Monday, February 23, 2015

DIY Home Arabian/Khaleeji Chic: Moroccan Wedding Blanket, Mandoos Stud-Style Headboard, Khaleeji-Fabric Bukhoor Burner, and Tassels out of thread or yarn

OPNO has seen a lot of gorgeous and genius DIY projects recently. However, this blog is not uploading photos and OPNO hasn't the foggiest why. However, the links will be posted anyways, and the projects explained. Click on the links to see photos.

PROJECT #1: Mandoos Stud-Style Headboard for your bed [ ]

Nothing is worse in OPNO's designer opinion, than a blah bedroom with an ugly bed. Having always loved mandoos (those studded Arabian/Omani boxes sometimes called the zanzibar chest or captian's chest), we use them in Oman for all sorts of things: coffee table, dowry chest, bed bench, TV console... But a way to get the look yourself is to use nailhead metallic trim on a DIY yourself headboard for an exotic version of an undressed bed. Just google mandoos patterns, and follow the tutorial on the link above, using plain black painted wood, or faux brown leather instead of linen (which is shown in the link). Voila! Just add a canopy of mosquitoe net for that exotic feel. (OPNO has even done this in hot pink for her daughter but alas, the photos, the photos...).

PROJECT #2: Faux Moroccan Wedding Blanket

OPNO has always loved the look (but not the price) of Moroccan wedding blankets. Here is a link for the how-to [ ].

PROJECT #3: Khaleeji-Fabric Bukhoor Burner

OPNO has to apologize, this was her own DIY and the photos won't post, however, she took a bukhoor burner just like this one (which OPNO bought from Ramez in Seeb for half a rial) and then simply glue-gunned khaleeji fabric from Zuraiq Textiles in Al hail (can be found other places as well, on the squares to get this look:

PROJECT #4:  Yarn or Embroidery Thread Tassels to trim blankets or pillows

This is one DIY project OPNO also made (but used embroidery thread in black, burgundy, and red) to trim a throw pillow in a very bedouin design. However, this tutorial shows how to do the same, but using yarn to trim a throw blanket [ ].

Sunday, February 8, 2015

HOUSE UPDATE: building now, and my neighbors appear to be insane

Okay, so we finalized our floor plan with the engineer, it was approved by the Muscat Minicipality and the Ministry for housing (although those two places need to work together---they have different rules for the same thing). We hired a contractor who thus far seems honest and hardworking. No one knows I am blogging about them. I am temped to tell the materials suppliers to get a discount lol, but builder, engineers, I certainly won't;). Our workers seem pretty good. The land was cleared.

Then since all is going well, too well for Oman;)--- apparently, our neighbors are insane.

Yes. Of course, I have to have crazy neighbors that all hate eachother.

They keep pulling out the land marks. Now, the workers have finally, finally walled in the property but man, isn't that crazy?

The neighbors keep approaching us, telling us bad stuff about another neighbor. They are, apparently, one family, but, when someone died, they fought over the split of farms and lands, and went to court, and seem to still disagree and resent eachother.

Fun, fun, fun.

Since I'm terrible with guests anyways, I am sure they'll all visit me only a few times, then stop. When you mix up the garam masala with the cardamon for the coffee, it works every time;).

Anyways, we've met a few designers (mainly to get pricing on bulk discounts, since there are more homes than my villa going up)---one for the kitchen and one for flooring and additional materials.

I want a fireplace. Yes, yes I do. A fireplace in Muscat that I will use only once a year most like, but I need one.

The kitchen designer seemed awesome. Was a listener and understood me. I mostly like to design for myself but like options.

I like things and spaces to have a history, to have age, yet be functional, and have something elegant, chic or awe-inspiring (even something small) about them. That's a challenge, since I know what I want and what I don't like, but I don't know what's available, so apologies must go out to everyone working with us who I am like, nope, no, not that, sort of but no, uh uh, not the same, ugly, uh that's not me, ect.....

I still wish the facade were Arabic because I'd already sourced the materals for that, and furnishings, and costed it... so this is a lot of work and I have no time lol.

Anyways, that's everything for now. I will try to upload the DIY post soon inshaAllah.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rape in Oman cont'd: the murder of a little boy in Sohar

Sorry y'all. My blogger account hasn't been working properly. After some of the heavy subjects I wanted to do an eye-candy post, a fashion post, a beauty post, and a DIY post but my blogger account isn't uploading the photos I want for those posts.

Of course, heavy subjects abound. By now you've probably read about the rape and murder of the little Omani boy in Sohar by two older Omani boys/young men. One of the rapists/murderers was 18 and the other 15 or 16? Something like that. They raped the boy who was abducted from a wedding then held him down while they stuffed sand into his mouth until he died and then left his body like garbage. I hope they kill them. I know, with the death penalty people can be unjustly convicted and condemned, but in this case, where there is no doubt, I hope for the harshest. I mean, even with the death penalty, they won't be so cruel as to kill them by puting sand in their mouths.

As a parent, I can say, if you rape one of my kids (not even murder) i WILL KILL YOU. It is, as simple as that. If the government won't do it, I will. Rape is common in Oman. My husband is teacher in a boy's only school here. He's told me as much.{ }

In Oman, the jail term for rape of a girl is 5-15 years in prison, a male is 3 years. (

I remember a while back now, perhaps you do recall, the school shooting in Shinas?: well a father had his son raped, it was reported to the police but not even a jail term was given, so the father barged into the rapist's school and shot him { }. I say bravo. I'd do the same.

As a female in Oman, I can say, all cases of rape I have heard of, happened to housemaids, or to expat or Omani women who put themselves into bad situations. I am not blaming anyone who puts themselves into a bad situation. Rape is still the fault of the rapist. It is never the victim's fault.

It happens. Be careful. That Omani dude you met at a night club who wants to take you to Qantab beach in the middle of the night could be a perfect gentleman. But don't chance it.

As a woman, I have had the experience of being molested (in a taxi). Again, as my Omani husband would say, don't chance it. If you must take a taxi when you find a good driver keep his number or ask other women you know to share a taxi or get their driver's number. I know two very good taxis in Al Hail Seeb if anyone is interested. They only speak Arabic but they are so so so trustworthy, for example.
----Or get a car and license (I shouldn't talk on this one---I am still the loser who doesn't drive---former city girl habit that is hard to lose).

Apparently, I can't wear my niqab (face veil I wear for religious beliefs) at Sultan Qaboos University because some man wore it to go into a girl's bathroom and molested and harmed a female student in revenge against her family.

Again, not to diminish the importance of rape of females in Oman, however, the statistic for female rape here is grossly smaller than that of rape occuring in Western countries. I believe from experience, that rape of women and girls is actually less here, although that rape statistic should be much higher due to under reporting due to cultural hold-ups on the value of virginity and female reputation, and limited domestic labourers rights and powers. For example,a raped housemaid will seldom be brave enough to report a rape with the ROP {Royal Oman Police} since a couple of rapes and molestations of women have occured while in the ROP offices (along with one attempted abduction by an ROP guy we OPNO girls got fired, alhamdulilah).

For men though---especially those who are boys----rape is actually common. In school of about 1000 students about 4 rapes occur annually. Maybe more. Attempted rapes of about 16 that were thwarted. These aren't Minstry statistics, this is coming from teachers.

While murder is rare in Oman, and abduction and rape also rare, rape is not so rare that we or Omanis find it shocking. So please, guard your children.

Of the two rapists/murders/monsters from Sohar, of one of them it is claimed that he has a mental disability that causes him towards this kind of behaviour. If that is the case, and true, and backed up by doctors, I don't think he can be killed, but he has to be institutionalized because his parents couldn't look after him and stop this. If his previous behavior was already known, his parents should face legal action and manslaughter charges---at the very least criminal negligence resulting in death. They should have been watching their mentally ill/violent child, not allowing him to go around abducting, raping, and killing another innocent human being.

Allah wills everything, we Muslims believe. But Allah also gave people free will. If you choose not to watch over your children, it is a choice. It wasn't Allah who made you stupid.