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21 Dh-Hijja - 22 Muharram

Mesmerised by the Mizmar p8

Women are better... p52

Vol.4 Issue 52IINovember 7-December 6, 2012


FREE Fortnightly


The ‘silver’ lady from Fanja p26


silver lady 26 The from Fanja Adding to the beauty and culturally sound village of Fanja is a unique lady silversmith, perhaps the only one of her kind in the village


Mama’s men

Some men are real “mama’s boys”. If you are one and are finding it hard to hold a relationship together because of your weakness for your mother, then, first learn about these mistakes that you are making and then try to rectify them somehow



Mesmerised by the Mizmar

The mizmar, an instrument that was originally played by sailors on their voyages, somehow caught the special fascination of Hassan Balushi, who soon realised that this was the instrument that lent life to his true calling

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Office location: Hatat House A, II Floor, Suite No: 212, Wadi Adai Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: Editorial: Printed at Oman 7Printers 4 November December 6, 2012


Women need women friends

A woman needs her man (husband, friend etc); women need their men… well, true. But, in all honesty, a woman also needs another woman. A woman also needs her girlfriend(s).

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

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Priya Arunkumar Adarsh Madhavan Beneek Siraj Priyanka Sampat

All about X, Y & Z

Press releases press releases press releases… By Adarsh Madhavan Much as I hated them, I was still forced to write them. And I still do. Press releases! In fact, I was ‘trained’ by my editors to write/rewrite them. When I began my work here in Oman, one of my jobs was to rewrite press notes. Although there were three other journalists in the department that I worked in then, I was the only one given the honourable task of rewriting the press notes. Maybe I was a natural press release writer. Some are born writers. Some, born journalists. I must have been a born press release writer. So, I used to get all the press notes, sometimes even the business press releases, which then and today, I have no clue of. And like most of the dirty work to be done in journalism, this rewriting of the press releases was one big boring and thankless job. If you rewrite them er, professionally, or did a proper journalistic work of it, the PR guys who sent the press releases and their oh so sensitive clients would act as though their big toes were stepped on. For, when you are given a press release to rewrite, then, it is like taking it apart and rebuilding it word by word, but without the frills, without the drama and without the self praise and self promotion that most press releases read like. I was asked to remove all the bloated phrases, and told to make a ‘story’ of it. Write it from your perspective – as a journalist, my editors used to say. Cut it; make it shorter, they would say. If it is two pages, make it one, others would add. Sometimes, late at night, just when I am packing up after a tough and tiresome day, there would be a call from the sub editors. They want a ‘filler’. That is, they want to fill a 15 cms space – around 290 words -- in page two and they have to send the pages in now, which means NOW and so please help! So, I would plunge into the heap of yet-to-be-done press releases and pick up the most innocuous and

easy one and rewrite the horror in a space of one, two, three, four or five minutes. But on the next day there would be a huge hullabaloo about the same 15cms filler because one, it was “completely rewritten and two, the essence of it was totally lost” (in reality, whatever was said in 870 words were said in 290 words, but the issue was that it was no longer ‘BIG’). And finally, the blame would be squarely placed on the author who “mutilated” the extensive press note and they were going to lose ads from this important client who has always “supported” our newspaper. The editor, who was used to all this would not even inform me about this, but I would learn all about it from the ad executives who would walk around as the paper was closing down because their client was puling out the “support”. Earlier, I used to get affected by this drama, but later on, even when the earth shook (client actually withdraws “support”), I was unaffected unless it meant I was close to losing my job. Now, there were many who found a press release useful. In the sense, there can be a potential story in a press release and some are quick to turn them into good reports. But, there were others who used them as additional byline material. In the sense, they would twist and turn a phrase and on top of the revised ‘story’, they would decorate with their famous name(s). It was an ingenious way to add more bylines to their credit. And sometimes luck would favour them when only their newspaper would carry it; but, other times, we would find a press release with a byline in our paper and one without in another paper. Such was life. As for me, today, I have come full circle. I neither investigate, nor report. And, when I get a press release, I close my eyes and retype it. But thankfully I don’t get a byline. Black & White 5

Not for my Jimmy I am looking after a stray at my home. He is over five years now (I got him when he was around 3.5years). He is one of the most lovable and most adorable pets I have ever had. This recent Eid when we celebrated his fifth birthday, we bought him a large foam bed. God, he seems to be really happy with this gift and gave me several extra licks. I read your story (issue 51) with great interest. I would love to take my dog for an obedience class at Canadian Jebel, but then on second thoughts, decided not to. I still feel that dogs need not go through this type of training unless they are being used for a specific purpose like a guard dog. My dog, Jimmy, is a wonderful, warm and affectionate pet. I don’t think these pets need to go through such training as mentioned in the magazine. But, yes, if Jimmy was to be a guard dog, this is one place I would head to. Edward Rosario, Seeb

Always there for us My two-year old Pomeranian is a quick learner. Other than the routine, sit, stand, jump, stay, heel, walk, bark commands, she also brings in the newspaper (without shredding it); dances to music; bows (as in Namaste); guards me and my little one and even knows to go and call someone if necessary (by barking). It is fascinating the way in which dogs pick up these tricks (for want of a better word). Daisy is a remarkable dog and shows so much of affection. Yes, of course, she can be jealous and does not like it when I go and touch other dogs or seems quite suspicious of me when I come home after having touched other dogs. Dogs are loving, affectionate, loyal and most importantly, they are always there for us. Lucy R, Al Ghubrah

Loyal readers

Reader's column Rea

We stumbled on your magazine (Wagging tale from Bausher) the other day and I am really happy to say that your stories are of very high quality. I found the article on the dog trainers quite interesting. My wife and I are both dog lovers and we are really delighted to know that there is a certified master trainer in town. Please keep up the good work. Rest assured, you have found in us, loyal readers! Peter and Marie, Al Khuwair

Mail your views and opinions at

6N November 7- December 6, 2012

Articles of high standard The latest Black & White issue (51) is quite an interesting one. The articles are of high standard and the feature on the dogs training is quite a worthy one. The photos are also excellent! SAS Naqvi, Muscat

Dogs need proper space I think most of the so-called dog lovers in Oman fail to understand that you need adequate space in your home before having a dog. I have noticed that many of the dog buyers in Oman do not have a proper place to house their dogs and yet they keep them. I find it quite distressing. The point to drive home is that all puppies look tiny when you buy them, but you need to know whether they would grow big. Some of them grow to enormous sizes and they will feel cramped in small places. You should know what breed suits you before you buy them. Otherwise, instead of a happy home, they will be leading miserable lives! Paul Sheldon, Qurum

Mesmerised by the

MIZMAR Oman watch

Yet another year and yet another Global Fusion! This year’s (2012) fusion once again brought forth an exciting new lineup of artists, both famed and also those aspiring for fame. Global Fusion is brought to Oman by Sarasin Alpen LLC, Oman, a subsidiary of Bank SarasinAlpen (ME) Ltd, Dubai, together with its investment banking associate Alpen Capital LLC. This year’s Global Fusion – which was held at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa’s Amphitheatre recently – is the fifth edition of the concert that brought together a host of musical talent.

8 November 7- December 6, 2012

The best part of the event is that the fusion concert provides Omani musicians – that is budding talent – with a platform to perform with world class musicians. Every year, the Global Fusion helps the local community in this way and either one or two musicians get to play along with the world’s best musical talents. This year also, the fusion helped a young Omani talent –Hassan Jumaa Sangour Al Balushi who scintillated with the mizmar (a type of wind instrument).

The mizmar, an instrument that was originally played by sailors on their voyages, somehow caught the special fascination of Hassan Balushi, who soon realised that this was the instrument that lent life to his true calling. “Now, I have been playing the mizmar since the last 11 years,” Hassan, 24, said in a brief tete-atete with the Black & White at the Shangri-La prior to the event. He said he was mesmerised by the instrument when he discovered it at an Omani marriage; he was only 13 then. That was the turning point for Hassan, who had until then been learning the tabla (a type of drums) from his father and his uncles. Hassan picked up the mizmar as his instrument for life. Soon, with help from his talented uncles, Hassan not only mastered the instrument, but also began to play the mizmar as a fulltime profession. “You need good stamina and lung power,” says the beefy Hassan demonstrating the mizmar’s power with a few quick powerful notes. “Since it produces

quite loud music, it is one instrument that can benefit a marriage,” added Hassan, who works as a driver at a truck company in Barka. Reiterating that music had no barriers and no limitations of any kind, he said that music was quite an integral part of his life. Hassan who has performed at official and public events locally and abroad, was also thankful to the Global Fusion for giving him an “opportunity to share the musical arena with some global greats; the exposure that I get from such an event is tremendous”. The concert brought together five Indian musicians – Niladri Kumar (sitar); group leader; Gino Banks (drums/percussion); Satyajit Talwalker (tabla), Agnelo Fernandes (keyboards) and Sheldon D’Silva (bass). They performed along with other musical talents like Ossam Ezzeldin from the US (keyboards), Eliana Burki, Switzerland (alpenhorn), Abbos Kosimov, Uzbekistan (doyra) and Chloe Arnold, USA (tap dancer) and Hassan. Black & White 9

Go grab a copy of


Men read Me

By James Sheridan

You can be the most talented or most skilled whatever in the world, but you are likely to wallow in obscurity if you do not know how to reach out, or share the talent with others. Now, I did not say that. Some one observed this in one of the many articles that hinges on the need for better social skills for men. But, whatever its origin, the truism in the line cannot be ignored. For the fact of the matter is that today, man’s success in this world depends on good social skills and if he does not cultivate them, he is going to become a social misfit, dying an unknown death. 10 N November 7- December 6, 2012

FICTION IS NOT WASTE OF TIME Certain factors play against a man when it comes to acquiring social skills. It has been proven that if you are a male, your interests automatically swings to stuff and the like. But, a woman, by the same coin, is born to deal with people. This is how it has been; this is how it is and this is how it is going to be, whether you like it or not. We say this with reason: for this is where we bring in a twist to this tale. This is where we spring a surprise on men and tell them that they need to stop acting so manly and pick up a book. No, you are not going to be a bookworm, nor are we asking you to get the latest men’s mag. We don’t want you to grab some techno non fiction too. No, we are talking about fiction, bro. Yes, Gone with the Wind,

The Great Gatsby, Atlas Shrugged, Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, Islands in the Stream… Don’t go yuckkk, don’t think of it as pure made up rot. Don’t think of it as a waste of time! Look at reading fiction as a chance to exercise and strengthen your cognitive muscles responsible for socialising. And we are not saying this. Go and find it out from the experts if you don’t believe us. No, this is not just baloney! FICTION SHAPES SOCIAL SKILLS Fiction works in many mysterious ways in moulding and shaping your thoughts and even behaviour. It opens your mind and heart and very simply opens up your social skills too. How? Experts claim that fiction “activates and enhances the cognitive functions that make us social beings”. What is fiction? It is basically about ourselves; about others and how we relate to each other and how we need each other and how we are all in many ways connected. Fiction, as an author on the subject wrote, is what we are all about. If you read a book of science to gain knowledge; if you read history and finance to know more about the subject, then, start reading fiction to understand the uniqueness of social relationships. VERY FEW MEN READ FICTION Some statistics note that men make only a very small percentage of fiction readers around the world. Somehow, they would have got disillusioned by novels

in their earlier days, or men generally prefer facts over fiction, but, whatever the reason, this general low number of fiction readers was the reason why research went deep into finding the psyche of men who don’t read fiction. Ever since it was discovered that men can better their social skills by reading fiction, things took a brighter turn in the fiction reading fraternity with men showing a little more interest in reading novels. But, it is not enough. Fiction needs more men and men needs fiction! FICTION UNRAVELS BEAUTY OF LIFE So, here is a very simple offer, which you cannot refuse: grab a book of

good fiction and learn the gentle art of socialising. Our aim here is to encourage you to read – fiction. Read, understand and enjoy. As you go through the process, you will gain new perspectives and also learn more about yourself and the world around you. If you actually look into the biographies of great men, you will find that all of them got up there by burying themselves in books, in the sense, self education. While non fiction gives you knowledge about the subjects that you want to take up, fiction brings you into close contact with the reality of life around us. The more you read fiction, the more you understand the beauty of life and the more your eyes open to the various unknown facets of life and living.

Men read 12 N November 7- December 12 November 7- December 6, 2012 6, 2012

MAMA’s men Some men are real “mama’s boys”. If you are one and are finding it hard to hold a relationship together because of your weakness for your mother, then, first learn about these mistakes that you are making and then try to rectify them somehow. Let us look at some of the main mistakes that you commit. But, please do not take it to heart for the bond between man and his mother is too precious to view it too lightly and too personal to talk about it publicly. But, what we are doing here is a simple line up of the usual son-mama interaction and how too much focus on it actually brings about irritation to the other woman in your life – your wife! DAILY REVELATIONS Ah, so you call her daily. There is nothing wrong in chatting away with your mom. But, if that means you are telling your mom everything, including problems with your wife and other intimate details of your relationship, which means you are revealing too much to her. Is that necessary? Some things are best left alone and if you reveal everything about you and your wife’s life to your mom then there is no privacy left and it would be bad for the relationship. Know what to leave out and what not to say, even if it is your mom. MAMA RULES If your mother’s rules still apply even after your marriage (and perhaps years after marriage), then there is something wrong. When you move out of home, marry and then become a father, you are entering a special phase in your life. That does not mean you leave your parents out of the picture, no. But, if you are a man who still follows your mama’s rule after marriage then you need to put a stop to that. Once you marry and start a family, you need to set your values and standards according to the new rules that govern your present life. It does not mean that

basic values or rules or standards of good and bad change, except for that you need to consider a whole new set because you have another woman in your life. If you don’t, then it would bring about a feeling that you are not ready to live your own life. MAMA’S DECISION In the same manner, there is something very disconcerting if you, a full bodied male, cannot make a decision about anything with checking with your mama. Well, there is nothing wrong in respecting your mother’s wishes and nothing wrong in respecting her opinions, but, when his mama is used a crutch to hobble around in every aspect of your life, then it is not a good sign. What it implies is that as a man you are too insecure, too childish and unable to make a decision. The problem that others in your life – who trusts you – will face is this: if you are unable to make a decision on your own, then, how will anyone believe in you, trust you? (Next issue, we will tackle the other part – what does it mean when your man is rude and nasty and loathes his mother; it works both ways, right?) Black & White 13

First Free Fortnightly magazine


all over Oman on 7th & 21st of every month ‡0XVFDW‡6DODODK‡6RKDU‡6XU‡1L]ZD‡%DUND‡,EUD ‡,EUL‡5XVWDT‡.DVDE


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By Adarsh Madhavan

He did not even knock at the door. He just walked in and then although my colleagues asked him what he wanted, he just pointed at the empty room next to where I was sitting, got behind the table there, and sat on the boss’s chair. My colleagues came back flustered to me and said: “Someone is there!” Who, I asked as I tried to focus suddenly into a reality. It is not easy to wake up from your reverie and face reality. “Someone just walked in and went into that room – he is sitting there,” one of my colleagues said. His entry did not fully register in me. “You better see him,” my colleagues warned me. I reluctantly got up from my seat and then walked into the room and got a shock. There was a man sitting on a chair, behind the desk of our senior. Hello, I said. He did not reply, but he gave a bit of an uncomfortable grin, raised something from the table and threatened to throw it on me. Whoa, I said, that is not necessary. Put it down. I asked him what he wanted and he raised a desk calendar and indicated that he wanted to throw it on me. Whenever I asked him something, he threatened to throw something on me or beat me. I tried going near and then again he made some guttural sounds and told me to keep away. Come, I said, let us go out. But, he wouldn’t budge from the seat and started playing with the keyboard of a laptop there. When I expressed my dismay, he picked something and tried to hurl it at me. I realised that there was no other way but to physically evict this man from the seat. We called in the security of the building and they soon came (in droves) and they quickly moved him out. Who was he? What was he? No one knew. The security had no clue where he came from and so they said he was going to be handed over to the authorities concerned because they did not want to take a risk with him. He was obviously lost; came from some home but no one came to claim him. In the evening, we had another uninvited visitor. He was someone who is pretty much known to us, but whom we avoid at all counts because he also had the same problem, though of a varied degree. We knew him since years and his problem has only compounded. He would come, very docile, very soft spoken and mild and say that he needed


When they fly over the cuckoo’s nest…

wall he t ff

help. We would listen to him mentally trying to find out how we could help him when suddenly he would jump topic. One moment it would be about his need to flesh out an idea, and in the next, it would be about how he had shouted down some big shot he had sparred with on some reason or the other, then he would jump to yet another issue where he literally abused another big shot and how a case on that was still pending in court. Then, it would be about some other illusionary project that he wanted to take up in his hometown. His voice, with rising inflection, would hinge on a kind of frenzy. Those who see him talking to me would feel that he was shouting at me as with each issue that had caught him, the tempo as well as decibels would rise. At times, he would demonstrate how he held someone in his vice like grip and would hold me the same way and at other times, would even show how he beat someone and do a mock swipe at me. I took it as I had no other choice. An intended conversation of five to 10 minutes would turn into a torturous half an hour, hour and more as we would be caught in his web of words and violent emotion. I would try to bring him back to the original topic that brought about the conversation, but within seconds he would go back into the wild talk mode. I would try to keep up with frenetic pace of his conversation and topics but would fail miserably. As I accepted defeat, I would try to veer him off of all topics and indicate that I had things to do and places to go, but he would not relent. I sincerely don’t know how to handle him or those of his ilk who often fly over the cuckoo’s nest. You can’t change them; you can’t pacify them or help them – you can only avoid them! Black & White 15

Omifco presents buses to

seven Sharqiya clubs

The Oman India Fertilizer Company (Omifco) recently presented buses to seven sports clubs of the region. The keys for the buses were presented to the representatives of the clubs during a ceremony organised at Grand Hyatt under the auspices of minister of sports affairs Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed al Saadi and in the presence of Omifco Ceo Ahmed bin Ali Al Awfi and other officials. The clubs to benefit from the Omifco initiative are Jaalan, Al Arouba, Sur, Al Wuhda, Al Talee’a, Al Kamil Wa Alwafi and Masirah. Speaking to the media after the ceremony, Shaikh Saad al Saadi appreciated the Omifco’s initiative. “We have been involved in several development programmes and presenting the buses to these seven clubs is part of that strategy to contribute to the development of sports in the region. We hope the clubs will benefit from our latest initiative,” Omifco Ceo Ahmed Al Awfi said.


Oman Paediatric Society launched The (OPS) is being launched with the objectives of providing optimum level of comprehensive healthcare to all children in Oman, Dr Saif Abdullah Al Yaarubi, the president of OPS told the media at a press conference held at The Platinum Hotel recently. He was elaborating on the vision, mission and goals of the OPS when he made the above statement. “Comprehensive healthcare provides physical, mental and emotional health to all Omani children in accordance with international 16 November 7- December 6, 2012

standards,” he added. Dr Saif said that the OPS would strive to improve the healthcare of Omani children by devoting efforts and optimising use of medical resources to improve health care services to achieve the highest international standards. Stressing that OPS would make a difference to society and children in particular, he said that the OPS sought to achieve multi-dimensional development of children’s healthcare in the areas of physical, mental, social and

spiritual health. “We hope to achieve this by creating, organising and implementing effective programmes that will help us in this task,” Dr Saif said. He said that they would raise much needed health awareness

National Bank of Oman Golf Classic

2013 to bring The European Tour to Oman

The Sultanate of Oman will make its debut on the European Challenge Tour when the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic is staged for the first time at Almouj Golf, The Wave Muscat, from October 24th until October 27th, 2013. Promoted by National Bank of Oman, the tournament will be the first Challenge Tour event of its kind not only in the Sultanate of Oman but also in the GCC and will offer a total prize-money of US$300,000. With its place on the 2013 calendar (confirmed as the last event on the calendar before the season-end Challenge Tour Grand Final) the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic is set to attract a powerful field of 84 professionals with a further 30 invites available to the title sponsors, including ten for low handicap amateurs. From the professional invites to the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic, five will be allocated to other Challenge Tour events in return for amateur invites on a reciprocal basis, allowing Arab Nationals, subject to handicap requirements, to compete in

other Challenge Tour events during the season. This will provide great opportunities for golfers throughout the Arab world to get international experience wherever the Challenge Tour goes. “As Title sponsor for the next three years, National Bank of Oman looks forward to welcoming the players and officials for the first ever Challenge Tour event in Oman,” said Mr Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO’s Chief Executive Officer, at the Press Conference, held at the Greg Norman-designed Almouj Golf, The Wave Muscat. “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing the Challenge Tour to Oman and these are exciting times for us as it is the first time we have ever visited this part of the world,” he said. As the penultimate event of

the 2013 Challenge Tour season, the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic will be a crucial tournament for our players and even more so thanks to the significant prize fund”. Alain de Soultrait, Director of the European Challenge Tour said. In 2012 the Challenge Tour played 26 events in 18 countries for a combined prize fund of over $7.1 million, while only four of those events offered a greater prize fund than the new tournament – and with the event also providing places in the field to amateurs from throughout the region. The 2013 National Bank of Oman Golf Classic will offer the best Arab golfers an opportunity to experience playing alongside future European Tour stars.

among the community members in order to improve child healthcare standards. Another key goal was to reinforce the importance of preventing diseases and harmful practices affecting children in the

community. “We also hope to promote safety by educating the community on childhood injury prevention.” In all of this, the OPS would be collaborating with the respective

authorities to implement Unicef’s principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The OPS would also strive to reinforce ethical and professional conduct among members during their practice. Black & White 17

Al Naba Catering wins HACCP certification Reinforcing its credentials as a standards-driven company, Al Naba Supplies & Catering Services LLC (ANSCS) has been certified as HACCP compliant, meeting a globally recognised benchmark that attests to its reputation as a world-class industrial catering services provider. Certification for HACCP compliance affirms ANSCS’s robust commitment to food safety and hygiene in line with a set of exacting, internationallyaccepted standards. An acronym for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, HACCP is the gold standard for managing food safety and is highly prized by any organisation that is directly or indirectly involved in food or food chain services. “For the customer, this translates as an assurance that food safety and hygiene practices of international standards take priority. Checks have been

put in place and are strictly implemented at every stage of food processing and service so that the consumers receive quality products that have come to be expected of the brand Al Naba,” said Amresh Singh, business head for Al Naba Supplies & Catering Service LLC.

Tibiaan Properties appoints COO Tibiaan Properties has appointed a chief operating officer as it gears up to launch into an expansion phase. The new COO, Roger Beaumont, served recently as vice president real estate sales and marketing with uriya Tourism Development and previously as senior sales and leasing manager at The Wave, Muscat. Specialising in the residential and mixed use sectors, Beaumont will bring to the table professional service for clients looking to maximise their returns from real estate sector, be it developing, selling or leasing. He will also oversee the development of integrated direct-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing, advertising and sales strategies, initiatives and campaigns that will help build a solid customer service base for Tibiaan Properties.

Mobile learning and cloud-based assessment


set to enter Oman’s university campuses Mobile learning, or m-learning, takes digital education to an altogether higher level and Oman can be one of the first few countries in the world to adopt this revolutionary technology in mobile learning (m-learning) and cloud computing through hand-held devices. Building on the popularity of tablet PCs and smart phones among the younger generation, CORE Education & Consulting Solutions FZ LLC (CORE), a global leader in education technologies, has revolutionised traditional concepts of teaching and learning, firmly aligning them with cutting-edge 21st century 18 November 7- December 6, 2012

education processes. The CORE has signed an agreement towards this effect with the UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) as part of the UAE’s flagship education project and is now taking the lead in introducing the concept in schools, colleges and universities located in Oman, in a landmark project that will benefit more than 619,000 students. In Oman, CORE is working along with its joint venture partner, Muscat Overseas Company (MOC), to introduce technology-enabled solutions for school and employability

education to revolutionalise the region’s education system.

Fashion up your food It is a state of the art fashion show and an unprecedented step by Layali Al Asalah innovators. After organising a fashion show inspired by books “I Read A Book”, followed by “Back To School”, Al Asalah team developed a new theme aiming at spreading awareness on healthy food and eating habits away from junk food which has long term harmful effects on our bodies. The designs of (Fashion up your food) prove that the world of fashion has its unique and effective impact on the society and plays a great role in contributing to various issues related to

the family and society. The show presented in a creative way as the management of Bariq Al Shatti has sponsored it by providing the required facilities for the success of the event. Bariq Al Shatti is the first shopping mall to host an innovative fashion show in its corridors, since management is always interested to keep pace with modern trends to provide its valuable visitors with latest fashion styles. The previous exhibition (Spring Bus) which was held in the centre was a great success and attracted visitors from all corners.

Haya Water wins government orders Haya Water is eco-friendly fertiliser product, Kala Compost, has seen an overwhelming response and unprecedented demand in the Sultanate. Haya Water has been commissioned to provide the ministry of agriculture and fisheries with 1,620 tonnes of Kala products as a part of the ministry’s efforts to increase the productivity of date palms in the region. In addition, the company will also supply Muscat Municipality with about 17,000 bags of Kala compost in keeping with their objective to make Muscat a better city. Launched in 2010, Kala Compost is an environment-friendly compost used primarily largely for agriculture, landscaping and for individual gardens.

Eng Hussain AbdulHussain, Ceo Haya Water said, “Haya Water is currently providing a twofold benefit to the agricultural industry in Oman. Through its ability to supply the highest standards of treated water for irrigation and by providing farmers with the eco-friendly Kala Compost, our commitment to the sector has been unyielding,” He also added, “These orders from ministry of agriculture and fisheries and Muscat Municipality are testament to the fact that we are indeed manufacturing quality products in order to ensure that Muscat transforms into a better city.” Speaking about the new achievement, Sulyem Al Hikmani, general manager, commercial department explained, “Kala

Compost has received an overwhelming response in the local markets. This accomplishment comes as a result of the efforts undertaken by the commercial team who have been responsible to promote the benefits of this home produced, cost effective and environmentally friendly product.” Black & White 19

Omantel Launches SME Business Excellence Awards Omantel announced the launch of Omantel Business Excellence SME Awards – a new initiative aims at boosting the SME sector and recognising the rising stars and entrepreneurs. Omantel Business Excellence SME Awards is the first of its kind from Omantel and follows the success of the Omantel business alliance that was launched earlier this year and hosted key global speakers addressing the Sultanate’s key corporates on different business issues and latest global trends.

Todd Dick, vice president of Omantel Corporate said “Omantel business has built a reputation for credibility, reliability and trust, creating long-term and highly valued partnerships by helping companies succeed in many sectors of the Omani economy. We are proud of the long-term partnerships and well established relationships we have created with government organisations and companies across the full spectrum of business activity.” Contact:, or 24242888.

Dr Maria Arbelaez wins accolades Medical director of Muscat Eye Laser Center, Dr Maria Clara Arbelaez, medical director of Muscat Eye Laser Centre was selected for Al Mar’a Excellence Awards in the special awards category. Dr Maria received the award at a dazzling ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel attended by more than 150 guests. Maitha Saif Al Mahrooqi, undersecretary, minister of tourism and Her Highness Sayyida Rawan Al Said, Ceo, ONIC Holding were the

guests of honour. The Excellence Awards is a platform to recognise the achievements and entrepreneurial zeal of women in Oman. It recognises and encourages women who have set milestones in diverse fields. A globally renowned corneal surgeon, Dr Maria, along with the Ceo and co-founder Sameer Al Awam, have overseen the evolvement of the center as a provider for eye care services of par

excellence; not only in Oman but in the Gulf region.

Woman Guild of Oman members Wordpress

presented a cheque of OMR2,000 to NACA to show support for their special campaign for breast cancer during the month of October. This money is in addition to the OMR1,000 already given to them earlier this year, making it a total of OMR3, 000. The WGO will continue its support for the NACA in future as well. 20 November 7- December 6, 2012

NBO’s Aisha Al

Kharusi wins award

Aisha Al Kharusi, head of corporate communications and CSR, at the National Bank of Oman won this year’s 'Woman of the Year' title at the recently held Al Mara Excellence Awards. Al-Kharusi’s credentials include being the former deputy regional director of Boeing International - Middle East Region. She was on the Global Corporate Citizenship advisory committee in Chicago representing her international peers worldwide. Prior to joining Boeing, she was a young entrepreneur managing an agency and a pioneer of Oman’s first bi-lingual youth supplement: YouthObserver. As a devoted member of society, Al Kharusi held several roles including member of the Young Arab Leaders – UAE Chapter. Furthermore, she has held several positions as a board member for the Omani Businesswomen Forum - Oman Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she is Board Member of AIESEC

Oman and Injaz Oman (both youth driven non-profit agencies). "On behalf of the NBO, I am very proud to see a talent like Aisha excel within the community and to be recognised as a role model. At the NBO we encourage our employees to achieve the highest zeal not just within their job scope as well as outside their community. Aisha has had one goal in mind: to work hard and persevere in everything she touches. Finally, her day has come and she certainly deserves this honour. Congratulations to Aisha Al Kharusi, 'Woman of the Year!'

said Mohammed Al Ardhi, deputy chairman, NBO. The Excellence Awards honours Omani women, in celebration of, and in keeping with the implementation of the Royal Orders issued by of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, to observe October 17 every year, as the Omani Women’s Day. The winners were revealed at a special gala dinner held under the patronage of Maitha Al Mahrouqi, undersecretary, ministry of tourism, and in the presence of Sayyida Rawan Al Said, Ceo, ONIC Holding, and other dignitaries at the Crowne Plaza Muscat, recently.

Sohar trio team up with OFA ‘We’ve been waiting for a programme like this for a very long time, it’s just what the children need’ – this is the reaction of just one teacher in an Omani primary school that has already benefitted from a unique and pioneering football outreach programme that is causing quite a stir in Al Batinah North. The programme is being delivered by Kickworldwide, a British company in partnership with the Oman Football Association and the British Embassy in Muscat. It is being funded by the Sohar based trio of companies ORPIC, Sohar Aluminium and Vale who are committed to helping to educate and create new opportunities for the young people of Al Batinah North. The outreach programme involves a team of Omani and UK teachers and ex footballers visiting primary schools every day for a period of four months. Using fun and interactive presentation methods, the team educate around 200 hundred children between the ages of 8 and 12 per day about the importance of eating healthily, getting regular exercise and caring for others in their

community. Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, OFA Chairman, said: ‘I am delighted that Kickworldwide and OFA are able to bring such a programme to Omani schools. This partnership will provide thousands of young school children with the opportunity to learn about a global sport, learn lifeskills and stay healthy. The programme has the support of the ministry of sports affairs and the ministry of education and also the British Embassy in Muscat. Black & White 21

Omran nurtures two

successful awards winners

Omran has played an instrumental role in the recent recognition of two successful Omani women at the recent Al Mara Excellence Awards. Badriya Al Siyabi, corporate social responsibility (CSR) manager at Omran was named ‘CSR Woman of the Year’ while Salma Al Hajri, Ceo and founder of Salma’s Chocolates, a brand under the umbrella of Omran’s hallmark CSR program, Intajee, received the ‘Most Promising Woman of the Year’ award. Eng. Wael bin Ahmed Al Lawati‚ Ceo of Omran, said, “Omran has created a platform to empower women both inside and outside the workplace, to give them the opportunity to craft engaging and rewarding careers. The Al Mara Excellence Award is a testament to the strategies Omran adopts to support, promote and

sustain the inspiring work of women within the community.” Badriya was recognised for her extensive efforts, spearheading many of Omran’s CSR projects in the Sultanate. Her representation of the company’s core values has helped create long-term benefits for local communities across Oman by forming meaningful and sustainable programmes. Badriya’s endeavours also include investing time and effort in nurturing and establishing relationships with residents located in and around Omran project sites. Establishing the first and only Omani

chocolate brand has positioned Salma as a pioneering force in the local market. Her creativity in maintaining the Sultanate’s heritage by combining local flavors in her creations has set her apart from the competition. Through her association with Intajee, Salma has sourced raw ingredients from families living in Al Batinah and Jabal Al Akhdar. Omran has also enabled Salma to maximise her brand’s reach by investing in training, equipment, packaging and marketing to enable the products to reach the shelves of hypermarkets and become available to the wider general public.


Harley-Davidson Oman 'Open House' day in Muscat Harley-Davidson Oman wrapped up its “Join the Ride, Change Lives” Open House day in Muscat with another year of great success and an attendance of approximately 150 riders; launching its 2013 model year line of the most dazzling motorcycles earmarked with big bold metal finishes attesting to Harley’s long-standing riding legacy. 2013 had also marked the 110th anniversary of the iconic brand starting from Milwaukee all the way to Rome and in dozens of other cities all across the globe and commemorating decades of classic motorcycles and classic good times. Building on the resonating success of “Make Every Day Count” in 2011 which donated a cheque amounting to $20,600 to the United Nations World Food Programme; Harley-Davidson Middle East and North Africa (MENA) again achieves a great success with the 2012 Open House Days under the theme ”Join the Ride, Change Lives” which hosted both riders and non-riders in countries including Oman, UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi), Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, KSA (Riyadh, Jeddah, Dahran, Jubail), Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. “The 2012 Open House Day was a strong testament to 22 November 7- December 6, 2012

the brand’s image of being a devout supporter to the community. Wherever the brand is in the world, HarleyDavidson makes sure to spread good deeds. This is the true character of our loving riders who live up to this spirit each time they start their bike. We are proud to have them with us all the way,” Paul De Jongh, country manager MENA Region of Harley Davidson, said.

Volkswagen new Polo Sedan Volkswagen Oman, represented by Wattayah Motors, has launched the brand-new Polo Sedan, bringing the first generation model to Oman. With the highest standards of modern automotive engineering and high quality workmanship, the new Polo Sedan completes the portfolio of sedan models that Volkswagen Oman offers to its customers in the region. At an exceptionally competitive price, the new Polo Sedan is sleek, spacious and comfortable delivering luxury and innovation whilst being affordable. Available with a 1.6 litre 105 PS engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission, the Polo Sedan includes 15 inch alloy wheels, dual airbags for driver and passenger, ABS, spacious interior – especially in the rear and central locking with keyless entry.

“The new Polo Sedan is the perfect combination of German engineering together with optimum comfort and driving characteristics,” says James Oliver, general manager of Volkswagen Oman.

The Wave, Muscat launches first waterfront apartments The Wave, Muscat recently opened the registration for the latest addition to the residential portfolio at the development, the Marsa One apartments. Interested parties can now register their interest with The Wave, Muscat to receive more information about the apartments. The first waterfront apartments to be launched in Muscat, Marsa One forms a part of the newest residential area at The Wave, Muscat. Part of Almarsa Village, the commercial and tourism hub of The Wave, Muscat’s community, this phase comprises 121 luxury one, two and three-bedroom apartments in a prime marina-front position, giving owners and residents a piece of the ideal

marina lifestyle. Striking modern and stylish designs to optimise the use of light create a refreshing and relaxing setting with spectacular views over Almouj Marina; every Marsa One apartment will have a balcony with marina or village views. The apartments are designed with 10 different configurations for purchasers to choose from, ranging from 90 sq m to 248 sq m. Commenting on the launch of Marsa One apartments, David Stafford, vicepresident of sales and marketing at The Wave, Muscat said: “Marsa One apartments are first of its kind for The Wave, Muscat and for the city and a chance for people to own their piece of an exclusive Muscat address.”

Vale at oman investment forum 2012 Marcos Beluco, Vale country manager, attributed Vale’s success in the Sultanate to the country’s strategic geographic location and myriad investment-friendly incentives promoted by the government at the Oman Investment Forum 2012. “Oman’s forward-thinking strategies, stable economy, attractive foreign investment policies and competitive business structure have provided fertile ground for us to successfully create a ‘virtual iron ore mine’ through our $1.25 billion Pelletizing Plant and Distribution Center in Liwa. Today we proudly supply pellets to some of the biggest steel producers in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia including India,” he said. The two-day forum brought together government officials and businessmen along with members from the international business community. Beluco, one of three participants on a private sector panel, highlighted the incountry value that Vale has brought to Oman by investing

$12 million in training and recruiting programs for more than 200 Omanis and generating over 1,200 direct jobs. “Vale is fully committed to fostering national talent and providing meaningful employment opportunities. We do not view Omanisation as merely a quota that needs to be fulfilled but rather as a platform to build for the future by transferring the necessary skillsets and knowledge for Oman to cement its position as a world-class integrated steel production base,” he affirmed. Black & White 23

Harlem Globetrotters in Muscat


The iconic Harlem Globetrotters put up their spectacular performance at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Baushar recently. The fun-filled family event showcased amazing basketball skills by a team of 25 players, keeping the audience spell bound regardless of age. The event was brought to the public by YB Entertainment, Merge 104.8FM and Al Wisal 96.5FM in association with Mazda. The supporters of the event include the Oman Basketball Association, Creative Communications Advertising & Marketing LLC, Pizza Hut, Qatar Insurance Company and the Radisson Blu Hotel.

24 November 7- December 6, 2012

In Black & White

In Black... We uncovered something different – something with a silvery glint – this time!

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief

A MALE BASTION GETS A BEATING! The vision and mission of the B&W has always remained local, from its cover story to promoting local talents, events, traditions and heritage. We leave no stone unturned to get a truly Omani story and so far we have been successful in our attempts. This time, the path we chose took us to the beautiful and scenic village of Fanja. This gateway to the Dakhiliyah region is famous for many things – tourism, cultural heritage, fantastic souq, spectacular wadi… But we uncovered something different – something with a silvery glint. We managed to get the story of a young Omani lady who challenged the male dominated world of silversmiths. A thorough bred silversmith, this is one woman who with the help of her womanly creativity brought out better and modern khanjar and jewellery designs. When you buy a traditional silver jewel or a khanjar, you never bother to find out who made the designs; what effort has been put in to and how it comes to the market. Very often we buy designer pieces to stand

apart from the mass and create a distinct identity for ourselves. Next time you buy a piece of craft or art, take a moment to find out the effort put in to create the piece. It is progressive to see a woman with basic education, strive hard to create, excel and stand up confidently choosing entrepreneurship over mediocre and unfitting jobs. It takes lots of courage to choose an un-trodden path, setting an example to others. It would be unfair not to acknowledge the activities of the Public Authority of Craft Industries (PACI) for their continuing efforts to help educate and train the youth for better career prospects, while retaining the identity of the national tradition and culture. THIRD ANNIVERSARY Before I end, let me quickly note a humble milestone of the B&W. This is our third anniversary! While we step into the third year of our existence and operations, we would like to thank every one of our readers, supporters, well wishers and critics. We admit that we have only taken a few steps forward, and we have miles to go (and promises to keep).

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The mistress of

B&W Xclusive B&

Visit a silver or gold souq in Oman and you are likely to find an old Omani man with his sons and grandsons engaged in the making of silver jewellery. It is said to be a family tradition and the legacy is handed over from one generation to another. As is the case, you will see men engaged in this art and the sons following the tradition. You don’t often see women and their daughters working in this particular crafts form. But, here is a silver lining in this traditionally male dominated craft work – veering from the usual, Black & White features here a truly gem of a ‘silver’ lady.

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In Fanja, some of the greatest works of art never hang in a museum. While they are surely treasured, they are most often worn by either young or old Omani women. And most of the masters of these crafts do not have the luxury of producing them from huge factories. Some of the traditional silver jewellery is being produced from small homes, whose inhabitants subsist on the earnings.

SILVER LADY OF FANJA But, in a quiet corner of picturesque Fanja, you will come upon an unusually strong silvery glint. This sparkle is emanating from a small room of a young Omani woman who is enjoying quiet fame with her exquisite silver jewellery designs. Adding to the beauty and culturally sound village of Fanja is this unique lady silversmith, perhaps the only one of her kind in the village. Nadia bint Said Ahmed Al Rawahi, in her late 30s, has with her unique creations, kept the waning tradition of silversmiths in Oman alive. And, she is a woman to boot, which is itself rare in this field. What is encouraging also is the fact that she has made a name amongst some of the most skilled silversmiths of the Arab world, including Oman. Eloquent testimony to this is borne out of the thousands of fine works of silver art Nadia has created and she is

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already something of a sensation in her village. During festive occasions, this one-woman silver maker is flooded with so many orders that she has to literally take a week or two off post festivals to recover from the hectic nonstop work schedule. The B&W spoke to the silver lady who is also the first female silversmith in Fanja. Speaking to us from her sister’s home in Azaiba, Nadia took us through a silvery path adorned with so many artistic embellishments that it gives one the strong feeling that such young artisans could really bring about a strong revival of dying arts in Oman. The future of silver jewellery making seems to be bright. Nadia was not lucky to be part of a silver making legacy and in fact, she is the only one among her siblings that have ventured into such a traditional job. But, like most artisans, who are somehow blessed with great interest and an abundance of raw talent, Nadia took to this

craft like a duck to water. “I guess I was destined to be a silversmith,” the shy but charming silversmith said, displaying some lovely designs on a variety of jewellery, including key chains, necklaces, bracelets, rings, head wear etc. Although English was not her forte, she still managed to convey the essence of her work with the help of her sister and her nieces. SEARCH FOR A CAREER Upon completion of her secondary school education, a whole new world opened out to her, which was as grand as it was scary. And it is here most make either the right or wrong decisions. Fate would often hang in a balance and sided with the ones who took the right step. Nadia was lucky here to make her own bold choice and not go with the usual flow. She was brave enough to take the road less travelled. “When I completed my secondary school, I was left with no other choice than to search for a right vocation. Basic schooling does not make you career eligible and I was not too sure about pursuing a higher education. I was totally lost and did not know what path to choose,” Nadia tells us candidly. DESTINY’S CHILD But, destiny had already written a path for her. “I believe in that. One day, while I was browsing the newspaper, I stumbled upon an announcement for a walk-in interview at an Open House of the Public Authority of Crafts & Industries (PACI). They had invited young Omani

candidates interested in learning and getting trained in various traditional Omani crafts. “Actually, a whole new world opened up before me and I finally realised my true calling. I instantly made up my mind to give it a try. I walked into a room full of young candidates and got myself enrolled.” The decision was not an easy one to make because Nadia came from a family of teachers. Four of her siblings are teachers, and none of the others had any inclination towards any crafts or arts. FITTING INTO HER OWN WORLD “I was not looking at a career alone; I wanted to step in to a world that I could fit in; I wanted to become committed and I also wanted to enjoy job satisfaction, doing the things I loved. Oman has a rich tradition and culture and I was sure that I would fit in somewhere. I registered myself and began the intensive course. The initial months were very crucial; it taught me the basics. And I felt very confident and learnt it all, from traditional basket making, to pottery to craftwork out of palm leaves. “In a span of two years at the PACI, I learned quite a lot of crafts. But, I realised that the intricate craft of making silver jewellery was my true calling. Like I said, probably I was destined to be a silversmith!” A SILVERY WORLD Her two-year stint at the PACI changed her life. “The two years of learning and training at the PACI totally

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transformed me. “My creative side took over my imagination and my mind swung wide open. Every pattern I saw around me, twirled into an intricate silver jewellery design. I got very good exposure of the trade through PACI and I got opportunities to be part of Omani crafts team and pavilions internationally too. I was part of the Oman team that exhibited in Shanghai (China) and Syria. I had the opportunity to create unique gift items in silver for various ministries and organisations. It was a real moment of pride and achievement when I got an opportunity to create a silver bouquet of traditional Omani jewellery -- a gift from PACI to the offices of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It was a unique collection of anklets, bracelets, bangles, souvenirs -- all traditional Omani designs, handcrafted by me.” Nadia also took part in various competitions and soon she was beginning to make a mark every where. Her work won her certificates and acknowledgements. “I realised that I had a long way to go, but I understood that this is what I want to do all my life.” FIRST FEMALE SILVERSMITH IN FANJA The Fanja region did not have many silversmiths and even today it is the same. “I guess I am the only lady in my village that makes traditional silver jewellery from finger rings to khanjars. There are of course some senior male artisans who have been doing silver craft since generations in Fanja. I operate from my home in Fanja. I have no one else to help me – I do it all alone!” FAVOURITE FANJA It is obvious that Fanja is her favourite village in Oman. She veered off to describe the beauty of Fanja. “It is a beautiful place with a very rich tradition and natural beauty. It is also famous for its four-day Eid

festivals where Eid is celebrated with great pomp and show and with participation from people from all around the region. The festival is celebrated near the famous Fanja fort and is one of the most attended of Eid gatherings. The big wadi bridge of Fanja is a landmark and get-together spot for all of us. A TOUCH OF SILVER “Initially it was a bit of a challenge to create silver jewellery and craft items on a regular basis. But as I gained experience, I learnt it is a creative profession. And I need to keep my designs fresh, while retaining its traditional authenticity. That was the trick – the balancing act, which entailed integrating a bit of modernity, while still preserving the traditional Omani touch. I started purchasing silver pellets from banks and melting it to sheets for mould designs and later bringing it to Muttrah for polishing and finetuning. It is quite a hectic schedule, but when you see the silver taking the form of beautiful designs that could adorn men and women, it gave me a sense of satisfaction. It is not difficult profession for a lady; in fact it is an ideal profession for someone (especially a lady) with a creative mind. Ladies are naturally inclined to colours, flowers and designs. It reflects in some way or the other, through our clothes, cooking or setting up a home. Some of us even get in to embroidery and stitching. Every craft is an art. You just need to identify with it. My identity is with silver craft and I feel very content in creating designs with silver. “Every item you see around you can be enhanced with a touch of silver. I have put my mind in to it and created traditional abayas, head scarves, scarf pins, dresses, even foot wear with silver designs incorporated in it. The whole look changes with a touch of silver.”

PACI – to safeguard, promote and develop craft heritage of Oman The Public Authority for Craft Industries (PACI), established under Royal Decree No. 24/2003 on March 3, 2003, is an independent legal entity under the supervision of the Diwan of Royal Court. It aims to safeguard, promote and develop Oman’s traditional craft heritage and ensure its craft industries continue to thrive and attract new generations of artisans. The PACI pays great attention to silver crafts since it is the most prevalent metal industry. So, it arranges many workshops in this field as well as galleries to show the distinctive crafts, in addition to competitions such as the Sultan Qaboos Master Craft Products and Projects competition. The authority has issued a set of regulations for the craft sector as part of its craft conservation strategy. It stages a nationwide craft competition and March 3 has been designated as Omani Crafts Day. Oman’s traditional crafts have been documented and registered and their production and marketing techniques are constantly being upgraded. The PACI has a number of major objectives that aim to realise the ambitions and hopes of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. (website: http://www.

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THE CHALLENGE OF KHANJARS Oman has a long list of silver jewellery items, from a scarf pin to traditional jewellery to silver khanjars to Asa handles. “Silver is a part of Omani lifestyle and I am glad I chose this craft. There will be no dearth to the demand and the designs. The most challenging designs were the ones I made on the khanjars. It is my attempt to create silver khanjars that made me a full-fledged silversmith. I took up an order for making a khanjar and it was so intricate and challenging that I had to quit all other work!” This happened in 2006 and Nadia was having a contract to run the canteen of the Fanja School. Unfortunately, she could not handle both jobs and was forced to drop her canteen contract. “The khanjar design took up all my time and I could not stop mid way. It was definitely a challenge for a lady and finally after having worked day and night on it, I finished it. But, I had to rest for one whole week. Still, it was great fun to work and I found it very engrossing. Crafting out intricate silver designs is not easy; it is time consuming but immensely satisfying. It opened new doors of designs for me. Once, I made three khanjar designs, giving a choice of changing the khanjar cover in silver, while the knife part and handle remained the same!”

PRACTICE MAKES IT PERFECT Like any other craft, it is practice that makes the art perfect. “Since I started working at home, my family was the first ground I could test on. I started making jewellery for my sisters and relatives, slowly spreading out to friends and well wishers. With the help and support of my siblings and family members, I began to produce designs on my own. The initial attempts of designs were quite challenging and I learned a lot from the good old Omani traditional works. “Over the years I learnt to adapt and integrate designs, introduce trends and started doing jewellery in Fanja by order. I can make 10 to 12 finger rings and small key chains in a day. Necklaces, anklets and head jewellery take couple of days, and also depends on the design. I have attended many exhibitions; read books and always browse the net to learn about latest designs and adapt them to my creations. “I have a dream to set up my own factory and buy casting and polishing machines and produce silver designer products commercially. I know it looks like a farfetched dream today, but am sure I will reach there someday!” Contact: 92103467

Text: Adarsh Madhavan & Priya Arunkumar Photos: Ben

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The incomparable beauty of Oman’s silver jewellery

B&W Xclusive B&

Three key regional styles dominate the body of silver jewellery found in Oman. These are North, South and Central Oman. Home to some of the most adept silversmiths found in the Arab world, Oman’s silver jewellery is of the highest standards, possessing a unique quality and having a beauty that is still unsurpassed. The silver industry in Oman dates back the early ages. Being an ancient craft and an age old trade, it has developed from a time honoured tradition into a unique and unusual skill for its practitioners. The business and trade of silver is primarily centred in Nizwa, and also found in Muscat, Muttrah, Salalah, Ibri, Bahla, Rustaq and Sur. Silver jewellery in Oman is not designed just for women, but also for men. While Omani women can enjoy wearing necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, hair decorations, men have the ubiquitous Khanjar, which can be designed in silver. Plus, men’s rings, swords, sheaths, handles can all be adorned with silver designs. Today, Omanis are keenly using old and traditional silver jewellery as decorative pieces too in their homes. All of this helps in the promotion of silver in Oman and while traditional silversmiths are slowly dwindling, such diverse activities in the world of silver here are greatly helping to preserve the traditional heritage of the country.

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Fanja – the gateway of Dakhiliyah region Fanja is considered to be the gateway of Al Dakhiliyah region. As a popular tourist destination, Fanja has held sway with its “hidden” beauty thanks to its spectacular natural landscapes, most of it still waiting to be explored. It is also known for its rich cultural heritage: Fanja’s civilization dates back to some 5000 odd years and the beauty of it is that ancient heritage peacefully coexists with the modern development that has swept Oman. Like the rest of the nation, Fanja has managed to balance the old with the new, tradition with modernity and this unique blend of ancient towers, castles, mud houses and modern day buildings makes it an equally attractive destination set in the wilayat of Bid Bid in Al

Dakhliyah region. Fanja’s rich cultural heritage reveals a glorious history, a fact reiterated in archaeological studies conducted locally. Castles, mosques, aflajs and a traditional souq at the doorway of the city adds to its charm. The Fanja souq is quite popular as it hosts good collection of handicrafts, and traditional pottery items. Fanja is also home to two popular aflajs — East and West Hamam aflaj. The hot springs at these aflajs is believed to have properties that can cure skin diseases. It is a spectacular sight to see Wadi Fanja flowing. Surrounded by date palms and other trees, the wadi offers a serene setting for picnickers.

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Raise your sights and see the possibilities By Dr CK Anchan

Believing in yourself is all about being sure that you are going to do whatever you want even if others were against you. Usually, when you decide to take a big challenge or to do something that people failed to do you will find that everyone is putting you down.

Management talk Ma

You are giving in your best towards something you really want to achieve or fighting for something so bad that every vein in your body is dedicated towards it and then…oops! Suddenly in a moment of the blues you feel like giving up on it.

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

in the end after seeing your success. Many people have the feeling inside of them that they are worthless and mean nothing to anyone. This is truly heartbreaking to me to hear that many people really feel this way. Here I will try to explain how and why you should believe in yourself and never have that feeling of worthlessness. You are a person and a human being just like the next person and you need to always remember others are no different than you are.

The thoughts in your head are going against your will striving for it. “I can’t do this anymore!” In almost all the cases where people give up their goals half way through, they usually start their task being completely convinced with their ideas and are then put down by other people. Being put down is no more than being convinced that you are moving in the wrong direction.

• Other people breathe the same air as you do. • They walk the same earth as you do. • They may speak different languages, but speak through mouths just like you. • They wake up and go to sleep each day just as you do. • They feed them self with food and water just like you

It is your inner self that makes your outer self! It is what you say to yourself that becomes. We are humans, we are bound to doubt during our rough phases in life, but that doesn’t mean we think of giving up on ourselves just because of this one rough phase. Guess what, God did not say your life is going to be smooth and easy or be the way we want it to be. “We all are perfectly imperfect!” It is the challenges and the tough times that make our lives so much more interesting.

When you strongly believe in something, believe in it with all your heart, mind and soul. Automatically your mind gets into an alignment with what you desire. And you feel that strong driving force. This is when you focus on “WHY” and not “HOW”. The “HOW” makes you doubt and grows your fears, the “WHY” ignites you, pushes you no matter what

Some people think that unless everyone agrees with them then they are wrong. This is completely wrong. No one ever succeeds without being rejected. If you don’t believe in yourself you will end up discarding your ideas and no one will remember you. On the other hand, if you believed in yourself and continued fighting for what you want then people may reject your ideas in the beginning but they will be forced to believe in you 38 November 7- December 6, 2012

As stated by Nick Vijicici: “The key to keep moving forward during your hard times, is to let your vision for your life be guided not by what you can see but by what you can imagine.” No matter how dark your life seems to be, raise your sights and see the possibilities. Always see them, for they are always there. Ask God for guidance and help and you will feel that you are backed up by a power which is superior to anyone who rejects you.

By Dave Green

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

2012 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

ŠThomas Snyder



Difficulty Level

By Dave Green


9 3 6 2 9 1 3 8 9

ŠThomas Snyder


Difficulty Level


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

2012 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

3 1 4


SOLUTION: Difficulty Level

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2012 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

5 3 8 4 2 9 1 7 6

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3 9 1 5 6 2 4 8 7

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2012 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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.

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Chopsticks are typically made from bamboo due to the fact that bamboo is easy to split, rather inexpensive to produce, and resistant to heat. Here are a few facts: • Theory has it that Confucius encouraged the use of chopsticks over knives, claiming knives were a type of weapon and had no business at a dining table. • Although no one knows for sure, chopsticks are thought to be more than 5,000 years old. Originating from China, chopsticks began to spread to Korea, Japan and Vietnam by 500 A.D. • Chinese chopsticks are referred to as kuai-zi, which translates into quick little fellows. • Traditional Chinese chopsticks are 9 to 10 inches in length, while Japanese chopsticks are shorter. • Traditional Japanese chopsticks intended for males are 8 inches. Those intended for females are 7 inches. • Due to a shortage of fuel, food was sliced into smaller portions before being cooked, eliminating the need for knives. As a result, the chopstick became the utensil of choice.

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• It was not until 1878 that the Japanese introduced the first disposable wooden chopstick, known as wari-bashi.

• Chinese chopsticks have a rectangular shape with a blunt end, while Japanese chopsticks are more rounded with a tapered point.

Kid Kidstuff

• Unlike Chinese chopsticks, Japanese chopsticks didn’t always break apart, but rather stuck together like a pair of tweezers.

40 November 7- December 6, 2012

Tongue twisters: Chop shops stock chops. Chopstick shops stock chopsticks Black & White 41

Your ARIES March 21-April 20

TAURUS April 21-May 20

At last your plans are starting to take shape. Also make sure you have a contingency plan. If someone gives you a stepping stone to move to the next stage, grab it with both hands. Watch your health now.

Try as you may to fix things and accommodate everyone, not everyone’s needs can be met this week. Don’t run yourself ragged trying to please them all. You get the chance to fix recent strained communications, so take it, then build new foundations for the future.

CANCER June 22-July 23

LEO July 24-August 23

If you feel you’ve lost direction in where you were heading, take a minute to stand still and get your bearings. Your home life seems stable, your relationships moving along well, work is trundling along and money seems slow but steady. Is it communications?

Grab opportunities wherever you may find them this week as lady luck seems to be on your side. The moon returns to your sign and throws you under the spotlight and into centre stage, but you more than most are comfortable there. Use it to your advantage.

GEMINI May 21-June 21 Allow your optimism to lead you this week, as if you decide not to let troubles get you down, they wont. Use your creativity and inspiration to help you reach your goals as you’re an unstoppable force when you put your mind to it. A quiet weekend suits you to a T.

VIRGO August 24-September 23 Don’t be tempted to take risks over money or love this week as there’s unreliable disruptive behaviour in the air and it could affect you more than you think if it takes you by surprise. If mistakes are made, rectify them immediately. Try to stay calm.

KAMAL HAASAN (BORN 7 NOVEMBER 1954) is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, producer and director, considered to be one of the leading method actors of Indian cinema. He is widely acclaimed as an actor and is well known for his versatility in acting. He has won several Indian film awards, including four National Film Awards and 19 Filmfare Awards, and is known for having starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.In addition to acting, screenwriting and directing, he has also featured in films as a songwriter, playback singer and choreographer. His film production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films. In 1990, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian cinema. Kamal Haasan is also a recipient of an Honorary doctorate by Sathyabama University. In 2009, he became one of very few


Indian actors to have completed 50 years in cinema.

42 November 7- December 6, 2012

stars LIBRA September 24-October 23

SCORPIO October 24-November 22

It would seem the cosmos is giving you the green light to move ahead with plans, so don’t sit around procrastinating. Get your act in gear and get out there and make a difference. Try to think on your feet if the universe throws you a curve ball at the weekend.

Feeling overly sensitive? Lack confidence? Its not like you to allow others to get under your skin, so bite back Scorpio. You have the insight to fix communication problems with unruly friends, but work out if you really want to first before taking any steps.

CAPRICORN December 23-January 20

AQUARIUS January 21-February 19

Friction at home throws you off balance, but be honest and ask yourself if its your own attitude to others that’s causing the edginess? If so, address the problem and take steps to rectify it. The only way to move ahead is to compromise. Are you willing to do so?

If you act or speak too rashly of course there are going to be misunderstandings and repercussions, so think before you speak at work and play to sidestep any friction. Keep financial transactions above board as its too risky to take chances with anything this week.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 This week looks promising across the board so if there’s any networking to be done, get out there and start talking. Unexpected complications put a temporary spoke in your plans, but it’s nothing you can’t handle so keep your eye on the prize and go after it with gusto.

PISCES February 20-March 20 Opportunity and good fortune over money matters arrives just as relationships reach a new high so it’s going to be a fantastic week for you. Compliments work better than criticisms in relationships and friendships so bear it in mind to have long lasting unions.


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


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 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

44 November 7- December 6, 2012

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 – principals’ office Caledonian college – principal’s office Oman Foot ball association

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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It's my life

Lettuce v/s Doughnuts

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

By Vandana Shah Rich creamy cheesy Italian, positive actions, bitchiness, spicy Indian, corruption, selfless work, social service, deep fried American, self awareness, quality consciousness so many cuisines greet and wink at us when we opt for a buffet. Life presents an array of choices for us much like a buffet table. The aromas and flavours that inundate our senses decide our options for us. The negative options seem like the sprinkles on the Crispy Crème doughnuts which are devastatingly attractive and when you sink your teeth into it they transport you to another world. But in the long run they have no nutritional value and are in fact harmful for you. It’s like gossiping about someone which seems so delicious and addictive but could actually destroy someone’s life. The positive choices are like lettuce in the salad–absolutely unattractive and bland but definitely beneficial in the long run. You can choose to help someone financially or sponsor a child’s education instead of buying a LV bag for yourself. The chain effect of a positive action like educating someone can change not only one person’s life but his family’s or even his future generations. If the benefits are so obvious then why does one choose a doughnut over lettuce….I mean bad over good. That’s because of the instant gratification and the inability to sacrifice. Besides it’s so easy to give in to the temptation and go with the flow. But it’s only when we go against the tide and climb the mountain of conviction do we reach the dizzying heights to become someone’s hero, our conscience’s champion and a worthy contributor in the world. In this festive season let’s fill our plate of life with more of the lettuce and less of the doughnuts to brighten up our lives. Happy Diwali and hugs, till next time. Vandana Shah, Author 360 Degrees Back To life, editor of Ex-Files. Email me what you’d like to say on Follow me on twitter Vandy4PM

Black & White 47



Coo Cooking

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, reduces the risk of heart disease and high in salicylates, which have an anti-clotting effect on the blood, and may be partially responsible for tomatoesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; protective effect against heart disease. Many recipes advise removing the seeds to prevent a bitter flavour. But to conserve nutrients, use plum tomatoes, which have less-bitter seeds. Or here are few easy recipes to scoop out the seeds and stuff them with delicious fillingsâ&#x20AC;Ś

48 November 7- December 6, 2012

Baked stuffed tomatoes Ingredients 4 medium tomatoes 2 tsp oil 1/4 cup chopped onions 1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies 1/2 cup chopped and boiled mixed vegetables (french beans, carrots, cauliflower , green peas) 1/3 cup crumbled low-fat cheese salt to taste 1/4 tsp oil for greasing

Method Cut the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the centre pulp. Keep the scooped tomatoes and pulp separately. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and green chilies and sauté on a medium flame till the onions turn translucent. Add the mixed vegetables, cheese, salt and tomato pulp, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Keep aside. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and stuff each scooped tomato with a portion of the mixture. Arrange the stuffed tomatoes on a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 200ºc (400ºf) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Easy baked tomatoes Ingredients: 4 medium-large tomatoes Salt and pepper 2 tbsp margarine or butter 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional) 1 tsp basil or mixed Italian seasoning

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and place cut-side up on a lightly greased baking sheet or muffin tin. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the melted margarine, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and basil or Italian seasoning. Place a generous spoonful of the breadcrumb mixture securely on top of each tomato. Bake tomatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread crumbs on top are lightly golden brown. Enjoy!

Corn stuffed tomatoes Ingredients 6 lg. firm tomatoes sugar and salt 1 cup minced onion 1 cup minced green pepper 6 tbsp. butter 1 cup minced, cooked ham 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed 3 cups scraped fresh corn 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. sugar freshly ground pepper to taste 6 tbsp. minced fresh parsley 6 tsp. butter, softened

Preparation: Cut off and discard top half of tomatoes and remove seeds. Scoop out the pulp, chop it and put in a sieve to drain. Sprinkle the pulp and the insides of the shells lightly with sugar and salt, and invert the shells on paper towels to drain for at least 30 minutes. In large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until softened. Add ham and cumin seed and stir the mixture over high heat for 1 minute. Add tomato pulp and cook mixture over moderate heat for 4 minutes. Stir in corn, cream, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook mixture, covered, for 3 minutes. Remove cover and stir mixture over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle the inside of each tomato shell with 1 tablespoon of parsley. Fill shells with corn mixture, dot each with 1 teaspoon butter and place in a lightly buttered baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. (for 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft)

Op Opinionated

Women need women friends

50 November 7- December 6, 2012

A woman needs her man (husband, friend etc); women need their men…well, true. But, in all honesty, a woman also needs another woman. A woman also needs her girlfriend (s). There is no way a woman can ditch her lady friend. Women need other women. There is no way that you can break this precious link for if that is done, women are going to be all alone and will never be their natural self. From shopping to a girls’ night out to venting and the sheer pleasure of another’s company, there are so many reasons why women need their lady friends. Sometimes it does happen that women push their girlfriends out of the window when they get into a relationship with a man. From the women’s standpoint, she has to give the relationship everything she has got and she is obviously more committed and therefore she tends to ignore her friends, or frankly, she has genuinely no time for them. But, then, they are signing a ticket to sheer isolation and will find the road to happiness rocked with moments of loneliness and no shoulder to cry on when in times of great stress and strain. WOMEN RELATE BETTER WITH OTHER WOMEN You need a woman because they relate better to you than men. They have also been through what you have been through and so the experience counts. The best part is that ladies tend to listen and don’t feel the need to solve the problem pronto. Women need listeners most often and not instant doers. They need people to listen to them when they lament, but with men, it is different. It is instant action. Men may go beyond listening. They think that matters cannot be kept on a discussion level alone and should be taken to a different plane. But that is because they are missing the point when women lament. They are not fishing for instant action or solution. All they need is someone to vent their feelings to and if you are a ready listener, then they are going to feel better. They are not really saying “solve my problem” when they bring a problem to you, at least not in the majority of the cases. Once they have expelled their negative feelings, anger and pain through their venting, then they feel okay. They were never ever saying that they wanted a solution. A woman understands that and that is why we known that women relate to other women better than they do to men. WOMEN NEED GROUP THERAPY Women need other women, in the sense, they really need to sit, chat and be with their women friends. This is a type of group therapy. They can talk about any issue under the sun, including private and personal issues, which they can talk and sort out right there with the group. It has worked before; it is working now and will so in the future. This does not work if a woman is a group of men, even if they happen to be good friends. The best part of being with other women is that a woman does not have to explain much to them as the group already knows exactly what she means and is trying to say. ONLY A WOMAN CAN BE TRUTHFUL Then, there is the other thing. Men are not good with either words or their feelings and they are not good at expressing themselves. In the sense, they are either going to be polite or even attempt to lie when you ask them straight questions about yourself. On hindsight, this may actually look cute, but then, sometimes, you are not fishing for compliments – you actually want the truth. And, no one in the world is going to give you the truth like your friend. Your girlfriend! It is always good to hear an honest response to your queries on whether you look good in this dress or not; whether you look a bit too fat or whether you look a bit frumpy. The boy or the man is not going to tell the truth to you – the woman will. Of course, a woman is not looking for someone to criticise them and bring them down, but to get at the actual truth. Constructive criticism, not something that is going to pull her down! Black & White 51

Women are


Op Opinionated

By Edward Munro

Look men, if you are also reading this, forget studies; wipe out all your previous notions on this subject (wipe out that smirk too, if possible). The simple fact is: women are better than you in many areas; they have better skills than us (ah, you realise that a man has written this). Women are (and have) evolved faster than men: education, business, play…you name it. They are outperforming men in various departments. There are so many cases where women are better than men, but let us look at only some of the areas here because we don’t want to intimidate men. 52 November 7- December 6, 2012

BETTER LEARNERS Women can learn almost anything better than men. Look at the education front. On an average, girls get better grades than boys. Women are also known to better at learning languages than men. I think it could be of a genuine need to communicate with people that perhaps drive women to be better than men in languages. It could also be borne out a genuine desire to have better relationship with everyone around that makes them better learners. Learning also involves committing mistakes and here, women tend to have lesser complexes in admitting that they made a mistake and relearning than pretending not to have committed an error. Perhaps, I am stereotyping both men and women, but I am going by the trend. If you look at history and if you look around, you fill find women outdoing and out excelling men in various departments.

Women are better at coping with stress than men. While there are studies to prove this fact, it is also wise to accept that there are genetic factors too. Studies have found out that there are some biological and behavioural differences in the ways that men and women cope with stress. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Women generally took the efforts to seek contact with others and social support when they are under stress. In effect this is a much better way of coping with stress than the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;fight-or-flightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; approach of men,â&#x20AC;? experts have noted. Also, it is understood that women cope with stress by letting it out; they have the capacity to release their stress by talking to their friends or crying. Since women are generally more expressive (note the point) than men, they are able to express their pain and let it go. Both men and women are emotional, but men tend to keep it in more and thereby are less expressive too.

BETTER COMMUNICATORS Like I have said earlier, it is a proven fact that women are better at communication than men. They communicate better verbally as well as in writing. World over women are known to be better skilled in these aspects. Look at your own office --undoubtedly, it is the women who are the better communicators. If we talk about studies, it has been found that women can process nearly thrice the number of words a day than men.

BETTER AT HANDLING BROKEN RELATIONS They say that men are emotionally bullet proof and women will mope or cry their hearts out when their relationships hit a bad patch. But in a soured up relationship, it is the men who suffer more. The strained relation had more impact on the seemingly rock like manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feelings than women. The reason is once again, like the above, women tend to seek solutions and support from their friends, families, and are ready to cry over their friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shoulders than to sink into a silent miserable hulk. Sans support men are not able to cope with such difficult feelings and thus are unable to leap above a relationship hurdle.

WOMEN COPE WITH STRESS BETTER THAN MEN. Stress will always be a part of our lives, but we need to learn how to manage it well.


E-MAIL:, Website: Black & White 53

Momentary lapses…


By Priya Arunkumar I don’t like traffic signals. Not because they slow me down, or stop me. It makes my mind go blank. When the green light flashes, I know I need to go, but where to? Where am I standing? Which street? Which city? Where am I going? Home, office? And where exactly is my home? Now, at this moment you expect flashes of images, but not one! I am lost! Totally. For 2 to 3 seconds at least, could be more, have not clocked myself yet! Most often I stamp on the pedal because of the honks behind, shaking me up from my world of blankness and making me reactive! My mind screams that they have no business to honk so loud at the first second of the amber lights. While I swerve in to a slower lane, I get back to normal schedule, and in a few seconds am back to where I stood in from. For a few seconds, I become totally disoriented, unable to interpret my world, as if it was a picture I had never seen before, but not a wee bit anxious because I did not understand it and felt I knew nothing... Again, as quickly as the feeling came on it was again gone! My friends says that I am preoccupied, but not sick. My family says I am overloaded with work and activities. Amnesia! Alzheimer’s … grinned a few. Is this how these people feel all the time? Scary! A few seconds or rather to be precise, maybe five seconds of disorientation

can leave you with a lousy feeling of being lost forever, imagine living with a disability! Ha, am not going to get any mental disease/disability, not in the next few years at least; I laugh at myself absolutely sure for a minute and then the confidence dissolves, nagging doubts slowly crawl in to my mind: am sure of that, right? If I am slipping off the consciousness lane, why is it only for a few seconds? While the active mind remembers every little detail of the path I took over the years, every page I read, every pain I shed tears for, and every moment of joy I cherish… I can still visualise what my mom packed for me in my school lunch box… Concentrating or paying attention is never hard for me; I don’t misplace or lose valuable items; I don’t wander off, not knowing how to return; I have no confusion between day and night; I have no anxiety, disturbing dreams or confusion of any sorts; I don’t have memory loss at all, in fact I have the quality of not forgetting things, even the ones I desperately wish to forget… It is just momentary disorientation only at traffic signals! Looking at the cars zipping past me, with a desperate urgency to go where they want to, I realise maybe it is time to slow down and relax a bit. I took it up on my agenda and started relaxing by compulsion, taking a break, reading a book, watching movies, gardening a bit, catching that beauty sleep that has been evading me for quite some months… Go ahead, drive past me, overtake me, am not in any race to freedom. I am not in a hurry…

Black & White mag Issue 52  

Oman's first free fortnightly magazine. This is the 3rd anniversary issue.