Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Anyway, to according to my sources at the Ministry of Tourism, a whole tourist town is being built out near Mirbat. Hotels, shops, golf courses, tennis courts, beach, and even an airport. If it'll keep the thousands of Swedes and Germans & the alcohol out there away from town, then I guess it's a good thing. But what hurts is that all the young Omani men from the mountains around Mirbat and from the town itself will be offered jobs at these resorts. The hotel business is so not-Omani.
The pool at the Marriot looks like it's t0-die-for and perhaps they'll let me jump in with my abaya and pink shades. Their rates are pretty good considering it's a five-star hotel. Last time I checked their website they had some really great packages. 70 Rials a night at a five-star resort? That's cheaper than the Park Inn and Golden Tulip! Almost as cheap as the Ibis. So if you're thinking of spending a weekend in Salalah, check out the Marriot! If I'm being nice, I might even invite you to coffee in my tent. My camels don't bite.
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
I'm not having a good day.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Then again, sometimes I have 2 or 3 hours of freedom and I decide to sit down and write. My mind suddenly becomes a blank page of nothingness. If you're a blogger, you'll understand what I'm talking about. If you're a reader, try to understand. Writing isn't that easy. I don't just write for Dhofari Gucci. I write for myself. I have so many notebooks and papers full of ideas. Some are suitable for this blog. Others are not.
Those of you who know me personally will understand what my life has been like over the past couple of months. A mix of chaos, stress, work, people, travel, appointments, plans, ... and very little time to sleep and eat, let alone write. However, fear not for I intend to bring myself back into the habit of blogging about issues in a Dhofar on a more regular basis. Thank you for staying tuned.
This morning I watched a talk on nurturing creativity given by one of my favorite authors. It was sent to me by a friend, and even though I had very little time, I decide 'to hell with it' and I sat down and listened. She is a very gifted speaker and her talk inspired me.
I've been thinking about creativity lately. I often spend a few afternoons a month tutoring an 8 year-old girl. Let's name her Sara. She is very sweet, but very shy. She hardly speaks but her passion is art. She spends hours a day drawing and painting and I've been noticing as she develops her talents. For her birthday last month, I bought her a real kid-size wooden easle and a whole new set of paints, brushes and paper. She accepted the gift gratefully and a few days later her mother called me and said Sara was crying because she couldn't paint using her easle. I drove over to their house on my way home from work and asked the child why she couldn't paint. She looks down at the floor and whispered 'What if nobody likes my drawings?'. At that point my heart crumbled into a thousand pieces. This poor child was so afraid of people not liking her art that she couldn't bring herself to using her new professional easle and paints. She was terrified. Terrified of being creative.
I managed to cheer her up and we painted together for a while (on the easle). I told her it didn't matter what people thought. As long as she was happy with her own painting, nothing else mattered. I told her that all the famous artists in this world didn't care for the opinions of others. Evidently her teacher had asked them to paint something nice and all the kids had painted flowers, houses, cars, etc. Sara painted squares and triangles, dark colours, very neat... and very much like analytic cubism (I saw her work) and her teacher looked at the paper and told her 'Sara, That is not art. Draw something real'. I was so furious. What kind of a teacher is that? Who says we have to draw something real in order to be artists? I asked Sara's mother if we can use her computer, and I typed in 'Pablo Picasso' into Google images. I watched as her eyes widened. She was blown away by his paintings. I told her he is one of the most famous artists in the world and that millions and millions of people love his work. Are his paintings realistic? No. Was he not one of the most creative people who lived on this planet? Yes. Since then Sara has been painting everyday. I told her to tell her teacher 'I'm painting like Picasso' whenever her teacher criticizes her.
For heaven's sake, if you know someone who seems to have a hidden talent, help them nurture it and pull them out of their misery. So many of us are terrified of being creative. Terrified of putting our all into a piece of art, a photograph, a poem, a story, a play, ...
I myself am terrified of being creative. The fear of being rejected is probably going to kill me one day but I'm trying to get over it. And I will help others get over it. So many people I know want to be creative but are afraid of what others will think. IT IS SO HARD to be creative in a collectivistic society like Salalah. A society where everyone is practically the same. We wear the same clothes, eat the same food, wear the same bloody makeup to weddings, follow the same trends, wear the same pom-poms on our heads, etc, etc.
There are so many talented artists who are not being encouraged. Families in Salalah aren't used to encouraging their children's hobbies. In fact, how many people do you know in Salalah have a REAL hobby? How many artists do you know? Photographers? Poets? Writers? Musicians? Actors? They exist but there aren't many of them.
We need to bring on a paradigm shift in our society. Change. We need to encourage our teachers to nurture children's talents.
And you dear readers, what is your secret passion? What are you afraid of nurturing? Do you secretly want to be a writer? A guitar player? An artist? A fashion designer? A photographer? What's stopping you? Family? Laziness? Fear? Embarassement? Society? Confidence?
I look forward to receiving your comments. I want to know what your hobby is, what you LOVE doing, and what you want to do in the future. Even if it's cooking or sewing. I'm proud to say that I'm very creative in the kitchen. According to my mother, I'm the only person she knows who can throw spices into a dish with my eyes shut and without even thinking about the dish not turning out right. Have a great day!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
(8) This morning the Qaboos Oman art exhibition opened its doors to the public in Salalah. Check it out at the Fine Arts Society next to KFC (yes, we only have one KFC in Salalah).
That's all for now folks. Have a great evening!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
PS 2 (Bloody hell, I can't even comment on my own blog. Suburban, I use Internet Explorer. It's my work computer so I can't change it! HELP!)