Thursday, April 28, 2011

I loooooooooooove this pic!!!!: random post about Beduoin driving & Gamboo3a

First off, I have to say, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this pic. I think it represents Omani culture so well. For anyone who thinks that the Omani people are behind a millenia, well, they're not. And for anyone who thinks we've escaped our traditions and can do anything, well, we haven't. And in most things, no one is 100% convinced that they should leave off a tradition, even if the general consensus is that it is disliked or a hardship on part of the cultural population.

Done from that, where I live, the Beduoin occasionally come to town. Ones from Dhofar even, but usually from the Interior, like Al Wusta.

In Muscat, I have noticed, that accidents usually happened and are caused by young Omani guys trying to show off by driving cars in ways they do not know how to drive, and taxis cutting people off.

Where I am from, most of the taxis drive very politely, with good road sense. Maybe because they are poorer, and their car means alot to them? I don't know. Or maybe because their mothers taught them common courtesy does not disapear behind the wheel of a vehicle. Traditional manners are a big thing here. Women can go first, old men go first, regardless of road signs. This causes accidents I am sure, with folks from out of town.

But the biggest causes of accidents here, seem to be the Beduoin. I am not trying to stereotype, but they drive like they are still in the desert, oblivious to signs or road customs [the Dhofari ones don't count as they seem more used to the roads having to have come so far to get here]. Whenever there is a big livestock sale, you are likely to see the local roundabout in a heap of smashed cars, as some young Bedu lad from Al Wusta has cut across the rounabout in a pick-up filled with goats and cut everbody off. Those who swerve to avoid him mash other cars. It happens every week on the livestock days in the Souq.

My husband is used to this as he lived with the Beduoin in Al Wusta when he was younger, so we've always given a wide berth when we spot a certain styled musayr (head wrap) or truck, but really, I wonder what can be done to change this?

BTW, I saw the cutest looking young Beduoin woman the other day at a local gas station stop. She was wearing her black birqa, a blue jalabiyia (full length dress) and black ghabah, but she was wearing an ENORMOUS Gamboo3a (hair puff claw hair clip) and as much as I am against the Gamboo3a for religious reasons, she looked super cute. I've never ever seen the Gamboo3a in the Interior, on Nizwa women, or on Beduoins (to say the least!) but she was just so individual and stunning, mashaAllah, that I couldn't help but stare.

Personally, I think the Gamboo3a as it is worn by Dhofari girls, and most Omani and Emirati girls, with hijab and niqab is pure ridiculousness. It really doens't look pretty to have a balloon or egg shaped bump on one's head, especially the VERY TOP of one's head. I think it is fashion, for sure, but not style, or taste, and certainly irreligious, because it does make people stare, even if it is the norm, because it is sooooooooo against nature. But I guess I can understand it with Gashwa (the full veil without eye slits I have seen in Emirates) as it doesn't look odd, and stylistically, though I could never rationalise it religiously, it really balanced out the long shape of the Beduoin black birqa from Oman.

Random, random, I know. Forgive.

Omani Weddings: Bedu Bridal in Wahiba, Al Sharqiyah

For Beduoin weddings, people have to understand that Oman has more than one kind of Beduoin, and Beduoin traditions, while are all very similiar, vary from the Coastal Beduoin from above Sur in Al Sharqiyah, to those of Al Wusta Region in the Interior [which MOP is more familiar with], to the sands of the Rub Al Khali in the South nigh Dhofar. I haven't been invited to any Al Wusta weddings yet, and when I was invited to the wedding celebrations, usually the melka/nikah had already taken place, and it was just for the Urs/Walima [the party] part. I am most familiar with the traditions of the Wahiba Urs because a Beduoin Engineer from this region once proposed to me and I knew his family well, but still couldn't fathom much of what was going on because of my poor Arabic skills. So please, feel free to fill in the blanks of this post. Bridal makeup (indeed, everyday wear as well for a Beduoin woman) includes traditional kohl. The women from Wahiba tended to mix it with fish oil, whereas women from the Interior, with goat fat.

The Urs celebrations take part with the men and women apart and outside seperated by an Areesh [date palm frond wall], with lots of singing and dancing on the women's side, and shooting of guns on the men's. Serriously, the men shoot off alot of rifles. I don't know what else they do on their side, I am assuming dance their traditional dances as well, but I could hear their rifles. Also, on both sides Qhawha (Omani coffee flavoured with saffron) is served, and we ate roasted baby camel meat served atop rice with dates and camel curd cheese for the wedding feast. I was jokingly served a peie of the head. I was not expected to eat it. Don't worry, the eyeball story is from the old days, and no one is insulted if their guest doesn't eat an eyeball or head anymore. But you do have to eat some of the meat. There is usually some goat on the side so if you couldn't fathom camel, ask for that.
Usually as a guest at a Beduoin wedding, the women will dress you up in their traditional clothes or Omani clothes, so that you can dance with them. They once taught my sister a dance that is done with Ghabah cloack and a green shawl. If you are married, they will give you a birqa (those gold or black masks) as Beduoin women traditionally wear the Birqa after their marriage to show their status in their tribe and to other Beduoin. Often the girls would give me a "Suri" from Sur, the traditional dress of Sur, rather than their traditional jalabiyias (long colourful dresses) and black ghabah (see-through cotten mesh thobe-cloak worn on top of the colourful dress) because I was a "city girl" lol. Also, as I was unmarried at the time, I was not given a birqa to wear, though I was handed one as a parting gift when I left their party. All the brides I ever saw, their dress was much the same as their guests, only their jalabiyia (colourful dress) might be worn without the black mesh cotton ghabah and have a little more embroidery on the cuffs of the sleeves. I never saw the bride wear a birqa. I was told the maher (bridal dowry) was pretty much always gold combined with livestock presented to the bride. And nowadays, since the government has given the Beduoin free housing, a house is decorated for the new couple (with Christmas decorations like tinsel garlands spelling out something of a blessing in Arabic), and a special new blanket is laid on the marriage bed for the new couple. I was informed that the morning after, the bride would emerge a woman in the tribal status, wearing a birqa like a married woman. So think of the Beduoin's birqa, like her wedding ring;D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Key To Happiness: Be Yourself

Having fully immearsed myself in Omani culture, learning what shoes I may wear to what places, what way to tie my scarf, what colours are okay, when to wear makeup and when not to, how loud my voice is allowed to be, where it is okay to go and who with, how to sit in the car, where to sit in a restaurant, indeed, even how one moves and gestures, I cannot even BEGIN TO STRESS, that the key to true happiness is knowing who one is, and being able to be one's self.

A pair of high heel shoes are not who I am. So even if I loved them, I could give them up. Some women, maybe not. I, love makeup, so I found ways to wear it, maybe still against the grain, but not offensively. In a marriage and in life, you have to know what points of yourself you are not willing to change or give up without losing yourself. I couldn't give up dressing like an individual. I can't give up completely how I move, which is kind of dance like. I have toned it down, believe me, apparently I used to skip and dance instead of walk. But if I happen to handle a lemon with flourish as I bag it in the Lulu? Since it isn't a sin, I am not willing to change it. I don't want to walk with my head down and slowly like a deadwoman, I just couldn't.

SOWHAT if some absolute retard thinks that I might like him cuz I happen to see the world around me as I walk instead of keeping my gaze locked in one direction 24 hrs a day. Sin is on him not moi so I say, again, am not gonna change it. My eyes were a gift from Allah, and so is this world He created, and He told all of men to wonder on His signs. Muslim women AND MEN are supposed to lower their gaze from what might tempt them, but not from life and what it holds.

Arab cultures and alot of Asian ones, the pressure to conform is so strong that individual thought is actually HARD to teach. Try teaching someone whose always told what the right answer is how to write an opinion essay. It's hard.

And in the West, the pressure to conform is still there, don't believe it isn't. If you believe something other than the norm, you must be "brainwashed" or "have an inferiority complex" or an "insecurity" ect.

I find it is best to learn what is important to one and don't compromise on it. That isn't selfish. It is honest. I have found that in Omani family life being one's own self is often considered selfish. Really, it's not. What is selfish is marrying someone you won't honor, respect, or cherish because it is what is expected of you. It is shameful behaviour towards the other person. It is selfish to suppress the soul of yourself and go through the motions of your day without anything making you feel alive, or important, or useful, or fullfilled. Living IS NOT a state of being.

To not reach your full potential, that is selfish, to your Creator (if you're religious), and to all of mankind.

It's Raining In Bahla Now

Everyone is outside enjoying the rain. I for one, am not. I do not like rain. Not AT all. People can't drive in it here. And I grew up with too much rain, too many grey skies.

I am a sunshine girl. But do enjoy.

My New Nightime Neighbor

There is an Omani owl that has decided to hunt from the gate of my house. I always forget the extent of Oman's wildlife: Leopards, Flamingoes, Desert foxes, Oryx antelope, dolphins, migrating humback whales...

I cut my own hair... and it really doesn't look bad at all

I did it. I cut my hair. I cut it on my own too. I've had enough of salons giving me crazy layers when I say I just want a trim. Of giving every single girl the "typical Arab girl" haircut, layered, long sliding bangs across the forehead. That's really not me.

I gave myself bangs. Late 1940s Pixie bangs. I have completely managed to tuck them into my headscarf without pins as they are short and don't need pinning back. My hair cut basically looks like the photo above. People have been coming up to me for years saying I look like Audrey Hepburn so I said, why fight it [even though I say I am more a Leslie Caron type]? My makeup regime has been reduced to simple liquid eyeliner and a neutral lipstick. Very Oman and abaya&shayla friendly.

It's a bit vintagey for Muscat but I am happy. It was a. free, b. easy to do, and c. looks totally like it suits me. I guess that makes it a success even though my friends have a saying that cutting one's own hair definately marks one out as a cheapskate. I don't care. C'est la vie.

I'mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Back!

Safari Salaama all dear loyal OPNO readers,

I am the OPNO who rarely posts. In fact this will be a bogus post to inform all the OPNO girls that I am back in Muscat for a week. Most of you will not have even missed me I'm sure;p

I am back from the pic above, my home away from home in my home country.

So if you want to meet up with me, Princess has my new mobile number.

And P, I have a new camera so you and MOP owe me a trip into the Interior.

Since this post will be absolutely dull to anyone not a blog author, is it just me, or do Omani men tend to use their kumas as handbags, stuffing them with bank cards, reciepts, and mobiles? ;)

See, I cam up with ONE cute thought for the blog related to the blog.

Masalaama ladies, give me a ring!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Omani Wedding: Village Interior Style

[Headdress similiar to that or Interior brides---though we don't tend to wear much makeup beyond kohl if we are wearing traditional dress opposed to the white wedding dress]
Like in the case of Muscat White Weddings, it all starts with the potential groom requesting to speak to a father about his daughter. If the girl has no father or male relatives (like myself) then he goes to ask an Imam (religious Sheikh) to act as her guardian. If the father or guardian accepts, the man proposes, and if the girl accepts, her maher (dowry) is requested, to be paid to her. In the interior it is usually 2000 between family members - 7000 for outside the family. If the family doesn't like the groom, they come up with a number that he couldn't possibly pay. But the girl may choose anything for her maher that she likes. The maher is usually money that the bride buys wedding gold from, and her wedding clothes, and wedding expenses. My maher was a single silver ring and some promises written down in a legal contract. My guardian kept asking me if I was absolutely SURE the ammount was enough because it was apparently the lowest maher he had ever seen in Oman. I was certain and that was enough. I also asked for a gift not part of the maher of wedding shoes since I didn't have a pair to match my wedding dress, which was a traditional but designer Omani one borrowed from a friend. Traditionally these dresses are green although mine was a white pearl colour, and the bride's face should be veiled. Because I considered myself a Muscat traditional bride I wore the birqa that was common in Mutrah in the 1900s instead of a veil. Usually the maher is delivered just before the melka (the engagement and religious nikah part of the ceremony), and women and men, though both seperate in most cases, have traditional dances and songs for this. Since I had no family, I simply recieved my maher in a lovely traditional box and we read some Qu'ran. Sometimes the female family members carry the bride about on a litter or a chair and give her gifts, like watches, gold, and nowadays, gift certificates to Homecentre:D
(This pic is not from an Interior wedding but was the most similiar to what I've seen that I could find) The Melka/Nikah usually takes place in someone's home [decorated with Christma lights], though it may take place in a Mosque. If it takes place in a Mosque then the groom and the bride are usually seperate. I have mainly seen them take place in individual homes. My nikah was done seperate from my husband, with two male witnesses and the Sheikh (my guardian) coming to ask me if I wanted to marry, what my maher was and if I recieved it and if it was enough, and if I agreed to this Islamic marriage. With my assent and saying I was not coerced into a wedding. Usually at this point, male and female guests take a meal of rice and meat seperately, and the groom and bride may possibly take photos together. In my case, we did not.

After the Melka Islamically it is completely okay to consumate the marriage though in the Interior this is not culturally acceptable AT ALL. In fact, many families do not even allow the husband and wife to speak to eachother yet, which is Islamically ridiculous but it is tradition. [Men's wedding tent pictured]

My Urs (Islamic term for it is Walima) was right after my melka, but usually they are a month or a year or more apart. For the Urs, at least in the Interior weddings I have been to, the wedding takes place after Magreb (dusk) prayers, and wedding tents are rented by the village or a tribe for a whole month and everyone shares the tent's expenses and many weddings take place in the same facilities over that month. Also, the families share a Sablah which they own (Majlis---like a community hall) to keep wedding expenses in check unlike in other regions.[Female guests in their wedding clothes at the bride's homemade kosha pictured]

The bride and women and men have seperate celebrations, and the bride sits on a usually simple chair or sofa wearing a white western wedding dress or an Omani traditional one, and the female guests usually wear more traditional GCC clothes, from Kuwaiti and Saudi thobes, to Omani dress. Henna has usually been done two days prior with female family members, and on the men's side is a meal of rice and meat with the groom wearing full Omani male regalia, dishdasha, musayra, bisht, khanjar, rifle, sword, and two assa sticks. Both sides eat and the point of this is to publicize and celebrate the marriage. After this the bride and groom usually go to the groom's house, and traditionally this was done by donkey, with a big parade carrying the bride's pocessions to her new home. Nowadays, people prefer a Mercedes. Then the honeymoon period begins.

Beetle Plague?

Is it just me or are there more beetles this year than ever before?

I am always used to little ants in my home and over my yard in Oman, but I've never seem so many beetles before in my life.

Chef Ramsay has stopped swearing... and I'm in love with "Vampire Diaries"

My little sister and I were just talking about our favourite shows. She was totally surprised by mine, be it, my TV in Oman in English is limited since my remote has no audio option. "OMIGOD, you watch Hawaii Five-0? Like that show with the old guy with the mustache???!" Did I see the whole series of "KyleXY" yes, yes I did. I am a serial serial series watched. Bad habit. I do know, and due to my limited options, the series I watch would be things I would have picked on my little sis for watching before.

I know, I could totally accomplish so much more if I just stopped watching TV altogether, and alot of people who know my beliefs say you could be so much more religious ect, if you didn't watch TV at all. But I do watch the religious lecture channels too, and I don't take shows too seriously, and I actually lower my eyes off the TV when I see kissing or less than dressed guys like any Muslim girl should, so don't be judging.

Things that surprise my fam that I watch: "Vampire Diaries" and "Top Gear". Sis: "But you HATE 'Twilight'." And yes, yes I do. The girl from Twlight is a real loser and I cheer for her to get eaten every single time I watch a Twilight movie. I want her to die.

I tend to like the cast from Vampire Diaries. Bonnie the Witch reminds me of some of my friends from my non-muslim days, and yes, like the town of Mystic Falls, we had our share of witches and covens. Wallah, am serrious, though no Vampires that I ever knew of. Bonnie, the blonde though, looks like an exact replic of my BFF from before I was Muslim, and well, Elena is so much likeable than that twit twilight girl. Oh yeah, and the series was around BEFORE the horribly written books.

I have also recently discovered some cooking shows in English on Kuwait channel, like Chef Ramsay. Funny thing is, they edit out all the cuss words, so you'd think Ramsay was a regular gent. Except for one episode that obviously missed screening because the f-word came in loud and clear there to the shock of MOP. He apparently had no idea what the unedited Gordon was like.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inside Princesses' Kitchen: Chocolate Stawberry 'Carrots'

I totally love this idea. IF I celebrated Easter (which I don't, and no Muslim should) I'd totally make these this weekend.

But what I DO love about Easter? I buy all the on sale chocolate and make special treats, like fudge and chocolate covered strawberries. These would be such cute dessert for a tea party: strawberry chocolate carrots.

What you need is chocolate, strawberries, and food colouring. Use red and yellow to make orange, and blue for blue Robin eggs (what a cute place card holder a nest full of chocolate Robin's eggs would be, oui?).

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds or on a double boiler on the stove top. Colour the chocolate with food colouring and then dip the stawberries in with sticks as pictured in photo three and stick the stick in foam to harden. Once cool, decorative ridges can be painted on the carrot strawberries by dragging the stick across the chocolate strawberry.

Angry Arab Women Mad at Expat Wives of Locals: wth?!

To be honest, the almost total majority of Omani women are totally sweet to me, and every single one of them I know personally: 100% sweeties and happy for me.

My experience of being married to an Omani is NOTHING like the experiences of a white Canadian friend being married to an African brother (African-American [not born in Africa ones] Sisters can be the most shockingly RUDE over this---and Arabs to Arab brothers married to black sisters, vice versa), or a Native Candian married to an Emriati. I don't get the cold shoulder in the prayer room at the malls with Omani sisters whispering behind their hands "Magrebi" [Morrocan] like a dirty-word, tantamount to the racist prejudice of "slutty husband stealer" like a friend in the Emirates [why this hate for Morrocan women???] . Because I was Muslim before my marriage, most Omani women are happy for me.

But still, occasionally when my English is overheard by random strange Omani women in restaurants and malls accompanied by the presence of my husband in a dishdasha and kuma [Omani hat] I get dirty looks. I find it funny, because there is this kind of this attitude in the Gulf, that GCC women own their men and should have absolute rights to them. [Not ALL WOMEN].

Which would be fair, since many GCC men are insistant, through ignorance and prejudice, that their sisters and daughters should only marry the same nationality as them, or even the same family name.

But to me, ignorance and prejudice and injustice are never fair. So I give them no credence.

Omani women, while not supported by their family traditions, CAN marry ANYONE Omani by passport, and have less restrictions on them legally then men when applying to marry a man from outside the country. I know five Omani women happily married to Canadian men. Four of those went against their family to do so at the Interior Ministry, and the other, her husband courted his potential Omani inlaws for a loooooooooong period of time.

I know friends who have lived in Saudi had the same experiences. One particular friend was invited to a Saudi women's party just so that the women could see why her husband married her. They were only pleased with her when they discovered her hair was the same colour as theirs, that she regularily wore loose dresses like them, and liked all the same cultural things as them. Then at least they knew her husband hadn't married her because she was "not Saudi". God forbid she would have been a blonde. She'd not have been invited again she supposes.

The first time I ever went to a restaraunt with my husband I remember my husband picking a table near some Omani girls cuz at least then there'd be no men nearby. He was just so happy to finally be married he was grinning and we were talking English, and I noticed the girls giving me such dirty looks it made me laugh. I wondered then if they thought I was some whore-y girlfriend in an abaya and headscarf. I know expat workmates and friends (not romantic ones) of Omani guys go through the same thing. It's sad.

The other night though, I am pleased to say, I visited the same restaurant and saw an Omani man having dinner with a Lebanese woman (I know Labnani accents now very well), an Omani girl [most pleasing of all] on a date with her expat Brit husband, and me and my man. All us girls gave eachother quiet, encouraging smiles. We felt sisterhood, not possessiveness.

I no longer own the men of my passport than they own me. If any racist jerk from my country ever says to my Omani husband he's stealing "his" women, I'll tell him to screw off. I'm not a slave, and I am not any man's "his" regardless of passport. Arab sisters, you should do the same with your family, or ask/demand your governments for the right. Please don't hate me cuz I married someone who loves me and if is a perfect husband for me, and would definately be a less than prefect husband for you.

Shout out to the totally awesome Dhofari girl in the prayeroom at the Ruwi Lulu, and the Omani girl who works at "First Choice" abaya store in City Center, because their super nice-ness desipte being random strangers undoes all the nasty dirty looks on local faces, lol.

Denim Abaya---Khaleeji Style, not ugly all-over denim jilbab romper I swear

The one fashion faux pas I can readily admit to on repeat from the Eighties till now is a love of a faded denim, and even of pairing denim with denim. Love it or hate it, but I can't stand stiff new denim, and like mine raw, beaten and faded. When it was in style a year and a half ago by Muscat standards, I bought wide leg faded denim trousers from Centerpoint. I recently saw the cutest pair of denim ballet flats with a matching quilted Chanel style denim purse. I am truly debating whether or not to get a cheapo ugly denim skirt from every weird hypermarket clothing section whose fabric I like and getting an abaya tailor to trim a shayla (headscarf) edge with it, and the abaya sleeve cuffs. Should I, or should I not???? Hmmm.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Omani White Wedding: Muscat Style

It all starts with the proposal. A man who wants to propose must announce to the father of the woman he wants to propose to that he will come to the house to speak about his daughter. If the father of the girl agrees to this, the man will come with a few male members of his family to speak to the father. If the father accepts, then the bride is consulted. She may choose to question the potential groom and speak to see if they are compatible. This is more common these days. If the bride agrees, an ammount of money or gold (the dowry, called a maher) is agreed upon between the bride and the groom. The entire dowry is the bride's discretion Islamically, and it belongs to her alone in its entirety, so contrary to ignorance, a bride is not sold. Then there is the delivery of the maher and any gifts for the bride by the groom. Traditionally, different regions have different traditions for this. It is like the Western bridal shower only much more expensive, usually 3000-9000 OMR. The bride then can use this money to pay for things for the wedding. Nearer to the wedding is what is called the nikah. In Oman it is called the ______ [I forget right now, I'll fill in the blank when I remember]. Think of it like signing the legal national marriage certificate in a Western marriage (only for Muslims this is the religious part of the marriage). The bride usually wears traditional Omani dress which varies depending on her regional background. If the nikah is done just before the walima (in Oman called the Urs, meaning "family") not a weeks or months before, then the henna party usually comes before. But many families choose to have the nikah months or even a year before the wedding, because then it is halal (not sinful) for the young couple to meet and talk to eachother to plan the wedding reception (urs) and their future housing plans ect. The nikah is the contract guaranteeing the bride her rights, where the one conductiing the marriage will make sure the bride is not coerced, and that there will be witnesses. Culturally, in Oman, it is not acceptable to consumate the marriage after the nikah, but Islamically, there is nothing wrong with it. At this stage the bride usually starts searching to rent her white designer wedding dress, to rent a hotel's ballroom or wedding hall, a stage, lights, kosha (wedding couch), arrange catering, music, female photographers and service staff, send out eleborate invitations, make makeup and hair appointments, ect. A few days before the wedding usually the bride has a henna party and trial with her makeup and haridressers. The henna party is usually close female family and friends. The bride traditionally wears green or red Omani dress but may wear whatever she likes. Most henna parties have cute snacks and remind me of slumber parties, with married girls telling secrets and advice for the new bride if this is her first marriage.Well, onto the Urs, a hall or ballroom is usually rented, and decorated. It is a women-only affair so women wear Lebanese and Western style ballgowns, jeweled caftans and jalabiyias, real jewelry, and even see-through abayas with colourful slips underneath. If you have any jewelry it seems now you wear it. Everyone dresses to the max, and the hairstyles and updoes are elaborate. If you are invited to a Muscat white wedding, DO dress up. Too much by Western standards, will be plain here, lol.Above pictured, typical guest hair and makeup. Below, the wedding stage with the kosha.For white weddings, usually there is an aisle leading up to a stage with an elaborate backdrop and a throne or couch called a kosha. There are dinner tables on either side of the aisle, and just before the stage, there is usually a dance floor. Guests are sat at the tables, and music and fabulous lighting announce the bride's arrival.She walks down the aisle, one step and pose at a time. Every time she takes a step her attendents or the photographer rearranges her dress, and takes another shot. So it isn't anything like a Western bridal march. It can take 10 minutes in total. Then she goes up onto the stage and sits on the kosha. Guests come up to congratulate her or take photos with her if they are important friends and family members. Then a photo session with the photographer begins on the stage, and guests start to dance on the foot of the dance floor below the stage, and dinner is served. You can eat or dance.The bride of course, has the most lovely hair and makeup (or should).Her dress is usually the most over the top ball gown covered in crystals you can imagine. At the very end of the night, an announcement is made to the female guests to cover up, and the groom and male relatives come in to take photos with the bride. Then the bride might stay and party until the morning, or she may choose to leave with the groom, either to their new house, or to his his family house. This is the typical white wedding in Muscat.