(photo: Darbat Valley during the monsoon)
Jum'a Mubaraka (i.e. Blessed Friday) to all your readers out there, regardless of which corner of the earth you come from. Today I realized that we've almost completed two whole weeks of fasting. Unbelievable how time flies. For some reason I feel fasting this year has been much easier. Hunger strikes around 2 - 3 p.m then it's gone again. It's amazing how easy it is to program our bodies to live without food or drink for 14 hours.
Ramadhan in Salalah has been wonderful this year. It's been raining almost everyday and the weather is cool. My thoughts and prayers go out to those of you around the MENA region who are fasting in 50 degree weather (Celsius!).
Bits and pieces from Salalah (I've decided to leave my white prostitution post till after Ramadhan .. naturally):
(1) Donations for Somalia run by a group of young men in Salalah end on August 15th, so if you haven't taken your bags of rice or noodles yet, go now! They are no longer accepting clothes, so stick to dried foods. The location is next to Aqeel Mosque in eastern Salalah off Al Montazah Road. Phone numbers listed in previous post.
(2) Even though Lulu Hypermarket Salalah (the largest in Oman) is new and extremely busy, I was surprised to find that many basic products were unavailable these past couple of weeks due to the Ramadhan food rush. Some bins in the frozen food section are completely empty. When I asked an employee about a basic product that I always buy and that hasn't been available for the past 10 days (Lulu is my local supermarket since I live nearby), he said 'Oh Madam, it's because of Ramadhan'. Believe it or not, I couldn't even find a tub of vanilla ice cream! AT LULU!
(3) Tourist season is not over yet. I am able to spot at least 20 or 30 UAE cars on my to or from work everyday. I'm worried about Eid, though. Will we get thousands of tourists from GCC countries during Eid? Should I go back to Alaska?
(4) To all your Dhofaris out there, I need your help with something. I want to know where I can find the Dhofari sweet 'Qashat' on a regular basis? And does anyone know what happened to the woman who has been selling Qashat by the side of the road on 23rd of July St for years? She disappeared when the construction started.
(5) Interesting report in Business Today Magazine (Oman-based) on women in the workplace.
(6) I was very happy to see an article on fellow blogger Trygve Harris, Dhofar's very own Frankincense lady (she's not Dhofari, but almost! :) in The Week yesterday. You can read the article here. She was also responsible for the delicious Frankincense Ice Cream project at the Salalah Tourist Festival in July (based in Haffa Souq), and recently registered her Salalah based company 'Enfleurage Middle East' in Oman. I will now be able to order frankincense ice cream online! WOOHOO!!!!!
(7) And finally, Dhofari Gucci has decided (after discussing it with a friend and fellow blogger last night) that she no longer wants to have children. At this very moment, I am not kidding. As someone who follows world new regularly, it is hard to remain optimistic about the future of mankind. This week alone, tens of thousands are starving to death in Somalia, hundreds of thousands of Japanese are still trying to rebuild their lives after the series of horrific earthquakes and tsunamis, the riots England this week are a good example of why no one is safe anymore in this world, the stock market crash deserves a post of its own, the Syrian army continues to murder its own people on a daily basis, Libya and Yemen are a disaster, .. the list gets longer. And then you know what the top item is on Reuters this morning? Kim Kardashian sues Old Navy for a lookalike model. WHO GIVES A RAT'S A**?! Seriously, folks, I don't want to bring a child into this world. If you're able to convince me otherwise, be my guest and the comments section is all yours.
Tata for now! - Nadia