Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Arab-Ish Text Messages

From my screened messages collection of taxi drivers I made the mistake of thinking would not phone stalk me if I called them to pick me up from Sultan Center on a grocery run:

Good evnig i mis u how ar u i want see us plz i want spik weith u plz

Translated by me: Good evening. I miss you [don't know how, I took your taxi only two times and the second time told you not to speak to me rather rudely]. How are you? I want to see you please. I want to speak with you please.

I gust wan spiek witd u ather beutifl grils meen nathing to me belive me since i see u i love u i think nathing of atherz. I whant to see u plaz.

Translated by me: I just want to speak with you---other beautiful girls mean nothing to me, believe me! Since I saw you, I have loved you and now I think nothing of others. I want to see you please.

Now, I probably COULD give this to the ROP (I've certainly shown my ROP friends) or get a new sim, but honestly, the bad spelling and grammer kinda of amuse me. So I've left if it on my screened calls.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Brand of Skin-whitener do I use?: :O000oooooo?

I will never forget washing my hands at the City cinema in Shatti and three Omani girls came up to me and asked me (in Arabic) what brand of skin whitener I used. I got confused (not just the Arabic). I am caucasion. God made me this way. I have never used a skin lightener a day in my life but tried very hard to get a tan once with fake tanner which turned me carrot orange. Go figure.
In my country whiteness is a sign of the working class. It means, you don't exactly get to vacation in St. Barths.

In Oman, it is supposedly a sign of beauty, but many of the girls I've seen cause terrible acne to themselves (plus look trashy) painting on fake white skin cake, or make themselves look like Morticia Adams from the Adams family with greying skin whitener. Yes, Morticia Adams is apparently the paramount of beauty in Oman.
TO ME: Arab and African women look more beautiful with their natural skin tone. I've learned to deal with the fact that I will always look like an English rose and not an exotic Cleopatra with gleaming gold skin. I admire Imaan cosmetics for creating a line for women of colour to learn how to showcase their natural beauty, rather than trying to whiten themselves wear the same American make-up lines as me. All of the women below are a 100x more beautiful than Morticia Adams in their natural tones. So Omani girls, think twice before you grab that white white porceline that is meant for someone as fish white as me. Try to get something within 2 shades of your natural skin tone for flawless finish. And I know Phantom, to you whiter is better, but it is because society brainwashed you lol;p. Beauty has no colour, but is a rainbow. Much love to ya'll. Forgive me for my solid opinion on the matter.

More Omani Make-up and Hijab Wrap styles with trad. Jewlery for ya'll

Wowza, I LOVE THESE. Of course, I am girl that wears waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less lol. But pretty.
I forget the name of the model for most of the make-up looks but she's some well-known Omani TV presenter isn't she?

This skintone good with you PhantomX?:p

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is for the Omani Readers: the ban on marrying foreigners, your thoughts, and mine

So, if all the Oman blogs could put this out, simply because I am curious for both female and male Omani opinions on the matter, what do Omanis think about lifting the ban on marrying foreigners? I have a poll on the sidebar and wish you’d vote, if you are Omani, because this issue has long affecteded me and my friends (both foreign and Omani).

Right now, as is, unless you have some wasta, marriage to a foreigner requires a few things under Omani law. For an Omani man to marry a non-Omani woman it isn't allowed unless he is has been divorced a few times with children, he is mentally or physically disabled, or he’s over forty. For an Omani woman, if she’s divorced or widowed with children they make exceptions, same if she is mentally or physically disabled.

While one friend TRIED to tempt me with their handsome Omani friend who is quite disturbed and pocessed by an evil Jinn [I think Oman law would totally allow the marriage based on the insanity clause] I kinda held out. I don’t like evil Jinn. It’s kinda a personal thing. Just NOT attracted to creepy scary things that talk to me in demon voices. Yeah. LOL.

Anyways, here are my thoughts. I am a Muslim. In Islam, making something unlawful that Allah made lawful for mankind is ACTUALLY a form of shirk (disbelief in Allah), the kind of shirk the Qu’ran says committed by Jewish and Christian priests in different periods of history. So I don’t think there should be a law saying which country an Omani man or woman can marry from. Kinda because it is shirk, though I DO know the merits of why such a ban was proposed in Oman.

I think the ban should be lifted. But with conditions to preserve the unique culture of Oman:

Conditions being, to preserve the moral culture of Oman, Omani women should only be able to marry Muslim men. This is also in Islamic law. The men should be able to prove they can provide for the woman and be able to fit into her family if they are going to stay and live in Oman.

For Omani men, they should be able to marry Muslim, Christian, or Jewish foreign women, as this is what the Qu'ran says. But it is says ****PRACTICING**** Jewish and Christian women [of which, few will agree to marry a Muslim, because I HAVE practicing Christian and Jewish friends and most don't their kids to be raised Muslims]. So that stripper from Thailand? She doesn't COUNT as a practicing Christian my darling Omani boys. You don't want a bunch of immoral European, Asian, and Western women married to Omani men (as fun as that sounds boys LOL) but it'll totally ruin the culture of your children. In addition to that, Christian or Jewish women would have to sign a clause saying they would allow their children to be raised as Muslims and that their holidays would be celebrated outside of the home without the involvement of their children. [I added this for you PhantomX, cuz that is a valid point, as a Muslim with non-Muslim relatives this is something I will have to enforce when I have children].

These are my rather simple thoughts on the matter. I love Oman, I love the Sultan, and generally love how Islam is practiced here by the Gov.. This is one exeption to that love. I wonder what you all think. If on other blogs, please repost my poll for your Omani readers so they can participate. Thanks!

Story # 1 that inspired this post: http://howtolivelikeanomaniprincess.blogspot.com/2010/07/one-opnos-list-of-how-to-marry-omani.html

Sunday, June 27, 2010

For Omani Guys: How NOT to PROPOSE to a girl part 1

Dear Guys,

While your attentions have been flattering (generally not, I am being nice), you SUCK at proposing to a modern (but still traditional girl). I am writing this post because I FINALLY RECIEVED A FEW DECENT proposals, lol, but that is for the daily diary not, here. This post will be about the hilariously BAD marriage lines I have been given over the years, me and my friends.
I have recieved MANY proposals of marriage since I moved to Oman, and these are combined with my friends' experiences. They often begin the same way. Here is how NOT to propose to a girl, from most common, to least common:

Beginning of BAD marriage proposal #1: "I have a house."
'Uh, ok, so do I.'

Stating that you have a house is great and all, we women love a man who lives on his own and can take care of himself and isn't living off his parents. But this is marriage AND OUR futures you are talking about. This is a detail we'll want to know about later, sure, but stating it first is like saying all we women care about when we are marrying you is getting out of our father's houses and having a roof over our heads. Generally speaking, most girls don't like to be thought of as that miskeen. LOL, and I have BEEN the definition of independent 'miskeen' for a long time now. We want to know why you want to marry us, and THEN what you can do for us. If a girl is only interested in what you can do for her, um, she's GENERALLY marrying you for the wrong reasons.
BAD marriage proposal #2: The marriage proposal so far has gone great. You like the guy, he has what you are looking for. Then he reveals what a backwards tool he is by finishing arrogantly, "You should consider it soon. You are not that young anymore.... Men don't like to marry women after 25."

'Uh! So if I was a little bit older (you would be too, you jerk!) you wouldn't consider me? women expire like milk! Oh so KIND of your offer now, tool.'

Too bad when I FIRST heard this line I was SIXTEEN years old! And many years have past and I am still getting offers.' LOL:XD

We women certainly do not like for you to imply that our inherent value to you is embued with our age which is something that will CHANGE. We went to be seen as having PERSONALITIES, ideas, and then after you appreciate that, individual physical features. We are looking for someone to enoy spending our lives with. Not someone who makes himself seem small-minded and incompatible with these basic emotional needs a woman HAS.
Bad marriage proposal #3: similiar to bad proposal #2, saying your reason for marrying is because we are "beautiful" and "fair" or because our "family is important" makes us feel you are marrying us to USE us for your own upping of social status, not because you ACTUALLY value us. And maybe you do, but just can't communicate it???????In my case, bad marriage proposal #4: Guy really doesn't try to list any of his merits. He just opens with "I will give you an Omani passport." I look at him like, what an idiot.

I came here on my own. Arab guys from non-Gulf countries are ALWAYS trying to marry me for MY passport. I love Oman and don't need an Omani passport to feel like I can do something for this country, that I am part of the landscape and culture, LOL. I love Oman. And the culture. Doesn't mean AT ALL that I will marry ANY OMANI MALE that asks me LOL:XD ;p

Ahhhhhhh, hehehehe.

Funny/really DUMB reasons Omani guys have given the women of OPNO for their proposals:

"Your nose is nice."

"I like way yu talk."

"The maher for baby girls in my family will be good because you are so white."

"I cannot afford to marry Omani girl."

"You wear abaya." And MUST thus be a good Muslim right???? Uh, ASK ABOUT THE RELIGIOUS opinions of the woman, don't just assum her religion is spot on cuz she has a scarf on her head. Makes you look like the FACADE of religion is all you care about, not the real core of the person's values.

That's about it for now.

OPNO is all for the luggage strike at Muscat/Seeb Int. Airport

M, you were totally lucky your flight for Thailand left at 5:00 cuz at 9:00 A reported to us everything went crazy with the baggage handlers being on strike LOL.

Well, you know what? I support them. They get paid 200-250 rials which isn't enough to have a family on and we all know that. Glad the suits from upstairs had to chuck a bag or two. Oh yeah, they couldn't even do that:p. UTTER chaos A reports to Y who reported it to me but it slipped my mind to mention it.

C'mon, pay fair wages. 500 rials is decent for a hard-worker. Give the crummy no good lazy ones 250.

Rant: Omani Perfume

Once I was walking down the beach in Shatti. I could litterally smell one woman from a MILE AWAY down the beach. Abaya (check). Niqab (check). Good hijab/Muslim modesty? Not really. She was like Cleopatra with her scented barges. Every man on that beach would remember what she smelt like as if they had intamitely kissed her neck or smelt her hair. That's kinda a personal thing, and is lovely between a man and wife. Why would you wanna sacrifice those small little beauties I wonder?

Ah, well, guess I am an old fashioned-prude, yes Mama.

But, from an Islamic standpoint:

Muslim women aren't supposed to wear any perfume that a man who is not related to one can smell. Alot of Omani women don't seem to know or care about this. I don't know why it bothers me so much but it kinda does. The Prophet sallalahu alhi wa salaam told us to take care in this, as women. Allahu alim.

Wasta

I have a love/hate relationship with wasta (influence).
I totally love when wasta gets me a great job (that I could get anyway-I never take something I am not qualified for) without having an interview. I love that wasta gets me to pay lower prices than most of my friends for applications and other goodies. And when it gets me a great rate on a villa. Or to the front of a line. But honestly, I feel guilty if I get something I don't deserve and can't enjoy it that much. I only like wasta because maybe I am a little lazy. And my friends of not very much influence, love when they can show off whatever little wasta they have to help me. I love that is makes them feel good about themselves. I feel bad for everyone that doesn't have wasta though, and that makes me not want to use it. It is supporting a corrupt system.
But the system really cripples us in the end. Because when something really needs to get done, you have to wait and wait, and ask for favors, and if you don't know anyone, really, you are screwed.
So shall I be able to wait in line, pass the same papers as everyone else, instead of resisting to make that one phone call to speed things up? If we ALL did, it would fix things, sure...
We all know we should. But my hate relationship with wasta is, even if you are trying to be good, sometimes things just don't get done without wasta. I need to get things done. For myself, and my friends, and the people I care about.
What is your relationship with wasta????

More Cute Omani Kids in National Dress

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, so cute mashaAllah tabarakallah!

Rants: Girls Getting Ready in Oman

M & K are on their way? Khalas, ten minutes, I'm done. The boys don't believe it. showered even.

But... who is coming? OmaniH! (Omani H is a female of pure Omani descent LOL).
Ooooooooooooooooooooh. DEAR. GOD.
Sitting fully dressed, make-up, clothes, abaya, sheila, et all, I wait. One hour passes. I have already worked out the timing to be an hour delayed as OmaniK himself takes an hour to dress and cologne himself. But H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
M and me put our heads in our hands in despair. H can take two hours to get dressed and promise us five minutes. This is for running to Lulus, not a Dhofari wedding, ya'll, just Lulus, or Carrefoure.
Sigh. We look idenitcally polished when she arrives. I wonder what she does all that time, I really do.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why is one of my nicknames 'Princess'?

I will never forget one of the first villages in Oman I ever visited, somewhere in the middle of nowhere to me, a young girl back from her first trip to London. I was climbing the top of a crumbling old village house, pieces of date palm frond crumbling under my 2 inch heels. Why I was wearing heels for hiking, who knows, I was a dumb adolescent who was upset that she was stuck in Oman instead of staying San Francisco with friends, or left to her own whims in London.

I was pouty, I was a brat, and I was listening to my headphones, ignoring my stepfather the whole drive there as he pointed out this rock or that rock and explaining its importance to the geographical history of Oman. I got out of the 4x4 wearing a wide brimmed straw hat, white Oscar de la Renta suit jacket, and a brown printed silk skirt. I looked very European, while my newly inherited-by-marriage family looked very American, sneakers, tshirts, and shorts. I was SUPPOSED TO BE in AFRICA already, but they had deemed the country I was too visit too dangerous so they'd confiscated my passport. I wasn't going anywhere. PDO club was my new prison, and it was break, and all the kids my age were away but the Omani security guards that cruised up and down Ras al Hamra on their patrols. They, and one wadi dog, were my only friends. And my stepfather was pretty sure he didn't want me making too good of friends with any young Omani teenage guys, lol, though my mother couldn't understand that LOL, not even the PDO ones, for reasons I was too naivette & willfully rebellious then to understand. I was totally miserable, LOL. And I wanted to sneak off to the nightclubs and dance but I assumed boring Muscat had none, and my stepfather was too smart to tell me anything different. K, lol, you should have told me!!!!!;p I got out of the truck and kicked up some dust with my heels, wandering away from my stepfather on my own up a track to some abandoned houses with my camera. I wandered inside, the dust and the sunlight through half-caved in windows making a wonderful shot. That camera became my escape, and I focussed on my environment rather than my own life, that seemed so bleak and, for a teenager, the end of the world nowhere. No offense to Muscat, but to a sixteen year old, you aren't nearly as hip as London, or as sophisticated as San Francisco. I was in another world than the one I was used to.

Standing on a hill overlooking the village below, a group of Omani children and a few young women came running up the dusty track towards me. I put my camera away, confused for an instant.

Little boys and girls ran up along side me and the women talked behind their hands while smiling shyly at me. One Lady asked if she could touch my hat. I took it off to hand it to her and all the little kids started framing their hands together and pretending they were taking pictures. One little girl sat on my lap and she called me "Princess Diana". It was my short-blonde hair cut.
Little did I know Princess Diana had visited this village all those years before!

After that, pretty much through out most of Oman, that nickname kept coming up, and one Saudi diplomat remarked the likeness quite the sameI thought it quite a compliment that people thought so, though really, I looked more like a gawky Julie Andrews in the 'Sound of Music' than Princess Diana with that haircut. Gulf Arabs tend to be very liberal with complimenting a Western woman's beauty LOL.
Nowadays, far away from the days having to borrow evening clothes from my mother's closet [she was one of those people who liked to dress her grown children and sometimes we'd give in because the fights were too attrociously painful to do anything less (and honestly, I didn't care what I looked like in Oman cuz no one who knew me was here)] to go to the Intercon for drinks, and that short dyed blonde haircut, no one ever makes the reference. But Omani friends, such as the PDO guys, still call me Diana, or 'Princess' when they run into me. Or whenever we have to do passport runs, and the old photograph remains.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Princess Susan of Oman

One real-life American princess, is Susan Al Said of Oman. Just posting this for my American readers, lol, and for C. BTW, this article is not mine but is from http://www.hindu.com/mp/2005/06/29/stories/2005062900050100.htm.

Princess Susan Al Said from the Sultanate of Oman weighs every word she utters. And discreetly watches my notepad as I take down notes. "You have to be aware of your responsibilities being a part of the royal family," she smiles.
An American by birth and an Omanese by marriage, the princess makes this identity transformation into royalty, into a culture that we are given to believe is the antithesis of all that is American. And the image that people in most parts of the world carry about the "enclosed world" of Arab women isn't quite the whole picture, says Susan. "There is enough room for women to be educated and empowered in Oman. We even have three women ministers."
Despite being busy with "business and family responsibilities", Susan has constantly tried to help Omanese women find their identity. She runs an art gallery, Bait Muzna Gallery in Muscat, which gives the pride of place to women artistes. "I have done a few paintings myself," says Susan. Of course, it's also important for an Omani woman to be respectably dressed and be modest. "One has to remember that it's a society where traditions are still upheld, which can't change all of a sudden." Not that things such as dress code are thrust on women. "But women choose to dress modestly," says Susan. "You in India also have such an elegant, traditional dress, don't you?"

The fact that Susan was a well-travelled person helped in the process of acclimatisation into Oman, a country in which she has lived for 21 years now. "The more you travel and broaden your horizon, the easier it is to step out of your preconceived notions of what other countries and cultures are like."But what really matters at the end of the day is "openness of heart, a sharing spirit. It doesn't matter if you are a princess or an ordinary person," smiles Susan, her dragonfly brooch studded with precious stones firmly in place over her black headscarf.

BAGESHREE S.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Styles for Expats, and before I was Muslim... my closet

Before I became a Muslim, I held two women as style rolemodels, one I imitated in my daily life, and the other, I fantasized about dressing like. I knew one woman was a Queen, but the other, I didn't know she was a real-life Princess, I just saw her in a magazine when I was seven years old, and thought, she looks like something out of a fairy-tale. These two women are Queen Rania of Jordan, and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco.Queen Rania's style is pretty close to my before Islam look. Lots of knee length skirts and blouses with lady-like purses and suits for day, and long simple sleeveless dresses for evenings. Her lilac and lace Givenchy skirt with white blouse is always my favourite look for Queen Rania, and that is how I like to dress in my house, if not imitating Lalla or going Omani;pPrincess Lalla Salma of Morocco looks like a princess straight from a fairytale in her traditional takchita gowns, long wavy red hair, and jewels. Now that I wear an abaya or other modest clothing when I am out, I can pretty much go zany with wacky designer gear or glam caftans when I am in my home. Abaya gives me more fashion freedom believe it or not. I can dress like Rania or Salma and not be over or under dressed thanks to abaya. Now I tend to buy only clothes that I like, rather than clothes that I need, every woman's secret fantasy you would think????
And of course! LOL, these two ladies whose closets I admire just have to hang out LOL.Please, to all non-Muslim expat women in Oman, take a note from Queen Rania in respect to Oman and our beautiful culture of modesty here. In the very least wear skirts no shorter than below the knee, no cleavage, and having a sleeve, be it only cap-sleeve, is best for day. Avoid ultra-tight stretchy fabrics that cling to all your curves. Out of respect for the women as well as the men. I honestly don't want to see your breasts or your thong. At night, it is okay to go sleeveless if you avoid huge cleavage and go for long lengths. Save bikinis for expat dominated places (pools with lotsa alcohol ect). Thank you ever so much, and I will respect your country the same by trying my best to wear Islamic clothing that meets the requirements of my religion but doesn't scare your local populace. Shukran jazilan!!!!