Saturday, 12 October 2013


There's been quite an uproar lately, around issues involving expatriates.
An emarati journalist, who is a Twitter superstar, made news for a proposal to give citizenship to expats.
And also it's stirring laugh, the initiative to make a gender test to foreign workers before issuing a visa for them, in order to avoid transgender or lesbians and gays entries in Gulf countries.

I would rather be sure, if I was in government representatives, that expatriates, were dealt with as human beings first.
I was quite naive to go to the Sultanate of Oman without too many precautions, thinking that at least a Muslim would be safe in a Muslim country.
Nothing of that sort.
Muslims are perhaps the ones to guard from, in an Arab country.
I did quite a lot of mistakes, but I think I was treated really unfairly.
The lady I was willing to make some business with, in the end tried to kick me out because we didn't reach an agreement.
She wanted revenge, so she did not tell me either, in those times a resignation letter should have been accompained by a no objection one.
She came to my house and made me sign.
Few days later she sent a guy with another letter saying I had to leave the country.
Had I not met some locals trying to help me legally, I would have been kicked out of Oman, and lost the money I entirely put, in order to raise a society.
And I did loose much more money than few thousands.
A Jordanian guy who pretended to help me, in the end just asked for money, without giving back.
Meanwhile my visa expired and I had no other way than accepting a deal allowing me to leave the country on the premise that I would not re-enter before three years.
Now that I was thinking that the blacklist period had expired, my friends over there found out that it is a lifetime ban, just for the very fact that I accepted the deal.
I was never told such a thing.
Neither the ministry of labour people nor the royal police, ever told me and my embassy representatives, that the deal would be like that.
The court was fair in issuing an order saying that the jordanian guy, who was already on the run, should give me back the money, but for the rest, I was dealt with like rubbish.
This is not acceptable.
I will search for justice in international courts.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Why Washington is always missing the point on the Middle East

Because they rely on wrong informations .
I was reading this article by Marc Lynch, trying to analyse why the Arab springs have not taken place yet, not in full swing at least, in the countries of the Gulf .
The reasoning evolves around the issue of absolute monarchies .
It goes completely off track .
I am sure, as I read on his biography, that he is a great academic, but I assume he has no experience on the ground .

First of all, we can't forget the role played by Western powers prior and during the springs, and so we need to consider the different type of relation, each European country and America had with the rulers and governments of Maghreb .
Different relations mean different impacts on their economies as well, other than the political level .
The monarchies of the Gulf have always been more independent in their alliances with the West .

Then there are different traditions and culture .
The tribal environment in the Gulf is pretty different than that of Northern Africa .
This turns also into different approaches toward life, which is one of the reasons why, there have been light revolts which up to now brought no real revolution .
The rulers in the Gulf area deeply know his people and always worked for them .
Never took away from them the wealth coming from the oil, and never gave it to them just as money .
But they always gave them the best in terms of services, such as schools, hospitals and benefits .
Contrary to what was happening in Africa, they did their best to empower their people .
This is something probably unknown here, due to negative reports from the press, but it is the reality .
And the religion as well, despite differences in sects, unites people with their rulers .

Monarchs in the Gulf never gave up on their relationships with the people .
They always worked for them but of course made mistakes .
This is why in any kind of rebellion from Oman to Bahrain, the rage of the people was mostly against corruption of the middle men without holding rulers responsible .
There is a small number of persons who think otherwise, but for now they are a minority .

This is the point that few in the rooms of power in the West, cannot understand .

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Extremists at home

I don't know whether this report on Saudi mufti statement, is true or not .
Saying that extremists must be kept out of Mosques, it is very strong .
But definitely sheikh al Sudais praising security forces, is an important step .

Often non Muslims ask why our muftis and imams do not excommunicate extremists .
And it is difficult to let them understand that we do not create or modify rulings just like that .
There has always been strong condemnation against terrorism, but of course it was not highlighted by Western press .

There were always speculations on the reason why bin laden, never brought attacks on Arab lands, and many thought this happened cause he had been given money from local rulers .
In my humble opinion, he was just smart enough to understand, that bringing blood on Muslim soil, that would have turned people against him .
Touching with their own hands, the cruelty of his jihad, would have surely kept them away from him .

Egoistically speaking, it is good if they have a taste of the sufferance and discomfort that extremism has on our lives, same as it happens here in the West .
That should push our brothers and sisters in Muslim lands, to speak and act in more an effective way against those who hijack Islam.


It is difficult to understand from this report how exactly education in Oman really influences the ratio of divorce .
It needs to be remembered that nowadays both men and women, are not only educated, but also travel abroad more easily, so there is a chance for both genders to be educated and more aware of modern life problems . And that explains also why they choose to have less children .
It is very possible that women with bachelors and masters, get married with men of their kind, and also later than they used to do, so they are definitely more experienced .
It needs to be seen also, on which range of tribes, the study was conducted and if in Muscat, or rural areas .
If mainly on those being reluctant to accept divorce, than the numbers can be low .
Still there is a significant part of men anyway, who decide to go for second wife, out of boredom or to show off, and their first wives do not oppose any kind of reaction, at least apparently .
There are many situations which up to now are kept in silence, because private life is sacred for Arabs and Muslims, and not all of them are pleasant .
But thanks God, education is indeed helping .

Not banned

Life in Kuwait: Augmentin Antibotics banned in UAE: I wonder if this is the same one they give out here. Every time I take my kids to the clinic they give Augmentin like it's going out of styl...

I was checking on the news if any of this batch is also here in Europe .
And apparently is just in the UAE .
What surprised me most, til a certain extent, since I should have learned by now some crazy Gulf habits, is the titles in newspapers .
Nowadays not many are so patient and educated to read the full article, so just by the title one may think that the whole brand has a problem .
In reality the Minister already ordered to supply other batches .
Not sure how many got the message correctly .

Monday, 27 August 2012


Perhaps this incident will force Aramco to review its IT and computer systems policies, especially policies that allow multiple users access to both unclassified and classified information at the same time. Aramco should also reconsider the policy which allows expatriate employees to run information systems and then divulge such information following their exit from the country. 

In my opinion, such policies expose our companies’ systems to hackers.Muhammad Mashat Al-Madinah newspaper translated on Saudigazette

There is an interesting shadow of thought in the concept expressed by the columnist .
And it is in the fact that he considers foreigners as the only medium through which a crime can be perpetrated .
Having learned today that a terror plot was uncovered, the theory of the bad expats, is slightly untrue .

There is some ignorance in this way of thinking and also the inability to analyse facts .
But with time and education some flaws will be cured .

Friday, 24 August 2012

Allowed to go home

Talking to ‘Private News Channel’, the deportees said they remained in the custody of Muscat police for one month, adding they paid Rs30,000 to Rs40,000 to agents for reaching Oman.

‘We wanted to go Oman illegally through agents’, the deportees said.

Earlier, around 500 Pakistanis deported from Oman arrived at Ghass Bander Kemari after they were allowed to enter Pakistan on the directives of Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Ghauri.

FIA investigated them and custom officials scrutinized the documents of the deportees at the Ghass Bander and later they were allowed to go home.
Deportees allowed to go home

Unfortunately this is quite an ordinary story of misery and exploitation .
Hundreds monthly arrive to the Gulf coasts from Asian countries, hoping for a job allowing them to send money home for their families .
And there's a huge market behind this .
There are local agents who organize the whole thing, expatriates in the Arab country of destination, and of course locals, who help to provide either the visa later, or at least accomodation, that is one room for ten or fifteen people .
This happens also in every country of the world .

What is strange though, is the second part of the story, which is the way they were dealt with, to go back home .
There are different versions online on the episode, but I think we can assess they were all put on that boat called al Basit (oddly enough, it is one of the 99 names of Allah and it means the reliever) and sent back home, piled up like animals .
Now if it's correct, when it is stated that no one at the port of arrival knew about them, then the biggest responsibility of what happened, goes to Oman authorities .
My guess is they did not even alert the embassy on the issue .
Or the embassy may have just ignored and told them to provide by themselves .
But we are speaking about 500 Pakistanis, not just a bunch .
So I tend to believe the guilt is on Oman side .
In either cases, those people were one more time victims of injustice .
No one will go on barricades for them, as they are not pussy riots .
But it would be fair to investigate and punish those who did this .
In 2012 we cannot treat desperate people that way .
We must respect human dignity .