Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Bits & Pieces

(1) I love Salalah. However, naturally it frustrates me sometimes. In our society, as well as other Arab societies, there isn't a clear distinction between 'culture' and 'Islam'. Sometimes I feel people here are more devoted to their weird traditions than they are to Islamic ones. I'm thinking about this today because yesterday I was talking to some people and they were criticizing a guy in Salalah who hangs out at the Hilton bar consuming alcohol until the early hours of the morning. It was all like 'What will people say?' .... Ummm.. Hello? Who cares about people??! What happened to religion? It's as if they 'forgot' that the Qur'an forbids alcohol, not people. Yet, they really do worry about what 'People will say'. And also, note they are 'gossiping' about him. Sheesh.

(2) I've always been fascinated by the lady who sits by the side of the road on 23rd of July street under an umbrella selling 'Qashat' (Salalah sort of sweet/hard/candy .. made from burnt sugar, coconut, saffron, what else?). She has been there for YEARS. In the same spot, under that one umbrella, selling her Qashat. What is her story? I know a local professor, Dr. Ahmed Al Mashani wrote about her in his book 'You are the greatest secret' or "أنت أعظم سر" (he's the coolest NLP practitioner in Oman), and I should read it and find out about this woman. Does anyone know anything about her?

(3) Where do you see yourself in five years?

PS (I took this photo on the way to Mughsayl on a misty morning not long ago)


  1. Isn’t she interesting.
    She isn’t there all the time though. There are periods when she isn’t around. I think she has another business and decides which one will offer the best financial return (as all self employed people do).
    Though she doesn’t sit outside the main office her umbrella from Bank Muscat might give a clue . Perhaps she knows somebody who works there?
    My goodness – it’s like a little mystery novel; you should ask her.

  2. I've decided to find the book and read what he wrote about her. If it's interesting, I'll translate it into English and post it on Dhofari Gucci. She's one of Salalah's landmarks.

  3. Nadia - Perhaps when she's not there, she's making her sweets :)

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  5. (1) This has nothing to do with traditions and culture. I think it is so righteous to ask this valid question (what would people say?). What’s between him and Allah stays between him and Allah. We’re more concerned with what’s between this guy and his society.

    Secondly, I understand your frustration of the culture and traditions but, again, you have to draw a distinctive line between these and bad and intruding habits (gossiping, 7asad and Marilyn Manson makeup). Maybe its time that you stop pointing out the negatives about dhofaries and start a little bit more on the positive side of the story. We really are extraordinary group of ppl aren't we? (Btw You have stood up very well for our cows, isn't time that you do the same for us :) ).

    2) I was passing by her place one day and I saw and awkward seane. some1 was standing next to her and had a smug laugh on his face and she was crying so hard she made me go back and ask her what was wrong. of course she never answered my question and the guy ran away when he saw me coming. allah ykoon fe 3onha.

  6. Dear you with the funny name (fdayooh no1 kmayooh)...

    Maybe you should read the rest of my blog before you judge me. My introduction to the blog (on the right side of the page) states that I love Salalah and I am proud of who we are and how we live (did you read it?)

    Read my post "Who Needs Hogwarts?" ..

    And other ones. I am a human, I have the right to complain sometimes, and most of the time I really do love Salalah. My blog is not a tourism project. It's just daily reflections from a Dhofari girl. Thus, I don't have to spend all my time praising Dhofar; otherwise it would be fake.


  7. FN1K...
    I totally support Nadia in the concept of her blog.

    What we readers (outsiders) like to read is the INSIDER'S story, not a marketing platform. We already know how magical Salalah is MASHALLAH.. What makes this blog special is that it depicts the true Salalah, the ins and outs, something we would not find off a magazine.

    Nadia has in fact stood up for Dhofar and Salalah like no one before, because the last time I came over was some 10 years ago if not 15.. and now I cannot wait for the day I land my feet onto your land, breathe its fresh air, feel it's mist on my skin, inhale droplets of the ocean at Mughsayl and of course appreciate the preserved culture you've managed to sustain for God knows how many centuries. Oh and I long for Mishli so so so much! Nadia, you should write something about this heavenly drink!!


  8. Btw.. you could certainly win in a photography contest with this photo!!!! It's SUPER!

  9. Shahrazad, my soulmate, always on my side!! You defend me here, I defend your soap detergent and MAC dirt! We complete one another. Thanks for your comment. I've added Mishli to my list of topics (I have a list posted on the wall at my desk at work). Anyone who uncovers my identity will be able to find out all the upcoming posts on Dhofar Gucci :)

  10. looooool,,, easy there. I'm not questioning Nadia's love for Salalah and its cows. All I'm saying is that we do have other attributes to our personalities as dhofaries which render us reasonable and responsible people. Correct me if I'm wrong but when reading this blog I have came to the conclusion that Dhofari girls are lousy when it comes to makeup, relatives are always obnoxious suspicious self-centred envy-freaks and we sell our daughters to the highest bidder (Not to mention the evolving witchcraft industry in our neighbourhoods )

    Ana m3ad qa3 m3i :) , I'm not asking you to rectify a distorted image of what we are, in fact I'm begging you to write (alongside the bad stuff) the good stuff that we as dhofaries share.

    I might be exaggerating in my response but plz do understand that it’s only a point of view could be right could be wrong and it for you to judge.

  11. Ok, Dude, so give me a list of positive things I can write about. I always appreciate ideas from my readers :)

  12. Ok, dudeah,:

    1) The entrepreneurial nature of Salalah people (The fact that most of them run a business as a first or second source of income).

    2) Generosity and Hospitality

    3) Their bravery (stories of Salalah heroes e.g. aa7ood  )

    4) Tribal social security systems like Family funding schemes (where families raise funds monthly from its members. these are to be used later on to cover the costs of unforeseen events that might affect one or more members of the family).

    5) Personal hygiene and trendy look.

    6) Handsomeness (yes we are especially the guys  )

    I could go on forever but, beware; I’m not inducing you to write all pinky and fluffy. The moon has a dark side as well.

    Btw, FACT, you’re blessed with the gift of humour and I love the way you write your posts (I’m your biggest FAN)

  13. Fdayooh No1 Kmayooh ... Ok, so I just had a weird thought. Were you BY ANY CHANCE in the UK in 2003/2004? And you lived in a building where you used to do Sheesha on the balcony and an old lady called the police because she thought you'd set the building on fire? Did you have a horse as a child? Did the horse die? Did you call yourseld Falcons of California? Answer me, dammit.

  14. 1. Mr. Ahmed Ali wrote a fincional short story about Kashat Lady. Yes there is a Lady who sells(or sold) Kashat at the location he specified in his book, but the rest of what he wrote is finctional.

  15. 2. "Reading a book twice is better than reading two books." None of either applies to "أنت أعظم سر"