Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Local News

(1) Sugar Crisis continues in Salalah. Evidently weather in India was so bad this year that it affected sugar production. All our sugar comes from India. According to Muscat Daily, the global sugar crisis is going to continue for the next few months until Brazil produces some. Time to change our eating habits!
(2) Anyone heard rumors about Salalah University? No, not Dhofar University. Apparently all the construction going on behind the Salalah College of Applied Sciences is the new building they're adding on to the college. Soon the name will change to Salalah University, and it will be Oman's 2nd public university. Not too sure how I feel about that. Salalah now has Dhofar University, Salalah College of Technology and Salalah College of Applied Sciences. That's it..
(3) Salalah World, our first huge shopping centre is going up really fast. Last week there wasn't a second floor. This week there is. They must be working 24/7.
(4) I'm going to have to write a post soon about Facebook, and how it's changing society in Dhofar. How is it so taboo (socially) for young men and women to talk to each other at college but the minute they get home, they're all on Facebook adding each other as friends and opening up about their personal lives? I get an average of about 10 friend requests a week from men only. All Dhofari. All sending a message 'Hi, I'd like to get to know you'. What the hell? They all live in Salalah, I know who they are, I know their families, ... aren't they afraid I'm going to umm ... report them?.
(5) Phone Stalkers: why the heck do men still play the phone game? That used to be fashionable like ... 10 years ago? By phone games I mean a strange person calling you 4 or 5 times and then sending a message saying 'Who are you? Did you call me?'. You then get confused and start thinking 'Maybe I did call them?. You then text them asking 'What's your name? I can't remember if I called you', and they'll call. You answer, realize you don't know the person, and meanwhile they discover you're a girl, so they apologize for disturbing you and end the call. Is it over? Of course not! Five or ten minutes later you get a text message saying 'You have a nice voice!' or 'Can I get to know you' or 'My name is Ali'. I always ignore such messages, but this one guy has been bugging me for four days now. Every morning I get a message from him saying 'Good Morning Sunshine!'. How do I deal with it? Ignore until he gets bored? What a loser.
(6) Tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m is the third of the Ministry of Tourism's cultural concerts for 2010. I like the fact that they started a winter series to keep people entertained during January - March. The first concert was Spanish flamenco dancing. I didn't attend but fellow blogger Pepsi Diet wrote about it here. The 2nd one was a Moroccan singer and Elly Ashqar's band performing famous Fairuz songs. I was in Muscat but Rania went and wrote about it. I heard it was excellent. I'll try to attend tomorrow's concert. It's folklore singing and dancing from Kyrgyzstan. The singer is well-known. Read more about it at the Ministry of Tourism's website. I saw the ads up around town. So ... 8:00 p.m, Al Murooj Theatre ... Salalah.
(7) Fellow blogger Reality in Oman published a new post on race issues in Oman 'Are Black Omanis Dumb?'. Take a look at the post and let me know what you think. It's thought-provoking. I personally believe that black people (ex-slaves) in Muscat are treated differently (in a negative way) than Salalah. In Salalah the numbers are large and they're integrated into society normally. I don't even notice skin color and I don't see an issue really except maybe among teenage boys which is normal. In Muscat, it's different. They're a minority and aren't treated as well as they're treated here. Just my opinion. Many of my friends come from families of former slaves. They're completely normal intelligent educated girls! Simple as that. They hold high positions in companies and government offices and I honestly don't even notice skin color when we're together. It's not a big issue. For me, that is. Do you still think differences between black and white are an issue in Salalah? Yes, differences will always be there, but is it an actual 'issue'?
(8) Last but not least, if Dhofar doesn't solve the traffic issue very soon, I'm moving to Alaska. Traffic cannot move (not one inch) at rush hour without police officers at every single roundabout! EVERYDAY. What's going to happen to those poor ROP officers during May and June when it's oven-temeprature outside? What's the solution? Build bridges? Build new roads? It's chaos every morning.
That's it for now folks. I need more coffee. The photo was taken yesterday morning.


  1. Hello,

    My experience on item (5): they never give up! A guy I don't even know who got my number through an (idiotic) colleague of mine, has been calling me on and off for the past year and a half...The conversation is always the same (and he calls each time from a different number!):

    "hello, how are you?"
    "hello, I'm fine, who is speaking?"
    "it's me"
    "me who?"
    "Majid, I need to see you"


  2. #5...I just ignore them. If I happen to answer a number I don't recognize. The guy will keep calling me back because he heard a female-American voice. So I just ignore the number. They get tired of calling soon enough..or I tell my hubby about it!

    #8...Sounds like the UAE 10 years ago. It will only get worse. Sharjah is really bad but at least Dubai is making the efforts to build bridges, expand lanes, and the now the Metro. :)

  3. Interesting, I had no idea about the sugar crisis in the ME. Do Dhofaris drink super sugary tea 24/7 like Somalis do? Its so bad for you! I don't really notice sugar prices or supplies because I buy it so sporadically. I have been using stevia to sweeten drinks lately. Maybe you could order some online.

  4. #4
    I dont think few students who know how to use Facebook are going to change the society's life in Dhofar. Only few of them know how to use it properly. I also guess that girls and boys who have the intention to chat are going to exchange phone numbers instead of doing it the long way.
    I guess it is much better to discuss why they are doing it that way? Do you have other solutions rather than keeping them away from each others(isolation)?. Why boys and girls are searching for each other in forums, facebook and chatrooms?
    Girls are doing the same... calling... sorry... then asking for Hayyak!!.
    and sometimes texting...
    So far I am not sure whether I'll be able to come or not... But for sure it'll be very interesting night.

  5. Nice post DG

    With the amount of diabetes in this country and the weird way you guys put white sugar in almost everything, a total absence of sugar would be the best thing ever. Just stop. It'll kill you. At worst, if you're desperate, use honey or date syrup.

    #2: Just more 'crowd control' or a real University?

    #4: Nice. Maybe traditional culture only applies in the real world. In cyberspace, (didn't you know?) you're invisible in Oman and actually in downtown LA... You just can't defeat hormones.

    #5: When these idiots hassle Ms Dragon, we find that when I answer the phone they stop calling pretty quickly. My theory was they just want sex and think all western women are like porn stars (there is no shortage of porn in Oman BTW), but I'm kinda glad its also happening to Omani women too.


  6. (5) a co-worker showed me his phone messages once.. He has more messages from girls "wanting to know him" and "please talk to us" than what I would ever get in a life time! He was not even attractive!

  7. (1) Maybe it's nature telling you, you have more sugar than it can produce! I'm just wondering, it's not the first time India has this amount of flooding (I guess), how come our ancestors never ran out of sugar? or at least we never heard of it! We're consuming too much sugar!!!

    I rarely have sugar in my diet. I use honey for my green tea and absolutely nothing with my black coffee :)

    (3) GREAT! I really wanna come to Salalah before it turns into a second Muscat :/

    (5) Answer the phone and stay silent, unless they have to literally pay for it, they won't stop, hehe!

  8. 1)Thank God it is not rice crises
    2)Salalah University sounds great but I haven't heared that will happen!
    3)I heared rumors that the first phase will be opened this Khareef ,
    5)well some sick guys still do that in all of the Gulf.
    6)I didn't go to the third night coz I had lots of things to do last week. So how was it?
    7) That is just racist, It is stereotyping and profiling and just a dumb post.
    8)I guess thoese guys up north think Salalah is still a small town and should be treated like another small town like Ibri(will all respect to Ibri) or whatever.

  9. (3) Any idea when it's going to open? My family and I usually come to Dhofar during August because it's a nice get away from the heat.

    I've experienced (4), no matter what display picture I put! They're mostly people I don't even know from the randomest countries! Where they find my profile - I don't know.

    Everyone experiences (5) It's annoying. About 5 guys were texting and calling me at one point, it drove me to register for a new number.

  10. Interesting addition about slavery - read the last sentence.