Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oman Forum

Some of you may recall that during September the cool founder of started up a forum for 'Blogs By Omanis & Expats in Oman'. It meant that whenever bloggers published a post in their own blogs, the post would automatically be published in the forum as a new thread. Several bloggers added their blogs to this forum including myself, Reality in Oman, and others. The advantages were that the bloggers were getting more exposure and more readers. Disadvantages were that readers commented directly under the post in the forum (so at times the blogger had no idea when people were commenting).
However, the worst downfall is that many OmanForum readers used their anonymity to criticize endlessly and to be quite rude at times. They didn't quite understand the concept of 'blogs' and didn't see the 'blogger' as a person; merely were pissed off because some of the posts were personal and not entertaining. One guy commented on my previous 'Mixed Post' by saying "Who cares what you do before you sleep? Your writing is empty". Umm... my dear sir, I am not writing to entertain YOU. This is MY blog, MY space, MY daily journal, and I can DAMN WELL write what I want, thank you very much! I think blogs and forums should be completely independent of one another and kept far away from each other because both have completely different audiences. I found the OmanForum audiences to be rude, rather empty, and not as intelligent and respectful as blog readers. I love my readers and I take time out everyday to check out their blogs and read what they have to say. It's a give and take relationship. We encourage one another to write, and our writing is most certainly not empty.
This morning I sent an email to the founder of OmanForum asking him to remove my blog from the forum. He wrote back immediately, bless his heart, and informed me that he had removed the entire forum completely. It was obviously misunderstood and not the success he had hoped for.
Anyway, is a great place for discussions, even if some of the members are losers. But for serious, deep writing and contemplation, let's stick to blogs and limit your readers to the intelligent type. Cheers. Going to make myself some coffee ...
PS (an Oman Forum reader would easily reply to this post by saying 'No one wants to know whether you're going to make yourself coffee!!'. .. Haha!!)


  1. Morning,
    I'm a member of OF... and I just wanna say that yes there are ppl who leave rude msgs...

    But I have enjoyed reading them, and find them full of useful info and thoughts... :) also saved me opening up another tab.. :)

    I would also like to add that you were the very first blogger I have ever read, and through your blogs have become addicted to yours and many others...

    So thanks... Gonna miss you on OF...

  2. I need coffee too.
    I am with the freedom of critcism.. I guess everyone have the right to comment on any open blog.. I don't care about the bad words or the rudeness of some of the readers.. They reflect their way of thinking and understanding..
    So far I havn't add my blog to Omanforum butI'll think of that!!

  3. Ma7feef: Too late! They deleted the forum! The problem is hat OmanForum readers 'don't know the blogger'. They just read the post. They have no idea what the blog is like, its purpose, and they haven't read old posts, so it's difficult for them to understand who you are. It's much better if readers follow your blog regularly and know your style and appreciate it.

    People who read my blog actually do so because they actually 'want to'. No one is forcing them to read it. Whereas at Oman Forum, the readers think they own it and that I'm not entertaining them enough. It's a completely different environment.

  4. ah, no wonder I couldn't find that section this morning. Well, I must say, I don't mind it either way. Though the extra readers were most welcomed.

    But, it is true what you say. I do find that bloggers are better at giving comments.

  5. That's why I no more want to write in Arabic, or for Arabs. Many of them have heads of a mixture of dogmatism and ignorance. Needless to say that Arabic writing focuses more on the appearance rather than the content, and I tend to write directly avoiding the so many useless language decorations as my aim of writing on forurms is DELIEVER messages or idea, not proving myself in literature. They find my writings odd, I believe.

    Kind regards.

  6. Non-Crowned Princess,

    I agree, Arabs focus on the poetic side of the language, and rarely on being straight forward.

    Even when it is a formal letter to some manager. It really sounds like you are begging for a favor even if it is something general.

  7. This is why Omani media/newspapers are terrible! It's the formal 'style' of writing that discourages people from reading. Too much show, not enough content.

  8. So thats what happened to the forum!
    Sorry to hear that you kept getting those rude comments and maybe the decision to remove that forum is for the best.

    I totally agree that your blog is where you let it out, and if someone does not like read then DONT

    I love your blog Nadia and dont stop doing what you do :)

  9. Nadia,
    You are doing a great job and giving me an insight to life in Salalah and a perspective on Omani culture/thinking that I might otherwise miss. I agree that posts in isolation can easily generate rude or insensitive remarks, so whilst OF's idea was well intentioned I will not mourn it's demise. A Blog is a very personal thing, be it for friends and family or the public in general, so disparaging comments can easily hurt or cause offence.
    You can't please all of the people, all of the time. But as long as your writing pleases me, I will continue to read.

  10. Hi Nadia,

    I know we enjoying reading one another's blogs, but I am a member of OF too. A lot of members are outraged that bloggers (such as yourself) who were kind enough to open themselves up were targeted by aggressive and ignorant people.

    Whilst we make ourselves vulnerable to the cyber-world by sharing our thoughts and feelings, it shouldn't mean we are the first to be bullied.

    Yes, we have to be prepared for people to not align with our comments, but you should be proud that you have opened people's eyes and made them more aware of Dhofar, your culture and your beliefs...whether they liked it or not!

    You go girlfriend :-)

  11. Oh my, I've never even heard of Salalah before. =3

  12. You should write for yourself primarily, then for others. If you write for others first, then you might get exposure, but what's the purpose?

  13. Dear Nadia

    I have visited your blog many times recently, yet this is the first time I dare to comment. I do admit that I find it rich.

    I do not exactly know what happenend there in OF as I am not a fan myself and may be It is not my cup of tea as they say in france.

    I do agree that people might misunderstand sometimes. I wish you the best and I do agree that blogs are more convenient. People who want to read what you are writing, would visit and probably comment.

    Please, allow me to disagree with Non-Crowned Princes. She said: "... Needless to say that Arabic writing focuses more on the appearance rather than the content", well you could be somewhat right about that, but let's not generalise.

    She also said: "...avoiding the so many useless language decorations..." I do not agree with that. Arabic is the richest languages ever. The decorations you mentioned represent the real classic arabic. It's us who ignored its value. In our daily dialoge, we tend to mix vocabularies from different languages. I guess it's the globalisation and we are starting to lose our identity. Howevere, I would suggest that you take it easy and do not jump into conclusions, and start accusing the literature instead of individuals. Whoever can decorate his languages and help enriching the literature, salute.. Those who go straight to the point with minimum effort, it's thier choice.

    I apologise for giving myself the right to comment on such a private blog, but it's the freedom that we all ask for.

    To Nadia and all, please accept my sincere regards...

    I think I need coffee too..


  14. Another lovely to read post by you.

    Unfortunately there are many people that will misunderstand the meaning of blogs and also what the writer is trying to say but I don't think it's any of their concern of what the writer chooses to write about.

    I think the OmanForum idea was great, it's so sad how a couple of people had to ruin it for everyone to the point that it get canceled =\

    "It's a give and take relationship. We encourage one another to write, and our writing is most certainly not empty."

    You know I see that that's very true!

    Kudos to you Nadia ^^

  15. Hello, الطير المهاجر . At the beginning I found that out myself and I wasn't sure about it, but when I became a Uni student I had to read much and analyse Arabic texts in a very deep way that you wouldn't think of (as I'm doing in a course I'm taking at the moment). This experience supports my opinion that Arabs' focus is on the outside of their writings.

    Even in academic texts, many Arabs do not tend to be direct in writing them. Have a look at one of the books of A7mad Amiin. I wouldn't talk much about him here, but I'll just say that he uses so many metaphoric images in his academic writings. Metaphor? Is this supposed to mean "symbols" that have to be decoded? And why do we need "symbols" in academic texts?!!

    In this sort of writing, we have to focus on delivering the ideas only. We know that Arabic has a rich heritage in vocabulary (as the use of dichotomies show), but this does not mean that we're "excused" when being very indirect in writing that has to be direct as much as possible. Every kind of texts has its own "requirements" and we can't say, "well, this is the nature of our language."

    Speaking about forums, the desire of being the best at decorating the language makes it just difficult to communicate. When I see a debate thread out there, I find it a bunch of scattered stanzas rather than a debate. The fact that I believe that I will waste my time if I wanted to compose my opinion in a poem-like paragraphs, so I just choose to go out of there and forget about it. Believe me, the more we try to be direct, the more we save our time and effort and understand each other.. yes, understand each other! If there were any peoples that need to understand each other, that would be Arabs, especially in this era.

    I also found something very annoying in some Arabic news reports. They repeat the same idea over and over, until the report reachs a report length. No content!

    Hmm, you shouldn't think I hate my mother tongue. How could I hate it? :] And to be honest, I also did a comparison between Arab forums and English forums, and Eng. forums got some negative points from me.

  16. Wow, did I talk much? =p

  17. I really don't like Oman forum. Nadia don't care about what they said you know you're awsome ^^

  18. I could use some help with the feedback thing :)

  19. Dear All,

    Thanks so much for your positive feedback; it means a lot to me. I'm happy that the forum was shut. I still have my loyal readers (and I will remain loyal to their blogs too). Non-Crowned Princess & الطير المهاجر: loved your debate. Keep arguing as long as you want. My space is your space. I tend to agree more with the Non-Crowned Princess.

    STING: You're alive!!

  20. Dear Nadia,

    I am a recent follower of your blog.I really enjoy reading your blog.And you write on such a variety of topics.Please do keep writing.Do not let anyone bother you.I find it so difficult to understand why can't people express themselves politely and at least try to be sensitive towards others?Forums,blogs and such activities on the web is not a one man show.There's different opinions and thoughts.One doesn't necessarily have to agree with the other's views.And most importantly, no one is being forced to read anything.You choose to read what you want to.
    I could go and on about this....people (rolling eyes )
    ;) Keep writing

  21. Hello,
    i like the way you blog
    am really happy to see a girl from the south who blogs too! the only different between me and you is that am dhofariya who lives in mct.. and oh i express my feelings my art more than words..

    I think since you are a blogger you should accept any comments thats why they created a delete button is there :p

    trust me you cant stop rude people who have nothing to do in life but say the stupidest things.. they feel happy to make ppl feel bad -_- so dont give them this chance!

    think more about the ppl who follow ur blog and loves reading your posts
    others doesnt matter

    there is good and bad in this world and we cant stop it

    wish u all thr best keep on posting
    btw that was just a stupid question in my mind.. from where you got ur great English?

  22. Good for you girl!!! It is YOUR space and its YOUR rules. I just can't understand some people who feel a need to *dictate* what others write in their own space. They don't like it, then they better leave! ;) sf

  23. Nishza, Toxic and SF, thanks so much for your positive comments! Very very very much appreciated by your truly.

    Toxic Honey, I spent four years studying abroad, so I picked up the English. You paint? I do too! Dhofarias Rock.

  24. So what's new? Unfortunately many Omanis are haters and if every time someone tries to knock you down you take a fall you won't get much done (again why many Omanis don't do much!). They're either nasty or they're neutral; few will actually ever say anything nice to your face. So do what I do: let them have their say, it's their civil right after all, and in return you exercise the right to be in complete oblivion to their crap! And life goes on...

  25. REALLY! u should show us some!

    yes we ROCK!

  26. Wow Diva! But isn't that a little too much? lol.

    You're lucky Nadia for having the chance to study abroad! I want to go to Australia next semester with some friends and hope dad and mum let me go. It's only for the sake of my English :]

    Toxic_Honey, nice to meet you in e-Salalah, lol. And I also paint by the way. OMG we really rock =p!

  27. I can see that you all guys ROCK !!

    Thanks Nadia for the space.

    Non-Crowned Princess, I do understand where you are getting. Howeverm I wouldn't generalise. You could be right that the language in arabic may take over the content at times. This could represent an attribute or a special feathure of the arabic language.

    The bottom line is that it all about viewpoints and I do respect yours. I am sure you do not hate.

    take care everybody..ROCK...


  28. Sorry it didnt work out for you at OF with regards to the auto-posting feature.

    It was a nice idea by Neo but unfortunately it didnt work out.


    I love your blog, and I hope the coffee was good!

  29. الطير المهاجر ، you freaked me out by that actually! I wasn't generelizing at all! The dogmatic mentality does generalize much by the way! And I wasn't talking about the Arabic language itself. حاشاي to do that!!! Have a look again at what I've written and you'll see that I was talking about Arabic writing and Arabic writeres, not Arabic. Well I'm studying linguistics and it's not logical, for a linguist, to give comments on a language in the way you think I'm doing. Oh dear, and I'm a native speaker of Arabic, so how would I talk about my language in that way? If that was what I meant then it should be that I think Arabic is useless and can't cope with this era's requirements. That's not true; the problem is in Arabic writers.

    By the way, Arabs don't care much about Arabic writing: you wouldn't find many books or whatever on the strategies of Arabic writings. This, of course, can be one of the reasons why we don't apply the rules of the different types of texts in Arabic writing.

    Kind regards.

  30. Dear Non-Crowned Princess,
    I think you misunderstood me. when I said generalising, I meant you generalise arabic written. Sorry, I was not accusing your arabism, if I may say. My point was not arabic writers are trying to show their muscles.

    Many do, I do understand why !! they want to present their ability in discribing thier viewpoint taking the advantage of the language being so rich.

    In addition, it's not them, It's us who are poor in understanding the real classic arabic if you know what I saying.

    Take some example, The quran itself, old arabic history books, Ibn katheer, Riyadh a'saleheen and Ibn Khaldoon. To us they may seem boring coz we do not fully comprehend what they are trying to tell us.

    During the ancient time, arabic was almost the only language that those people knew. Now our tiny memories are full of other vocabularies and we speak in different tongues on daily basis.

    Anyway, I got your point and I hope you got mine.

    wish u a pleasant eve.

  31. Well I don't find Ibn Katheer for example using the same way of writing Ahmad Amin used. I mean, I don't believe the problem is in us readers who don't understand classic Arabic. As I said before, they use metaphors in Academic writings, not difficult of classic words!

    Kind regards.