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Vol.4 Issue 54IIJanuary 7 - February 6, 2013 25 Shafar - 25 Rabi' I

Are men losing confidence? p10 Women need to exercise more p52 January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 B&W

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Xclusive

brush with stamps 24 AA stamp is a nation’s pride; it is a nation’s identity…it is not just a small bit of paper – it is almost like an identity card of a nation, says Oman’s best known Omani stamp designer.

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Trivia for Kids

Cloth was the single largest import in the18th century, and tailoring was the largest trade in any city until the 20th century. Almost every other colonial trade also used a needle...

Contents

and reduce 12 Control prostate cancer risk Worldwide, prostate cancer is considered to be quite common among men. While the numbers vary among countries, one salient fact is that not all – or rather, not many – who get prostate cancer, die from the disease

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Office location: Hatat House A, II Floor, Suite No: 212, Wadi Adai Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: www.blackandwhiteoman.com Editorial: editor@blackandwhiteoman.com Printed at Oman Printers 6 January 7 - February

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Beating Stress

Get away from stress. You need to first find a spot in your home, away from people, away from sound and a place where you can be totally private and totally alone and at peace.

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

Who moved my news? By Adarsh Madhavan You work your back off for a story; make a lot of compromises, sacrifices, step on so many toes, take ultimate risks…put your neck on the line…all for a story, for breaking hot news…you hardly sleep the night and then feverishly wake up the next morning to discover that the columns where your sensational story should have been is filled with a yawning corporate dribble. What the heck happened? Where is your story? It was supposed to appear on the front page…you saw it there this morning at 1am (when you left the newspaper office) and now some mumbo jumbo has happened and it is no longer there! Did they shift it to some other page? Some important story (although in the back of your mind, you are telling yourself what could be more important than YOUR story?) must have come in at the last minute; just after you left the office and/or some protocol news must have come in with a strict instruction that it is meant for the front page and so there would have been no choice but to move your earth shattering news breaker to another page or perhaps if the editor felt it has to be on page one, to another day…but, why didn’t your editor bother to call you and tell you that such and such a thing has happened or perhaps sent you a message… You check your mobile to see if such a genuine thing has happened and there is nothing; no ‘missed’ call; no messages. Somewhere inside, your dark heart voices the darker fear in you that your story has been trashed by your editor. At the last minute it was pulled out because they were afraid of the consequences; the fallout of this ‘nuclear’ explosion that the news breaker would create. But, the fact that the ‘bomb’ of a story just went ‘pftttttt’ does not fully register in you, or perhaps the mask that you are wearing still tries to camouflage the sinking truth in your heart that in the dead of night or in the crack of dawn, people, well meaning, serious, editorial staff who swear by the truth, the

whole truth and nothing but the truth suddenly develop cold feet and drop the hot story because in a last minute revelation they are struck by the realisation that it was going to burn them; harm them. But, but, but, these points were discussed, argued upon and everyone had come to a consensus that the story would go and we were all ready to face the consequences. And, after all, you were the only one who has to bear the burden of the fall out; you were the only one who was going to be abused, beaten and would have to suffer if the story was published. Even the editor would not have to bear the brunt of any fall out; only you, just you, so what was the big deal? Who made the last minute switch and why? What is there to fear? A zillion thoughts burn in your head but your limbs are limp and you don’t feel anything as you slouch in whatever position you are in as the weight of a failed attempt to bring justice out to the fore crashes down on you with an extreme force. Still whirling under the impact of a ‘no show’ story, you slowly trudge up to your editor, your face betraying the disappointment of being cheated of a good story and the dread that it will never see the day of light clearly dissolving your resolve. Standing there, bent, before the editor who suddenly preaches what he does not practice, you take it on your chest that your story is not going to go. It was scrapped! Management decision! Owner feels that it will create problems and you realise that at the crack of dawn a decision was made to pull out a story which had all prior approval and precautionary measures in place. And on a dark desolate day like the one you are in, stories, which took months to find, weeks to do and done with such honesty of purpose and sheer effort are suddenly sharing the same space as sandwich remains, biscuit covers, shredded matter…with a lot of rubbish. A dream can be razed to ashes in a matter of time and yet, you have to take the beating in your stride and stand up for yet another day; yet another story, which again will be fed to the hands of fate… editor@blackandwhiteoman.com January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 7 B&W


Omani women are part of Oman’s success story Omani women are really a class apart! They go about their lives in a quiet and dignified manner and many of us don’t realise that they are such achievers! The story about the silver lady (issue 52) is a case in point. Look how, to paraphrase your story, Nadia bint Said Ahmed Al Rawahi was “brave enough to take the road less travelled” and became a woman of her choice. Of course destiny played a game and luck did shine on her, but she is a woman of grit who worked her way up! Today, she is a success story! I sincerely believe that there are plenty of such success stories in Oman! I also believe that Omani women are part of Oman’s success story! Edward Rosario, Seeb

Proud of you! Ever since the Renaissance, Omani women have made remarkable strides and are today present in almost all fields. Proud of you, Omani women! Here is my hope and wish that you climb to greater heights and bring about bigger changes to our wonderful country. Suleiman Al Kindi, Al Khuwair

Reader's column

May stir a hornet’s nest Dr Rajesh Nayak’s (issue 53) letter may stir a hornet’s nest. And, why not, he has said it right! We are all increasingly facing a problem of bad service from everywhere. And not just the supermarkets, hypermarkets, quick shops, retail outlets alone. Everyone, from small shops to big, to taxi drivers to airlines – everyone is giving us bad service. This is my opinion. If you do not like it, fine, but we are not living in a very customer-friendly environment and more and more incidents and cases are coming through. I personally feel that we are now getting so thick skinned that we don’t even bother about the small incidences (insults, uncaring attitude, unprofessional behaviour etc) that we encounter at the hands of sales staff per se on a daily basis. We seem to be so used to it that we are now moved only when we confront big issues. So, a currently utopian scene as pictured by Dr Nayak where he envisioned a day “when customers get to prepare their own bills and manage their payments into the cash register at the billing counters of the hypermarkets” may become a reality. In actuality, that will certainly bring down all complaints. The day we get rid of these bad sales personnel, the world will be a better place to live in! John D’Cruz, Seeb

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Authorities need to look into bad sales personnel Dr Nayak (issue 53) is absolutely right! I have been doing this at all the major hypermarkets; either the staff are unavailable, or you won’t believe it, they may just stare at us and act as though it is not their job to do it. I don’t want to paint everyone with the same brush, but I have found incidents of uncaring acts by the sales teams of many a shop who are slowly becoming a menace – the authorities concerned at these outlets; and, perhaps, even the municipality can play a role here wherein their staff can do random rounds to check the behaviour of the sales teams employed in outlets. Sushma Rajagopal, Al Khuwair

Facebook – boon and bane Facebook can really connect (issue 52)! I have established contacts with all of my old school friends and we have now an exclusive network of our own. For sometime the world was shrinking because of the net and then it stopped. With the advent of facebook it is shrinking non stop. But, then facebook also invades into your privacy! My friends

had many issues with privacy issues. Friends can post anything about you on the page and it is going to be read by many others too. Many personal, private issues were brought out and it hurt my friends to such an extent that they are off the facebook for good! Grace Daniels, Qurum

Two sides to every story Paul Sheldon (Readers forum, issue 52) has a point. But, he is only right in parts. He is right about the need for ‘adequate’ space in the homes that have dogs. Yet, does this mean that only people with big homes (read ‘rich’) can buy dogs? Dog lovers can be poor too! So, does this mean if you are poor you can’t own a dog? If you buy a dog and keep it in horrible conditions, it is a different story. But, if the dog in a small one bedroom flat is well looked after and loved and is part of the family, then where is the problem? I personally know of many labourers who have adopted stray dogs and keep them in their rooms. Of course, some of them have problems because they often stay together in bachelor pads and

not everyone is a dog lover in the group and this would lead to many altercations between dog lovers and haters. But, in flats where there is harmony, the pets also thrive. I agree with Paul that we need to check which breeds suit our requirements and the facilities that we have at home. Unfortunately, some of the lesser privileged households often take strays because they rescue them from appalling conditions on the street. In such cases, they are forced to look after them and despite lack of space, are unable to dump them like many in bigger homes and richer houses do. There are two sides to every story! Anitha Rajagopal, Ruwi

Mail your views and opinions at editor@blackandwhiteoman.com

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Taking stock of your

CONFIDENCE

Are men losing their much vaunted confidence as women have begun to be equally competent in all spheres? It is a question to ponder although there are quick kneejerk answers. Yes or no, something is beguiling our men. The fact that women have been over the years proven themselves to be better decision makers maybe troubling them…but, instead of getting into the usual man vs women aspect, let us look at some simple facts: there are times when even the most confident amongst us feel that they are losing their self confidence. There could be a variety of reasons for that. But, what men need to do if they feel like that is to first spruce up their image. CLOTHES MAKETH… You must have heard of the clichéd ‘clothes make the man’ adage. Well, here goes. It is a fact that what you look will always affect your confidence. So, watch out for your everyday appearance. This could be the root of your problem. Change your wardrobe, make your hair look better than always seeming to have a bad hair day and in fact, invest in your appearance with new and better clothes, newer hairstyle and a visit to the men’s salon and gym for even a brush up of your face and also the body. Feel the difference, after!

Oman watch

INNER FEEL GOOD Since we spoke on the exterior, let us also look at giving the works for your interior. Say, why not adopt the whole holistic feel good factor? Get positive and begin from the mind. Think positive. Go for yoga, or any suitable soul measures like breathing exercises etc. Also get active on the social front, become socially responsible, learn to give and also let go. Begin to understand that there are people out there in need more than you would ever visualise and try and help them out. Feel the positive glow already? MIX WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE Once you engage in positive thinking and positive behaviour, try to mingle among others of the same ilk. Get into a crowd that hinges on positivity and be with them. Being around positive people will rub off on you. Within minutes you will get into a positive frame of mind! When you are surrounded by happy, smiling faces and laughter, you will automatically be happy, smiling and laugh! It is always good to have positive people around you; those that give you the right advice, push you in the right

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direction and therefore, if the people whom you mix with are bringing you down, time now to push off into another direction. Get some new ‘positive’ friends! LIST YOUR GOOD POINTS As they say, even the worst have some good in them. From that premise, let us take off on another course. List out your good points! Of course you are good at some things or may be many things and so, let us list them out, brother! You know why we need to list and actually write them down? Because, whenever you are feeling down, you can boost your spirits with a little reading of your own personal ‘I am good’ book, which includes the good you have done and also your achievements or personal milestones. Read them and you will find your spirits soaring. Enjoy! MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS If you have lately been moody, silent and not displaying the real you in social situations, work and otherwise, then it is time to drop that sulky pose and start becoming assertive. Assertiveness has a way of boosting your confidence and also this feeling will be shared among others who look up at you. The time has come for you to take control of situations and this will help you gain confidence. No, this does not mean being rude or bossy. Just make yourself feel tall and brimming with confidence and decide that from now on, it is you who make the everyday decisions in your life, including your home, your work place and in social situations. Do as your innermost self wants you to do and stop being passive and then experience the difference!


Control and reduce

PROSTATE cancer risk Worldwide, prostate cancer is considered to be quite common among men. While the numbers vary among countries, one salient fact is that not all – or rather, not many – who get prostate cancer, die from the disease. Earlier statistics reveals that although one in six men will get prostate cancer, only one in 34 will die from it. The reason for this is simple: prostate cancer is mostly slow growing (but, there are cases when it has been fast growing too). CONTROL AND REDUCE RISKS Many reasons are attributed for men getting this disease, but these days there are many more ways and methods in which you can control and reduce the risk. Recent reports state that men who drink “one normalsized soft drink per day are at greater risk of getting more aggressive forms of prostate cancer”. The reports quote Swedish studies that reveal a 40 percent increased risk of prostate cancer among those who drank plenty of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar. Reports also suggest increased risks of getting milder forms of prostate cancer, which in most cases does not require treatment. Like they say it is better to avoid any form of cancer than to try and treat it after it has appeared, let us also look at preventing it.

Men read

SOME TIPS • Try and avoid being overweight by resorting to a healthy diet. Try to introduce a daily regime of walking and swimming. • Infusion of water is a necessity as it is vital for health. It prevents hunger and flushes out toxins. • Induction of Lycopene, mainly found in tomatoes is an antioxidant and has shown to provide beneficial effect on prostate health. Increase of tomato sauce, paste and even Italian dishes having tomato! The Isoflavones found in soy beans and its products such as soy milk or tofu has a balancing effect on the body’s hormones and can counter excess testosterone, which can lead to prostate cancer. Intake of beta-carotene found in carrots and other brightly coloured vegetables, which can stimulate T-helper cells which prevent the development of cancer. Avoid stress, anger and depression; resist from getting into damaging emotions. Practice relaxation exercises or learn yoga. January 7 - February 6 12 B&W 2 0 1 3

TOP CAUSES OF PROSTATE CANCER AGE Your risk of prostate cancer increases with age, particularly among men over 65 years old. FAMILY HISTORY If a close relative (father, brother) had prostate cancer, it will increase your risk. DIET Men who eat a lot of processed meat, bad fats and refined grains have an increased risk of prostate cancer, particularly if they don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. EXERCISE Exercises are known to reduce the risk of all types of cancer and men over 65 who exercise vigorously have been found to have a lower risk of prostate cancer. ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS Exposure to pesticides has been linked with an increased risk, as has in-utero exposure to the plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and other hormone-mimicking environmental contaminants. CADMIUM Cadmium exposure will increase prostate cancer risk. Cadmium is found in foods (shellfish, liver and kidney meats have the highest levels), cigarette smoke, and contaminated air and water (particularly if you live near, or work in, a facility that manufactures batteries, pigments, metal coatings or plastics). VITAMINS TOO MANY Men who consume vitamins excessively could be increasing the risks of prostate cancer. …too less and too much Also, too much, or too little vitamin D – both increased the risk.


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WHAT IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES By Bikram Vohra

The most disturbing thing about this end of the world stuff on Dec 21, 2012 is that I have a cheque given to me for Dec 22nd and that is really unjust. What if I cannot cash it? So, let’s not get too carried away with the abrupt end of the Mayan calendar I want to cash that cheque. Maybe they ran out of ink or papyrus or simply got bored with the whole thing, like an unfinished painting. Perhaps the Mayan calendar boss thought okay, that’s a lot of years, we're cool, let’s go hunting instead, I am starvin' like Marvin, enough already. For all you know, it was his birthday Dec 21st and he thought, that’s neat I’ll make it a red letter day though there is some lingering doubt that Mayans would not have known much about red letter days. Maybe he wanted to just end the year with the standard Dec 31 but carved it wrong as a '21' and threw the tablet in the waste bin and we are all getting sweaty for nothing.

Sunny side up

My interpretation is that the same fellow fell in love and then she cheated on him and he came to know and Cupid’s arrow bit deep into his heart which then broke as hearts are wont to do when you are smitten and it was Dec 21st the morn of which she 'dear johned' him and therefore as far as he was concerned, the world ended. You know the feeling. After that he took up farming and though the Mayan king ordered him to carry on the good work his heart was not in it and I think it is as

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valid a story as all those tales of doom and gloom and at least it has a touch of romance and has it ever struck you that maybe the rest of the calendar got lost or burnt in a fire(Mayans had fire I looked it up on Google) or simply stolen and kept for ransom and some day someone will find it and we’ll have to pay out on our credit cards again. So, don’t start packing yet. Pretty silly you’d look when the sun comes up on Dec 22 and I am cashing my check and you are inside unpacking the furniture. Why did you pack the furniture in the first place? Good question just in case you did. Where did you think you were you taking it? And look at the bright side. All those banks who aren’t going to get your monthly credit card payment and what a great time to max all the cards (that’s only good if the day after its all kaput, otherwise you are in big trouble.) Also, don’t be reckless. Like, don’t tell folks what you actually think of them, especially your boss because he might still be your boss Saturday so however tempting it is, hold the thought. And if you are married it could be rather hasty to tell your partner all the things that are wrong with him or her because there could be a lot of bridge building to do next week and once said cannot be taken back, yadda, yadda, yadda. And have fun Friday because you aren’t going anywhere…see you Saturday.


O

Leopard cannot change its spots

wall he t ff

By Adarsh Madhavan There was this ugly, rude and dismissive counter sales guy at one of the filling station quick shops-- near my office -whom I really wanted to whack. Every occasion that I went there to get a coffee or some bite, I would be tempted to really sock this dirty rude man in the eye, get myself arrested for bodily harming an ‘innocent’ (ha, innocent?) man, do time and get deported. I was ready to go through hell just to have the pleasure of walloping such creatures that really destroy a company because of their ugly, uncaring non-sales behaviour. Why do they take up such jobs in the first place? Because they are desperate for a job; but, then slowly over the period of years as they get used to the idea that they are going to be around and are not going to lose their jobs, their desperation sinks in a sea of complacency and arrogance sets in. Their earlier meek, ever-to-please behaviour soon evaporates into an unpleasant, boorish attitude and they don’t care whether customers come in or not and at times behave as though they were doing the customers a favour. What they don’t realise is the huge sacrifices that the owners of such outlets (or any organisation for that matter) to get it up and running; the loans taken; the risks, the challenges and daily competition they have to face and the uncertainty of not knowing whether the wind of luck would blow in their direction. In their endeavour, they take some people to journey along with them and as the daily financial jugglery keeps their hands full, they slowly begin to forget to check if the team they had taken was doing it right or not. Like this quick shops for instance. Since it was attached to a filling station, there was no problem in the footfalls and real-time customers buy. There was a flow and since the commodities they sold were in the region of essentials, need and necessity kept the business going and there was no hard sell required; there was no need to woo anyone in. But, there is a need. Such outlets, which had a good public flow need to keep personnel that are pleasant, nice and polite, decent and hardworking and with a mission and purpose to serve. This bulk of a sulking monstrosity had

no such qualities. He strutted around as though he owned the place and in fact was not even bothered about any service aspects; he often acted as though he despised anyone coming in to the shop and his frowning countenance served as a deterrent to anyone with any enquiry of sorts. Say, for instance, you ask: is there a free supplement along with this paper? He would not even look at you. You repeat the question and then he would look elsewhere with an angry face and shrug his broad shoulders. If it was me whose question got such a shrug, I would tear the paper to one thousand bits and give him a confetti shower. Once I remember asking if there was a particular brand of chocolate and he smirked and replied before I could even finish my question saying that if it was not found there, it would not be there! When I demanded what he meant by that, he just shrugged and went in. I had one or two interactions with him and all of them made me reach my boiling point. Many others succumbed to his whims and treated him with deference. I couldn’t stand the sight of him and so, I began to avoid going there. I heard many others complaining about him and many told me to complain about him to the management. I was tempted, but I couldn’t do it because I did not have the heart to think I made someone lose his job, however bad he was. But, soon he was moved elsewhere and I also moved from that office and the years passed wherein I completely forgot about him. Then, the other day, maybe after 15 years or so later, I walked into one of these outlets next to the filling station and yes, he was there! I couldn’t resist the temptation and I asked him the time and he did his famous smirk and shrug. I went home happy! adarsh@blackandwhiteoman.com January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 15 B&W


New Audi RS 4 Avant and RS 6 Avant The Audi RS 4 and RS 6 with the Avant body style will be available for the first time ever in the Middle East when they arrive in the first quarter of 2013 and 2014 respectively. Prices and specifications have not been announced yet. Their character and uncompromisingly sporty tuning is the work of quattro GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG. The company’s RS models with their powerful engines form the dynamic spearhead of the model programme. The abbreviation “RS” stands for the most powerful version of a model series, for quattro permanent all-wheel drive, for extreme handling, for an understated appearance and for full everyday utility.

Big Bus tours in Muscat Big Bus Tours, the largest operator of open-top sightseeing tours in the World, and Travel Point LLC, Oman’s single largest Travel Company, have brought the Big Bus Tours into Muscat. The operation of these buses was flagged off by Maitha Saif Majid Al Mahrouqi, undersecretary, ministry of tourism, who was the chief guest at the launch, which took place at the Royal Opera House Muscat. The Big Bus Tours which operates sightseeing tours in 13 cities across three continents was welcomed enthusiastically into the Arab Tourism Capital 2012 by the ministry of tourism, which has been the fortitude to this venture. “The ministry is working with the government

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and private sector agencies to ensure the sustainable development of tourism in accordance with Oman’s Vision 2020 which sees the tourism sector making a significant contribution to Oman’s economy as well as a platform to showcase Oman’s rich cultural heritage, protect and enhance environmental values, and build international peace through cultural linkages." The objective of introducing the Big Bus Tours in Oman is to endorse the beauty of this country to the people of the world, Maitha said. "We are very happy to introduce Big Bus Tours to Oman, which will elevate Oman’s standing as a touristic attraction on the world map, thereby escalating the influx of tourists/visitors to Oman.”


Haya Water 10th anniversary celebrations Haya Water – the company responsible for designing, constructing, and operating water reuse projects throughout Muscat Governorate, officially inaugurated their modern new headquarters – Bait Haya. Held under the auspices of Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Shihi, minister of regional municipalities and water resources, Haya Water celebrated the completion of 10 years of activity.Centrally located, in close proximity of its major STP and Al Ansab wetlands, Bait Haya will be the nucleus of all major projects undertaken by Haya Water. Haya Water’s vision is to enable Muscat to become one of the top cities in the world by building and operating a world class water reuse system that connects at least 80 per cent of the residential properties by the year 2018 and brings enormous environmental benefits to the Muscat Governorate area.

Jebel Sifah offers free berthing

The marina and the marina town are at the heart of the integrated tourism complex that Muriya Tourism Development is establishing. The waterside setting adds to the character of the place, transforming

it into an exotic locale. The stunning 100-berth marina at Jebel Sifah is set on the shores of the Gulf of Oman and provides a gateway to many of nature’s splendours. “The marina not just offers berthing facilities but also presents an opportunity to explore destinations that are located at close proximity. The natural beaches along with the majestic mountain backdrop add to the overall allure of the place,” states Philip A Jones, CMM, senior director, Marinas. For those who have a love for nautical adventure, there is a special offer until the end of the year. The first 10 early birds

to book berthing space will get two years of free berthing and the next 10 bookings will get one year free. In the coming months, the marina will offer 360º services such as boat management, engines maintenance, repairs and much more. An option of dry or wet berthing facilities will also be available. At the same time, the Jebel Sifah waterfront has served as the venue for a number of scintillating events on special occasions and will continue to serve as a hotspot for recreational activities in the future as well.

Oman Dental College graduates Oman Dental College (ODC), the first and only dental college in Oman, held its first graduation ceremony at the Crowne Plaza last month. Forty- seven successful candidates received their Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) certificates. Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Sarmi, undersecretary, ministry of higher education was the chief guest. The ODC’s Dean, Dr Rahul Arora, said, “We are immensely proud of our

first batch of graduates. We salute them for having the commitment and dedication to work through this exacting course successfully. We also acknowledge the role of their families in being so supportive of their education over these six years.” Dr Mohamed Al Ismaily, chairman ODC commented, “It has always been ODC’s intention to play an active and informed role in achieving the long sighted vision of His Majesty

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Nawras unveils new concept flagship store

Nawras is setting a new standard for telecoms in the Sultanate with the unveiling of its new concept flagship store on the ground floor of Muscat Grand Mall. The vibrant new store is a one stop shop for all communications needs, providing handsets, devices, SIM cards, recharge and payment options as well as specialised services for the home and office. The

colourful, lively design brings the brand to life with an interactive style designed to provide an unforgettable customer experience. After a countdown to 12 minutes past 12 o’clock on 1212-12, Ross Cormack, Nawras chief executive officer, unveiled the exciting interior and said, “Our flagship store introduces a new energetic retail environment showcasing the fun and innovation we are offering as well as a dedicated business area. The dynamic and interactive displays invite customers to play games, surf the web or experiment with the latest products. Our brand ambassadors make this store all the more special and give customers a unique experience.” The new flagship store is open from 10am until 10pm every day except Friday when it will operate from 2pm until 10pm.

Omran supports Muscat Youth Summit 2012 For the fourth consecutive year, Omran, extended its support to Muscat Youth Summit, one of the country’s most highly anticipated annual events. The summit was hosted at Omran’s first hospitality venue, the Millennium Resort Mussanah, where the company also held an exhibition to showcase a number of its latest corporate social responsibility initiatives which included the Intajee program; Intajee Al Mussanah and Salma’s Chocolates, ‘A Journey in Time through the Wilayat’, a book by Maher Al Zadjali, a promising author and its partnership with Injaz Oman’s signature programme ‘‘Sharikati’. The exhibition was held to expand the horizons of 200 youths attending the summit from across the globe through exchanging and sharing creative and business ideas. Eng. Wael bin Ahmed Al Lawati, Omran Ceo said, “The

Muscat Youth Summit has successfully created a safe space where young people can voice their opinions and concerns on what matters most, it also empowers them to make a change that will contribute to the continued social and economic development of the nation.”

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Sayarti Autocare opens in Qurum City Centre

Sayarti – Oman’s fastest growing auto care brand recently opened the doors of yet another state-of-theart service centre. The latest outlet for the Sayarti brand is prominently January 7 - February 6 18 B&W 2 0 1 3

located at the Qurum City Centre. Highlighting the convenient location at Qurum City Centre, Mohammed Suleiman Saleh Al Balushi, manager of Sayarti Autocare said; “Customers

really identify with the Sayarti promise to ‘love your car’ as our experts bring state-of-the-art car care to each and every customer. This means friendly and professional service with our commitment to a quality job well done. At Sayarti, our growth strategy is to continue our network expansion in customer friendly areas, so customers will find our newest outlet at the Qurum City Centre to be a handy location.”


Mustaqbali – NBO’s youth savings account launched! National Bank of Oman (NBO) has once again reaffirmed its commitment to serving the nation by launching 'Mustaqbali' (which means ‘my future’) - a special savings account for youth. The savings account is especially designed to respond to the banking needs of young individuals in the best possible way. Mustaqbali will not only encourage and prepare the youth for a better tomorrow, but is also a ‘friendly account ’ that will encourage them to achieve their higher education plans and career objectives. Mustaqbali is a direct reflection of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s vision towards empowering and educating Oman’s youth. It also reaffirms the bank’s tagline ‘ For You. For Our Nation.’, especially since almost 55 per cent of the total population of Oman is under the age of 25. Mustaqbali is offered to all Omani and expatriate youngsters between the ages of 18 to 25 years. All youth account holders will receive a free debit card, credit card, discounted education loans, free travel insurance for up to $10,000 and free access to all NBO e-banking services. Upon maintaining

a minimum balance of RO 100, customers are also automatically entered into the bank’s Al Kanz prize draw. The higher the savings balance and the longer it is held, higher are the chances of winning the Al Kanz daily and quarterly prizes. Hanaa Al Hinai, NBO’s head - product development, retail banking said: “NBO’s youth account aims to build a rewarding savings habit and develop early financial thrift that will help our youth manage their money better as young adults.Those seeking a higher education are offered an educational loan at discounted rates which can help pay for all expenses relating to their education.”

Ceo of Sarco ‘Brand Builder of the Year’ In a hotly contested international branding forum Ajay Ganti, Ceo, Sarco (Al Seeb Technical Establishment) was awarded the much acclaimed ‘Brand Builder of the Year’ in the Individual Awards Category, at the ‘Global Awards for Brand Excellence 2012’ which concluded recently in Mumbai, India. The World Brand Congress is the single largest rendezvous of the best brains behind some of the world’s most successful and sought after brands. Participants from a hundred different countries vied for the top honours, including entries coming in from the USA, the UK, Germany, Saudi Arabic, Singapore, Hong Kong and Oman, besides the other nations representing every single continent in the globe. In this major international event over 500 honchos of the world’s best marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, brand strategy and corporate communications put their heads together to pick and choose the very best in the business across various categories, companies, countries and brands. Ajay Ganti was unanimously chosen as the ‘Brand Builder of the Year’ for the phenomenal transformation that he spearheaded towards the total conduct of business in the company comprising various divisions like consumer electronics,

home appliances, watches, I.T., office automation, telecommunication, service / customer care, commercial air conditioning and projects. His guidance and leadership fuelled explosive growth in revenues of 73 per cent between 2006 to 2011 and the same trend is likely to continue in 2012. Since his taking over the reins of the organisation in the year 2006, Ajay Ganti is credited for the turning the organisation around into one of the most impressive and profitable success stories of recent times in the marketing and business landscape of the Sultanate. January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 19 B&W


Omantel recognised as best in Mucat Securities Market Omantel has been recognised for its continued outstanding business performance and has been voted once again as the best performing listed company in the Muscat Securities Market (MSM) at a prestigious business debate organised by Oman Economic Review (OER Debate 2012 ). Omantel was named as the leading company in Oman for the seventh consecutive year in the annual OER top 20 companies – demonstrating once again the vital role that the telecommunications giant plays in the Omani economy, its development and creating prosperity. On receiving the award, Dr Al Rawas said: “We are proud to receive this award once again and for the

seventh consecutive year. This recognition from the analysts and investors is the fruition of a clear vision, sound financial performance

and our focus on providing an even enhanced customer experience year on year.”

WGO holds 10th Crystal Ball The Women’s Guild in Oman( WGO) held its 10th Crystal Ball last month at the Al Midan Amphitheatre at the Shangrila’s Bar Al Jissa Hotel. Addressing the 850 strong crowd gathered there, Sally Sleep, the president of the WGO mentioned that in addition to giving support to ladies who have recently arrived in Oman, the aim of the Womens Guild in Oman is to raise funds for local charities. The WGO dates back to 1973 when it started with just 13 ladies and now has 1928 members from 91 countries. Continuing with her speech Sally said, “Most of us aren’t rich and famous but we are all beautiful in our own way. We are also all in the privileged position of being able to read and write, which is something that we often take for

granted. Take a minute to think about those who don’t have this ability and what an immense impact it has on their lives and especially what it prevents them from doing. This year the Crystal Ball will be supporting the Lets Tread Mobile Library/Book Bus.”

AMOUAGE MARKS 3OTH YEAR

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H.H. Sayyid Kamil Fahad Mahmood Al-Said, assistant secretarygeneral for the cabinet of the deputy prime minister for the council of ministers, inaugurated Amouage’s new, state-of-the-art factory and visitors’ centre in Muscat. The event also marked the start of the House’s 30th year as it continues to expand its international footprint. “Amouage today sells in 52 countries and has 4 regional sales offices across Europe, the Far East and the Gulf. We have 12 international shops, with the latest openings in Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Jeddah, and countless shop-in-shops around the world. We have seen our manufacturing levels increase dramatically year-on-year and this is why we needed to build a facility fit for future expansion plans,” said Amouage CEO, David Crickmore. January 7 - February 6 20 B&W 2 0 1 3


BADR AL SAMAA

voted as the best

Badr Al Samaa group of hospitals has been voted as the best brand in the popular choice for 2012 survey as in the previous years. The board of directors P.A Mohammed, V.T Vinod and Abdul Latheef expressed their gratitude to all those who voted for Badr Al Samaa as part of this years’ survey. “We deeply acknowledge the support and encouragement extended by everyone all these years. This acceptance is a reflection of our commitment towards building a healthier society”, they said. Badr Al Samaa’s Ruwi centre was set up in 2002, within a span of

few years it was able to position itself as the largest private healthcare group in the Sultanate, expanding its horizons to Al Khuwair, Sohar, Salalah, Al Khoud, Barka, Sur and Nizwa. Badr Al Samaa also expanded to other countries of GCC by starting its facilities in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2007, Dubai in 2010 and Sharjah in 2012. Badr Al Samaa completed ten years last year in the Sultanate.

Diane von

Furstenberg and evian celebrate life evian’s latest limited edition bottle by Diane von Furstenberg will be available in the Middle East from November for a limited period, and reflects a playful celebration of life and features a nod to the designer’s iconic mantras with, “Water is life is love is life is water is…,” gracing the bottle in her distinct handwriting. Von Furstenberg drew inspiration from her personal relationship with evian water

and her own love of life. The result is a unique design that combines evian’s commitment to purity with DVF’s youthful and optimistic philosophy. “Diane von Furstenberg is a globallyrecognised pioneer in the fashion industry through her eponymous DVF brand and has also established herself as an icon through her philanthropic ventures and mentorship as president of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)”, says Martin Renaud, president of evian.

Mitsubishi Lancer Fortis launched General Automotive Company, the exclusive dealer for Mitsubishi vehicles in Oman, launched the latest star to join the Mitsubishi family – the Lancer Fortis, at the Motor Show Oman 2012. The Lancer Fortis, with its new 1.8L engine, bridges the current gap in the Lancer range and is perfectly specified to lead the C-Segment in Oman; featuring class leading performance that sets is aside from its competitors in the market. " General Automotive Company has emerged as a leading player in

the Omani automotive market as a result of being able to offer customers the functionality and comfort they desire in a vehicle while still making it attainable,” explained, Mark Tomlinson, general manager of General Automotive Company. “The Lancer Fortis is the first all-new car from Mitsubishi in over two years, equipped with a 1.8L MiVEC engine, this new car offers classleading performance at a very competitive price. This is the first in a long line of all-new models that Mitsubishi plan to launch over the next few years.” January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 21 B&W


PANASONIC ePlus Panasonic, has officially launched ‘ePlus’ - an online portal for customers in Oman. The move marks Panasonic as the first electronics company to launch an online portal in Oman. The shoppers will have to log onto the ePlus website http:// eplus.panasonic.om and register themselves following a simple process, to avail of the great offers on site. Once live; the site will provide some great introductory offers to the registered shoppers.

“The Sultanate has become one of the most important destinations in the Middle East region to attract foreign investments, and there is a consistent rise in disposable incomes as well” said Mr Masao Motoki, managing director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa. “With the launch of ePlus, Omani customers can now get immediate access to Panasonic products online. OMASCO is proud to be associated with a dynamic, progressive and innovative brand like Panasonic. ePlus adds to the sales channels

ZAHARA TOURS named the best tour operator

Zahara Tours was named the ‘Best Tour Operator of the Year’ at the highprofile Travelex Oman Tourism Ambassador Awards ceremony held recently. The company was among 10 entrepreneurs and tourism service providers that shared the spotlight at the inaugural edition of the Awards, recognising outstanding contributions to Oman’s tourism industry. Attended by the movers and shakers of the tourism industry, the event was held amid the splendid settings of Bait Al Nahda, part of Muscat’s famed Bait Al Zubair landmark.

already in place across Oman to reach customers and helps those customers who are enabled through the internet to purchase,” said Michael Hansen, managing director, OMASCO.

Lending prestige to the event was the presence of Her Excellency Maitha bin Saif Al Mahrouqi, UnderSecretary of the Ministry of Tourism that joined hands with Travelex Oman in celebrating the pursuit of excellence in Oman’s rapidly growing tourism sector. Commenting on the win, Gautam Broota, CEO of Zahara Travel Group said, “This award is a testament to the Zahara team’s commitment to provide our tourists with a memorable and enriching experience during their stay in beautiful Oman. As the Sultanate’s leading destination and leisure management company, Zahara Tours is committed to playing a contributing role with the Ministry of Tourism in promoting Oman as a distinctive holiday destination.”

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BOOK launch The first book in Indian language in Malayalam that sheds light on His Majesty’s life, his values and principles, his unmatched qualities that steered the Sultanate of Oman from success to success, is now in Tamil titled “His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said- Tholainokku Arashiyal Deerghadarshi”. His Highness, Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said launched the 200-page book at the Bank Muscat Head Quarters after the book was handed over to him by His Excellency J S Mukul, the Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman. Justice A.R Lakshmanan, a special invitee from India presented the book to AbdulRazak Ali Issa CE, Bank Muscat, and to Dr Ibrahim al Kindi, CEO, Oman Establishment for Press, Publishing and Advertising. Dr V. R Sampath, chairman of Chennai Development Authority spoke about the relations between the two friendly nations. Written by Chithra Narayan and Kabeer Yousuf, author of the first Indian book on His Majesty in Malayalam, the book brings about a plethora of latest information and a range of old and new pictures that portray HM’s life in black and white and colour in one of the mostly widely spoken languages of the world. The book presented by Muscat unique Diamond Ent, is supported by Bank Muscat, Bahawan Cybertech, Petron, Oman Air and many other well-wishers. The glossy, hard- bound book is printed and published by Oman Establishment for Printing, Publishing and Advertising. January 7 - February 6 22 B&W 2 0 1 3


Stamps today remain as tangible reminders of years gone by. Stamp collecting dates back to 1840, when the first stamp was issued in England. And for many years stamp collectors were good sources of revenue for post offices

TANGIBLE REMINDERS OF YEARS GONE BY… Almost each and every one of us would have had our own collection of stamps at some point in time. But, we can’t say the same for the current generation. They say you cannot collect something which you don’t know of, but when it comes to stamps, every child used to be a collector. Those days are gone and you don’t see the youngsters of today showing the same inclination. Stamp collecting has simply lost its appeal among the youngsters of today. They are content with running around with their iPods, iPads and advanced software. A mere touch can reach them to their near and dear ones, so who would sit down and pen a letter, seal an envelope, go to the post office to stick a stamp and drop it in the boxes? Why go through all this trouble, they would think. But, we all forget that this is how it used to be years ago. I still believe that the old charm of sitting down to write a letter and post it will never die. Like a piece of art, stamps will still live on…

In Black & White

In Black...

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief My tryst with stamps began when we were in the Gulf states and my father used to get letters from Oman. He used to tell us how to remove those stamps from the envelopes and collect them without damaging them. Put the envelope in water for a few minutes, my father would say… when it is soaked, you can get the stamp out from the envelope without tearing it. It was fun then. Playfully we used to collect quite a number of stamps from Oman. I don’t know what happened to them, but I don’t see my children collecting any… The B&W team met one of the first Omani stamp designer, who made a career out of designing stamps for the nation for the last 27 years. A real time artist and painter Mohamed Nidham lives in a beautiful world of stamps, arts and history, collecting every little bit of data he can… Stamps are a nation’s identity, he tells us. I only wish the authorities concerned would take necessary steps to preserve the dying stamp art, introduce it in the schools for the young kids to learn about history and culture of not just our nation, but also the world… otherwise stamps would just be a picture with a photo caption in a school textbook!

Despite the lack of interest, stamps today remain as tangible reminders of years gone by. Stamp collecting dates back to 1840, when the first stamp was issued in England. And for many years stamp collectors were good sources of revenue for post offices.

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A brush with

StampS Stare at a stamp and you are staring at history. You are staring at the culture, tradition and history of a country; you are staring at some of the most precious moments in time captured on a small rectangular piece of paper and preserved for posterity. A stamp is a nation’s pride; it is a nation’s identity…it is not just a small bit of paper – it is almost like an identity card of a nation, says Oman’s best known Omani stamp designer.

Mohammed Nidham Al Balushi is bent on his work table. Clad in white, a kummah on his head, round silver-rimmed glass on his nose, a pen in his hand, he is lost in a colourful world of his own. Behind him, the wall emanates an orange hue. The scene looked quite ethereal and striking. If Mohammed Nidham had painted the whole scene himself, he would have grudgingly approved of it.

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We have been standing before him for sometime but he has not noticed us as yet. A pretty white cat glides by miaowing to itself. Otherwise, the room is silent. We, including his wife, Laila Zidjali, wait patiently. The man is lost in thought. And, we did not want to tread on his dreams. After sometime, he lifts his head and gently smiles at us. It is quite a disarming smile. Like the man himself, his easy, simple and affable smile strikes an immediate chord in us.

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A painter, stamp designer and philatelist, Mohammed Nidham has taken several responsibilities on himself. Yet, he has found a way to juggle them and still enjoy the process. OMAN’S FIRST OMANI STAMP DESIGNER Titles such as ‘Oman’s singular Omani stamp designer’ and ‘accomplished painter’ sits easily on Mohammed Nidham. He shrugs them off and declares that it is not easy being a painter or a stamp designer; both took the most out of him and left him so drained that titles, accolades, money seemed to have no value during and post creation. The only thing that seems to drive this man of stamps and colours is the end result. He has put in so much of painstaking effort in creating a stamp design or a painting and he is ready to do anything to bring out the best. “It has to be good; it has to have that right balance 26 December 7, 2012 - January 7, 2013 2 0 1 3 B&W

– it has to strike a chord in people. Everything else is immaterial!” TRUE ESSENCE AND SPIRIT This is the simple philosophy of a simple man who has picked a paint brush from childhood and is still as passionate as ever, despite spending more time as a stamp designer today. But in his simplicity lies the true essence and spirit of a real artist who will one day wow not just Oman, but the rest of the world. While other artists of his ilk are busy packaging their art, selling, showcasing and exhibiting their ware, Nidham (as he is fondly known) is busily creating. Currently, he is off painting, because he is a fulltime stamp designer, but he plans to pick up his brush soon. THE LIBRARY OF STAMPS We were there at his home in Al Ma’awaleh to learn more about not just his paintings, but his equally strong passion – stamp designing. His home is a mini gallery with his modern paintings covering almost every inch of the walls. Even the staircase leading to his home studio – he called it the library, not wrongly though, because of the huge collection of stamps, personal documents on stamp, literature, paintings and the like. The ‘library’ itself spoke volumes about Nidham’s passion as well as his abundant skills. Socially or otherwise, he kept a very low profile; was totally unassuming and free with his work as well as his demeanour. He had that almost self-deprecating


view of his work not because he thought less of it, but, because as he honestly avers, he had miles to go… “I am just at the first rung of the ladder – I have a long way to go; I am still a small student of art, sipping at the edge of a vast ocean. I need to do a lot more before I can even attempt to talk like an artist,” he laughs. His laughter is also infectious. We went around the tastefully decorated living room where his fabulous art were adorned on the walls. Each work drew attention and were live pieces of art – some betraying his emotions, others portraying his philosophies, but all, vibrant, and full of life. Embedded in each painting were his own personal features, his particular styles and the one that he himself declared as his favourite among the ones hung there was an exquisite piece on a luminescent Buddha. Although diverted by the unusual pieces of art that adorned the walls of his home, we zoomed in on our purpose. We were there to learn more about the man, his stamps and his designs. But, Nidham was not just a designer of stamps; he was also its most avid collector, or rather, a philatelist. “Collecting stamps is not child stuff – it is science!” both Nidham and Laila chorused. Laila, who has made her mark as a top health official in town, plays an able assistant, helping her husband research, document and file his valuable collections. Most importantly, she plays the role of a patron, always encouraging her husband to do well in both worlds –

stamp designing and painting. “He has not touched his brush since some years now as he was totally engrossed in the world of stamp designs, but I am hoping that he picks up from he stopped,” Laila said. Their eyes meet and their lips part slightly in a small smile. Their ardour for each other also seemed contagious. A STORY TO TELL Talk about anything else and Nidham may show very little interest. But, talk about stamps and his face lights up. This man is a walking, talking encyclopaedia on stamps. He knows its history; its culture, tradition and he knows the story behind each new stamp being issued today, because he has, in most ways, designed it, or been instrumental in its design. We walked around the large work room, library or study of Nidham as he explained the need and necessity for each nook and corner. Everything was laid there with a purpose. He shows one of the oldest stamps in his collection and as we stood and trilled over it, he pointed to a simple stamp nearby, which was on a cover: “Look at this postage stamp. What do you see? If all that you see is just a small adhesive label that is sold in various denominations to be affixed to items of mail as evidence of the payment of postage, then you are not really seeing a stamp!” It is much more than a mere hallmark or an imprint, Nidham emphasised. That usually little rectangular shaped piece depicting a portrait of a well known & White627 JanuaryBlack 7 - February 2 0 1 3 B&W


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personality of that country has more importance than just being an item of mail service. Each and every stamp bears the culture, tradition and history of a particular country. It has a specific story to tell. STAMP AMBASSADOR “When that stamp is sent to a foreign country, it acts as an ambassador. And there are many fine details that you can learn from the quality and the theme of the stamps; they reflect the growth and development of a particular country. The stamp might be put on an envelope carrying a particular letter, but few realise that the stamp itself has a particular message, and a story to tell,” says this most passionate stamp designer of Oman, one of its very first. Slowly he unveils to us the stamp design tale as he takes us through the history of stamps here and also highlights how each stamp was a mini storehouse of culture, tradition as well as the history of Oman. WORLD OF COLOURS Nidham is a serious and passionate man about his stamps. His sudden irreverence and his full throated laughter may divert your attention from the fact that this is an intense man who means business. Give him a project – painting and stamp designing and he gets totally immersed in it for hours, days, months. Unless and until he finishes his work, Nidham remains immersed in this world of colours. TRYST WITH STAMP DESIGNS But, ask him how he got into the world of stamps and he is quick to say: “By mistake!” The laughter follows. Of course, we don’t take it seriously. Many years ago, Nidham used to be employed with the ministry of education and at that time the then ministry of transport and communications was looking for an artist to design

stamps. “I joined the postal department at the ministry of transportation and telecommunications and thus began my tryst with stamp designs!” Nidham was already a known painter then and his artistic flair did help him in the world of stamp designing to a certain extent, but he added quickly that it was not something he would recommend. “I don’t want to make anyone think that if you are a painter or an artist you can automatically become a stamp designer,” he warned, adding that both were actually diametrically opposite worlds. FIRST OMANI STAMP ISSUED IN 1966 For Nidham it was an entry into a brand new sphere of life. “There was a senior Egyptian designer who was there with the ministry since many years. I joined the department, under him, in 1985. “Though the postal service in Oman goes back some 150 years, records say that the first Omani stamp was issued in 1966. Over the years, Oman has brought out hundreds of stamps, highlighting various national, regional, cultural and other related themes. New stamps are issued on every national occasion, festivals and other occasions.” ART ON SMALL CANVAS Before the 60s, Oman used stamps of the UK, which were printed in India and later started using the stamps from India, until the country started issuing its own in 1966. Stamps and seals are part of a nation’s history and culture and is a piece of document that can be used to trace years of communication and correspondence. “It is like an identity card of the nation,” Nidham noted. “As an artist, we sketch things, paint, create, recreate and stretch our thoughts’ limits. But while creating a stamp, you have to remember that unlimited data and information has to be captured in limited space and a design has to be put in place. The image is first drawn on a large

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canvas and then reduced to a stamp size. The sizes differ according to the theme and essence of the year or with the ministry that is involved in bringing out the stamp that year,” the stamp designer said, explaining his metier. A RESPONSIBILITY But, wasn’t it quite challenging for an artist like him to work on a small canvas? Nidham smiled, vigorously nodding his head. “Most often I am limited to choose a single important characteristic detail as the centre of the design and work around it. Sometimes it takes weeks to create one theme, sometimes more. The art of postage stamp designing is a responsibility! I always provide options of a design before it is accepted. The shortlisted design may undergo several rounds of modification before production. The life of a stamp design is optional and could be even limited to a few weeks sometimes. Like I said, the design of a stamp is dependent upon the nation from where it is created, the region where the nation is located and is also dependent on the international affairs and events governing it at that moment of time.” NIDHAM’S FIRST STAMPS Like most artists, Nidham has not forgotten his first ever stamp creation. “The initial few designs of the year are still very vivid in my memory. I had designed a stamp on Jibreen castle as well as a kids’ theme for Unicef. As an

artist, designing a stamp is not easy. No one teaches you the art of stamp making. You have to learn everything by yourself. You have to do a lot of research and understand the theme of the design, to illustrate it right. Stamp designing is very serious business. Though the basic purpose of a stamp is to indicate the prepayment of postage, a theme is followed based on the significance of the year of creation, or based on the theme, national, regional or international. This work was a different experience for an artist like me. Though I stumbled on to a career in designing stamps, I stayed on to learn and create many designs by myself, or with a team. Not many in the public know what it takes to create a stamp, and how it is done,” Nidham said. EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS Over the years, stamp design has undergone a gradual process of evolution, traceable both to advances in printing technology and general changes in taste. However, the younger generation today may not even remember seeing or using a stamp as they belong to the email generation. While modern tastes tend to favour simpler designs, the current trend is a return to the old classic style. “When I started designing, I did it as a career option. I never thought that a stamp could be so much steeped in history; and that it had volumes to tell about the culture, tradition and history of the nation it is created in. It took & White633 JanuaryBlack 7 - February 2 0 1 3 B&W


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me nearly a decade to understand the sheer intricacies of designing a stamp the right way with the right essence. For a collector, stamps are real treasures!” Nadhim enthused. REAL WORKS OF ART Since the 80s, the postage stamp design has grown far beyond the prepayment mark. It has become a real work of art, inspiring for philatelists, stamp collectors and those interested in art on the whole. There are a group of philatelists, who consider stamps more valuable than anything else in the world. In the Middle East region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has an association for stamp designers and they organise exhibitions bringing the likeminded together to display and share the developments in the field. “Two years back, I attended an exhibition in Sharjah and it was a mind opener for me. A small stamp is created with a theme, which is depicted elaborately in six to10 sheets of display, money, energy and talent utilised to tell the story of the stamp creation. Internationally, the field of postage stamp designing is taken very seriously and professionals work together to create stamps of value in all aspects pertaining to the interests of not just a nation, but also that of a collector.” STAMP ON ARAB POSTAL DAY Oman won a regional competition when a stamp was created for the Arab Postal day and was used by 22 countries in the region. “Not many in the public will know about these competitions and exhibitions, unless it is reported in the philatelic press. The prize winning stamp bears Oman’s flag, a map of the Arab World, logo of Arab League and a carrier pigeon. The picture of the pigeon refers to the way of sending messages in the past, while the map of the Arab World indicates the importance of maintaining communication among Arabs nations in the field of information and communication technology. “The stamp, designed by me, won the first place among eight other Arab stamps submitted to the Arabian Postal Committee in Cairo,” Nidham said.

BRAILLE STAMP FOR THE VISUALLY CHALLENGED Oman has always shown remarkable understanding and care for the lesser privileged. And this is seen in the stamp making field too. “In 2010, on the White Cane Day, we designed an absolutely different stamp for the visually challenged. It was black in colour and was of a bigger size than the normal stamps. It did not have much of design, there were no words, only on Braille, some dots and dashes... It was dedicated to the visually challenged.” A COLLECTOR OF STAMPS AND KNICK KNACKS While the artist in Nidham shone through his work, the collector in him was clear in the array of neatly documented stamp issues, albums and a host of other related items. A much travelled man, Nidham has selfposted letters with stamps from that particular country he was visiting then. Other than this, he was also keen on mail art, wherein he had drawn quick visuals of a place he was in and sent it back to his address and he was also a collector of other knick knacks like chocolate wrappers. “Do you know that there are so many varieties of KitKat?” he laughed displaying several unheard varieties. We laughed along. Like we said earlier, his laughter was also equally infectious.

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Mail art bring smiles on faces Mail art is art on postcards or envelopes that you can send through the postal service. It is a worldwide cultural movement that began in the early 1960s and involves sending visual art (but also music, sound art, poetry, etc.) through the international postal system. Mail Art is also known as Postal Art or Correspondence Art. Unlike regular post, this form of art actually great distances and bringing smiles to faces in other places. Imagine how loved you would feel to find a homemade postcard in your mailbox. You can get as creative as you’d like with mail art, but you need to make sure you follow a few simple rules so the post office doesn’t send it right back to you. 36 December 7, 2012 - January 7, 2013 2 0 1 3 B&W


History of the postal service in Oman The postal service began in Oman in 1856 with the opening of the first post office in Muscat. The stamps used at this post office were Indian stamps, without any overprinting, and these continued to be used until December 19, 1947. From December 20, 1947, Indian stamps were used with the word “PAKISTAN” overprint on them, following the transfer of the postal service to Pakistani administration at this time. These stamps were used until March 31,1948. However, on the November 20, 1944, two sets of postage stamps overprinted with “AL BUSAID 1363” were issued to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Al Busaid dynasty in Oman. On April 30, 1966, Oman post was taken over by the Omani government. The first set of 12 Omani postage stamps was issued bearing the name “Muscat and

Oman”, the national crest, and the great forts. These stamps were then overprinted with the present name “Sultanate of Oman”, the name, which was adopted in accordance with the announcement by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, on August 9, 1970. Then Omani stamps continued to be issued for various national and international occasions. Various postal services incorporating the latest technical procedure have spread at an ever accelerating rate to the farthest corners of the Sultanate with the result of (94) post offices now in operation and (427) postal distribution agency extended to many inhabitants throughout the country. Local mail is transported by plane and fleet of vehicles for operation between the wilayats and the capital to accelerate collection and delivery (Source: internet)

Text: Adarsh Madhavan & Priya Arunkumar Photos: Ben

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Great Bosses do things differently By Dr CK Anchan

Bosses are often the primary reason for people either loving or leaving their jobs. A boss is the umbilical cord that connects employees to an organisation. When I look back today, I feel great that I had great bosses who inspired me from time to time. What makes a great boss really? It’s a tough question to answer because different people will define it differently. I thought of sharing my learning curve. Great bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. For them business is an ecosystem; they create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers and even competitors. A great boss is direct, but sensitive. He or she realises that communication is essential to build a great and effective team.

It's my life

Great bosses believe that company is a community and not a machine; they see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers. A great boss sits down with an employee right from the beginning and identifies priorities. Discusses the performance review, and holds discussions regularly in regards to expectations from that point on. A great boss views his position as both a leader and a coach, someone who educates and encourages, who leads the team by example.They set a general direction and then commit them to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They strongly believe that management is service and not all about control. Great boss stops by and says hello. He 38January November 7 - February 7- December 6 6, 2012 38 B&W 2 0 1 3

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

makes himself available. No matter what he is doing, when employees speak he will stop and give them full attention.They treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. They have this firm belief that "My employees are my peers, not my children". They inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organisation's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and of course know they'll share in the rewards. A great boss observes his employees to find out what they do best. He talks to them about what aspects of their job they enjoy the most. A great boss taps into and leverages the instincts and skills his employees have. They see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don't value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organisation embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business. An effective boss encourages his employees not to be scared of making mistakes along the way. It is about opportunity, trying something new and different, and pushing personal limits. They see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy. I am thankful to all my bosses from whom I learned the way we can make difference, hope this article helped give you some ideas about things you can do to make a positive impact in the lives of the people around you. Wishing you all the best and be a "Great Boss."


By Dave Green

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8 7

3

6 8 3 1 7 3 9

7 5 ŠThomas Snyder

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

3

9 2 6

7/06

Difficulty Level

9 6 3

2

3 4 2

7

4

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5

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ŠThomas Snyder

9 7 9 3 Difficulty Level

5

6 7

2 5 4

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

By Dave Green

7/07

SOLUTION: Difficulty Level

5 3 6 7 4 2 1 9 8

9 4 2 1 8 5 7 3 6

Difficulty Level

7/07

7 1 8 6 3 9 4 2 5

3 8 7 2 6 4 5 1 9

6 2 9 8 5 1 3 7 4

1 5 4 3 9 7 6 8 2

4 7 1 5 2 8 9 6 3

8 9 3 4 7 6 2 5 1

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

9 2 5 8 1 4 7 6 3

6 1 7 2 3 9 5 8 4

7/06

3 8 4 6 5 7 9 1 2

8 4 1 5 7 2 3 9 6

7 5 9 3 4 6 8 2 1

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1 9 8 4 6 5 2 3 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.

January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 39 B&W


Trivia on

shirts & t shirts

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Cloth was the single largest import in the18th century, and tailoring was the largest trade in any city until the 20th century. Almost every other colonial trade also used a needle. Blacksmiths used a needle to make bellows, shoemakers and saddle makers used a needle to make shoes and saddles‌ It takes six miles of yarn to make one t-shirt. Men have buttons on the right hand side and women on the left because in the olden days men dressed themselves but women were dressed. The word 't-shirt' first appeared in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in the 1920’s. Tailors only began using buttons as fasteners on shirts during the 13th century. Before then cuffs were held together with pins, lacers or fasteners. In 1939 the first promotional t-shirt was printed for the movie 'The Wizard of Oz'. Around 1904, the famous Parisian shirtmaker Charvet invented the silk knot; typically they are now made from elastic. A men’s suit jacket has two back vents because back in the days this was designed for comfort; you wore your jacket while riding a horse John F Kennedy wore a two button suit to a televised debate with Richard Nixon and overnight it emerged as the look that expressed youth and youthful thinking.

Tongue Twisters Does your shirt shop stock short socks with spots? January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 41 B&W


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

Sorry, you can’t leave until it is over

Nitter natter

Mystery of the fallen street lamp

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Attendees to a recent concert reported to Bitter Batter recently that they were pretty upset by the organisers policy of locking the gates once the event began and not allowing people wanting to go home, out. “Normally the gates are shut to prevent people without tickets getting in; but, in this case, people who have paid for their tickets and merely wanted to get out before the event got over were rudely told to stay put until the show ended. This was very upsetting and we think it is quite an unprofessional behaviour from the part of the organisers,” irate members of the public who had attended the concert told Bitter Batter. “There were people wanting to go home; there were some others saying that they wanted to take a sick child out, but the bouncers would not budge! We couldn’t believe it! We demanded them to open the gates, but they refused saying that the organisers have ordered the gates to be closed and opened only after the event got over. We could not understand why they took such a stance. It was pretty upsetting!” After much arguing and once it became a real mess with loads of people demanding them to immediately open the gates, the bouncers finally relented. Is there any rule that once you enter a show/event you have to stay until it finishes and only then go?

Cases of hit and run are not too many in Oman, but sometimes the odd ones do creep in. The other day, one of our readers in Al Khuwair reported a street lamp being knocked down when they all woke up to a cloudy rain drenched morning. But, who knocked it down? Since heavy rain poured down, the natural assumption was that it could be due to natural causes. But, how could rain – which poured down, albeit heavily, but only for a short period – uproot a rock steady street lamp? As many mulled over this, someone said that it was not the natural elements that knocked it down, but a vehicle. Apparently, early morning a speeding vehicle, lost control, hit the pole on the run and then disappeared without even stopping. But, even the one who said that confessed he did not actually see it happen. So, what exactly happened to the poor street lamp? No one really knows. We have heard of trees being uprooted in heavy winds, but street lamps?


Save our children on the roads

Road teasers

Driving deaths have been the bane of Oman. That not withstanding, there is a stark need to look into the safety of children on the roads, in buses, in cars…everywhere. The recent tragic death of a poor Indian student on the road in a school bus accident brings these issues into sharp focus. It is not about bad drivers alone. You have to tackle the problem from the source. Weed it out from the grassroots level. There is a need to bring about a new order in the scene of driving; among drivers; among the transportation facilities available for students and there is a stark need for a law to come into place that will slow down all school bus drivers. As some parents suggested, the authorities concerned should start monitoring school buses as a separate entity and stopping the drivers if they increase the speed even slightly. Stringent laws are the need of the hour to bring down the spate of accidents and a new order to be put in place which will save our children on the roads. This is the fervent plea of all parents in town.

Since we are on the subject of driving and being careless on the roads, here is a twist to a serious story. A lady whom we know has reported that she is constantly been the target of attention of a not to harmless form of eve teasing on the road. No, not when she is walking but when she is driving her car. The attention is being thrown on her by the younger lot of drivers, she claims. “Well, not just by honking alone, but there are some who make funny faces at me, foolishly wave out, raise their hands in mock salute or do some type of clownish antic or the other.” More than an irritation, it is a matter of concern because she feels that such clowning with one hand on the wheel and the other employed for such silly action was actually putting the driver as well as others on the road at risk. “I often stop my car and blast them! But, they just honk and drive away!” However, when enquired about this, many other ladies say that they have never ever experienced such type of eve teasing on the roads. “Yes, there might have been some rare occasions when a tearaway comes behind and chases you off the speed track to a lower one – but no one has bothered us with such antics (as described above)!” they said. Well, to each their own! Let better sense prevail among the youngsters who drive on the road!

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

January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 43 B&W


Your TAURUS April 21-May 20

GEMINI May 21-June 21

You’ve learnt a lot of hard lessons in life already this week but you’re stronger and better for it. Be aware of the hidden agendas and motives of others when making plans for the future at work this week. Team spirit is sadly lacking these days. Others will always put themselves first.

Don’t pretend to work. You’re wasting as much time with this game playing as you would if you were really doing what’s required. Test and exams loom and you’d be a fool to turn your back on them; they’re likely to be easier than you’d dreamed.

Take a long hard look at your career and sort out the worthwhile from the wasteful. It’ll be hard to be so brutally honest with yourself, but it has to be done. Try not to over react when you realise you’ve been quite wasteful in the past.

CANCER June 22-July 23

LEO July 24-August 23

ARIES March 21-April 20

Someone’s jealousy, envy or resentment will spoil your creativity and enthusiasm over trying to make this week a fun time for everyone. Misunderstandings over work or health put the tin lid on it. Cheer up, Christmas is coming.

There’s no way you can please everyone this week, so just please yourself and let them all get on with it. The new moon at the latter end of the week puts you in the party mood, and you’ll be happy to celebrate others good news with them.

VIRGO August 24-September 23 A better working week is put in place and this could be to do with the more approachable area the stars are placing many of the signs in. Is it wrong to mix business and pleasure? Not this week, go ahead and take a chance. Plans which are laid down this week can make for your most prosperous year ahead

NICOLAS CAGE (BORN NICOLAS KIM COPPOLA; JANUARY 7, 1964) is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona (1987), The Rock (1996), Face/Off (1997), Con Air (1997), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Adaptation (2002), National Treasure (2004), Lord of War (2005), Ghost Rider (2007), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), Kick-Ass (2010), and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012). Cage has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, winning once for his performance as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. His other nomination was for his portrayal of real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and Kaufman's

Horoscope

fictional twin Donald in Adaptation.

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stars LIBRA September 24-October 23 Although you’ll find it hard to concentrate this week, do your best to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Stay alert and on the ball and don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes. Stress is evident in your chart but there is much you can do this week to get rid of it for good.

CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 What you hear or say seems to be more wishful thinking or clouded judgement than actual fact, so don’t base long term decisions on how you’re feeling this week. Find a quiet place to think things through before stating your case.

SCORPIO October 24-November 22 Try not to lose your temper if a partner or child has overspent their budget. You have finally realised that a certain road you have been travelling down is not working and you seem to be more worried about the embarrassment that admitting such a fact will bring.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 This week is not really shaping up in the way you envisaged it, especially if finances or matters of the heart are not going according to plan. Its not a good time to make firm decisions. Wait until after the weekend as stress will ease.

AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 Your goals and objectives seem to have become quite blurry recently, mainly because you’ve had so many responsibilities to tend to that plans have lost their edge. Don’t worry. Everyone is caught up in the Christmas bandwagon. Start again after new year.

PISCES February 20-March 20 Energy levels are all over the place. You must try to stop talking in riddles and start telling your friends the facts, or you are never going to get the right advice. Don’t believe all your hear on the career front or you’ll make yourself quite ill as you think too deeply about what’s and if’s and but’s of a situation.

For men X SPRAY $IUHVKJUHHQÓ?RUDOIUDJUDQFHVLPLODULQVW\OHDQG LGHQWLW\WR%H'HOLFLRXVE\'.1< Top notesĚ&#x17E;JUHHQDSSOHZDWHUPHORQ FDVLVDQGFXFXPEHU Middle notesĚ&#x17E;URVHZDWHUOLO\IUHHVLDDQGYLROHW Base notesĚ&#x17E;PXVNZKLWHDPEHUVDQGDOZRRG DQGPDULQHQRWHV

E-MAIL: marketing@albahja.com, Website: www.albahja.com January 7 - February 6 B&W

2 0 1 3


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

Circulation

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

January 7 - February 6 46 B&W 2 0 1 3

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

CCC- Stand CCC Al Fair Bollywood chat Pizza Hut – Qurum Second Cup Nandos McDonalds Salman Stores Jawahir Oman Hamptons Business Services & Travel Amex office Ernst & Young buildg (OUA Travels) Starbucks Hawthorne institute- ELS Fahud Street, opp Qurum park Mumtaz Mahal Left bank Oman Association for the disabled Ministry of education (20 +20=20) Muscat Intercon Jawaharat Al Shatti complex- stand Oasis by the sea - crepe café stand LNG Office Al Qurum resort Bareek Al Shatti Complex Al Qandeel head office -, Entrance of Bareek al Shatti Al Shatti Cinema - Dunkin Donuts Al Sahwa Schools– principal’s office next to Ramada hotel Hotel Ramada Al Muriya Offices- next to Al sahwa schools Grand Hyatt Muscat Al Masa Mall Radio Shack Al Sarooj Complex Shell Petrol Bunk- Al Sarooj Al Fair Ramee Guestline Rock Bottom Classic Institute of Arts- next to Asas Oman Asas Oman Apartments Crowne Plaza Coral hotel Qurum Pvt school PDO Ras Al Hamraa Club Omanoil head office AL KHUWAIR/MSQ TOWARDS AZAIBA 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, SALALAH, SUR, SOHAR, NIZWA, BARKA, KASAB MUSCAT continued...

SALALAH

SOHAR

NIZWA

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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January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 47 B&W B& &W


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It's my life

E-r-r-r we are still around Vandana, award winning author (‘360 Degrees Back to Life')

By Vandana Shah

The world was supposed to have gone kaput on December 21, but here we are and another year ahead of us. How about that? We still have the world to us, we are still alive and kicking and enjoying another day in this beautiful Universe. Maybe this is the best time for us to crack open the safe vaults of our heart and bring out all our good intentions of helping those who need our help and there are so many out there. Some of them we know within our family and they may be vocal about their problems and ask us to support them. Some in fact are silent and we could volunteer to bail out. I know that I tried for 13 months of trying to patch up with my sister who was very angry with me for a various reasons and you know what changed the tide in my favour? I genuinely helped her about 2 weeks ago when an opportunity arose. I put aside my anger, hurt and that stupid ego and went all for it and no prizes for guessing the outcome .She was one of the first few people to call me and wish me on New Year’s and it’s like the ugly past never happened. What about extending a helping hand to strangers for a small or a large cause? India has in the past two weeks been shaken, stirred and saddened by the bravery of a young 23 year old girl (coined Nirbhaya-the fearless oneby the press). Absolute strangers, have accepted her as their own, have put their lives on hold and taken to helping her cause and have succeeded in make her voice heard. Maybe it is our good intentions that have saved the world and debunked the doomsday prophecy. So let’s act on those and have many more ‘’ New Years’’ to come.

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

JanuaryBlack 7 - February & White 649 2 0 1 3 49 B&W


I beat

STRESS By Mandelene Bogata

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so can you!

Opinionated

If you have struggled with stress like I have, then, you will probably know what I am talking about. My previous bout with anxiety and stress makes me a little more qualified than many to drive home some essential points about stress and how to beat it. My experience may now be the same as yours but my simple methods have helped many and so I wanted to stress (oh, why should we use this word?) on some age-old, time-tested defense mechanisms to keep stress at bay.

January 7 - February 6 50 B&W 2 0 1 3


Do you suffer from stress? Well, admitting that you are stressed is the first obstacle to tackle as some of us don’t admit it, or don’t know that we do have stress. Like I did, for instance! At that time I got stress, I had just broken up with someone whom I knew since a long time and it was like tearing a precious part of my life out and I sank into the stress world without a trace. But, I had no clue this was what was happening until I actually broke down in the middle of a silly fight in my office and everything went crazy. It was only when my senior friends analysed my behaviour for the last few weeks before this breakdown that I was gently told that I was suffering from immense stress and I needed a break – not a break down! So, I took a break from it all, in fact, moving out of town and took up a new job; complete change of scenery. But, this is not what I would advise you. Within a week or two, I was totally back to normal and in fact, I realised what was the key points one should adhere to if you are stressed out. I did it, I beat stress, so can you! SOUND OF SILENCE Yes, get away from sound and anything remotely connected to it. What I mean is that you need to first find a spot in your home, away from people, away from sound and a place where you can be totally private and totally alone and at peace. Once you find that corner, then let yourself free from everything. Empty your mind and relax. Try to meditate for an hour or two. Try some simple, slow breathing. If you already know some breathing techniques, try that out, or, otherwise, just close your eyes and breathe. It may feel silly, it may feel difficult, but after sometime, you will slowly begin to feel at ease. But, try to keep sound out as far as you can. If it is too much for you to meditate for a full hour and more, then, stick to at least 20 minutes. It will slowly do you good! FINDING YOURSELF Where has all your self respect gone? Are you forever saying yes to everyone and have you lost your drive and passion to work? Yes to all! Unfortunately, people around you are not as helpful as you may think. If they are, well, you are lucky! But, if not, it is time to put a stop to people taking you for a ride and not bothered about you. Say no, when you have to say no. Say it without guilt! Open your eyes; open your mind to what YOU want! Don’t take the burden of the world on your shoulders

– let go! Don’t try to do everything! Most importantly, try to find time to do the things you want to do. And for that you are going to cut down on all useless, unwanted meetings and work. Organise yourself and cut out the frills and then look at all the time you have with yourself, with you want to do. Enjoy! PROBLEM SOLVING MANTRAS Now, there are times that some kind of problems or challenges would still come into your life. I mean, there is no escape from problems, challenges and issues. It will happen, and it has to be faced, there are no two ways about it. But, then, there are easier ways to face them than you have before. Self talk and self affirmations can really work. While you may come across many self affirmation words and mantras, I would think that the best approach would be to think one up yourself. Something on the lines of, “yes, I can do this; I can overcome this; I am going to be calm and let this storm pass…” if you find a line that suits you and if you learn to repeat it like a little prayer, you will find that most of the challenges can be overcome. What really happens is that because of the anxiety you face, you are tensed up the moment a problem confronts you. But, if you treat a problem with the understanding that it deserves, you will be able to confront it better. What is the biggest problem that you are going to have? Will you drop dead because of it? No way! Let it happen! You will find a solution. Keep yourself mentally tough and nothing will shake you from your resolve to be strong when confronted by a problem! YOU ARE POSITIVE! What I meant by the above is the little secret of being positive. It is high time that you understood the sheer power of positive thinking. Let the negative clouds come and rain down on your parade. But, blow these clouds away. It is very simple. Switch off when negative thoughts hit you and slowly, inch by inch, you will find that you have the power to ward off your negativity and replace it with positive thoughts. Go on and on thinking about positive means to your life and it will work out. I am positive! Thanks to the number one best seller ‘The Secret’, the power of positive thinking got a bad wrap, but it worked for me. By turning the negative thoughts I was having about myself into positive affirmations I started feeling better about myself. The simplicity of: “I am an intelligent and valuable person” is very powerful. Find one that suits you and write it down. Read it as often as you need to. January 7 - February 6 2 0 1 3 51 B&W


Women exercise

In general, women tend to exercise lesser than men. And this is cause for concern among some. It could probably be a gender issue. Some say women are unable to lose weight easily because of their slow metabolism and this is why they tend to exercise less. These women tend to lose interest in exercise because, as they complain, “no matter how much I exercise, I just cannot seem to lose weight”. And when they try to lose weight and don’t, they begin to despair. Also, exercise makes all of us to want to eat more. Unfortunately, this affects women more than men and as we said earlier, a woman’s metabolism is slower – actually almost a third slower – than a man’s and this combined with their increased food intake could lead them to the brink of despair. But, this does not make them exercise better or even propel them to begin exercising.

Opinionated

MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS But, women need to take care as lack of exercise is going to not only make them gain weight, it will bring about cardio-respiratory problems, lack of flexibility and stamina, plus the risk of diabetes and other chronic conditions. Now, this affects women in a different way than men and this is what this article is all about. January 7 - February 6 52 B&W 2 0 1 3


NOT 30 BUT 60 Studies have found that high activity levels leading up to middle age meant that women gained less weight per year than they would if they did not exercise. Men also gained weight (per year), but dramatically lesser than men. However, to quote reports, â&#x20AC;&#x153;researchers have found out that once you actually hit middle age and have not been active before, the suggested 30 minutes a day of physical activity may not be enough to shift the weight in women, and even 60 minutes a day may not be enough to shift the weight in men, based on earlier studiesâ&#x20AC;?. ACTIVE ONES GAIN LESS WEIGHT Also, it has been found that women are known to benefit more in the long term from greater physical activity than men. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Active women were shown not only to gain less weight but also fewer inches around the middle,â&#x20AC;? reports note. PULL UP YOUR SOCKS All of these simply prove that women need to pull up their socks and start exercising in earnest. New studies have also shown that women need at least an hourâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moderate exercise a day to prevent weight gain as they age. These studies are opposed to earlier ones which said moderate half an hour exercises five times a week were sufficient. In fact, these studies note that it was better for middle aged women to exercise 60 minutes a day, or 420 minutes a week, so as to prevent weight gain.

However, women at a normal weight who consume a normal diet can beat middle-age weight gain by working out intensely for 30 minutes a day, whether by running, cycling, swimming laps or working out at a gym. Weight gain can also be prevented with 60 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, a leisurely bike ride or playing catch, reports said. In short, women need to get an hour of moderate exercise daily to maintain control over a healthy body mass index (BMI). An hour, you would say. But, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t press the panic button. It mean an hour of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;moderateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; exercise, which means, brisk walking. But, if you are doing more intense exercise then you may drop down the time to about 30 minutes/ half an hour. Yet, make it a daily commitment. You just do it because it is your life and with young kids around, you need to do it as a responsibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for them. To be around them when they need you the most! EVEN 60 IS NOT ENOUGH FOR OBESE And for overweight or obese women, even 60 minutes of exercise a day wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough to maintain weight, thereby pointing out to the fact that calories need to be cut. WORKABLE EXERCISE SCHEDULES Try to find a workable exercise schedule and stick to it for life. If you are having children and they are just growing up, it is then your responsibility to make sure that you are going to be around for them. One of the many ways to ensure that is to have regular exercise. An hour, that is!

For women Poem $JODPRURXVÓ?RUDOIUDJUDQFHVLPLODULQVW\OHDQG LGHQWLW\WR6FDUOHWWE\&DFKDUHO Top notes Ě&#x17E;MXLF\FLWUXVWHDOHDYHVDQG KRQH\VXFNOH Middle notesĚ&#x17E;ULFKMDVPLQHDQGVZHHWKRQH\ Base notesĚ&#x17E;VPRRWKZRRGVDQGPXVNV

E-MAIL: marketing@albahja.com, Website: www.albahja.com January 7 - February 6 B&W

2 0 1 3 53


Look-howgood-I-am!

Hooked

By Priya Arunkumar

Ma, money does grow on trees! It does, it does! Technically you are wrong when you tell money doesn’t grow on trees. The currencies come in papers right? And where do you get the paper? Trees ma, trees, she was gleeful. She was totally excited that she caught me on the wrong foot Before I could splutter a few words to justify, she was on to the next line. I want money, ma and it is for a good cause. If only I could make some money… she had a serious frown on her face. I meant money doesn’t come free, it is an expression, I explained feebly Ma, nothing in this world comes free, I know that. But, give me some money, she negotiated. What is with these kids nowadays? They know their words, their way and seem more mature than they should be. They claim they are cool and look cool too. I would have never negotiated with my parents, I still don’t! Clutching a few notes in her hand, she brooded. Everyone wants money and they are all going to kill the trees, she actually sounded worried. Why don’t they stop making paper money? It is not good for the environment. Whoever thought of paper money actually has killed us all… she philosophised. Maybe we should have virtual monies, what say you? I pinched myself; it is time to think before you speak. It is not easy to have a dialogue with the younger generation. They are never impressed. And they have an answer to

everything. When I was a kid, I listened patiently to everything my parents told, from a simple bedtime story to the history to the unending stories of the Indian epics. My dad told us stories of the world, and life experiences that I listened to without batting an eyelid. I loved stories, I still do. I never questioned the credibility of a story, I always visualised the scenes. Probably we came from a generation that was impressionable. And because I grew up with stories, I had an active mind, and it taught me a little righteousness. Even if it meant learning from dead old history! Probably the busy schedules, working system, and the modernity is taking away the time to sit and talk to your youngsters, pass on what you got from your elders. It used to be a ritual, part of every childhood. Not anymore. Childhood is filled with graphics, mobiles, downloads and reminders! The word righteousness sound prudish today, it even seems nonexistent. Not that I am fond of it. I loathe it all too– ‘holier than thou’ testimonies, the long do and don’ts checklists and finger-pointing; but don’t we all need some measure to live by? Don’t you think the art of right living is to develop true goodness without falling into the trap of look-how-good-I-am? Who wants to be a ‘goody two shoes’, ma? If you want to be cool, you need to go with the flow, ma. Well, you can be as you want to be, there she goes again… Sigh! I do sound prudish today, and outdated." priya@blackandwhiteoman.com



Black & White mag Issue 54