Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's in Dhofar

No no ... to all your conservatives out there .. chill. I'm proud to say I haven't seen one red heart in Salalah this week, and no mention of Valentine's so we're safe from Western commercialism for the time being. We may not be so lucky next year.
However, I took a trip down memory lane to the highschool I attended in Salalah. Saada Highschool to be exact (there are only 3 girls' highschools in Salalah anyway). Back in my days when we almost never interacted with any male who wasn't a family members, our social life revolved around the girls at schools. Imagine over a thousand girls between the ages of 15-18 in one building from 7:30 to 2:30 every single day. All those emotions, feelings, hormones, ... sheesh. Anyway, back in the days there was a bridge connecting grade 10 to grade 12 and that bridge was secretly and commonly known as 'The Bridge of Love' or جسر المحبة. I remember Valentine's Day was extremely important for any grade 10 girl who had a crush on a grade 12 senior. Or girls who had a crush on girls from other classes. On Valentine's day they would put red ribbons in their hair, suck red lollipops, and walk hand in hand through the schools grounds to declare .... declare what? Love? I thought it was hilarious. They weren't lesbians of course, but they were getting close. The worst part was having a crush on a teacher and leaving her a rose and a letter on her desk and secretly watching her office to see how she would react to the gift. Ahh... girls. Anyway, Al Hamdulillah we all grew up, went to college, and discovered a whole new world out there ... men.
Speaking of the gays, please accept my condolences on the demise of the new blog 'Community Queer'. I don't think they were Omani, but they were definintely promoting gay love in Oman and they can't say we didn't warn them! Blocked by Omantel yesterday.
Freedom of speech is a great thing, but do we really want complete freedom of speech when we know what the consequences are? I could get my blog banned in a day if I wanted just by writing one post on a highly controversial topic, but I pick my topics carefully and I try not to offend anyone because I love Dhofari Gucci... and I don't want to see it banned. So to all you rebels out there (minus the Dragon @ Muscat Confidential because he has angels watching over him), be careful what you write. It's all nice and dandy in the beginning when you realize 'hey, this is my space online and I can write whatever I want', but seriously, just be careful. Try not to offend. Try to remain objective. Respect our conservative Omani culture and Islam and don't get depressed because things are changing everyday, and soon as more people begin to understand true journalism & media, we will have more freedom of speech... but until then, remain respectful.
Onto more cheerful subjects my favorite YouTube artist, Kina Grannis, is releasing her first album this month (yes YouTube can be a miracle sometimes) and her first single was released last week. It's called Valentine and it's been stuck in my head all week. Very simple and sweet melody. I've decided to annoy you guys with the tune because someone's gotta suffer with me!
Have a Great Day!


  1. Nadia, you brought some memories back!
    One of my friends in high school had this girl trying to have her as her special "bff".. and it was annoying for me to watch!

    One day, I just couldn't handle it and just yelled so hard at the girl in front of the whole school! Imagine that!

    Apparently, my friend felt sorry for her and they started hanging out together,,, ohh well!

    Though we do not consider this behavior as a form of homosexuality, it is almost that.. love letter, holding hands, overly jealous, protective.. etc.

  2. I enjoyed the song very much!!!
    Thank you for introducing it. i think i will be repeating it on office all day long.

  3. H.V.D
    I remember the girls who CRUSH ON instructors(professors) in S.Q.U .
    They bring so many covered boxes as gifts for the handsome young instructor to show him how modern they are(according to our bad thinking). Red flowers, red hearts and red strips are seen over and around the gifts.
    Of course some of the students(lovers) also celebrate in their own way but not in front of the others.
    I have so many funny stories about Valentine's Day.

  4. I thought the communityqueers were Muscati.

    I don't like that red scenes in schools. Arab girls in general exaggerate sometimes.

  5. Strange I can still open Community Queer - Omantel seem to have forgotten to block it on my laptop... :)

    Damn they will probably find me now...

    Good blog btw...

  6. Omantel also have a problem with UK based sites which sell ladies underwear. As I am unfortunately a size which Muscat does not appear to cater for (no, not even M&S) I am going to have to find a way around their petty blocking or I'm going to be considered obscene!!!!

  7. Ahhh, angels. Gotta love 'em. Thanks for the ... plug!

    And I don't think holding hands counts as being a lesbian. At least, not just holding hands.

    Maybe you have a VPN?

    See my earlier post (November 2008) on the censors and getting back in control of your surfing. Its really quite trivial.

  8. Hello, Nadia!
    I am a new reader of ur blog and i really really love it. Thanks for it.
    I am non omani girl, who came to Salalah and hoping to spend the rest of life (God will) here, at this wonderfull place.
    My english language not perfect, so i am apologize if there is (or will be) any mistakes. Hope u will understand me :)
    I know not much about Salalah and it community, people, traditions etc., u opening it for me and i seeing it "by ur eyes". U helping me to understand this place, so i can know some things about Oman (and specially Salalah) and compare it with my country where is mentality, society, traditions, upbringing etc. is totaly diffrent than here.
    Thanks about this post, it's something new for me and a little weird (no offence meant), but very interesting really.
    Plz, don't stop writing, keep going.
    Regards, Eva.

  9. Salam, Nadia. I've always wanted to visit Salalah. It's still one of my dreams to do so. I found your post when I was doing some searching on google. Good luck with your writing; very interesting posts!