Saturday, March 30, 2013

Finding Happiness in Oman

"Finding happiness is simple. Find the meaning in life. I know that doesn't sound so simple, but there is meaning in everything you do. Everything you do can be done different, so there is a reason for every rhythm. Why we do things the way we do them happens for many reasons. Once we understand these reasons, I find that we can choose to purpose the meaning to our own soul. Now every chore I do, is like a prayer. That is the peace. And peace is the house where happiness dwells."-OPNO (editor is quoting an OPNO girl who is her friend, not herself lol)

Friday, March 29, 2013

DAILY DIARY: grey day in Bahla

I don't know what happens, but invariably whenever this particular OPNO girl heads to the Interior, it rains. Always. And it isn't like she's one of those girl who misses rain in a desert country because she grew up in a rainforest and loves nothing better about Oman than the fact that the sun shines brightly practically every day here. Alas, except when she heads to Dakhliyia, then all the skies roll with thunder.
 Despite this, the backdrop of the mountains behind the ruins of Bahla fort make for striking photos.
 The rooftop farm.
 The carved detail on this Mosque door is so beautiful. And the fort itself is so large it is pretty much impossible to photograph in its entirety from up close.
 The mud brick homes in ruins (and some still inhabited) under the fort (and another door we loved):
 Back down in the parking lot:
 The fort from the parking area, behind the windscreen (because it had started raining by then):

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FGM IN OMAN: a quick update

I am really excited that someone experienced from the international community is interested in the situation of FGM in Oman and is looking to run some programs here to help erradicate the unislamic practices I know exist in Dhofar and to educate women out of it in other places in country such as Al Dhakliyah and Ash Sharqiyah, and up North around Buraimi.

I hope the right people get involved and something more than a campaign is the result of it all.

Here's to hoping.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

OPNO's Favourite Abaya/Khaleeji Fashion Blogs from the GCC

Unto# 1 LATIFALSHAMSI by Latifa from UAE
In perhaps her most iconic and widely copied look
www.latifalshamsi.com is probably the most famous Khaleeji fashion blog out there involving abayas. Beyond the fact that this Emirati woman knows how to choose the latest style in abayaat, she also has a killer handbag collection from Hermes, and an addiction to Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry. When she wore DAS, everyone wanted DAS. When she wore Roselle, everyone wanted Roselle. Now that she's in Mauzan, everyone wants the 'Sultan Qaboos' abaya lol.
Unto # 2 BUTTERHOTSHOES by Zubaida Jacobs from UAE
www.butterhotshoes.com is the Dubai-based blog of Iraqi-dental student Zubaida Jacobs who has the most gorgeous shoe collection and a penchant for Roselle abayas. The combination is dreamy.
Unto #3 HESSA&Co. from UAE
www.hessandco.blogspot.com is another Dubai-based fashion blog but I adore Hesssa, she's so cute! She attends alot of great events and photographs the fashion as well. I love that her blog includes her friend as well, and shows them just hanging out being ordinary girls.
Unto #4 IN MY HEELS by Hunoof Hamdan and occasionaly ShathaShades from UAE
www.hunoofsworld.blogspot.com is an Emirati-based fashion blog with a Khaleeji flavour written by Hunoof Hamdan. She wears alot of DAS, Al Ahli, Manolo Blahnik and Hermes;).

Unto #5 THE FIERCE DIARIES by Nadya Hasan from UAE
www.thefiercediaries.com while not exclusively Islamic or Khaleeji-cultural attire, fashionista Nadya Hasan rocks some of the trendier abaya deisgns by labels Hania, Bedazzled, Malaak and Nabrman.
Unto#6: ARWA'S BLOG from Oman
www.arwasblogpage.blogspot.com is a blog from Oman that features clothes that we would really wear on a casual normal day in Oman as well as an overload of beauty product advice and fun stuff like just chilling with the girls in Shatti Al Qurum.

 Unto #7: BELLE-PEARL from UAE
www.bellepearl.blogspot.com is an Emirates-based blog whose terrific bloggeress goes to alot of abaya-clad events.
Unto#8: THE HOTNESS MONSTER from UAE
www.hotnessmonster.wordpress.com where love of a good abaya is a regular feature.
Unto#9: I SPEAK PRADA from Bahrain
www.ispeakprada.com is the blog of the daughter of the owner of Bahrain-based Moroccan-couture label Dar Naseem AlAndalos . She is a 21 year-old Bahraini girl who designs her own abaya-line and I love that her abaya styles are simpler and speak of the workmanship of her mother's couture-house. Of course, she also wears some pretty fab caftans to boot.
Unto #10: A BALSALM LIFE from Oman
www.abalsalmlife.blogspot.com is written by the sweetest Omani girl you ever knew, who wishes she owned a Birken, loves fierce spiked jewelry and her own Khaleeji heritage. She is kind enough to photograph the contents of her closet on occasion, and I enjoy those posts the most.
 Unto #11: BEAUTIFUL MUSLIMAH by Pixie from Oman
www.ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com is not primarily a fashion blogger's blog but Pixie is one of the OPNO girl's BFFs and she helped compile this post for us so;) we have to include her style as well.
If anyone else knows of any GCC-based blogs that regularily feature jalabiyias/caftans/abayas feel free to leave the links here in the comments section;)