Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Than Just Living

"يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ "
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I've been thinking a lot lately... trying to figure out where I'm heading in life. I'm healthy, I have a wonderful family, I love Islam, I live in a beautiful country, I love my job, I'm always active and busy. I wake up every morning, contemplate my life, and then ask my bedroom wall 'Now what? What's next?'.
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It's not enough to just be satisfied and continue to live. I've always felt like I need to do more. I need to give more. Sometimes when you watch the news, or read real stories about other people, you may become overwhelmed or start thinking that there's so much happening in the world, and you're just one tiny grain of sand on that beach. The world is such an amazing place. 6 Billion people sharing this one small planet. We each affect the lives of others everyday in ways we cannot even begin to comprehend. We're all different in so many ways, yet we're all the same. We all have to wake up in the morning, face life, go to work, earn a living, take care of our families, deal with birth, marriage, death, illness, happiness, sadness, love, pain, ... and we all go to bed at night thinking about the events of our day. .
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Is it enough to just live your life, pray, read Quran for your own benefit, work towards your own salvation and hope to get into heaven? It's not enough to just help yourself. The world needs us. Others needs our help. I've been following the news from Haiti after the earthquake several times a day. The situation is so terrible that if you even think about it and imagine yourself as a person living in Haiti, you probably wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I almost murdered my colleague yesterday who said 'Why are America & Europe helping Haiti? Why are all these Western countries running to the rescue? There must be an American conspiracy in there somewhere'. I managed to remain calm and not throw my stapler or punch at him. An earthquake has damaged their country, killed hundreds of thousands of people, left millions homeless, where the HELL is a conspiracy supposed to fit into all this? It's a crisis. If the world doesn't run to the rescue, then we are not human. ..
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If an earthquake hit Oman, damaging the whole country. If Salalah or Muscat were completely leveled (i.e every building collapsed) .. if we had over 250,000 dead (that's double the population of Salalah), and the whole country was homeless..... how would we react? How would we deal with it? We'd be so overwhelmed with the tragedy that we wouldn't even know what to do. Your whole life collapsing around you. Your sense of security completely lost. Would the rest of the world not run to the rescue? Would we not expect other countries to help us? OF COURSE. Regardless of political borders and passports, we are all humans, brothers and sisters belonging to one country called Earth. In times of need, we help one another. We must. .
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A fellow blogger sent me a blog written by a 22 year-old American girl, Molly, who left her safe home in June 2009, left her family and friends and went to Haiti to volunteer for one year with children who suffer from mental and physical disabilities. She had been writing regularily about her experiences in Haiti and the children she was working with. Her last post was December 30, 2009. She was a victim of the earthquake. Her body was found among the rubble of the children's centre she was working at. That's just one story from the millions of stories around the world about people who are trying to make a difference. Do you think there's a conspiracy behind a 22 year old girl who donated one year of her life to helping others? Of course not. She was just a good person who wanted to do 'more' in this world. 'More'. ... More than just living.
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I've been thinking about this lately because it upsets me sometimes when my friends show no interest at all in the rest of the world. It's as if the rest of the planet doesn't exist. There are people who feel connected to the world as a 'whole' and who are able to look at the big pictures. Those people are usually well-travelled and have seen life beyond the borders of Oman and Dubai. .
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In fact, I think most of Salalah are quite happy living their own lives, deep in their society and families, without feeling any need to connect with the rest of the world. They're so zoomed in to their own little lives (yes little) that they are unable to pull back and look at the big picture. Where they stand in the universe. Where they stand in life. It saddens me to know that people around me are so pre-occupied with the tiny details of their day to day life that they are unable (not just unwilling, but unable) to look at the big picture of their life, let alone 'life' in general. I know this is the case with many people around the world, and I'm not generalizing. I know some very enlightened Dhofaris who have travelled, gone out of their way to learn more, and who have taken the extra mile in life and feel a sense of belonging to this planet. However, they remain a minority. There are very few of them.
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Then again, sometimes I don't blame them. They haven't been taught to think about the rest of the world. They haven't been told "You can do anything you set your mind to" by their parents. They haven't been encouraged to travel and learn. The concept of volunteering and 'giving' to strangers, and small acts of kindness doesn't exist in our little society. Our society doesn't support breaking out of tradition. By tradition here, I mean sticking to the tribe through good and bad. Never moving away from Salalah or trying to build your own life. Collectivistic thinking. Collectivistic society. It's VERY hard in Salalah to have your own life, and to try and make a difference. They are afraid of change and when they adopt change it's more often negative.
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Do you think I'm being negative? My friend was criticized by her family for trying to help someone with a physical disability. Their reason "That child is not related to us. What will people say about you? You have a reputation. Stop volunteering". This isn't a rare case. I've seen it over and over again. Dhofari families feel very uneasy about volunteering and 'being out there' helping others. They're still VERY uneasy about people with special abilities & needs. Is it because they're uneducated? Or because our society doesn't support that kind of thing? Are they afraid? Afraid of what? A child in a wheelchair who just wants someone to play with? An abandoned baby at the hospital who just wants to be held? Why is it so taboo?! Where is humanity?
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And all this crap about 'reputation' and being 'seen'. (ooh .. shivers ... I've been SEEN!). Rubbish. Salalah NEEDS more volunteer work programs. We don't have any. It's very hard to volunteer at the centre for children with special abilities & needs. The only other centre is the centre for the blind, which is in terrible shape. The hospital won't allow volunteers into the abandoned babies' section. I know some British women used to volunteer there but they won't let anyone else in unless you have strong wasta. People need to be given the opportunity to help. A lot of time is being wasted everyday in this town by young people who don't have anything useful to do. We need a well-run active youth centre where young men and women alike can sign up to volunteer on a regular basis. Simple things like working with children, teaching mentally disabled children how to swim, helping children with learning difficulties, cleaning up beaches, planting trees, volunteering in schools, running awareness campaigns, and just doing good in society. WHY NOT?
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I can't do it alone. Help. Today go out of your way to help three random people. Small acts of kindness. Throw a pebble in the water and wait for the ripple effect. Life is too short just to 'live' it like a normal person. Go out of your way. I know my post is random. The result of many years of thinking. If my thoughts aren't organized, forgive me. I'm basically writing what comes to my mind without thinking about coherence.
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This post is dedicated to my friend Shahrazad, a speech therapist who makes a difference in this world every day of her life by helping people overcome their speech problems after accidents, strokes, and many other cases. She is an englightened person. I want her to go back to writing. Perhaps this post will inspire her.
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PS (if you want to help in any way, look at Molly's blog and see how you can donate to Haiti)

33 comments:

  1. Ah, memories..

    I remember when Gonu happened. I wanted to put my pants and shirt on, go out with a brush stick and clean the streets. The response was.. "no" .. "You want people to look at you cleaning the streets??"

    I was asked to contribute through "prayers" .. only..

    Instead, relatives went on a road trip to LOOK in AMUSEMENT at all the damages Gonu caused. It was an eye opener. One that made me sad. We are raised to think that we are better and we shouldn't offer "free" services.

    I am used to volunteering in the US, and I haven't volunteered since I came back. I feel useless, and somewhat ashamed. I have a plan though.. one that I hope I can accomplish once I'm settled.

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  2. Don't say your pot post is random. It is one of the best posts I've read.
    I too have been a victim of family-related restrictions which unable me to even do smallest things.
    But I have learned how to circumvent these factors and help (in a hideous manner) others...though I must say of lately, my help has only been towards betterment of environment (coz I have no access to authentic volunteer centres)

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  3. You know what makes my blood boil? the fact that some people do actually get irritated and complain about "why such global tragedies (e.g. Gaza last year, Haiti this year) have to be mentioned in the papers every single day, knowing that there's not much we Arabs, or Omanies can do?" and they further go on saying that "there's nothing interesting to read in the papers!”. Utterly shameful.

    Your post is a massive eye-opener to me, and I hope to everyone else who has a burning desire for change, for not wanting to live like the majority, yet somehow feels incapable and afraid of breaking the norms. We can start small… as long as we START. :)

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  4. .... and here I was today thinking " I'm going to quit helping people out all the time." I'm try to assist people who need it in my own way but some times it just gets too much. Especially when I'm low on energy and when the help isn't met with the response I would like.

    But I guess your post in some way is a sign that we should all go on and help out where we can. Your post came at the right time Nadia. :-)

    Oh and by the way, I heard about those abandoned babies and it's really a disgrace! There must be a way to do something for them.

    By the way, anyone seen the movie "Pay it forward"?

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  5. Well said Nadia,
    In Europe and the US we are introduced to volunteer and charity programmes at a very early age and as a result we understand that every little bit (no matter how small) helps. Several international schools in Oman, such as the ABA, require their students to do community service as part of their education. As we get older, it is often the children that push the parents into donating time and money to help others.

    In Gonu our home was severly damaged, and whilst our friends rallied round to help out it was the kindness of strangers that took your breath away.
    I did however witness several instances of the Gonu 'tourist' gawking at the misfortune of others, which I found to be a most unpalatable experience.

    I still cannot understand why (whichever ministry) ordered the removal of charity coin collection boxes that were positioned at the cash tills of the supermarkets. This was a brilliant way where a little loose change made a difference.

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  6. How random, yet very deep!

    My dearest dearest Nadia, your post sent shivers down my spine! You're a genuine soul with a pure spirit. Allow me to say, you're a silent "turbo" engine, your writings move me and others in many forms... I'm just so glad blog-sphere has introduced me to you. Shame on me for ditching my blog :( shame on me!

    It's about time I move my lazy fingers. I am truly inspired..

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  7. Just lazy fingers? I'm waiting till you write something!!!

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  8. Nadia – just as a small counter balance to your post (though agreeing with its broad sweep) – in Muscat, where I live, the young Omani men organized a convoy on more than one occasion, immediately after Guno, to go from our small ‘hara’ to Quriyat to deliver relief. Bedu friends from Bidiya did the same into Sur - so there is some movement somewhere; even though apathy and self interest might sometimes overwhelm it

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  9. Oh! - and in response to James - almost 20 years ago in my retail business we started a collection box for Charity (as lots of shops did in the UK with Dr Barnardos- http://www.barnardos.org.uk ) . The box got full and we asked a member of the OWA to collect is, and would she mind us using that as a bit of publicity to encourage more people to donate.
    The reluctance was palpable - and so we eventually gave up, even though our customers liked the idea, as we could not donate the money.
    The new boxes were such a good idea - what did happen

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  10. Thanks Nadia
    see...my idea is working ;-)

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  11. Nadia, it is as if you are reading my mind, since I came to Salalah I was looking for some volunteer work to do but I didn’t find any, I wanted to volunteer my time and money in something useful around here, I am an expact used to be in Muscat and I came to Salalah to work.
    Yesterday I was watching Opera and she was talking about how empowering women around the world will help building new generation with netter values and thoughts
    I was thinking about that a lot and I wanted to do something about it, you could always sponsor some one far away and this is good for them, but at the same time I would like to do something here near me in my society.
    One woman said she used to sponsor women for Africa and also she send them letters and she went to USA to Africa to meet them and they were happy with her letter more than the money, you know, they wanted human contact someone who care about them not only sending money, of course money helps a lot, but the thoughts about them matter too.

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  12. Nadia e al. It saddens me a lot that people like you the "enlightened nadia" thinks of their own clan in this way. We are definitely absolutely not as nadia described us "shallow self-centered naives". I will be back with a more elongated post once time allows BRB.

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  13. fdayooh no1 kmayooh, I'm also dhofari. I think you're being rude. Nadia wasn't generalizing and she didn't say that we Dhofaris are shallow self-centre naive people. She was talking about the young people around her. Read her post more clearly. Most of what she says is true. She is not generalizing.

    Regards, A 45 year-old Dhofari Man

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  14. well ... let us look at the Molly thing form a different angle ... may be she did this for her own selfish reason ... may be words like orphan...volunteer would make her CV shine and get her to whatever grad school she was planning to join ….and again I am just saying this …. May be if we get to know the concept of community hours and volunteer works and how it could do you magic when you apply for universities and jobs may be if we knew a bit better about it we won’t be as impressed as most of you are right now.

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  15. Hello everyone, yes our society needs volunteers, thinkrs,supporters,and developers not just for oursleves but also for Oman and its people, even beyond our borders.In order to do this we must act as a one person not like scattered thoughts resulted from emotional and sad hearted person had seen unbelievable disasers.
    We are as dhofaries have never been called selfish or self-centered people cause we are not a society that you can name it(help yourself).
    Help and volunteering are ingraned in us from our environment, it taught us these principles, norms, and manners in order to get involve in many useful also bebeficial voluntray work.
    I strongly disagree with you Ndia when you come to criticize SALALAH you cannt find a place like it and its kind-hearted people in all life domains.
    You have stated some random thoughts that are not exist here you mentioned reputation, discrimination and all that rare to find.
    If we find anyone in need we help irrespective of his or her family or tribe.

    (SO LONG)AHMED

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  16. Looks like we have a debate. Excellent.
    Remember we are each expressing our own opinions as we see them at a given time. I cannot say that I am right, and you can't say you are either. Salalah is very unique ... we help each other in very different and wonderful ways (Tribal support, etc)we are VERY unique Al Hamdulillah and well known for our hospitality and kindess.. but also there is some truth in what I was saying about volunteer work. Think about it Ahmed without being defensive.

    Kind Regards, Nadia!

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  17. I luv Salalah, and luv u all Salalah dwellers.

    Wheres sleepless in salalh's comments.

    havent noticed one on Nadia's blog

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  18. As far as I understood from this post that we as Dhofaries particularly in Oman are selfish not welling to help others!! I don't think that this is he case my friend. I just can state that as far as social concern, we as Dhofaries help each other and this can extend to other parts in Oman as well. If we should go further with charity work…….will I should stop at this point. Now I can agree with you that we are not considered to be of any help in this sector in the world. It can be said that most of people in Arab countries are not contributing in voluntary work, of course from the individual prospect not from the government side. Having said that our governments in Arab countries like to flatter with the BIG BOSS when global catastrophes happen like what they did last time during Katrina hurricane!!

    We lack the proper education to understand the needs of others. I still remember that one time the Omani government announced that it will cut the income of one day from every civil servant working for the government for the benefit of the children of Palestine. One guy shouted angrily: why should they cut off 1 day from my salary?? Selfish idiot? This is just an example of what it means for us not to understand what it takes to help others.

    First thing to jump to our minds is: Oh to volunteer = give money!!! No no me no like to give money, me like to buy a CD or at least buy a refill card for my friend?? How can I live if I go aboard to help others? I need money.

    Look we don't know what are NGOs, their role and what they do, you know why because we don't have such thing here, we are so proud to admit that we have people in need. We first need to start from inside then we will be prepared to volunteer aboard.

    It is something that we need to learn and believe me we don't need to learn this from any foreign literature or from any other cultures, I think if we go back a little to what our holy book tells us, we will defiantly find the answer there. Some people won't agree with me about this. Well I don't care of what you think, because even if I don't practice it I know that everything is there.

    But dear Nadia, go easy on us Dhofaries, we are good, we are good you know!! Take care

    Nothing personal……………………PEACE

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  19. {وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا، إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لاَ نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاء وَلاَ شُكُورًا}
    I think the debate over something which is not aknowledged or supported by goveronment is a useless talk.
    Isalm tells us that,it is a must on every capable person to help,volunteer,and does whatever it takes to preserve social solidarity within themselves.
    YOU CAN VOLUNTEER IN MANY WAYS INDIVIDUALY, THE GOVERNMENT WONT BOTHER TO ESTABLISH PLACES FOR THIS.
    AHMED BE KIND

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  20. Waleed, Sleepless is still here .. she's just a bit busy these days.

    Ahmed, I love your comments. I did not say Dhofaris should volunteer abroad, of course not. I meant IN Salalah. In our own community. Yes we support each other in marriage and death and when someone is sick (that is our specialty, right?), but what about the rest of issues that need voluntary work??

    I'm especially passionate about the case of handicapped children with special abilities and needs in Dhofar. THERE ARE SO SO SO MANY OF THEM. I visited the two centres here and they're just depressing. They have no permanent staff and the government doesn't support them. They just receive donations from Bahwan. So many children with autism, or learning disorders or physical disabilities. You walk into the centre and there's a classroom of 16 handicapped kids all with different needs, and only ONE VOLUNTEER teacher who shouts at them. You can't shout at a child with autism! You just can't!! But they don't know that. They need equipment, they need toys, they needs physical therapy tools, they need volunteers! But no one is willing to go out of their way to do that.

    What about the supermarkets?? Why can't they have small boxes at the cashier where you can throw in your extra change and it can go to the benefit of some cause in Dhofar? Why don't we have them?

    I'm not being mean, but I think because Dhofaris are so used to people serving them (servants) that they haven't quite comprehended the concept of getting down to the dirty work and serving others. If you don't want to donate money, try to find another way to help!

    During Eid my company organized a donation campaign to collect money for orphans for Eid and they asked each employee who wants to donate to send an email to the payroll department telling them 'I want to donate 20 Rials from my salary this month'. Simple. Easy.

    You want to know how many people donated?? Maybe 5. WHY?

    The university in Dhofar started a voluntary campaign project for a short while. It was great but why did it stop??! They did all kinds of work. Students volunteered to go aroudn to schools and talk to kids about their life/career/future. Many girls from the social work program made a schedule to visit the abandoned children at the hospital and read to them or play with them three times a week. Students from the translation department translated chidlren's stories and recoreded them on cassettes so that blind children in Dhofar can hear stories ... they did pottery workshops for children with handicaps. I read about it in the newspaper. Why did they stop??! Why?

    Anyway, I haven't had my coffee yet so I shouldn't get too over-excited.

    Cheers

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  21. Hello, VOLUNTARY WORK is a wide definition about anything that the pesron can give without waiting for return.Now as you stated we are satisfied with all angles i mean (helpful community) except for those in special needs why don't you type a letter and send it to the Minister here?
    why government did establish places for them and then it doesn't care about desperate, disabled children?
    It is just insane, but there are some reasons behind those places:Only to be on the safe side if it asked by UNCEF or HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION.
    the evidence you gave is clear enough to figure out that they are not working for the sake of those handicapped children.
    Ask for interview with GOVERNOR OF DHOFAR and tell him from A to Z with a letter.
    This sort of talk wont work unless we reached to the accountable source.
    (SO LONG)
    AHMED

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  22. GOOD POINT AHMED (SO LONG)

    I like the way you think, and even if Dhofar governor did not make any step towards helping these centers, it is enough that he and other officers feel the public pressure, maybe someting of their sleeping feelings move by this.

    great great AHMED thank you and thank you Nadia for this

    (NOTHING PERSONAL.............PEACE)

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  23. Great post Nadia. Extremely well written and amazingly inspiring!

    I was also thinking of Haiti and how most of us, Omanis, wouldn't care about helping out. However, I think our culture/society does encourage giving and helping out monetarily - yet it still hasn't grasped the idea of "voluntary work" and individuals actually going to help out. I hope things do start changing soon.

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  24. Touché every1. Nadia you need to understand the cultural differences and motives that might be driving the formal sort of voluntary work you see in the west. In a secular world:

    1) Social bond tends to be weak .The human touch is missing and people tend to get self-centred and selfish. As a reaction, people volunteer in charity work that will redeem their human touch and make them feel good about themselves.

    2) PR, yes PR. People in the west use charity work to polish their public image.

    3) Ulterior motives and hidden agendas e.g. Evangelism, Political agendas, criminal agendas etc.

    Now, going back to Dhofaries or even considering the big picture of us as Muslims, charity work is already built-in in our minds and souls. We are no angles, however we need not to brag around about our charity work and we defiantly in dispense of the title VOLUNTEER to prove our good deeds to the world.

    Finally, you might not be aware of organised charity work in Salalah (which makes me puzzled) but there are lots of examples which dwarf any other example that you bring from the west.

    1) The non-official Annual collection of Zakah by people who volunteer for nothing in return (not to mention the people who are giving out the Zakah itself).
    2) The monthly collection of Sadaqa by family members from their families.
    3) Al-Wafa Social Centre volunteers
    4) Al-Noor Association for blinds volunteers

    There are endless ways to do voluntary work, NADIA, and it is all around you, so instead of criticizing people, I think you should walk the walk instead of talking the talk.

    I rest my case

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  25. Fdayooh no1 kmayooh:

    Zakah, and Sadaqa and all that is MONEY. I'm not talking about money here.

    As for Al Wafa and Al Noor Association for the Blind, I suggest (no, seriously, I SUGGEST) you go take a visit. Read my comment up there in reply to Ahmed:

    "I'm especially passionate about the case of handicapped children with special abilities and needs in Dhofar. THERE ARE SO SO SO MANY OF THEM. I visited the two centres here (Al Wafa & Al Noor) and they're just depressing. They have no permanent staff and the government doesn't support them. They just receive donations from Bahwan. So many children with autism, or learning disorders or physical disabilities. You walk into the centre and there's a classroom of 16 handicapped kids all with different needs, and only ONE VOLUNTEER teacher who shouts at them. You can't shout at a child with autism! You just can't!! But they don't know that. They need equipment, they need toys, they needs physical therapy tools, they need volunteers! But no one is willing to go out of their way to do that" ...

    Fdayooh, don't deny the fact that many Dhofaris still are uncomfortable around people with special abilities & needs. Don't deny that. Be realistic.

    After you visit Al Wafa and Al Noor, I suggest you go to Sultan Qaboos Hospital and visit the section where so many abandoned children live.

    Do you know that sometimes Dhofari families who give birth to a child with a handicap just leave them in the hospital??

    Ask about Lamya, the 26 year old girl who is paralyzed and has been living in the hospital all these years on a bed staring at the ceiling.

    Ask about Baseem, the 8 year old child who was dumped by his family after he was paralyzed in a car accident four years ago. YES THEY THREW THEIR FOUR YEAR OLD BOY AT THE HOSPITAL. He lives in the children's intensive care unit.

    Ask about all the abandoned babies who live in the hospital and are then sent to the orphanage in Muscat when they complete six months.

    Don't tell me we're perfect!!!!! Dhofaris maybe give money but what about REAL VOLUNTEER WORK. Realitstic volunteer work.

    I don't rest my case.

    Thanks for the debate.

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  26. Salam Nadia, very strong post. I agree about many of what you said regarding the attitude in Salalah towards volunteer work. However I find many acts of charity are regarded highly in the society. However I must criticize the government for complicating the laws for establishing local NGOs. Oman doesn't even have a Red Crescent organization. Thus how can we totally blame the people while the government is not encouraging such culture which is really retarded and I hate that we are becoming very indifferent about fellow humans weather here in Oman or abroad.
    Thanks Nadia

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  27. We are getting no where. You are looking at one side of the picture and I'm looking at the other. Yes cruelty exists and I despise the people who commit those criminal acts you have mentioned above.
    But again looking at the big picture I see lots of families taking good care of their challenged kids with so limited resources.

    You have narrowed the definition of charity work to taking care of disabled and challenged people. Therefore we need not to discuss the other faces of charity as we both agree that it’s been taken care of (ish).

    As for Alnoor and Alwafa, I totally agree with you that there is a long way for those two centres to give professional services to the community. However, I do think that it is primarily the government and the private sector's responsibility to fund these two centres and other community centres coz no stand alone individual has the capability to fund them.

    However naive this may sound, although it looks very touchy and heroic, giving up your whole life for charity work is not the right thing to do. I believe that little acts of kindness and partially participating in charity and community work, if integrated correctly, will accumulate and compensate for any lack of support. All we need is someone to deliver the message and believe me Dhofaries will be more than welling to help.

    Nadia, we “the so called enlightened Dhofaries” are the only ones to take the blame coz we’re supposed to be those messengers. If we know so much about charity work then we’re ought to be at the forefront and we need to make people aware of the current situation. Blaming the others will do us no good as we need every one to our side.

    Therefore, I ask of you, as a renowned Omani blogger, and your fellow Omani bloggers to initiate a campaign dedicated to raising funds to Al noor and Al wafa centres. I even suggest that we setup a budget to cover any expenses of the campaign. Together we can do a lot. Let us eliminate the source of this debate by proving that we can do something.

    Waiting for every1’s response

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  28. Salam Nadia and everyone
    Since you all concentrating on charity work, I guess it needs more time and effort to make Omanis in general realise that Zakah and Sadaqah are not enough as a charity work.
    Working for a voluntary organization or center in Dhofar is not part of our culture yet. We need more programs, advertisemnets, TV anouncements, and lectures for the publics first to understand and respect such a noble work, then appreciate and even participate in.
    Blaming the community is not the right solution for such a problem. We are in a comunity that relys on the government in everything including health care. So may be it is the government's job to encourage the citizens because it owns and controls the media. But since the government is not serious in this issue(as I understood fro the debate), I am with "fdayooh no1 kmayooh" in initiating a campaign to encourage people especially youngs to participate in funding the two centers mentioned[ Alnoor and Alwafa]. This to be the first step followed by a well organized program to enhance and build the voluntary culture in the citizens.

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  29. fdayooh no1 kmayoohFebruary 2, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    I thought so

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  30. Although I agree with you in many points about charity and making a difference, I have to say that your colleague is right about aid to Haiti.
    US does not give aid unless it can benefit back from it. Aid is being highly politicized and used to make poor countries idebted to rich ones.
    The US has a long history of intervention in Haiti. Please read it up and see for yourself.

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  31. As salam alaikum Nadia,

    U've done it again. Barak Allah feech ameen.
    My hubby and i were discussing charities here in salalah and where we can help out, ive been asking him for weeks about Orphanges so i can go and take my 7 month old son with me and play wth other kids..but i cant find one or any charities.
    so i went to google and typed in "sadaqah salalah" and here is ur blog, 3rd from the top..and then one of my own 7th in the list.. seems u are one of few here in the local people who think of such things.
    Im posting this link on my blog because i want others to come and read this as a means to open their closed eyes inshaAllah, those from all walks of life not just here in salalah.

    Nadia, i found a charity box, hamdan supermarket at hamdan plaza hotel near Auqad ashamaliya (north.) Its a small one but its there..inshaAllah we can get people to fill it, its for disabled people.

    I thank you and Applaud you for being honest, straight forward and for having the heart and courage you do mashaAllah.

    Hugss sis. xxx

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