Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Local Blogs are Getting Dull?: Do We Still Dare to Write/Translate the Truth/or Happenstance?

I read a comment recently on Muscat Mutterings ( https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2368053937631641478&postID=1280159434444401563 ) about how blogs are getting dull as of late and found myself nodding along with MM's reply:

"If I had the time I'd love to wax lyrical about a whole number of things, but with journalists being thrown in jail for 3 years and newspapers being shutdown, it's just simply not worth it to poke the bear."

So when it comes down to politics, is it worth it for us Muscati-based English bloggers to translate the news, from Arabic to English, even?

For example, I know a lot of bloggers will think it daring of me to mention that a very famous privately-owned Arabic Omani newspaper (Azamn) was shut down, and that the assistant of Oman's head of the courts (Chief Magistrate, Ishaq Bin Ahmed Al Bousaidi) was interviewed (assistant is in jail now too it seems), saying that all the evidence people were recently bringing forward in Azamn to prove that man's corruption "is true".

****-----Not that I am saying any of that is true;). I wouldn't know right? I am just a girl who reads a lot, loves abayas, and posts GCC related eye-candy right?

Though an interesting read was.....

Tajer Ceramica twitter anyone?*****

....And more recently, it could  be supposed brave to mention the sentancing of Azamn editor Zaher al-Abri to one year in prison, and Azamn Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Maamari and Deputy Editor Yousif al-Haj to three-years in prison, but it isn't really brave... They are the ones going to prison afterall, and the courts did announce it so why can't we too?

[https://cpj.org/2016/09/oman-sentences-three-journalists-to-prison.php ]
[or this link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oman-court-idUSBRE88F08U20120916 ]

Anyways, I suppose I can dare to say this because I am sure that somehow I've met a female relative of persons accused of corruption, and it looks bad to send a friend of your daughter or what not to jail (or deport her) for just saying in English what Omanis are twittering in English right? Even if I am using a "sly" tone.

And the usual intimidation of maybe a police officer 'touching' females who dare relate with scandals and slanderers really doesn't phase me at all. I live in Omani and Islamic culture, but I don't let the culture change truth for me, and right and wrong. A wrong done by others, will never colour the lines of this woman, that's for sure...

...It would bother my Omani husband a lot though, come to think of it. It'd make him do something dumb. ...Can't have that.

****Not like I am personally claiming to have evidence of anything. Or stating my own opinion on anything. I don't speak Arabic afterall;). What do I know? I am being contrary and gossipy you could say, couldn't you?****

So when it comes down to it, do we bloggers dare say our own opinions (slander, courts in Oman could say), or more dangerous still, post evidence (also slander, courts WILL SAY, if not presented in [supposed corrupt] courts first) of, well, anything?

Like, for example, my contractor who built my house will sue me if I post his company and family name here, mentioning that they tried to cheat us out of 4,000 omr in building materials and labour....Even it is true, and backed by evidence. That's a paltry issue compared to, say, accusing the head of Oman's courts of (multiple, and terrible) corruption on a grand scale, and still, I'd probably be fined, and maybe jailed for it;).

So people who want to accuse the old guard of Muscat bloggers for being dull, well, do by all means, open your own blog, and dare.

I just personally don't expect Expat bloggers like MM to speak dangerous truths and opinions for me (I am in Oman for the long term). He does, afterall, have a wife and kids to support, beyond, well, not being Omani or committed to staying in Oman long term.

I also don't expect Dhofari Gucci to stick her neck out for me or you or this country just to be a content-based "interesting" blogger. She can, but it is her neck. She should do it for more than "interest" or "readership".

Would I? Probably, if I didn't have an Omani husband and Omani kids. I'm dumb like that. I'd do it for all the wrong reasons then though. Easy to get rid of dumbasses doing stuff just because they can;).

Yes, we'd (the English blogging set) probably get away with it with minimal injury, but a dare should be worth it. It should gain something, be for something. It should be said by someone who loves Oman long-term, not just someone complaining or wishing well without commitment. Ideally, that person would be unattached, without people left behind to suffer if, well, they "didn't get away with it."

Prison without trial, or closed trial with no real means to defend yourself, sucks.

If you are that person, by all means, dare. But if you are not, do not accuse others of being dull because they can not, or should not.

Much love,

-a very boring OPNO

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