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Vol.1 Issue 17II July 7-20, 2010


Dream come true for Hamoud p13 Do men believe in astrology? p18 Key to curing loneliness p70

FREE Fortnightly

25 Rajab-8 Sha'ban


what we live for


Coming Soon! Oman's first comprehensive online directory More details:

Who’s gonna win this World Cup?? Cup

Try your luck and tell us who is gonna be the world champions‌ and win prizes! See page 75

Makes no sense I am a man and its obvious men make better drivers. But, as far as road traffic accidents are concerned, we are perhaps, the worst culprits on road, and unfortunately, because of our ego, we tend to show off how good we are on the roads, which however ends in disaster. The truth is that women are a lot more careful on the road, but some have a tendency to drive slowly. I would say, by far, that is their only fault, which needs just a little patience to tackle. And in response to the last comment (June 7 – 20 issue), I cannot believe someone could blame men’s carelessness on the roads because they are distracted by women! The writer also says that men show our superiority and driving skills to women whom he does not even know…and for that reason, women should be banned? Come on, I mean, it does not make any sense at all! Charles K., Al Hail

Don’t hang us please If we read the letter ‘Because we are women’ (June 7), we might be under the impression only women bother about their parents. It is a sad fact that the media and the society at large makes it feel that only women have feelings and only they are eligible for sympathy. Men may have a different mental and physical makeup. But, that doesn’t make them any lesser than women as far as emotions like love and caring are concerned. We also love our parents. We also love our wives, perhaps we may not be as demonstrative as women, but, that doesn’t mean we are not caring. Don’t lynch us just because you don’t understand us. Sanjith Aaron, Seeb

8 July 7-20, 2010

Fantastic work Marwa It was great to read (Issue June 7) about an Omani girl (Marwa Al Wadhahi) winning a Sudoku event. Although I love to play Sudoku, I am not good at it. I take about 15 to 20 minutes to finish the Sudoku puzzle in Black & White. So, I was really amazed to read that young Marwa finished her competition puzzle, which would obviously be difficult, in 12 minutes flat. That is really fantastic! Great work Marwa! So, we have an Omani Sudoku champ! Great! I am so happy! Nasser Al Harthy, Wattayah

Make Oman proud Way to go Marwa, you are really the pride of Sudoku in Oman! Hope you become a great Sudoku master and make Oman more proud! Najib Al Zedjali, Ma’waleh

Man of few words 4000, 200, 1 and 0 – that is indeed the autism story (June 7) in Oman and Dr Yahya (Al-Farsi) has hit it on the nail. Like Black & White said, he is a man of few words, but his few words mattered. I think in those few words, he has covered the entire autism story about Oman. Salim R., Qurum Mail your views and opinions at Black & White 9


Football yesterday was a time in Oman when the love 36 There of football meant more to the players than anything else in the world. There was a time when time stood still but the players went on playing. Black & White spoke to two of the old football greats to glean more information of a time when nothing else mattered for many football players but the game itself

13 Bitter Batter


much for hospitality 50 So He did not greet us properly, no, not even a smile, but just a bland, glazed look and simply went into the business of getting more money from us

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White BPA Consumer Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Audit applied for Office location: Hatat House, Office no: 212, II Floor December 2009 Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: Editorial: 10 July 7-20, 2010

Unique website wins Pan Arab Web Award Some dreams come true. For Hamoud Mohammed Al Azri, it was a dream that came true after seven years. And all through the seven years, he battled the odds to bring out a website to his liking and develop it to be one of the best in Oman

Editor-in-chief Managing editor Work editor Design & production Photographer Advt. & marketing

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Priya Arunkumar Adarsh Madhavan Beneek Siraj Najib Al Balushi Swithun Fernandes, Ali Al Raisi

All about X, Y & Z

We INTEND to publish that press release By Adarsh Madhavan “Why didn’t you publish that press release?” D-uh? I am mostly ‘D-uh’, these days. I have a hunger like Jughead and an ability to comprehend things – little and small -- that would make me a country cousin of Big Moose (both of Archie comics fame). Yet, I asked this man on the line again: what press release? “You don’t publish any press releases that we send,” he said. Now, there was a slight change in the script. First it was, “why didn’t you publish the press release”, then it got changed to “why is that you don’t publish any press releases that we send”. Ok, which one to take? Sir, mister so and so, what press releases are you talking about, I asked. “The press releases of our company,” he said indignantly. Ok, now, where have you sent it, I asked. “We have been sending them to you,” he stressed. When, where and how? Do you have copies of what you have sent? If it was sent by email you must be having copies, right, I asked, losing my D-uh status to plain irritation. There was no reply. In fact, upon further inquiry, it was found that he had never sent a press note to us. Yet, ‘he wanted his press releases to be published in our magazine!’ I guess, I have become a bit old, old fashioned, a bit outdated and a bit out of sync with these newfangled methods of journalism. So, I, for heaven’s sake, have no clue about how someone can expect us to publish a press note that has not been sent to us. Of course, if there is some method like that, do not hesitate to update me. Or, why don’t you intend to send me a press note on that? I might publish it before you even intend to send it. How about that for being totally updated about the new techno happenings? Uh or D-uh?

BRUTALITY AGAINST INNOCENTS What in heaven’s name make some of us just attack other people? How can we attack, assault, brutalise and maim some rank strangers/ innocents who are just minding their own business and not in the way of anyone? I was going through a mail being circulated among a select few, recently. This mail talked of a poor woman worker of Asian origin who was recently attacked by some unknown assailant(s). Don’t know who. Of course, they will be found out and the law will take its own course and they will get their due, but how could someone attack an innocent being just like that? The pictures -- taken of the victim at a hospital here -- are quite disturbing. You can’t do that to a woman. You can’t do that to a human being or anything that lives. If you are crazy and mad about something, go and punch a wall, or bang your head on to a rock…don’t hurt innocent lives! What is that makes us do this to those who are smaller than us; weaker than us and are actually helpless, powerless? The email spoke about a poor little woman getting assaulted for no reason and left almost half dead. It was a man who did this, a man who was borne of parents like mine and yours; a man, who probably has a family that he goes to after committing this dastardly deed…what if this man’s parents get to know what horror their son had indulged in; what if his family learns what the man of the house had done…? Of course, we hear of these cases and we know that there are atrocities against innocents everywhere. It makes even great coffee table and party conversations, but if real action is not initiated and if work is not done at the grassroots level in changing the moral mindset of the fast-growing young adults, we will all be facing a minor crisis of sorts…then the worry on many a mind would be: today a woman worker, tomorrow, it could be me…

Black & White 11


Men Do(n't) believe in astrology

must have told men 14 Someone that believing in horoscopes is a girly, weak thing, like crying over sad movies or songs. Otherwise, why would many men (read macho men) guffaw when they hear about our natural liking for all things astrology or horoscopes?

Why do men get married? Some men suddenly reach a certain age and realise that they have a different type of leaning. They are no longer in the mood to fool around and want to be happy in a lasting relationship. Let us look at some of the reasons and the good sides and the downsides of it

For him


12 July 7-20, 2010

Kick those bad habits


Bad eating habits seriously eat away at our health. It can make us fat, sluggish and generally unhealthy. But, unfortunately, you cannot just stop your bad habits in just one day! You need time to wean yourself from your bad habits. If you just stop doing what you have been doing all this while in just one day, you might get cold turkey and that could be a tad bit traumatic…what do you say?

A DREAM COME TRUE... Some dreams come true, eventually. For the young and talented Omani IT professional, Hamoud Mohammed Al Azri, it was a dream that came true after seven years.

Black & White 13

Playground 14 July 7-20, 2010

And all through the seven years, his was an uncommon struggle, where he battled the odds to bring out a website to his liking and develop it to be one of the best in Oman. But, it was not enough that he liked it --- it had to be beyond that for Hamoud had taken a step very few would dream of taking – he was, in these seven years, working on a website on His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. And it was worth the wait. For, after seven years, when he launched his dream website, it was an immediate hit. There was no website of its kind in Oman. More importantly, the site has authentic, approved information on His Majesty the Sultan, which has proven to be a boon for many who are keen to know more about Oman’s benevolent leader.

A SEVEN- YEAR PROJECT “It was a seven-plus-years dream for me to create this unique website about our beloved ruler. I know it was a path less taken. So, I engaged in meticulous planning, did proper research and worked very hard at it.

year of launch.

I reached out to hundreds of people and finally after more than seven years, I was able to create my dream website (,” Hamoud tells Black & White in a recent interview where he also details his recent achievement.

The site is a winner among over 410 websites that entered this year’s competition from among the Arab countries.

AWARD WINNER The website,, which features His Majesty’s profile in seven dfferent languages, recently won an award in the prestigious Pan Arab Web Awards (PAWA). It has won several awards including the Oman Web Award in its maiden

Hamoud, who designed the website, received the Pan Arab Award for ‘Best Structure’ in the VIP category in the grand finale event held at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort in Muscat, recently.

“I won an award last year for my website. It was a double delight when I won wider recognition within the region by winning in the grand finale of the sixth Pan Arab Web Awards (PAWA) Competition. It was in the VIP category and websites of the rulers of the KSA, the UAE and Oman were there too. I am very proud that www.oman-qaboos. net was chosen for such a recognition. Black & White 15

The website was selected for its design technical flexibility and easy to navigate features,” Hamoud said, adding that today the website has millions of visitors, not limited to Oman, but from all over the world. "I am now looking at developing the website in the coming months. This year is a milestone year being the 40th anniversary and so, I want to do something special with the website.”


GIFT FOR THE NATION What began as a mere childhood hobby, somehow captured Hamoud’s imagination and soon he was tirelessly and passionately working on it. “Soon it surged ahead from a serious hobby to something bigger. “I tried out my hand in web designing and created some 16 July 7-20, 2010

corporate websites. This was when I stumbled on to the idea of getting into web designing seriously. But I was not very sure as to how to go about it. So I ventured into the creation of websites with innovation, creativity and research. During this process, I realised the potential and wondered why shouldn't I do something new and unique? I wanted to do something for my nation. And this thought got me on to my dream project.” UPHILL TASK But, it was not an easy task. It was a real hard struggle to reach this stage and Hamoud remembers every aspect of his arduous trek uphill to bring out this valuable website. “I can never forget all those who helped me in my task – I am forever indebted to them,” Hamoud noted.

UNIQUE WEBSITE is a unique website, the first of its kind in seven languages – Arabic, English, French, Korean, Hindi, Portuguese and Parsi.

excellence. “Maintaining something on a high level of expectations is very difficult and I am striving to maintain the highest of the standards, because it is about my nation and its wise ruler.”

The website, which includes biography and unique photographs of His Majesty the Sultan, has a unique search engine capacity.

FUTURE Although accolades and praises have been showered on the creator of, Hamoud, who is a perfectionist, insists that both, he and the website, have a long way to go.

“If you search, it appears in the top list. My only thought during the whole process is how to be different and how to make it reach in a better manner than others. And finally, all that hard work, paid off.” But, like any other dream projects, it was an ongoing one for Hamoud. “I think, breathe and live this website. Not a day passes by without my desire to take the website to another level of

“I have to update the languages. And, I hope one day there will be videos and news updates on this website. Keeping the interest of the browsers on a high and giving them authentic photos, and information is my goal. I will continue in my pursuit of perfecting this website,” he said. Black & White 17

By Lisa Smitten SOMEONE MUST HAVE TOLD MEN that believing in horoscopes is a girly, weak thing, like crying over sad movies or songs. Otherwise, why would many men (read macho men) guffaw when they hear about our natural liking for all things astrology or horoscopes? While I would not get into a debate of whether it is right or wrong to believe in astrology, the fact of the matter is that majority amongst us believe in it and if the men are saying that they don’t, why is it that they take a sneak peek at their horoscopes in the daily newspapers, while they are having their morning cuppa? Why do you (men) do that? You have always been reading our (ladies) magazines, and then, you have always been taking a sneak peek at the horoscopes, yet, when it comes to party talk, you sneer and say that astrology is poppycock! But, when it comes to something personal, when you are affected by some problem and you get desperate, you may even turn to astrology and have your horoscope read. There are astrologers who claim that many men in power consult them in secret and do not want the world to know that they have gone to an astrologer when they have political, business or personal problems. Men, aren’t you being totally hypocritical when you claim that you don’t believe in astrology, while you are covertly having your palms read? Astrologers also note that some men denounce them in public, but are, in reality, their biggest supporters. “When we see them outside, or in functions, they literally walk past us as though we are rank strangers, or act as we don’t exist. But, just an hour back they would have been sitting with us, baring their lives to us and trying to seek astro solutions for their mountain of problems,” a famous astrologer tells me. But, he is not willing to reveal names either for that would close his chapter with these powerful men.

Men read

Yes, powerful men, with political clout, rich businessmen with money power and even gangsters and goons (all men of course) turn to the stars when the tides are unfavourable against them. In my own experience, I know at least 10 or more men who are ardent believers of astrology, and majority of them have no qualms in admitting that. But the ones who pretend that astrology does not exist and horoscopes don’t matter have some kind of problems accepting that they are like us. Somehow, they equate such belief with weakness and men are not supposed to be weak, right? Right?

18 July 7-20, 2010

There are astrologers who claim that many men in power consult them in secret and do not want the world to know that they have gone to an astrologer when they have political, business or personal problems


do(n't) believe in ASTROLOGY

Black & White 19

Hale & healthy

Kick those

Talk about eating and you will discover that all of us have bad habits. Some of us snack on continuously even as we work. Some enjoy midnight snacks. Others pass out on the couch every night after having one too many. Even the so-called healthy ones amongst us sometimes unknowingly engage in habits that are detrimental to our health and our physique. Bad eating habits seriously eat away at our health. It can make us fat, sluggish and generally unhealthy. But, unfortunately, you cannot just stop your bad habits in just one day! You need time to wean yourself from your bad habits. If you just stop doing what you have been doing all this while in just one day, you might get cold turkey and that could be a tad bit traumatic…what do you say? So, let us look for slow, but sure methods to stop your bad habits!

20 July 7-20, 2010

EATING A HEAVY MEAL BEFORE BED Who does not know the fact that a nice big meal can put you right to sleep? But, perhaps, you did not know that it would go straight to your gut. While it is debatable that eating before bed directly causes weight gain, there is no doubt that if you eat a large meal (high in carbohydrates) before your body goes to rest, chances are that your body will not burn them all for fuel. Also, unless you haven’t met your daily caloric requirements, eating a large meal before bed can add unnecessary calories to your diet. When you sleep, your body goes into “repair and store” mode, so if you are not active enough throughout the day, your body may turn the food into fat. Bad eating habit solution: Eat veggies and lean protein before bed. Late-night hunger could be your body’s way of telling you that you are tired and you need sleep -- not food. Make sure you eat enough veggies and lean proteins during dinner. High-fiber veggies and lean proteins will make you feel full and they’re low in calories. Pack them in and you’ll feel full for hours. If you didn’t stuff yourself with veggies at supper, and you didn’t consume your daily caloric allowance, go ahead and have a snack that is high in protein, as this macro nutrient helps your body repair itself. Choose lean proteins, such as chicken breast or cottage cheese, as they have far fewer calories than fatty meats and cheeses. Lean proteins and vegetables are less likely to be stored as fat because your body will use the nutrients in them to nourish itself. If you think drinking juice is healthy, you might need to break one more habit... DRINKING FRUIT JUICE When you were a kid, mom was always telling you to drink your juice. It’s good for you, right? True, pure fruit juice has lots of vitamins, but it also has a lot of sugar, usually more sugar than the fruit it came from. And sugar energy, when it’s not used

immediately in the body, is stored as fat. Drink a few glasses of fruit juice and you’ll accrue calories like a snowball collects snow when it rolls down hill. Bad eating habit solution: wwEat the whole fruit instead. Fruit is filling and has less sugar than fruit juice. Plus, it contains more vitamins and nutrients than pure juice. It also contains fiber that will fill you up and cause the sugar to slowly enter your blood stream, which means that your body will be less likely to store it as fat. The next time you’re craving a glass of Tropicana, grab an orange instead. COMPULSIVE SNACKING You compulsively snack on chips while you work. The habit might help you burn through projects, but it also helps your body store fat. Plus, most snacks are super salty and won’t help your hypertension. Any way you look at it, snacking all day long is bad for you. Bad eating habit solution: Manage your snacking. Don’t bring the whole bag to your desk. Instead, take a small amount of your snack and put the rest away. Or, simply buy single-sized bags so you don’t consume a big bag by eating mindlessly. Another tip is to keep track of your snacking. Every time you reach for the bag, mark it down or make a strong, mental note of it. This will help you realise exactly how much you eat during the day. It can be sobering and may provide the motivation you need to drastically cut back on snacks. It may also help to break your three big meals into five smaller ones, which will keep your metabolism revved and will help you feel full throughout the day and could help you kick snacking altogether. TIME TO BREAK FREE Bad habits are hard to break, especially when they involve food. A few simple substitutions, however, can turn your bad habits into good ones. Over time, your diet will become lighter, healthier, more nutritious, and you’ll feel and look your best. So kick those habits; it’ll be good for you. Black & White 21

Why do MEN get



22 July 7-20, 2010

Without much ado, let us ask you the question (assuming that you are married, that is): why did you get married? Because it was time to get settled down Because you wanted to raise a family Because you had enough fooling around Because everyone else in the group was getting married Because you feel that you are mature enough Because you want to carry the family name further Because… BECAUSE OF THOUSAND and one reasons. And these could vary from falling in love; money factors, wanting to raise children and other serious reasons. There is also the age factor. Some men suddenly reach a certain age and realise that they have a different type of leaning. They are no longer in the mood to fool around and want to be happy in a lasting relationship. Let us look at some of the reasons and the good sides and the downsides of it: LONELINESS Sure, some of us do get lonely. We get afraid to be alone. In this, we are no different than women, even though we do not show it. But, then, if men marry because they are lonely, then it is a surefire recipe for disaster. When a person feels isolated and alone, and needs someone else to make them feel whole, the marriage is not going to work. If you have an emotional deficit, then don’t try to fill it with someone else’s love. It won’t work.

their life where they’re at a comfortable level of financial stability. Another threshold they’ve crossed is figuring they’ve lived the single life long enough. Of the married men polled, a majority had said that they got married “because it was the right time to settle down”. CHILDREN Believe it or not, men also love children. Men get married because they feel marriage is appropriate before deciding to bring a child into the world. The conventional wisdom indicates that it would send the “wrong message” if a cohabitating man and woman raised a child without being married. According to various studies, the thought of having children was a major factor in deciding to settle down. Along with having children, a major percentage of men who were looking for a spouse chose someone who would be a good mother.

THE ULTIMATUM Well, that would only mean one thing. If you want to stick around, marry me, she says. If you are going to hem and haw and dither over this then the Sword of Damocles is looming dangerously above. In other words, she might leave. Just like that. Why is she prepared to take such a drastic step? Well, her biological clock is ticking; she is getting nervous; what are her chances to have children? So, men, who face the ultimatum are left with no choice but to get married. RIGHT TIMING Men get married because they arrive at a point in time where they decide it’s the right time for marriage. They may have reached a point in Black & White 23

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Off the wall

Astrologers can’t predict someone’s death O

By Adarsh Madhavan

I harmed someone in my previous birth – that is why I am suffering, I told her. She did not seem to hear. These days no one seems to hear what I say. I tried to impress her with this: Look, I met this astrologer who said that I had done something bad in my previous birth and hung by remorse, I took my own life. Because of that, my ‘punishment’ in my current birth or avatar is far less than what it should have been, the astrologers told me. She was clearly unimpressed: “Do you believe in this rot?” I was taken aback: Look, it is not rot. I cannot be sure about the past details, but they were fantastic on the current facts, and so, I assumed that they would be right on the past too. Besides, I am suffering currently, and I don’t believe I have done anything wrong in my current life… “I can’t believe that you can get fooled by these fraudulent astrologers. I don’t believe in astrology, but I know it is a science and the ones who have clearly studied this art can reveal some points about your current past, but, not always accurate though… if they can predict everything, the first ones that they should predict about is themselves or their loved ones…did you ever think of that? “And please believe me, no one can talk about your past life, the soul etc. Who are they? Some divine beings? Astrologers can say what had happened in your life and unveil some possibilities for the future. Beyond that they are not able to say anything. Don’t believe it. It is all false. At least educated people should not fall for such ridiculous tales.” I did not know whether she meant that I was uneducated and an illiterate, therefore easy prey to astrologers, but whatever, the problem is: I am a willing victim because I like astrology. I like predictions, I like the whole aura set by an astrologer and that delicious feeling you get of being able to unmask the future and peek into areas of what fantastic moments await. I used to be hooked to astrology at one point of time and was almost directed by its dictates set by some friendly visiting astrologers here, but off


he ft


late, I have not had the chance to hobnob with them. But, when an acquaintance told me that he had brought an astrologer here and invited me to meet him, I did not say no. I had another purpose. I wanted to show the horoscope of a troubled man. So, I was stunned when the astrologer laid bare the facts before me and unveiled to me everything that I was trying to hide about this person. Everything to the current turmoil that person was in. Although I did not have much time, I still showed my horoscope to them and amidst other things, they told me of my unusual exploits in my past life. So, I could not wholly agree with what she was telling me. You are wrong, who said they cannot talk of past lives or tormented souls, I argued. I am good at arguing without any rhyme or reason. But this time, I got what I deserved. I told her that everything that the astrologers said about the horoscope was true. “Well, that is good,” she said, “but, no one can talk about past lives and souls, let that be clear!” We argued till we went blue, but decided to clash on this later. But, within days, tragedy struck and the person whose horoscope that I took to the astrologer suddenly left us all. Just like that. It was heartbreaking. And the truth behind it was grim: none of these astrologers were able to predict that this person would be no more in a matter of weeks! They never saw that! How could they miss the most important fact in the horoscope? What astrology was this that could not even see or predict that? And, sigh, I guess…I guess, she was right!

Black & White 25

This highly mobile madness

Bikram Vohra, internationallyknown Gulf based scribe

By Bikram Vohra

Sunny side up

The other day this cab came to a halt near where I was standing and four men got out. Each one of them was on a mobile phone and the ludicrousness of it would have made for a great photograph. Think of it, they must have sat in the cab having four way conversations simultaneously. Saving the world? Holding an international financial confab. Not really. Simply engaging in one of the three most common reasons for making mobile phone calls: •To say you are on the way(pointless). •To ask office if anyone had called for you (largely pointless). •To tell secretary that if someone calls tell them I’ll be back in an hour (utterly pointless). And you know the funniest part, it is now fashionable not to give your mobile number to people. Sorry Sir, I am not authorised to give you the mobile number. Then why does he carry it? And it crossed my mind that as the mobile mania grips us so terribly there should be a code of conduct mandatory for everyone who carries these gizmos around. I call it my eleven commandments. 1: Thou shalt not endanger life on road by juggling steering with one hand while trying to talk through instrument wedged between chin and collarbone as the car sways between lane one and lane two. Stop and call or stay off the road. 2: Thus shalt have the common courtesy of not entering someone’s home and saying excuse me, and then dialling numbers off your machine while host and hostess stare dumbly at you. This is the height of bad manners and anyone so insensitive should be struck off the guest list. 3:Thou shalt not carry mobile phone into theatre or stadium. If you are that important and can’t be away from your work then you shouldn’t be watching the game or the movie in the first place. Believe me, you are not that indispensable, life will 26 July 7-20, 2010

bumble along without you, surprise, surprise. 4: Thou shalt not sit opposite another in restaurant and receive or make calls as the soup goes cold. That is also extreme bad manners especially if the other guy is paying the bill. Why should so many reasonably intelligent people engage in this practice? 5: Thou shalt be a lesser idiot than normal and not make calls from an aircraft seat before the doors close because it is offensive to other passengers settling in to have you yelling on your that before embarking. 6: Thou shalt not carry mobiles into meetings and then disrupt the proceedings by receiving bleeps, pips, vibrations or some ghastly tune from the mobile. Teeteeetetooo to you,too. 7: Thou shalt not march through life visibly carrying mobile phone like a status symbol or a security blanket or a suit of armour or an excuse to escape the situation. Believe me you look stupid when you walk into some place carrying it like a treasure. 8: Thou shalt not, in any gathering, say sshshshhshsh, I have a phone call. If you have a phone call then shshshsh yourself, why should we all have to stop living so you can talk. 9: Thou shalt not bore the pants off others by discussing ad nauseum the merits and demerits of the features on their mobile phones...who cares, why should we find it fascinating, what is it to the world if your TTK2005 has more memory than the K6000. 10:Thou shalt not enter elevator mid conversation on a mobile phone and then annoy other users by continuing to gab as the lift moves up. That is rude. 11: Thou shalt not ask other people for their mobiles to make urgent calls, please, just a sec. You want to make a call, use your own phone. This list should be printed and given by all mobile phone manufacturers and retailers.

AUTISM can't speak. Let us!

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Cause 28 July 7-20, 2010

Muscat Autism Centre conducts autism AWARENESS event

Muscat Autism Centre held an autism awareness event at the Grand Hyatt hotel, recently.The event was attended by parents, hotel staff and officials of the centre. An expert on autism highlighted various problems related to autism in kids and how to tackle them. Autism, being a complex developmental disability, poses a challenge for most parents with autistic kids. However, autism presents itself during the first three years of a person’s life and so, it can be reliably detected by that time. In some cases, even earlier than that. Black & White magazine had also recently conducted a charity event for autism and raised funds for the cause. Black & White 29

Atlantis, The Palm joins Emirates

Skywards programme Atlantis, The Palm continues to strengthen its position as an icon of Dubai by teaming with Emirates, by becoming a partner in the prestigious Skywards programme. Guests of Atlantis will earn skywards miles throughout the resort, and depending on the level of the membership, guests and visitors will be able to enjoy additional benefits throughout Atlantis, the first truly integrated entertainment destination resort in the Middle East, therefore giving members the unique opportunity to both earn miles and enjoy benefits.

BankMuscat 'Celebrate Together' Initiative


BankMuscat and Omantel celebrated by distributing drawing materials kits to the children of Oman participating in the drawing contest jointly launched by the bank and Omantel in commemoration of the Sultanate’s 40th National Day celebrations. The event was attended by Sulaiman Al Harthy, group deputy general manager consumer banking, BankMuscat, officials from BankMuscat and Omantel and number of

30 July 7-20, 2010

participants, at the Azaiba roundabout branch. The national campaign, which was recently revealed by officials from BankMuscat and Omantel, aims at giving members of the Omani society a chance to exhibit the achievements of the Omani Renaissance. The contest, in which children from all the wilayats and regions of the Sultanate can take part, is expected to active participation from all.


Omantel website was awarded first prize for the best website in the telecommunications category award at the 2010 Pan Arab Web Awards, held at Shangri La Bar Al Jissah Resort recently. The Pan Arab Web Awards are the Arab world most prestigious accolades aiming at promoting the spirit of innovation and creativity. Commenting on this occasion, Rao Chagarlamudi, vice president of consumer business unit at Omantel said: “We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious award. Indeed, it is real recognition of valuable work done by a team passionate about providing Omantel customers with an exceptional experience following the launch of our new enhanced brand.”

website rated best

Muscat Eye Laser Center advocates early and prompt treatment of eye disorders Common eye problems if left untreated can potentially result in more serious complications for sufferers, say consultants at Muscat Eye Laser Center. The risks are particularly pronounced in a country like Oman where a combination of environmental, hereditary and lifestyle-related factors is found to contribute to eye diseases. In Oman, an increasing number of cataract cases encountered by eye care providers involve hard

cataract and near opaque lens – a condition signalling the acute onset of cataract. “Clearly, these are cases involving people who have just discovered they have cataract. At this point, the cataract would be in an advanced state, making them much more difficult to remove through surgery,” says Dr Jose Ricardo Lievano S., ophthalmologist and cataract surgery consultant at Muscat Eye Laser Center.

Oman Plastic Industries Oxo-Biodegradable plastic bags Oman Plastic Industries has launched manufacturing of Oman’s first OxoBiodegradable Plastic bags. Oxobiodegradable plastics, with a preprogrammed life, significantly reduce the harmful effect on the environment. At the end of its useful service life, they degrade in the environment by a combination of oxidation and

biodegradation. During its service-life, strength and other qualities are the same as ordinary plastics. “With the technology now available in Oman, it empowers retailers and organisations who think ‘Green’ to show their care for the environment,” says Tariq Ali Mirza, managing director of Oman Plastic Industries. Black & White 31

Tremendous response to


MMS competition Nawras has announced the 16 winners of its extremely popular MMS picture competition which closed for entries mid last month after almost 40,000 pictures were submitted. “We have seen an amazing response to this competition and we are so pleased that

our customers have enjoyed it so much,” said Mohammed Al Najwani, mobile VAS marketing manager. “Our beautiful country offers so many different photographic opportunities leading our customers to send in some truly stunning entries. I am glad that it was a popular vote

to decide the winner because it would have been an impossible task for us to choose from all the talented entries we received. I hope everyone will continue to enjoy the simplicity and fun of sending an MMS even though the competition itself is now over,” he said.

appoints deputy chairwoman The board of directors of National Bank of Oman (NBO) S.A.O.G. announced the appointment of Sayyidah Rawan bint Ahmed bin Thabit Al Said, as deputy chairwoman. Sayyidah Rawan holds a Master of Science degree in economics and finance, from Loughborough University, U.K. and a post graduate diploma in investment analysis, from Stirling University, U.K. Sayyidah Rawan received her bachelors degree in economics and political science from American University, Cairo. She is currently a board member of a number of MSM listed companies. The bank also announced the appointment of Suresh Motiram Shivdasani as a board member representing Suhail Bahwan Group (Holding) LLC in replacement of Sheikh Ahmed Bin Suhail Bin Salim Bahwan, subject to Central Bank of Oman approval.

Muriya Wordpress

is awarded the Green Habitat Award The Muriya Tourism Development Company has been awarded the ‘Green Habitat’ Award, part of the Oman Green Awards initiative, for the As Sodah Island project which is currently under construction. 32 July 7-20, 2010

Gargash & Trade Links Insurance Services unveil logo

Gargash & Trade Links Insurance Services LLC recently launched their corporate identity and logo at a high-profile function attended by top dignitaries in town. Yahya Said Abdullah Al Jabri, executive president of the Capital Market Authority, was the chief guest at the launch held at Grand Hyatt. Also present were Ali bin Mirza, chairman, Mustafa O Vazayil, vice chairman; Dr J.Retnakumar, Ceo; Tariq Ali Mirza, director of Gargash & Trade Links Insurance. Mustafa and Dr Retnakumar made speeches where they highlighted many aspects of Oman’s latest, professional insurance intermediary and the need for such an entity.

Crowne plaza Sohar wins award Crowne Plaza Sohar won the prestigious Green Innovation Award at a glittering ceremony held at the Barr Al-Jissah Shangrila Hotel. Oman Green Awards have been created to honour outstanding environmental vision, endeavours and achievements of corporations and individuals as they strive in their environmental cause. The main project of the Crowne

Plaza Sohar is the creation of an Organic Garden on site where the hotel’s Environmental Committee grows herbs and vegetables naturally without the use of pesticides, chemicals or growth hormones. The harvest is used for preparation of various dishes from the menu’s of the All Day Dining and The Mediterranean Restaurants. The project was launched as

part of the InterContinental Hotels Group Green Engage initiative and has raised a lot of interest and environmental awareness within the community of Sohar and beyond. Pascal Eggerstedt, general manager of Crowne Plaza Sohar said: “We are extremely honoured and delighted being awarded the prestigious Oman Green Innovation Award." Black & White 33

CMYF gets fourth consecutive award from MoH for blood donation “It is just drops of blood – but if it is going to save lives, we are willing to give as much as possible,” declared Ramdas Chandaka, founder president, CMYF (Chiru Mega Youth Force), after winning an award from the health ministry for the fourth consecutive time for their constant blood donation drives. “We are ready to give our liquid love to anyone who needs it in Oman,” Ramdas said, displaying the award they got from the health ministry. He received the award from Mohammed bin Saif bin Sultan Al Hosni, undersecretary for health affairs at the ministry of health at a function in honour of frequent blood donors. The CMYF, which began its voluntary services



Hospital in Sohar

The Wali of Sohar, Sayed Hilal bin Bader AlBusaidy, inaugurated the Aster Hospital in Sohar, recently. It was inaugurated in the presence of Anil Wadhwa, Indian ambassador; Dr Azad Moopen, chairman, DM Healthcare; Dr Adil Ansari, executive director, ministry of health, Sohar, Dr Khaled Sultan Al Ghaithi, director, finance and administration, MOH, Sohar and other senior officials of various government departments, corporates and other invitees. Spread over nearly 50,000 sq feet, 34 July 7-20, 2010

in Oman, eight years back (in 2002), by a group of members with a motto to help the needy, has come a long way. “In Oman, the CMYF does an average of three blood donation drives per year,” Ramdas said, adding they were now fully recognised by the blood bank. “We are always active with blood donation drives during the Holy Month of Ramadan,” other members of the CMYF added. This year, they have already planned a blood donation drive on August 20. “We chose August 20 because, two days later on August 22, it is the birthday of Chiranjeevi and it is also a Friday, so we can ensure good participation by blood donors,” they said.

Aster hospital (Al Raffah hospital LLC), located at Al Hambar, Sohar, will have 60 IP beds. Aster brings a wealth of medical expertise with the finest talents amongst doctors, nurses, technicians and management professionals in an environment that enables them to deliver the highest quality of healthcare through a patient-centric approach, using state-of-the art facilities. This centre is supported by an array of services that serve to deliver ‘total health care’ to any patient coming to Aster Hospital.

In Black & White

In Black... You learn so much from football. I think football taught me the basics of management THE GOOD OLD DAYS… Those were the days… I think everyone played football in those days, in the 70s (and before that too). For us, it was a game that emanated from the neighbourhood. It still is. It bonded us. I think the young players who bonded then are still together. I mean, I can never forget my football friends; I remember all of them even today, and quite fondly. Just imagine, a neighbourhood game spread so much camaraderie, which lasts even today, unlike the artificial and digitalised world of today. We type ‘LOL’ and sms it to our friends. But are we actually laughing? That is the thing! We don’t and can’t fake it in football -- we would actually be laughing and screaming out aloud! VIMTO TROPHY And in those days, we could not afford to buy fancy trophies and the like for the winning team – our trophy was a bottle of Vimto! Members from both teams would pool in money to buy it. We used to give it everything we got and it used to be fierce battles. But post match, we would all sit around the bucket and sip Vimto. One team member would always religiously bring a bucket of water to mix the Vimto! MANAGEMENT FROM FOOTBALL You learn so much from football. I think football taught me the basics of management: What is your objective? In true business sense we all have objectives. But, does anyone strip it down to one single element? Does anyone say: TO WIN?! One common OBJECTIVE. The second, but major management lesson football teaches us is that everyone knows the score. Who scored what? TRANSPARENCY. In a business every department knows their performance, but in totality no one knows! The third lesson is on strategy. If you are winning in a game, you can then save up your ace resources by substituting. If you are on the losing

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief side, you beef up your offense. So STRATEGY. The final, but most important one is TEAMWORK! There is no hidden or individual performance in football. In a nutshell, on the football ground you bare everything – all your strengths and weaknesses! SPORTS IS BUSINESS Today football is not a leisure game or just a passion. It is serious business. It can move the world of business commercially. The World Cup actually becomes a high-profile market where clubs can select key players. Individual performances overtake team play and spirit. What happens is that we get two schools of thoughts, one based on individual skills, while other is still holding on to team spirit. The players tend to forget the basics – that they are playing to win the game for their team, for their country, but most of them are focussed on just shining on the field and sacrifice team spirit at the altar of fame and fortune. START YOUNG, PLAY STRONG How do great legends happen? Someone would have played with Pele or Maradona when they were kids…what made the greats steam ahead, while the others lagged behind, got forgotten. The essence was that they started young and they all followed the simple rule that practice makes perfect. So, start young and practice until you are perfect – the rest of it will follow!

& White

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B&W Xclusive


36 July 7-20, 2010


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B&W Xclusive 38 July 7-20, 2010

United by one love: It is not about skill, talent or celebrity status. All of that matters of course, but in football, the real thing is about loving the game – loving it from the bottom of your heart. Loving it so much that you play it even when there is something somber and foreboding like a death in the family…you play it even when you are about to get married that same evening…you play it even when you are mercilessly kicked to the ground and trodden over... You play football even though there is no money in it and you did not have a proper meal that day…you play it even when you do not have proper gear; don’t have a proper playing ground or even a full team…you play it just because you love it. Just that. No other thought or passion. No big egos or swashbuckling styles. No big speeches or dramatic entries. Just love – pure, unadulterated love -- for a game that has the capacity to enthrall the whole world! But, how do you play football when there is no money in it? How do you play football when you haven’t had a proper meal; don’t have proper boots; proper playing ground or even a proper team? How do you play when you have a rumbling in the stomach and members of your own family are dissuading you against playing? They will tell you how. Two legendary Omani footballers, both as different as chalk and cheese, but united by one love: football.

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B&W Xclusive

LIONS OF THE DESERT Mohammed Rashid Al Alawi, 52, and Turma Abdul Hussain Mohammed Al Ajmi, 51, may not turn heads today and school girls are not going to screech and faint just hearing their names and not many are going to chase them for autographs or sign them up as ambassadors to a cause. But, whisper the magic word, ‘football’ and see them metamorphose from a calm and serene state into one of unbridled excitement. What does football mean to them, you ask and then they just go berserk, with words soaked in love, passion and excitement pouring out, so much so, you would think that they were some over enthusiastic live football commentators (who are known to whip up passion with words that you don’t even have to see the match, because they are able to recreate the thrill of a football game with mere words). The duo were so full of positive energy that one could imagine the amazing spirit of joy and camaraderie they would have built up amongst their football peers during their days. They also had the capacity to whip up a frenzy among their supporters in their hey days, the duo tell us as they take us back to a fond football 40 July 7-20, 2010

lane where the only thing that mattered was playing and winning the game, regardless of the opponent. Money, even trophies and citations, did not matter. NO LIFE WITHOUT FOOTBALL “When we used to play in club matches, even old men, supported by walking sticks, would come and watch us. Even women used to come. All of them were so passionate and diehard supporters, so much so they would come to near blows while rooting for their heroes,” recalls Mohammed Rashid Al Alawi, currently working as a sports expert at the ministry of sports affairs. Mohammed Rashid is a bubbling mass of excitement. He is thrilled at the prospect of just talking about his glorious past. A huge TV screen on the wall of his living room displays the exploits of the current heroes of the game as Mohammed whisks us back into the past. In that juxtaposition of today and yesterday, this ardent football lover speaks about fond memories of his past. As most football lovers, he began young, when he was just under 10. “But, I was in Kuwait at that time. We used to play in small groups.

Although I came to Oman in the 70s, I kept on going back and forth to the UAE where I was studying. I joined Al Ain club in Abu Dhabi. There were many football-loving Omanis in the UAE and there were small groups and clubs where we played football,” Mohammed, who spearheaded the game as a striker. “For us, football was pure passion. There was nothing commercial about it. Football was not a business, a promotion and there was no politics in it. Football was in the player’s heart. Then and now, I don’t think the true player can think of a life without football.” WORLD CUP AT HOME Mohammed’s passion remains in spite of his age and lifestyle today. “I was injured and I was forced to quit playing, but, that has not taken my love away from it.

Even my family members are equally passionate about the game. My sons play football too. “Today, with the World Cup around, my home is a virtual World Cup arena. Each member is supporting a team, so it’s like being in the stands, each cheering their favourites. That is what football does to you. It keeps you going. It moves countries; it is like a common faith. You can see people of all communities joining together to watch a match. Some are crying, some are angry, some, are over the moon! It is as if you are playing the game for them. When you lose it, they lose something. I feel Holland is doing well in this World Cup. They have a good chance along with Germany to win the cup. Let’s wait and watch. Spain was really lucky. This cup has been a cup of upsets.” Black & White 41

Like father, like son: Mohammed Rashid Al Alawi’s son, Jassem inherited the same passion for football. At 17, his team won the Gulf under-18 Cup, in 1998. But, history repeated when Jassem also was given a difficult choice: academics or football. He took the former and is now a teacher of marketing in one of the institutes here.

B&W Xclusive

OUR FOOTBALL WAS PERSONAL For Mohammed, playing football is like having a purpose in life. And it was a shared passion among the spectators too. “When I was a young player I had many fans. I come from Sur and whenever there was a match, there will be energetic supporters thumping on the drums, encouraging us. Old people supported by walking sticks, used to come in to watch the match. Our womenfolk would also come down to the stadium to watch us play. Let me tell you about an incident I hold dear in my heart. I don’t remember the year exactly, but after a match in Sur, where I scored a goal, an excited fan came and hugged me and slipped something into my pocket and whispered, 'keep this as a gift from me, it’s for you'. 42 July 7-20, 2010

I didn’t realise what it was; later when I checked it out, it was money. I don’t know who he was; all I remember is his smiling, tear-stricken face, beaming with pride and his warm hug. I don’t know him, but he had whispered, 'I came all the way from Muscat to see you play. Just for you!' That was football in those years. People took it very seriously, very personally; it was matter of pride for them. The whole of Sur used to unite and make every match a festival!” PROUD MOMENTS When asked, Mohammed says his best moment in football was when he got selected to the national team in 1976 and they played in the Gulf Cup in Doha, Qatar. Oman played many matches and did very well, against Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain etc.

“I can never forget those days; they are still alive in my memories. But I got injured while playing and then family pressure, especially from my mother, put a full stop to my professional football career. I had a head injury, actually on the forehead near my right eyebrow. It left me nearly blind and incapacitated for several months at a stretch. My ankles were also hurt. Once I recovered, I continued playing local matches, but left the national team because I could not give my one hundred percent. I went on to become the manager for the national team in 1980. From then on I got in to a career in the sports ministry. I held various responsibilities including being the OFA vice president, director of SQU sports complex, director of sports in Sur. Currently, I am a sports expert with the ministry of sports affairs.” SPECIAL CORNER At a special corner in his home, Mohammed has a special picture, which he holds very dear to his heart. As we went to have a closer look, Mohammed quietly said: “Well, I don’t have to tell you who that man is.” He didn’t have to for it was a picture of Mohammed with the King of Football – Pele. “I met him in 1982. I think I must be the only Omani to meet him like this – what a man; what a great footballer!”

The other special picture displayed the rare and precious meeting he had with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said during one of the National Days. He has also met Pakistan president Zia Ul Haq personally, and many other celebrities and personalities in his football career. GET THE BASICS RIGHT We parted with several of Mohammed’s words of wisdom ringing in our ears. Mohammed had pointed to the football scene today. The players of today have everything - from professional coaches to the latest gear! So, it is only about getting the basics right. They should start training young and there should also be a dedicated football school. If the foundation of a building is strong and proper, the building will rise high and strong. Similarly, with the right base and the right professional training, Oman can see many talented footballers in the future. “In our time, we did not have enough funds even to buy good football studs. We had to find the means ourselves. That is not the case today; you have proper associations, sponsors. Our wise ruler, His Majesty the Sultan, supports the development of sports in this country and the youth should make use of the opportunities well and with responsibility!” Black & White 43

From Mohammed’s home, we drove up to the Seeb Sports Complex to meet another former Omani footballer: Turma Abdul Hussain Mohammed Al Ajmi. He was impatiently waiting for us. We were late, he informed us as he briskly led us to a room. And in his similar vigorous and zesty manner, he unveiled his passion for football, taking us once again to a different football era of Oman.

DAD DIES, BUT FOOTBALL CONTINUES Turma’s love for football is unquestionable; inviolable. He recalls a sad part in his life when his father died. “He died in the morning. But, I had an important match in the afternoon, so, I told my brother to mourn for my dad and with a heavy heart went on to fulfill my commitment for the game and my team. I could not let them down! It was tragic, but, I had no choice. I had to play. “That was my passion for the game. Nothing could stop me from playing. The day when my father died, I replaced the captain’s band with a black band. We won the game. My father was there behind me, egging me on to win…how could I lose?”

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MARRIAGE CAN WAIT On another occasion, rather an important one, where he was to wed in the evening, he went to play a match, again in the afternoon. “Knowing me, everyone told me to stay put in my home. But, my friend helped me sneak out my football gear 44 July 7-20, 2010

and then I left home on the pretext of getting a shave before my wedding. As soon as I got out, I ran to the ground and played. My family members were quite livid, but, it did not matter to me,” said Turma, getting animated by the second as he spoke of football. FOOTBALL CUM HOCKEY STAR But Turma was not passionate about football alone. He was equally adept at hockey, which was quite a norm among players then, and in fact, he finally gave up football for hockey. “At that time, I can proudly claim to be the only player who was in both the hockey and football national teams.” But, all of that ended when a rule, in the early 80’s, came into effect that a player can take up only one sport on the national level and slowly, because of pressure from the hockey front, he finally gave into them. He took up hockey. “But, my life started with football. I used live, walk, talk, eat football and hockey of course!”

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Lack of money, facilities and even proper gear did not deter the players. He recalls how, small hand mirrors, substituted match trophies. And mere slices of lemon served as energy drinks. “But, our love and passion for the game was unmatchable!”

B&W Xclusive

FOOTBALL AT 12 Turma hails from Jibroo. He recalls how he used to walk from Jibroo to Mutrah souq, a near three kilometres stretch every day, just to play football. But walking was not a task at all. As part of his regular training, he used to go on a 15kms stretch. “I never used to go anywhere in cars. I used to walk – that was my style. “And football, all we needed in those days was a ball. Nothing more, nothing less. We did not want an excuse to play; we wanted an excuse to stop playing. There were many groups, which later merged many times to form the first 46 July 7-20, 2010

few clubs of Oman. I played in a team called Jina Shaheen (wings of eagles). I was 12 when I started playing good football. It was a dream game for me.” ONE KNEE TO FOOTBALL, THE OTHER TO HOCKEY But, then, like Mohammed, Turma was finally forced to quit both the games because of injuries. Like he laughingly notes: “I hurt both my knees. I gave my right knee to football and the left to hockey – had to two undergo major surgeries then.” Yet, there is no trace of anger, pain or frustration in him. He is not bitter about injuries putting him out of the games that he loved most. He still treasures the moment when he first donned the national colours. “My proudest moment was when I played for the national team in 1974, for the Gulf Cup. I was in the left wing position.

Locally, I had a good ran of football and hockey matches.” Turma also fondly recalled one of the best strikers of Oman, Khalil Murad. “Khalil was fantastic. I consider him as one of the best!” WORLD CUP We also asked for his comments on the World Cup, and he simply called it a phenomenon. “It is as if the whole world is playing. It does not matter if your country is participating. We all take sides and passionately criticise, cry, fight and get excited with the teams. I am sure that just like me all of you out there would be having a favourite team to support. This Cup has

been very upsetting for many big teams. I wish Holland wins, but cannot predict, this year it could be Germany or Spain lifting the Cup!” HAPPINESS WILL FIND YOU Turma, who also donned the role of a goalie in club matches, says he has little or no regrets at all about his game. “Football touches everyone who plays it and makes us open up to each other. And the most important fact is that if you respect the sport or game you chose to play and give it 100 percent, you don’t have to look for happiness – it will find you!” Black & White 47

Real legends

B&W Xclusive

“They were real football legends,” recalls Syed Ali Sibtain Naqvi, technical adviser to the executive director, Muscat Asian Beach Games Organising Committee (MABGOC) speaking about Mohammed Alawi and Turma Al Ajmi. Naqvi showered great praise on both of them and said that he was not only proud of them, but had great respect for them. “All of us should be proud of them, because they were exceptional players and sporting heroes of that time. I know both of them personally, interacted with them and had the honour of coaching Turma, but in hockey.” Naqvi noted how Mohammed slowly evolved from a star player to a respected administrator of the sport, while Turma, starred in both football and hockey. Ok let me salute both of them and all of the great players of that time!"

Text: Adarsh Madhavan & Priya Arunkumar Photos: Najib Al Balushi

48 July 7-20, 2010

Management talk

Is your office GREEN?

Dr Anchan C.K, Ceo, Towell-take solutions

By Dr CK Anchan As more enterprises look for ways to ‘GO GREEN ‘ many do not realise that re-aligning basic practices can help play a part in becoming more environmentally responsible. One way for companies to help reduce waste is to implement new approaches within daily processes. As business processes move toward being completely electronic, enterprises need to think about ways to go green. Here are few ways an organisation can “Go green’: Encourage staff to use 'real' mugs, glasses, dishes and cutlery rather than disposables. Make sure your office has at least one large plant in it. They’re not only green and pretty but great for recycling the air. Use email rather than faxing whenever possible to cut down on paper waste. Print one copy of memos and other inter-office documents and circulate them rather than printing off a separate copy for everyone. Print one copy of memos and other inter-office documents and circulate them rather than printing off a separate copy for everyone. Use whiteboards and/or overhead projectors to display meeting agendas rather than printing. Use cloth towels or hand dryers instead of paper towels in the wash rooms. Install low-flow faucet aerators to reduce the flow of water from taps. Use natural light as much as possible; Turn the lights off in rooms when not in use. Do not leave your office lights on overnight. Replace standard incandescent

bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) wherever possible. These use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs. Use light wall colours; light paint colours and higher gloss sheens reflect daylight, meaning your space will need less overhead lighting. Consider replacing desktop computers with a laptop; laptops are the most energyefficient computer/monitor combination. Turn off your computer when not in use. Replace CRT monitors with flat screen monitors. Flat screen displays consume only about one-third the energy of a CRT monitor. Use business analytics software: Integrate software that automates manual reporting and analysis, and electronically distributes reports over the web or on mobile devices. Move business tasks to an electronic format. Introduce collaboration tools: Use team collaboration software that lets people share links instead of attachments or hard copy documents, reducing storage and paper requirements. Use mobile devices. Today more than ever, as mobile software applications have grown in popularity, employees can complete most all of their business tasks by using their mobile devices. I am quite confident that you will embrace a greener lifestyle. It isn’t just about helping to preserve equatorial rain forests, it can also mean improving your health, padding your bank account, and ultimately improving your overall quality of life. Black & White 49

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:

So much for hospitality


Your brother’s CV

50 July 7-20, 2010

It used to be a major hotel and it used to give exemplary service. Not any more . A client of ours went with a visitor who had just landed from America late one night. Read their version: “We had booked the room. But at the reception was a bored and very unfriendly receptionist who acted as if he was doing us and the visitor a favour. He did not greet us properly, no, not even a smile, but just a bland, glazed look and simply went into the business of getting more money from us. “It is true: he was not bothered about dispensing much needed hospitality, but went about telling

us that we should pay in advance for the food the guest was going to eat. We were shocked because he was planning to block a sum close to OMR900 for the guest’s proposed food intake from our credit card. So, we finally ended up paying a sufficient sum (as cash) for the same. We were just lucky that we had some cash with us; otherwise, our guest would have ended up paying the amount! But, once we paid the amount, the demeanour of the receptionist changed! He seemed friendlier…anyway, I am never going to book a room at this hotel ever!”

When you want to get a job done by someone, all you need to do is think back about some request that he has come to you or something that he wants to get done by you and then tell him it will be done. Not that you should actually do it, but simply make a promise. You bring up the topic yourself, then say don’t worry, it will be done. This is the tactic many employ. One of our friends underwent the same treatment in the hands of a very senior man in the industry. Our friend had approached this senior man with a CV of a close relative of his a year or so back, but then the senior man showed no interest in helping out. A year or so after, the senior man wanted some urgent assistance from our friend and the

next thing he did was to call him up and say, “Remember the CV of that cousin brother of yours…?” Our friend was nonplussed: what CV; what brother? It was a year back, he could not remember it. “Well, let me tell you that I have not forgotten about your brother and I am, in fact, close to getting him a job, so don’t worry about that…” Our friend thanked this senior man, but he was not sure what was happening. Why bring up this topic now? “Ok, now, do you still have the contact of this airline official? I wanted some assistance…” And then our friend understood. He realised why the senior man suddenly remembered his request…you scratch my back, even if my back is not itching…

(Note: Readers who have something bitter to chatter about can either email on or call 99218461)

Busybee official

Truth hurts

This embassy official is too busy, too correct and proper for his own good. A poor old lady went to him for a renewal and change of address in her passport and instead of assisting her, he only made it so difficult for her that she decided not to change her address at all. The man would simply not listen. Even before you attempt to speak, he would say please get it done and over with and the moment you try to speak, he would shut the speaker by saying he did not understand a word. The first time the lady was told that she did not have the proper documents attached along with the request and when she brought the documents a second time, she was told that she did not have the

originals, which was in her home town. When she finally managed to get the documents, which was a bank deposit book, she was rudely told that the book did not have any sign and seal in the pages. It is implicitly known that such bank books are computer generated and do not have seals in them, but the official insisted that she get the seal because there was always the possibility it could be a fake one. So, the lady, who was also ailing, quit and decided not to get it done here. For, if she comes back with seal, the official might say it is not the original seal, but a fake one and perhaps someone somewhere had got a fake seal and stamped on the bank book…with officials like these, who needs enemies?

They don’t exactly serve those who walk in to a fast food joint. This is a hard and fast rule. Especially when you are waiting with family in one of these fast-food joints. You wait and wait and wait on the tables of these joints and you still wait and wait and wait…why? Because they prefer to serve those who queue up at the take away counters, an irate lady who had been waiting on the table with small kids for quite a long time told Bitter Batter.

“I waited in the fast food outlet queue for over an hour and I was totally frustrated. I could neither move out because I had already paid for my order! Finally when I angrily asked about the delay to the counter lady, she casually remarked: “Ma’am, we prefer to serve the takeaway customers first because they might just go away if we don’t serve them. But, you are already in here – you will stay!” Truth, as they say, hurts. Black & White 51


One, two buckle my shoe...

52 July 7-20, 2010

The shoes of earlier centuries were highly uncomfortable. To give you an idea of the crudity of earlier shoes, it wasn’t until the invention in 1818 of the left-shoe last and the right-shoe last that the left shoe was constructed differently from the right shoe. Prior to that, either shoe could be worn on either foot with equal discomfort! Here are few facts about the good old shoe! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Shoes were made over 4000 years ago In 1927, X-rays were used to help people find a fitting shoe. It was known as the Shoe-Fitting Fluoroscope but was later destroyed due to health hazards Heels were invented in the Middle East to help lift the foot from the burning sand In 16th and 17th century Europe, heels on shoes were always coloured red Sneakers were originally called keds The first lady’s boot was designed for Queen Victoria in 1840 Before the 19th century, there wasn’t a left or right shoe. Both sides were identical In Biblical times a sandal was given as a sign of an oath In Hungary the groom drinks a toast to his bride out of her wedding slipper In the Middle Ages a father passed his authority over his daughter to her husband in a shoe ceremony. At the wedding, the groom handed the bride a shoe, which she put on to show she was then his subject Slippers were in use before Shakespeare’s time, and were originally made “rights” and “lefts.” The foot-measuring system used in England is one size different from the American system in both length and width. In metric countries, one size indicates a difference of about two-thirds of a centimeter The pump is thought to owe its name to the early use of the shoe for ceremonies of “pomp.” Speaking of shoe size, the largest pair of shoes ever made, apart from those specially built for elephantiasis sufferers, were a colossal size forty-two, built for a Florida giant named Harley Davidson. Tanned leather has been a favoured material for footwear since the Arabs introduced fine leatherwork in Spain in the eighth century.

Toungue Twisters… Try em! I saw a saw that could out saw any other saw I ever saw. Black & White 53

Your stars ARIES March 21-April 20 Family relationships are a strong concern this week: pay attention to the minor criticisms of close relatives or loved ones. Over the next three days small social irritations could lead to stalled relationships and broken trusts: react with sensitivity to the needs of others. Social or romantic triangles will not be easily solved this week. New social rules or boundaries may be openly discussed in intimate relationships: emotions are high: avoid unnecessary tensions. TAURUS April 21-May 20

HARRISON FORD (BORN JULY 13, 1942) is an American film actor and producer. Ford is best known

Friends, lovers and close workmates may be moody and reflective this week: watch for unexpected social and workplace delays. Allow others the necessary time to complete past assignments or finalise outgoing relationships: at present, both loved ones and close colleagues may need to complete with the past before moving forward. Wednesday/Thursday the financial news is good: expect fast business announcements or long overdue permissions.

for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. He is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His fourdecade career also includes roles in

GEMINI May 21-June 21 Rental agreements, leases or minor financial disputes may be briefly annoying early this week. React quickly to unexpected repairs or revised property contracts. Some Geminis, especially those born late in May, will now be asked to clarify recent banking documents or financial procedures. These two weeks also highlight newly arriving confidence and social optimism: watch for a two to three week period of restlessness or low energy to now end.

several other Hollywood blockbusters, including Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath. At one point, four of the top five box-office hits of all time included


one of his roles. Five of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry.

54 July 7-20, 2010

CANCER June 22-July 23 Expect both long term friends and romantic partners to firmly state their needs, intentions and future plans. Much of this will be a relief: watch for previously stalled relationships to now move rapidly forward. Overspending or missed payments are accented. Someone close may now be expecting added financial support or business advice. Loved ones and close friends may now begin translating their feelings into actions or seductive gestures. Respond with honesty: further discussion may be needed before you feel comfortable.

LEO July 24-August 23 Old social wounds and past relationships may reoccur over the next few days. Before soon, watch for friends, distant relatives or yesterday’s loved ones to now reappear and demand completion. Although minor tensions may be experienced here, much of this will actively work in your favour by the end of this week. Expect to now let old ideals, memories or social expectations fade: before the end of June present day relationships will require your full devotion and attention. VIRGO August 24-September 23 Avoid social discussions or romantic speculation in all working relationships this week. At present, workmates and colleagues may be extremely sensitive concerning personal information or social disputes. Don’t be fooled: even though an atmosphere of humour and light discussion may exist, underlying tensions will create a lasting impression. Remain dedicated to group policies or already established procedures: before next week social or business risks in the workplace will not be worthwhile. LIBRA September 24-October 22 Business policies, financial obligations and long-term property matters will require your immediate attention before mid-week. You will soon be expected to make sense of past financial mistakes or bring clarity to conflicting business standards. Minor home finances may also apply: watch budgets and spending needs for obvious mistakes. Expect for a quick reversal of affections in your social circle. SCORPIO October 23-November 22 Key areas of concern may be power dynamics in important relationships or long term lifestyle choices. Encourage caution: important life decisions now need to be fully considered. This week expect for an unusual financial or business message from the past. Old job offers or delayed projects are featured: take extra time to evaluate all returning ideas. For the next two to three weeks many you may feel strongly drawn back to old work assignments or business partnerships.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 Business and working relationships may this week be unusually emotional or flirtatious: expect key officials or long term workmates to now openly express their social needs and long-term romantic plans. Much of this will create improved friendships but may also be delicate and socially demanding: if at all possible, avoid long and involved emotional discussions. Workplace relationships may now need extra time to naturally expand into a more social realm. CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 Romantic relations and long term friendships will be particularly rewarding over the next few days: watch for loved ones and close friends to now openly declare their intentions and commitments. Many Capricorns, especially those born between 1948 and 1953, will now experience a profound deepening of key relationships. Before the end of June expect long conflicted relationships to be firmly re-established. Stay focussed: much may be required. AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 Minor health concerns or lagging physical energy will no longer drain social or family confidence: expect long bothersome skin, digestive or eye ailments to dramatically improve. Some Aquarians will also experience a powerful increase in creative energy or artistic awareness. If so, expect romantic and long term social relations to also be affected: before mid-July increased sensuality and renewed trust are both on the agenda. PISCES February 20-March 20 Long silent friends or romantic partners may now boldly state their romantic ideals and social concerns. Intimacy and newly experienced passions are now necessary for emotional success: expect relationships that will no longer grow or evolve to now begin steadily fading from your life. Obvious differences in key relationships will become obvious and unavoidable. Fresh social invitations will also captivate your attention. Black & White 55

PICK-UP 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)


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 Oman Air – CBD NBO- CBD area

56 July 7-20, 2010

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 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 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 –

MUSCAT, SALALAH, SUR, SOHAR, NIZWA, BARKA, KASAB MUSCAT continued... principals’ office Caledonian college – principal’s office Oman Foot ball association

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

SOHAR 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)

SALALAH 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

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



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

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

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

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


20, 500 COPIES Circulation enquiries: 98675976/24565697 Black & White 57

Good News for Sudoku addicts! Mail to and register yourself in the first ever SUDOKU community of Oman


S QUARES Get exciting SUDOKU news SUDOKU puzzles SUDOKU events


Be a part of SUDOKU events locally 58 July 7-20, 2010

By Dave Green


2 1 Difficulty Level

2010 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

7 5 2 9

4 6 3 9 1 9 2 3 1 2 9 7 1 6 8 2 1 9 8 5 6 4 4 3/08

SOLUTION: 9 5 3 4 6 1 2 7 8

4 8 7 5 2 9 3 1 6

2 6 1 7 3 8 5 9 4

7 3 5 6 1 4 9 8 2

6 9 4 3 8 2 7 5 1

8 1 2 9 7 5 4 6 3

3 2 6 1 5 7 8 4 9

5 4 8 2 9 6 1 3 7

1 7 9 8 4 3 6 2 5

Sudoku is a number-placing puzzle based on a 9x9 grid with several given numbers. The object is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in the empty squares so that each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains the same number only once.

Black & White 59



60 July 7-20, 2010

For her


Why Sally spills it out while Harry bottles it up…


Studies have found out that women were more likely to deal with stress by ‘tending and befriending’, that is nurturing and reaching out to those around them while men, either bottled it up and escaped, or fought back

Make those legs look good Good looking legs on women are always great head turners. But, that should not be the only reason why shaping the muscles of the thighs and calves should be an important goal for women.

Get off your island of loneliness



At a certain point in your life, it may hit you like a ton of bricks: loneliness. Some say that loneliness is a curse, a blight on our consciousness…

Time to get out stayat-home moms


What do you do if you are a stay-at-home mom? Plenty. Being a stay at home mom is a gift in itself. But, not everyone would agree. For, there are many who would be struggling with the difficulties that come with staying home. Black & White 61




Cheese can be a healthy addition to your diet; encouraging your family to eat cheese is a deliciously easy way to help build stronger bones and healthier bodies. Here are some cheese sandwiches you can try at home:

62 July 7-20, 2010

Chutney Cheese Sandwich Ingredients •2 slices whole grain bread •1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese •1 Tbsp. chutney Method Spread a slice of bread with chutney, and then cover with cheese. Top with other slice of bread. Place sandwich in a nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Toast on each side until cheese melts. Open sandwich and tuck in fresh spinach leaves or watercress sprigs.

Garden Grilled Cheese Ingredients •8 tsp. Dijon mustard •8 slices sourdough bread (1 oz each) •1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese •1/2 cup drained canned artichoke hearts, sliced •1 1/3 cups roasted red bell peppers, sliced or slivered •nonstick cooking spray Method Spread 2 teaspoons mustard on 1 bread slice; top with 1/4 cup cheese, 2 tablespoons artichokes, 1/3 cup bell peppers, and 1 bread slice. Repeat procedure with remaining mustard, bread, cheese, artichokes, and bell peppers. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add sandwiches to skillet; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Cottage Cheese Toast Ingredients •1 slice bread, lightly toasted •1/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese •1/2 tsp. sugar •dash cinnamon Method Spread cottage cheese over toast. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place under broiler for a few minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately. Black & White 63

When everything else fails... By Laila Ibrahim Obaid Al-Gharbi

Let me just start with some positivity to make you feel the usefulness of failure in our life. Yes, failure; I think everyone who has just tried doing something for first time, has failed in one way or the other. Sometimes, we fail to solve our own problems. Most interestingly, the solutions might be within us but we do not really know that. However, we get lost, get worried and end up feeling discouraged. Yes, failure might destroy us. But, have you ever thought about the importance of it in our path to success? Here, I would like to show you how we can use failure as a negative attitude to help us in a powerful way. Indeed, I am so amazed by the tales of so many successful people, who, despite having failed several times, never gave up!

Learning curve

Amazing, aren’t they! Well, all of us know about Thomas Edison, who failed more than anyone else…but, he failed more because he tried more than anyone else. But, at the end he succeeded more than anyone else. I am not asking you to be another Thomas Edison; but I am just wondering if you have tried to do the thing that you have failed in?!

Laila, Omani graduate student of Nizwa University

So, the main purpose of this piece is to help you to open your eyes and learn from those who have just failed, even if it is your own little brother who has just started walking... When everything else fails, work hard because it is a sure cure for you. If you try more than one time, it will open the doors for you. As we all do not know that we are going to make it for sure, I am sure that you all believe in yourselves at least. Yes, my dear friends, keep working hard! And bear in mind that if you work hard enough and concentrate exclusively on the job at hand, you will have neither time nor thought for worry. Moreover, if you work hard enough, you will go to bed and sleep, too tired to stay awake and worry. And, if you work hard and intelligently enough, you will solve your problems; so you won’t have anything to worry about. Finally, in these three ways you may understand that hard work is a sure cure for your worry. In a meantime, if you are discouraged and when everything else fails...try hard work! ‘Develop success from failure. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success,’ said Dale Carnegie.

64 July 7-20, 2010

By Vandana Shah

Eyes held apart by toothpicks, raccoon like dark under eye circles, a constant buzz in the brain, snapping at mere mortals, sleep deprivation, but still gazing adoringly at the current Gods and willingly continuing this repetitive cycle-signs of girls addicted to football. It is not altogether a negative addiction but actually a positive one as there are so many valuable lessons to be learnt about life from football. Hype does not matter but talent does. Most of the puffed up (metaphorically speaking) teams (England, France) and players (Wayne Rooney, Riberry, Steven Gerard) who were supposed to have created history have proved themselves to be damp squibs. They were arrogant and the results are there for all to see. In football as in life you don’t need a godfather to succeed but talent and teamwork .Even writing which is a lonely profession needs a team (printers, publishers, editors) to get across to the readers who are the final judge and the numbers speak the harsh truth. Past Laurels.The mighty ones failed miserably as their actions displayed their lack of practice and a misplaced belief that their name was enough to make their opponents crumble. One

It's my life

Football diaries and LIFE…

Vandana, award winning author (‘360 Degrees Back to Life')

of the ways of succeeding in life is upgrading your skill sets, which the team from Ghana has proved, rather than R-E-L-A-X-I-N-G on your past achievements. The show must go on, so make it a good one. No one will remember the complaints about Jabulani, Vuvuzelas rather they will remember the teams who played magnificently, (Germany,Argentina, Spain, Netherlands) and performed well in the new playing conditions. That’s like life-it comes with no guarantees or fixed road signs but those who can embrace and enjoy its unpredictability will flourish. So go ahead and make your life matter instead of complaining about the so called roadblocks in life. END OF LIFE? NAH The biggest learning is that although winning and losing seems the end of the world, it’s not .It’s also about the enriching experience called LIFE AND FOOTBALL. Life is kind and gives you more chances as we’ll all see in Brazil 2014, where the fallen heroes will be given opportunities to redeem themselves and new heroes will emerge… Till next time love and hugs…and see you in Brazil for more football!

Vandana Shah, Author 360 Degrees Back To life, Email me what you’d like to say on Follow me on twitter Vandy4PM

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Time to

GET OUT stay-at-home moms

By Isa Daniel

What do you do if you are a stay-athome mom? Plenty, I would say. Being a stay at home mom is a gift in itself. But, not everyone would agree. For, there are many who would be struggling with the difficulties that come with staying home.

shape n sound

I REMEMBER BEING in the same boat some years ago. Prior to giving birth to my first child I decided that I would take some time off from my professional career to stay at home with my baby for the first year. The great part: I can’t explain how wonderful it was to be able to spend each full day with him and see all of the fascinating changes that occur in the process. 66 July 7-20, 2010

The bad part: The first time my lady work mates came to visit me, I did not bother, but, then during the second or third visits, they were speaking a different and I was still in my goo goo gaa gaa stage and I realised that the twain did not meet. We were talking different things and I realised that I had no clue as to what was happening on my work front. I did not feel all that good.

Whether you are going shopping or taking a trip to your local coffeehouse, try to make daily trips out of the home. This is beneficial not only for your own sanity to be around other living, breathing adult human beings but for the sake of your child as well

BE WITH OTHER MOMS I think the best way to enjoy your time with the kids is to meet other stay-at-home moms. There are so many mothers choosing to give up their careers and give their time to their kids. Because of this, many places of worship, hospitals, children’s stores and local organisations host mommy and me programmes. Attending any type of mommy and me class or club will help you to meet other moms. Often other crafts, food and activities are provided as well. Many times a group of friends will start a play group that meets once a week at their own houses. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and gain life long relationships. Your kids will also benefit as they have more opportunities to interact with kids of their own age as well as other adults. It is really important to try to get out there and meet other moms. Even if you don’t socialise with other moms and want to go out alone at night with some girlfriends…do it. It is so important to keep some semblance of yourself. DRESS UP No, don’t get me wrong. I did not mean that you should get all dolled up in a formal gown every day but fix yourself up a little and put on some lipstick, even if your child is the only one that sees you all day. There is just something about looking frumpy that makes you feel that way. This way, even if you are not leaving the house everyday for a nine to five job, you still feel like you can leave the house without frightening the neighbours. GET IN THE KNOW C’mon, there is more to vocabulary than mere goo goo ga gas. There are other things that matter beyond changing diapers and breastfeeding. Really! Don’t get offended, but after the initial hibernation, it is time to get back in the know. So grab the morning paper or get the latest on television as it is important to stay up to date on current events. In the past, when you were working outside of the home, current events were always right there in your face. They were the topic of discussion at the water cooler, so to speak. Try to stay informed. GET OUT OF THE DOLL HOUSE Okay, enough is enough. Now pack up your little one and get the heck out of the house. Whether you are going shopping or taking a trip to your local coffeehouse, try to make daily trips out of the home. This is beneficial not only for your own sanity to be around other living, breathing adult human beings but for the sake of your child as well. Babies and small children love to people watch. They will enjoy the outing and so will you. These tips may not seem to be anything out of the ordinary but it is often the simplest things that can be forgotten. Try to remember to do these four little things while being a stay-at-home mom and enjoy all of the wonderful memories you and your children are making together. Black & White 67

M a k e

shape n sound

t h o s e

68 July 7-20, 2010


l o o k g o o d

Good looking legs on women are always great head turners. But, that should not be the only reason why shaping the muscles of the thighs and calves can be an important goal for women.


omen can try thigh exercises with weight or without weight or cardio kickboxing routines, exercises with jump rope, walking, cardio workout plan combined with aerobic exercises, treadmill workouts, swimming, knee exercises, jogging etc. Any of these exercise programmes can be chosen by women, according to one’s own capacity and choice. The beginners or those enjoying sedentary lifestyle, should start slowly and increase the intensity of the workouts gradually. If you don’t have enough time for outdoor exercises, you can always exercise at home. The leg exercises for women at home can include all the above mentioned types of exercises, except swimming. But, swimming can be considered best, as it is good for the whole body and not just for legs.

SQUATS: Squats can tone your buttock muscles, thighs and calf muscles. Squats can work great as upper and lower leg exercises for women. Stand upright, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your hands at your sides. Start lowering slowly, as if you are going to sit in a chair. Hold this position for 3-4 seconds and return to the original position. Your feet should be flat on the surface and your knees should point towards the feet , throughout the exercise programme. You should keep your back upright and straight. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions in one set and increase the number of sets from 1 to 5 gradually. LUNGES: Stand straight and place hands at sides. Take a long stride forward with your right leg and raise your left heel, so that, only toes should

touch the floor. Keep your chin up and back straight. Slowly and steadily lower your body until your left knee almost touches the floor. Hold for 3-4 seconds and slowly return to the original position. You are expected to forcibly extend the hips and knees, during these toning exercises for thighs, until you return to the initial position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions in one set and increase the number of sets from 1 to 3 sets gradually. Repeat the same procedure with your left leg forward. WALL SITS: This is the best leg exercise for women without weights. Keeping a distance of about two feet, stand straight in front of the wall. Keep your hands at sides and lean against this wall. Slide down until your knees are at a 90-degrees. Your thighs will be perpendicular to the wall and back will be touching the wall. Return to the initial position, after holding the position for about one minute. Perform 20 repetitions and increase the number of sets gradually from 1 to 3 sets. Well designed leg exercises for women will result in improved overall fitness and performance. Warm up exercises before workout are essential, as these prepare the body for more strenuous exercises. Cooling down and stretching is also very important, as it can relieve the stress caused due to exercises. The fitness tips are to be followed sincerely. Those who have never exercised before, can begin with simple walking exercises. Then they can opt for running and jogging. Women can enjoy the exercise programmes by listening to music during the exercise schedules. Hill climbing or cycling for weight loss and strong legs, can also be included in exercise routines. Black & White 69

At a certain point in your life, it may hit you like a ton of bricks: loneliness. Some say that loneliness is a curse, a blight on our consciousness‌

loneliness Get off your island of


Loneliness strikes everyone: the rich and glamorous, the married and single, and the young and old. While being alone is temporary and manageable, loneliness causes loss of friends, suicides, and depression for those unable to cope with their emotions. But, the point here is that the key to curing loneliness resides within you.

70 July 7-20, 2010

CHANGE EXPECTATIONS Change your expectations of the people around you. It’s possible to feel lonely because you expect too much of your friendships, acquaintances, and intimate relationships. All associations serve a purpose, but no relationship serves every purpose, not even spousal relationships. While familial relationships are treasures, losing friends or failure to obtain them shouldn’t completely wreck your emotional state. Are you the one doing the seeking? Evaluate each of your relationships with friends, family members, co-workers, and community leaders to discover if you’re putting too much emphasis on any particular relationship to fulfill you. Step back and monitor what each person in your life gives to you—without you actively seeking anything. For example, if you stop calling a certain friend, do you notice that they don’t call you on their own? Do they seek you out for companionship or advice, or is it only you doing the seeking? TRANSFER THEM TO LOWER LEVEL If you find that some friends don’t reciprocate what you give to the relationship, simply transfer them into a lesser category of friends. You can still associate with them, but you must realise that they aren’t ready or able to give you a higher level of companionship. Once you stop concentrating on them to give you the things you lack in friendships, you’re free to find more meaningful associations. You will find that you have a mutual best friend, several friends who you chat with occasionally, friends that you just have drinks with, and friends that

you might only send holiday cards to every year. Each relationship is important within the role it serves. While every association can potentially grow, you mustn’t make any relationship into something that it isn’t. Taking the pressure off your relationships might actually be the catalyst that makes them grow. CHANGE YOUR DATING MENTALITY Learn the worth of your romantic relationships. Expectations of lovers might be the most detrimental to the single and lonely, who find themselves using romantic relationships as barriers between them and loneliness. Unfortunately, being with an unsuitable partner can increase feelings of isolation and loneliness, not cure them. Lonely people might miss signs that their partners really aren’t serious about them, and they waste precious time obsessing over a lover who’ll never fulfill their needs. Change your dating mentality. Battle loneliness by understanding your dating intentions. Realise that each date is not a potential spouse. It’s okay to date because you want a serious relationship, but that doesn’t mean each date will become one. You’ll have better success if your date is also looking for something serious. Before going on a date, give yourself two reasons for the date, which have nothing to do with looks, sex, loneliness, or finances. IMPROVE YOURSELF Sometimes loneliness breeds from a person’s perceived shortcomings. If you think you’re overweight, unattractive, or you haven’t achieved things that you feel you should have, you might isolate yourself from your friends or loved ones. Black & White 71

Shape n sound

Does a woman manage stress differently from a man? Let us answer that query with a simple illustration, by seeing how Sally and Harry (*) face stress:

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Why Sally

SPILLS IT OUT while Harry BOTTLES IT UP… SALLY’S LIFE HAS BEEN on the stressful side these days. She is a media sales executive of a magazine that has not been doing well lately. And her boss, another stressed out lady herself, was coming down hard on her. Sally was also facing personal problems as she and her husband, Ross, was going through a difficult patch in their relationship. So not a day went by without Sally feeling harried and stressed out. But, when she breaks down and pours out her misery by either bursting into tears or crying over the shoulder of someone, she gets some relief, she says. “Thanks to this regular emotional outburst, I am able to pull on for some more days. I don’t know if it is the right way out, but I am definitely better after a cry than keeping it all bottled up inside me,” she tells Black & White. If crying is Sally’s gain, it is Harry’s loss, for like many men, it is not possible to let their emotions out in this manner. Harry is also going through a turbulent phase in his career and personal life. A temperamental man, Harry had actually lost his job, swinging his fist against his immediate boss over an imagined slur. At home, things were worse. His wife, tired of his mercurial behaviour (they were fighting almost everyday), had verbally made her intention clear of wanting to move out of the home and the relationship. Harry is equally stressed, but he hardly talks about his feelings when he is stressed. He finds it easier to let it pass and move on. What he normally does is to hit the bottle and that is where men and women differ.

What they say about men being from Mars and women from Venus is now an almost established fact, as they are known to have different brains and different behaviours. However, this becomes all the more obvious when it comes to them coping with stress. Women facing stressful situations are more prone to depression and anxiety, while men in the same situation have an alcohol-craving response. Following a stressful experience, women are more likely than men to say that they feel sad or anxious, which may lead to risk for depression and anxiety disorders. Some studies have found that men are more likely to drink alcohol following stress than women. If this becomes a pattern, it could even lead to alcohol-use disorders, experts warn. That is one side, but, on a general case, when stressed, both men and women release a hormone called oxytocin. In women, when the hormones, cortisol and epinephrine rush through the bloodstream in a stressful situation, oxytocin comes into play. It is released from the brain, countering the production of cortisol and epinephrine, and promoting nurturing and relaxing emotions. Men also secrete oxytocin, but in much smaller amounts, leaving them on the short end of the stick when it comes to stress and hormones. Studies have found out that women were more likely to deal with stress by ‘tending and befriending’, that is nurturing and reaching out to those around them, men, either bottled it up and escaped, or fought back. (*)Not real names Black & White 73

Good men gone...? By Priya Arunkumar


I want to meet you personally and tell you a few facts, he said. But you are so far away, why bother… does it really matter, I asked. It is very important that you understand. Over a coffee, he said and I agreed. He drove all the way to snitch on someone. Sipping coffee over gossip, I looked at the man in front of me. He was up market, highly educated and holding a high position in a company. He took time off from his otherwise busy schedule to bitch about someone he hated… “Be very careful, she is dangerous. She can be very destructive, you don’t know her," he accused. Looking at him, you would actually believe it, he looked very convincing. You know her personally? I queried, intrigued by the thought how humans reduce themselves to lesser mortals… "Well, yes of course, she worked with our company and she totally destroyed our company." And you are out to destroy her? I asked. "No, you are a friend and I only have your best interests at heart.’ I don’t want you to suffer." Best interests? He was actually spitting venom. Cross his way, I would be in the same position, my mind said. The chat turned out to be more bitter than the coffee. I got up and left, bidding goodbye. I never want to see him again. Not if I can help it. Accusations! Declarations! Ultimatums!

Tantrums! Women are supposedly good at all. Sorry, not any more. Men have beaten them to this. Believe me, when men starts doing it, ladies have to step back. Probably because the roles are reversed, men have taken up gossiping more than the women. When you listen to two men gossiping, especially people who are highly educated and consider themselves up market and stylish, you cannot but wonder where they come from? Does the education they gained abroad make them any better than the ones who are not educated? Why would a man plan and work deviously to talk, tarnish and create gossip about a woman he hardly know? Insecurity? Jealousy? Immaturity? So what do we blame it all on? Modernity? A recent survey said that men felt better about themselves when they criticised another person’s behaviour. It gave them a sense of moral superiority and showed others that they knew the difference between right and wrong. Maybe, we could blame it all on the changing times! Men are changing. And probably the rat race for leadership is leaving them insecure! Once upon a time they were considered patient, matured, more diplomatic and rational. Women were always considered emotional fools who decided everything by their heart. But men? Their heads ruled! They never decided by heart. Today we are left with the washed out versions? Where have all the good men gone?

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Win a Foosball table & 22 footballs!

World Cup Mania - Who’s gonna win? Try your luck and tell us who is gonna be the world champions‌ Mail your predictions to on or before July Supported by:

10, 2010

Black & White magazine issue 17  

Oman's first free fortnightly magazine, available all over Oman

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