Earlier this week during a brief jaunt to Muscat, I picked up some trousseau items for a young friend of mine who will be marrying her first cousin in a few weeks. Naturally the marriage is arranged, as is the case with most marriages at this end of the country.
Most of March for me was spent at a snowy human rights retreat. The experience was so intense and stimulating that I had no time whatsoever to keep up with what was going on in Oman. I usually monitor Twitter, Facebook, local news forums, and all Google alerts concerning Oman and Dhofar in particular. Upon my return to hot and humid Salalah a few days ago, I asked everyone ‘So what’s the news?’ The recurring answer was ‘McDonald’s opened’.
February 25 marked the second anniversary of the eruption of Arab Spring protests in Dhofar, the southern region of Oman. Protests in Muscat, Sohar, and other areas of Oman started earlier, and by the end of the first quarter of 2011 almost every major town in Oman witnessed some form of demonstration or peaceful sit-in.
Recently I was privileged to meet a foreign researcher who was in Salalah to learn the Dhofari mountain language more commonly known as Shahri or Jebbali. Chances are you never knew such a language existed in the south of Oman.
While many of you spent the long weekend gallivanting in Dubai or just chilling on the beach, yours truly pulled an 81-hour marathon to produce the world’s most tedious post-graduate term paper.