(1) Protests continue in Salalah, though not overwhelming. Fellow blogger here summarizes it nicely for the newspaper.
(2) Protests at the Women's Association are over.
(3) Protests at Salalah College of Technology are over.
(4) Protests at Dhofar University continue.
(5) The general anti-government protests in the People's Square in Salalah continue but there are only a few hundred people during the day and maybe a couple of thousand in the evening. Organizers are trying to remind the crowds of the original demands. Other groups have joined the protests and are preaching a new constitution.
(6) Religious groups are trying to make their voice heard also. I think some people are hoping to turn Oman into an Islamic state, starting with the segregation of boys and girls in elementary school.
(7) On Wednesday the new ministers took oath. Many people aren't happy with the new faces either, especially the two Dhofaris (Rasheed Al Haraibi & Al Marhoon - they claim they are not qualified after having been just Shura members). I myself cannot judge because I don't know anything about them.
(8) The latest demand that has everyone on fire is the need for a public investigation concerning the corrupt former ministers/advisors, namely Maqbool, Makki & Ali Majid. Some claim Ali Majid's fortune (sitting in bank accounts all over Europe) exceeded 35 million/billion? Who knows. Anyway, the 'people' at the protests want all that money back.
(9) Gulf states offer $20 billion to help Oman and Bahrain get through this crisis. The protesters believe the money should be taken from the former ministers. Is Oman going to accept the help?
(10) Protesters and supporters want to bring down the Minister of Information. I'm thinking the whole ministry of information should be brought down. You can't blame the crappy media situation in Oman on one man.
(10) Sultan issues 3 royal decrees this morning. One announces up to 50% Salary increase for retired civil servants (50% for lower salaries under 200 Rials I think. The higher the salary, the lower your raise. Retired civil servants with over 1000 Rials salary get a 5% increase). Other decree included a 100% salary increase for all families on welfare. Now THAT is good to hear.
(11) Please pray for Japan. We have so much to be thankful for.
PS (I will not publish any derogatory comments, so you can give up the argument about getting rid of expats. You're clogging up my inbox)
PS 2 (got my first visitor from Tel Aviv today! Woohoo! )