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Vol.5 Issue 68IIMay 2014


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Xclusive

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Football fever

A torrent of football excitement will be unleashed during the 2014 Fifa Worl Cup in Brazil – Black & White sneaks back into the past and present with some memories and views

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Bitter Batter

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Water instead of petrol…? Can cars run on water? Just imagine if cars could run on water and how the whole dependence on water would change…well, a petrol bunk in town seems to have put this to the test recently!

Contents

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Your wife is always right!

You may not agree that your wife is always right. But, at least, admit that she is right quite often, or at least... some times.

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Office location: Hatat House A, II Floor, Suite No: 212, Wadi Adai Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: www.blackandwhiteoman.com Editorial: editor@blackandwhiteoman.com Printed M a y at2Oman 0 1 4 Printers

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Black & White

Women need to take issues of the heart seriously

In the world of women, heart attacks seem to be a great leveler; it does not discriminate as it attacks both young and old, the couch potatoes and the fitness freaks and even for those whose heart never even displayed a negative flutter.

Editor-in-chief Managing editor Work editor Editorial Design & production Photography

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Priya Arunkumar Adarsh Madhavan Khadija Al Zadjali Beneek Siraj Haitham Al Balushi


All about X, Y & Z

Desperate for a daily byline By Adarsh Madhavan The only thing that can goad a daily pen pusher on and on is to see his/her byline on print day after day. It is a kind of high. This is the only thing that drives a newshound to somehow get the story and splash it in his newspaper the next day. Nothing gives them a greater adrenaline spurt than seeing their name in the newspaper every day. A big news break and the name of the author on top of that ground-shaking news! Nothing can beat that for a daily reporter. Nothing! But, it can prove to be as addictive as it sounds and then it can get a bit tedious for the newspaper concerned. Because there will come a time when the scribe is only keen on getting his name plastered on the newspaper than really having any breaking news or even making an effort in that direction. Initially, he (swap it with ‘she’ too if you so deem fit; I am only using this for representational purposes) would have swept the market, dug deep, got his fingers dirty, took all the risks, staved off all the threats and got his deserved break with several points headline and his name under it. Brilliant! Then, he quickly follows it with another break, and another…It is a heady ascend where the media arc lights start shining on the scribe and he feels almost invincible. Well, not all, but many of them do. Then suddenly, there is a downward curve; the unexpected descend. Slowly, as the days go by, he is caught in the web of his own narcissistic responsibility to see his name in print, which overwhelms his original desire to get the best story out; to be the first to break the news and to beat the competition. Or in a good sense, really have a heart beating for justice and is ready to do everything possible to those who deserve it, even if it is at great personal risk and

perhaps at the cost of endangering his own life. But, everyday is not a Sunday and when suddenly you find emptiness staring out at you from your computer screen and if the ones who used to pick your call at the second ring suddenly seem disinterested even when you give them several calls, then that is when the perennial byline seeker gets a sudden low. His perpetual high was his name and that too above a splendidly good story, but when he finds himself dried out and done, and having nary a story to his name, he will go for the jugular. He will look for any story which will be enough to fill his daily grind. Not that it brings him the same thrill, but a tingle is better than none. The shift, or rather the fall, from delivering sublime news breaks that send a tremor in the country he resides in will suddenly dip to the ridiculous where a press note, however important, will be picked by him, rehashed and then carry his name. Sometimes, the reporter may not even bother to change the contents of the story. An effort will not even be made to rehash it. He saw the press note first, discovered its import and so there, he owns the piece. That it appears in the competing dailies with the only change being the name on the top of the report hardly reduces its significance for it has achieved its purpose. He has managed to pass through another day with another byline. Tomorrow is another day! One doesn’t know how good reporters get caught in this byline trap. But many do. They somehow slide down the news ladder after a heady ascent and plunge into an abyss. Then they struggle to keep themselves afloat by clutching at the straws of non stories and somehow paddle around in that mediocrity muck trying hard not to sink. It is a thought to ponder for all potential news breakers out there. You have got to understand that it is the story that needs the spotlight, not your name. editor@blackandwhiteoman.com 5

May 2014 Black & White


Mail your views and opinions at editor@blackandwhiteoman.com

Yes, we are ready Omanis are neither lazy, irresponsible or unqualified‌ your story, ‘Job Ready’ (issue 67) has hit it on the nail! For once, we have a piece that depicts us, Omanis, in the right spirit, especially when it comes to the job front. I agree that earlier, there must have been reasons that led to the belief that we are not good or potential workers. But, that is the state of the people of any growing country. Go to any developing country and you will see that their workforce are still green behind their ears. They need to be guided, trained and then given enough experience to take up the responsibility of a job. Everyone learns on the way. No one is born with full knowledge needed to do a job! I think we have been vilified for a long, long time and it is time we came up front and tell the world that we are ready to take up the jobs, the big responsibilities and work as our great leader want us to. Yes, we are ready! Abdullah Al Amri, Al Khuwair

Readers column

Oman on the right path The recently concluded job fair, the Career and Training Opportunities Fair (2014) at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) was indeed an eye opener! I had the chance to visit couple of the earlier fairs and had also gone for the recent one. Yes, the difference is quite stark. From 1000s to 10000! And more importantly, the eagerness is real and 6

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there is a genuine need among the students to get good jobs. In fact, the seriousness is palpable and it is a good feeling and a good sight to witness. The best part is that we understand this is indeed the mood of the market and this is the best foot forward for Oman! T. Simon, Muscat


Feather in the cap Indeed, Etihad’s interest in employing Omanis is just great. It is more than just a compliment, it is a feather in the cap for Omanis, to be wooed and taken for good jobs from a neighbouring airline. Kudos to Omanis and all the best to Etihad! Suleiman Al Kindy, Seeb

They have been around I do not think that this is a new development. There have been plenty of eager and also well qualified Omanis in the job market since the last so many years. The last few years have seen the emergence of this new population of ‘job ready’ Omanis, but unfortunately, either the private sector chose to ignore them, or maybe quietly took them in their midst and kept mum about the development. Either way the loss is for the young and ready Omani population who are as capable as any other qualified expatriate. At least now the media seems to have made an effort to realise the existence of this new generation of job ready Omanis! Salahuddin Akram, Qurum

Leaders also follow A leader does not always lead, he also follows. He also stands and serves. The idea mooted by Dr Anchan (Great leaders…follow) is indeed true. If they do not have this ability, then they cannot call themselves as leaders. Ideas come from everywhere and in a corporate structure, it can come from your juniors too; it can come from those far

below the ladder and it is a leader’s ability to immediately grab it; and also his/her humility to admit that the idea came from other source. Leaders can come in the garb of a lion and also a sheep. That is the idea! Tony Fernandes, Ruwi

In the shadow of ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a child or adult (issue 67) is quite traumatic not just for the affected but those around the patient. I speak from experience because I am still a ‘survivor’ family member of an ADHD patient. For years, we had to undergo the trauma of trying to come into terms that our dearest brother was affected. Even today, we are not completely in terms with this as we can’t bear the daily struggle my brother is undergoing. While the untold personal problems that an ADHD patient has to undergo on a daily basis, a similar set of problems have to be undergone by those around him. The more you care, the more it hurts! Salima Nasruddin, Muscat 7

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Men read 8

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By Tom Clarke

Your wife is ALWAYS right!

With a headline like that, she is going to feel on top of the world. Let her be! If you are not going to agree that your wife is always right, at least, admit that she is right quite often, or at least, well, however begrudgingly, some times. The truth, be it otherwise or not, let us still give the lady a chance. If she says, wash your face before bed, do it, I mean, at least try it out for sometime.

FACE WASH Men, being men, don’t do the soft stuff and I don’t mean they avoid washing altogether, but the modern man may not need this advice, yet, if there are men out there who have not followed their ladies’ route, then go for it, wash your face tonight before you hit the sack. Of course, you will say that she has a reason for washing her face before she sleep as she has to remove the inch-thick make up that makes her face. But, what about you? What if you have an inch-thick layer of dirt to be removed on your face and you let it be? So, go for a pre-bed wash. The truth out there is that this face wash actually rids your manly face of unwanted oil and prevents bacteria from clogging your pores! Try it out, your face will only look better and better!

SHOWER UP If you are capable of indulging in a pre-bed wash, then you are also a prospective candidate for bathing. They say women bathe and men shower. We are not sure of how far this is true. But, let us assume that women are more into the bathing aspects, and if the end result is that they are smelling better than you and have softer skin, and are, in short, cleaner than you. Why? Because of the strong cleansing qualities of water, which opens up pores and cleanses impurities from the exterior of the skin, a woman’s skin is mostly fresh and clean. The showered skin of men is also clean and fresh, but it is just that women’s skin is a lot better thanks to the soaking received after a thorough skin-tingling bath. Go draw a bath and sink and soak and come out clean and fresh as your second half.

CHECK WEIGHT Now, if we say, go check your weight every day, you are going to run. But, if we point out the truth that abdominal weight gain is quite harmful for a man’s health and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer, then you are going to stay put and listen. So, listen and you may not need to emulate your wife’s mania to step on the scale everyday, but if you manage to monitor your weight regularly, it will in turn help to keep your gut in check, doctors say. In fact, there is a theory, which is of course, substantiated by many facts that those who monitor their weight on a regular basis lost quite a lot of weight as opposed to those who checked less often. FIBER INTAKE Another great way of losing weight and lowering cholesterol is by taking a regular intake of fiber. While fiber does have good benefits to women, men also tend to benefit a great deal by infusing fiber in their diet. Fiber providing foods also contain heart-protecting nutrients, it is noted. TALK TIME Now, this is not something your wife might often recommend, but it is something that you might be more predisposed to doing: hanging out with your friends, the more the merrier! And, it is not just hanging about that makes a difference but actually talking to your friends. Apparently, the more you talk and discuss and enjoy talk time with your friends and buddies, it apparently increases your longevity! It has been a proven fact that women, who share with their friends regularly, stay healthier because of it. 9

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Animals

are not for our

By Robert Baldwin

entertainment

Oman watch

The ‘circus’ brings to mind vivid images of amazing acrobats, funny clowns... and exotic animals. But unlike the human entertainers, animals do not choose the circus life; they are kept in captivity and forced to take part in the show. Circuses that use animals are aggressively promoted by the circus industry as safe, fun, wholesome family entertainment. This couldn't be further from the truth. After the circus industry's glitter and glamour has settled, the animals remain involuntary participants in a degrading spectacle, performing not because they want to, but because they are forced to.

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Though more people are beginning to realise the truth about circuses, many continue to attend animal circuses. The captive animals are subjected to cramped, unnatural living conditions; travel for most of the year, often in extreme heat; suffer cruel training methods that use violence, fear, and intimidation; and are exhibited in front of loud crowds under bright lights. Most animals found in circuses are always on the move in their native habitats. In contrast, in the circus wild animals are confined to small spaces. To deprive these creatures their freedom to roam and to engage in other instinctual behaviours is inherently cruel and leads to physical and psychological problems. While the circus show is in progress, the audience may see animals receiving food rewards, praise, and positive feedback. What the circus industry doesn't want anyone to see is what happens behind the scenes, where the object is to initially ‘break’ the animals and then force them throughout their lives to perform unnatural tricks. Circus representatives often claim that animals are only trained to do the types of tricks that they might naturally perform in their native habitat. But common sense dictates that tigers don’t naturally jump through hoops, flaming or not. Elephants, tigers, and other circus animals are wild animals. Whether they were captured in their native lands or bred in captivity, whether or not they appear docile or at ease around humans, they remain wild at heart. Wild animals used in circuses originate from different parts of the globe, and have unique and specific needs for diet, health, vet care, social interaction, stimulation, exercise, living environment, climate, etc. It is impossible for the unique needs of every animal to be met. Worse yet, outright neglect and mistreatment of animals in the circus is rampant throughout the industry. There are reports in the press of various circuses having mistreated its animals, for example by transporting them long distances in hot weather without food or water.

The combination of captive wild animals, chaotic crowds, and the stress of training and constant travel can make some animals dangerous. There are many cases around the world of animals that have killed or injured trainers or even escaped to roam loose amongst the public. Besides compromising public safety, exposure to animals in the circus can also be hazardous to human health. In the circus setting, tuberculosis (TB) is a particularly serious concern. Who is inspecting the conditions that animals have to suffer when they come to Oman? Which vets are in attendance? Who really understands the public safety and health risks that they pose and how to manage these risks effectively? When we go to the circus, what are we teaching our children? Do they learn respect and care, or are they being taught about dominance and exploitation? At a time in history when the next generation needs education about the need for conservation of natural resources and protection of endangered species in the wild, there is no place in the world for animal-circuses. And even circuses with captive breeding programmes are simply ‘green-washing’. No captive circus animals have ever been successfully released into the wild and neither do they do anything to address the real threats endangered animals face in their disappearing habitats. In Oman, the ministry of environment and climate affairs protect large areas of land and sea throughout Oman so that present and future generations of people and wildlife will always have some wilderness left to enjoy. Why, with all this attention on protected areas and conserving wild animals, would circus animal acts in Muscat be permitted? Its sad to see them on show in Oman. I, for one will not be taking my family to any circuses that make its way to Oman. (Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the publication.) Mya y2 021041 4 Ma 1111 Black && White White Black


Off the wall

By Adarsh Madhavan

I have, all my life, been someone else. Forever behind the clouds. Always donning a mask. Masquerader. A caped pretender sans agenda, sans vision. Some people live their dreams, others like me, destroy their own, stumbling on the beaten path, settling for something short of less. They are happy with their slice of mediocrity; splashing themselves in a sea of averages. I plunge deeper. I take on another identity; the spy who never loved himself! Oh yes, I have been there, done that. But, who was I? Who was that man, who have been all this while, confidently smiling back at me? Who has been that man who has been laughing along with you? Slapping your back like I was your mate; your bosom buddy? That wasn’t me. Not me. Even there I was someone else. But, today, I can’t even look in the mirror. Grinning gargoyle! Flesh ripped off, skin peeled, skull face. How can one live a lie this long? How can anyone lie to oneself? I don’t know, but I have. How can I pretend to be someone else? How can I fool myself into believing that I am someone who is caring, compassionate, a friend in need, a benevolent and an understanding man, selfless, blemish free…? Liar. Liar, liar, liar in disguise! Yes, many of us don disguises; pretend to be someone else and try to get ahead in life. Part of life, this petty masquerade! But, all of these clowns, go home, wipe the paint from their face, remove their costume in the confines of their homes and unmask themselves…but not me. Even when I am alone, I pretend. I continue to impersonate that other man I am not; I dupe myself; I feign ignorance. I don’t know why but I can’t move from that false identity’s shadow. I am stuck. I have, by pretending to be someone else all these years,

O

The great pretender

wall he t ff

got stuck with that. I can’t get my self away from that false persona. I am it. Hypocrite. Maybe, in some ways, it is for the better. At least, I have not unveiled the monster that I truly am. At least these great walls of pretense have made me less tolerable with the people that I am with; those that I interact. At least they think I am someone who I make them believe I am. It keeps me from unnecessary trouble. It keeps me out of the lam; it keeps me from being stoned; it keeps me alive. I know if I am unveil my true thoughts; if my foul mouth unleash its verbal diarrhea; if they read the writing on my palms and if my legs start kicking, I would be shot like a rabid street mutt. In other words, it is better that I wear this great affability mask; it is pertinent that I don this wise man’s costume, for no one will suffer a fool that I am. Somehow people believe my silence as a prelude to a storm of brilliance. An explosion of intelligence! Ha! I dread to think what would happen if they stumble on that deadly quiet within me; what if they tumble down that bottomless pit of my incessant confusion, my turbulent heart? Let this silence bask in this golden shine, and let nobody see the glint of a tear and more. I really, really hate this garb, however much I benefit from it. I want to slither free and if for nothing, at least hide in a hole away from everything and everyone, but I can’t. Even the coward cannot be that cowardly! So, let it be. Let me, in this guise of pretense, believe that I am what I am not, for I might not survive otherwise. If I unveil myself in all my ugly reality, few will recover from the shock. Yet, however much I know of my true wild self and how much of madness I can unleash, there is a silent yearning in me to really break free and come out from this iron curtain. Remove all shackles and prise out the nails that have nailed me to the ground and be free, totally free and become me! adarsh@blackandwhiteoman.com

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Yet another feather in the cap for Muscat-based social worker A well known expatriate social worker has received yet another feather in his cap. P. M. Jabir, who was only recently selected for a major award by a mainstream Indian channel, has now been selected by KALA (Kerala Art Lovers Association), a popular association based in Kuwait, for their best social service award in the region, which is instituted in the memory of a well-known departed social activist and artist, R. Ramesh. Jabir, who is the social welfare secretary of the Indian Social Club (ISC), will be honoured with this award in Kuwait on August 15.

Jabir’s name is synonymous with social service, and the beauty of his work, drawn over the last three decades, is that he has extended help not just to the Indian community but to other members of the society too. “My policy is to help anyone whom I can; how can you segregate and reject the hands that reach out to you?” Jabir asks, adding however that the majority of those whom he has assisted were from the Indian diaspora. His 24x7 ‘open door’ approach to those seeking help has certainly taken a toll on his health, but such “pats on his back” are

springboards from which he can leap forward with renewed vigour to help the needy and helpless members of the society, he said.

Shell-Intilaaqah Oman celebrates the graduation of 183

Omani entrepreneurs in Nizwa

Shell-Intilaaqah Oman held the second in a series of scheduled graduation ceremonies for the Omani entrepreneurs who recently completed Intilaaqah’s Entrepreneurial Development Programme (IEDP) in Al Dhakliyah region. Al Dhakliyah region ceremony celebrated the graduation of 183 Omani entrepreneurs and was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwa under the auspices of Sheikh Dr Khalifa Hamed Hilal Al Sadi, governor - Al Dhakliyah region. The event was attended by Shell representatives, including Hashim Al-Hasani, Intilaaqah- executive director Oman, dignitaries from the public and private sector, Intilaaqah’s training partner Modern Gulf Institute (MGi), and aspiring Omani entrepreneurs. In his opening remarks, Hashim AlHasani gave some insight into how Intilaaqah is providing support and development for young entrepreneurs seeking to establish their own business and SMEs seeking to expand. He stated “Intilaaqah’s training assists young entrepreneurs in their journey to becoming successful entrepreneurs. We help entrepreneurs to get the fundamentals right and to understand their personal abilities, the business environment in which they work, the local market and their competition. Our existing partnerships, including the one with Aiyal, a W.J.

Towell SME initiative, will help entrepreneurs such as the ones here today by offering them tangible business opportunities.” Launched on July 8, 2013, the IEDP programme equips entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to run a successful business. Course topics include business management, strategic planning, project management, financial planning, marketing, communications, and human resources. In order to complete the IEDP course, participants are required to submit and present their business plans to Intilaaqah’s panel, and, upon course completion, graduates are connected with ShellIntilaaqah Oman’s strategic business partners, including W.J. Towell, for potential business opportunities. To qualify for the seven week IEDP programme, participants must attend a “Bright Ideas” workshop to further strengthen their knowledge about entrepreneurship. Following this workshop, the most promising entrepreneurs are chosen by Intilaaqah’s panel for the IEDP training. 2045 students came to the Bright Ideas workshops over the past year, and, over the coming months, Intilaaqah will celebrate the graduation of 250 entrepreneurs who completed the IEDP training across regions of Sur, Sohar and Salalah. 13

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Bank Muscat Green Sports to support 15 clubs in 2014 Bank Muscat has decided to support 15 sports clubs / teams across Oman to green their playgrounds this year as part of the Green Sports initiative. The unique CSR programme was launched by the bank in 2012 to lay the foundation at the grassroot level for a sustainable sports infrastructure. As part of the programme, 10 sports clubs were given support to green their playgrounds in 2012. In the second year of the programme, the bank also signed agreements with 10 more beneficiary clubs and teams

for the greening initiative. Following two successful years in which 20 sports clubs were given support to green their playgrounds, the continuing programme will benefit 15 sports clubs and teams this year in strengthening sports infrastructure in general and football in particular. To achieve the goals of the initiative, the bank supports all deserving clubs across the Sultanate to green their playing fields. The unique CSR initiative has yielded encouraging results with seven teams already completing the project. Al Reef Team

in the wilayat of Ibri was the first to receive a green playground developed by the bank, followed by A’dhahar Team in the wilayat of Bidiya, Bilad Seet Team in the wilayat of Bahla, Al Noor team in the wilayat of Musanah, Al Etihad team in the wilayat of Ibra, Al Qadsiya team in the wilayat of Adam and Al Najoum team in the wilayat of Al Khabourah.

Bank Muscat hands over 7th green ground Bank Muscat marked a big celebration under the auspices of Shaikh Saif bin Hilal bin Sultan al Hosni, vice-president of Oman Olympic Committee and president of Oman Athletics Association, to hand over the 7th green playground developed as part of the Green Sports initiative to Al Najoum team in the wilayat of Al Khabourah.

Wordpress

The Zubair Corporation supports the Sindbad Children’s Mobile Library project As part of recent initiatives directed towards the betterment of the community and social welfare, The Zubair Corporation is supporting the Sindbad Children’s Mobile Library, a reading and storytelling drive touring through Oman. The corporation has provided a Mitsubishi Fuso bus to support the project. The Sindbad Mobile Library has been established by Al Roya Press and Publishing to strengthen the habit of reading in Omani children through a journey across the various governorates and wilayats of Oman. This association comes as a part of the corporation’s strategy toward social responsibility in supporting young people. The idea of this project has incorporated 14

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the vision of the corporation in supporting the social welfare of the Omani society. The Corporation has worked towards participating in this national project which aims to develop Omani children’s interest in reading and increase their awareness about the importance of the habit.

Sheikh Khalid Mohammed Al Zubair mentioned during his meeting with Hatem Al Ta’ai, Ceo of Al Roya Press and Publishing and the Sindbad Mobile Library team: “We are pleased to support this dynamic project which strengthens our support towards the community in the Sultanate.”


Vale receives its 50th world largest ore carrier in Oman Vale’s operations in Oman has received its 50th Valemax vessel, the world’s largest iron ore carrier, at its deep water jetty in the Port of Sohar, recording a total shipment of 25 million metric tons of iron ore since commencing its operations in Oman in 2011. Created to integrate the global logistics strategy of the company to generate customised solutions for its clients in Asia and raise the competitiveness of its products, the Valemax is a new

concept category ore carrier with a capacity to transport 400,000 metric tons and has alone been responsible for the delivery of 80 percent of the iron ore shipments to Oman from Brazil. “There is a popular belief

that a large port can sustain a city. Today we can assume that this is happening here in North Al Batinah. At Vale, we are proud to see how only the operations related to our vessels are economically contributing to the region. For every Valemax that calls at the Port, approximately $ 3.3 million is invested in unloading the shipment and preparing the vessel for departure”, said Sergio Espeschit, Vale’s chief executive officer in Oman.

Honda announces the all new 2014 Honda CITY OMASCO, the authorised distributors of Honda cars in Oman announced the launch of the New 2014 model Honda CITY at a media briefing held at Honda’s Wattayah Showroom in Muscat. The all new CITY, which has been developed as a global sedan, encompasses the best of Honda’s technologies to deliver advanced sporty design, best comfort and best fuel efficiency in the category. Compared to the previous Generation CITY which was launched in 2009, the all new 2014 Honda CITY has undergone a complete design change based on a grand concept of an “Advanced Cool Sporty Car” that has a stunning presence with its dynamic stance, outstanding fuel efficiency, comfortable and spacious interiors. It aims to reflect sophistication and vigor while in motion and a striking charisma when stationary. The All New 2014 Honda CITY lineup features three grades with an introduction of a new base grade namely, DX followed by LX and the top of the line EX. All the three grades are powered with a 1.5L i-VTEC Petrol engine

which delivers a maximum power of 118 hp @ 6600 rpm and a maximum torque of 14.8 kg-m @ 4600 rpm. This engine is mated to the new generation CVT transmission. Honda CITY will be available in six exciting range of colours – White Orchid Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Carnelian Red Pearl and newly introduced Golden Brown Metallic. The new CITY comes with three years or 100,000 kms warranty as standard.

Oman Oil company joins Outward Bound Oman team Inspiring young people to explore their full potential through outdoor adventure, Oman Oil Company (OOC) is supporting the 2014 Outward Bound Oman Challenge ‘Tahaddi Oman’ for the second consecutive year. The OOC joined the efforts of Outward Bound Oman team of experts in engaging young people in a number of activities to impart key life skills and lessons. The four-day programme was held in

Oman’s wilderness environment of Al Jabal Al Akhdar with participation of 17 students from four schools in Wilayat Diba. The adventure seekers came together in an outdoor learning and challenging experience to build

confidence and succeed within and beyond the school environment. “The ‘Tahaddi Oman’ initiative is a great opportunity for us to share work and life stories, engage and mentor students towards success in an educational experiential outdoor experience. This is an inspirational trek of self-discovery and construction of knowledge,” said Al Mutasim Al Sariri, head of corporate sustainability department of OOC. 15

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ROHM unveils glittering 2014/15 season The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) has announced its new programme for the 2014/15 season, commencing on September 18. The season features a variety of genres exploring the enchanting worlds of opera, ballet, arabesque, symphonic concerts, operatic concerts, world music, flamenco, folkloric dance, jazz and so much more with some of the world’s most foremost artists. A press conference was held at the ROHM to announce the programme. Those present at the conference included His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahad bin Mahmoud Al-Said, ROHM board member, Christina Scheppelmann, director general of the ROHM, Dr Nasser Al Taee, education and outreach board advisor and Prof Dr Issam El-Mallah, adviser to the board of directors for programming and events, ROHM. The new season will also continue ROHM’s special focus on education and outreach through its featured flamenco, organ and international rhythm symposiums, family and educational events including a charming, interactive production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute for families, in-depth pre-performance talks and for those who are curious, a look behind the scenes with ROHM staff and local guest speakers during their presentations. Operatic highlights include productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth (Teatro Verdi, Trieste), Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff (Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Milan), the much-loved musical My Fair Lady (Oper Köln), Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Teatro Comunale di Bologna) and Gioacchino Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola) (Bavarian State Opera, Munich). Performances by Omani artists are once again central to this season’s programme and the local musicians will be making appearances during their ‘A Night of Inshaad’ concert, their annual concert to celebrate Omani Women’s Day and throughout the hugely popular outdoor concerts performed by Omani military bands to salute the Sultanate’s national day. The Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra will be featuring in their annual concert to celebrate the Pipe Organ and the orchestra will also be accompanying the famous oud player and

composer Marcel Khalife and the acclaimed Omar Khairat in two concerts. The ROHM audiences will be treated to four ballet productions this season; set to the music of Brahms and Schubert, Ballett am Rhein from Düsseldorf present two of their most acclaimed creations with choreography by the innovative Martin Schläpfer. Stuttgart Ballet then performs the Shakespeareinspired, comic ballet The Taming of the Shrew, Hamburg Ballet brings the firm family favourite The Nutcracker back to Muscat and finally one of Asia’s leading ballet companies, Universal Ballet, performs the classic Korean tale, 'The Story of Chunhyang'. There will also be a selection of world-renowned artists in concert including appearances from violinists Joshua Bell, Gidon Kremer and AnneSophie Mutter, the celebrated maestro Riccardo Muti and flamenco stars Estrella Morente, Tomatito, Paco Peña and Miguel Vargas. Operatic stars performing in concert include mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, bass-baritone Ruggero Raimondi, tenor Piotr Beczala and tenor Bryan Hymel. The Uruguayan bass-baritone Erwin Schrott and the German diva Ute Lemper will appear in two distinctive tango evenings and jazz concerts include performances from jazz masters Melodie Gardot and Paquito D’Rivera and a welcome return to ROHM by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The ROHM also announced the festive performances of Broadway on Ice this December, which will see the ROHM stage turn to glittering ice to present classic Broadway songs in a dazzling ice-skating display of beauty, grace and artistry by some of the top skaters in the world.

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Audi successful in first quarter The Audi Group is again on track for success in the new fiscal year: With over 412,000 deliveries of the Audi brand, the company has enjoyed its best first quarter ever. In the first three months of the current fiscal year, the Ingolstadt carmaker generated revenue of € 12,951 million and an operating profit of € 1,314 million. 16

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The operating return on sales reached 10.1 percent. Audi made clear progress in all regions worldwide in the first quarter of 2014. The carmaker from Ingolstadt increased deliveries of the Audi brand by 11.7 percent to 412,846 (2013: 369,494) units. This led to an increase in revenue to € 12,951 (2013: 11,734) million for the

Audi Group – a rise of 10.4 percent. The operating profit for the Audi Group reached € 1,314 (2013: 1,307) million.


OTE group opens Hyundai flagship brand showroom The flagship Hyundai showroom at Wattayah, Muscat was recently inaugurated by Dr Ali Masoud Al Sunaidi, minister for commerce and industry. Also present were Dae Sik Kim, the ambassador of Korea, Euisun Chung, vice chairman, Hyundai Motor Company, Korea, Tom Lee – head of Middle East Head Quarters, other government officials and prominent guests. The flagship showroom is designed to provide great experience of a Hyundai, even before the customer sets foot in one of the cars. Spread over three floors and 2,600 sq mt, the showroom with progressive state-of-the-art interiors, lighting etc., is designed to provide great buying experience to customers. Customers visiting the showroom can drive up the ramp to reach the doorstep of the first floor which showcases the Hyundai range of sedans and SUVs in a spacious and comfortable environment. This floor showcases the large range of cars that Hyundai has to offer to its discerning buyers – from an entry level i10, Accent to a full size family SUV the Grand Santa Fe. Mezzanine floor is dedicated exclusively to the Luxury Series from Hyundai – The Centennial and The Genesis, where the luxury car shoppers can shop at leisure and utmost comfort. The ground floor is the test drive and delivery area, where the customers are explained in details about the features and finer point on the operation of their car at leisure, before they drive out in the gleaming beauties. The

entire showroom area is also wifi enabled for additional customer convenience. “At Hyundai Motor, we have been doing our best in pursuit of world-class quality and customer satisfaction from the designing of the cars to the post-purchase customer service we provide coupled with the new brand direction of ‘Modern Premium’. It was very pleasing to see how quickly and passionately Hyundai Oman has embraced our modern premium brand direction and our “New Thinking, New Possibilities”, which envisions in this new facility” said Euisun Chung. “Customers can now choose their favourite Hyundai in a much more relaxed atmosphere and understand their Hyundai’s features better & also in detail. While Hyundai continues to innovate and produce models with eyecatching exterior design, great interiors and with cuttingedge technology and features, we at OTE Group always believe in providing the best quality and impeccable service with all values centered on our customers” added Sheikh Saad Bahwan, chairman, OTE Group.

Bank Sohar credit card promotion draw Bank Sohar held its bank-wide weekly-draw tour to promote the Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme 2014; this time holding its RO 5,000 draw under Al Mumayaz Savings Scheme at its branch in Seeb. The draw witnessed a customer from the bank’s Salalah branch take home the cash prize. Bank Sohar also conducted draws to announce the first 25 winners of its Credit Card Shop and Win Promotion at the same event. The event was presided over by Sheikh Hamad Ali Bani Oraba, one of Bank Sohar’s

VIP customers. The weekly draw saw Ahmed Salim Al Rawas from the Bank’s Salalah branch take home the cash prize of OMR 5,000.

Berger Paints introduces a range of new products Under the theme of ‘Let’s Imagine’, Berger Paints Oman announced a range of new and improved products, as well as shared its plans for the coming year with its retailers in the recently concluded Oman Dealers Conference at Barr Al Jissah. The event was attended by 150 representatives from across the Sultanate in addition to regional managers from the UAE that included A.K. Paranthaman, senior manager – regional marketing and Saurabh Kumar, regional marketing manager as well as P.K. Raj, general manager Oman and Rajarshi Banerjee, senior manager – sales and marketing. 17

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Alila Jabal Akhdar resort The luxurious Alila Jabal Akhdar resort marks Alila’s first step into the Middle East. Seen as one of the most anticipated openings in 2014 for the region, this destination resort will draw guests seeking a top-ofthe-world experience combined with its ultimate location in the dramatic mountainous region of Al Jabal Akhdar in Oman. Providing a literal breath of fresh air, dramatic views, supreme access to one of Oman’s most spectacular and undiscovered areas, the Alila Jabal Akhdar is the

first resort of its kind, where absolute peace and tranquillity is guaranteed. “Alila is delighted to have been chosen to manage this prestigious property in such a breathtaking location. The Jabal Akhdar region is perfect for our first foray into the Middle East. Its combination of interesting natural eco-systems, physical beauty and intriguing history and culture sits well within our development philosophy,” noted Mark Edleson, President of Alila Hotels & Resorts. Overseeing the

resort’s strategic development is Wael Al Lawati, Ceo of Omran, who commends the resorts’ support of the hospitality industry in the Sultanate:“The minimum impact Alila Jabal Akhdar has on the environment is a reflection of our commitment to our eco-conscious efforts for resorts in Oman to become integrated and in harmony with the natural ambience.”

MGM allots OMR100k of mall space for community activities in 2013 Muscat Grand Mall, the Sultanate’s most popular opular entertainment destination announced a strengthened commitment towards the community through CSR activities. In 2013, the mall provided pro-bono space of 100,000 OMR to a large number of charitable activities organised by either reputable not-for-profit organisations or by the Mall itself. Hassan Jaboub, general manager nager at Muscat Grand Mall said, “At Muscat Grand nd Mall, our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles are adopted at all levels within the organisation – as well as extending to our customers and tenants. We are very proud to have been able to contribute to the environment and community in the past year, and are looking forward to allocating resources for community initiatives, in association with prestigious charitable organisations

Embracing the spirit of the Holy in the Sultanate." Sultan Month of Ramadan, Muscat Grand Mall became home to one of the largest donation boxes in the th Sultanate – proceeds of which were distributed by Dar Al Atta’a. Similarly, the Mall has given away charitable items such as home appliances to child care s centres. Furthermore, Al Rahma team gathered centr more than tha OMR 20k from their event in the mall during Ramadhan. In addition to providing customers Ram information on environmental sustainability, Muscat Grand Mall has also ensured that community needs are fulfilled by working with local authorities and community groups wherever possible. Having donated space worth OMR 100,000 in the previous year, MGM has been working towards cementing their commitment towards corporate social responsibility even more in 2014.

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NBO “MyChoice” rewards programme National Bank of Oman announced the launch of its MyChoice Rewards loyalty programme. MyChoice enables all NBO credit and debit cardholders to earn and redeem points for every OMR1 spent using their NBO debit cards abroad or credit cards at home or abroad. Rewards points can then be redeemed at a wide range of airline, hotel and car rental partners worldwide and various retail outlets in the Sultanate, without blackout dates. MyChoice reward points are valid for two years and as an additional benefit, cardholders can also redeem points for their friends and family, contributing to the flexibility of the scheme. The programme also allows customers booking through the MyChoice website to earn reward points with the airlines and hotels’ loyalty programmes. 18

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Leading Omani brand Majelite unveils advanced LED luminaries Majees Lighting Industries, under the brand name Majelite, launched in Oman its new LED Luminaires, along with its strategic partner Khimji Ramdas. Majees Lighting Industries, owners of the 100 per cent Omani Brand, Majelite, and its strategic partner, KR INFRA (the Infrastructure Business Arm of Khimji Ramdas) showcased its newly designed LED Luminaries, during a seminar conducted for its clients and associated consultants. The seminar focussed on the launch of the new range of LED

Luminaries with an ideal combination of aesthetics and functionality using the latest in LED technologies in modules, chips, drivers, optics, and thermal management. Ahmad .S. Nasser – general manager of Majees Lighting

Industries said, “ What we are witnessing today are the advances in LED technology and a decisive change in consumer mindset, from conventional lighting sources being a disposable commodity to a transferable asset, something you could unscrew and take with you when you move.” Khalid Al Riyami, Sr. divisional manager, KR INFRA Electrical Division said, “We strongly believe in empowering local manufacturers to find acceptability in this highly competitive market.”

Mitsubishi unveils six year warranty and cash gift promotion General Automotive Company, the official distributors of Mitsubishi Vehicles in Oman, is giving customers an exclusive opportunity to choose from an enviable range of Mitsubishi vehicles and receive a great range of benefits from the triple-diamond brand. The new limited time promotion, which ends June 15, includes a new six-year unlimited mileage warranty, free cash gifts, free insurance, free service packages and more. Mark Tomlinson, general manager of GAC said, “With the recent launch of the new Mirage, Attrage and the Lancer EX 1.6, we have a comprehensive range of models ranging from the entry level Mirage all the way to the legendary Pajero. This expanded model range gives an abundance of choice for our customers, and when you add up all the great benefits from our new promotion, there really has never been a better time to buy a new Mitsubishi.”

As part of the promotion all non-commercial Mitsubishi vehicles sold during the promotional period will include free registration, six-year unlimited mileage warranty and free six-year roadside assistance. Valid until June 15 – the GAC promotion applies to nearly every model in the Mitsubishi line-up including the Lancer EX, Lancer Fortis, ASX, Outlander, Pajero, and the newly launched Mirage and Attrage.

Tissot Quickster Football Tissot has been the Timekeeper for many worldrenowned sports for more than a decade. In terms of football, however, it wanted to offer its customers the chance of filling that role themselves. It is for that reason, they have created a movement specifically designed to time football matches, with their half times

and overtime. Its wearer will be able to really get involved in the match, as more than a spectator, as timekeeper. The colours of the world The design is inspired from jerseys seen on football pitches, representing colours from around the world. It is a vibrant range of watches that Tissot has created,

that all feature a football engraved on their caseback. An aluminium bezel, adds a further touch of colour with styles varying depending on the model, there is no doubt that there will be a watch to suit everyone’s taste. A date display at four o’clock will remind you of the day so that you don’t miss out on the important games. 19

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Oman working to support SME growth Supporting the development of Oman’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is regarded as a key method for boosting private sector employment levels and direct Omani involvement in the economy. With these goals in mind, government policy is being implemented to provide SMEs with additional funding and expertise, as well as to grant them wider access to government tenders. According to some estimates, more than 90 per cent of all registered firms in the Sultanate fall into the SME category, though their combined contribution to GDP is only around 15 per cent. Most of these small-scale businesses are rated by the Public Authority for Social Insurance as being micro-

enterprises, with 78 per cent of companies in Oman employing five people or fewer, between them accounting for just 10 per cent of total employment nationwide. One route that authorities have identified as key to supporting SME growth is giving small businesses a greater role in the large-scale infrastructure and industrial development programme currently being embarked upon. While few SMEs are in a position to bid on major projects such as the national rail network, new petrochemical plants or social support programmes such as state housing developments, SMEs are being encouraged to play a part in such schemes through the provision of services or components, or as subcontractors to larger

companies. As the official entity that awards the contracts for many government projects, the Tender Board has called for at least 10 per cent of all work on such projects to be carried out by SMEs, a requirement that will see larger contracting firms farm out portions of contracted activities to their smaller counterparts. SMEs will also be in line to benefit from a planned requirement to have higher levels of locally produced material used in projects contracted by the state.

The Zubair Automotive Group wins Pan Arab Excellence awards The Zubair Automotive Group was awarded the gold award under corporation category in the 11th Pan Arab Excellence Awards for their website (www.zubairautomotive. com), in an event held at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel – Dubai, recently. Zuwaina Al Azri, the communications manager at Zubair Automotive Group

accepted the award on the group’s behalf. She commented, “On behalf of the entire Zubair Automotive

Group, it gives me great pleasure to receive this honour. The core of our business is very much about making customer engagement an accessible and enriching experience, and in these times a corporate website is often the first point of contactmembers of the public have with a Company.”

City Centre malls to debut VOX Cinemas with 17 new screens in Muscat

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2014 marks a transformational year for the entertainment landscape of Oman with City Centre Muscat and City Centre Qurum’s debut of the very first VOX Cinemas and a new Magic Planet opening. The first time appearance of VOX Cinemas in Oman is part of Majid Al Futtaim’s major redevelopment investment of OMR11.3 million to revamp City Centre malls, the leading shopping and lifestyle destinations in Oman, with a focus on adding brand new family entertainment in the malls. By early June, City Centre Muscat will open a 10-screen VOX Cinemas and by late June, City Centre Qurum will unveil a 7-screen VOX Cinemas. In mid-July, families can also experience a new Magic Planet attraction at City Centre Qurum. 20

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Subaru launches all-new WRX STI & WRX in Oman The OTE Group and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, recently launched Subaru brand’s 2 iconic and high-performance models, the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI and the all-new 2015 WRX in Oman in the presence of George Hisaeda, ambassador of Japan, Sheikh Saad Bahwan, chairman - OTE Group, Yasushi Enami, general managerEurope, Middle East and Africa sales and marketing department, Subaru - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Japan. The engineering marvel of the all-new Subaru WRX STI and WRX is a result of a combination of the highest range of technologies and improvements to present one of the best versions of the brand’s iconic performance models. These all-new models far surpass the already impressive performance and luxury characteristics of previous generations. “The 4th generation Subaru WRX

and WRX-STI has been developed under the concept of ‘pure power in your control’ which defines the challenge to achieve an ideal balance between power and control. Performance enthusiastic customers in Oman can now experience the ultimate in handling, power and control” said Yasushi Enami. “Complementing FHI’s efforts, the OTE Group as partners provide the best-in-class ownership experience, comparable to the best in the world, so that the customers in Oman can enjoy their Subaru to its full capability” said Sheikh Saad.

New Ceo of Lifeline Group Insurance veteran Retnakumar Janardanan has been appointed as the chief executive officer of Lifeline Group in Oman. Lifeline Group of Hospitals (Lifeline Oman) is part of the Abu Dhabi-based VPS Healthcare, formerly known as LLH Group. Prior to this appointment, Retnakumar was the Ceo of Gargash Trade Links in Oman. He started his career as an officer with New India Assurance Co. Ltd., the largest general insurance company in India, and served New India for more than 27 years – in India and abroad. He was country head (Oman), New India Assurance Co. Ltd., till 2010. After taking charge of the top job at Lifeline Oman recently, Retnakumar said, he looked forward to delivering excellence in Oman’s growing healthcare sector.

“Throughout my career, service has been a passion, and my new role as the Ceo of Lifeline Oman deepens it. We believe in healthcare excellence, and uphold the principles of quality, trust and innovation. At VPS Healthcare, ‘‘world-class patient care’’ is the core focus. We are committed to ensuring highest levels of clinical and service qualities to every patient who comes in to the Lifeline Group of medical centres and hospitals, at all times. To effectively service the patients and excel in patient care, we give top priority to recruit highly qualified and experienced doctors, nurses and other personnel. Moreover, hygiene, modern diagnostic equipment and state-of-the-art facilities at Lifeline Hospitals will add value to the Sultanate’s health care sector,’’

Retnakumar added. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman, VPS Healthcare said, “We are delighted to welcome Retnakumar Janardanan as he brings excellent leadership to VPS Healthcare Group. We at VPS Healthcare, operate with a progressive vision rooted in quality and trust. Retnakumar brings to VPS Healthcare more than 30 years of exceptional managerial expertise."

WGO ladies at the Ayana Spa ‘Making friends and raising funds’ is the guiding principle of the Women’s Guild in Oman and to convert that into reality, the WGO Committee is always looking for innovative ways for its members to have an enjoyable experience as well as contribute their money towards various charities in Oman. Add to it the fact that the WGO is committed to supporting local businesses, and had a memorable morning at the Ayana Spa in Muscat recently. 21

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Almouj Golf wins gold Almouj Golf, the PGA Standard 18-hole links golf course at The Wave, Muscat, has won the gold award for ‘Best Golf Club’ at this year’s MENA Travel Awards 2014 held recently in Dubai. The accolade recognizes the golf course for reflecting one of the highest standards in regional hospitality and leisure, and was voted for independently by travelers, guests and customers worldwide. “First and foremost I would like to extend our gratitude to all club members and visitors who voted for us and made this prestigious win happen,” said Hawazen Esber, Ceo of The Wave, Muscat.

Spellbinding karate demos at award ceremony A nasty cut on his right palm – which he got by trying to smash some tiles weighing 20kgs a week before a major event -- did not put off Renshi G. Kumar from a tough karate demo, where his students swung a huge hammer to smash 100kgs of marble placed on his chest. And, of course, he was lying on a bed of nails! Karate Kumar once again left the audience spellbound with his amazing karate displays and this time the occasion was for a recent black belt awarding ceremony of his

key students. Ten students of the Bodhidharma Martial Arts School (Kubodo Association), which is under the White Rose Institute of Music and Fine Arts, was awarded their black belts recently at an award ceremony held at Al Masa hall. Ahmed Said Al Zakwani, head of the technical committee, Oman Karate Committee, was the chief guest at this ceremony, which was sponsored by Majan Events, United Insurance Services LLC and Dubai Gold. Shaikh Kaleem Ahmed, managing

director of Majan Events was also present among other dignitaries at the event. Suryanarayan, a senior professor of Majan College, organised the event and also ably handled the proceedings. Nine students, Nikhil, Ankit Uttam, Nirmal, Srinidhi, Vignesh, Ashwin, Siva Sankar, Karthik and Anand got their black belts at this event, while the 10th student, Manohar, had already obtained the black belt on an earlier date. Other than Kumar’s karate demo, there was a weapons ‘kata’ performance by students, a self defense drama by another set of students, semi classical, cinematic and folk dances by White Roses’ students too.

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Volkswagen Middle East announces CC engine upgrade

Volkswagen Middle East has announced an engine upgrade for the Volkswagen CC in key markets including UAE, Qatar, Oman and 22

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Kuwait. The upgrade, which comes at no additional cost to customers, means the CC is now powered by a 2.0L, 210hp engine, representing an additional 50hp for the stylish four-door coupe. The upgrade reinforces the German automobile manufacturer’s commitment to customer satisfaction and value. Thomas Milz, managing director,

Volkswagen Middle East, said: “The Volkswagen CC enjoys strong demand from customers as a result of its unique segment, unifying the worlds’ of both sedan and sports coupes through its style, dynamism and performance. The upgrade, adding greater engine performance with more horsepower, will further bolster appeal for the CC."


In black & White

In Black... The excitement is at its peak, with locals and residents making big plans to watch the matches live. There is an added excitement to watch the action on their sets in the company of like-minded friends! Age is not a factor as football is a great leveller Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief WORLD CUP FEVER My tryst with the World Cup football began when I was just eight. I can still remember my first-ever experience of the fever and frenzy of the World Cup football. Excited crazy fans screaming from within the black and white television sets, and equally crazy viewers watching the matches! That was in 1970. Four years later, in 1974, I was in Lebanon and there I remember reading a post-match coverage of the German team in a local magazine. The complete match strategy was sketched out diagrammatically in the magazine's pages! That was my first-ever exposure to real time football strategy! Until then all I knew about football was that you just went and kicked the ball to the other team’s net. Not so. My eyes opened out to a whole world of planned strategy, which, if well executed would actually bring home the cup! I love football; I played football for my university. I think the whole world loves football. It will not be an exaggeration if I state that if the World Cup does not happen (perish the thought), there would be mayhem, mini turmoil in the world!

I still remember the 1982 World Cup, which was held in Spain. There was a major Brazil wave then and if it had won, that would have changed the face of football. It would have changed the way South Americans view football – it would have been THE sport of the region. But, again football is also an unpredictable game for it was Italy that won (defeating Germany in the final). I am bringing these points to highlight how football has the power to make or break – a nation! Here in Oman it is no different. The excitement is at its peak, with locals and residents making big plans to watch the matches live. There is an added excitement to watch the action on their sets in the company of like-minded friends! Age is not a factor as football is a great leveller. Today the World Cup has become a major force for change and it is a universal phenomenon that serves to unite the whole world. Black & White team spoke to a few old timers and also other lovers of the sport here to decipher the mood! Come, be part of the excitement!

Football today is not just about sports; it is more than that – there is business strategy involved, professional management issues, more than its share of international politics, strong and loose tie ups, global business deals, accelerated economy, plenty of social networking, even world peace … The FIFA by itself is more influential and has more following than the United Nations.

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A huge mountain of a man pushes cool soft drinks into our hands and says: drink! Melting under the sultry, sweltering summer blaze in a very dingy and narrow lane of the Mutrah souq, we don’t hesitate to take this cool offer. We grab the drinks; sip the chilled sweet liquid and return the vibrant, dark giant of a man’s ebullient smile. But, it is hard to keep up with this 80-plus old man’s exuberance and his perennial joie-de-vivre. It is only when you meet this genial giant that you will come to understand that few can match up with Diesel. Few would have kept up with the incorrigible Diesel when he landed in Oman more than half a century ago. Physically, there were few who would match his prowess. At that time few could contain him and he was into many things, desperate as he was to make both ends meet. But whatever he did, work or otherwise, in the evenings, Diesel would settle down only to explode on the makeshift field for a game of football with his friends or battling against visitors with whom they would set the ad hoc fields on fire with their lively competitive matches.

Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Balushi aka Mohammed Diesel

Currently, with a heavy football cloud up above, waiting to rain down a hail of on-the-field excitement as part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup football in Brazil, the Black & White decided to take a quick step down the Mutrah lane to catch up with an old friend of ours, the one and only Mohammed Diesel (Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Balushi), who in his prime could effortlessly lift a diesel engine from a vehicle to enable its repair. But, that alone was not Diesel’s ticket to fame – the latter was also credited with introducing football to several segment of the Omani sporting society in the area, more than half a century back. As we query him on this aspect, his face virtually travels down a fond memory lane; of a time, when he was bigger, stronger, and well, more aggressive and perhaps even troublesome, but always quite an innovator. Mya y2 021041 4 Ma 2525 Black && White White Black


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Diesel could lift a diesel! showing how he looked when he was younger

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Forever friends: Dawood and Diesel

He remembers how, way back in the late 50’s, he and his friends got a football as a Christmas gift, which enabled them to introduce the sport in the Muttrah area. When we visited Diesel this time around, he had his bosom buddy sitting next to him in his shop that sold shoes and sandals. Dawood bin Jamal bin Dilwash, also running on in the early 80s as Diesel, seemed pleasantly happy to relive their old football exploits as well to connect the same with the current excitement of the World Cup. GREAT LEVELLER Football is, in more ways than one, a great leveller! It fosters camaraderie and companionship. The triple goodness it brings forth cannot be ignored. It brings people together physically, as a team and also the supporters and the fans; there is a great play of psychology here between the rooting teams and even spiritually when a fan’s faith becomes stronger due to the game. And it is a matter of fact, regardless of race or gender, football brings people of all walks together. And this is true of Diesel and Dawood, both quite dissimilar in their basic natures and characters. Both are like fire and water. One is a real thunderbolt in action, while the other is as calm and serene as a night sky.

Yet, their easy connect and the way one finishes the other’s lines and their disarming affability and total transparency shows how the game of football has drawn them together, making them inseparable buddies. In fact, football has strengthened the bond between them. Diesel threw an arm around his more serene friend and declared how they were friends for the last 60-odd years and how they were connected on the football field too thanks to their undying love for the sport. “Say football and we used to get charged!” explained Diesel as he threw sardines to some stray kittens near his shop. As we watched the kittens hungrily munch their feed, the friends regaled us about their good old days: “We were quite crazy about football! We must have played over 35 years and even today, in our 80s, the fire still exists,” they both chorused. Diesel went off on a tangent and threw his comments on the current football scene, but since it cast no ripple, he went back to the topic at hand. FOOTBALL NEVER DIES “We keep in touch with the news and local gossip and thrive on football and whatever happens around it. Football is a game that can never die. It is full of energy and there is great team spirit. If you play football with a team, that team becomes your family, no matter wherever life takes you,” the duo said, glancing at each other and grinning like kids. Mya y2 021041 4 Ma 2727 Black && White White Black


2014 FIFA WORLD CUP FO •June 13 - July 13

•8 Groups

GROUP A

GROUP B

GROUP C

Brazil

Spain

Colombia

Costa Rica

Croatia

Netherlands

Greece

England

Mexico

Chile

Côte d'Ivoire

Italy

Cameroon

Australia

Japan

Uruguay

GROUP STAGE Friday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday Monday Monday Monday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Thursday Friday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday Sunday Sunday Sunday Monday Monday Monday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Thursday Thursday Friday Friday

June 13 June 13 June 13 June 14 June 14 June 14 June 15 June 15 June 15 June 15 June 16 June 16 June 16 June 17 June 17 June 17 June 18 June 18 June 18 June 19 June 19 June 19 June 20 June 20 June 20 June 21 June 21 June 21 June 22 June 22 June 22 June 23 June 23 June 23 June 24 June 24 June 24 June 24 June 25 June 25 June 25 June 25 June 26 June 26 June 26 June 26 June 27 June 27

12:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 05:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 11:00 pm 02:00 am 08:00 pm 08:00 pm 12:00 am 12:00 am 08:00 pm 08:00 pm 12:00 am 12:00 am 08:00 pm 08:00 pm 12:00 am 12:00 am 08:00 pm 08:00 pm 12:00 am 12:00 am

GROUP D


OOTBALL SCHEDULE (A-H)

•32 teams GROUP E

GROUP F

GROUP G

GROUP H

Switzerland

Argentina

Germany

Belgium

Ecuador

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Portugal

Algeria

France

Iran

Ghana

Russia

Honduras

Nigeria

USA

South Korea

The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, scheduled to take place in Brazil. The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup Final, the matches will use goal-line technology. Spain is the defending champion, having defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in the 2010 World Cup final to win its first World title. The previous four World Cups staged in South America were all won by South American teams. The next two World Cups will be hosted by Russia in 2018, and Qatar in 2022.

ROUND OF 16 Saturday Sunday Sunday Monday Monday Tuesday Tuesday Wednesday

June 28 June 29 June 29 June 30 June 30 July 1 July 1 July 2

08:00 pm 12:00 am 08:00 pm 12:00 am 08:00 pm 12:00 am 08:00 pm 12:00 am

QUARTER FINALS Friday Saturday Saturday Sunday

July 4 July 5 July 5 July 6

08:00 pm 12:00 am 08:00 pm 12:00 am

SEMI FINALS Wednesday Thursday

July 9 July 10

12:00 am 12:00 am

THIRD PLACE PLAY OFF Sunday

July 13

12:00 am

FINAL Sunday

July 13

11:00 pm


Diesel (standing second from left) and Dawood (standing fourth from left) with their old team mates

To a query, they said: “Yes, we will watch the 2014 World Cup with the same fervour that we had 50/60 years back! It is not about a favourite player or a team, though we all believe that Pele was the magician of football world over. Today, there are plenty of good players, each one better than the other in some department or the other…since we are crazy about football, we have favourites only for the day – in our hearts, we always want the best team to win!”

B&W Xclusive

Since we were meeting Dawood for the first time, we were curious about his background too. So, he took time to explain his side of the story too; his connection with Diesel and his football passion. A CHRISTMAS GIFT IN THE 50S “I was born in Gwadar and came to Oman in 1957 in my early 20s. I worked at odd jobs from loading, unloading and other general work until I got employed as a generator operator at Bait Al Falaj. Those days hockey was played by young boys as well as men during their leisure time. Football was not very popular in the Muttrah/ Muscat region,” Dawood recalled. During their spare time in the evenings, they worked as security help staff at the Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO). “It was then, during one December, Mr 30

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Heliath, one of the PDO managers, asked us what gift we wanted for Christmas?” They replied in one voice: football! The PDO staff used to play football in the evenings and weekends and there were quite a lot of friendly football activity there. “But, then we never had the guts to ask for a ball for ourselves and we would simply watch, our hearts actually getting kicked about in the ground! But that Christmas changed our lives! Thanks to that manager who gifted us our very first football, our evenings changed for the better; in fact, our lives changed!” The duo brought the ball back to Muttrah and put a makeshift team and began playing in earnest. “That’s how we started the first-ever foot ball team in Muttrah and soon other teams also joined us!” FIRST EVER FOOT BALL TEAM: BIJLI Somewhere around 1958/’59, an official from the British Council approached Diesel, Dawood and their team to find out if they had a professional football team in place. “When we said that a few of us knew how to play football, and that we were ready to play with a team, they were happy. In those days, the naval ships used to be docked at the Muttrah port and navy officers who came down the ship wanted to play a good game of football. We put in a team of 11 and went along with the council staff and


Rounded: Dawood (standing) and Diesel (sitting) with other team mates

played with them at the Maqbool ground, which was the only maidan (vacant field) then. Both of us had learned to play football in Gwadar when we used to work as tea boys and were also engaging the staff at the air force base there. And that was a good experience, which served us well in our Muttrah football stint.” The Maqbool ground was just an open area with no goal posts or anything. “It was just a plain good ground. But, we used to play there quite a lot.” Football, the grounds, the teams, their old friends, their exploits on and off the field…these are the current subjects of their evening talks nowadays, Dawood and Diesel tell us. “We are never tired of talking about the good old days and sometimes when we talk about the youth of today and the games they play both on and off the field, we have our quiet laughs, but we also feel a bit sad,” they added. The two are the only surviving members of their old ‘gang’. “We always feel alive when we talk about the past, for that is something we both share and our lives are so entwined to it, especially the game!” Their first football team was named Bijli and the first-ever tournament was held in 1960, with five teams participating at the Bait Al Falaj grounds. “We bought jerseys from

Karachi and had rubber soled Bata shoes that worked as soccer boots. There were five teams in place: one from Cable and Wireless, Airwork, Bait Al Falaj and Jibroo, other than our Bijli team. We won a small tennis cup as a trophy then, we still have it at home. That was just the start. Though we did not win the first place, after that match we went places and won many laurels and soon we were hailed as local champions. People used to cheer us up at our matches and every time we did a header, you should see how the crowd roared and urging us on. Even as we speak, we are overcome with excitement. Those matches used to be so thrilling; they were our lives, our raison d’etre!” FOOTBALL UNITES The current football frenzy that is being whipped up is only natural. Football is everywhere in the world and it is only natural that Oman has its ready share of the same. Like how the duo, Diesel and Dawood, who were otherwise two entirely different people, were brought together, football binds as a strong bond among many in Oman and from all walks of life. And from June 12 to July 13, this is the beat that will reverberate in many a heart in Oman.

(*) Diesel’s original name is Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Balushi. He remembers coming to Oman when he was just 20. He was called ‘Diesel’ because one day, somewhere in 1962, some people sought his help to pull out their big four wheel drive vehicle that was stuck in the beach sands. There was no way to get it out and remarkably enough, Diesel lifted the vehicle out of the sands. On another time, a big diesel barrel, filled with water, rolled out of a pickup truck and as many failed to lift it back, Mohammed Balushi effortlessly picked it up and placed it back on the truck. Many children who were watching this happen were chanting, “lift the diesel, lift the diesel…” and the name stuck. Soon, Mohammed Diesel was actually lifting diesel engines from vehicles. Mya y2 021041 4 Ma 3131 Black && White White Black


Oman caught in the football frenzy The excitement is quite palpable and B&W made a random round of football lovers in Oman and quickly tapped in to the pulse of the World Cup here. It is beating quite well here, as DR HAMMAD HAMED AL GHAFRI, adviser, ministry of civil services and the former president of the Oman Olympic Committee, observes: “Football spells excitement and it is great to see Oman rising as one nation to enjoy this sport. It is not just the soccer fraternity alone, but the whole of Oman are caught in the same World Cup football excitement. The media, be it the written one, the audio or the visual ones, are all going ga-ga over this sport and they are further fanning this craze, especially among the youth. But, young or old, football is enjoyed by all. This is one sport that can be truly called universal and all of us enjoy it.”

B&W Xclusive

Dr Hammad noted how the corporate world in Oman was booming with offers targeting their clients and customers. And in effect, the World Cup is beneficial to all. Even though this most loved event was happening in far off Brazil, its multifarious reverberations were felt by all and sundry, Dr Hammad enthused. However, nothing was going to make him hop on a plane and go watch the matches. “That is one thing that I am not going to do – I am not going to take the trouble of going all the way there; I am going to watch the matches right from the great comfort of my own home!” That is something that is not going to change, he stresses. 32

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Dr Hammad was also not rooting for any particular team. “I am someone who believes that the best team on a given day will win the match – so I don’t support any particular team! But, I am pretty game for thrillers! It is great to watch a match between two strong teams that employ an attacking tactic. Attacking football is great to watch!” Dr Hammad did not have any favourite player too, but he said he was confident the usually celebrated stars like Lionel Messi of Argentina, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Philipp Lahm, captain, Germany and many others will be the star attractions of the current World Cup.


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Everyone loves football

B&W Xclusive

SAIYED ALI SIBTAIN NAQVI is known as the granddad of hockey in Oman. He is a veteran sports personality and a renowned hockey coach, but ask him about football and he is as excited as ever. “Who does not love football?” he asks. “Everyone loves football! We have all grown up, playing football on the streets, in playgrounds and even in our homes! “It is when the game turns professional and it becomes international that it becomes big! “From the football boots to the stadium, to the cheer and the gear, it is a game that binds all sports lovers! When you sit down to watch football, you forget which country you represent; it goes beyond your political, religious and geographical divides – only your favourite team remains in focus!

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“To be honest, I began my sports life with football; well, I guess, every child would have! In the 50s too, football was a craze as much it is now and all of us played football through the different stages of school and college. “I was playing both football and hockey, but a knee injury put me on the back feet and also put me in a position where I had to decide between the two and so I finally chose hockey! But, despite that choice of mine, my love for football never diminished. I had the opportunity to meet and be with the legendary footballer, Shew Mewa Lall in 1956. Mewa Lall was the pride of Indian football and in 1951 he had helped India clinch its first Asian Games title with his solitary goal against Iran. He went on to represent India in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics before retiring in 1958.” LET BRAZIL WIN Naqvi is a fan of the Brazil team and hopes the team will take the World Cup. “I have always watched the World Cup matches with the same fervour as that of a hockey match. Despite my aging years, I watch football until late in the night and it is not going to be any different this time.

I will always be a diehard fan of Maradona. And I am currently a great fan of Messi. I wish Brazil would take the cup this time; but something tells me that Germany will steal the thunder from everyone! But, like any other sportsman, I would say, every game should be played with the true sportsman spirit; it should be viewed in the same manner too! Football thrives on team spirit and togetherness!” FOOTBALL IN OMAN HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE Noting that football was on the right track in Oman, Naqvi said that being a young nation had its added advantage too, especially in the sporting segment. “And under the able guidance of Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidy, who heads the Oman Football Association (OFA), the game has a clear direction and there is an air of professionalism about it. “There is more vision and focus on the game, players have a real spring in them; there are more facilities, training is proceeding well and I find that there is great team spirit and love for the sport and for Oman! I sincerely believe that football is a game that will take Oman to great heights in the future!”

Most watched, most loved sports on earth HAIDER MOHAMED JAWAD AL-LAWATI, senior administrator, press and media, Omantel, is as excited as any football lover in Oman. Football, as he notes, is the “most watched, most loved sports on earth”! It is a game that has to use great skills and the players have to be physically fit and agile – and it is great to watch players play the game, Haider Al-Lawati says, adding that he was beside himself with excitement for the current World Cup in Brazil. “And I want Brazil to win! Simply because it is my favourite team since childhood and I was in awe and love with Pele, who was and is the greatest footballer on earth. Pele won three world cups; he scored more than 1200 goals and he was really the king of football!”

Text: Adarsh Madhavan & Priya Arunkumar, Photos: Ben

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By Dr CK Anchan

What can allow us to be most effective in our life is a willingness to identify and transform our core life challenges. By reminding ourselves that the most powerful change starts inside each one of us, we can develop more balance and strength in our work towards positive change out in the world. The difference between people who succeed in life and those who don’t is their ability to face life challenges correctly and not the absence of challenges. We all know that life isn’t that simple and that throughout our journey in life we might face numerous challenges, problems and setbacks. A strong and resilient person will get hit by setbacks and life problems just like everyone else but shortly he will stand up and fight again. Learning how to face life’s challenges won’t only help you become more successful in life but it will also let you live a happier life. Let’s look at some of the qualities of people who become negative and panic versus people who respond positively and energetically. Panicky people don’t have control over their mental energies. Because their minds are unfocused, they exaggerate events. Their confusion complicates things and even small challenges appear to be big problems. They usually react emotionally to situations, so they easily become irritable, anxious, and excitable. Because of their emotionality, people who panic are often undependable and are unable to take appropriate action. If we want to successfully face life’s challenges, we need a positive mindset, based on wisdom. With our minds focused, balanced, and aware, we can respond to any situation or challenge from that state. By perceiving and acting through clear perception and wisdom, rather than through feelings, we can objectively size up a situation in

Management Talk

Life is short... make it great

Dr Anchan C.K. managing director, World Wide Business House

the moment and set right energy in motion Creative and positive people never buckle under when a challenge arises, or hesitate to do what needs to be done. They have the attitude that each challenge which comes is cajoling them to wake up. It is telling them that the problem that seems so difficult is nothing if they are resourceful. By taking initiative to facilitate or fix a situation, they simplify life for themselves and others. When you become indifferent to a circumstance, you start to dissolve that circumstance and the effect it is having on your life. But don’t try to become indifferent to the circumstance directly. Simple acceptance is all you need. Just accept the way things are. Acceptance will put you in touch with a finer reality. The secret is to be willing to do anything it takes to get above, go around, or go beyond the problem. If you are willing, then you will find a way. But first, you must be willing. If you will accept the challenges that come your way, you will always be a highly inspired and imaginative person. Discouragement will hardly ever touch you. Discouragement comes when you refuse to accept the challenge. It is discouraging to have a problem you cannot accept. Accept the problem and you move forward from discouragement to action. Accepting the problem changes the nature of the problem. Now the problem is no longer an obstacle but a stepping stone. The life which is not useful, positive, and contributing is wasted. Don’t waste this precious gift of life. So, let’s get going and live life to the best. Life is short ...give your best, and live great. 37

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Some fun facts on

CHICKENS There are more chickens living on earth than people. The chicken is the closest living relative of the tyrannosaurus-rex. Chickens can run at a speed of 9 mph. The longest recorded distance flown by any chicken was 301.5 feet. In the chicken capital of the world, Gainesville, Georgia, it is illegal to eat chicken with a fork. A hen can lay about 300 eggs each year. So that the yoke does not stick to the egg shell, a mother hen turns it egg about 50 times each day. The largest ever recorded chicken egg weighed nearly 12 ounces, and measured 12.25 inches around The greatest number of yolks ever found in a single chicken egg was nine! Chicken language has real meanings. The birds give different alarm calls depending on which type of predator is threatening them. The waste produced by one chicken in its lifetime can supply enough electricity to run a 100 watt bulb for five hours.

Kidstuff

Chickens eggs come in colours sometimes, (other than white and brown). Some breeds lay eggs in shades of blue or green. Ready-made Easter Eggs!

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Cheep-cheep,� chirped the cheery chick

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We have been thinking of it since quite sometime now. Finally, we have taken the plunge to bring home to you some offbeat stuff. Here goes, if you like it, give us the green signal for more; if not, just take it with a pinch of salt. For this fortnight, here is some nitter natter for the B&W Bitter Batter:

Water instead of petrol…? Can cars run on water? Just imagine if cars could run on water and how the whole dependence on water would change…well, a petrol bunk in town seems to have put this to the test recently! A B&W reader recently went to fill petrol at a local filling station and once that was done, she rode back to her home, which thankfully, was nearby. Otherwise, she would have been stuck in the middle of a major traffic for her car stopped right as she drove into the parking lot of her flat. “The car just went dead when I got into the parking area,” the lady told Bitter Batter. “I filled petrol and was just getting into my building’s parking lot, when it just went dead! I didn’t know what to do.” The mechanic who came to check the car categorically asked her whether she was trying some experiment with her car! Flabbergasted, she asked what he meant and he informed her that the car had water mixed with petrol in its tank. She had no clue what the mechanic was talking about but then when she went back to the filling station, she realised that they had by some ingenious manner filled water instead of petrol in her car! There were others who had brought the same complaint to the filling station. “Since I drove the vehicle for some time, the water got into the engine and it is

Nitter natter

One dark sombre sick cloud A semi-dark sick cloud is still hovering above us, many feel. It has been raining down cold, fever, flu, headaches, nose and throat problems, coughs etc. to many out here… Those who have made their trips to private hospitals and others who were unfortunate enough to have been laid up in the expensive beds paying through their noses are wishing this cloud away. But, wishing it away alone won’t make it go away!

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completely ruined!” she noted. Since she was not the type to make a hue and cry about anything, the filling station has escaped with just a request to repair the car, but it remains to be seen if others affected would also let things go by as this lady. And the mystery still remains, how did the filling station have water instead of petrol in their tank? Were they indulging in some scientific experiment? Any explanations anyone? P.S. They have repaired this lady’s car!


No life outside the net Is there life outside the net? Life without the net is unthinkable for today’s generation and also for us, the ones who were born and bred before the net came into the scene. Staff of a company that totally depended on their net for their work were devastated when their services were down recently and no recourse to set it back in order. They seemed totally spaced out, desultory and confused. Some of them seemed to be near to tears as they had no outlet to check their online status and the like. Of course, those who had businesses and had to be in constant touch with their work were quite irate when the services went down and they were deemed inaccessible by a perennially online set of people. It pays to note how just many years ago, no one knew what the net was and what it stood for. “Today, it is something you cannot dream to be without,� psychologists say, hinting to its addictive nature. Internet, especially in the era of smart phones, is like an extension of your self.

Net services down, down, down Some Internet service providers are quite vocal when it comes to highlighting their virtues, which they are not averse to tom tomming (about them) from the top of their towers. But, some of them are dubiously silent when it comes to providing services, especially when users call them up with complaints. A slew of complaints have gone to their office, yet they have not done anything to repair the services, which have been down for almost a

week, a company official informed Bitter Batter. Several companies of a building and similarly other companies in nearby buildings were forced to take their work to coffee shops to avail of the net services there as their lines were down. When contacted, the officials concerned said that they had problems because a cable was cut, but then, would it take two weeks to restore the services, ask the complainants. Beats us!

(Note: Readers who have something bitter to chatter about can either email on editor@blackandwhiteoman.com or call 99218461)

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Your ARIES March 21-April 20

TAURUS April 21-May 20

GEMINI May 21-June 21

You’re showing your mettle in a very positive way and people around you will be impressed with your hard work and dedication. Just don’t be too quick to judge someone, especially if you don’t have all the facts. Dilute your no nonsense approach and listen, don’t act.

It’s off with the old and on with the new this week. This is not only about de-cluttering your home or office, but tidying up your thinking and methods of dealing with issues or people. By the weekend your self confidence and determination to succeed will be off the chart.

You always have the potential for enticing new people into your life, so make sure you’re in the right place at the right time saying the right things early in the week, and the rest of the week will be a breeze, culminating in a laid back happy weekend with friends.

CANCER June 22-July 23 Between the moon in your opposite sign and the effects of the lunar low, you’re not getting much help from the cosmos this week. It is better to take stock and consolidate what you’ve got as opposed to trying to push forward in an area you’re not completely confident with.

LEO July 24-August 23 It’s a week of decision making at work, and once you get started you’ll be surprised at how quickly you gather speed. It is not as hard as you thought. If your usual routines hold no appeal, don’t be afraid to cherry pick the ones you want to do, and do them well.

VIRGO August 24-September 23 Your social life seems to be expanding and improving, and although this gives you less time to concentrate on work, you can always catch up later. Take time to appreciate those closest to you that you care for deeply. If you have to say something unpleasant, be diplomatic.

Horoscope

BOB DYLAN ( BORN ROBERT ALLEN ZIMMERMAN, MAY 24, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving behind his initial base in the culture of the folk music revival, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement. Since 1994, Dylan has published six books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time; he has received numerous awards including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards.

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stars LIBRA September 24-October 23 If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, so don’t allow yourself to be rushed today. Tackle minor obstacles quickly by nipping them in the bud before they can take root. You’re able to think and act quickly now, an asset that will stand you in good stead long term.

CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 Positive trends in your life continue, and there may even be gain to be made from doing what you know is right. Don’t be afraid to chase those rainbows. You may even find your pot of gold at the end of it. Be creative, be affectionate and be honest and you’ll manage to do just about anything.

SCORPIO October 24-November 22 There’s nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure, in fact if truth be known, you’re better at it than most. You can charm the birds from the trees when you put your mind to it. Old friends keep popping into your mind. Maybe its time to get in touch

AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 You’ve been a bit of a lone horse for a while now, so maybe its time to rejoin the human race and throw open your doors to all and sundry by having a party. it’s the best way to talk to someone you’re interested in, if you haven’t already done so. You know you want to.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 If money matters haven’t improved since last week, it’s no wonder you’re getting a bit anxious. Not everyone understands your panic here, but don’t bite their head off if they seem unconcerned. If you take time to explain your dilemma they may even offer to help.

PISCES February 20-March 20 Communications are working well now that you’re at your chattiest, so get out there and mingle as networking can improve and expand your brand, consequently increasing your finances and expanding your options when it comes to work matters.

MORGAN FREEMAN (BORN JUNE 1, 1937) is an American actor, film director, and narrator. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus, and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Unforgiven, Glory, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Seven, Deep Impact, The Sum of All Fears, Bruce Almighty, Along Came a Spider, The Dark Knight trilogy, March of the Penguins and The Lego Movie. He is known for his distinctively smooth, deep voice. He got his first break as part of the cast of The Electric Company.

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PICK-UP POINTS MUSCAT WADI KABIR Bait al Zubair Bait al Baranda Marina Bander Al Bustan Palace Hotel Oman Dive club Shangri-La- Barr Al Jissah Sri Lankan School NHI Pencil Building (Stationery shop) Al Maha bunk –Wadi Kabir Ajay Enterprises (Khimji) – (Next to Jingles nursery) Hotel Golden Oasis Sana Fashions Al Maya markets – (Old Rawasco) Scientific pharmacy – Opp to al Maya market ( Arab Udipi Rest)

Circulation

CBD AREA TO DARSAIT Al Amana Building materials – Opposite Jawad Sultan Al Omaniya Financial Services office Oman oil bunk Khimji mart shopping mall – (Old shopping & saving) Khimjis Bait al Ahlam- CBD area Pizza Muscat (Opposite ministry of manpower) Pizza Hut/TFC – CBD area Centre point-Splash Muscat Securities market Times of Oman Shell petrol Bunk (Next to Sheraton) OCCI Library – Oman Chamber of commerce (OPP MSM) KFC – Ruwi Oman International Bank – Ruwi Palayok Restaurant – Filipino restaurant Ever ready supermarket New India Assurance Office Al Fair – Ruwi high street Lakhoos Money Exchange, Ruwi High street Damas Jewellery/office – Ruwi Oman UAE Exchange – OCC Centre Air Arabia Office- Shanfari Travels Ruwi Hotel Gulf air building – Gulf air office Saravanabhavan Restaurant Sarco – Samsung showroom Khimji Megastore – Swarovski showroom OTE Moosa Abdul Showroom – next to al Jadeed Toshiba Showroom Al Jadeed shopping Badr Al Samaa Samara video (next to Talentz, old bait al ahlam) after 5pm Ministry of Education – Opp Wearhouse – Ruwi Future management consultants -(opp Toshiba showroom) Haffa House Hotel Al Falaj Hotel Muscat Bakery- Near church Pakistan School (after temple & church Darsait) Naranjee Hirjee office (before Hotel Golden Oryx) Hotel Golden Oryx Bank Muscat corporate office (Opposite Hotel Golden Oryx) Kamat Restaurant Uptown Restaurant Turtles Book shop Al Rima Clinic Lama Polyclinic

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Oman Air – CBD NBO- CBD area Bank Muscat Bank Sohar HSBC Standard Chartered Oman Arab Bank Harmony Music Centre – Next to OAB Bahwan Travel Agencies – CBD banks area OTTB – Oman Travels Bureau Air India office – CBD next to Costas Costas Papa John Supa Save – CBD Woodlands Bank Dhofar Horizon Restaurant – (Next to Moon travels) Oman post office Lulu Darsait Khimji Ramdas Head office, Muttrah (Kanaksi Khimji & pankaj Khimji) Majan College – Darsait junction (canteen) Indian Social Club Melody Music Centre – Next to ISM German Embassy – Hamriya roundabout Apollo Medical Centre Computer Xpress – Hamriya Roundabout Atlas Travels (Wadi Adai Roundabout (next to polyglot) Hatat House Passage to India Best cars Hyundai/Subaru/GM showroom Al Asfoor Furnishing Ahli Bank Shell marketing office SEAT car showroom- Wattayah DHL office- Wattayah Honda Showroom Sabco Head office wattayah NTT travels Wattayah Toyota Bahwan Advertising – Ist floor – Toyota showroom Lexus Ford showroom Shanfari Automotive Wattayah Motors- VW showroom Khoula Hospital Institute of Health sciences – opposite Khoula Kia showroom- wattayah QURUM AREA TOWARDS AL KHUWAIR Al Harthy ComplexPizza Muscat – next to Sultan Center in al Harthy complex Sultan Center Nissan showroom BMW showroom Muscat Private School Qurum city centre Pizza Hut – Qurum Capital Store Al Asfoor Plaza KFC Hardees Fono showroom next to Sabco centre Shah Nagardas Sabco Centre- Barista coffee shop only Al Araimi Panasonic Showroom NBO Qurum Al Khamis Plaza Al Wadi commercial centre – Coffee shop Mercedes showroom

CCC- Stand CCC Al Fair Bollywood chat Pizza Hut – Qurum Second Cup Nandos McDonalds Salman Stores Jawahir Oman Hamptons Business Services & Travel Amex office Ernst & Young buildg (OUA Travels) Starbucks Hawthorne institute- ELS Fahud Street, opp Qurum park Mumtaz Mahal Left bank Oman Association for the disabled Ministry of education (20 +20=20) Muscat Intercon Jawaharat Al Shatti complex- stand Oasis by the sea - crepe café stand LNG Office Al Qurum resort Bareek Al Shatti Complex Al Qandeel head office -, Entrance of Bareek al Shatti Al Shatti Cinema - Dunkin Donuts Al Sahwa Schools– principal’s office next to Ramada hotel Hotel Ramada Al Muriya Offices- next to Al sahwa schools Grand Hyatt Muscat Al Masa Mall Radio Shack Al Sarooj Complex Shell Petrol Bunk- Al Sarooj Al Fair Ramee Guestline Rock Bottom Classic Institute of Arts- next to Asas Oman Asas Oman Apartments Crowne Plaza Coral hotel Qurum Pvt school PDO Ras Al Hamraa Club Omanoil head office AL KHUWAIR/MSQ TOWARDS AZAIBA Al Thabat Travel & Tourism ELS – Al khuwair service road British School Muscat – MSQ British Council Oman oil- Madinat Qaboos Pizza Hut Khimjis mart – MSQ Kargeen Café Al fair Family Book shop- MSQ Tavola – Al Noor Hall buildg Starbucks Hana slimming centre – Ist Floor Fotomagic Al Noor Hall Al Jadeed Eqarat office Above Welcare Clinic – al Khuwair Domino Pizza Oman mobile Safeer Hypermarket Mustafa Sultan Souk Technia Omantel Oman international Bank – Al khuwair main office

Ibis Hotel Park inn Hotel Friendi Office Muscat Bakery Tropical Ice creams Subway Pizza Hut service road Ice Skating Rink National Training Institute Golden spoon Restaurant Shell Select- Al Khuwair Mcdonalds Mct holiday Inn Hotel Oman Bowling Center Halliburton Café Vergnano Khimji Mart – Next to Verganano Safeer suites Axa insurance (opp assarain Al khuwair) Zakher shopping Mall PAN Furnishing Harley Davidson Thrifty Al Amal Medical Centre – Dr Bashir Hotel Radisson Pizza Hut Al Khuwair Ozone Video Shop(Next to Pizza Hut) American British School Omar Khayyam Restaurant, next to V kool Grill House (next door) V Kool TAISM Centre for British Teachers – CFBT Baushar Complex Café Aviation Club Restaurant AZAIBA TOWARDS SEEB Lulu Hyper market – Baushar Oman Medical college College for Business & financial Studies opp Oman medical, baushar Azzan Bin Qais school - Baushar Muscat private Hospital Dolphin Village – Bausher Royal hospital Ghala industrial area – NTI National mineral water – Tanuf ( next to Al Madina Holiday Inn) Oman oil Azaiba Spicy Village – Rusayl Pizza Hut – Ghala Oman oil – Ghala Towell head office – Enhance & Ist floor Mazda showroom Mcdonalds – Azaiba Select shell Azaiba Oman Tribune – Al Watan office New India assurance Azaiba office Safeer Hypermart Nawras head office Zubair showroom and Yamaha corporate office(two places)- Yamaha Showroom – close to Zubair showroom – 1st floor Polyglot Institute GU Tech – Beach road Azaiba Chedi Muscat The wave Muscat corporate office NACA – national cancer Awareness Assn MCC – Crepe Café Al Bahja– Mood Café & food Court Al Maya Super market Oman air Seeb office (Below Flyover, before Golden Tulip) Oman Tourisn College Golden Tulip Hotel Air port Select Shell – Seeb Pizza Hut airport


MUSCAT, SALALAH, SUR, SOHAR, NIZWA, BARKA, KASAB MUSCAT continued...

SALALAH

SOHAR

NIZWA

KFC Muscat golf hills, SEEB KOM SQU – SQUH hospital , SQUH 2- canteen, 3Diplomatic Club, 4 – College of Commerce, 5 – Students banking area) Pizza Hut – al Khoud Sultan School al hail service road – principals’ office Caledonian college – principal’s office Oman Foot ball association

SHOPPING MALLS Lulu shopping center Al- Istaqarar shopping center (Salalah) Dhofar shopping center Bab Al- Salam market Al- Mashoor (Salalah) Al- Mashoor (Saada) Al-Khareef K.M Trading Al-Isteqarar (Saada) Al-Hoq super market Hamdan commercial market Fresh super market (Al-Sarat) Union Salalah Market Family bookshop

Spicy Village Restaurant Lulu Hypermarket Jumeirah Shopping Centre Khimji’s Mart Al Salem shopping Centrepoint Moosa Abdul Rahman – GMC Toyota Nissan Mitsubishi LG showroom Sohar Bakery Sohar University Bank Muscat Habib Bank Bank Sohar Oman International Bank Al Raffah Hospital Badr Al Samaa Oman Arab Bank Bank Dhofar HSBC Travel City National Travels and Tours Universal Travels and Tourism DHL Dhofar Insurance Al Ahlia Insurance Taeeger Finance Co Omantel Al Jazeera Group Narenjee Hirjee (International)

OIB, Nizwa OIB, Firq BankMuscat, Nizwa BM main branch, Nizwa BankMuscat, Firq NBO, Nizwa NBO, Firq Bank Abudhabi Toyota OTE Omantel Nawras Khimji, Nizwa Khimji, Izki Muscat Bakery, Nizwa Pizza Hut Discount centre Family shopping Al Diyar Hotel Safari hotel Al-Nif shopping, Izki Hungery Bunny, Nizwa College of Science College of Technic Nizwa Medical College Busmath Clinic Thalal Clinic Omanoil, Izki Omanoil, Firq Omanoil, Nizwa Omanoil, Marfa Shell, Izki Shell, Firq Shell, Nizwa Al-Maha, Firq Nizwa university -Dept of foreign lang Al-Maha, Marfa

RUSAYL AREA Rusayl Industrial Estate Oman Cables Sadolin Paints Jotun Paints Al waqia shoes Mehdi Foods Areej veg oils MINISTRIES AREA – AL KHUWAIR Ministry of tourism(Ghala, next to ISG) Ministry of social Development(next to Regional municipalities, Bank Mct) Ministry of foreign affairs

SUR Al-Hashar LNG LNG, Club Sur Sur Beach Hotel Sur University OTE, Sur Mitsibushi Rawaya coffee shop Toyota Nissan Sur Plaza Hotel Mazda Khimji Omantel Private Hospital, Sur BankMuscat Sur Hotel NBO, Sur Bank Dhofar, Sur ELS, Sur

HOTELS Crown Plaza Hilton Salalah Hamdan plaza Dhofar Hotel Salalah hotel Haffa House Redan Hotel Al- Hanaa Hotel BAMSIR hotel Al- Jabel hotel Al- Nile suite (Saada) Salalah Mariott MINISTRIES Ministry agriculture & fisheries Ministry of education Ministry of defense Ministry of housing & electricity Ministry of water Ministry of tourism Diwan of Royal court (Salalah) Ministry of primary court and justice Ministry of Commerce & industry Dhofar municipality (Baladia) Ministry of man power PETROL STATIONS, BANKS Shanfari filling Station shell select, al saada Oman oil Shell Salalah Bank Muscat Omantel Oman Arab Bank Pizza hut Dhofar University Al Maha souk

BARKA Lulu hyper market Safeer Centre Al Nahda resort Al Maha Souk Oman Oil Rumais Oman College of management OIB NBO Bank Muscat Shell OTE SARCO Nissan showroom Omantel

FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE AVAILABLE ALL OVER OMAN

20, 500 COPIES (BEING AUDITED) Circulation enquiries: 98675976/24565697

45

May 2014 Black & White


Free monthly magazine

AVAILABLE all over Oman

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FREE

20,500 copies (being audited) Circulation Enquiries: 98675976/24565697 Advertisement Enquiries: 97679290/24565697

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It's my life

Long live humanity! Vandana, award winning author (‘360 Degrees Back to Life')

By Vandana Shah

Let’s face it, I find airports and aircrafts fascinating and the constant flow of people coupled with the artificial environment, which always seems alive and vibrant really gets my writing cells ticking and scrambling for scraps of paper or my assorted tools of technology to write before my thoughts escape.

Airports are a giant cauldron of human nature where you see random acts of kindness like I recently witnessed an air steward and an air stewardess of Go Air –Sanjeet and Shiratchan-actually helping a really elderly gentleman, who, it was obvious, was on a plane for the first time, not only to be extremely comfortable in the flight, but when he asked for tea, which was chargeable, they actually silently and graciously without making a fuss or a grandstanding gesture of posturing, actually gave him the tea for gratis.

What was fascinating was, they made the exception for this man ,without any sniggering or condescension in their attitude or even expecting anything in return or even to be noticed. What a breath of fresh air such gestures are and really reinforce your faith in humanity.

I became a party to this gesture just by virtue of being in that flight and though I didn’t know both of them I made an effort to take down their names because such a story must be told especially when everyone laments the death of humanity.

Till next time love and hugs!

Vandana Shah, Author 360 Degrees Back To life, editor of Ex-Files. www.vandanashah.com. Email me what you’d like to say on 360degreesbacktolife@gmail.com Follow me on twitter Vandy4PM

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Cooking with

MANGOES

Cooking

Mangoes are a healthy and flavourful fruit to add to sweet and savoury dishes alike. Try your hand at healthy mango recipes, including recipes for salads, sorbets and deserts... try cooking with mango 48

May 2014 Black & White


Spicy Mango Salad Ingredients 4 medium mangos - peeled, seeded, and cubed 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons chopped shallots Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Place the mango cubes into a serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil. Season with red pepper flakes, cilantro, shallots, salt and pepper. Whisk briefly, then pour over the mangos. Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to blend the flavours before serving.

Mango and Baby Tomato Salad Dressing 1/4 cup mango juice 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon lemon juice Pinch coriander powder Pinch clove powder Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method Whisk the mango juice, oil, lemon juice, coriander, clove powder, salt, and pepper together in the bottom of a salad bowl. Add the mint, onion, tomatoes, mango, and cilantro and toss well. Taste the dressing and season again with salt, and pepper, if necessary. Let the dressing sit for five minutes before serving.

Salad 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint 1/4 cup minced red onion 1 cup baby tomatoes ( cherry or grape), cut in half 1 cup ripe mango chunks 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mango Berry Fruit Salad Ingredients 2 mangoes - peeled, seeded, and diced 1 cup reduced fat raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing 8 cups mixed torn salad greens 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 1/4 cup sliced red onion 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 1/2 cup fresh blackberries 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts 4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

a blender, and blend until liquefied. In a bowl, toss the remaining mango, salad greens, cilantro, and onion. Drizzle with the dressing mixture. Top each serving with equal amounts of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and hazelnuts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Method Place mango and the raspberry vinaigrette dressing in 49

May 2014 Black & White


Shape n Sound 50

May 2014 Black & White


Ayesha (false name) remembers being called ‘Aunty Ayesha’ when she was just six years old. Since a very tender age, Ayesha, who is now an entrepreneur in a neighbouring country, used to be weighing on the heavier side. And everyone made sure that she is aware of it. Some like her school mates used to directly make fun of her, passing rude remarks and calling her insulting names. Others, who were obviously lesser proportioned than her, used to pass snide remarks on her weight. Even her closest aunts and uncles used to quite often pull her leg because she was the ‘fattest’ of the lot!

“I don’t recall a day when someone did not comment on my weight,” Ayesha recalls, rather wistfully. Either she would be the butt of jokes, or, she would be made as an example to other kids as to what they shouldn’t be! But, she was the smartest of the lot. Not only that, she was good in her studies; she was a role model child in terms of behaviour and was totally industrious. As she aged, she recalled how many would often describe her “lazy”, not because they dealt with her and found her so, but by just looking at her. And this proved to be an ordeal at job interviews. Despite an impressive academic performance, most potential employers rejected her at her first personal interaction with them. Somehow, at the last minute, they felt that she was not suited for the job. Reason: she “seemed” to be lazy and presentable. Although she landed a job and worked her way up at a firm, she never got a front office managerial post because “of her looks”! Ayesha landed up doing two or three other jobs and soon the rather ungainly treatment, which was meted out to her by her bosses soon made her to start off on her own, a move that put her finally in the right direction. Today, she owns three boutiques, a well-known shoe centre and is planning to expand her operations abroad. But, she still resents the fact that many never gave her a leg up because she was, according to her, “too fat for comfort”!

It is a resentment worth looking into as that is not the ideal manner by which employers should view their potential or existing staff. If looks were the criterion, only good-looking people would get jobs, laughs Don Cameron, a lawyer who has fought for many women who were thus stigmatised in their jobs. “And if that is the case, then who will be doing their jobs?” he asks. While we will not divert the topic to an issue of good looking versus bad looking workers, we would still like to hold on to the issue of weighty women being discriminated all around. Have you ever been a victim of weight-related bullying? Such bullying does occur when you are a child or a teenager, but when it continues when you are an adult, then such women would have to battle life-long scars and will be prone to low self-esteem. Not everyone can be an Ayesha to bravely fight it out and win in the process. There are many out there for whom their weight has been a lifelong problem, and not only has it hampered their style, it has also affected their career. Many have openly stated that they have lost out on promotions or been demoted or even fired because of weight-related discrimination. In this modern age where everybody seems to have an open mind, is this how we treat the fairer sex?

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Health 52

May 2014 Black & White


Women need to take issues of the HEART seriously By Tracey Edwards

In the world of women, heart attacks seem to be a great leveler; it does not discriminate as it attacks both young and old, the couch potatoes and the fitness freaks and even for those whose heart never even displayed a negative flutter. In such a situation, it is of great importance that women take a good look at themselves and ask if they have done justice to themselves and their precious hearts? It is time that they have a heart-to-heart (you are right, that is the height of clichés) talk with their health provider. It is time that they drop all excuses and go and meet their medical practitioner and sort out any issues if it is there. Before they begin, women need to sort out one key element. There is so much of information in the market about heart diseases, but at the same time, there are so many myths too floating around. If some of you are caught in that web of myths, you wouldn’t probably know where to begin. But, one somber note that women could ponder on is that it is said heart attacks have killed more women than men since the last two decades. Now is this a worldwide statistic or endemic to one nation alone is not clear, but by no means are these fact dismissive; in fact, they are serious points one need to consider. Therefore, it is time to ponder on how best we can use the available facilities of a modern world and get ourselves checked. Statistics in some countries reveal that women die of heart disease more than they die of cancer, but yet the movement to beat this disease among women is still desultory; aimless because many women have not yet grabbed this truth that heart diseases were

actually stalking them and not men as was formerly believed. Let it be a man’s issue; let all these statistics be proved wrong, but is there any harm in women making a beeline to their health providers? What are they going to lose? Concerned medicos are now doing their bit to raise awareness in women’s camps and address this point that many women are dying because they were not able to recognise the heart attack symptoms. Their campaign will work better if women, who are known to make a real difference when they rise in arms, start to think more about their health than waste their time worrying over other trivial issues. The moment they decipher a wrong step, a murmur or even a hint of nausea, fatigue, dizziness, back or jaw pain, they need to seek medical help. Sure, it could be a false alarm and thank your stars for that, but what if it isn’t, asks Dr Keerti Bhasker, a well-known cardiologist of a major hospital chain in India. “There have been cases when even medical professionals have misdiagnosed heart attacks in women; there are tragic stories when such patients were sent home, only to have them collapsing and losing their lives,” she recalls. The first step is to create full and lasting awareness and it should start right from the home, spreading on the family and friends circle and then taking it further on a worldwide education and information providing campaign. “Since prevention and early diagnosis are the main points in helping to lower the risk for heart diseases and subsequent fatality, an awareness campaign on all fronts is the need of the hour!” Mya y2 021041 4 Ma 5353 Black && White White Black


I agree!

Hooked

By Priya Arunkumar Why are we so sure that others are wrong? What is it that triggers an opinion even before the conversation starts? I was caught in the midst of a heated argument that looked quite volatile and dangerous. The topic was silly, but the people involved were aggressive and believed both were right. Friends joined in to quip their own versions, but the discussions looked like a never ending one. A while ago, there was laughter, harmless chatter and even plans for a holiday ahead, all together. Everything looked hunky-dory! In a whiff of a second the temperature soared high, relationships went haywire, personal abuse dropped in, the scene changed dramatically. All this at just a change of tone of one of the participants! Now, in a normal situation, I would be almost in the centre of the argument, relishing the heated arguments, because being opinionated comes naturally to me. I would always get the last word, or at least would think so and end the episode. Something in me triggers an opinion even before the debate starts and my mind would decide I know the issue better than the person on the other side. I would be quick to list out every point in my tirade against the topic of discussion, finally I have a point to prove…don’t I? I don’t know. Maybe I am just born argumentative; or maybe I am surrounded by people who always say the wrong things. I also vehemently deny or aggressively try to prove my view of the argument, throwing away all respect, relation and reason to the wind. But in

those situations, I don’t watch the incident as a third person. Though I clearly understand that in any topic of debate, when we listen with less judgment, we always develop better relationships with those we thought we couldn't understand. But, the urge to react is much more than the reasoning to stop the voice of judgment or opinion and just listen. No I don’t have an argumentative personality, like what the psychologists call it, it is just that sometimes I feel I know it all, a wee little extra confidence than the other! My daily mantra is never, “I object.” Neither am I self centered. It is just that my viewpoint is a little better than the other! I don’t believe that other people are always the source of starting an argument. No, I am not a blamer! But, yes, to a great extent I believe I am right. Sitting there watching the arguing fools in action, it suddenly dawned on me that this is exactly I would be doing most of the time, using my lung power to prove a point… sorry, prove MY point! While all others watched. It was not a pretty scene, it only displayed how weak humans can be when they get emotional and engage in lopsided views. It just reminded me that chronic arguing is a wrongly cultivated habit over a period of time, which, with time and patience, can be unlearned. The worst thing in the world is the feeling you are wrong, but definitely not worse than making another feel they are wrong… after all every one of us have the right to our own opinion. Right? priya@blackandwhiteoman.com


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May 2014 Black & White


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