fault neglecting it over this last vast period.

You will now that the blog no longer stands as "Your Choice of Music", since I thought it was a bit draggy and more centre than a creative stance to what a musical blog should be called.

So, now, I am trying this odd one for size to see the reaction from everyone and what they would say about it. Having said that.

Ladies and gentleman of the blogosphere, I hereby present to you the new name of the musical blog "Music Control, Inc."

Tell me what you really think of it through any angle, please. I am begging to hear a tone to this deaf ear.

can you say: Oops?

From the Oman Tribune:

Foreign security guards killed two women on Tuesday, opening fire on their car in the centre of the Iraqi capital and then speeding off “like gangsters,” witnesses and Iraqi security officials said.

The shooting in Karrada came two days after Iraq vowed to punish US security firm Blackwater after a probe found that its guards were not provoked when they opened “deliberate” fire in Baghdad three weeks ago, killing 17 Iraqis.

Dubai-based security company Unity Resources Group (URG) said one of its security teams was involved in the shooting.

Shopkeeper Ammar Fallah, a witness to the Tuesday’s shooting, said the guards, who were escorting a civilian convoy through the streets, signalled for a woman driving a white Oldsmobile car to pull over as they passed.

“When she failed to do so they opened fire, killing her and the woman next to her,” he said. “There were two children in the back seat but they were not harmed. The women were both shot in the head.” Iraqi officials confirmed the incident, which occurred at the Masbar intersection in Karrada.

Oh boy. I do not want to be in their shoes right now - Like; ouch, man.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Eid Mubarak .. everyone

After having come back from hospital once again in a dreadful state of health. I can only say that it is just great to get out of that environment and sickness feeling that someday you too, would be gone.

But never mind that, right now.

It's time to focus on the present and leave the future to what would be.

Therefore, in the news that Eid Al Fitr is just around the bend, I would like to congratulate every single one of you on this auspicious occasion, wishing you and all your loved ones, and family a wonderful Eid Mubarak.

May God praise with many happy times, and fill your souls with the much needed happiness that every one of us needs these days.

Friday, October 05, 2007

should we sue Muscat Municipality?

Everyone in the Sultanate of Oman, especially in the modern capital of Muscat is more than aware of the development projects that are happening around in and out of the capital. But this post is focusing on one of them in the Qurum 29 area. The one where there are just about 20 Earth-breakers breaking down a mountain behind a moderately-high populated area.

Why is this is so important?

For one, it has been more than 'just a few months' and all you can ever hear in that area is the ground-breaking noise that goes on for the entire 24 hours restlessly, hardly breaking for a few dawn hours to rest before they resume at around 6am all over again. Causing the entire neighborhood to shatter below their noise just to 'get their work done'.

Secondly, the dust that accumulates. Now, imagine the workers with their masks and how they are suffering by being in direct contact with such pollution, never the mind that this dust blows also into the air and moves on to the villas that are below the mountain level causing dusting of the private property, automobiles, and probably making it an unsafe environment for the children to play in the closeness that their own back yards provide.

Thirdly - and more importantly - the matter of creepy crawlies. Last night I found a scorpion inside my bedroom of which I had to kill to provide myself the safety that I can live through the night without having to dream of where that simple, yet, very deadly creature could cause from a single sting of it's tail.

You don't find scorpions inside houses. In fact, you never find them inside houses; according to an environmentalist expert - my father. So then, why was this one here?


Due to the breaking down of the mountain area above the houses, all matter of creepy crawlies have had to seek refuge someplace else, therefore, endangering lives of citizens that have little or no knowledge whatsoever over how to deal with them, should they get infected.

So, then, it is without a doubt that Muscat Municipality's workers are causing all these problems. But what is one to do about it? A letter was written to one of the local newspapers in an attempt to highlight the issue. By that time there was only 4-5 pieces of machinery. After the article got published, not two days later was the arrival of the humongous cavalry of machines to 'speed up' things.

So, the question sets itself again: what should we do?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pens of Passion open to general public

I have finally opened up general public access to the newest blog that I have established under the title Pens of Passion.

This is a collaborative blog that would invite anyone with a talent for writing, be it something such as an article, a piece of poetry, or maybe even a short story - in any language. All is all welcome. Just surf over to the blog and email me there if you're still interested and we'll sign you up quicker than you can say .. well... quicker than you can say anything, really.

Come.. and breathe in the air of ... passion.

Monday, October 01, 2007 Struggle Against Odds

This is the new article that has just been published onto the website. The article is under the title "Struggle Against Odds". I hope you all enjoy reading it.

If you do have any thoughts about it, do let me know.


Life isn't always perfect for us – in fact – it has never been since the dawn of time. We take for granted what these troublesome times actually do to us in the sense of shaping our personality, our endurance towards future difficulties, and perhaps a better mind in judgment.

Some of imperfect timings in our life also allow us to better value things in our life that we never thought we could, one day, go one day without. The bitter and sore experience of cyclone Gonu taught us that in many ways on how to be ready for worst possible scenario.

We're blinded by the illusion that everything comes to us easily without a simple care in the world. But behind every action we make, there is a consequence to which is taking place –– slowly, but steadily.

The environment around us is a good example of such a phenomenon. Back in the late 1980s, scientists believed that the earth's atmosphere would eventually be terrorized by toxic fumes through the extensive use of CFCs, burning the rain forests and more so the expanded killing of wild animals for mere fun and enjoyment.

The public laughed at their predictions back then. But as we see now, there is nothing to laugh about, as the global warming issue takes a world debate to ensure the safety of earth's inhabitants and the safety of the resources that are slowly degrading population-wise.

God gave a mind to each and every human being on this earth and asked us all to use it in making the good choice in differentiating between what is right and wrong. In the struggle against the odds, we are at a crossroads of choices of balancing what is needed and we want, as a nation, as a race, and as survivalists.
In this struggle, we should choose the path of the greater good for the sake of the future before we make the ultimate disaster a reality.