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Vol.1 Issue 24II November 7-20, 2010 Dh-Hijja 1-14

One year old p32

B&W classics: Down memory lane p16 Gift vouchers for our readers p21 Exercises women should not do p58

FREE Fortnightly

How to be a genius? p12

R.O 104/We will cherish you… forever Celebrate the 40th Omani National Day with a unique jewellery piece from Damas. The design honours Oman’s visionary leader, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said for his triumphant reign and successful leadership for the country. Set in 18K yellow gold representing the strong foundation of the nation, highlighted by fine leather that proudly waves the colours of the Oman flag, the country’s map is embellished with 0.07ct diamonds that symbolise progress and prosperity of the nation.

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Dream come true for B&W I heartily congratulate B&W for its magnificent contribution towards causes like breast cancer awareness. I would say that the first milestone it achieved in the charity front was when it focussed its efforts on autism and also managed to rope in a world famous autistic savant (George Widener) to help promote the cause. Now, with this drive to raise more awareness for breast cancer in Oman and promoting NACA (National Association for Cancer Awareness), we are witness to the unveiling of a new chapter. The involvement and presence of the Bollywood dream girl Hema Malini and her two daughters were the icing on the cake, so to speak. It was indeed a ‘dream come true’ for B&W and now the public in Oman are aware of the efforts of this young magazine, completing just a year. I congratulate all of those behind the B&W, especially the editor-inchief and wish all of them the very best and hope to see more of such efforts in the future. S.A.S. Naqvi, sports consultant, FMEC/ OHA, technical advisor, MABGOC

Black & White changed colours? For once, Black & White was in pink – with their pink campaign for breast cancer awareness recently. While due commendations are in order for their event as well as their story of breast cancer awarenesss, I would like to wish the magazine the very best and hope they will always be in the pink of health. Janet S, Qurum

Best campaign so far Dial 800 77 477. That is all we needed to hear from you. I think the B&W breast cancer awareness media campaign is the best so far. We are there with you in heart and soul and spirit for any such future campaigns. All the best B&W! Sumitra Parakh, Al Khuwair

Bitter B ‘letter’ This is with reference to Craig Bishop’s letter (‘Change Bitter Batter to Bitter Blatter’ – issue 23): I think ideally, that letter should have been titled as Bitter B ‘letter’. I think in the context of the contents of his letter, blatter is the right word to follow bitter! Suleiman Al Harthy, Seeb

November7-20, 7-20,2010 2010 88November

Faith is the only way out Breast cancer is a devastating disease not only when you, as a woman, have it, but it is also difficult to come to terms with it, when a loved one has it. My mother was afflicted with the same and it was not just her, but the whole family was affected. I totally agree with Fawzia Al Kindy (issue 23) when she says, “it is not just me. When such a disease attacks you, you and your whole family go through the trauma of fear and pain”. When I read her story, I was thinking about my own mother. But, what kept us afloat throughout this traumatic period is faith – faith in God! This is something that I wanted to convey to all of those in similar situation out there. Nadira S. Salvi, Seeb

Parampara – a feast to the eyes The dinner evening with Hema Malini, one of the most beautiful actresses of the Indian film industry, was really a memorable one for all those who attended. I would like to congratulate the Black and White team for organising the charity dinner evening as well as her show Parampara at Al Bustan palace hotel auditorium. Very aptly called ‘the dream girl’ of Bollywood, one feels compelled to agree that no one has surpassed her in beauty even today. She is dropdead gorgeous. Since the Indian ambassador could not attend the function, the organisers shot a film wherein the Indian ambassador, Anil Wadhwa, addressed the gathering. The concept of shooting the full film in black and white, to keep up with the theme of the magazine Black and White itself and to just show the Indian flag in colour, was a fantastic idea. Kudos to team B&W once again! The dance show Parampara, was indeed a feast to the eyes. Hema Malini, was a treat to watch. Esha and Ahana Deol also performed very well. The last piece, wherein all three were ably supported by young students from Hema Malini’s dance academy, was a beautifully choreographed and presented number. Keep it up, ‘Black & White’. Hope we get to see more such shows in the future. Vaishali and Ashok Suvarna - Madinat Ilam Mail your views and opinions at

Black & White 9


Of looms and lores of art of the students of 38 Work the textile training centre in Sumail

Cover Photo: Najib Al Balushi

Your women needs compliments please spend a lot of 14 Women time and money on their

Bitter Batter

appearance. So, if you don't notice them, they are not going to notice you, either

but, it is a charity 48 But, event… Organise an event – be it a charity event – and you will make more enemies than friends. Even friends suddenly metamorphose into enemies


Exercises women should not do


Some exercises are not meant for women... find out

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Office location: Hatat House, Office no: 212, II Floor Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: Editorial: Printed at Mazoon, Muscat, 10 November 7-20, 2010Oman

BPA Consumer Audit applied for December 2009

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

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

All about X, Y & Z

One candle on this cake By Adarsh Madhavan First, there was nothing. Just a white page. Then, the white page was filled with black (coloured) words. Then more black words filled more white pages and thus Black & White slowly took shape from a makeshift office (thanks to our dear friend Nasser Al Yahyaie, who willingly let us use his office space for a short period of time; until we made the first dummy), just over a year ago. TURNED A PAGE That was then. Today, the Black & White has turned an important page! One full page! Yes, a year has gone by. And beyond that, we are now close to a year into twenty ten. Whew! Can you believe it? A whole year has gone…just like that. Some said that we would not last a year. We kept quiet. A year has gone past and now, some will say, we will not last more than two years. Then, they will say three, four… We are keeping quiet now and forever. Because when fingers are unnecessarily pointed at us, what is the point in point back at them? We will merely keep quiet. It is better that way. What is the point in barking back? BLESSED FROM ABOVE But, let us forget about all that negativity and lack of support from many quarters…We will talk about positivity and the support from many other quarters. We were blessed from above and loved by many and that is why we are here, still standing and taking bouquets and brickbats with the same equanimity. A year may not seem like a lot of time when measured in moments of happiness and success. Then, it is a blur of joy. It is when we measure it with the challenges that we had faced and are still facing when things get too slow for comfort. A year feels like a 100. It becomes a drag when we take turtle steps towards a neverhappening future!

MAKE IT BETTER! But, we are going to put all of that behind us and focus only on one objective; do or die, we have to make it a better magazine than it is now and we are not bothered about anything else. LET THE HEART SPEAK And, for the moment, let us just softly pat our own backs and, let us all (the small team behind Black & White) quietly celebrate. No, not with the clink of glasses, but with a shared feeling of the thumping in our hearts. Let us hope that B&W will always – sink or swim -- preserve that attitude of doing things from the heart. Let us do it from the heart because that is the only thing that will break barriers and bring all of us together; that is the only thing that will endure, that will last, much after when everything else is gone… GIFTS FOR B&W READERS This is our anniversary issue and so we do have some exciting gifts (gift vouchers), which we hope would be snapped up by each and everyone (of you) out there. So, please grab them. PEOPLE – A GIFT FOR THE NATION FROM B&W Before you turn this page, we would like to make one last announcement: we at the B&W have made a year-long effort to bring you a tale of some heroes of the past, majority of whom are still alive and well…We want to pay rich tribute to these Omani (and couple of expatriate) heroes who were there when His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said took rein of this great country. We look through their eyes and travelled back and forth in time to get some snippets of a history hitherto untold. These heroes will address you all in a B&W annual book called People. It is our gift to this nation as part of this glorious 40th anniversary celebrations and it is our humble way of recording the exploits of some of the rare Omani heroes of yesteryear. Some of you may know them better than our stories might tell you, but, there are hundreds and thousands out there who may have never heard of them, and will not, but, for our attempt… Hopefully, we will launch it on November 25th. Until then… Black & White 11


to be


Men read


Most of us males think we are geniuses, although we are not. To counter that there are those amongst us who think we are really common men, when we are not. There is a stark difference between the former and the latter and you don’t have to be a genius to understand that. 12 November 7-20, 2010

GENIUSES ARE PEOPLE who think differently than the common man. Geniuses have thoughts and ideas on a daily basis that are so far beyond the average person’s petty concerns. What can we learn from geniuses by studying them? And is there any chance that we can emulate them and become geniuses ourselves? Is there any chance that we can unleash our hidden potential? Is there a chance that we can bring out the genius in us? Let us find out: If you have noticed, geniuses have brilliant mercurial minds and somehow, they think the thoughts that change the world. Who are they? And how are they different from you and I? Many theorists believe that they must be using the principle of power, which is inherent in every person. This power enables man to grow in whatsoever direction he pleases. There are no limits to the possibilities of his growth. Genius is more than talent. Talent may merely be one faculty developed out of proportion to other faculties, but genius is the union of man and God in the acts of the soul. Great men are always greater than their deeds. They are in connection with a reserve of power that is without limit. We do not know where the boundary of the mental powers of man is; we do not even know that there is a boundary. We can learn from geniuses. From studying geniuses we can discover how they used their time and thought differently. Mostly it’s a matter of changing habits and using some new skills. But you CAN learn how to become a genius and join the ranks of geniuses -- quite fast too. To join the geniuses, you should probably start by looking at the characteristics of a genius and then try to build those characteristics into your own personality. You should know that most geniuses had role models that they emulated, so the advice to copy them is good. They did the very same thing themselves. They copied the thinking styles and habits of the geniuses they knew or read about.


One fundamental set of rules applies to would-be geniuses. And they are based on the ancient Greek concept of a healthy mind in a healthy body. Here are some main rules to ensure good physical health: PHYSICAL FITNESS – involving aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and poise. An exercise programme involving running, weight lifting and yoga would accomplish this. Geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci were famous for their physical prowess and vigor (Leonardo da Vinci could bend iron bars and once stopped a runaway train of horses with his bare hands). DIET – The key here is to eat fresh food as much as possible, and include a rich variety of food in the diet. Assess your body regularly in the mirror and listen to your body’s natural intelligence as to what it needs. AVOID DRUGS – Aside from illegal addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine, crack, ecstacy and marijuana, which are well-documented to cause untold damage to your brain and mental functioning, nicotine and alcohol also retard brain functioning. Geniuses stay away from things that limit or impede their ability to think brilliantly. You should too. SLEEP AND REST – A healthy well-fed and well-exercised body needs quality rest and sleep time. You know yourself that you function better when you are well-rested than when you are tired, irritable and exhausted. Many geniuses throughout history have had active dream lives, recording their dreams in great details. Studies have shown that a focusing attention on dreaming enhances well-being and increases creative output. Do like the geniuses do and write down your dreams and think and talk about them and what they mean to you.

:24694088/24694050 :24696466

Black & White 13

Your woman needs


Men read

If you really want to notice a woman, notice what she is wearing; notice how well she is groomed; how toned her figure is; the hairstyle that she is sporting… If you don’t notice them, then don’t waste time asking yourself why suddenly the wonderful bundle of warmth and goodness next to you is suddenly emitting artic vapour…

14 14 November November 7-20, 7-20, 2010 2010

YOU DON’T KNOW WHY? Well, tell you something you ignoramus: you did not notice your wife’s new outfit. You were so busy with your work and your own problems that you didn’t notice that she has dolled up – for you! The fact was that you did notice that she was looking fabulous, but since you were in one big rush (as usual) you could not even pause for a moment to say that she looked gorgeous. How much time would that take? Just ask yourself how much time it would take to say, “Wow, you look great!” or “You look ravishing!”? Is that too much to ask? The biggest mistake that most men make is when they somehow fail to notice that their women have done a lot of work on their hair, her face, her body and that they are dressed to kill. Contrary to popular notion, when women dress to kill, it is only and only

for you. So, if you fail to understand that, don’t ask yourself why she is ready to kill you after dolling up thus? Forget it, women are not like men and cannot afford to just leap out of bed, shower and shave, climb into some clothes, and just rush to office or wherever they have to go. “Women spend a lot of time and money on their appearance. Sure, they dress and groom in order to feel good about themselves, but the idea of being attractive to men is never far from their minds either. Unfortunately, a lady’s efforts are too often overlooked by male admirers who may appreciate the look as a whole, but don’t notice the little things that go into it,” a report notes. In fact, a recent study released in the fall of 2010 by Northumbria University in Britain reinforces the idea that men are inattentive to these details by showing that men couldn’t

see a difference in the way a woman walks when wearing heels or flats. According to AskMen, there are several things that you should notice about a woman, especially if you want to keep her happy and close. According to them, you don’t have to give a direct comment all the time, but some kind of reaction which will make her realise that you appreciate the efforts she has made to make herself look so good will bode well for you, believe me. Down below are some of the items she would love you to notice, and we will give you some lines to use too just in case. You can quote them or use ad lib: HAIRSTYLE “Wow, what a style! Your hair looks great, baby!” Women do a remarkable number of things to perfect and maintain their hair -- cutting, styling, dyeing, curling, straightening, teasing, backcombing, relaxing, etc. -and they do a lot of it in order to appear attractive to their men. Noticing any major change in her hair, whether it’s the style, cut or colour, is essential to remaining in her good books. SHOES Of course, you can say, “Wow” again, but let us have variety: “Those are sexy shoes. It goes well with your dress. Great combo!” Everything, from her posture, to her gait and presence changes when she is wearing high heels. And truth is, women wear high heels only for men’s benefit. Otherwise, which woman would want to wear something that is uncomfortable and also pose a dent on the purse? SCENT (OF A WOMAN) “Aaahhh, you smell so good!” You better notice her scent. Scent is a very important aspect of

attraction and there is a very good chance that the way she smells was part of what drew you to her in the first place. Women usually pay close attention to the way they smell, finding the perfect balance of perfume, lotion and other scented products. When she changes her signature scent in a significant way, she wants you to notice. Close your eyes, lean in and say, “You smell great. Are you wearing something different?” WEIGHT LOSS “My God, you look great – you lost so much weight, you must be

working out quite a lot!” Support your lady’s commitment to lose weight, get toned, build muscle or just to feel healthier with generous compliments. A woman always likes it when you tell her that she lost weight and looks good. It is a great feeling for her. COSY HOME AMBIENCE “Thanks. This place looks so romantic now – great work!” It is important to notice when your wife makes an effort to create a lovely ambience for the two of you with candles et al. So, return this favour by setting up a similar ambience at another time.

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Black & White Classics 2009-2010

It is hard to believe that we have completed a year. Hard to believe that we have completed nearly 23 stories/issues in this short span of time. But, instead of pinching ourselves to believe that this is all true, we would like to invite you all along with us on a short-scripted journey back into time glimpsing through our exploits into a journalistic arena, hitherto untouched. Please spare some time and trek along with us back and forth to the current issues…

No more human jockeys… (Launch issue – vol 1, ISSUE 1) Sohar racetrack… At 5am. Who says scribes wake up late? We woke up at 1.45am and raced to Sohar to meet a contact who took us to meet other top officials at the Sohar racetrack… We witnessed history of sorts because that was the first time when a camel race was featuring robots at the reins – instead of human jockeys! That cracker of a story was our launch pad!

An untold fishing tale… (ISSUE 2) Yes, a quaint old tale of the Qantab fishing village where the young and the old, the wealthy and the not-so, the senior officials to the actual fishermen have all one binding passion – love for the sea, the fish, their boats and all that goes around it. We recorded this unusual fishing tale of love for posterity.

Wadi Qar’ran – powerless, but strong… (ISSUE 3)


People living in cave houses? We couldn’t believe it. Well, seeing is believing, we thought and so went up a mountain, above the Selma Plateau, to a small village called Wadi Qar’ran, a village that is cut off from all civilisation, a village where some of its residents still live in half homes, half caves…Where at night, there is not even the glow of a candlelight to pierce the darkness and where nothing, save for the wind, stirs…

16 November 7-20, 2010

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Zampth: when the wells sing… (ISSUE 4) Ever heard of the song of the wells? Or, did you ever witness a race… between sounds? We did and we brought it all to you all the way from Al Muraisy, a village in Barka where we witnessed and participated a unique game called Zampth, which is actually a competition between the sounds that are emanated by the rope against the pulleys of unused wells. Zampth, meaning race between wells, is played between two neighbouring wells, both competing to produce the loudest sound.

Stop human carnage! (ISSUE 5) On New Year (January 1, 2010) we took a resolution – one with a difference. We pledge to work jointly with every social and official arm of Oman and lobby for an accident-free Oman. We veered off from our usual stories on Oman where we went ahead and started off a lobby against deadly driving on the roads that has had nearly 1904 victims in the last two (2008 and 2009) years and going by the same trend would have added another 950 more before the end of this year. We launched this year long campaign against this deadly trend which had, on an average, three people dying on the roads, every day.

Feroun – King of all bulls (ISSUE 6) What animal would stand nearly six-feet tall and be worth OMR90,000? Feroun – the king of bulls in Oman, or perhaps, the whole of Gulf and the Middle East (at that time). This mammoth five-year old bull from Sohar was then a champion of champions and had at that time (when we featured him) won all 27 fights he had fought. Bullfighting in Oman, unlike its Spanish equivalent, is a bloodless Omani sport.

Love for Laben


(ISSUE 7) Laban? No, Laben. Laban is frankincense in Arabic, while Laben is buttermilk. The B&W team learnt about the actual pronunciation of Laben and more from the residents of a small village called Sahami, some 240kms away from Muscat. We learnt how the villagers of Sahami kept to the traditional way of making Laben, and how they linked this cool, refreshing drink, which is part of their daily diet, with food, families, with travels made across the desert and the important role it played. So, once again, it is Laben, not Laban… 18 November 7-20, 2010

Black & White 19

Where eagles dare… (ISSUE 8) Al Ansab lagoon is a bird watchers paradise. We teamed up with a bunch of enthusiastic Swiss bird watchers and had a firsthand feel of bird watching through a spotting scope. The bird watchers revealed that Oman was a fascinating spot for bird watchers, and while the country is a migratory destination for eagles and vultures, it is also called the capital of Egyptian eagles…

Good old sailor captain Juma (ISSUE 9) Do you know how the fish Surmai got its name? The fish is named after Sur and perhaps Mumbai too, former Captain Juma Said Salem Al Ruzaiqy, a 75-plus grand sailor of Oman, told us this tidbit. Capt Juma who began sailing when he was just nine could perhaps be one of the oldest living sailors of Oman and here he unveiled to us a mind-boggling sailing tale of the past. We also featured Ustad Juma bin Hasoon Juma Al Araimi, probably the only active Omani shipbuilder left in the Sultanate, who does not want his craft of building wooden vessels to die with him.

‘Honeymen’ in Feequin (ISSUE 10) To get the best honey in Oman, you may have to go to Feequin, a small village, some 22kms east of Nizwa. We visited this ‘honey capital’ of Oman and spoke to Mohammed bin Rashid bin Waleed Al Busaidi, one of the oldest member of the honey trade in Feequin, and perhaps Oman. Honey is part and parcel of the Omani diet and has immense medicinal properties and is used to cure many diseases. Beekeeping has been part of Oman since ancient times.

Say Cheese! (ISSUE 11)


This was the story of a remarkable charitable Omani woman – Khalsa bint Said bin Majid Al Ma’amari – an Omani mother of 12 from wilayat Musannah. Khalsa and her husband’s large farmhouse in A’Tarif serves as a setting for a charitable cause – she doles out free cheese and other related milk products from her home every morning for people in and around that area. Khalsa, a proud, strong and independent woman, has been doing this for the last 32 years, driven by the spirit of giving. Why does she do it? Because, according to her, doing good only begets good!

20 November 7-20, 2010

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Maryam, the little curator (ISSUE 12) She might be just another seven-year old Omani with love for toys, pets, tree houses and the like. But, what set her apart from other kids of her age is the fact that she is the youngest curator in Oman, as well as an Omani museum guide. If you visit the unique museum, Bait Adam, in Qurum, you will probably be met by this young wonder. That, she is the daughter of Abdullatif Al Balushi, the famous Omani collector, and owner of Bait Adam, also helps…

The ‘Rainman’ of Oman (ISSUE 13) If you think Barka is hot and dry, you could be so far removed from truth. Well, without exaggeration, there is one tiny corner in sultry Barka, from where you can soak yourself from bone to bone in the midst of an indoor monsoon – and that is at the sprawling farm behind Al Nahda resort. The creator of this magical rain is none other than J. S. Dadwal, senior general manager, Barka Division, Al Bahja Group of Companies and he is also the brain and brawn behind the ‘rainforest’, which is behind the resort.

Autism can’t speak. Let us! (ISSUE 14) We took up the cause of autism, a disorder or a developmental disability characterised by difficulties in communication skills and social relationships. Lack of awareness, plus the sad fact that there is only one child psychiatrist in the whole of Oman, makes it difficult to detect the problem at the outset, and so it was found that there were only 1.4 cases per 10,000 children aged 0 to 14 years. The low prevalence of children with ASD (autism spectrum diseases) in Oman is due to under diagnosis and under reporting, a trend, which is bound to change with the spurt of awareness boost made by our campaign.

Marwa: the Sudoku champ


(ISSUE 15) She was just 19, but she took only 12 minutes to complete a very complex Sudoku puzzle created by a former Sudoku world champion, Thomas Snyder. Marwa Al Wadhahi made Sudoku history by winning the first-ever Sudoku challenge in Oman (which was organised by Black & White). Dr Yahya Al-Farsi of the Sultan Qaboos University summed up the autism problem at a brilliant speech at the event with these numbers: 4000, 200, 1 and 0. Four thousand autism cases, 200 diagnosed, one child psychiatrist and zero allowance granted to them.

22 November 7-20, 2010

Kahwa, anyone? (ISSUE 16) Salim bin Shunoon bin Salim bin Obaid bin Salim Al Akhzami, perhaps one of the oldest kahwa seller in Muttrah souq is part of the souq lore. He has been selling kahwa in the souq since the last 50 years or so. He is easily one of the most interesting and colourful personalities at the souq and is known to sell around 600 cups of kahwas for as little as 50baizas per cup. His life is incomplete without his traditional kahwa. Playing a perfect foil to this story was the addition of Ali bin Ibrahim Al Ajmi, who is the brain behind Oman’s – perhaps the Middle East’s – first ever instant kahwa (in sachets).

Past kicks (ISSUE 17) Mohammed Rashid Al Alawi, 52 and Turma Abdul Hussain Mohammed Al Ajmi, 51, took us down a fond football lane where the only thing that mattered them was playing and winning the game, regardless of the opponent. These lions and legends of football spoke of a time where there were no football grounds, no gear, or boots and no money, yet, they played with much more passion and love for the game, something which even the stars of today can emulate, learn.

Smokeless flames of Bahla (ISSUE 18) Bahla is home to the wondrous creation of man – pottery. But the walled city is also the abode of many myths and legends. Magic is still being practiced in Bahla and these stories were suddenly reinforced with a new story of a small Omani girl with recurring fits and mysterious fire episode which cast a spell not only on them, but also us, as we sped there to investigate whether the girl was actually in the clutches of a jinn. Credit is given to the Omani healer, Moalim Salim, who is said to have cured the girl of her fits and also stopped the fire episodes…believe it…or not!

Message from the Messenger (ISSUE 19)


How did Islam come to Oman? In this issue, we featured the ancient tale, trekking not only back to a past, thumbing through the ages, but also went to Sumail, the abode of the first mosque – the Mosque of Mazin, named after Mazin bin Ghadouba, the first Muslim of Oman. Since it was the Holy Month of Ramadan, B&W took the pains to not only unveil the story of the first Muslim of Oman, but also put on the cover a copy of the holy letter addressed by Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) to the then Omani rulers, Abd and Jaifer, inviting the people of Oman to embrace Islam. 24 November 7-20, 2010

Count your blessings (ISSUE 20) Still in a reflective mood in the Holy Month of Ramadan, it was but natural to speak about Tasbeeh or prayer beads. It was a virtual learning for us too and we learnt that the Tasbeeh or Misbah consist of 99 beads that correspond to the 99 names or virtues of Almighty Allah. We also featured Hamid bin Khuda Baksh Al Bulushi, an Omani collector of Tasbeeh, who unveiled his special fascination for prayer beads made of amber.

Something fishy (ISSUE 21) B&W went fishing…literally to Musannah, where we honed in on Hilal Ali Al Rawahi, a retired PDO (Petroleum Development Oman) official, who is now into breeding Tilapia since the last three years at his 27,000 sq mts farm in Muladha (Musannah). Though he started off his fish farming as a hobby, he hopes to establish an environmentally sustainable and profitable farm soon.

Who ate my shuwa? (ISSUE 22) If you are an Omani, then the biggest and best celebration of the Eid Al Fitr will not be complete without the Shuwa. That is an undeniable fact. The Shuwa is an essential part of Eid and it is a typical Omani family style meal. We travelled to Sumail (Al Ma’abar) to not only be part of the Eid celebrations, but also went through the step-by-step process of this unique making of the delicious Shuwa, thanks to Tawfiq Al Khalili, who took us to his family’s underground shuwa pits in Sumail Al Ma’abar. It was a ‘delicious’ journey.

Dial 800 77 477 (ISSUE 23) One more event, one more cause, and this was our humble contribution for breast cancer awareness. B&W teamed up with NACA (National Association for Cancer Awareness) to muster up some awareness and funds for NACA’s mobile mammography unit and ‘home away from home’ initiative. Other than a full-fledged feature covering various aspects of breast cancer awareness or the lack of it here, we organised a two-day event, one a charity dinner which featured the indomitable and lively percussionist, Sivamani at the Shangri La and the next day a charity dance – titled Parampara -- with the Bollywood ‘dream girl’ Hema Malini and her daughters, Esha and Ahana Deol. And, of course, dial 800 77 477 and book a free mammography session with the MMU. Black & White 25

Lens view

Lens eye view of B&W breast cancer charity dinner and dance event

26 November 7-20, 2010

Black & White 27

Lens view 28 November 7-20, 2010

Videos (RO 5 per copy) of the event available. Contact 24565697 or e-mail Black & White 29


Nothing, yet positive


he ft


Off the wall

By Adarsh Madhavan

Two office boys were washing cups and saucers at our office building’s sink when I went to wash my face. “Couldn’t sleep a wink yesterday… It has been a week now without air-conditioning…” one of them said, as he carefully soaped a cup. The other, busy with his own cups, asked: “One week, now right?” “Yeah one week and all of my room mates have left; they have obtained shelter somewhere…Only Yasir and I are left… We brave the heat in our little room. But, the heat is bearable in the night because the temperatures have come down…yet, somehow I couldn’t get any sleep yesterday also. Am too worried…” “You got that money back,” the other one, asked, still very studiously washing his cups. “No, it has been nearly five months since I sent anything home, and Ajay has not returned a single baisa as yet. He is a crook. If I see him…I’ll…I’ll…” one cup half slipped from his hand and the clang of it on the kitchen sink drowned his words as he angrily mumbled something. The other boy pacified him: “No point in being angry. No point at all. Do you think it matters to anyone if anyone of us get angry, break a nerve and die? No, we will be the only losers. Our families will be the losers. So, losing everything in anger is something that will affect us dearly. Look at me. My visa is yet to be renewed; I have begged (he mentions a name) to get it renewed, but he has not even bothered to pick up my calls. I haven’t gone home in five years. It is only thanks to this job that I have something to subsist on. My ‘house owner’ has been behind me for the portion of the rent owed by me, everyone else has given –“ he cut it short when I got into the wash area myself. There were some awkward moments of silence as I turned on the tap and washed my hands. As I splashed cold water on my face, they resumed their conversation. Rather, the poor boy who said he had not slept a wink spoke in a monotone: “Am not really worried about money any more. Last two nights I had nothing to eat too. The only thing I had last night was tea, that too from this office. I had kept two biscuits, but I left it in the pantry to serve tea and when I got back there were two cockroaches

on it…I had no option but to throw it,” he gave off a derisive laugh and I caught his reflection in the mirror. He had a sad, wry and resigned air about him. The other boy had a more defiant look and he was as determinedly washing all the cups, as though by the mere way of washing, all his financial problems would also be washed away. But, I could sense that the sad boy was not really strong enough to face the challenges ahead, especially since he had lost on his sleep for several days. “What should I do, tell me what should I do,” he kept on repeating. They dipped into silence and that was broken by their final clanging cups wash. I dried my hands and slowly edged out of the place as the boys began their conversation again. The braver one was comforting his work compatriot by telling him that he should not get depressed and that better times was just around the corner. ‘I just hope so,” the other boy sniffled and that was the last thing I heard as I walked back to my office. I sat before my laptop and as the words hit the screen, my mind harked back to the little conversation I had just heard. I had gone there to wash my blues and then this talk woke me up. Here were some boys earning probably OMR40 to OMR50 and living a life of quiet despair sans A/C, sans proper food and lodgings, without even being able to send money home to their loved ones and here I was ready to crib, rant and rave if the electricity goes off for 10 minutes…And just before I went to wash my face, I was in that second boy’s state of mind, asking myself what should I do, what should I do…now I am determined to take on the other more positive boy’s demeanour…

30 November 7-20, 2010


Sohar Food Court – ideal stopover for travellers

Sohar Food Court which is managed by Hay Al Rahbah, is located at the Shell Petrol Station, off the main Sohar Highway, between Al Suwairah and Sohar (Globe) Roundabout, mid-way between Muscat and Dubai. Sohar Food Court is the ideal stopover for travellers, be it for re-fuelling or for a quick bite at its multi-cuisine food court or to use the ATM or restroom facilities. Perfectly located in Sohar, at the Shell fuel Station of the main Sohar Highway, Sohar Food Court (within Hay Al Rahbah Services Complex) has everything that a traveller needs - from a multi-cuisine food court, to a Shell Petrol Filling Station, and auto-care facilities, a 24-hour Bank Muscat ATM facility, Khimji mini mart, prayer facility, rest rooms, children’s play area and saloon - it is all available. Sohar Food Court has proven to be one of its kind destinations between destinations - bright, clean, customer friendly offering a fast and refreshing experience - a must stop for all travellers between Muscat and Dubai.

Al Araimi Complex winners The winners for the second draw for the ongoing shopping extravaganza at Al Araimi Complex was recently announced. While Abdulla Al Shaibi walked away with two air tickets to Paris; Said Ayedeh and Shekhar win a 32-inch Samsung LCD each and Nooh Khalid Al Balushi gets an Asus laptop. Ten other lucky winners have won shopping vouchers worth RO50 each. Winners will have to claim their prizes within 15 days of being informed. The grand finale on November 20 will have one lucky winner drive away with a Jaguar XF while the others will vie to win Longines watches, LCDs and Al Araimi gift vouchers.

Oman Cricket Club

honours National Bank of Oman National Bank of Oman was honoured by Oman Cricket Club recently. The function, held under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tairq bin Taimur Al Said, minister of heritage and culture, honorary president of Oman Cricket Club, and Engineer Ali Masoud Al Sinaidi, minister of sports affairs, was well attended by a number of dignitaries and sportsmen.

Capital Intelligence upgrades NBO currency ratings


National Bank of Oman (NBO) announced that its currency credit ratings have been upgraded by Capital Intelligence (CI). A press release issued by Capital Intelligence, recently stated that the NBO's foreign currency ratings raised to BBB+ long-term and A2 short-term (from BBB and A3 respectively). The rating upgrade reflects CI’s increased confidence that government support for the local banking sector will be high in case of need. However, the support rating is unchanged at 3 since ownership is largely in private hands. The financial strength rating is affirmed at BBB with the bank’s good operating profitability, capital adequacy and asset quality being supporting factors. NBO’s H1 2010 results have been good overall, with asset quality and profitability ratios recording improvements. The outlook for all the ratings is therefore stable. 32 November 7-20, 2010

Nawras celebrates

Omani Women’s Day

Nawras, a Qtel Group company, enthusiastically joined the rest of the country in marking the first Omani Women’s Day with a number of initiatives including a celebratory event held at the company’s main office in Al Athaiba. Chief executive officer Ross Cormack and chief strategy officer Abdulla Issa Al-Rawahy, led the management tributes to the ladies at Nawras by thanking them all for their valuable contribution to the continuing success of this customer friendly company. At the same time, the women were also recognised for their important roles in the wider community and as partners in the development of the Sultanate.


First book on

His Majesty in Malayalam

at the ISM Career Fair

getting ready

The first book in Malayalam that sheds light on His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said's life, his values and morals, his unmatched qualities that steered the Oman from success to success is getting ready and will be released in November to coincide with the 40th National Day of the country. Titled “The Sultan; A Farsighted Statesman; A Philanthropist”, this A-5 size, glossy-finish book is authored by Kabeer Yousuf, a journalist with the Oman Observer Daily. It will have nearly 250 pages that describe the acute statesmanship and his keen concern for the people. “We are happy to be a part of

this noble venture whereby the majority expatriate community will be getting to know about His Majesty in their own language”, a senior official at the Oman Establishment for Press, Publication, and Advertising, said. It is published by the Oman Establishment for Press, Publishing and Advertising, and is sponsored by Galfar Contracting Company.

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) participated in the annual Career Fair 2010 at the Indian School Muscat held recently. “Happiness is in liking what you do and doing what you like,” said Dr Avirat Vaishnav, pediatric surgeon at Royal Hospital Oman and chief guest at the beginning of the second day of the Career Fair 2010. Among two different groups of experts, GUtech academic staff from the department of Applied Geosciences and the department of Sustainable Tourism and Regional Management held presentations. Geosciences is the science of our planet. “If you are good in sciences and are interested in our planet and you like to go on field trips to discover the rocks and minerals in the mountains, then you should think about a career in Geosciences,” said professor (Dr) Bas den Brok, head of the department of applied geosciences who held a presentation on studying geosciences.

McDonald’s Oman OMANISATION McDonald’s Oman unveiled their committment to its own people growth at an event, recently. "People are the most vital element in our system; and Omanisation is part of our local identity," a note said. Black & White 33

OIFC joins hands with Al Noor

Association for the Blind

Oman Investment & Finance Company SAOG (OIFC) contributed for the second consecutive year to Al Noor Association for the Blind by donating to this local charity which was founded for the benefit of the Sultanate’s visually impaired. The OIFC is one of the leading Investment & Services Company specialised in billing, collection and debt factoring for electricity, water and telecom services in Oman over the last three decades. The OIFC is celebrating a landmark 30th anniversary this year and this donation is in keeping with the company’s values and renewed commitment to its significant Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.

Omantel – voted

‘Samarpanam’ –

Omantel has been voted the best company for investor relations in Oman by the Middle East Investor Relations Society (ME-IR) using feedback from a regional Thomson Reuters survey. In addition to the company prize, Omantel’s general manager for strategic finance, Menon Gopinath has been identified as the best company representative for investor relations in the Sultanate. The prestigious awards were presented to Omantel as part of the annual ME-IR conference that recognises companies and professionals across the Middle East for the best Investor Relations practices and was recently held in Beirut.

‘Samarpanam – a tribute to M S Subbulakshmi’ will be held at Le Grande Hall, Al Falaj Hotel this Wednesday at 7.30 pm. “Indian classical dance – Bharatnatyam -- is performed along with Indian classical music. One legend who has given life to Indian classical music is M S Subbulakshmi. Her contribution has made Indian classical music transcend all boundaries of caste, creed, colour, religion or even nationalities. This is my humble salutation to such a bigger than life personality,” says Premila Ramesh. Premila Ramesh, founder of Nrityanjali – an institution dedicated to the glory of Bharatanatayam, has been producing and presenting classical dance shows in Oman and India since 2003. The notable ones presented in Oman include - Panchanayika, Bharati, Rasanubhava and the recently held mega production – Stree Rama Nirikshanam. Salim M. Al Mahruqi, undersecretary of heritage affairs, ministry of heritage and culture is the chief guest, while Geetha Sundaresan, a known Indian classical vocalist in Oman will be the guest of honour. Entry is by invitation only. Contact 92526354 or 99102150

leading investor relations company in oman

A Tribute to M S Subbulakshmi


Renna mobile recharge and win a car Renna mobile announced the launch of the 'Recharge & Win with Renna' campaign. The campaign aims at celebrating customer loyalty by offering all users a chance to win an iPhone every week and a Toyota FJ Cruiser every three months. Every one rial recharged equals a chance to win. A customer recharging OMR10 will have ten chances to win an iPhone, and 10 chances 34 November 7-20, 2010

to win the Toyota FJ Cruiser. “As in introductory offer, we have scheduled the first draw on January 3, 2011 to reward existing customers for their usage. We have also ensured that new participants gain immediate benefits of the draw,” said Ghada Mohammed Al Yousef, marketing director. The weekly draw for an iPhone will take place every Monday as well as a quarterly draw

for a Toyota FJ Cruiser, with the first draw taking place in early January 2011 (only two months after the start of the programme).

Royal Oman Police certifies Berger Paints products for fire protection Berger Paints has recently introduced a wide range of 'Flame Spread Resistant' products in Oman. These products offer increased safety in cases of fire by limiting the spread of surface flames. The work on formulating these products started over a year ago. While the products themselves were developed and internally tested, Berger worked with premier third party-fire protection laboratories – Warrington Fire

from the UK to get these products independently certified as per international standards. Post this, Berger Paints applied to Civil Defense –Royal Oman Police for accreditation. Following rigorous tests carried out by the ROP at

Indian businessman on cycling mission for National Day and charity A resident who has spent half his life in Oman is embarking on a two-day, 240kms biking mission as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Oman as well as for charity. Gopal C. Jagwani, a businessman based in Oman, who has been living here for the last 21 years, is all set to cycle 240kms from Sohar to Muscat from November 10 to 11 for this dual cause: to congratulate His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said on Oman’s 40th national day and also to raise funds for Dar Al Atta’a. “I have spent half my life in this beautiful country. Last year, I had the opportunity to raise the flag of Oman on top of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 5,893 metres or 19,334 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/

Kibo Peak). “Now, in this mission, I have the opportunity to not only congratulate and salute His Majesty, the Sultan, on the 40th anniversary of the blessed renaissance, but also to create awareness for Dar Al Atta’a and to raise funds for their student support programme,” Gopal Jagwani said. The Dar Al Atta’a, through its student support programme, provides uniforms, breakfast meals, stationeries to the underprivileged students in the Muscat region. “Students are the future of the society and hence, I decided to support this programme,” Jagwani said. The cycling event is scheduled to begin from this Wednesday at Crowne Plaza, Sohar and will conclude at the Crowne Plaza, Muscat.

Berger Paints factory in early August, the ROP has certified three product lines, Weathercoat FR (a smooth emulsion, which is available in 1500+ ready shades from any Berger ColourWorld) & Weathercoat FR Tex (a range of textures).


Eye Rollerball

A favourite for over 10 years, high-quality and reliable rollerball featuring waterproof pigment ink and ‘Uni-Flow’ system ensures a continuous consistent writing to the last drop. Black Blue Red Green Light Blue Violet Pink Orange Wine and Light Green ink are all available on the market, if you like to buy the main colors or the fancy colors you will find it in all bookshops, supermarket and hypermarket. Join on facebook (uni-ball Oman). And you will get a free sample of the new uni-ball pen.

Sadolin colour point outlet at Honda Road Sadolin Paints (Oman) Ltd. opened the doors of yet another exclusive Colour Point outlet in Honda Road - Mustafa Ghulam Ali Stores, recently. Along with the father–son trio of Ali, Mustafa and Hassan Ghulam Ali Baqer, who are the proprietors of the outlet, M.M. Khan, general manager and N. Balachandran, deputy general manager of Sadolin Paints Oman were present. Khan, commented, “Our Colour Point outlets are a pioneering effort in allowing consumers to experiment with colours so that they can create their own stylish homes using Sadolin. We are extremely happy with our association with Mustafa Ghulam Ali Stores and would like to thank them for representing us at a vital point of sale such as Honda Road.” For more information call 2444 6218 or visit Black & White 35

OUR OMAN is the 'HAPPENING' place

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

By Dr CK Anchan Continued from last issue...

Management talk

Omani government is investing in IT as part of its Digital Oman initiative and strategy to diversify the economy. In addition to ongoing demand from the oil and gas sector, this should generate IT spending in verticals such as telecoms, financial services and aviation. The PC market in Oman should grow at around 6 per cent a year to $190mn by 2014, the government’s ‘Towards Digital Oman’ strategy and the elimination of custom duties within the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC). Wireless connectivity will boost demand for notebooks, stimulated by product innovation and new technologies. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises are expected to invest in equipment to deal with increased competition and take advantage of regional opportunities. The software market in Oman is projected at $62mn in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of five per cent over the 2010-2014 forecast period. With the evolution of the IT market, a stronger enterprise focus on software spending is also being seen, with companies preparing to compete in a regional environment of greater trade freedoms. Government has also been the keen driving force behind. IT services market is estimated at around US$85mn in 2010, accounting for around 19 per cent of overall IT spending in Oman. About one-third of spending will be on support and maintenance, with SI the second largest category and managed services/ outsourcing at about 20 per cent. Many vendors see an opportunity to expand their services portfolios, as enterprises demand look to get more out of their IT investments. Oman’s consumer electronics devices 36 November 7-20, 2010

market, defined as the addressable market for computing devices, mobile handsets and video, audio and gaming products, is forecast at $480mn in 2010. Oman’s construction industry is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8.7 per cent over 2008-2012 and to reach a value of $2.5 billion over the forecast period. Oman plans to raise spending by 11 per cent in its 2011 budget to push ahead with infrastructure and development projects. considering basing its 2011 budget on an average oil price of $55 per barrel. Oman is the “the happening” place to be in business as it is showing strong economic growth, which encourages privatisation of infrastructure and services. The country has absolute tax freedom, with tax exemptions for five years [sometimes renewable] for industrial enterprises which contribute to Oman’s economy. Foreign investors are able to hold 49 per cent of equity, which may be increased depending on the circumstances, to add it all a clear and efficient legal network which governs company law, agency law etc. Oman has emerged as a modern state creating a identity in the world for its comprehensive development in political, economic and social sectors. Under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, for 40 years our Oman has seen amazing changes and each year has cemented the growth of Oman in every aspect. It’s indeed a great honour and matter of pride for all of us living here in Oman to be a part of such historic event. Long live His Majesty the Sultan! Our prayers are there always with him and also for the well being of Oman and its wonderful people.

In Black & White

In Black... Oman is famous for many traditions and culture. Region wise each place is famous for a trade too. While Bahla is famous for pottery, Nizwa is famous for copper works. Sur is famous for ship building; while Barka is famous for halwa… how did it all evolve? NOTHING BETTER THAN HOMESPUN WEAR There is nothing better than being born in your own country; settling down in your hometown, eating home-cooked meals, dressed in homespun wear… What do you think? Maybe your opinion might differ, but I am happy. I feel that the Omani traditional garb – dishdasha -- is one of the most comfortable wear in the whole world. It is loose, easy-to-wear and comfy. I am very comfortable with the dishdasha; I feel at home with it. I think it as one of the most non-complicated piece of clothing ever. And when you wear it, you need not worry about seeing whether it was going to match with anything – you just wear it -- that is all! I remember, earlier, more colours were used, not just white. But, when it became an official wear in offices and institutions, white became the chosen colour. BLACK & WHITE Our magazine is basically symbolic of the traditional Omani dress, the black abaya and the white dishdasha… It was from these simple dresses that our name evolved – Black & White, meaning local, and of course, man and woman. Though the abaya was initially considered as a covering, today it is a stand-alone dress, with accessories and precious stones adorning them. Many young designers have added on the globalised fashion trends to our traditional wear. And, it is not bad looking in any sense of the word. So, if the abaya has elevated itself from being a mere covering to a trendy dress, should we then look for another covering; another abaya?! PROUD HERITAGE Oman has a proud heritage of traditional wear that can be distinguished region wise by colours and design. Globalisation today has taken away some

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief of the authenticity and if we don’t record and preserve our rich heritage, it could get merged with the current trends and lose its basic history. A step in that direction was taken by Julia Al Zadjali to record, collect and preserve the Omani traditional dress and today the museum they have created has over 600 individual pieces on collection. PIONEERING ATTEMPTS Oman is famous for many traditions and culture. Regionwise, each place is famous for a trade too. While Bahla is famous for pottery, Nizwa is famous for copper works. Sur is famous for ship building; while Barka is famous for halwa… how did it all evolve? No clear answers. Probably one man, who had successfully created a first in the region, would have made that region famous for that trade…a pioneering attempt! When B&W team heard that Sumail was famous for looms, and the institute there had the first batch of 18 young girls receiving certification for the first ever handloom training course by PACI, they visited the 40 plus year old loom factory to see how it is going forward… an apt story on our first anniversary! GOD BLESS HIS MAJESTY SULTAN QABOOS BIN SAID And before we conclude one important greeting: I and the B&W team would like to wish His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said the very best on the occasion of the 40th National Day. I wish and pray that the Almighty God shower all his blessings on our wise and benevolent leader. God bless our great ruler!

& White Black White 3737 Black && White

B&W Xclusive 38November November7-20, 7-20,2010 2010 38

Of looms and lores…… lores

Black 39 Black & & White White 39

B&W Xclusive 40 November 7-20, 2010

SPINNING A DELIGHTFUL YARN His hands were moving faster than lightning… definitely faster than an automated loom. Ali bin Suleiman bin Salim Musallmany is close to 70 (he insists that he is only 66), but his hands must be around 20. His face looked 70, but his eyes were in their early 20s. And they glinted. Ask him to speak about his hand loom and his rotund face is suddenly wreathed in a pool of smiles in which his young eyes drown. His body is old. But his gait is young; his movements swift. His voice is elderly and aged. But his laughter is youthful and infectious. We asked him to show how his old loom works and he literally, joyfully pounced on it and in a rapid-fire manner began to work on it. For some moments, his hands moved like an able magician, with that same speed and dexterity. We asked him to stop as our photographer could not pin him down for a shot. He stops and beams at us. He is happiness personified. And although we had actually asked him to do a demo on his old hand loom, a quick run on his spinning/ weaving machine had transported him back to an old era where he was not only master of the loom, but a successful one at that. ALI SPINS A YARN From his small abode in the wilayat of Sumail, Ali Suleiman Mussallmany spun a delightful yarn for us. “Hand looms did not exist before 1983/’84!” he declared. As we looked a bit startled, he added with a laugh: “I meant, it did not exist for me. I had no clue what a hand loom looked like before that period. But, in 1985, I bought this loom for a princely amount of OMR35. “My friend was an expert at it and he taught me how to work on it. But, I learnt on his loom and once I got

the hang of it I began working on my loom. I think it came naturally to me. It was only difficult at the start, but once I realised how to work on the techniques, I just delved deep into it. I mastered the craft and soon I was working day and night.” That meant he was getting good orders, we asked. “Certainly, it was a different scene then. I just worked from morning to night everyday, never ever stopped. I used to get many orders and unusual deadlines, but I was adept at meeting all of them. “I used to feel like an artist – like a creator. I used to think I was creating works of art. And, I was. I certainly felt on top of the world then. When you create something, there is immense satisfaction in you. You feel great and imagine feeling like that everyday…” he trails off. The next question was but natural: And now, today? For a moment, he is silent. Ali Musallmany’s eyes suddenly seemed to have lost his glint. Suddenly, he looked his age. He looked 70. “It is a far cry from those days of yore. I was at the helm of affairs and I enjoyed the work, but then it slowly went down, the orders slumped. In fact, I stopped my fulltime work on the loom, a decade or so back. So, I have put in a total of 15 years on the loom and today, I still work on it, but that is only 10 percent of what I used to do. I wouldn’t say that I am not getting orders. But, if you talk of the past, it is nothing. The older generation of hand loom workers have now been replaced by the young, modern and trendy ones – we, apparently, are not any competition to them.” So, does he feel sad about having to bow down to the younger lot? “I am not sad for myself. I think in any work, modernity will take its place and it will wipe out the old. But, in the case of hand looms, they have replaced an art form.

The youngsters do not revere it like our generation did. They do not see art in it – for them their looms are just machines, and it is reflected in their work. They are fast, they are good but if you ask me – something is missing! I don’t mean they do bad work. Their work is excellent, but their heart is not in it. When we used to work on a carpet, for example, our heart was in it. Touch one of my carpets and you will feel my heart throbbing in it,” he said emotionally. Ali Musallmany’s grandfather was in the same trade, and he feels, as a grandson, he had inherited his traits and love for his craft. Today, he is lucky in one aspect, because he has managed to pass on his craft in some ways to his grand daughter, Fawaris Khamis Al Musallmany, who is now being trained at the nearby Textile Training, Product and Embroidery (TEPE) Centre in Sumail. We had visited the Textile Training centre earlier, and it was from there we got the contact of Ali Musallmany. His grand daughter had taken us here as we were keen to find someone who practiced the craft at an earlier period. Back at the centre, we met up with the administrative director, Mazin Suleiman Al Balushi, a young enterprising Omani who was totally immersed in promoting the craft of handloom to all interested Omani women. “The government of Oman is providing great support to all youngsters who want to learn such crafts. Although this training is open to all – boys and girls, surprisingly, only the latter turned up and that too in good numbers. So, the centre had a tough time in sifting through the skill and interest levels of the girls and finally honed in on some 18 girls, all of whom you see now working before you,” he said, sweeping his hand at the young and industrious girls bent over their looms in the large training hall. Black & White 41

A student of the training centre busy at her work; some of the finished products

B&W Xclusive

“These girls have completed now just over a year of training and they are already doing well. It does not end with their training. Once this is over, we provide them with support to procure a new loom and besides setting up the loom for them, we will also buy their products and promote them. “We go by the adage, ‘you don’t give a young man fish, but teach him fishing!’ So, we teach them and we make them stand on their own and then support them afterwards too. We ensure that they earn a livelihood from this trade!” Besides ensuring that young Omani women have a proper trade and a life, the other purpose for ventures like this training centre by the government is to ensure that dying arts and crafts are preserved for posterity. “Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, we have made sure that hand looms will not die. Of course, the looms are now modernised and may not be like the ones before, but this is a trade that will continue and the art or the craft is being passed on to other generations,” Mazin Al Balushi said.

42 November 7-20, 2010

Moreover, the craft and the looms were always being featured in important fairs and exhibitions here and abroad. “Turkey, Geneva, Paris… you name it, the loom craft has been showcased in various fairs. In this way, we ensure longevity for all trades, art and crafts of Oman – no, they will not die!” FIRST ANNIVERSARY Our visit also coincided with their first anniversary celebrations. The 18 girls were actually the first students’ batch at the centre. “In fact, we just successfully completed a year of training at this institute and all the girls are proud of this fact!” noted Muzina Al Jabri, centre supervisor. “Last year, on October 21, the first batch of 18 girls joined our institute for the training course in hand loom. And on October 20, the first batch received their certification. These 18 girls belong to the first batch of candidates of this training institute. They are fully capable and trained in this craft and can independently handle a single hand loom. In the first year they are all trained to count, design, arrange and loom products

The talented girls of the TEPE centre are now ready to create items to be sold to the public

like handbags, shawls, carpets, dresses for babies and kids and many accessories emerge out of their efforts,” Muzaina said. In the first year, the girls are taught to design on paper and produce the same with the yarn provided. PACI SUPPORT TO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT The looms provided are quite modern and imported from other countries. It is easy to operate. It is the aim of Public Authority of Craft Industries (PACI) to train and empower the young generation through crafts industries. After the first year of training, the second full year, the girls will be put on production for the institute. They will create items that will be sold to the public. “We are receiving many orders and these trainees complete these orders successfully. By the completion of the second year, these candidates are fully trained to set up their own units and start producing loom products on their own. The PACI will support them to obtain and execute orders by providing looms and other support system required to execute an order,” Muzaina said.

LOOMS IN SUMAIL The factory here in Sumail is one of the oldest wisar ( ? ) manufacturing unit in Sumail and in Oman; it is over 40 years old and we, as PACI, have renovated, added on modern technology and raw materials with a little bit of design aspect and have take this unit forward. Today the loom factory produces wisar more than before. And it is still famous for its wisars, Mazin and Muzaina noted. Every region in Oman is famous for a particular craft, like Bahla for pottery, Nizwa for copper works, Ibri for silks, Sumail is known traditionally for handlooms. “Many years ago, Sumail was full of traditional looms and weaving. So we are trying to preserve the age old tradition of Sumail and empower the youth with traditional skills with modern technology. This art and craft should not die a slow death. Oman’s rich heritage is all about its age old traditions and culture. It is our duty to preserve and forward it to our future generation.

Black & White 43

This is the first year; we hope we will have more boys and girls joining us to take this traditional trade forward,” Mazin said, adding a common fact in the end. “As you must be aware, other than looms, Sumail is famous for its dates!” ORDERS GALORE Both Mazin and Muzaini pointed out that their centre was doing quite well. “We are getting orders from different parts of the country. We have showrooms at various places to sell these handloom products too. From key chains to handbags and traditional Omani dresses, we take up every order. The girls in this batch are very talented, in fact one of the girls have even designed complete Omani traditional dress.

Khalsa Al Siyabi, student, TEPE centre and Fahad Salim Al Maskari, visitor, checks a product

It is displayed here…the colour combination, design, embroidery, all of it has come from her own creativity!”

For enquiries and orders people can get in touch with PACI’s marketing department: 24525800

The Sumail girl in the PINK DRESS

B&W Xclusive

You are greeted by a tall girl in a beautiful pink Omani dress, in full traditional regalia when you enter the workshop or training area of the centre in Sumail. She is wearing a typical Sumail dress and she looked quite striking. We stared at her and she stared back at us with equal, but graceful nonchalance. You can see by the clothes she is wearing that is rich – rich tradition! You may escape punishment for staring at her too long because it only happens to be a mannequin, brought to near life by one of the young and promising trainees at the centre: Fakhriya Mahmoud Al Hinai. A proper resident of Sumail, she has already pride of place among the others thanks to the colourful Omani traditional dress she has made, which she dolled up the mannequin with. “This dress has been my first-ever attempt. It took me a week to finish. I am not fully satisfied with it, but everyone has been generous with praise for this work,” Fakhriya Hinai smilingly 44 November 7-20, 2010

explained. Although she is from Sumail, she happens to be living and coming from an area where looms are non-existent. “But I am aware of Sumail’s tradition of hand looms and in fact I have seen few households where traditional looms still operate, or at least maintained in top notch conditions. "But, I don’t think people are doing it from their homes like before. I intend to set up my own production and be self reliant. "Creativity is very important in all spheres of life and Oman has a rich tradition of fascinating dress designs and designers. “I am just trying my hand and adding on a little bit of modernity and my own touch to it. The traditional Omani dress on the mannequin is a typical Sumail style of dress and I am proud that it is one of my first attempts. “I will learn more and when I finish my production phase here at the institute, I will start of my own unit. I am glad I chose to get trained and to take this trade forward,” she said.

Capturing the tale of Oman’s dress identity Black and White spoke to Julia Stehlin-Al Zadjali, director, Centre for Omani Dress. In this interview, Julia Al Zadjali details to B&W about the Omani Dress project and also tells us why she chose it. But, before that, she tells us who she is.

Excerpts: WHO IS JULIA ZADJALI? I am an anti-fashion person, with no knowledge of what’s in and what’s not. WHAT IS THE OMANI DRESS PROJECT ALL ABOUT? The heart of this project is the preservation, collection, and study of Omani dress identity (which means it goes beyond the boundary of textiles but could rightfully include jewellery, cosmetics, and other accessory items.) However, it is equally as important to share what is learned or there is no point learning it. WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN THIS DRESS PROJECT? It was a means to an end. I am a mother of five Omani children and was desperate to learn more about Omani traditional dresses and wanted my kids to be part of heritage – it was my responsibility as a mother. But, what actually triggered it? I chose this project because I felt strongly the need to do something

about the lack of attention being given to the subject of Omani dress. This is not to say that I disagree with the priorities given in the heritage and culture field. Rather, it means that I don’t agree with waiting for someone else to fix a problem when I feel I can make a difference. The ‘trigger’ was realising I had the ability to make a real difference. WHAT ABOUT THE OMANI DRESSES CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION OR, WHY WERE YOU ENAMOURED BY THE DRESSES? I am from the USA and we are not rich in dress heritage. The Omani dresses I was initially introduced to (the national dress for women and men) took me by complete surprise and were beyond anything I could have imagined. And then in coming here I soon learned of the great variety. It became a personal challenge (and thrill) to learn about the various styles, initially, for my own personal interest and for the sake of properly dressing my children for Eid. But now, I’ve made it my job to know. Not everyone gets that lucky! Black & White 45

B&W Xclusive

'The Traditional Women's Dress of Oman' will be available at all leading bookstores in Oman in November

46 November 7-20, 2010

WHAT WAS THE AIM BEHIND THIS PROJECT AND HOW DO YOU THINK OMAN WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS WORK? The aim is to capture the story of Oman’s dress identity before it is lost in time. The risk of losing it is greater than ever as Oman slowly swings open its doors to the outside world. I believe this sort of problem is common the world over. The team of volunteers and I are watching, taking notes, and we’re out talking to people about changes they’ve seen over the years in regard to dress. By doing so, stories are woven, real stories, true stories, stories that will be important to Oman’s history. Not simply because a person can tell us about the changes occurring with laces, but because in the telling of that story, that same person can share what is happening in the world around him or her and so we gain insight into what life was like then. IT WOULD INDEED BE A VOLUMINOUS PROJECT – DID YOU DO IT SINGLEHANDEDLY? I am going to give you an answer that I feel I have already told people 100 times over but this deserves to be said throughout the entire life of this project: The project is nothing without all of the many volunteers throughout the country who contribute to helping us learn, collect, research, and document. I am just one person with a vision but I’ve only two hands along with five children, a home and my own studies that I pursue. And even if I had none of these other responsibilities, it would still take an army, no matter how humble in size, to move this project forward year after year. There is so much more to the work than merely

“collecting dresses”. I never imagined how involved this project could become. And because it is such an involved process with many needs, the Oman Dress Project is now one of many projects under the umbrella of the Centre for Omani Dress.

the making for several years, about four if my memory is correct, but as I stated earlier, that was under a different mandate and so that version was scrapped. What I have now is completely different and greatly improved upon.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK TOO? I tried to find out all information about traditional Omani dress and its evaluation, but there were no books available with substantial amount of details. I did not begin my research with the aim of writing a book – the book was just a delightful culmination of the research.

HOW DOES IT FEEL AFTER SEEING THE FINISHED PRODUCT? It took about one week before it stopped feeling surreal. Now, I simply couldn’t be more pleased that things turned out the way they did and I am very much looking forward to getting the book on the shelves. Of the proceeds earned, 15 percent are being donated to Dar Al Atta which is one of the charities the C.O.D supports. The remaining proceeds will be used to benefit the work of the C.O.D, which is a nonprofit endeavour, and runs entirely on an army of good will.

WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FACED DURING THE MAKING OF THE BOOK? In its infancy, the plans for the book, as mandated by another, were quite different from its present form. It was to be academic, introductory in nature and filled with black and white photos. As blessings would come my way, this mandate was cancelled and I was free to do as I wished. I took on the best graphic designer I knew, we agreed from the very start what this subject deserved, and we proceeded with great passion to pay the highest compliment possible to this subject of Omani dress, with full colour images, among other things. HOW MANY YEARS DID YOU TAKE TO BRING OUT THIS BOOK? The book, as you see it today, was written and published in six months. While that may sound relatively effortless, I can assure you it was an enormous effort and a humbling responsibility. The book has been in

IS THIS THE START OF OTHER PROJECTS…WHAT NEXT? The C.O.D always has at least a dozen projects brewing at any one time. Our biggest project, however, has been brewing for about one year now and hopefully will soon finish. The project is the establishment of an Omani dress museum located in Mawaleh. We are currently awaiting official approval. Once approved and displays completed, the museum will house rotational displays (three times a year) of the 600 pieces in the collection, an exhibit room for short term use by the public as well as the C.O.D, a resource room, a gift shop, as well as serving as home to the Centre for Omani Dress. Visit: or email:

FASHION SHOWS ANATHEMA TO DRESS MUSEUMS A fashion show and a dress museum have got nothing in common. “The worst thing to happen to a dress museum is a fashion show,” Julia Al Zadjali tells Black & White. “It would be very difficult to preserve a dress if it is worn too often; so it is better that it is not touched everytime,” she said. “A collector’s item should be preserved and well maintained – it should never be touched too often or worn by a model.”

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

Black & White 47

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:


But, but, it is a charity event…

48 November 7-20, 2010

Organise an event – be it a charity event – and you will make more enemies than friends. Even friends suddenly metamorphose into enemies. If ever you organise an event and fail to invite everyone, you will learn it the hard way: “You did not call us,” was the common strain we have heard from many (friends and not-so-friends) who were not invited for the breast cancer charity dinner and dance event that the Black & White organised recently. There are just 600 and odd seats at the Oman Auditorium of Al Bustan Palace hotel and we have more than 10,000 people to invite…what do we do? Besides, the event, titled ‘Parampara’, which featured Hema Malini and her daughters was to raise awareness and whatever possible

funds for breast cancer. We had to sell tickets for the event and these cannot be given away free. In short, it was a charity event, but, very few – very very few -- seem to understand the significance of a charity event, requesting, pleading, demanding for passes for such an event. We don’t have passes, we can only give invites and that too, to those who are supporting our event – otherwise, we have no choice but to say no to requests as well as demands, we said and none of them liked it. Believe us, we want everyone to attend but, it is a charity cause. Organisers spend the earth to bring a celebrity and organise such events, but, no one seems to understand… sigh! Hope at least other organisers will understand our predicament…

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

You guys looked horrible!

Sometimes good deeds explode in the face!

We had more bouquets than brickbats for our event, but then we thought we should also feature some of the criticisms hurled at us (For the uninitiated, we had organised a charity dinner and dance event for breast cancer awareness wherein we had also included an impromptu auction): “Your auction was a disaster – you should have consulted me; I would have given you antique items worth thousands of rials…” “Auctions should have proper items – not silly dresses and gold – these can be bought from anywhere!” “You organisers did not dress properly – all of you should have worn jackets and looked smart – most of you looked like something that the cat brought in!” “Why didn’t you invite Mr and Mrs

So and So – they are big people and lovers of art, dance and music. You cannot hold events without inviting them…” “Why did you put Mr So and So in the back seat? He is a BIGGG man!” “You should not have put Mr So and So in the front…who is he? Is he bigger than us?” “Your celebrity dancer was okay, but the other two were amateurish – you should have checked on them before asking them to dance!” “The food at the dinner event was okay, but you served all of us pretty late!” “I would have liked to come for the event, but you guys said you did not have any tickets for the first – front – row! …and so on and so forth ad nauseum!

Some people try to help and soon begin to regret it. Take this case for example: There was this man who rushed to stand in for a friend of his who had borrowed a certain amount of money from a company head and had delayed returning it. The good man, who sympathised with his friend’s predicament, took it upon his head and stood guarantee for him against the money borrowed. Since he also knew the company head, it worked and the latter agreed to put a hold on to any legal moves against the borrower for several months. But, when ‘several months’ passed and the borrower still failed to pay, the company head called

the man who stood guarantee and demanded the money. “I will speak to my friend and ask him to pay immediately,” the good Samaritan said, but the company head cut in and told him that he was not interested. “You stood guarantee, now you pay! If you can’t, let me know. I will move legal proceedings against your friend. But, I want the money rightaway!” The poor man is now in a quandary as his friend was at large and not picking his mobile. One would rightly ask whether the company head was in the right to catch the throat of someone who had butted in only to help… But, then the question is: what if we were in the lender’s shoes? Black & White 49

it is… Shoes were originally made as straights and could be worn on either foot. Left and right shoes only asserted themselves with the reintroduction of the high heel in the 19th century? DO YOU KNOW... •Average person walks 2,000 miles a year? •That one quarter of the bones in your body are in your foot? •There are 18 muscles in the human foot? •Fairy tales often use shoes as a symbol representing an escape from an otherwise humdrum life? •Red shoes have always been considered special? •That the first known images of footwear are boots depicted in 15,000 year old Spanish cave paintings? •Over 100 different operations go into the construction of an individual shoe? •Shoes have traditionally been hidden in buildings to protect the house and its inhabitants from evil and misfortune? •The boots Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in are still floating around in space?!


Itchy Feet An itching foot foretold a long journey from which the person would derive pleasure (or walk on strange/foreign ground). If it was the right sole then the person was either going somewhere they would be welcomed; or would undertake a task and be successful in it. The opposite was true for the left sole. Itching feet could also mean a sign of sorrow and some believed it was the forecast for new shoes.

Tongue twisters If you understand, say “understand”. If you don’t understand, say “don’t understand”. But if you understand and say “don’t understand”. How do I understand that you understand? Understand! 50 November 7-20, 2010

By Thomas Snyder

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

Black & White 51

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


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

52 November 7-20, 2010

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 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


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

Black & White 53

Your stars ARIES March 21-April 20 Stalled business routines will now work to your advantage. Use this time to recheck documents or finalised projects: miscalculations may soon be bothersome. Key issues may be family expectations or repeated social patterns. Romantic relationships may also be affected. CANCER June 22-July 23 Work officials will rely heavily on your skill or social expertise this week. Don’t expect diplomatic solutions to be easy: remind all concerned of the important facts. You will now begin taking control of their emotional life, family obligations or daily social habits. LIBRA September 24-October 22 Let others sort through their own emotions: at present, detached independence may be your best response to the doubts or comments of loved ones. Emotionally, much of this may be an indication that a brief but intense phase of romantic or family stress is now over.


CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 Pay close attention to the financial or business needs of loved ones. Both friends and relatives may need to quickly revise their daily schedules. Although progress and change are positive, loved ones may need help to firmly define their schedules with others or social boundaries. 54 November 7-20, 2010

KAMAL HAASAN (BORN NOVEMBER 7, 1954) is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, and filmmaker, considered to be one of the leading method actors of Indian cinema. Haasan has won several Indian film awards, including four National Film Awards and numerous Southern Filmfare Awards. He is usually referred to by the title Ulaga Nayagan (lit. Universal Hero). TAURUS April 21-May 20 Old friends or co-workers may now reappear in your life. Early this week watch for new colleagues to discover an unusual link to your past: mutual friends, past work records or joint financial partnerships may all be involved: watch for unexpected coincidences for the next three days. LEO July 24-August 23 Recent financial delays or business miscommunications will likely be resolved over the next two to three days. Relations with authority will now improve. Stay open to new emotions: over the next eight to ten days loved ones or close romantic partners may need your empathy and support. SCORPIO October 23-November 22 Business managers or key officials may provide inaccurate information or misleading statements this week. Repeated requests, cancelled plans or unusual habits may now seem obvious: study the behaviour of loved ones for meaningful clues. Keep your ideas or observations out of the public realm. AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 Recent disruptions to group plans or changed social attitudes may now encourage someone close to ask for clarification of the facts. Key issues are timed events, late changes or ongoing social promises. Expect a flurry of compliments, messages or requests from loved ones.

GEMINI May 21-June 21 Social habits and daily routines may significantly change. Over the next few days a powerful wave of physical energy and/ or new social demands may arrive. Friends, relatives and loved ones will now ask for more of your time and attention than usual: expect to encounter minor scheduling conflicts. VIRGO August 24-September 23 Over the next few days friends or relatives may question the sincerity of long term relationships. All is well: remain patient and wait for emotional clarity. Documents, official requests or new instructions from bosses or managers may all involve misinformation or poor timing. SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 Love relationships will be emotionally scattered and unpredictable. For the next two to three days loved ones and new romantic partners may be socially indecisive or strongly focussed on past family discussions. A relative may present an unusually creative business or financial solution. PISCES February 20-March 20 Public reputation and workplace attitudes will be important this week. Play the diplomat: easy solutions won’t be forthcoming. Revised social planning and newly scheduled events may cause loved ones to question their own value or past social history. Little of this can be avoided: don’t expect the actions.



Bananas are very versatile in taste and in cooking. Most often eaten raw, bananas are also a delight when cooked or added as an ingredient in another dish. Ripe bananas are cooked in sweet recipes while green bananas and plantains are generally used in savoury dishes or used as a vegetable. When being used as an ingredient in breads, cakes, muffins, pies and other desserts the recipe may call for slicing or mashing the bananas before they are added. Here are a couple of easy recipes with ripe bananas… try them.

BANANA PUDDING Ingredients •1/3 cup all-purpose flour •dash salt •2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk •1 (14-ounce) can fat free sweetened condensed milk •2 large egg yolks •2 tsp. vanilla extract •3 cups sliced ripe banana •45 reduced fat vanilla wafers •4 large egg whites (at room temperature) •1/4 cup sugar

Method Preheat oven to 325*F. Combine flour and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milks and yolks; stir well. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Arrange 1 cup banana slices in bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon one-third of pudding mixture over banana. Arrange 15 wafers on top of pudding. Repeat layers twice, arranging the last 15 wafers around edge of dish. Push cookies into pudding. Beat egg whites at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue evenly over pudding, sealing to edge of dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes before serving to allow pudding to thicken.

BANANA STUFFED FRENCH TOAST Ingredients •1/2 cup vanilla nonfat, sugar free yogurt •2 tablespoons pure maple syrup •1 medium ripe banana •2 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed •4 slices cinnamon raisin bread •2 egg whites •1/4 cup skim milk •butter flavoured cooking spray

Method Stir yogurt and maple syrup to blend in small bowl, set aside. Combine banana and orange concentrate in medium bowl. Using fork, mash to coarse paste. Spread banana mixture on two bread slices. Top each with a second bread slice, pressing to adhere. Beat whites and milk in shallow bowl to blend. Spray butter flavored cooking spray in large nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. Dip both sides of each sandwich briefly into milk mixture and add to skillet. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with maple yogurt. Black & White 55

The Most Beautiful Bride...

Laila, Omani graduate student of Nizwa University

By Laila Ibrahim Obaid Al-Gharbi

Oman... my beloved country, My peaceful shelter, I am grateful to be born And raised here. Oman... my beloved home… People are dreaming of living elsewhere But I am praying to live here forever Oman... your name is engraved deep in my heart So, it is hard to leave you, Ever since I was a child I’ve always seen you as a bride, the most beautiful bride that anyone can dream of... Not only to me, but everyone here, there and everywhere. Oman... I am really proud to be one of your loyal people No words can I say to you on such a day like this National Day But you know that my heart, my eyes and my mind Won’t think of other homes as I live Will think and live and breathe only you

Learning curve

Oman... Oh Oman... I still see you as the most beautiful bride And I hope all of you out there feel the same On this glorious National Day, which is just some days away…

I will dance and cry How lucky I am to be a part of you Oman, dear Oman I’ve always seen you as the most shining star That I have ever seen in my life Oman...Oh Oman How unique you are... The world is changing but you have not, preserving your identity and true to traditional and cultural values… But, don’t blame me when I can’t tell How much I love Oman; don’t know how to express it, But, rest assured, for you...I will do the best To fulfil my promise To be a good citizen… I hope everyone can make this promise And, let us all pray to the Almighty... To protect our beloved country… Let us all say a million thanks To His Majesty the Sultan Qaboos bin Said! Let us all show him How much we appreciate his plans For making the best of Oman Oman...say with me, come on We love Oman We love Oman Our peaceful land The most beautiful bride...

56 November 7-20, 2010

It's my life

YAAA... I am shopping!

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

By Vandana Shah

S-L-U-R-P- yummmm ummm I’m beyond seventh heaven! The pleasure is unbelievable and I can’t get enough of it…it is mind numbing excitement...I feel no hunger, exhaustion or pain…I AM SHOPPING! What is it about the shopping experience that puts us all in a tizzy? Reams of paper, countless movies, books and numerous psychological studies have been dedicated to it. Although various opinions have been offered yet no one can completely capture the thrill that a true blue shopper feels. Just the sensuous touch of a piece of cloth or clothing can make one go over the moon. If it is in the latest style then of course the feeling is heightened and if you are the first to see it and possess it-you feel richer than richest! You mentally run the course of that outfit, where can it be worn, how it will look; will it enhance your best features or draw attention to your negative ones (if you want the outfit real bad then you always have an excuse ready that you can find ways of concealing your bad features). Then comes the deadly part––what are the accessories that go with it? If you have them then you are fine, but if you don’t…then you've to start the shopping cycle all over again. Of course this can take anywhere between one hour to a few days to get the perfect look and of course if you find something else then you even have to consider those maybe for a NEW LOOK (but that is the topic for another time). I have been through this for the past three days shopping to my heart’s content in Bhutan and my only sympathy is to my partner who has neither an inclination nor the zest for shopping. Gotta go now for a teeny weeny bit of pending shopping. Till next time…love and spread the happiness

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

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Exercises women

SHOULD NOT FIRST THEY SAY, DO IT, then they will say, don’t. First they will say you should do sit ups, then they will say you shouldn’t. Whatever it is, let us check out the reasons presented. Fitness experts have identified some usual exercises and have said they are ‘no nos’ to most women. The thing to understand is that if an exercise is done properly and under the supervision of an expert, there would be no problem, otherwise, as this article advices, try to avoid them as much as is possible. Anyway, for each exercise that the experts have advised not to do, there is an alternative one. So, try them out (before they ask us to avoid that also!). The reason they say not to do sit-ups is because our joints are generally looser than a man’s and poor form and too much weight can lead to stiff joints or even damage. Also, since a woman’s bones are thinner, they have less muscle mass and a different distribution of body fat. Over the years, fitness experts have looked at exercise-related injuries among military women and found that women had a much greater percentage of bone stress fractures than men caused by training exercises. The women with injuries generally started out with a low level of fitness, overweight, and exercised excessively. You can become fit and protect yourself from injury by avoiding certain exercises.

Shape n sound

DON’T DO STRAIGHT LEG PUSH-UPS Push-ups often are the culprit of neck, lower back, elbow and shoulder pain. INSTEAD TRY: Push-ups on your knees. Focus on where you place your hands to make sure you’re working the chest. You can also try the dumbbell bench press instead for toning the chest and shoulders. Lie flat on your back and, with arms straight up and dumbbells in hand, slowly lower the arms to just past a 90-degree angle or until you feel a slight stretch in your chest. Repeat three sets of 10 reps. DON’T DO SIT-UPS This is such a common exercise that people don’t realise that it can result in injury, especially if you are not fit. This exercise puts strain on the lumber region of your spine and can result in chronic back pain. If you lock your hands behind your head, it can cause a torque in the spine, which ultimately leads to 58 November 7-20, 2010


neck pain, experts say. INSTEAD TRY: Bicycle crunches, which are considered one of the most effective abdominal workouts. Lie on your back, place your hands next to your ears and start a pedaling motion with your legs, lifting the left shoulder to the right knee and vice versa. Try three sets of 10. DON’T DO WEIGHTED SQUATS Squats with a weight bar on your back build serious bulk in the rear end and upper thighs, places women are most likely looking to trim down. INSTEAD TRY: Lunges, which “don’t place nearly as much stress on the lower back and distribute the workout throughout the entire leg,” she said. Take a long, even stride forward with one leg. Be sure to keep your knee at a 90-degree angle with your foot for support. If you have bad knees, try doing a reverse lunge by stepping backward. DON’T DO BEHIND-THE-NECK SHOULDER PRESSES In this exercise, you lift body bars or weights behind the neck at the shoulder level. This exercise overstretches the ligaments in your shoulder area and can cause tears in shoulder muscles, tendons and the rotator cuff. INSTEAD TRY: Seated shoulder presses. Hold a pair of dumbbells overhead with your arms straight and palms facing each other. Then, bend your right elbow and lower your right arm, moving your elbow out to the side until your upper arm is parallel with the floor. Press back up and repeat with your right arm for three sets of 12 reps with each arm. Or, when doing the shoulder press, keep weights or the bar in front of your neck and head. Make sure you don’t go lower than your collarbone when you press up and down. DON’T DO STANDING DEAD LIFTS Since women are typically more flexible than men and can bend down farther, it puts even greater stress on their legs and lower back. It also results in bulky back, leg and rear-end muscles. INSTEAD TRY: Leg kick-backs. Facing a wall, stabilise yourself with your arms and kick your right leg back as far as you can. Repeat 10 times, then do the same with your left leg. Try two sets.

Since a woman’s bones are thinner, they have less muscle mass and a different distribution of body fat

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Women are more


than men

Everyone has their ups and downs. Even big stars like Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow etc have battled depression. Which is why when they say that major depression and dysthymia affect twice as many women as men, we tend to believe it. There are many names that we could reel. It is not that men don’t have depression, they do (Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain; Guns ‘N’ Roses singer Axl Rose, actor Jim Carrey etc) but it is seen that there is a two-to-one ratio between women and men when it comes to having depression.

MEN AND WOMEN HAVE about the same rate of bipolar disorder (manic depression), though its course in women typically has more depressive and fewer manic episodes. Also, a greater number of women have the rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder, which may be more resistant to standard treatments. UNCLEAR Many factors unique to women are suspected to play a role in developing depression. Research is focussed on understanding these factors, including: reproductive, hormonal, genetic or other biological factors; abuse and oppression; interpersonal factors; and certain psychological and personality characteristics.


But, the specific causes of depression in women remain unclear. Many women exposed to these stress factors do not develop depression. Remember, depression is a treatable psychological problem, and treatment is effective for most women

60 November 7-20, 2010

ADOLESCENCE Studies show that the higher incidence of depression in females begins in adolescence, when roles and expectations change dramatically. The stresses of adolescence include forming an identity, confronting sexuality, separating from parents, and making decisions for the first time, along with other physical, intellectual, and hormonal changes. These stresses are generally different for boys and girls, and may be associated more often with depression in females. Some researchers have suggested that men and women differ in their expression of emotional problems. In adolescence, boys are more likely to develop behavioral and substance abuse problems, while girls are more likely to become depressed. ADULTHOOD: RELATIONSHIPS AND WORK ROLES Stress can contribute to depression in many people. The higher incidence of depression in women may not be due to greater vulnerability, but to the particular stresses that many women face.

These stresses include major responsibilities at home and work, single parenthood, and caring for children and aging parents. Social expectations play a role here as well. In two career families, women are more likely to have responsibility for a greater share of child care and household responsibilities. Role conflict is also an issue, as debate continues regarding whether women need to choose between family and work responsibilities, and about which choice is the “proper” one. REPRODUCTIVE EVENTS Women’s reproductive events include the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, the post-pregnancy period, infertility, menopause, and sometimes, the decision not to have children.

our understanding of this condition. Postpartum depressions can range from transient “blues” following childbirth to severe, incapacitating, psychotic depressions. Studies suggest that women who experience depression after childbirth very often have had prior depressive episodes. However, for most women, postpartum depressions are transient, with no adverse consequences.

incidence of depression. But, women with infertility problems may be subject to extreme anxiety or sadness, though it is unclear if this contributes to a higher rate of depressive illness. In addition, young motherhood may be a time of heightened risk for depression, due to the increased stress.

Pregnancy (if it is desired) seldom contributes to depression, and having an abortion does not appear to lead to a higher

These events bring fluctuations in mood that for some women include depression. Researchers have confirmed that hormones have an effect on brain chemistry. Changes in emotions and mood often result. The specific biological mechanism explaining hormonal involvement in depression is not known. Many women experience certain behavioural and physical changes associated with phases of their menstrual cycles. In some women, these changes are severe, occur regularly, and include depressed feelings, irritability, and other emotional and physical changes. Called premenstrual syndrome, its relation to depressive disorders is not yet understood. Some have questioned whether it is, in fact, a disorder. Further research will eventually add to Black White 6161 Black && White

An-thro-popho-bi-a – (noun)


By Priya Arunkumar I thought you are fearless…he trailed off Of course I am, I refuted, what makes you think I have turned into a coward? Why should I fear anyone? Well, anything… Hey, hold on, I was just pulling your leg, relax… every being is scared of something or the other, so it is ok to be scared… he tried to pacify me. If you’re scared you know you’re doing something right. If you’re scared it means you’re human. I know that, of course every human has fears, some show it out, some hide it, but sure they do, I tried to justify… What do I fear? Nothing at all! I said it loudly once again, but it sounded empty. Have I really become a coward? No way… in fact, I have learned it the hard way that what scares me now may have no affect on me many years down the road. There’s no point in worrying whether or not you’ll overcome a certain fear. You will eventually. If you don’t, you are not even trying… Sure? Pretty sure! When I was younger I was scared to be alone in the dark… Especially if the ‘darkness’ was behind me. But, proud by nature, I hated running away from the dark and whenever I had to I always back tracked! I felt better looking at the ‘dark’ face to face, rather than it chasing me… I was okay if I had company, but, if I was alone, I felt the darkness creep in to me or pull me in to its depths…

My home had a big back yard and whenever I went out, I used to sing loudly. Or talk loudly to my mother, brothers… When I am alone at home, I put on all the lights… Power cuts were not my favourites! But, when I grew up, I outgrew that fear. Darkness is no longer scarier even if I am alone at dark… Today I live alone, drive alone, eat alone and travel alone. That is being an adult, I guess, even if I fear, I fear alone. And I know a small spark can chase it away! I have outgrown whatever childhood fears I had. At least the ones I remember… So it is true when they say being afraid of something just means you have a chance to outgrow it. And when you out grow a fear you usually end up better off. On the side of each fear is a boundary waiting to be explored. I will not say, I am totally fearless, I am…Now, if there is any fear left, it is only the human mind… That is the only species you cannot comprehend, see through, or chase away. They are there in all shapes and sound, with you, behind you and around you. They pull you down; they scare you pretty much and leave you senseless… And after these many years with them, I don’t think I will ever outgrow them!! Call it another type of Anthropophobia?


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Black & White anniversary issue 24  

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