Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIVORCE IN OMAN and Omani Proverbs I Disagree With

"There's an Omani saying in Arabic,"one of my Omani girlfriends tries to explain to me, to justify her reasons for staying in an unhappiness. "My brother reminded me of it, when I thought of divorcing him," she continues. "...Since if I was divorced I'd have to move home back with my family, and then they'd be pressured with the responsibility of caring for me and my children [if she wants to keep them with her]." She's a grown woman, with a better job than her husband whom she contemplates from time to time of divorcing. "Better the shadow of a man, than the shadow of a wall", she recites the proverb for me. Meaning better unhappy with a man than without him.

"I disagree with that," I tell her stoutly. I am a divorced woman. I am a woman with a past, beyond that even. "Excuse my language, but that's total BS. Sometimes the shadow of a wall IS better than the shadow of a man. The shadow of a wall sucks sometimes, but it is the linings of a new life, a new home, a new chance at happiness."

I am sure of this. I wrote a post about it here in a way, about my own experiences with "the shadow of a man":

I haven't written much about divorce and the Omani cultural view point about it here on this blog beyond this post But reading recent posts by brave Mayya
I was reminded by the Islamic veiwpoint not the cultural one. It was an Islamic scholar (he's not my favourite so I am not going to quote him directly;) ) who once said, "Don't rely overly on an any one person in this life, for even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness."  Islam allows divorce simply for the reason of unremediable unhappiness. One doesn't have to be physically hurt or financially abandoned for Islam to be okay with it, even though it is the most disliked allowed act for human beings. It wasn't actually a big deal in the Prophet Mohammed's time. It wasn't a shameful thing. It wasn't a sinful title for people to carry.

It sucks if kids are involved but it shouldn't be a shame or be made a permanent state of status for a woman or even a man in a culture.

I am also a child of divorce. Happily remarried now, but divorce isn't the end of life or love for a child or a woman or a man. Life goes on. Some proverbs became proverbs not because they are true, but because people kept repeating them so much. Go on, discourage someone for divorcing their spouse because they had a little fight or they snore or something small and petty or easily remedied, but don't discourage someone from leaving the shadow of a person.

Divorce is alright with Islam and Allah obviously if it was alright with Mohammed S.A.W, if the only other option open to one, is becomming a shadow of themselves, the shadow of a human being...

Mayya's tips for divorce:

HOUSE UPDATE: why can't anyone in Oman ever listen? Or, ugh, SEE???

 So remember I gave the architect the sketch contained in this post to go on for what we wanted? Well, nevermind, above is what he drew us. Ugh. So I thought, I'd give him an even more detailed sketch (below):
I don't know about you, I am no experienced architect (I've only done interior design and that was a loooong time ago now) but you would think, at least I would, that it would be pretty easy now to get an idea of what the client is going for with a drawing to go on. You (and I) would be wrong, because below, is what he gave us next....:

Still waiting for the changes.... Sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

SHOPPING: right now I am loving...

Right now I am loving the 'looks for less' posts featured on Mademoiselle Shosho's blog. I am so pregnant that walking around the malls browsing is pure torture. These posts helped me find a really great pair of shoes for a quick-in-and-out shopping trip:). See her blog for more great steals

HOUSE UPDATE: a change in plans

So the floorplans are finalized. Laying the foundation will start soon inshaAllah, as soon as we decide on a contractor---scary that. What we haven't decided on exactly is the facade (architecturally speaking, all Omani-Omanis involved prefer European which, let's face it, I am good with, and I am the only one who wants something influenced by Oman) so here's couple quick sketches and ideas for my townhouse/villa that were approved by the Omani owner purchasing the twin villa we are building next door. I grew up with a love of English architecture (Tudor revival, Victorian [that has to be pretty grand however, Georgian],  French stone work, ect..., and the Omani buyer loves Paris, and French country. So the compromise is looking like this (all lovers of Arabic and Omani architecture, I know, that's soooooooooo sad:( but inshaAllah depending on laws from the Ministry of Tourism, I may get to run the design on a hotel project so that will definately satisfy in regards to Omani interior design. Funny thing is, I always felt I WOULD end up in a Georgian-style townhouse, just in another country lol, so we'll see. Plans always change in Muscat. No Omani woman I know ever keeps a plan. So now, the mix of French and Georgian is making me think Charleston, USA... but so on we go. The front foor and shutters and stone are pretty much sourced, and lanterns, so only windows in our chosen style have yet to be priced if we do go for this type of facade.

I had forgotten. Back in Canada I always used to watch Jon Stewart, the Colbert Report, and Rick Mercer;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting an Omani Passport, UPDATE: Ministry of Interior announces new 10-year law

Oman's Ministry of Interior announced a new law: if you are married to an Omani and have permission, you must stay married (and in the country) for 10 years to recieve an Omani passport.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Eid Mubarak Oman

While Eid Al Adha is technically, officially, today, no one I know is cutting the meat or going out for Eid prayer. A fatwa from the Ibadhi Grand Mufti told Omanis to not cause fitnah (trouble basically is the translation for it) by disagreeing with the government over the official timing (since Islamically it is by moon-sighting which makes Eid al Adha technically tomorrow not today) and the Mufti told Omanis to pray the Eid salat at home, rather than going out tomorrow for it (which looks against the government). Saudi Arabia (Sunni Authority) decalred today Eid, and I didn't check Iran (not exactly Shia authority but I don't follow them ever so I dunno). Anybody? Anyways... beyond all the initial whatsapp angst pre-{government declared} Eid morning, everyone seems happy today.

I'd just be like, go out for Eid prayer and cut your sheep/goats/cows tomorrow (Islam) but don't be mad at the government ect... because like, tomorrow is still a holiday anyways right? :). I don't see how the government could be offended if people prayed tomorrow instead of today.... It isn't exactly something scary.

Anyways, an earlier start for Eid makes travel a lot easier, and without all the meat cutting, everyone I know is relaxed and visiting and having fun. It actually feels like a holiday doesn't it?  A day off from tradition?:)

Eid Mubarak Oman.