Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oman TV Live for His Majesty: "I'm glad he's back because..."

If you've been watching Oman TV, Magan Channel, etc., you'll have seen the series where Oman TV is interviewing people about His Majesty's recovery and return to Oman. I am as happy as the next person, but supporting the marching of school kids instead of their attendance of classes, actually isn't in line with His Majesty's vision etc... and talking about "where you were" when you heard the news of His Majesty's return, like it was, the first time someone walked on the moon, or world war II was declared, or something, makes me role my eyes as a former-Westerner. It feels a bit "dictator-ish" in news-coverage-style and flavour, even though that is from people, not His Majesty himself AT ALL. Because Sultan Qaboos isn't really like that.

Omanis are genuinely happy. I see many a video of people crying (with the news channel coverage of HM's return on in the background on the TV). People (expats and Omanis) genuinely believe we don't have anyone to replace him as good as he is so there is joy in the country and he is truly beloved.

Even when news in UAE announced there would be a holiday and double salary (false says Oman's diwaan/palace) that couldn't stire up any ill will. People remained elated. They don't need a day off for an excuse to party, celebrate, wear red-white-and-green and parade their cars about.

So of course, in true dictator-ish style news coverage, after all the hours of discussing "where I was when I heard the news" another section of coverage commenced with live-on-the-street interviews with regular Omani folks for "how I felt when I heard His Majesty had returned."

The one getting all the feed, even by the Palace, is one citizen in Mutrah souq, and the reaction of the news presenter . When asked how he felt upon the news of His Majesty's return, the Omani man said "I am glad because there is a lot of corruption in the country..."

And the news presenter was like, hurry and rush along now, jump to somewhere else, "and now we will move on to another person" and Omanis watching everywhere were howling with laughter, since the reporter's reaction was so predictable.

Although I doubt HM is recovered enough to deal with that level of corruption, I wish him good health and remain thankful for the vision he has had for Oman up until 2015, from the 70s to the now. I wish the man could just sit back and relax and enjoy some rest, but there is a lot of corruption, a lot of better planning than the Ministries ever seem to manage on their own so....

But I hope this National Day comes and we have more fireworks than ever to celebrate the progress made up until this point. Progress has to become sustainability now for Oman, not "expansion" as they keep saying in the Ministries. Expansion is not going to cut it until sustainability is a ready element of the economy and that's that.

Honestly, I would never blame HM if he chose to sit back and relax now (medically he totally should and most people would understand) ---he's earned it. But most of the government other than, have not. They have made mum speach about his vision, education, job creation, but most jobs for Omanis are actually just drains on the economy (army positions, police positions, ministry office positions) while most work is still imported (expat here speaking). Most of the laws and rights we talk about, such as Omani women having the right to work and hold a passport despite family and husband are supposed to be absolute---but when it comes down to it there is absolutely no responsible or uncorrupt structure in the government to enforce such law, even if an Omani woman is so brave as to runaway and seek the government's protection against her family while seeking those rights.

HM Qaboos had a vision where education would change the country, and basic human rights could exist where people would otherwise bend Islamic tenets to their own whim in order to dominate others', and Omaniss would create industry and trade beyond oil, but corruption, and lack of enforcement of education and law are rampant to the highest levels... So as a person seeking to become Omani by law, I am glad for HM Sultan Qaboos Al Said's return, and am ever-grateful for his vision, and do think he deserves to take time to relax and heal, but that people have been taking advantage of His absence, and trying to make a threat out of his loving people, who understand well enough, that it is hard for him to act while tribalism exists, and that even he doesn't always know who to trust. So, to his return, and to the Oman he envisioned, thanks be to Allah.

BTW, do you think Oman TV will do live interviews again;)?


Zaynab said...

I kind of doubt they;re going to do live interviews again! I would have loved to see the look on that interviewer's face. And the attitudes seem more appropriate for a dictator to me too.

Hebah Dwidari said...

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