Monday, November 9, 2009

Fear Not for I am Right Here!

Nadia is alive and well. Sitting at her desk after work hours blogging. How nerdy is that? I should be racing to my car like all the other employees in order to be at home and in bed before official office hours end. Work ethic in Oman can be QUITE frustrating sometimes.
(1) This is just a random post with bits and pieces of news I've written down on scraps of paper in my bedroom, bathroom, office, car, etc. We can start with the fact that IHMD dude introduced me to the actual website for our upcoming first shopping mall in Salalah. For those interested, check out Salalah World . It seems we're going to have shops, a cinema, bowling alley, AND A CAFE THAT SERVES REAL COFFEE!!! I'm counting the days. For those who wish to uncover my identity, kindly note that I will change Dhofari Gucci headquarters to the new cafe, and you can just ask a waiter 'Who's the girl who orders more than three cups of coffee per hour?'. I'm ruined.
(2) The flags are up for National Day! Exciting! I love seeing the workers raising the flags on all the poles up and down the highway and major roads. For the past week, the major highway has been under construction as they put up our brand new hideous gold and black street lights that looks like something out of 18th century England.
(3) I was planning on making an official visit to the new Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Salalah, but my friend *soon-to-be-blogger* went on the weekend and was told that women aren't allowed into the men's section. Yes, you heard me right. Women are only allowed into one part of the mosque! Outrageous!!! It was at 10:00 a.m. Visiting time! What the heck is the government thinking? Everyone should be allowed into the mosque when it's not prayer time! Look at the Grand Mosque in Muscat! Expats, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Women, Men, wheelchairs, EVERYONE can go in when it's not prayer time, as long as they're dressed modestly. And my friend, so innocent in her burqa (niqab) and abaya wasn't allowed in. Very annoying.
(4) I went to Lulu Centre yesteday and bought a Freej coloring book and a box of new Steadler coloring pencils. For some reason, I feel like coloring. And why not good old granny Freej? For those of you who don't know Freej, it's the UAE 3D animated series with the old lady in the niqab. Most school notebooks nowdays have her picture on them!
(5) Lots of people I know are preparing for Hajj, the journey of a lifetime. I don't want to say I'm jealous (ehem.. Shahrazad), but I am! I can't wait for the day when I'll be able to go. I hope to go with a husband if and when I ever find one. haha..
(6) Does anyone have any idea how long the National Day holiday will be and when Eid holiday will be and whether they'll be merged into one nine-day holiday like last Eid? I'm craving a holiday. C.R.A.V.I.N.G.
Ok, enough blogging for today. I'm having a super-exhausting month at work and have no time for sleeping and eating, let alone blogging. I'm brainstorming posts on spirituality, life, travel, etc, .. season for deep-thinking. I've been writing in my journal almost everyday. Cheers


  1. you have mentioned mixure of different issues,and really i dont know on which i should put an eye give my is honestly hard to comment on the developements of Salalh city or women's life or haj however i believe it's enjoable to have a bit of everything better than nothing.
    i appreciate your work and i wish to have time to share with you and othr readers my ideas suggestions and thoughts.sorry

  2. Nadia - if you are at work still, I say BOLT!

    You've got me in the mood to color now...

  3. hey!! I missed u!! havent paid a visit for a while lol (it's ur doppelganger here)

    Salalah Mall looks great, mita the opening?

    and YES please does anyone have any clue about the ever-last-minutely-announced eid holidays?

  4. So good to hear from you Nadia, been missing your writing..

    I'm surprised to know you do not have good coffee shops in Salalah.Abudhabi has lots of Starbucks,Costa,Gloria Jeans,Dunkin Donuts to name a few.

    About the hajj part, I know how you feel.I am married but cannot travel due to paperwork.I pray we both get to make hajj pilgrimage soon inshallah khayr.Cheers :D

  5. My sources say (I hesitate to describe them as reliable just yet as they haven't done anything to prove themselves as so, but they are quite in-the-know) that the eid and national day holidays will be merged into one week, so we should be off as of the 28th and not resume work til the 5th. Ditto on the flags, very exciting! I just wish they'd fly the right way as every time I look up they seem to be flying the wrong way. Oh well. Can't complain too much. At least it means we sorta have a bit of a breeze in Muscat. And congratulations on the mall! As shallow as this sounds, it will completely change things. How soon we forget how life used to be without Starbucks and City Centre.

  6. “Look at the Grand Mosque in Muscat! Expats, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Women, Men, wheelchairs, EVERYONE can go in when it's not prayer time”

    Nadia, Nadia, you hit it on the nail. Yes to all except to Muslims and a woman. Well, another episode of my stories in Oman.

    I went with a friend and my daughter who was visiting me and we were very appropriately dressed and again I did the same mistake over and over. I spoke my beautiful Arabic: Salam Alikum, Eid Mubarak. Then the young guard called the lady to explain to me that my skirt was little bit short. I was over shocked then I told my expat friend (professor) and daughter to go in as I’m not interested after their attitude I have seen all and most unique mosques around the world. BUT, I questioned the man: Do you mean to tell me that my Islam faith is different from yours. He answered me that there are cameras watching and he is not allowed to let me in with 2 inches short skirt claiming it is showing my ankle.
    I waited for my people to come out and what I have witnessed in that time made me really discussed by such attitude. Many people went in less appropriate , then what bothered me and I was about to make a scene, he let a young blondi with her hair showing and her pant (legging) that was showing her body in details no way I will be wearing that to A MOSQUE.

    After the Eid I told the Educated Omanis: Did you hear the new changes in the Quran:::: I said there is a new phrase saying: And God said to prefer the blondis to your Muslim women. I tried to break the barrier by such a joke. Honestly, I still feel sorry for the Omani and I do wonder where was that camera.

  7. You should make it a habit to write random posts such as this one every now and then, or even everyday if you like, love reading them!

    1)Wow congrats on the new mall! Sounds exciting! Let’s just hope it doesn’t become a bee-hive for teenage boys like how Masa mall in Muscat has become!

    2)It is indeed exciting! I love seeing those flags wave in the air under the blue sky when I drive to work in the morning, absolutely wonderful, creates a sense of patriotism :P

    3)Now that’s totally unfair! Are tourists allowed inside?

    4)Coloring is fun! I love it. I usually print out coloring pages from the internet for my little sister and nephew and we all end up coloring together!
    Enjoy =)

    5)Inshallah your turn to go to Hajj comes soon dear, that and finding the right man too!

    6)I have no idea but let’s hope this holiday will last for 9 days too. Maybe you should dedicate at least one day of it for doing absolutely nothing, just resting.

    P.S. looking forward to reading the posts you’re currently brainstorming =)

  8. Oh man, you will enjoy the coffee for sure!
    Those coloring books sound awesome! I want to find one here in the states.

  9. Yes I agree to NS above. I am a blonde, and i went in with my young daughter to the Grand Mosque in Muscat and was told that I couldn't be there (this was AFTER is was already in) because my skirt was about 2 inches above my ankle. I work in oman and i dress very carefully. I was a little put out as there was no-one around and it wasn't prayer time and we'd trekked a long way in the heat to look at the mosque, so I asked the guard please please and he let me stay. i agree with Nadia, why can't women look at ALL of Sultan Qaboos mosque if we want to. We are not second class citizens in anyone's religion.