Sunday, March 13, 2011

Update on Protests (8)

(1) Protests continue in Salalah, though not overwhelming. Fellow blogger here summarizes it nicely for the newspaper.
(2) Protests at the Women's Association are over.
(3) Protests at Salalah College of Technology are over.
(4) Protests at Dhofar University continue.
(5) The general anti-government protests in the People's Square in Salalah continue but there are only a few hundred people during the day and maybe a couple of thousand in the evening. Organizers are trying to remind the crowds of the original demands. Other groups have joined the protests and are preaching a new constitution.
(6) Religious groups are trying to make their voice heard also. I think some people are hoping to turn Oman into an Islamic state, starting with the segregation of boys and girls in elementary school.
(7) On Wednesday the new ministers took oath. Many people aren't happy with the new faces either, especially the two Dhofaris (Rasheed Al Haraibi & Al Marhoon - they claim they are not qualified after having been just Shura members). I myself cannot judge because I don't know anything about them.
(8) The latest demand that has everyone on fire is the need for a public investigation concerning the corrupt former ministers/advisors, namely Maqbool, Makki & Ali Majid. Some claim Ali Majid's fortune (sitting in bank accounts all over Europe) exceeded 35 million/billion? Who knows. Anyway, the 'people' at the protests want all that money back.
(9) Gulf states offer $20 billion to help Oman and Bahrain get through this crisis. The protesters believe the money should be taken from the former ministers. Is Oman going to accept the help?
(10) Protesters and supporters want to bring down the Minister of Information. I'm thinking the whole ministry of information should be brought down. You can't blame the crappy media situation in Oman on one man.
(10) Sultan issues 3 royal decrees this morning. One announces up to 50% Salary increase for retired civil servants (50% for lower salaries under 200 Rials I think. The higher the salary, the lower your raise. Retired civil servants with over 1000 Rials salary get a 5% increase). Other decree included a 100% salary increase for all families on welfare. Now THAT is good to hear.
(11) Please pray for Japan. We have so much to be thankful for.
PS (I will not publish any derogatory comments, so you can give up the argument about getting rid of expats. You're clogging up my inbox)

PS 2 (got my first visitor from Tel Aviv today! Woohoo! )


  1. Dear Nadia,
    We surely pray for Japan. Thanks for the update. Please keep up the good work.

  2. If the increase in per capita impact of the protests were assumed at about RO 100 per person per month, this would be 1200 OMR per person per year for approx 1 million persons which is 1.2 Bn RO which is 10% of GDP, Quite a price one must say, considering that starting at the lowest to the highest any increase will always have cascading effects. Not to forget that the costs of doing business will increase (contracts will now be more expensive). Further if the rating agencies were to think this impact is substantial and downgrade the rating, there will be further costs. So its important to be careful what one wishes for

  3. "Many people aren't happy with the new faces either, especially the two Dhofaris (Rasheed Al Haraibi & Al Marhoon - claim they are not qualified - just former Shura members)"
    May not need to judge people before they have done something?


  4. where is Haraibiii?

    His name is not in here

  5. Hi Nadia,

    Is HE Omar AlMarhoon the nephew of Late Hassan Saeed Almarhoon, Ex Director General Ministry of Electricity and Water, Dhofar ?

  6. sorry not omar bin khalid but khalid bin omar almarhoon?

    is he the nephew of ex-DG Ministry of electricity Dhofar, late Hassan Saeed Al Marhoon?

  7. more idiots on strike at crowne plaza hotel in qurum, blocking the entrance. hasn't anyone here heard of strike-breaking to end this bullshit?

  8. Again and again I hear derogatory comments from Omanis about expats of all nationalities. Guys, I'm sorry but your country wouldn't exist without the work that these people contribute. Your own collective work ethic is sometimes pretty questionable. And if your country was really put on the world stage, without the buffer of all those very qualified and/or hardworking expats (especially the Indian and Pakistani and those from the rest of the Middle East), I think you'd find yourselves to be (one of) the laughing-stock(s) of the Gulf (along with all the other Gulf countries).

  9. I agree with Anonymous "again and again". The housemaids in my mother in laws house have been making her look like a good mother and wife for years, but I also know, without a doubt in my mind, that there are qualified Omanis out there that have been "overlooked" for positions just because they are Omani. I think we need to stop seeing some expats as less-than-human and other expats as the only ones in the world that can do certain jobs. What happened to actually testing a persons skill and knowledge BEFORE you call them qualified? Oman Air is full of expats that do wonderful at their jobs and others that should be replaced by Omanis that have worked hard, for years of experience, and trained even harder, and are more than capable of doing those jobs. The good news is that things are changing. Let's hope we don't goof up and ask for more than we deserve and end up destroying the economy.