Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fairness or racism?

مقالة أعجبتني في ضوء مباريات خليجي 18

[An article I liked concerning the current Khaleeji 18 matches (18th Arabian Gulf Cup)]

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Just in case you're still refusing to climb out of that cave of yours, or if you're one of those people that couldn't care less about all the fuss going on due to the Omani National team's current achievements in the Gulf Cup, this might enlighten you.

The above article criticizes the fairness (or lack thereof) of the host countries spokespeople, representatives and even it's higher ranking officials in their football association. The injustice done to the Omani supporters and to the national team has been a hot topic that's been discussed everywhere from the radio to the workplace and even family gatherings.

How serious is this issue? What could the consequences be and what could they lead to?
I'm pretty sure that by now most of you would have a clue about the answers to those two questions, and I'm sure we'd all agree that it's something that shouldn't be overlooked.

What I'd really like to know though: Is there room for improvements and making up for those mistakes very soon?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tagged by Arabian Princess

(While I was about to type the title I remembered the days back when I was a kid in first grade. This is what once happened in recess (break), a boy comes up to me and this other friend who was walking with me and says "Hey do you wanna play Tag?", I look at my friend and reply with an optimistic smile "Yeah! Sure, why..." and suddenly this dorky smile is drawn on his face, he smacks me on the shoulder and says "TAG! You're it!" and runs off before I even finished my sentence. That's how I learnt to be sneaky at Tag ;) )

What will happen to your e-mail when you die?
Firstly... why the sad thought!? Well as far as I'm concerned, I don't think anyone else has access to my email accounts so I guess they'll remain unopened.

Did you try once to give the password to someone? If yes, what kind of relation that you have with this person to trust him/her and give him/her the key of your secrets?
Yes, one or two people had access to an email account at some point in time, both were really close to me, and I never thought of my email account as the key of my secrets.

Your famous nickname among your Friends?
It's too "famous" to give away haha.

Your age?
Soon will turn 21.

Your horoscope?
I am a pisces.

Your qualifications?
Currently still preparing for my soon-to-be highest qualification, Bachelors of Engineering in Mechatronics.

Your character "personality"?
I hate these types of questions! I'd rather you found out for yourself.

What travel means to you?
Time off from almost all the worries in the world, relaxation, new sights and sounds, new experiences and maybe some shopping.

Your time out of peak
I actually don't know when my off-peak time is, but I'd say that I'm calmer and more at peace than usual, even less to say than usual, already thinking and making plans for my peak time again =D

What do you purchase?
87.9% of the time I think I purchase stuff that I can live without. I've been told I'm more of a spender than a saver. Sometimes I think otherwise, most of the time I agree.

Features taken from your dad
Opinionated and always strive to reach my goals.

Features taken from your mom
Overcaring about certain matters and taste in food.

The most 6 things you hate
- Flies and mosquitos
- Slow drivers that never seem to get the message, and wreckless and careless drivers
- Waking up early in the morning without adequate rest
- Inconsiderate individuals
- My inability to express my true feelings
- Two-faced and/or bigheaded individuals

The most 6 things you love
- My whole family with no exceptions
- My will power
- My closest friends
- The close people that have truly made a change in my life
(I'd rather leave them as 4)

What job means to you
$$$ InCoMe!
Oh and a stepping stone to success in making my dreams come true.

What computer and internet mean to you
A necessity in life!! I need my dose of computer and internet atleast every other day.

You would like to pass this tag to:-

Friday, January 05, 2007

A place called Shleem and a girl called Qandahar

Three weeks ago I went on a camping trip with a group of friends to Bdiya (a Wilayah in the Sharqiyah Region in the Sultanate), and late at night on our first night there another 3 guys passed by to spend some time with us around the fire and bring up some gossip. Two of the guys were the cousins of one of my friends, but the third was a friend of theirs who happened to be a local. I was too tired and had already been sleeping by then just to charge up for late at night. But I was told all about this the next morning.

The 3 guys talked about a place called Shleem, which according to the description I've recieved lies somewhere in the southern part of the Wusta Region in the Sultanate, very close to Dhofar. It's said to be quite an astonishing place in terms of their culture and habits. They said if one were to visit Shleem, s/he wouldn't believe that it's an Omani city in the middle of nowhere. Shockingly westernised, up to date with modern technology and stood out from the rest of the surrounding cities. They owed all of that to the early years of the renaissance when British troops were allocated to certain parts of the Sultanate for various national security reasons. But above all, Shleem seemed to be known for it's amazingly beautiful women whose word of their captivating beauty has circulated.

A fact about Shleem that didn't seem too out of place to me after hearing the whole story was that they didn't practice all of the religious and traditional or cultural taboos when it came to their women. A man interested in a particular woman that he had seen out in the city streets was freely allowed to approach her, start to converse with her, get to know her politely, and he's allowed to do all that as long as he doesn't lay a finger on her and as long as the woman is content with it all.

What I found to be even more shocking than the story of Shleem itself, was the story of Qandahar. Not the city of southeast Afghanistan. Qandahar was the name of a girl, or rather the nickname appointed to her by her parents. Qandahar was a girl of unrivaled beauty and for that very reason she earned both the name of a city, and mind blowing fame that the girls of that city would dream of.

Allow me to rewind for a second and clear a couple of things up. In Shleem, girls that are beautiful and are thought to be in a league of their own are usually given nicknames that have to be the names of Arabic cities. If you're thinking to yourself that Qandahar is not an Arabic city, I had that same thought too. But who knows, maybe this girl Qandahar is just too valuable that they made an exception. And yes, I used the word "valuable" for a reason. What's interestingly odd about the people of Shleem is that they take extreme care in raising their chosen beautiful women, and they don't really seem to do it out of a parents love for their children, but instead it's like raising and taking care of a purebred Arabian racehorse. Certainly a prized possession as you are about to find out.

The reason the girls parents and her family take such good care of her, give her a nickname after one of the Arabic cities and spread the word in seek of fame is all done in the name of fame and fortune itself. I'm talking about the abnormally high dhowries that they'll be running after in return for their very own daughter. If right about now you're starting to think that this sounds familiar, then you might be in for a surprise. It seems that every now and then it's one young lady's turn in the limelight, where her reputation of her unrivaled beauty becomes so widespread that interested people from all walks of life head to Shleem hoping to be fortunate enough to ask for her hand in marriage.

It is said that the young lady that reigned supreme before Qandahar (whose name I can't recall now) was married off to a young fellow who just so happened to be the son of a filthy rich Sheikh. Better yet the dhowry was only R.O. 200,000, two cars (a Toyota Landcruiser for the girls father and some luxury sedan for the mother) and a brand new house. Coincidence? Haha. More like a devilish scheme.

Maybe after witnessing such careless acts of the ultimate example of the phrase "Money talks", one would start to think that those poor parents are not to blame. Then again that doesn't change the fact that you're in actual fact bringing up your daughter -your very own flesh and blood- in order to sell her?! But let's not forget the extremely poor lives and circumstances that some of these families could be living in and how much of a life flipping difference marrying their daughter off to a rich family would make. But yet again, weren't all of these acts prevalent during pre-Islamic times, and didn't Islam prevent them from taking place?

In the closure of this mind boggling post, I am only left with one thought...
"Qandahar, why don't you and I get together and take on the world and be together forever? Why don't you and I hold each other and fly to the moon and straight on to heaven?"

Hahahaha! Till my next post, take good care of yourselves and of eachother.
(Jerry Springer sucks!)

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Eid Mubarak كــل عــــــــــــــــام و أنتم بخـيــر

يسعدني أن أرفع أسمى آيات التهاني و أحر الأماني والتبريكات بمناسبة عيد الأضحى الى
المقام السامي لحضرة صاحب الجلالة السلطان قابوس بن سعيد المعظم حفظه الله و رعاه
والى الشعب العماني الوفي و المسلمين في جميع أنحاء العالم
أعاده الله علينا جميعا بالخير و اليمن و البركات

It pleases me to convey my best and sincerest greetings to His Royal Highness Sultan Qaboos bin Said on the occasion of Eid Al-Ad`ha, and to the loyal Omani people and the rest of the Muslims all around the world.
May Allah restitute this festive occasion on us all with his blessings.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Apologetic Soliloquy - 2nd Verse

السموحة و المعذرة... أبواب أفرطتُ في التردد عليها
خوفي أن يُسلب رحيقُها و أن تفقدَ هذه الكلمات معانيها
حينها لن يكونَ باليد حيلةً سوى الترجي و التأسف لأصحاب المعالي ذو المكانات الرفيعة

a·pol·o·gy (?-p?l'?-j?)

1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

2. 1. A formal justification or defense. 2. An explanation or excuse.

3. An inferior substitute.

Allow me to apologise yet another time. Apologise for deserting this place, for seeming to have forsaken my readers and for not commiting to my own blog. Have you all been wondering O'Arabian Prince, where art thou? I'm sure some of you must have, it's quite obvious from my shoutbox. In a previous entry I've said that "Blogging to me now seems like a dusty portrait of the Mona Lisa covered with a huge white cotton cloth sitting in the darkest corners of the attic." Well I can safely say that still applies. I am now convinced, more than ever before, that blogging is an art form. Since all art forms naturally have artists, I believe that the blogging world has its share of artists too, except that I'm not one of them.

In that same 'previous entry' that I spoke of, I also mentioned that "The blog has reached the 80+ posts mark and completed 10+ months since it's first post, and it saddens me that not a single entry was posted from Oman." Believe it or not, this is my very first entry to be posted from Oman. Unfortunately it's going to be the usual apologetic entry with some updates on what has happened.

I was extremely preoccupied with my finals and studies in general. So much has happened ever since I've been back on holidays. I'm really glad that I've never been bored out of my brains yet, and hopefully never will be. Despite the fact that I've said this a couple of times before, I'll say it once again, I am determined to update my blog much more often. Let's hope it sticks this time around.

As a part of graduating with a Bachelors degree from our faculty, we are required to complete 12 weeks of compulsory training or vacational employment prior to graduation. Obviously it should also be related to our field of study along with many other requirments. Two of my colleagues and I (which are both good friends and are also Omani) talked about taking up alteast 6 of the required 12 weeks during this 3+ month holiday of ours. We had started arranging for it prior to arriving, and al-hamdulillah everything went as planned and we started work about a week after our arrival. Not much to say about that except maybe... we have to go all the way to Rusayl. Why? Because we'll be training in two companies (3 weeks each) and they're both in the Rusayl Industrial Estate. However that turned out to be the least of our worries after having started work. We were actually more worried about how we'd be spending our time during work that day, and whether this whole training at this company would be a fruitful experience. One company down, one more to go, three more weeks, starting again after the official holiday.

It felt really good to finally be free from studies for a while after a really stressful semester. It felt even better to have the time to start working out again and play soccer, just as I've always been looking forward to. However the feeling of being back home among family and friends was second to none!

I've been away from the English Sabla almost all semester, and when I was back into it recently I was quite surprised to see how much things have changed around there. Most changes being unpleasant... that's another story for another day though. This should do for now, but I'll be back on the scene soon.

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