Monday, November 18, 2013

43rd National Day for Oman

Happy 43rd National Day Oman. Fireworks start at 8:00 Pm in Seeb, Al Amerat And Salalah. And apparently in Buraimi they have a parade? Interesting. Anyways, all I know is they ask our kids to wear traditional dress to school today for a party, and everyone has paper red white and green decorations. The kids complained we didn't decorate our car (because a. I think that 's lame, and b. looks stupid if your car ISN'T white) or anything else for that matter. SO here is some eye-candy to make up for "apparent---as berated by a four year old" lack of patriotism.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Empowering women in the middleEast?: I give up

 I am writing this because I done with the drama of useless women. Sound callous? Maybe, maybe I am jaded... but I remember reading a post written a while ago by an Emirati author on the same subject on a blog called " 'Ayb in the city" which is any of you have the link for, please share it, about women who cause their own woes. And they do, they really do. Her post, which is about dating as an Emirati woman in a culture where dating is shameful, went on to list a lot of the reasons women seem to wind up in sorry situations. The reasons being, lack of financial independence, always being attracted to jerks, ect.... Her post was better than anything I am going to come up with I assure you so I wish I could find the blog.
For me, it seemed a while ago, like some women were just plain unlucky in life. I mean, let's face it, they married assholes who tricked them, they weren't given their rights, and their situations are hard. Try to start working with kids? Financial indepence is far-fetched given the cost of child care. It requires saving. I mean, it is easy to feel sorry for them. A lot of bad things have happened to them. But let's look at it logically. Some cases, people choose the difficulties they are in, despite wanting a different kind of life entirely. But saying you want something, and actually working towards achieving that, are two very different things.
 My recent experiences have shown me that indeed, many women in bad situations got there of their own doing or contributed to being stuck therein (not always though, so don't be too callous). I mean, if you don't want to work, I mean, if you get an oppurtunity, and you just don't like it, or your not willing to push for your right to be financially independent and work, a man or your family even, can take advantage of you. It is as simple as that. My husband is a traditional tribal kind. Women in his family only work certain women-to-women interactive jobs. But I pushed for my right. I was like, I refuse to accept you if you don't accept my right to assured financial independence. He doesn't like it. We argue. But it is for the best. I have power in my relationship. I am far from perfect, and I don't think sucess as a person is dependent on financial indepence, but I don't think someone can define themselves as successfully independent unless they can manage the financial side of life.

My definition of "successful as an independent woman" can be defined as:

1.) Financial success has been achieved. Meaning: requires no money form government, family, husband, or friends in order to support herself and any dependents.
2.) Lives on her own without roomate and pays rent and all bills in entirety, or would be able to accomplish this, if she so chose at any time.
3.) Career success. Without aid of friends or connections can design her own resume, obtain an interview, and achieve attainment of a job (or more than one) that will provide on the first two points on the basis of her skills and abilities alone. Further, she will attend and meet the responsibilities of her job.
4.) Emotional success. Is not dependent on another human being for her own worth. She does not question the good things in herself because of what anyone says or does unless it is a truth against her.

By the same definition that I note that being in this state is difficult to maintain constantly (and that one might not even wish to but that I do believe they should be willing and able to do so if if they "have to". Or they are not truly successful as an independent person. ****I don't think people's personal requirements of themselves make them better or less than others. I do believe however, it puts some people in good situations, and other's in bad/difficult situations.*****
You can't say you want a nice and easy life, and then expect me to feel sorry for you, when you expected someone else to provide it for you, even if they promised they would, and you ended up in a crappy situation. You put your life, your dreams, in someone else's hands, in their promises. Sitting around and feeling sad about this, will never ever get you out of a bad situation, and expecting people to do as they promise, will not always end in fairytales and happily ever after, or even, normal things like you deserve. Maybe you will meet the the knight in shing armour who will insist on rescuing you or a prince who will offer you the world. But if you don't already have a back-up plan, a backbone of your own---I won't disapprove of you or think that I am better than you, but I will definately feel that I am at least smarter, and I won't feel sorry for you, ****or let you feel sorry for yourself*** if you are my friend. I'll probably come across like a total wicked witch with a capital "b". But it was your life. It is totally 100% your fault if you expect someone else to work at living it for you exactly how you wanted it to be.
Issue number two. I don't blame women who get fooled by guys who lied to them, pretended to be something they were not. Those guys are scum. Totally 100% not your fault. But there also girls who like jerks, or at least, tolerate jerks to affect them. Instead of looking for the decent they look for the one who it totally wrong or unsuitable with the fantasy of being the girl that can "fix" him. Trust me, this coming from a girl who actually was the girl who a lot of men changed for, even if they DO change for you (so unlikely and why gamble with your happiness and whatever else is on the line like wasted years and tears) they will never be everything you wanted them to be because they weren't good enough from the start. Have standards. Don't try to save or change anyone but yourself when it comes to men. And I am telling this to myself, even when it comes to other women, my friends or aquaintences.
I don't mean to be mean or target anyone when I say this. Friends in the past I am not even friends with anymore, I don't think about them at all really when I write this, but I say it in general. People are always saying in the West they've got to save those poor suppressed Muslim/Arab women, but the change comes from the women themselves most of the time. A culture is formed by its women, their mindsets, their beliefs, their abilities, what they let limit or effect them or their children. Above listed are mindsets, that universally need to change, not just limited to Muslim or MiddleEastern women. Men might design cages for women and leave them in there, enjoy seeing them inside, but most of the time, from what I've observed, it is something from a female friend or a family member, from which they chose their own cage.
This post originates from reading a couple essays on the Jane Austen novel "Mansfeild Park" where capitivity and slavery in all its forms is a theme, and the time period therein, very familiar to me living in Arab culture. ....Also on a conversation about Arab girls getting their romantic notions from "Twilight". So best to end with a quote from Austen on the same subject of  a new resolution to disenchant myself from with pitying the poverty of my sex:
 
Thank you anonymous for the links to the posts the originally inspired this rant of my own:
http://3aibandthecity.tumblr.com/31 : women, victims or bitches

Monday, November 11, 2013

J Winter Fashion Show 2013 features Slouchy Z abayaat

Slouchy Z abaya available www.3abaya.com 462.000 OMR
 The J Winter Fashion show held in Dubai of this year on the decks of cruise ship was the one to go to this year, with labels Marchessa, Aiisha Ramadan, and Slouchy Z featured, along with others. Of course, I am interested in Slouchy Z, being all about abayas. All photos are from J Model management.
Slouchy Z abaya available www.3abaya.com 440.000 OMR
 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Road-trip in Rustaq: Wadi Al Hinai

Over Eid we went on a last-minute camping trip in Rustaq. We had meant to go to a wadi we'd gone to before but the water had gone, so we drove up a mountain road following Wadi Al Hinai and we discovered this isolated little Omani village set in the wadi, with a falaj and frogs, and even Eid traditional songs and dances. When we first set our eyes on the scene it looked like an old crumbling castle on a lake.
 The frogs were endlessly amusing. I woke up with one on my head, after we'd just joked about about waking up with camel spiders after camping under the stars in Petra, Jordan, but hey.
We explored the old village where many doors, windows, and cooking utensils were left intact. I also met with a cave of bats in one old room. Later that night the drums of the village traditional Eid songs kept us awake, and in the morning, in typical Omani hospitality, Saleh forced us to come for qahwa (Omani coffee) in his home. When we'd refused he sent his wife, and she left us no other choice;). They were complete strangers to us, but turns out Oman is small, they know one of my brother-in-laws. They were adorable, very traditional Omanis, not used to a lot of travellers or tourists to their village. The women carried grass on their heads and washed clothes in the river and they couldn't for the life of them understand why anyone would choose to sleep in a wadi, and kindly Saleh told my husband if he had known he would have offered us his majlis. This is Oman I have missed. We left the village with a bag of pistachios and toffees +eidiyia money for the kid. I know when one thinks of Rustaq, they do not think of wadis. Even though I've swum here in beautiful rivers, I don't. I think of the people we met and frogs singing under the stars.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Beautiful wallpapers inspired by historical Islamic art periods

I really love the wallpaper collection by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher's. Above pictured: Sinhala Sidewall in Jewel from the Summer 2013 collection. Very MiddleEastern fairytale garden fantasy.
 I am a fan of Iznik pottery so the above blues make me want a bathroom in these tones.
 But of course, nothing is nearly so dramatic as a Mughall panel behind a desk ina home office....
Or maybe a Victorian-era take on Iran? from http://bradbury.com/victorian/persian_ceiling_ap.html: