Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Points of Contrast

So far today has been a good day - a combination of walking a measly 5k along Qurum beach front and then drowning myself in coffee - both of which are apparently normal Winter activities for Home Executives such as myself (yes, I'm still waiting for my supposed work visa AND subsequently looking at other jobs as a plan B) here in Muscat. There is something to be said for 25 degree celsius weather in winter.

But I gotta admit that my heart is a little heavy today. Sipping on my extra large peppermint tea and munching on my Banana Nut granola bar (yum) gets me thinking about how great my life is and how blessed we are to be 'here'(both geographically and emotionally). In our corner of the world there has been 2 significant things occur of late - Monday's decapitation-style execution in Saudi Arabia...and news in the UAE of Sheik Issa being found 'not guilty' of torture (amongst other horrible things) whilst under the influence of drugs, though somehow avoiding arrest for all crimes including the latter!

This region truly is a place of contrast - the good, the bad and the ugly. And whilst there is much good going on, its unfortunate that today I'm focusing on the ugly...but it is what is current and on my heart right now.

On one hand a person *insert brother of the current UAE ruler* gets off scott free for the likes of torture and supposedly one of the most progressive and liberal countries in the Middle East. Then just a hop, skip and a jump away their neighbour is carrying out 'justice' in Chop Chop Square. I'm gob smacked.

I have said it before but people in Australia often complain about Perth being small...about it lacking the lights, camera, action and all that jazz. But it has its own appeal - the beaches, the laid back lifestyle, the people and its safety (other than Northbridge at night) and yes - it is the most isolated city in the world BUT it is charming and a great place to raise a family, while enjoying nature at its best.

Oman is a lot like Perth, which is why I refer to it as the Perth of the GCC. It is picturesque in parts, it is laid back 99% of the time (100% when it comes to my work visa) and it is a great place to raise a family. Noone is threatened by Oman and Oman isn't threatened by anyone else, we tend to mind our business and are safe here, also steering clear of the results of 'little man syndrome' which is apparent in Dubai with the million skyscrapers and always having to build the next world's biggest thing.

We are lucky where we are right now and today I totally get that and I'm thankful. I walked 5k along a beach front, soaked up the sun and didn't have to wear an abaya. I was accepted in my 'tomboy attire' of cargo shorts, t-shirt, hat and runners. I was able to drive myself there and pay for my own coffee, able to chat openly with a friend about life and gossip, fortunate to make it home irrespective of the hundreds of terrible drivers in traffic, and I will thankfully be lucky enough to enjoy a glass of wine tonight and sigh because my life is good.

I love Oman! Thank God Duma took a job here in Oman and not in the UAE or Saudi.


  1. No wine for you!

    No booze for January, remember?! :)

  2. Ha ha I was figuratively speaking but alas, I fell of ze wagon :(
    Perhaps peanut butter and vino are my kryptonite?

  3. Oh and you just sounded like Seinfeld's soup nazi..."No soup *insert wine* for you!" ;)

  4. Hi, my name is Pamela - great blog! I'm a perth girl too, who has been to Oman and has loads of Omani friends.
    I often compare Muscat to being the "Perth" of the Gulf too!
    And as for Sheikh Issa.. it's so frustrating! Not least because they smugly point to the farce of a "trial" as proof that UAE has a equal justice system, and treats royalty equally! *laughs loudly* Having also been to UAE several times, and with lots of friends there, especially Abu Dhabi.. without going into details, friends of mine have family connection to the AD sheikhs.. one of whom assaulted our friend.. and everyone was forced to keep quiet and not offend the guy! it's maddening!!