Monday, December 21, 2009

Two Bloggers Meet

Dear All,
Yes it happened. Yes I'm alive. Yes Rania is the person I expected her to be and my sources were 100% correct. And YES Rania is cool!
As she mentioned in her post about the meeting, I did sit in my car and wait until she pulled up and then I waited until she got out and spent a few moments observing her. She was standing nervously clutching her bag and trying not to look left and right. I decided to put her out of her misery, so I approached her from behind and shouted 'Boo!'. She jumped. I smiled. Arrogant, my dear readers? Nah.
I could tell she was nervous. I'm not that scary, but I guess after following my blog for so long, she'd created this 'Nadia' personality in her little brain and wasn't able to handle the real person. However, her nervousness didn't last for very long. After about ten minutes (and probably after I'd pulled out a pair of grilled shades for her) she started to relax. We ordered coffee (café lattes from Browniz if you really must know), and drove to the beach.
We parked at the end of Haffa Beach, took our shoes off and settled down in our chairs with our feet buried in the cold sand (it's a nice feeling). I find it easier to talk to people in the dark for some reason. Conversations are more meaningful at night. Does anyone agree with me? We talked for three hours straight about absolutely everything. We do have a lot in common, even though she's not Omani. I guess being married to an Omani and knowing many locals has expanded her 'Dhofari Horizons'. She understands the culture and blends in very well.
We talked about Dhofar in depth. Both of us are Dhofar-lovers. We discussed the fact that many people are now using Dhofari Gucci and Sleepless in Salalah as valid reference material on Dhofar, which is flattering yet scary. I have met so many people who have quoted my blog and even used it as teaching material. It's reached the point where if you google anything about Dhofar or Salalah, inevitably one of our blogs will show up on the first search page. We realized that it's our responsibility to make sure that what we write is good and valid material. We brainstormed so many ideas for our blogs, and listed the issues we want to tackle. As a foreigner married to an Omani, Rania has a unique perspective on life here. Positive and realistic. She's very down to earth and intelligent, and I trust that she will write excellent posts on our crazy little town.
She was off on a camping trip with her husband's family the next day and begged me not to write about our meeting until she got back. To those of you who aren't techie-minded, I actually cancelled comment moderation this week, and so I wasn't moderating all the comments under my last post, as many of you thought. I decided to take a break from the computer this past weekend and enjoy real life. The rain in Salalah was refreshing. Winter arrived this morning. I took one look out my window and knew that today would be the first of many dry windy dusty days.
Rania came back from camping, and told me I could write again (well, thank you!). Overall, our meeting was great, and I predict many more similar encounters. Ask any person who was on Haffa Beach between 6:30 and 9:45 p.m on Tuesday whether they saw anything … odd.
Two girls in abayas wearing grilled shades?
Yours Sincerely,
PS (In her blog, Rania accuses me of insisting on using my car to go to the beach and being bossy. Well, evidently she wasn't focused enough to realize that the beach mat and chairs came out of my car, so yes we had to take my car. Just thought I'd clarify).


  1. Ah, cool...

    I'm glad this matter is finally over. It's nice that you guys had tons of fun.. it's always nice to meet new people who share interest...

  2. As I mentioned in my comment in Nadia's post, I found the pink grilled shades part so interesting...
    Can't wait to know what topics you have in mind for your future blog entiries.

  3. btw Mahfeef lets meet up, you can wear an actual Mahfeef while I will wear a hat like that, time and location will be sent to you via e-mail(btw what is yours) most likely brownies will be where we meet and I will get a pink (oops that's girlish), black hat. Now when we meet we will do a guy thing like watching football and smoking shisha(I don't but will lol)our meeting time will be 10 pm tonight in front of the entrance of browniz cafe ^^
    wow now everyone will be there to see us lol
    On second thought, it would be better not to meet now, sorry Mahfeef.

  4. IHMD
    I don't know what'll Nadia and Rania do in the future, so let us think in a different and creative way to meet or to do something else..!!
    for example lets meet in Dhalkoot! or Hasik!..
    But as you said"it would be better not to meet now" so, you go to Spain and I'll go to South Africa!big big lol

  5. loool.. nice wallah...

    um Nadia can i meet you too?

  6. In fact it's a lovely great moment when someone meets a new character,but i think the time of the meeting wasn't suitable especially for ladies like you both.
    however, i am happy because i did blieve that the beach meeting happened, and i am sad when i do believe in it that it was a real event.
    please dont write such unreal thing about our society.
    cause it is irreasonable for girls to go out as they wish it is a shame.

  7. when we think about as readers we do absolutely believe according to your writings that, our girls are free of whatever they want to do.there extends for everything Nadia you could meet her at her home for instance,you could have written in another way instead of beach also at night you could express your feelings differently i mean because it wasn't an appropriate act for girls to be outside their home at such times.
    respect again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!think of it you will regret

  8. i knew this would happen ;-) !!!


  9. Mr. Anonymous,

    I can't see what you find "shameful" in two ladies meeting at the beach. I think you're living in denial my dear.

    No one has to follow your standards of thinking. And it's WAY too much to ask them for respect. I'm pretty sure they're educated and well raised enough to know what's right and what's wrong...what's appropriate and what isn't.

    Think about it twice before you share your valuable advices...really.

    May Allah guide us all to the right path

  10. YES

    I agree with what FITH said. It seems that there are still a lot of guys who still think “Oh God this is not happening in Salalah”“Oh no this is not real……she is exaggerating”

    it is just like what Faith said (a denial world) “we don’t have gays in Salalah, we don’t have adultery in Salalah…..a girl can’t go outside without a company of a male sibling” “ a decent female should not drive a car” and many other foolish stone-aged ideas.

    Wake up my friend. What is wrong with that? If you are old enough to know what is right and what is wrong, then you are fully responsible for your actions. There is nothing wrong with two ladies meeting somewhere in is this “Utopia Salalah”! you can find girls in Utopia rooming streets all day long shopping and do stuff without being bothered.

    I really don’t want to write more about this here, I just want to say ===> PLEASE, this is a blogger’s point of view. This is the blogger’s actions, thoughts and ideas. What is written here is not a historical, social nor scientific references!! Although a lot of things if not all are real and reliable and are some daily events that are happening right here in Salalah, but at the end these are things that are based totally on the writer’s thoughts as well as readers who add things and provide ideas.

    At the end if you think that Nadia was wrong by meeting her friend at the beach at night, well I think that she only represents herself and not all Dhofari girls, and again please don’t interpret my words in a wrong way, I did not say that she is actually wrong, I just want to say that an individual represent himself and a whole society is not what this individual stands for, unless he or she is elected by the society itself to do the job, and a good example is a Shora Counsel Member that you elect to represent your town and to speak in behalf of you if you know what I’m saying.

    Nothing personal…………………………….PEACE

  11. This is so cute and I have to say I'm very jealous because it seemed like loads of fun!

    I'm glad you guys got the chance to meet and have a chat. You both are wonderful writers and from your posts one can definitely feel that you are wonderful girls!

    Can't wait for what's coming in your blog! MashAllah you're doing a great job. So keep it up!

  12. You Mahfef. you shouldn't wear such traditional clothes because it is a shame for every Jabaleez to encourage such ideas and norms in our city.
    for instance, when anyone write especially girls in wrong ideas.
    please take off that Mahfeef if you want to cary on your irrational ideas.
    you dont deserve wearing it.

  13. Guyz have you notices, that you get a sense of arrogance from Nadia's writings whereas from Rania's a sense of humility.

    I dont know why but I am a regular follower of both the blogs and this is what I have observed.

    No offence to Nadia, but God knows as much as Rania tries to keep it sweet and humble even after reading Nadia's blog, Nadia on the contrary gives a sense of not being courteous enough or may be it's just me!!!

    Like Nadia's reply sayin that Rania was not focussed and mat and chairs came outta her car...dont sound a befittin reply when everythin is goin very light hearted.

    Probably Nadia still needs some time to reach that level where Rania is!!!

  14. Anon: please stop trying to shove your chauvinism down our throats.

    If you find girls going out on their own in salalah after 6 pm and having a chat with other girls on a beach ''shameful'' & want to write about how ''shameful'' that is, then thats perfectly O.K- but don't ask Nadia not to write about the fact that she's a decent girl who's family trusts enough for her to do so.
    And don't ask Mahfif to run around naked.


  15. GOD !!!!


  16. For Anonymous #5
    Wrong ideas are only in your head my friend, there is no problem for such a meeting... please tell me whats wrong with that?
    If you can convince us here, do not hesitate!.
    It is very easy to say words like "wrong" "haram"..etc, but you have to give us proves to show us how wrong we are!
    Or just read like any follower and keep your comments for yourself.

  17. listen to these questions silently and answer them carefully and honestly okay...........
    1-If your siser were instead of one of them would you allow her to go out at night?
    2-If there are no problems do you think it is a common phenomenon in that city?
    be a man and give advice dont just fly like a bird twittering with both sides(good and evil).

  18. lol Mahfeef, that will be great , don't worry about the retarded anonymous #5, he/she is so insignificant that he/she don't even have an id

  19. Mr. Anonymous #5,

    You make me sick!


  20. For the same anonymous:
    1- I have no problem if my sister is going to meet her female friend 20 metres away from my house in Hafa beach at 6:30 to 10:30 pm or in Taqah as long as I am trusting her.
    2- This is normal I know, you know and everyone knows here in Dhofar that girls are meeting each other in Garbaib or Dahareez beach or Hafa beach or wherever they want without any one going with them from their families, i.e girls only!
    There is nothing personal as Anonymous#4 said..

  21. Go easy on them would you?? They lack a lot of freedom that you and I have. I mean girls of course in Dhofar and Oman in general. I'll give you some hints that you can relate to:
    1. You can go playing sports wherever you like……they can't.
    2. If you go to Mugsail, you can play football topless with shorts on only and you feel HIGH somehow from the affect of the breeze and from others, mainly girls watching you, and after that you can go and take a dive in the deep blue Arabian Sea………in the other hand girls can't do that. Do you know that they have some private beaches for women in UAE?
    3. Some married guys meet up with their friends on a daily bases and go for fishing at weekends and during official holidays, while all what their wives get is going to their parents houses and the husband says: Oh yes she will get some fresh air away from home الحمد لله" whereas you will enjoy catching some nice and big groupers (هامور) or snappers (قلاية), if you are a good fisherman of course…no offence.
    4. you can go hang out with your pals and sweep Salalah all around for 10 times and do all macho stuff (yeah Dhofaries are Macho man alike) and, you might also hit on a bunch of girls walking in suoq as long as it is harmless to you, but you'll defiantly feel bad when you know that your sister is among them (just an example OK don't get mad guys).

    MACHMAN…………there is something that you must know:

    ''To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction"

    Go easy on them. I'm not really encouraging girls to go wear a bikini or something or even go playing beach ball in Mugsail, I know that won't happen and I don't want this to happen, unless they have a private place to do so.

    I'll give you an advice. Instead of asking yourself, why should I let my sister to go out with her girls? Why not trust her and give her the courage to be herself so she can hand any situation in future without relaying on you if you are absent? Why do you and in the same time I can say this to myself, why do we think that our women are week and can't make it without us. Why do we always think that our mothers are reliable while our sisters are not? Is it because mothers have more life experience??? How can a girl get this experience in this mad world when we close all doors in front of her?

    I don't mean to go all the way, but we can give them some space.

    There is no harm in two girls have some chet chat as long as it is within our values.


  22. You have alot of mixed feelings, thus you did hesitate to give your real suggestion mate.
    i am writing to just to let you know that as long as we do live in conservative societies which have values let me say totally different culture than westerns we have to stick to our culture unless we are secularists.
    Actually, iam not against the freedom of women but i am against westernized behaviours.
    For instance they are living without values or social principles that connect them and build them on how to behave only they are enjoying their time as they wish without any religious,social or ethical barriers.
    That's why everything is open for them;that's why we are not the same,and that's why iam against their way of life.
    According to women they have freedom there are some ministers and some in high postions in both sectors private and government area also many other close places for their leisure times.
    However, the freedom that you are talking about we cannt allow it because it is no a freedom it is an act of evil.
    This article is for you Mr peace

  23. Dear All,

    Thanks for your wonderful comments, debates, and arguments. You inspire me.

    Pink Grilled Shades are available at Centrepoint for 1.3 Rials.

    As for the debate on whether girls should be allowed out alone or not, I love the way men in Salalah think that we are out-of-control Tasmanian Devil whores who are always in danger of committing a crime or sin, whereas men are the purest more perfect creatures who keep us under control.

    For heaven's sake GET A LIFE and re-think your messed up ideas, Mr.Anonymous. Do you honestly think women can live between four walls and still be human????? Slaves to men?

    Do women in Salalah not work and study and drive all on their own? DO YOU THINK every woman who is left alone in this town is going to commit a sin? What kind of person are you? Maybe you're sick-minded and you think everyone else is like you? I'm telling you, most women are completely respectable and normal people. All we want is to sit in a nice place and chat.

    Why don't you take a drive to Haffa Beach at night? You'll notice that the end of the beach *towards Al Baleed* is ALL WOMEN. women, women women. Old women, young women, WOMEN. Groups of women sitting with their tea and chatting. Their brothers/husbands drop them off and pick them up. It's completely NORMAL.

    Women go on picnics together in Dhofar
    women go shopping together
    Women go to college together
    Women go to work together
    We go to the mosque together
    We go to lectures together
    We go to volunteer events together

    Without men.

    Are you blind? We live in the 21st century. Men don't control the world anymore. Where have you been all these years? Are you an old man?

    When women go out together, do you honestly believe they're doing something bad? Is that what your brain automatically tells you? Perhaps you should go and sit by yourself and think for a bit about what you said to everyone here on the blog.

    When Rania and I went out together, it was completely respectable. We sat near groups of other women and we talked. Then we went home. End of subject. Our families knew exactly where we were and what time we'd be back.

    Perhaps you don't trust the women in your family? Ask yourself why? Do you not trust your sisters? Your wife? Your mother?

    Relax, and always put yourself in the other person's shoes. Imagine if someone controlled your life. Men cannot sit at home for ONE DAY without feeling trapped. Imagine what it's like to be a young woman in Dhofar, living with a man who goes out 10 times a day, has fun with his friends everyday, and then treats his wife like a prisoner.

    To be honest with you, I don't think men are progressing at all in this town. Women on the other hand are developing and becoming stronger and more educated. They will be wonderful wives and mothers Inshallah and will also be able to pursuit their dreams and ambitions.

    Put yourself in a woman's shoes for one minute and think.

    I'm not attacking you here, I'm just stating my opinion and adding to the debate. My other readers may agree with me or not, but you can never expect everyone to agree with you. That's the beauty of open discussions.

    Peace my friend.