It's been a couple of weeks, and as guilty as I may feel sometimes, I'd like you know that I do have a life/committments/deadlines/work crises just like you. Often I have to prioritize. These past few days have been a wonderful break from the continuous chaos in my life. I spent the holidays reading, Mirbat-ing it like everyone else in this town, chewing on abalone (end of season.. weep!), and stuffing my face at Siam Kitchen.
Anyway, before I forget I wanted to post the link to an interesting article I found online (that several of you also forwarded to me .. thanks!). Yet another piece about the political situation in Oman. This one is called "Qaboos can make mistakes like anyone else". At first (naturally) the title made me furious because I am not accustomed to hearing anyone refer to our Sultan by his first name. However, I had to remind myself that I was being ridiculous.
Although much of what Valeri says makes perfect sense to me (especially the first half), I have to agree with what someone said in the comments of the previous post. Marc Valeri seems to hold some little personal grudge against the Sultan. This is evident in his writings. I respect him as a scholar and I am familiar with his work (and Claire Beaudevin's work, whom he mentioned at the end of his piece). However, this articles takes a rather narrow view of the situation in Oman, and I don't think it paints an accurate picture of what is going on right now.
Yes, I agree His Majesty Sultan Qaboos is a human just like you or me, but he is an ENLIGHTENED human who has done a world of good for this country, and I admire him very much. As an Omani citizen, small things irritate me occasionally; for example pardoning hundreds of prisoners every year by 'Royal blessing' on both Eids and on National Day doesn't speak well for our justice system, not being able to publicly discuss the question of succession, worrying about the 'elite circle' that Valeri refers to several times, etc, etc (the list is long). But, he is my Sultan, he is a wonderful person, and I will always be loyal to him.
Have you read the piece? What did you think?