Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Father of the Tail

I'm beginning to like my competitor. I enjoyed reading her post on Dhofari Thobes. Read it...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marriage vs. Love

I've been wanting to write about the concept of marrying for love or agreeing to an arranged marriage, in Omani society. It's an issue that we, the generation of 20-35 year-olds in Oman struggle with everyday-freakin-day. My fellow blogger Reality wrote an excellent post on this topic, and the responses are excellent too, so I recommend you read her post on Marriage vs. Love.
My favorite hobby these days seems to be aimless driving with a friend chattering in the passenger seat (Yes, you know who you are). We can drive around Salalah for 2-3 hours with absolutely no purpose besides getting something cold to drink. Anyway, yesterday we were discussing this same topic exactly. We were trying to figure out how the hell we (the young women of today), are supposed to know who to marry. When do you 'know' that this is the right person to marry? What determines that feeling? Did we believe in marrying for love (I don't think I believe in that anymore). Is compatability without deep love enough to marry someone? Do you trust your family enough to allow them to choose your partner? Should you marry someone who shares some of the same interests and hope for the best? Should the person have the same sort of background or family? Should you or should you not discuss marriage expectations down to the very last details before getting married? Should you just pray Istikhara and hope for the best?
In a conservative society like Salalah where interaction between males and females is almost non-existent, how do you find a partner? I swear, most of my friends have nightmares about this every night. Worrying about getting married. Worrying about being called into the family living room one day and being informed that they're marrying their cousin or a man from the tribe (always preferrable in Salalah!). Worrying about finding someone suitable but afraid of upsetting their family. Worrying about falling in love and then their families refusing.
Should we get to know someone before deciding to get married? How much should you know before doing that? Are long phone conversations enough? Long chats online? Face-to-face meetings which are virtually impossible in Salalah? Or should you just pray and hope for the best? How important is 'love' when trying to make the big decision? Does 'love' blur your thoughts and mess up your logic? Is marrying someone from your 'tribe' or from a sister tribe really that important? Will our families continue to influence every single detail of us choosing a partner? Will we actually be able to 'choose' a partner?
My driving pal and I 'want' to believe that if a man and woman discover that they are spiritually/religiously compatible and on the same spiritual path that this is enough to get married. But does it always work out? I'd like to believe that.
You know what? I've always heard women's side of the story. I discuss these issues with women. Girls like myself. Bloggers, friends, neighbors, colleagues. Females. We have the same concerns and worry about the same things usually. But I'd really like to know what the guys think. So, dear male readers of Dhofari Gucci, I'd like your opinion on this matter. My female readers are expected to write of course, but this is a special request to my male readers. What are the important issues for you when choosing a girl to marry? What does your family want you to do, and what do you yourself believe in? Calling all men!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Competition On The Horizon

Yes, you heard me. I have a competitor. Not too sure if I'm pleased about it or not (I'm a selfish person), but I'm happy about having another blogger from Dhofar who writes in English. She's only published three posts, but I can tell that her future observations are going to be super-interesting. I may even meet her one day (in my niqab and pink grill glasses to conceal my identity). Please join me in welcoming Rania, author of Sleepless in Salalah!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marriage Contracts

Dear Readers,
I need your input. I've been hearing bits n' pieces in Salalah about the idea of 'marriage contracts' (completely independent of the legal marriage document that is issued by the court). I've heard of women saying they will demand a marriage contract where for example the man will agree never to force his wife to stop working or driving, that he will never touch her income, that he will never divorce her without her consent, that he will never take on a second wife, etc. Do you know anyone who has done this in Oman? Did they do it through a lawyer's office?
PS (kindly note that I am asking out of curiosity. I did NOT say I support contracts before marriage, nor did I say I was against them. And yes I heard of a man from Salalah who requested a contract, and he insisted on swearing against polygamy)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oman's 39th National Day!

Dhofari Gucci is Happy & proud to be Omani today. I'm always proud to be Omani, but this morning I've got flags up in my office, and I sang the national anthem on my way to work and I was even slightly cheerful before my mug of coffee. If some of you are wondering, I'm actually back from Finland. Couldn't stand the thermal you-know-what.
Some may wonder about our two national days. 23rd of July is Renaissance Day when His Majesty overthrew his father in a bloodless coup, and the 18th of November is National Day, which is actually his birthday (Scorpio!) .

Today I am thankful for the following:

- The Peaceful country that I call home

- Islam

- Our beloved Sultan

- The freedom to work, drive, travel, and be who I am.

- The ability to learn something new everyday

- Feeling safe and secure wherever I am in Oman

- My family/ My Tribe

- My friends and neighbors

- All the amazing Omanis I have met through this blog over the past few months.

- I am thankful for the small pleasures that Salalah has to offer like chilled coconuts on the side of the road or the beautiful Indian Ocean and the untouched beaches 1 minute away from my house.

- I am thankful for the banana plantations, the camels, the bedouins, the mountain people, the fishermen, the hyenas, the internet, the roads, the schools, electricity, clean water, my warm bed, my cute black car, my phone, my books, paper, pencils, grass, frankincense, rocks, turbans, abayas, clock towers, honey, tribes, colors, the cheesecake at the Hilton, my blog, and last but not least I am thankful for coffee.

- I am thankful for the Life that I am Living and all that is to come.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Omani Zombies

Please read this article on Omani witchcraft & 'zombies'. Saleh Al Shaibany's choice of words sent me into a fit of hysterical laughter as I imagined the evil Omani zombies working at slave labor camps in Bahla. I read his articles regularly but this one is really amusing. I know a lot of it is believed to be true in Oman, especially in Salalah where voodoo and witchcraft is big. Taqah, the small fishing village outside Salalah, is the witch-town of Dhofar. Dhofaris in general won't visit Al Baleed archaeological site because they believe the place is cursed. Security guards quit regularly because they're terrified of guarding the place at night. Khor Ruri Valley after Taqah is supposedly the meeting place for witches and spirits. Rumor has it that the valley is guarded by a red fox. That, I know, is true because I've seen it several times. Anyway, I'll blog about witchcraft and spirit beliefs in Salalah some other time. Today I'm merely entertaining you with this article. Cheers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'm officially sulking today. I'm not speaking to anyone and I've got a permanent scowl on my face. My friends and I drove to Haffa beach, known as 'The Corniche' last night, parked in front of one of the huge screens broadcasting the Oman-Australia game, switched on the radio to listen to the game, and prayed. It was like a torture session. At one point I had my hands over my ears and my eyes were shut so I wouldn't have to hear what happened after the penalty kick. What torture. Police were scattered all over town ready to handle the chaos on the streets in case Oman won. Sadly, after a series of near-goals and near-firecracker attacks, and damn the kangaroos, Oman lost.
How the heck are we supposed to celebrate National Day on Wednesday when (a) Australia beat Oman IN OMAN last night, and (b) when Oman is playing against Brazil on Tuesday IN OMAN? (is it Tuesday?) ... If Oman loses again, I'm giving up my citizenship and moving to Finland.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Identity Revealed!

Nadia is happy ... just wanted to let you know that over the weekend I revealved the identity of two fellow bloggers (by complete coincidence) and turns out I know them both. Won't tell you who they are. I'm being Nice.
I'm in movie-mode. For those of you living in Salalah, the best place to get movies is Al Masa DVD outlet. They have two branches; one off Al Najah Street opposite Switz Bakery, and the other one on the corner just before phone street (Haramia Street) when you're driving past Dhofar Hotel. They only open after sunset, but they're worth it. They always have the latest movies and series (Arab, Indian, English). On Thursday I watched Seven Pounds (Will Smith). Highly recommended. I also watched Amazing Grace .. anyone seen it? About William Wilberforce who fought to abolish slavery in England. Excellent movie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fear Not for I am Right Here!

Nadia is alive and well. Sitting at her desk after work hours blogging. How nerdy is that? I should be racing to my car like all the other employees in order to be at home and in bed before official office hours end. Work ethic in Oman can be QUITE frustrating sometimes.
(1) This is just a random post with bits and pieces of news I've written down on scraps of paper in my bedroom, bathroom, office, car, etc. We can start with the fact that IHMD dude introduced me to the actual website for our upcoming first shopping mall in Salalah. For those interested, check out Salalah World . It seems we're going to have shops, a cinema, bowling alley, AND A CAFE THAT SERVES REAL COFFEE!!! I'm counting the days. For those who wish to uncover my identity, kindly note that I will change Dhofari Gucci headquarters to the new cafe, and you can just ask a waiter 'Who's the girl who orders more than three cups of coffee per hour?'. I'm ruined.
(2) The flags are up for National Day! Exciting! I love seeing the workers raising the flags on all the poles up and down the highway and major roads. For the past week, the major highway has been under construction as they put up our brand new hideous gold and black street lights that looks like something out of 18th century England.
(3) I was planning on making an official visit to the new Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Salalah, but my friend *soon-to-be-blogger* went on the weekend and was told that women aren't allowed into the men's section. Yes, you heard me right. Women are only allowed into one part of the mosque! Outrageous!!! It was at 10:00 a.m. Visiting time! What the heck is the government thinking? Everyone should be allowed into the mosque when it's not prayer time! Look at the Grand Mosque in Muscat! Expats, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Women, Men, wheelchairs, EVERYONE can go in when it's not prayer time, as long as they're dressed modestly. And my friend, so innocent in her burqa (niqab) and abaya wasn't allowed in. Very annoying.
(4) I went to Lulu Centre yesteday and bought a Freej coloring book and a box of new Steadler coloring pencils. For some reason, I feel like coloring. And why not good old granny Freej? For those of you who don't know Freej, it's the UAE 3D animated series with the old lady in the niqab. Most school notebooks nowdays have her picture on them!
(5) Lots of people I know are preparing for Hajj, the journey of a lifetime. I don't want to say I'm jealous (ehem.. Shahrazad), but I am! I can't wait for the day when I'll be able to go. I hope to go with a husband if and when I ever find one. haha..
(6) Does anyone have any idea how long the National Day holiday will be and when Eid holiday will be and whether they'll be merged into one nine-day holiday like last Eid? I'm craving a holiday. C.R.A.V.I.N.G.
Ok, enough blogging for today. I'm having a super-exhausting month at work and have no time for sleeping and eating, let alone blogging. I'm brainstorming posts on spirituality, life, travel, etc, .. season for deep-thinking. I've been writing in my journal almost everyday. Cheers

Monday, November 2, 2009


No I have not disappeared off the face of earth nor have I been kidnapped and murdered by the individuals who hate my blog and think I'm blogging from room 3 at Ibn Sina mental institution. I've been extremely busy. Too busy. Work-wise. I'm in a 'Pissed-Off-by-Wasta' mood today. I should think up a post on Wasta. For those of you who don't know the magic word, Wasta is getting what you want in life when you don't deserve it by using your social connections and the grapevine. Wasta is big in Oman. HUGE.