Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eid Mubarak Everyone

Eid Mubarak everyone just in case there's no posts (as there are likely not to be).
Usually every Eid OPNO packs her bags for the village but this year I am staying home and planning a Muscat Eid. And wouldn't you too, if you lived in the Al Athaiba beach villa pictured above? [Only 1200 a month rent LOL and it's kitchen and baths don't compare to the veiw;p].
Above and below, veiw of Ghubrah Lake Park beach in Al Athaiba from aformetioned rental villa.

I am planning on forgoing shua this year for my own homemade faves (I shall miss the breakfast harees and mishakeek though I'll probably have a barbecue of my own the beach).
No, I don't actually live here;p
Can't have a decent Eid Al Adha without the Eid prayer first thing in the morning. Well, actually you apparently can because most women in Muscat don't seem to know that Muslims [including ladies] are supposed to go for the Eid prayer and listen to the accompanying lecture in our religion of Islam but hey we do get to go shopping and buy new clothes whether or not we remember why we started doing this in the first place;).
Also, can't have Eid Al Dha without the sacrifice. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!
Me, personally I like to go to Mutrah. I don't know why but Mutrah is always like a fairytale for me and I ladddy-da and day dream about the days when Persian merchants daughters fanned themselves in sunrooms facing the harbour... I have an active painter's imagination.... Horribly historically inaccurate.
I'll probably head to Qantab for a swim or the sea and sky and a barbecue of my own. I will attempt my own mishakeek flavoured with tumeric and kiwi as I am told those are the secret ingredients that I have always missed in getting the flavours just right. How will you spend your Eid in Oman or in lands far and away?


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Convicted Rapists and Publishing their photos, That old Dude waving at your Kids, and running over children in Muscat and Beyond

I just wanted to write (and please anyone in the ROP correct me if I am wrong) that since last week there was an escaped?/released? convicted rapist on the loose in Muscat. I am not allowed to post his photo even though the Omani government DID post the photos of the convicted Facebook-media-abusers seemingly against the law that says posting photos and names of convicts in the country is not allowed, but I did want to issue a warning nonetheless, as useless as it is without name and photos. An Omani male quite menatally disturbed and originally from Mabaila area of Muscat,  was convicted of raping a child [girl] under the age of ten and was (since I last heard) out and about in this region from which I blog from.

As a mother, I am glad to have a photo and name just to guard myself and my family with. I am used to kind Omani men of no ill intent in this country where children are beloved, to have children from our family patted, and treated with gifts from these gentle and harmless strangers so knowing who this bad guy is helps me from having a heart attack anytime I see some strange old dude waving kindly to my baby.

But just because the country is safe in majority for children, doesn't mean just because the newspaper doesn't say they have pedophiles on the loose, that one should let their kids go all hours of the night, walking the streets alone Especially in Mabaila and Seeb [my own personal experiences]. Dear people resident therein, we almost always accidently run over your children and you don't take notice. If you don't take notice of that, I am sure some experienced child-predator would have an easier go of your babies, so please... take care.

-A Concerned Mother, otherwise known as OPNO

P.S. Boys get raped and murdered too. Just so you know. Dubai has a higher rape rate for boys under 13 than it does for girls simply because GCC parents seem to think nothing bad ever happens to boys and no one is watching them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting paid on time in Oman... the tale of the Al Athaiba Lemon Thief

Now I know I haven't posted anything in a long time but this post by one of the OPNO girls has been eating up my inbox and I thought it was an important enough subject for me to take a few minutes to upload it:

I remember when I first moved to Oman I worked for a small branch of a bigger company and my promised salary was serriously late. This is not at all common in my home country of Canada where, if my salary were late more than 5 days time, I and everyone else, would probably quit coming to work, and refuse to do so until we were prompotly paid all owed (and maybe a little extra for the inconvenience) with a guarantee that it would never happen again.

I know I am not the only one that this has ever happened to in Muscat. It doesn't just effect poor Indian and Pakistani migrant workers either. And what happened to me was not at all serrious compared to the months and months and months some workers stay trapped in their jobs as they are unable to afford food and clothes let alone a ticket back to their home countries when their emloyers don't pay up.

But I will tell you what happened to me anyways.

I was promised in a few weeks my salary would come when I complained. I protested of course, that I had just enough left over from last month to pay my rent. When asked how much my rent was, my employer told me to go get a cheaper place. I was like, excuse me? This is cheaper than I EVER was forced to live because I was nice enough to agree to work for your crummy office even though I had better offers and no way am I going to be a slave or go ghetto just to stay and work for you.

I waited for my salary while I saw my Omani boss buying a new car off a Khuwair car lot, and some of his Indian workers hadn't been paid for months. I felt shy to complain when they accepted the situation, worse off than I, but I had noooooo money whatsoever and no food, so I remember one night I snuck out of my one room bachelor over a nice Omani villa (owned by the nicest Omani family ever in Al Athaiba) and was picking the lemons and dates off the ground that fell off the trees from peoples gardens and stuffing them into my mouth, I was that hungry.

The nephew of my boss, a much more compassionate person, and his wife, I guess happened to have spied me munching on their dates and lemons like a thief in the night, because they started cooking me breakfast and lunch every day and leaving it at the company, Allah bless them right. They were, apparently, my neighbors.

Now, these days, much better off, I remember having "stolen" those lemons (the dates weren't really an issue as they were on the ground) thinking at the time in hunger that since they were for the driveway probably no one was going to eat them, but as a Muslim, I think, what if they were, and I stole, I should totally go back and give the families whose lemons I pilfered a bag of lemons ect... But then, you know, that would be TOTALLY embrassing because, most likely they'd be like, ahhhh miskeen {poor} Canadian girl, and invite me inside for coffee and fruit and try to give me stuff. That's Omanis as I mainly know them.

But then there's Omanis like the kind that maybe pay me but forget everybody else. Because a girl like me is easy to feel sorry for. I mean, I look totally helpless and desperate trying to scrape dates off the road in the middle of night right, lol, when I live in the same neighborhood as your family, and they know what kind of life I gave up to come here to live in a Muslim country and earn a halal {not interest or any profit earned from sources Muslims aren't allowed to use ect) income for myself. But what about that Indian guy here? He's harder to feel sorry for, for some people I guess, forgetting he's got a wife and kids to feed back in India, and who knows what'll happen to his wife worse than what happened to me if her husband never gets paid and can't afford to ever come home. And their families don't live next door to him.

So to continue the tale, while everyone who worked for the company (Indian) did not recieve their salaries a week later as promised, I did (and a couple of other Omanis). And then most of us quit to find better jobs. One really can't afford to quit without getting aat least one salary, that's the problem.

I had never forgotten the situation until I learned about a group of men in our village who haven't been paid for months now, who are starving and can't buy basic things like clothes, blankets, soap ect. . I will tyr to collect some money or items like rice, cooking oil, soap, new blankets, ect... for them. But at the same time, I can't understand how the owner of the company who owes them their salary can live in a good way, with an expensive villa and luxury items knowing that men are starving to death while he does that.