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Vol.1 Issue 12II April 15-30, 2010 1 - 16 Jumada I

Deal with a lazy co-worker p16 Drive it like women p22 Be an alpha female... p62

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The walls really breathes history SAS Naqvi (issue 12) is a renowned figure among hockey lovers everywhere, including the International Hockey Federation (FIH). I heard his name during one of the summer hockey camps (during my school days) in Lucknow from one of the legends of the Indian hockey. He was said to be one of the most impressive inside right that the world has ever witnessed and also the first Asian to be awarded the Helms trophy in 1953. I later read much more about his genius in newspapers but finally met this living legend of hockey when I arrived in Oman. And then I discovered that he was also a great human being. Indeed, he is an institution and an encyclopedia of hockey. He has produced more than half a dozen of Olympians and many international players in India before he moved to Oman. Age is no barrier for Naqvi. The passion of sports keeps him going tirelessly and he still contributes much more to the game of hockey in Oman. The walls of his sitting room really breathes and speaks history. I pray to Almighty Allah to bless Naqvi Sahab with sound health. Mohammad Osama Rawat, Ruwi

Pray for B&W’s longevity I’ve got to say this. B&W is awesome! The superbly selected content is spread across the pages in a stunning manner. The paper used in the magazine is of high quality and feels nice to touch. Then, surely the wonderful photos/pictures that appear in your magazine deserve the highest appreciation. The cover stories which you select are relevant to Oman and also very innovative. The gaps are filled with interesting contributions from local writers. Keep on publishing the magazine with relevant local interesting stuff... I’m sure that a B&W has been long overdue. I pray for its long life in Oman. Yahya, Muscat 8 April 15-30, 2010

Welcome to the honey capital of Oman It’s been quite some time Black & White has been a choice for passionate readers living all over Oman. “The most attractive part of B&W is its innovative design,” said a visitor whom I met recently at the airport on his way back to his home country after spending three weeks in Oman. Whilst holding two back issues of the magazine, he also said that he will be missing the magazine’s print versions, but is happy that he could download copies from the net, thus making him feel Oman is closer to him. The cover story ‘Honeymen in Feequin’ (issue 10) was taking us back to the traditions of the past. The picture of the 500-year-old habitat and ruins was a brilliant shot, and not many get the opportunity to see them with the naked eyes. The article was very informative in all aspects. I must appreciate you for travelling all the way to Feequin, the ‘honey capital of Oman’, to bring these treasures of long past. Ramachandran Nair, Ruwi Mail your views and opinions at

Do you want a copy of Black & White magazine posted to you? Mail your address at


Maryam, the little curator

Maryam bint Abdullatif 44 Seven-year-old Al Balushi seemed like a fairy, and her little Omani walking stick looked like a wand in her tiny hand. She is fluent in three languages, and she is the youngest curator and guide of a museum Cover Photo: Najib Al Balushi

Drive it like women


More men than women die on the roads in Oman. More men are involved in road traffic accidents in Oman and more men – than women – are injured on the roads. A focus on road safety


How to deal with a lazy co-worker In almost every office there is one slacker, who is not just an irritant, but someone who can lead you down the same path if you don’t watch out!

Bitter Batter


post, brand new 18 New arrogance

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

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 Rajeev Kalle

All about X, Y & Z

Size matters By Adarsh Madhavan DOES SIZE MATTER? I am afraid it does. No naughty thoughts please…I am talking about the size of our magazine, Black & White. Like everything else in the world, size of the magazine also matters. That is what some folks we bump into tell us. “You know I like everything about your mag… but…” But? “But, not the size.” What is wrong with the size, we asked. “It is too small.” Too small, as in…? “As in…Too small! I like a magazine that is big,” she said, reeling off some names. But, aren’t you bothered about the content? “I am – I said, I love your mag, I love its contents, but, if you could just increase the size a little bit…” A little bit like… “Like (she reels off the same names)…” But, but, we spluttered, these are the same mags you said you don’t like. You dislike their contents… “I agree, I dislike their contents…but…” But? “But, I like their size…” So you mean to say we should have the same contents, but increase the size? “Ditto.” Uh? “Ditto, I mean, yes!” And we do get this, from diehard fans of size, big size lovers. Those who think size is everything and if the size is big, they would even think of advertising. Why? Because their ads will be displayed in a big size. There is this major fetish for big size in most people. We forever want to build our muscles so that we have bigger bodies; and we love to have bigger-sized cars, bigger houses, and well, everything big! We love it big! Even food and drinks: We love the Big Macs and the big scoops of ice cream and big bottles, we want everything big! We want bigger stakes in every pie and we want a bigger share of everything… life has made us to compete with each other to become big and well, beautiful (not really!). And even magazines are not spared… Even a well wisher called the other day to say, “please change your size…please, I am a well wisher, please try to do it…otherwise everything else about your mag is perfect!” But, then, we forgot to mention to you that

there is a bigger thing to our small size. It is not that we think we are just perfect and that we haven’t thought about the size factor. We have, but we wanted to let it be because the rest of them thought we were just perfect, in size too. We have top officials and respected media men also telling us that our size was just right, cute and unique. We had printers wanting us to stick to this size claiming that they would send our magazine to the powers that be across the border and get us awards for our unique dimensions. You are quite handy and you have a very smart, neat packaging, others said. You are the only size of its kind in the market and we love you for it, many others said. So, we are in a bit of dilemma now. In this size-loving market, size would matter, but, in our case, we have a 50-50 tie (as of this moment), so, it maybe just a matter of time when the tide swings wholly to one side…And then, we will decide. Until then size does not matter… GOOD EDITS, BUT NO ADS “Good editorial, kept it up,” a top official commented after reading one of our recent editorial (Issue 10). “But, no advertisements please,” he added. Uh oh, we thought. Now, was this big man miffed by the editorial? After sometime, we realised that he was not. He genuinely appreciated it, and he genuinely meant no advertisements too. In the sense, your editorials/contents are good, but you still don’t get ads. When we persisted on this issue, he simply said: “Well, put our press releases, we will then put ads.” Of course, we replied. We do, we have always put (his company’s press notes) and we will in the future too. In fact, in that edition he referred to, we have carried two pages article on their company’s services. Now, we are waiting…waiting for a promise to be fulfilled…watch this space!

Black & White 11


BATTLING ILLNESS Men are the weaker sex. When it comes to battling illness, men are far weaker than women, many researches have proved. Men, when compared to women, have more trouble fighting off infection as a result of evolution, research claims. MAN’S ABILITY TO PURSUE ADVENTURE and be competitive gives men a survival advantage, but their immunity to disease suffers as a result. Researchers had developed a mathematical model to test why males tend to be more exposed to infection and experience harsher symptoms than females.

Hale & healthy

Their model took into account the effect pathogens, or organisms that cause disease, have on immunity and vice versa. They also documented certain characteristics of males and females, like men being bigger risk takers and hormonal differences. The findings of the study, 12 April 15-30, 2010

published in the March 24 online issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, illustrated that because men are more adventurous -- and therefore more exposed to infection -- they have a lower immunity. MEN MORE EXPOSED TO INFECTION Contrary to popular belief, the more exposed men are to infection, the more their recovery rate decreases due to constant reinfection. Overall, it is more important for men, in evolutionary terms, to have the ability to mate than it is for them to have the ability to recover from illness. The opposite is true of women.

The researchers said that although this study focuses on diseases passed from host to host, it may help to find similar information in regard to sexually transmitted diseases; diseases passed from mother to child and how certain viruses are spread. Other studies note that boys are more prone to becoming seriously ill or injured. Boys are more likely to injure themselves, but even when you take injuries out and look at illness, they still made up a greater proportion, researchers claimed. Acute gastroenteritis, acute viral illness and upper respiratory tract infection were the most common illnesses boys faced. “Even when a boy manages to be born, he’s still behind the survival eight ball: he is three to four times more likely than girls to have developmental disorders like autism and

dyslexia; girls learn language earlier, develop richer vocabularies and even hear better than boys,� a medical scientist was quoted as saying. Girls demonstrate insight and judgment earlier in adolescence than boys, who are more impulsive and take more risks than their sisters. Teenage boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls and are more likely to die violent deaths before adulthood. MEN DIE EARLIER As adults, too, men die earlier than women. Twice as many men as women die of coronary artery disease, which manifests itself a decade earlier in men than women; when it comes to cancer, the news for men is almost as bad. Women also have more vigorous immune systems than men: of the 10 most common infections, men are more likely to have serious encounters with seven of them. Black & White 13

Hale & healthy

N G I N TES E E R T C S for men S Screening tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. They are important, especially for men, who can be erratic about self-help health care. Screening tests can help find diseases early when they are easier to treat. These tests can save your life. Health experts have made recommendations, based on scientific evidence, about testing for the conditions below. Talk to your doctor about which ones apply to you and when and how often you should be tested.

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OBESITY: Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.) You can also find your own BMI with the BMI calculator. HIGH CHOLESTEROL: Doctors advise that you get your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35. If you are younger than 35, talk to your doctor about whether to have your cholesterol checked if: •You have diabetes. •You have high blood pressure. •Heart disease runs in your family. •You smoke. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. COLORECTAL CANCER: Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier. DIABETES: Have a test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. DEPRESSION: Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. If you have felt “down,” sad, or hopeless over the last two weeks or have felt little interest or pleasure in doing things, you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression.

STOP SMOKING With so many restrictions imposed on smoking in Oman, hopefully, many would have quit the habit. But, as they say, once a smoker… Never mind, the time to start is now. Stub the habit. Stop smoking. If you do smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Your doctor or nurse can help you. And, you can also help yourself. To talk to someone about how to quit, speak to your doctor or try to enter yourself into the antismoking outfits run by some clinics in town.

15 5 Black B Bla lla acck k&W White Wh h hite ite it te 1

How to deal with a




16 April 15-30, 2010

You would know him by this description: he is forever late to office, leaves early, talks crap, is always on the phone (personal calls) and bumping into others in the office and interfering with other workers and busy browsing or updating his social networking sites

NO, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU – we are talking about your co-worker who is a slacker. In almost every office there is one slacker, who is not just an irritant, but someone who can lead you down the same path if you don’t watch out! So, if you want to avoid being a future slacker, it is better that you amend the ways of your co-worker before things turn ugly. But, it is not as easy as that. For one thing, you cannot just pass advice to him, because he will bat it back to you. And, you wouldn’t want to snitch, unless things get too rough. But, the truth is: Ignoring a slacking colleague’s behaviour might seem easier than a confrontation, but when one person on the team is slacking off, it usually affects everyone else’s productivity. There are other problems too: many bosses tend to ignore this behaviour because they are not quite keen on provoking the slack worker. Some of them tend to put up with the bad behaviour and put off taking any action because they hope that “it will just go away”.

But, research says that the slacker worker not only creates more work for others, but their behavior also affects morale and team cohesiveness. Which is natural: As individuals tire of carrying more than their fair share of the load, they become upset. Sometimes their anger is aimed at the person in question, but it’s equally common for people to become disappointed in the team’s leadership. “They ask such questions as, ‘Why do the bosses allow this to continue?’ and ‘Why do hard-working employees receive greater and more complicated assignments while low performers are allowed to slide?’ As employees spend more time thinking about, complaining about and talking to their friends about inequitable treatment, productivity takes a dive.” Which might be the situation in some of the companies here… So, let us act because it is going to affect our work too. Let us try to find out ways and means to address the offending co-worker’s behaviour.

SUGGESTIONS: FIRST TALK with your lazy co-worker on the chance that he isn’t aware of how his lack of work ethic is affecting you. IF THAT DOES NOT WORK, approach your boss and explain that you’ve tried to talk with your colleague and there has been no change. Make sure you’re able to provide specific examples. TRY TO PRESENT THE PROBLEM using tentative language, then describe what the person is doing -- not what you’re concluding. MOST IMPORTANT RULE: don’t make the person feel he is being attacked or blamed; instead make them feel safe and protected and make it known that you have their best interest in mind. TRY THE CO-WORKER TO CO-WORKER APPROACH: Tell them that you have noticed this in him and others are of the same opinion, so you are taking the lead to mention this to him before the boss or the management clamps down on you. ACCEPT THEIR EXCUSES. Let them save face, somehow. Black & White 17

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:

New post, brand new arrogance


Boring scamsters

18 April 15-30, 2010

Just wondering…why is it that some staff behaves as though they have found out the company they are working for? You might have been in a junior post at a company. For many years, other than some insignificant salary hikes, you did not really enjoy a big leg up the ladder. But, suddenly, things change when your old boss gives way to the new. The new boss takes a shine on you and gives you everything on a platter. What do

A doctor friend of ours emailed to us with “tears in his eyes”, recently. He and his family had gone to London for a short vacation, but, unfortunately, they got mugged at the park outside their hotel and lost all their cash, credit cards etc. Except for the passport(s), they lost everything… They went to the embassy concerned, to the cops, but no one gave them proper assistance… they had a flight to catch and they had no money to settle the hotel bills. Oh God, what a terrible situation… So, ‘he’ wanted money from us… How boring! Well, if it was some years back,

you do then? Let it go into your head? These are the things that any worker, whatever the field, should watch out for when you suddenly get a career boost. Suddenly, one day you are elevated to a commanding post in a company and then you metamorphose from an innocent gecko to a monstrous pre-historic dinosaur… Don’t, please don’t, let your new post(s) get into your head…

we would have fallen for it. In fact, we almost sent some money to an old friend many years back and we were stopped from doing so at the last minute. This time, when this email came, we just picked the phone, called the doctor friend and before we could say, hi doc, check your email, it has been hacked, he said: “Yes, yes, I know, I am just shooting off ‘smses’ to all in my contact list to disregard emails (asking for money) from my account.” Yes, these scamsters are still operating. Still active, but, we guess they have got a bit too boring and are now too predictable. Can’t these scamsters be a bit more innovative?

Blame it on the parents?

Um, er, I want some copies please…

Young students (as young as 10 year olds) are not only using horrible bad words, they also seem to know the meaning of these words. We have come across many youngsters, especially in the expatriate schools, liberally using all type of four and other numbered letters. Is this a sign of the times? When asked whether they knew the meaning of the words, they nodded in the affirmative and even

explained what it meant. When we approached their parents and told them that they should be careful that their wards were using such foul language, the latter said we were just exaggerating and their children were not the type to indulge in such bad behaviour. So, we gave up the fight, disappointed. If parents seem ready to take up sides with their own errant children, what can we do?

A young Omani lady called up one recent morning and said she wanted a copy of the latest B&W. Sure, we said, come over and collect it. “Oh, where is your office?” she enquired. We told her. But, she was too far away, so she asked for a point near to where she was located. We told her where to get the copies in that location and she rang off. An hour later, the young woman called up and hesitatingly asked us if there was any other spot she could pick up because at those points that we had mentioned all of the copies were over. So, we told her to check two other locations. She did not call back and so we thought, well, she found the copies. But, in the early evening hours, she called back again…she went

a trifle too late to these locations and the copies were once again over. Oh we are sorry, but, why don’t you pick up the copies from our office? “Yes, I will, but now, only tomorrow, because I am on the way back to Musannah…” Musannah? A small bell rang somewhere and we asked again, Musannah? “Yes,” she said, in a barely audible voice, “I am, I mean, that lady on the cover of your B&W magazine is actually my mama…!” For a moment we went silent. Why didn’t you tell us, we asked. “But, I did not want to trouble you…you are all busy!” Never, we said. We are never too busy for the ones – and their families – whom we interview. We hope this polite young lady is happy with the copies! Black & White 19


Caught on lens

Even the ‘ship of the desert’ buckles up when it is riding in a vehicle. That seems to be the message that this camel is trying to drive home as ropes tie it down safely on the back of this pick up.

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Off the wall

Throw him a twig… By Adarsh Madhavan You'll find him there every Friday outside that small supermarket, where I often make my weekly purchases. He’ll be standing there, his back against a pillar, tightly holding on to some groundnuts wrapped in paper (which he would sell for 100baisas), as though it would slip out of his hands or someone would grab it…I would take two packets every time. It was almost like a habit for me, and, perhaps, for him too. Even before the sliding doors of the supermarket opens (to let us out after our purchase), he would automatically shift two groundnut packets from his hand to the side for me…When I pay him the 200baisas, he would take it with such gratitude, making it look like it was almost a pay check. You could see his eyes light up…For some, 200 baisas mattered. I don’t know anything about him (yes, he is Indian and he speaks my language). I don’t know whether he has got a family here or back in India. I don’t know whether he is already employed elsewhere and was doing part time, selling groundnuts… I don’t know where he stays, or, with whom. All I know is that he is desperate, otherwise who would try to sell groundnuts, and that too in Oman? Is he illegal? Maybe… I have heard from my driver that he was warned by the authorities concerned about selling like this. I don’t think there are permits to sell groundnuts in this manner in Oman, and with the general ‘amnesty’ in place, with so many illegal immigrants preparing to go back; the officials concerned have enough to handle. They would not want more of the illegal immigrants moving around and selling underhand, even if it is only 100baisa stuff and even if it is to make a living… There are rules and regulations to follow and it would be great if those concerned (to which this amnesty is aimed at) takes it seriously. But, then, I am always in two minds with people like this groundnuts seller. What has he got? What would he be earning by selling these groundnuts? What profit would he be making? Would he be solely dependent on this for his livelihood in Oman? Would he be making enough to have at least a daily meal? He would probably be staying with someone; some friends of his, who would be providing a roof over his head, but, what about food?



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What about entertainment; what about a movie; what about purchases…how many sets of clothes would he be having? Would he have three to four pairs of shoes – two for the office, one for leisure, one for jogging? C’mon, at least one pair? What makes one poor? How is this groundnuts’ man poor and not the owner of the supermarkets? I mean, I am proud of rich men; men who made it single-handedly; men who have had nothing and then out of nothing they made something, became something…but, somewhere, somehow, they would have got a chance; at least a twig in the swirling waters of fate they would have been drowning in and from that they would have climbed up… Why hasn’t this man got a chance like that? We are all given our chances… I got mine, and maybe I didn’t take it up to my desired limits, but I cannot complain that I never got my chance. But, am I glamourising a poor man? Perhaps, he got all the chances he needed, but, was too lazy to take it up. He probably never cared; never bothered to work, or put an effort at being something… No, he has not asked for anything; he has not asked for help of any sorts; instead, in his own way, he was trying to work in the manner he knew best. And, soon enough, luck will run out on him and perhaps they will catch him, send him back… In the meantime, could someone throw him a twig? Something for him to grab at in these swirling waters of fate…?

Black & White 21

Drive it like

WOMEN! Sorry fellas, this one is against you.

This time, we are all for women. For, in this drive against the rising accidents in Oman we are confronted with some vital statistics: more men than women die on the roads in this country. More men are involved in road traffic accidents (RTAs) in Oman and more men – than women – are injured on the roads.


You want statistics? Well, last year (2009), 953 people died on the road. Out of that, 800 (that is 84 percent of the lot) were men and 153 (16percent) were women. And, out of the 9783 injured, 7300 (75percent) were men and 2483 (25percent) were women. And the year before (2008), out of the 951 that died on the road, 814 (86 percent) were men. The remaining 137 (14percent) were women. And, out of the 10558 injured, 7915 (75 percent) were men and the remaining 2643 (25 percent) were women. SO, WHAT DOES THIS SAY? Statistically speaking, women are safer drivers than men. Many would agree with the theory that men, especially the younger lot, tend to drive more aggressively than women and display their aggression in a direct manner, rather than indirectly. Also, male drivers are more likely than women to break the law (as the male of the species tends to be more of a risk-taker). But, remember we are not saying that women are 22 April 15-30, 2010

better drivers -- statistically, they are safer. Women may have as many accidents as men; however, they tend to be minor fender-benders. Men, on the other hand, tend to do the job properly when they crash and as a result cost their insurance companies a lot more money. And they also injure and kill themselves. So, even though it’s a blow to our male egos, we’ll have to give this round to women! Today, we have reached a stage where we are forced to say that it would be wiser for men to think like women when they are on the road (driving). Women have by far proved that they are safer, which in turn means, they are more responsible on the roads. But, how and why are they more responsible on the roads? What makes them drive safe? Why are they less rash and why are they less dangerous on the roads? Are they more cautious? Is it because of their nature? Women are basically seen to be more humane; more caring and most importantly, more responsible

(than men). Like a lady driver pointed out: “Women think about their families; their children etc when they are on the road and don’t attempt anything unusual whilst driving and hence are safer. We also know that we have to fend for ourselves if we are maimed or handicapped post accident and we know that – unlike men – we will be forced to take care of ourselves in the event of an injury!” By their very nature, women tend to think and drive, while majority of the men are not blessed with such attributes (at least not while they are driving). And there is something that the women are doing right (which men aren’t) which makes them not only safer, but, alive. So, what is that? Will the women that we speak to be able to unveil that to us so that many (men) will learn from the womanly experience? And finally, for argument’s sake, since men are beaten on this count, could we suggest to men to think like them (women) at least when they are on the road? And, DRIVE safe like them too!

Lobby 5



Black & White asked women (who drive) from all walks of life in Oman to openly tell men some secrets about how to drive safely. The ladies were only too eager to oblige. In the bargain, they also let out a bit of steam against unruly male drivers who hogged the roads and wreaked havoc on the streets of Oman.

Men need to think like women on the roads


Jannat Moosa, marketing director, Bin Mirza International, is one woman who believes that when it comes to safety on the roads, women have the last word. If men want to practice safety on the roads, they have to think like women, Jannat said. “That is, if they can be that smart,” she added.

have stronger emotions, so they care for others on the road and avoid hurting them, while men might not think like that when driving…”

Jannat firmly believes that women are safer and more responsible drivers than men because “women are more responsible naturally for everything. They are very serious about their responsibilities, especially their family. Also, I believe women strongly feel about life; they

Jannat preferred not to go into details about the tips she wants to give male drivers, save for two key ones: • Drive on the road like you want others to drive. • And think before you act.

24 April 15-30, 2010

Men are from Mars and Women from Venus “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus – hence the stark difference in the way men and women drive,” opined Sarah White, art adviser, Bait Al Zubair Foundation, and curator of the exhibition in an e-interview with Black & White. For the same reason, she was not in a position to advice men to think like women, because, in Sarah’s words, “it is not possible!” Excerpts: Why do you think women are safer and more responsible drivers than men? It is funny because most people always joke about how bad female drivers are... I have never really thought about it. I find it difficult to generalise on a particular gender, I think there are good and bad, safe and dangerous drivers of both sexes. What are the safe driving tips that you could give for male drivers out there? Male or female you always need to keep a good breaking distance from the car in front of you…I hate people who stick to your back

bumper, it is so dangerous if the traffic breaks suddenly. Also, overtake in the outside not inside lane. Be patient, better to be patient than become a patient! You should clunk click every trip (wear a seat belt) it could save your life! Also have correct car seats for babies and toddlers. For a man to be safe on the roads, do they have to think like a woman? Ha! I do not think that is possible! As the book says, men are from Mars and women are from Venus! I think that there should be a public campaign encouraging safe driving and showing the consequences - bad driving wrecks so many lives. Black & White 25

Men are better drivers… but, women are safer Women are safe drivers. Period. And the reason is simple, according to Khadija Shaban, paediatrician, Iyadat Al Diwan (Diwan clinic) at a local hospital, who has been driving for nearly 20 years now:


“A woman does not blindly drive on the road. They are doubly more careful behind the wheels than anyone else and most importantly, they are always worrying about their family and thus they would not think of indulging in rash behaviour on the roads,” she said. “So, I would say that the best way out for a man is to behave less aggressively and behave more like a woman, at least when you are driving,” she said, adding that this can save more lives on the road. “If you look around, you will find men having more traffic violations. Younger men indulge in more risky behaviour on the road. They tend to 26 April 15-30, 2010

speed more, are quite often very careless and generally break all the rules. Most of them also cause many violations at the traffic signals.” Khadija said it was high time that male drivers learnt to respect and obey traffic laws and regulations. “Somehow, even the mildest of men are seen indulging in road rage; they should all learn to relax and practice safe driving.” Women, young and old alike, should not try to emulate the antics of men on the road, she warned. “What we have to bear in mind is that men are better drivers, but, it just so happens that women are safer drivers!”

No stereotyping please – just drive carefully! Aisha Abdullah Al-Kharusi, head of corporate communications, National Bank of Oman, does not want to indulge in stereotyping and so is not that keen to engage in a man vs women debate. Yet, she feels that the main reason why women caused less number of traffic accidents or violations on the roads in Oman is because women are more cautious and more responsible. Excerpts: Do you think women are safer and responsible drivers than men? I am actually surprised with the figures. Could it be that men are bigger risk takers than women or there are fewer women drivers on the road? It would be interesting to know the number of men fatality --what percentage are teenagers or in their early twenties. If this statistic is fairly ranked I would say that perhaps women are more cautious. We use our car to take us from point A to B and with men it’s more of a toy. Additionally, “not to stereotype” women are perhaps more responsible with their life in general. What are the safe driving tips that you could give for male drivers out there? The safe driving tips that I can give both men and women is to use your side mirrors at all times especially when maneuvering carefully from one

lane to the other. My wise father reiterates to me that to always keep in mind that everyone else on the road is a crazy driver, therefore always be on the defense! The other good advice he has given me is to always reverse slowly when reversing back into a parking space or parallel parking. Finally, when going on a long trip to always check the tyres, especially in the summer time or winter season. For a man to be safe on the roads, do they have to think like a woman? We cannot stereotype about a man versus woman driver, however it is clear to me that teenagers and young drivers tend to be more reckless drivers because of the lack of responsibilities in their lives. If there were more activities to keep these young people busy there would be less road fatalities today in Oman. I believe an individual, whether male or female, should have a mind of their own. However when it comes to road safety I believe we should all use common sense, be very careful when driving (NO text message) and maintain good driving etiquette (for eg. Do not slow down when you see an accident!) Black & White 27

No need to think like a women, but be less reckless “We don’t drive fast, we are never in a hurry and we are always punctual…this is not self praise, but a mere fact of life,” says Naila Shaban Taj Mohammed Al Balushi, who has been driving since the last two years. Naila, who is a member of the organising committee of the Muscat Asian Beach Games, also said that being responsible on the road came naturally to them because they always think of the things they have at stake. “We (women) are very careful and we tend to look into all aspects of life when we drive. Men think for the moment and drive like that too!” The truth is that women generally respect road rules, while men don’t bother and are habitually

reckless by nature. “Try to be punctual, so that will cut off the hurrying habit. Most mistakes on the road are caused by people who are late for an appointment and are hurrying to their destination. Others are prone to using a mobile while driving and this again causes accidents,” Naila said. “I am not saying men should think like women, but can’t they be less reckless on the roads?”


Let the phone call wait till you reach your destination A driver on the road does not have to think like a woman, says Maha Al-Fadhil, from the public affairs section of Qalhat LNG SAOC.

28 April 15-30, 2010

What male drivers should do is to focus on driving only, she tells Black & White. There is a general tendency for men to reach for their mobiles while they were driving; this was rash and dangerous behaviour on the road. “Let the phone call wait till you reach your destination,” she advised men. Asked why she thinks women are safer and more responsible drivers than men, Maha said: “Women are safer drivers because they tend to be more careful and they are

also blessed with an abundance of patience.” Maha noted that women are naturally good at multi tasking. “They can do more than one thing at a time.” The main safe driving tips that she can give men are: •focus on driving only •let phone calls wait till you reach your destination •leave early for your destination so that you can cover an unexpected traffic jam

Don’t be a macho man on the road! “You can’t ask a man to think like a woman,” says Susan Procter, managing director, Totem, a wellknown boutique in town. Men want to be manly, so that is not the direction to take, she said as far as advising men to follow safe driving attitudes and techniques adopted by women. “I would rather advice men on the roads to think about staying alive,” she said. She is irritated about men who tailgate. “They think it is cool and manly (which it is not!). They drive fast and recklessly, which they think is macho. “My simple words of advice to such men

are: back off! Stop driving so close! My other stern advice to suicidal men on the roads is: go and kill yourself on the dunes please, not on the roads.” She cools down to explain the rash driving aspects of men: “You see, they have more adrenaline and for most of them, there is no other outlet than to spend it all on the road! But, unless they open their eyes to the dangers that they cause on the roads, there is no end to accidents!”

Over confident and multitasking “Men tend to indulge in all the bad habits while driving and that is where they always go wrong,” says Laila Othman Al Sharji, who works as a secretary at Cunningham & Lindsey. Laila, who has been driving for nearly a decade, says men generally exhibit less patience than women and they keep on breaking laws. “I would say that men are mostly overconfident and they also indulge in multitasking while driving.” The real piece of advice for men is “better to be late and safe than risk yours and others lives just to reach on time. There are other ways of reaching early, which is to start and arrive on time.” “And, more importantly, men should adopt women’s cautious way of thinking especially if they have families,” Laila added. Black & White 29

It all boils down to good driving – not gender


Men and women are made differently. They think differently and they behave differently and yes they drive differently, says Swarnalata Kamath, a homemaker. “In my opinion, women drivers are safer and more responsible than men because they stick to the speed limits. They do not take risks and drive rashly. They always drive safely by wearing seatbelts and making sure children wear their seat belts too. “When talking about which of the sexes reigns supreme when it comes to driving, it all boils down to good driving and that is up to the individual and not the gender. Young male drivers bow down to peer pressure or the belief that nothing can happen to them and are willing to take more risks on the road, which in turn lead to serious accidents. Women on the other hand tend to drive cautiously and safely.” 30 April 15-30, 2010

Swarnalata feels that male drivers need not think like women when they are driving. “No, not at all! However, they can emulate the woman’s driving habits. Variety is after all the essence of life.” Here are some of her suggestions: In these stressful times, one needs to learn how to relax. •Be calm. Concentrate on your driving. •Do not drive under the influence of alcohol. •Do not use the mobile phone, whilst driving. •Keep the volume of your radio/CD player down. •Keep away from distractions. •No need to hurry – try to reach your destination safely!

Slow and steady wins the race of life Women drivers may be slow at the roundabouts and taking turns, but they reach their destination safely, says Nisham Rayees, broadcaster, Radio Oman “World wide statistics have shown that women are safer than men on the road. Just take a look at the local news and check how many male and female drivers have lost their lives in road accidents. All of us will have relatives and friends who had accidents and in most tragic ones, it has been male drivers. Women drivers do have accidents, but the major high speed collisions mostly involve male drivers. Men are more adventurous on the road than women.” For an 18 year old girl, growing up is experimenting with hair, make up, clothes and maybe driving. But for a boy of the same age, it is associated with fast cars and reckless driving. There have been so many cases of young lives cut short by this fascination for speed and sports cars. Many boys, before they reach 18, already try their driving skills with their parents’ cars and without a license. This is not common among girls, notes Nisham. “I have always heard jokes and emails about women drivers. But, we take good care of our children both inside and outside the home. Just go to a school parking lot in the afternoon and observe moms and dads on the school run, you will notice the difference. Dads will be busy on the phone while the kids are putting the bags in the boot and enter

the cars. Then they drive away without a glance at the kids. The moms will take their time, welcoming their kids with a smile and enquiring about their day at school. They coordinate with the teachers and other moms about after-school activities. They help the kids load their bags and make sure they are wearing their seat belts. Then they drive away safely. The mothers may not be as quick as the dads in bringing the kids home, what is a few minutes saved compared to your kids reaching home safely.” Nisham’s safe driving tips for men: Men, do not be over confident about your driving skills. Accidents can happen to anyone, anytime... there is no difference between men and women. Women may be slow at roundabouts and taking turns....but our chances of reaching our destination safely is much better than men. Women drive slowly and carefully...remember slow and steady win the race of life....better late here than being early to heaven or hell. Every mother has a natural protective instinct towards her kids, even when she is driving with them in the car. Stop tagging all women as bad drivers....nobody is perfect. Black & White 31

Not a question of gender Man or woman, the important thing is to think like a careful driver and drive safely, says Abeer Al Jasim, general manager of Knowledge Horizon, Oman. To a query, Abeer said it was not a question of genders. There are good male and female drivers, what is important is the careful manner in which a car is driven on the roads.

sure everyone else in the car is wearing a seat belt and that children are in a proper age appropriate car seat. Being considerate of other road users is also something that’s important.


Excerpts: Do you think women are safer and more responsible drivers than men? I have to honestly say I don’t think it’s a question of gender. I think there are good male and female drivers. A good driver of any gender or age is conscious of other road users, abides by the rules of the road - whether it’s speed, distance between cars, letting people onto the road, wearing a seat belt - making 32 April 15-30, 2010

For a man to be safe on the roads, do they have to think like a woman? The important thing is to make sure that we all think like careful drivers and drive safely. I work in training and I am an advocate of lifelong learning so if there was an advanced driving course on offer here I’d definitely sign up for it. We also need to look at training for driving instructors - that would make a big difference!

Remember your family is waiting… Both men and women drive irresponsibly on the roads in Oman, according to Manuela Gutberlet, public relations, German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). “From my experience, I have to admit here in Oman I have seen women and men driving irresponsibly and not respecting the rules of the road. However, I think men show more macho behaviour on the road; they like to speed, overtake and even horn to irritate other drivers. I think speed is one of the main reasons why many people die on the roads in Oman. I believe with good driving training, including theory, higher fines and an increased awareness of the consequences of misbehaviour on the road, more

lives could be saved.” Drivers need to know that a car is not a toy, Manuela said. “In general, I think road safety education starts at an early age with road safety awareness and training programmes. For example, In Germany we have a road safety programme for children, who learn the rules of the road while riding a bike.” HER TIPS TO MEN: Keep to the speed limits, do not overtake in a risky way, study the rules of the road and remember your family is waiting for you.

Men need to learn the art of patience on roads What makes a woman a safer driver than a man? Faiza Al Busaidi, customer service manager, personal lines – direct – AXA, has the answer: “Women are known for their patience. They always think twice before taking any step. Doesn’t these attributes make them safer drivers than men?!” Faiza does not mince words when it comes to the driving attitudes of men: “Men often think that they are the safest drivers on earth, but they still need to remember to utilise many key points in their day-today driving. Men need to learn

the art of patience; they need to know that they should use the right direction (no shortcuts) and to drive as per the road speed limits. And, neither is it important for men to think like women, nor, would it be harmful, if they tried to think like them, but it would benefit all if everyone – men and women alike – stick with road rules and regulations. Black & White 33

“I lost him – but, I want to save others in his memory!” The horrible reality about road traffic accidents (RTA) sinks in when something terrible happens to your loved one on the roads. That is the most disturbing wake up call for many who are ignorant on the dangers on the road today. Torey Beth Jackson, a former student of Azzan bin Qais Private School in Muscat, was slapped awaken to this grim reality when a beloved friend of hers – Al-Mohanned Ali-Al Farsi – was killed in a car accident in February, this year.


Torey was shocked beyond anything when she heard the tragic loss of one of her closest friends. “I was completely devastated!” But, unlike others, Torey made a plea to herself that she could no longer take things lying down on issue of accidents in Oman. “Earlier, I knew that accidents were happening, but, I did not pay much attention until very recently. Now, the situation is much more real to me. It has become a goal of mine to help out my country and my home to aid in the prevention of traffic deaths,” she tells Black & White. She has posted videos about traffic education in Oman on the youtube (http://www. as well as tweeted about it (http://www. “Currently, I am partnering with a fellow activist and close friend from the Sultan’s School, Ajwad Al Maskari, to help jump-start this important movement,” Torey said. 34 April 15-30, 2010

Excerpts: Give us an idea about how and why you began this campaign? My idea for a campaign began when an unexpected, tragic event occurred. One of my closest friends in Oman was killed in a car accident and I was absolutely devastated. There is a word in Arabic for the feeling that I had: masdouma, meaning shocked. I didn’t want to believe that this had happened; I didn’t want to believe that I lost a best friend to something so preventable. I couldn’t believe that this would happen to someone I knew and loved. At first, I attempted to get through the pain. Then, I realised that his death wouldn’t be the last if people remained reckless drivers with disregard to road safety, and that I would try to do anything I could to spare the family and friends of the next victim the pain that myself and so many others experienced

My plans for this campaign are to try and reach as many people as possible about the dangers of being a reckless or careless driver. I hope to convey that a car accident is totally preventable and that so many lives can be saved if care is taken to driving

and will continue to experience. His was a preventable death, and though I lost him, I want to save others in his memory. It was then I decided to start a movement in Oman about traffic safety. At first, I posted videos on my YouTube channel about my pain and how I wanted to see a change in Oman. I was then contacted by a few friends who agreed that a change was past due. I decided to write a letter to the editor of Black and White, a magazine I read quite a lot when I was in Oman. I then started to post on my Twitter account and now I am thinking about starting a Facebook group. My plans for this campaign are to try and reach as many people as possible about the dangers of being a reckless or careless driver. I hope to convey that a car accident is totally preventable and that so many lives can be saved if care is taken to driving. There are many simple yet life saving safe driving practices that can be learned. I am a person of neverending passion, and I’d like to carry out this campaign as long as I can! This cause means so much to me, and I hope it will bring about change to a country I love.

Where you concerned with these accident issues earlier? On my first day in Oman, I was warned about one thing only: traffic. I was told that many people were fast, reckless drivers and that I was forbidden to drive on the streets. Later on I learned that the percent of traffic deaths was disproportionately high given Oman’s small population. I also found that traffic, not disease, was the number one killer in Oman. I took this into consideration, yet I never paid much attention to it. I had never lost anyone I knew and loved to a car accident until recently. I will admit I was not very concerned. Yes, I saw and experienced many horrible drivers on the road, but my family and friends took care to drive with caution. It was not until I lost a friend that I started to really understand just how bad the road conditions and safety standards were. What do you hope to achieve with your drive? I would love to achieve a decrease in traffic-related deaths and I would really like to see improvements in driving on the roads of a beloved country.

It breaks my heart to know that the number one cause of death in Oman is, to some extent, preventable. When I come back, I’d like to know that I am safe on the roads, no matter who I am driving with. If reckless or careless drivers could realise the extent of damage a car accident could do and would change their driving habits for the better, it would not only make me happy, it would certainly better the lives of other users of the roadways too. It would definitely give everyone using the roads a peace in their minds knowing that they are safe and sound. What is the response you have got from the drive? Unfortunately, response to this cause has been very minimal. I have had a few people contact me saying that they are interested in joining the cause, however, I would definitely like to see more people uniting to better road conditions for everyone in Oman. It is something all road users can benefit from, and so many deaths and injuries can be prevented. Hopefully, we can all join together to make a change we can all appreciate. Black & White 35

Perfect summer escape at

Al Nahda Resort & Spa Al Nahda Resort & Spa recently launched their ‘Summer Escape’ offer to cater to the community and provide them with the chance to beat the heat and enjoy a unique spa experience from the signature range within the spa menu which includes a combination of exclusively designed multi-cultural offerings; one can choose either a back massage, Indian head massage, reflexology, Reviver facial or even an outdoor massage ritual for

one lucky person per ‘Escape’ at an unbeatable price until the end of August this year. Walter Menezes, group director of sales said: “Al Nahda Resort & Spa is not just a resort and spa, but a wholesome holiday experience. Keeping in with our standards and values we are offering our valued customers a chance to enjoy our great hospitality and service at a very attractive price.”

Al-Ibdaa Private school forum


The 2009/10 Al-Ibdaa forum started with great enthusiasm by both educator and student alike last month. The forum was spread over six days and encompassed disciplines associated with the learning areas of the school. The English, Math and Science departments put together an array of activities that would challenge the students’ academic ability as well as their logical thinking skills. Activities such as model-building; postermaking, tang rams, public speaking, photography, pictionary, conundrums, and team charades are just a few activities attempted by the students this year.

36 April 15-30, 2010

Great offer on

Grand Vitara Little ones at

Asha Enterprises make a big splash

Grand Vitara from Japan is now available at Moosa Abdul Rahman Hassan & Co.LLC at very special price starting from RO 5799. The sporty and bold Vitara 4X4 comes with 1600 cc engine. Supplemented by high torque and large 16” alloy wheels, it not only makes off-road driving an experience but also guarantees a superior on road driving experience with extra power under the pedal.

Thirty children representing two age groups – 5 to 11 and 12 to 18 years, from the staff at Asha Enterprises LLC came together at Mumtaz Mahal to take part in the Bright Minds Drawing Competition, where the topics were ‘Saving the Planet’ and ‘Saving Electricity’. The competition saw the kids bring out their raw talent on paper, as they used their imagination, crayons, colour pencils and water colours, to make their concepts come to life. As part of a CSR initiative, at Asha Enterprises the year 2010 has been dedicated to 'Saving Electricity' and every company is making a concerted effort to save electricity.

Business seminar in Buraimi highlights Indo-Oman trade potentials As part of a series of seminars being organised by Indian Embassy, on “Indo-Oman Trade Opportunity”, a seminar was organised in Buraimi last month. More than 120 Omani and Indian business representatives attended the seminar in Al Buraimi hotel. The seminar was organised in close

cooperation with the Buraimi branch of Oman Chambers of Commerce and Industries. During the seminar, Shri Chand, counsellor in the Indian embassy provided the recent updates on the economic relationship between India and Oman to the entrepreneurs from various fields of business. Black & White 37


opens at Ruwi

Daawat, the newly-opened restaurant located off Ruwi High Street offers customers a delectable selection of Indian and Chinese cuisine (non vegetarian and vegetarian) which, is prepared by highly qualified chefs, in the most hygienic environment and using only the best quality ingredients. “After a successful launch of Daawat in Sohar, which started operations in 2008, we now look forward to serve our patrons residing in Muscat. We had lots of request from our patrons, who visited our restaurant in Sohar, to start an outlet in Muscat,” added Sameer Keshavji, director business development, Naranjee Hirjee group. “With a wide selection of Indian and Chinese dishes you are certain to be treated to a feast,” says Pradeep Kapoor, general manager, Daawat Restaurant. He further added: “We are also fully equipped to cater for outdoor events and also offer free home delivery in certain areas.”



launches Zoom-Zoom Club Leading automobile distributor Towell Auto Centre (TAC) launched their all exclusive and fun Mazda Zoom-Zoom Club recently. The launch of the club was a high octane event, with dancers and entertainers making their performances an exhibition of the ‘Zoom-Zoom’ phenomenon. Annurag Chawla, head of marketing and communications, TAC, avers “We, at TAC, believe our customers in the Sultanate are looking for a more personalised experience and expect Mazda to add further value to their 38 April 15-30, 2010

overall ownership experience. So, we decided to form an exclusive and fun Mazda Customer Club, which will provide our customers with benefits and rewards that extend beyond just that of the ownership of their vehicle.” Speaking on the ocassion Paul Valiyaveetil, business manager - cars & LCV’s at TAC says, “Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom club is the first of its kind in the Sultanate and its main aim is to entertain and educate our loyal customer base and give them the opportunity to interact directly with the brand."

French refractive surgeon visits

Muscat Eye Laser Center Dr Patrick Humbert, an ophthalmologist specialising in laser refractive surgery was recently in Muscat for a week long visit. During his stay, the French surgeon visited Muscat Eye Laser Center and watched Dr Maria Clara Arbelaez perform two surgeries – Femto-LASIK and

keratoconus. Dr Patrick has previously interacted with Dr Maria in international forums and was impressed with the papers she had presented. Once in Oman, he was keen to visit the centre and made a request to observe her perform surgeries.

Salalah Marriott Resort celebrates grand opening

The 5-star rated Salalah Marriott Resort, the first Marriott Hotel in the Sultanate and the Phase 1 of the prestigious Mirbat Beach project opened recently at Mirbat. Sheikh Mohammed bin Marhoon bin Ali Al Maamari, minister of state and governor of Dhofar region, was the chief guest at the event that was attended by Dr Rajiha bint Abdulamir bin Ali, minister of tourism, local dignitaries and VIPs. “With the launch of Salalah Marriott Resort, we are proud to announce

the development of the Mirbat Beach project, which will be the finest and most opulent address in the region,” said Osama Mariam, chief executive officer, Dhofar Tourism Company SAOG, on the occasion of the resort’s grand opening. “We firmly believe that our partnership with Marriott International, Inc. to create a luxury beach resort in Mirbat is a sound investment for a successful future,” he continued. Black & White 39

Omantel snares first place in paintball tournament After a tough finale the second paintball corporate tournament trophy was lifted by the Omantel team who displayed a consistent performance throughout the tournament. Giving them a tough battle was the National Bank of Oman who also performed strongly and achieved a respectable second place. The paintball corporate tournament is rapidly gaining recognition and growing in popularity with companies in Oman. Yannick Borlee, managing director and owner of Xtreme Sports, is excited about the overwhelming response to the tournament. “It is a fun way to encourage and hone leadership skills, time and resource management and boost confidence. In particular I enjoy watching teams strategising over their game play.” Contact 24567769/ 98205240, e-mail



Star painting contest winners Manar bint Zaher Khamis Al Hosni, from Qurum Private School won the first place, while Muneer bin Hamood bin Salim Al Sinaidi from Qurum Private School and Ayah bint Abdul Aziz Al Mawali from Tabarak Private School won the second and third positions at the Sadolin Star painting competition held recently. The top three overall winners were awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and prizes from Sadolin Paints at the prize distribution ceremony held at Bait Al Baranda visitor centre where the selected paintings were displayed for sale and the proceeds of which will be donated to Al Noor Association for the Blind. Sadolin Star painting Contest, which was held 40 April 15-30, 2010

across various schools in Oman over the last three months has finally drawn to a close. Participating schools included – Choiefat Private School, Qurum Private School, Al Wataniyah Private School, A’Safwah Private Schools, Tabarak Private School, Al Wattayah Private School, and Al Naba School amongst many others. Marine pollution was the theme of the competition. MM Khan, general manager, Sadolin Paints Oman Ltd says, “We are very pleased with the response the first Sadolin Star Painting Contest has received. It is heartening to see that more than 1,000 students from across various schools participated.”

POWERWALK fashion show Twenty power walkers powered their way on the ramp recently at Oman’s only fashion show of its kind. The third edition of the Light & Shadow Enterprises Powerwalk Fashion Show, held at the InterContinental Hotel recently was a fantastic, colourful and lively event that brought in the elite section in town sashaying down the ramps and others, who didn’t rooting for them in the crowd. More than 800 people, including 18 ambassadors and four ministers packed the lawns of the Palm Garden under a starlit sky for one of the most thrilling and most awaited events of this year. The main sponsor and presenter of the event was Nawras.

Black & White 41

Black & White 41

It ‘vase’ a wonderful thought

Bikram Vohra, internationallyknown Gulf based scribe

Sunny side up

By Bikram Vohra It all began when I was sitting home the other morning (having had no steady job for five years) reading one of the classified pages of a local paper. In the column “for sale” were several ads wanting to get rid of ‘unwanted’ gifts. I find this very rude and was laughing about it in my typical derisive, anti-human race fashion about bad manners when I spotted this legend: For sale, cheap two facsimile dragon breathing fire Ming vases, unwanted gift in original wrapping, call 9am to 2pm on 050-dash dash dash. That’s funny, I said, didn’t we give similar vases to Nicky and Allyson for their anniversary. What are you blathering about, said my wife, she of the perpetual charm and wit when it comes to speaking with her husband. Warmth, too. Vases, I said, those Ming type vases, somebody is selling something similar to the ones we gave Nicky. They weren’t Ming vases, said my wife, forever stating the obvious, they were fakes. Yes, but he wouldn’t do that, would he, I said, I mean, you don’t do that to a friend, you don’t label something given with warmth and affection as an ‘unwanted gift’ and bung it in the papers, that’s just not done. You hated them, said my wife, you never forgave the Munduls for giving it to you and there wasn’t any warmth or affection, just a card from us to them and it was the only thing we had in the house, you know how I hate this recycling of gifts, obviously they didn’t like what we gave them so they must be getting rid of them, makes sense. Yes, yes, but they didn’t have to set it to music, I mean, they could have passed it on to some of their friends, not try and chisel a buck out of it, what sort of people try to sell a gift. It may not even be them, said my wife, swinging into practical mode. You think there is a fake Ming vase epidemic in town, I said, of course it is them, I refuse to play Squash with him again, how could he do this, the ungrateful sod. What’s squash got to do with it, she said, you men have no logic and you can call the number and see if it is really him. I don’t want to know, I said, I’d like to believe my friends are above such grubby deeds, 42 April 15-30, 2010

I do not want my illusions shattered. At breakfast, I said, he wouldn’t, would he, Nicky isn’t the sort, he never claims a stroke unfairly, always calls out when the balls hits the red, not Nicky, unwanted gift, that’s crass. Call, said my wife, you are becoming boring. Okay, okay, if you want to know, I will, I said, not that I care, hell-ooo, is Nicky there, yes, yes, okay, thank you. Yes, it is about the vases, yes, and what are you expecting for them, oh...let me think about it, and we’ll get back to you. Will you believe it, I said, he wants 400 dirhams for it, he’s such a sneaky crook, he’s using a colleague’s number and he’s making a buck on something we gave him, this is the man we bar-b-q’d with only last month. So ask him why, said my wife. I can’t do that, I can’t ask him why he is selling our vases, they are his to sell or break or do what he wants. Then why are you getting steamed up, she said, they are no longer yours, he can do what he like with them, even shatter them like your illusions. Because it is such a horrid thing to do, certain things a man doesn’t do, period, especially if he plays Squash with you. Now every time I backhand him I’ll be thinking of our vases. They are not our vases, they are his vases. At which point the Munduls called and my wife said, it is Shubh, she wants to talk to you. I said, hello, you want to know about the vases you gave us, oh, those vases, the Ming type vases, yes lovely pair, very thoughtful of you, no, they fit into the décor perfectly, in fact, just the other day I was telling Ambika how nice they look, one thing about the Munduls, they have great taste in gifts, yes, true, ad in the papers you say, really, haven’t seen it, must be a run on Ming vases, oh you want to see if the ones you gave us have the same pattern, is it that important, no, of course not, welcome, why would we not want to show them to you, any time, this evening, yes, yes, certainly, drop by. Give me 400 bucks, I said, they are coming to see their gift to us so I know have to buy back the gift we gave to Nick so they can see the gift we gave to them. See, said my wife, I told you we should always buy new gifts not pass them around.

In Black & White

In Black... If all of us had lived up to the potential that we had when we were very young, we may all have become very successful, very rich, very famous… Look at the success stories around you; look at the lives of the rich and the famous; look at the stories Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali of the superstars…they all strode on the right path and became what they were because they never let Editor-in-chief up; they never gave up and they held on to the first Right here in Oman, Little Maryam, who is just seven, spark of potential until it became a brilliant flame of is the youngest museum curator cum tourist escort in success; because they bent their head down and this country, and is all set on the path to a successful worked and worked their way up to the top. future. She is the perfect example of a young genius, Look at Michael (Jackson) who was one of the a star in the making… greatest pop music heroes of this era. He was I believe, Inshallah, one day she will be a famous just nine when he was the lead singer of The historian promoting Oman as her nation to the globe. Jackson Five, at 11, he was a singing star with four Go on, read about little Maryam and her big father, consecutive number one hits. Do you think it was Abdullatif Al Balushi. Before I close, a point that I just talent all the way? No, it was great talent, great would like to make here is that, we, as adults and effort and of course lot of luck. parents, should encourage children on their choice of What about the young football sensation, Lionel interests, rather than suppressing them. Messi? He became the youngest player ever to score a league goal for FC Barcelona - against WOMEN ARE SAFER DRIVERS? Albacete - when he was only 17 years old. Today Well, that is what traffic statistics show. It officially he is very famous. He is considered as one of the says that women are safe and responsible drivers best football players of his generation and mostly on road. So, they must be doing something right on cited as the world’s best contemporary player; his the roads! But, without going into the gender game, playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to I would say that drivers can either be responsible football legend, Diego Maradona. It is not just that or irresponsible ones. It depends on individual he was born that way. He had talent, but he worked behaviour. Let us understand that most men are big tirelessly to become what he is today. showoffs on road. Ladies are more timid, and maybe Sachin Tendulkar is another young sensation… one of the reasons for them being cautious on road. By popular vote, the greatest batsman in the world And whatever the reasons and whatever the figures today, Sachin has the cricketing world at his feet at state, unless we, as individuals, decide to correct a very young age. Many would have been swept ourselves and become be more responsible on away and not continued on their path. But, not roads, we remain a threat on the roads! Sachin, he just grew, toiling at his game to achieve perfection. There are many more such examples. But, what life has shown us is that those who start off at a young age will master the field they indulge in, sports, arts, anything… I am not saying that there are no late bloomers, but most of the sporting, movie greats started young and never looked back.

& White

Black & White 43

B&W Xclusive 44 April 15-30, 2010

Maryam, the little

CURATOR “Welcome to Bait Adam! “My name is Maryam and I will be your guide for the day,” a pretty little Omani girl in colourful traditional attire tells us in perfect English. She dabs some rosewater on our palms and then hands out a Bait Adam contact card. Then she ushers you into the Bait Adam museum in Qurum (16).

Black & White 45

B&W Xclusive

Zanzibar used both the Maria Theresa dollar and the Indian Rupee. After the cyclone, which destroyed the clove plantations in Zanzibar in 1289/1872, it is likely that the governer of the Island of Pemba (a province of Zanzibar untouched by the storm) countermarked dollars and Indian rupees with a clove-shaped stamp bearing the island's name to validate them for use as a local currency

WE HAVE HEARD THAT BAIT ADAM housed some of the most unique collection on Oman’s history and featured rare coins, stamps, maps, historical documents and artifacts and most importantly, it was run by a well-known Omani collector. The well wisher who had asked us to visit the museum also told us to expect a surprise‌All of that made compelling read and so we had excitedly trooped over there to have a firsthand feel. At the door, we were greeted by this little girl with an impish smile. We later learn that she is the daughter of the owner of Bait Adam, the famous Omani collector, Abdullatif Al Balushi. Before we knew it, we were transported into a magical ancient world, hitherto unknown, unexplored. A world where we hobnobbed with rare ghosts of the past, come alive by the sparkling narrative of a tiny young girl and the erudite commentary of a well-known and respected Omani 46 April 15-30, 2010

collector. Seven-year-old Maryam bint Abdullatif Al Balushi seemed like a fairy, and her little Omani walking stick looked like a wand in her tiny hand. She give us another little intro on Bait Adam, then excused herself and ran into the room and posed for the camera crew of Al Jazeera TV, which was doing a feature on Bait Adam. Today, the attraction is not just Bait Adam or the veteran Omani historian that is running the unique museum single handedly -- Maryam has become a star attraction herself being the youngest curator in Oman, plus Omani museum guide. She breezes through the interview with the Jazeera scribe in Arabic and then returns to take us around, speaking to us in impeccable English, while her proud dad adds from the background that she is also equally fluent in Bulgarian. She is fluent in three languages, and she is the youngest curator and guide of a museum, which is

Maryam is just another seven year old. She has a large tree house, toys and a pet doggy

truly one of its kind! We realised what our well wisher was trying to tell us: The museum was quite an exceptional one, but the pleasant surprise was indeed the delightful little Maryam. But, this little wonder is a recent addition to the museum’s attraction. Maryam tells us that she began this task only five to six months back. She had seen her father take tourists around his museum and detailing to them the intricacies of the ancient treasures inside there and like any child, began to emulate him. But, this was no mimicking, as Maryam was able to detail the particulars of the manuscripts and other items at the museum with the same ease as any seasoned curator. She led us to a room dedicated to the historical relations between Oman and Zanzibar and gave us a good account of the items there.

What was cute and endearing was to hear her detail -- Oman’s royal dynasty from the early pictures of the royal family posted on the museum’s walls -- in English, Arabic and Bulgarian. And, the transition from English to Arabic and Bulgarian and back was equally smooth. Her proud, doting father looked on from the sidelines, passing encouraging remarks and also filling in the little gaps when she inadvertently missed some points, or when the father felt that the detailing could be more descriptive. LIKE DAUGHTER, LIKE FATHER The father-daughter relation is also unique as both understood each other perfectly well and both seemed in sync. Other than some pointers, which the father discreetly told his daughter, the latter went on in full steam

taking us around the museum and giving us a vivid picture of the artifacts there. We probed into her background and how this cute little guide took to this extraordinary pastime. Around six months back, Maryam tried switching off the lights inside the museum. But, she realised that she was not tall enough to reach the switch. “My dad had to come and do even that for me,” Maryam said explaining how that triggered off a need in her to help her dad who was singlehandedly giving the whole tour of Bait Adam. “So, by 2009 end, I began to help my dad, especially during the evenings and school holidays,” this bright and vibrant Grade II student told Black & White. But, didn’t she find it difficult to learn all the intricacies of the museum items, most of them dating several thousands of years Black & White 47

separate from that and named it Bait Maryam. Maryam also gave us a quick tour of that section. In every other respect, Maryam is just another seven year old. She has a large tree house, and she has her toys, a pet doggy, Mielle. “Come and see my tree house,” she said, taking us to this large, double storied tree house. “I can watch DVDs inside and even sleep off there, if I need to,” Maryam said, also reeling off names of her other pets: a parrot, turtles, rabbits and iguanas. Tourists who visit the museum are clearly bowled over by this vivacious little girl, who has somehow managed to find time for both study and play and yet indulge in this museum task. We ask her what she wants to do when she grows up, and for a moment she thinks…she is not sure. “Maybe a teacher, or a doctor…but, I will also be doing this (she indicated the museum).”

B&W Xclusive

The museum was quite an exceptional one, but the pleasant surprise was indeed the delightful little Maryam

back. “I actually find it fun. I know it is a responsible thing that I have to do, but my dad explained it in an easy manner to me, so it was not difficult or tedious to learn.” Many people thought that she was too small for what she was doing, she notes a trifle petulantly, showing traces of her age. “But, I feel very good and responsible. And all the guests who I have led around listened to me with great attention. I take them around for a stretch and then hand them over to my father, who gives them a detailed brief.” Has she ever been overawed by the tourists, especially when the numbers swell? “Never,” she said, confidently staring back at us. “There was a time when she had ushered in guests who came in five buses, around 180 tourists," her father pitches in. BAIT MARYAM Maryam has one brother, who is elder to her. The museum is named after him. To stave off unnecessary sibling rivalry, her father quickly built another section, 48 April 15-30, 2010

BIG HELP TO FATHER “Maryam has some special sections in the museum and she handles that. The others, especially the main briefing, I handle,” Abdullatif Al Balushi tells us. Asked how he felt about his daughter following in his footsteps, Abdullatif said: “Maryam is like the face of Oman, traditionally dressed up, ever smiling and exuding warm Omani hospitality. She is a real help to me. My daughter has that cute, childlike charm, which the tourists find quite endearing, and she engages them with her sweet and crispy chatter. She has learnt all the facts by heart and also understands it. I feel elated that she has shown interest in learning the history of Oman. Although she is just a little girl, she is quite fascinated by the slices of history housed in this museum, but, more importantly, she feels she is responsible to assist me in my briefing. I only hope both Adam and Maryam takes this museum further after me.” But, this is the only time, throughout our interview with the father and daughter that the former evinced such a hope. Otherwise, he did not make any such comments. On the whole, Abdullatif is a man who can take pride in being the only man in Oman having such an unusual and rare private collection. And he has managed to this huge task alone.

Cameras, radios, fans, typewriters... Abdullatif's personal collection Bait Maryam is named after the little curator

The only driving force in him is this indescribable passion for all things Omani – the past, that is. He has an eye on the quaint and unusual aspects of Oman and the country’s relations with other countries and their leaders. A quick tour of the museum will unearth many rare beauties, which collectors around the world would die to posses. Many are of great value to Oman and offer a unique insight into the scenes and times of an era that has past. As a collector, Abdullatif began like anyone else, collecting the odd things like coins, maps etc. But, this childhood hobby soon became an all encompassing passion, which has resulted in obtaining some priceless historical antiques. “Since the last two decades, I have been collecting a variety of antiques. I have a great desire to preserve my nation’s history; I feel it is my responsibility

and it has slowly become my purpose in life.” And that meant everything. When your work becomes the main purpose in your life, everything else is secondary. For Abdullatif, it is this singleminded devotion to his work, to his collecting, that has transformed a simple collection into what is today a treasure trove of Oman’s extraordinary past. “Some of the items here are so rare that virtually no other collector or museum here or in the world has it,” the maverick curator tells us, detailing at what lengths he goes to get a rare piece when he stumbles on a clue. For the uninitiated, the world of collectors is a strange one. Many are known to have an unerring sense that helps them track down some odd piece in some forsaken land and they latch on to it only for the rest of the world to realise of

its potential later. Abdullatif is no different. With just a small hint, he has been able to track down some valuable pieces from different corners of the world. “All of it, sitting in this same museum,” he chuckles. Of course, he has his ways and means. NO SUPPORT He is no longer negative about the lack of support for his museum and the sheer apathy many in the private and government sectors have shown for this remarkable institution. He feels that some day, someone will reach out and give him and the museum that support it desperately needs. “Today, all I can say is that Bait Adam houses some of the most unique slices of Oman’s history. Some items here are priceless as well as irreplaceable. I can proudly say that there are some artifacts that are one of a kind. Black & White 49

B&W Xclusive

An ivory chessboard, a gift of the then ruler Syeed bin Sultan to the seventh president of the United States Andrew Jackson in 1833

“Take the example of this gift of the then ruler Syeed bin Sultan to the seventh president of United States, Andrew Jackson. The gift is an ivory chess board given to the US president in 1833. The uniqueness is that the original gift is housed here along with the original letter of Syeed Sultan. That is the first piece of antiquity that will welcome you at Bait Adam. It took me 20 years of sheer research to finally unearth this precious piece. “Bait Adam has many such pieces. I created this museum some eight years back in 1999. I was a government employee and I retired in 1991. Since then I am in to creating, updating and researching for this museum. There are times when I feel let down, when I realise it 50 April 15-30, 2010

is just a one man show with no support from the public or private sectors. “Think about it: What am I doing here? I am preserving history of this great nation… what could possibly be wrong about that?” Abdullatif’s passion is an expensive one too. “Creating a museum, procuring antique items is an expensive affair. It is not just the years that I have put in; I have invested quite a lot of money along with my heart and soul… I only hope it continues in the future, so that the younger generation can one day see it all. I am a private collector, but I am proud to say that Bait Adam has a rare and unique collection of artifacts from Oman’s history. The displays are all laid out aesthetically in five galleries. I am

the collector, curator, researcher, investor, escort and the interior designer too. My library has the rarest of the manuscripts.” LACK OF AWARENESS Like every other museum, records have to be maintained. Researches have to continue. But, Oman is still in its primary stages of archiving, notes Abdullatif. “The value of historical collection is not accepted in its true worth. Oman’s history is not about khanjars, dish dashas, potteries or masars. It is much more than that. Many of the historical artifacts have been bought over or taken away from our land. We need to bring it all back. But again, awareness is required in our society about the importance of preserving history.

A rare map

There is an Arabic proverb I would like to quote… ‘for the one who does not know the worth of a falcon, it is just chicken meat!’ So it is time to gear up and create awareness amongst all to join hands to preserve a valuable slice of history – for history is part and parcel of every nation!” DREAM COLLECTION “I have been collecting for over 40 years and spend 20 active years on research and procuring artifacts alone. Running a museum as one-man army is a very challenging and taxing role. There are many things out there which I would like to procure. It needs lot of money. Like the proverb in Arabic, ‘the eyes can see far, but the hands can’t reach…’ Still, I am happy; I have fulfilled my mission, I can relax now,” he says with that inscrutable and faraway look in his eyes. Hope someone out there might be listening…? To visit Bait Adam contact: 99356676

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

Black & White 51

Our backpack

Faisal Al Balushi is leadership trainee and an aspiring writer

Why not?

By Faisal Al Balushi I have seen the movie up in the air in the other day; it was a nice drama movie for George Clooney, it has been nominated for more than one Oscar awards last year. George Clooney is playing the role of Ryan Bingham who is a corporate downsizing expert working in an organisation whose contracts basically are in corporate downsizing which is in other words firing people from their jobs. I have leaned many lessons out of this movie but there is one of them which I really gave lots of thoughts and I wanted to share it with you. Ryan is having a secondary job which is to give motivational speeches on relieving one’s life of excess physical and emotional baggage. At the beginning of the movie, there was a scene where Ryan is giving one of his speeches in front of some participants. He was briefly saying: “How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life... you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, and then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV... the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now. You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home... I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now try to walk, it’s kind of hard isn’t it, this what we do to ourselves in daily basis, we weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move and make no mistakes, moving is living." Let’s stop here. What would first come to our mind if we used this backpack as an example to our career? Is it applicable to our daily working life? I think yes, it is for the majority of us. Imaginably, every one of us have our own backpack; we get it new and empty in the start point of our career map. As we move on with our jobs, we will be assigned tasks and responsibilities periodically to

be achieved in specific dates which are normally set by our teams. In most cases, the level of these duties will increase from period to period. As a result, we will be filling our career backpack with these kinds of duties day after day, and our primary job is to make sure that our backpack is always portable and could be carried smoothly by us in all stages of our career. In other words, our duties should be achieved in their expected timelines. Otherwise, we will weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move. Now the question is how can we always be able to carry out our backpack smoothly? Well there are lots of approaches which I am sure that some of you are already aware of. These approaches can change our daily life remarkably in a way which can make our career backpack portable at all times. Let’s take the time management as an example to our subject. Generally, time is one of the most valuable resources. Unlike other recourses it is not limited by budgetary constraints cut and also it cannot be increased like other recourses. So, we should start managing our time properly by maintaining some of the time management practices like making a personal daily plan, dealing with the incoming tasks once rather than several times, start using the daily “ to do” list if possible and minimise the daily “time wasters”. Most importantly, we need to create the habits of maintaining these practices which is normally difficult without applying a good deal of minded effort. Other examples of approaches which can support us to best manage carrying our career backpack suitably are delegation, prioritisation, setting deadlines etc. Generally, I am not trying to teach you all these techniques. I am quite certain you will learn them at one point or stage in your career.

52 April 15-30, 2010

Management talk

The GURUS of our management and their findings

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

By Dr CK Anchan JRD TATA - the father of Indian civil aviation JRD Tata was one of the most enterprising Indian entrepreneurs. He was a pioneer aviator and built one of the largest industrial houses of India. Born in Paris on July 29, 1904, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was the second child of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and his French wife Sooni. Established in 1859, the Tata Group was already India’s biggest business conglomerate when Tata became its fourth chairman in 1938. He was then just 34 years old. His vision was absolutely clear ... he wanted to serve the country ... he built one technological enterprise after another... He wanted to serve the humanity as a trustee... one who never owns anything whatsoever. According to him everything belonged to God and a human being is but the caretaker. The wanton desires ... the cravings of a normal human being ... were totally absent in him. He could foresee that to develop the foundations of the country ... the technological base had to be very strong ... he laid the seeds for building up a technological India so that it could feed the largest democracy of the world. It was under his guidance and will, Asia’s first cancer hospital was established, the Tata Memorial Center for Cancer, Research and Treatment, Bombay, 1941. It also founded the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 1936 (TISS), the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, 1945 (TIFR), and the National Center for Performing Arts. For JRD, quality had to match innovation. He stressed: ‘If you want excellence, you

must aim at perfection. I know that aiming at perfection has its drawbacks. It makes you go into detail that you can avoid. It takes a lot of energy out of you but that’s the only way you finally actually achieve excellence. According to JRD, the crux of any successful labour policy lay in making workers feel wanted. Leadership, according to JRD meant motivating others. ‘As chairman, my main responsibility is to inspire respect.’ The supportive climate he built developed entrepreneurs such as Sir Homi Mody, Sir Ardeshir Dalal, Sir Jehangir Ghandy, Russi Mody, Sumant Moolgaokar and Darbari Seth, and others who created billions in wealth for the group and the country. It was an environment where scientists of international repute such as Homi Bhabha, leading lawyers such as J D Choksi and Nani Palkhivala, and economists such as John Matthai, A D Shroff, D R Pendse and Freddie Mehta could flourish. JRD’s passion for planes led him to set up ‘Tata Airlines’, in 1932, which in 1946 became Air India, now India’s national airline. When it was nationalised in 1953, under his chairmanship Air-India was ranked among the finest airlines in the world. He later came to be known as “the father of Indian civil aviation”. He was conferred India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1992 for his service to industry and nation building. In the same year, he was also bestowed with the United Nations Population Award for his crusading endeavours towards initiating and successfully implementing the family planning movement in India. He firmly believed in, “Money is like manure. It stinks when you pile it; it grows when you spread it.” Black & White 53

Your stars ARIES March 21-April 20 Social interest and charisma are high now: key friendships or light business contacts to expand. Revised commitments may be needed: over the next two to three days expect close friends and new business associates to request changed agreements, scheduled plans or clear statements of intention. Don’t be unnerved by new social or business proposals: revised plans may be difficult but will now work in your favour. Stay open: new rules in both social and workplace relations may soon apply. TAURUS April 21-May 20

PENÉLOPE CRUZ SÁNCHEZ (born April 28, 1974), better known as Penélope Cruz, is a Spanish actress She gathered critical acclaim as a young actress for films such as Jamón, jamón, The Girl of Your Dreams, and Belle Époque. She has also starred in several American films such as Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Blow, Vanilla Sky, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Nine. She is known for her work with the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar in Broken Embraces, Volver and All About My Mother. Cruz has been awarded three Goya Awards, two European Film Awards, and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, she won an Academy


Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Goya, and a BAFTA for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

54 April 15-30, 2010

Old social promises or long forgotten romantic ideals may now captivate your time and attention: look out for a wave of nostalgia or sentimental reflection. Past emotions now need to fade in order to ensure present day progress: expect loved ones and new friends to soon ask for active commitments or solid plans. Business routines may shift: unique messages or quick workplace revisions may soon be announced. Stay alert: new changes may be highly political or costly. GEMINI May 21-June 21 Social messages or fresh business contacts will soon bring final decisions and new career options: Watch for a wave of new instructions, announcements or signed agreements. Some Geminis, especially those born early in June, will also experience a quick increase in financial resources or a secondary source of income. Romantic gestures or unique flirtations will also be pleasing: expect gently seductive requests and a subtle competition for your attention. CANCER June 22-July 23 Workplace routines may be easily disrupted early this week: pay attention to new instructions or fast changes. Key officials may wish to return to old policies and yesterday’s methods. Much of this may create controversy: remain balanced and wait for all to revert to normal. Romantic dreams or flashes of wisdom may also be on the agenda: watch sudden insights for valuable clues. Intimacy and emotional agreements are featured: react honestly. Plan carefully: others may now need to follow your example, guidance or financial strategies.

LEO July 24-August 23 Timing, wisdom and workplace politics will now work in your favour: early this week watch for new permissions, signed agreements or quickly revised projects. Some Leos may also experience the return of distant colleagues or relatives. If so, expect new business or financial home projects to soon be added into present responsibilities. Open discussions will take place between friends or close family members. Daily habits or social promises will be an ongoing theme. VIRGO August 24-September 23 Romance and rare social gestures will be pleasing before mid-week: watch for previously reluctant loved ones to now pledge their support and continued involvement. Many Virgos will soon experience a steady increase in romantic sensuality and revitalized friendship: watch for unproductive emotional patterns or past social restrictions to now shift. Remain open to unique ideas and proposals: for the next six days loved ones will offer creative solutions to ongoing social or romantic stalemates. LIBRA September 24-October 22 Love affairs and social promises may be subtly complicated early this week: delicate emotions and ongoing feelings of isolation may now be a continuing theme. Late Monday afternoon watch for lovers or close friends to actively avoid new plans, public events or social commitments. Find out why: for the time being, others may need extra encouragement or one-to-one attention. SCORPIO October 23-November 22 Mild flirtations may now become complex or problematic. For the next few days expect loved ones and long term friends to openly vie for your time, attention and emotional loyalty. Remain quietly detached: until mid-April little of this will need to be actively addressed. Friends and close relatives may now be feeling exposed, vulnerable or misunderstood: expect minor moments of tension and sudden outbursts. Business relations may also be affected: Avoid sensitive information.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 Previous romantic changes or emotional proposals may now quickly revert back to normal. Some Sagittarians, especially those born prior to 1974, may also encounter a fast series of new workplace projects or business ideas. If so, expect complicated business politics and competing financial obligations for the next eight to nine weeks. Although worthwhile, fresh work contacts or team assignments will now be delayed by disrupted paperwork, vague instructions or lost records. CAPRICORN December 23-January 20 Home discussions may this week be complicated by new financial information: early Monday afternoon watch for loved ones or long term roommates to provide fresh money ideas and housing proposals. All of this is promising but may sound temporarily scattered. Wait for others to settle their ideas and find constant, workable solutions. Romantic insights will be compelling. Past doubts or vague obligations will now fade: expect passionate commitments and a renewed faith in intimate trust. AQUARIUS January 21-February 19 Early this week past social regrets or unresolved emotions between friends may be finally addressed. Areas strongly affected are differing life choices, emotional triangles in family relationships or mildly addictive behaviours. All of this may be presented in a more dramatic way than is actually necessary: expect friends or loved ones to be self involved and highly motivated toward change. PISCES February 20-March 20 Property matters and short term financial decisions may require your immediate attention early this week: expect business officials or banking agencies to now ask for completed forms, new promises or revised paperwork. Handle all such details quickly: new growth and added security may now rely on your fast attention to outstanding documents. Romantic passions will flare: watch for previously shy loved ones to now present powerful feelings. Black & White 55

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

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

Bank Muscat Bank Sohar HSBC Standard Chartered Oman Arab Bank Harmony Music Centre – Next to OAB Bahwan Travel Agencies – CBD banks area OTTB – Oman Travels Bureau Air India office – CBD next to Costas Costas Papa John Supa Save – CBD Woodlands Bank Dhofar Horizon Restaurant – (Next to Moon travels) Oman post office Lulu Darsait Khimji Ramdas Head office, Muttrah (Kanaksi Khimji & pankaj Khimji) Majan College – Darsait junction (canteen) Indian Social Club Melody Music Centre – Next to ISM German Embassy – Hamriya roundabout Apollo Medical Centre Computer Xpress – Hamriya Roundabout Atlas Travels (Wadi Adai Roundabout (next to polyglot) Hatat House Passage to India Best cars Hyundai/Subaru/GM showroom Al Asfoor Furnishing Ahli Bank Shell marketing office SEAT car showroom- Wattayah DHL office- Wattayah Honda Showroom Sabco Head office wattayah NTT travels Wattayah Toyota Bahwan Advertising – Ist floor – Toyota showroom Lexus Ford showroom Shanfari Automotive Wattayah Motors- VW showroom Khoula Hospital Institute of Health sciences – opposite Khoula Kia showroom- wattayah

QURUM AREA TOWARDS AL KHUWAIR Al Harthy ComplexPizza Muscat – next to Sultan Center in al Harthy complex Sultan Center Nissan showroom BMW showroom Muscat Private School Qurum city centre Pizza Hut – Qurum Capital Store Al Asfoor Plaza KFC Hardees Fono showroom next to Sabco centre Shah Nagardas Sabco Centre- Barista coffee shop only Al Araimi Panasonic Showroom NBO Qurum Al Khamis Plaza Al Wadi commercial centre – Coffee shop Mercedes showroom CCC- Stand CCC Al Fair Bollywood chat Pizza Hut – Qurum

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

AL KHUWAIR/MSQ TOWARDS AZAIBA ELS – Al khuwair service road British School Muscat – MSQ British Council Oman oil- Madinat Qaboos Pizza Hut Khimjis mart – MSQ Kargeen Café Al fair Family Book shop- MSQ Tavola – Al Noor Hall buildg Starbucks Hana slimming centre – Ist Floor Fotomagic Al Noor Hall Al Jadeed Eqarat office Above Welcare Clinic – al Khuwair Domino Pizza Oman mobile Safeer Hypermarket Mustafa Sultan Souk Technia Omantel Oman international Bank – Al khuwair main office Ibis Hotel Park inn Hotel Friendi Office Muscat Bakery Tropical Ice creams Subway Pizza Hut service road

Ice Skating Rink National Training Institute Golden spoon Restaurant Shell Select- Al Khuwair Mcdonalds Mct holiday Inn Hotel Oman Bowling Center Halliburton Café Vergnano Khimji Mart – Next to Verganano Safeer suites Axa insurance (opp assarain Al khuwair) Zakher shopping Mall PAN Furnishing Harley Davidson Thrifty Al Amal Medical Centre – Dr Bashir Hotel Radisson Pizza Hut Al Khuwair Ozone Video Shop(Next to Pizza Hut) American British School Omar Khayyam Restaurant, next to V kool Grill House (next door) V Kool TAISM Centre for British Teachers – CFBT Baushar Complex Café Aviation Club Restaurant

AZAIBA TOWARDS SEEB Lulu Hyper market – Baushar Oman Medical college College for Business & financial Studies opp Oman medical, baushar Azzan Bin Qais school - Baushar Muscat private Hospital Dolphin Village – Bausher Royal hospital Ghala industrial area – NTI National mineral water – Tanuf ( next to Al Madina Holiday Inn) Oman oil Azaiba Spicy Village – Rusayl Pizza Hut – Ghala Oman oil – Ghala Towell head office – Enhance & Ist floor Mazda showroom Mcdonalds – Azaiba Select shell Azaiba Oman Tribune – Al Watan office New India assurance Azaiba office Safeer Hypermart Nawras head office Zubair showroom and Yamaha corporate office(two places)- Yamaha Showroom – close to Zubair showroom – 1st floor Polyglot Institute GU Tech – Beach road Azaiba Chedi Muscat The wave Muscat corporate office NACA – national cancer Awareness Assn MCC – Crepe Café Al Bahja– Mood Café & food Court Al Maya Super market Oman air Seeb office (Below Flyover, before Golden Tulip) Oman Tourisn College Golden Tulip Hotel Air port Select Shell – Seeb Pizza Hut airport KFC Muscat golf hills, SEEB KOM SQU – SQUH hospital , SQUH 2- canteen, 3Diplomatic Club, 4 – College of Commerce, 5 – Students banking area) Pizza Hut – al Khoud Sultan School al hail service road –

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

RUSAYL AREA Rusayl Industrial Estate Oman Cables Sadolin Paints Jotun Paints Al waqia shoes Mehdi Foods Areej veg oils

MINISTRIES AREA – AL KHUWAIR Ministry of tourism(Ghala, next to ISG) Ministry of social Development(next to Regional municipalities, Bank Mct) Ministry of foreign affairs

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

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

HOTELS Crown Plaza Hilton Salalah Hamdan plaza Dhofar Hotel Salalah hotel Haffa House Redan Hotel Al- Hanaa Hotel BAMSIR hotel Al- Jabel hotel Al- Nile suite (Saada) Salalah Mariott

MINISTRIES Ministry agriculture & fisheries Ministry of education Ministry of defense Ministry of housing & electricity Ministry of water Ministry of tourism Diwan of Royal court (Salalah) Ministry of primary court and justice Ministry of Commerce & industry Dhofar municipality (Baladia) Ministry of man power



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

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

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

PETROL STATIONS, BANKS Shanfari filling Station shell select, al saada Oman oil Shell Salalah Bank Muscat Omantel Oman Arab Bank Pizza hut Dhofar University Al Maha souk


20, 500 COPIES Circulation enquiries: 98675976/24565697

BUTTERFLIES are very interesting insects!

Did you know Sailor, Dead Leaf, Paper Kite, Blue Striped Crow, Julia and Great Egg Fly are all names of butterflies? Butterflies live in all parts of the world and there are thousands of kinds. Some are less than a half-inch long, while others have a wing span of eight to 10 inches! We have gathered some strange butterfly facts to share with you.! Enjoy! The wings of butterflies come in many colors and patterns. Some wings are solid bright colors, like blue, yellow, orange or red. The designs are pretty, but their purpose is to fool birds! Butterflies fly very well, and can change directions easily. They can land quickly. Their wings are made of many little scales. Butterflies find their way with the use of their antennae, which have tiny knobs on the ends. They feel things with the knobs. Some butterflies live for more than a year and others live for just a few weeks. Butterflies range in size from a tiny 1/8 inch to a huge almost 12 inches. Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow. The top butterfly flight speed is 12 miles per hour. Some moths can fly 25 miles per hour! Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.


There are about 24,000 species of butterflies. The moths are even more numerous: about 140,000 species of them were counted all over the world. Many butterflies can taste with their feet to find out whether the leaf they sit on is good to lay eggs on to be their caterpillars’ food or not. Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton. This protects the insect and keeps water inside their bodies so they don’t dry out. 58 April 15-30, 2010

TONGUE TWISTERS? TRY 'EM! How much wood could a wood chopper chop, if a wood chopper could chop wood? Black & White 59

By Dave Green

1 8 1 4 6 3 7 1/04

Difficulty Level


5 9 7 1 2 3 4 8 6

7 3 4 9 8 2 6 1 5

1 2 9 5 4 6 3 7 8

8 6 5 7 3 1 2 9 4

9 5 1 2 7 4 8 6 3

6 4 8 3 9 5 1 2 7

2 7 3 6 1 8 5 4 9


3 8 2 4 6 9 7 5 1

60 April 15-30, 2010

Difficulty Level

Coming soon

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

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

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

2 7

4 1 6 8 5 7 9 3 2

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


Stretch before you leap


Warm up stretches are considered the short-term investment, which pays off big time, if it is done right. The best way to warm up is to go into dynamic stretching, experts claim

Women over 65 have higher risk of heart attacks


Researchers have found that in women after 50 years the level of estrogen starts to decline. When they are 65 the risk of women and men for heart attacks equals

Be an Alpha female, but... She is in short, well dressed, suave, pretty (naturally), polished, maintains her figure, well coiffeured, intelligent, smart, witty, worldly wise, ambitious and successful…whew, what do you call such a woman? Superwoman? Well, if you can call a man with the above attributes an Alpha male, then, why not an Alpha woman or Alpha wife?


Black & White 61


Be an


Shape n sound


You must have seen her often. That prim and proper, smart and striking woman who has a brisk, no-nonsense approach to life and everything that surrounds it. You can see that in the way she selects and buys her clothes, or does her grocery or in the mere manner of dropping off her kids at school, or closing a deal‌and at the same time, handling her husband. He probably has a job that stresses him out, but, for this woman, a multi-stress job is just part of it. She is able to juggle that and more and still stays on top of the game at every moment.

62 April 15-30, 2010

She is in short, well dressed, suave, pretty (naturally), polished, maintains her figure, well coiffeured, intelligent, smart, witty, worldly wise, ambitious and successful… whew, what do you call such a woman? Superwoman? Well, if you can call a man with the above attributes an Alpha male, then, why not an Alpha woman or Alpha wife? This is the woman with the extra drive, a lady with a powerful perfectly put-together multitasking machinery who uses it expertly and thrives on being at the top of her game at every moment. You haven’t seen one yet? You must be blind, or you don’t want to admit that you are one. For, without a doubt, the number of alpha women or wives is on the rise. And, if it is the latter, they are turbo charged with the power of out-earning their partners. Women, in any country are more educated than the men and these sheer numbers are going to impose on us a decision, which we have not too many choices. But, if the Alpha woman is doing right outside the home front, not many agree that they are all right on the home front. Security. Control. Decision-making power. Who wouldn’t want those things in a relationship? But they can come at a high price. For many married women, heading up the household and leading the charge at the office leaves them overwhelmed, overextended, and completely spent emotionally and physically. Earlier studies found that high achievers of both sexes were more prone to emotional, physical, and relationship problems. Women with this nonstop make-ithappen drive “can experience everything from general uneasiness, irritability, and fatigue to sleep problems, persistent aches and pains, and compromised immune systems,” say relationship experts. Such women are in serious jeopardy of not only burnout and depression but also just missing out on life.

Too many women snowed under by responsibilities wait until they suffer breakdowns or panic attacks before changing their habits. But, every problem has a solution and if the overachiever Alpha female wants to find a balance, she has to: LET GO OF THE WHEELS Too many of these Alpha wives have a problem of letting go or liberating their husbands from their ‘I-will-call-all-theshots’ clutches. The reason that the Alpha wife is making all the decisions is simply to ensure that their home ran smoothly. But, too much is no good. So, relax, let go, let the hubbies learn and grow. SHRUG THAT BURDEN Many overwhelmed alpha wives confess fearing that things will fall through the cracks if they don’t attend to them personally. The time has come for these women to stop wondering, “What will happen if I stop being so meticulous? Will I look incompetent at work? Will my family and home life suffer?” and asking themselves: ‘What will happen if I don’t stop?’ INSTILL CONFIDENCE IN YOUR MAN This “move over, I’ll do it” attitude also sends a counterproductive message to husbands. It says pretty clearly that you doubt he’ll follow through--on the laundry, on dinner, on making the appointment with the accountant. And if that’s the case, why should he bother trying at all? Women have developed standards in terms of child and home care from their own mothers, their female peers, ‘supermom’ blogs, and even TV commercials. But it doesn’t make sense to hold a man, who has been influenced by a different set of factors, to those same standards. You’ve got to let him do things his way. This is not about lowering your standards, but modifying them. It means putting aside a set of policies that may have worked for you as an individual but that aren’t practicable as a member of a team. After all, there’s more than one right way to wash a dish. Black & White 63



Apple, grapes, kiwi, berries, pineapples, orange, apricot, plums… can you say no to them? Eating fresh fruit is always better, but again it depends on what you are making out of them. Fruits are good source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant. Dietary fibre is very important for our digestive system. Antioxidant will help us to prevent cancer. The best desserts are also fruits and we all know that. But sometimes we want something richer and plain fruit just won’t do. Here are few desserts that use fruit as the focus of the dish. Enjoy…

64 April 15-30, 2010

CHOCOLATE SAUCED PEARS Ingredients •4 small pears •2 Tbsp. lemon juice •2 tsp. vanilla •1/2 tsp. cinnamon •2 Tbsp. chocolate flavor syrup Method Core pears from bottom end, leaving stems intact; peel pears. Cut a thin slice from bottoms of pears to help stand upright. Place pears in a 2 quart square baking dish. Stir together lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon. Brush mixture on pears, pouring remaining liquid in bottom of pan. Bake at 375ºF for 30 to 35 minutes or till tender. Cool slightly. Strain baking liquid and pour into a small bowl. Stir in chocolate syrup and pour into 4 individual dessert bowls. Add pear to each bowl, standing up. Serve warm.

BROILED PINEAPPLE Ingredients •4 slices fresh pineapple, cored and peeled •8 tsp. brown sugar •1/4 cup sugar syrup Method Marinate pineapple slices in sugar syrup for 30 minutes at room temperature. Place on broiler pan in one layer and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar. Broil about 5 inches from heat for 3 mintues. Turn over and sprinkle with remaining sugar and broil another 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

BLACKBERRY SALAD Ingredients 2 cups blackberries 2 peaches 2 kiwi 2 banana 1/2 cantaloupe 1 1/2 cup nonfat, sugar free vanilla yogurt 1 Tbsp. honey 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

Method Peel peaches, kiwi, and bananas, and cut into bite size pieces. Cut cantaloupe into spears. Combine yogurt, honey, and mint leaves in mixing bowl. Add blackberries, peaches, kiwi, and bananas. Toss to coat. Place cantaloupe spears on salad plates. Top with blackberry mixture.

Black & White 65

Learn to say no

Malak Al Zedjali is an aspiring student writer

By Malak Al Zedjali Some people are committed to pleasing everyone. They can’t say ‘NO’ to anyone, they try, but they can’t. I’m one of them. In my school, we have different clubs that you can join: theater, press, music, photography, maths, science, and many more. Every year I say I’m not going to join any of them, because I don’t have the time to attend the meetings. But every year teachers just come to me and tell me that I should be the president for some club. I don’t know why I don't say that I CAN’T; I just smile and say sure, why not. I don’t have the need to please everyone, just teachers; I don’t know why, maybe because they’re the ones who are in control of our grades!


But really, there are people who have the need to please everyone they know, it’s definitely a problem! Saying NO is very difficult, I know. I think people with low-self esteem are the ones who have this problem. Sometimes if they said no, they’ll feel guilty, as if they did a bad thing. You should choose your battles. What I mean is, you shouldn’t say NO in some

sensitive situations, you can say it, give hints showing that you don’t want to do this thing. Instead of saying NO directly you can say, “I can’t do this right now” “Sorry, but no” “I can’t help you in this”. If you have said no already, and don’t know what to say, just try to change the subject, to make the person you talk to kind of ‘forget’ about it. Sometimes they’ll say over and over again “but why?” (Been there!) But do we really owe anyone an explanation on something that we don’t want to do? NO! You can just say, I have plans, it doesn’t fit with my schedule. I’ve always believed that the secret is to be firm and polite in the same time. Yes is not always the answer, just think about it, imagine what will happen if you said yes to everything! You’ll be stressed out! You’ll be tired, sick, and let’s face it you won’t do the thing you said you’ll do in your best act. And that won’t benefit you or anyone else! Saying NO is not a bad thing at all: just say it in the right, polite way.

66 April 15-30, 2010

It's my life

Spicy Women By Vandana Shah

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

Why does a Bipasha Basu attract men more than a Rani Mukherjee or Pamela Anderson; why do men hang out their tongues for them? But when it comes to Jodie Foster, who is so talented hardly evokes even a perfunctory glance... I think it’s the phenomenon of the S-P-I-C-Y- girls. These are the girls who are the proverbial forbidden fruit, who you can lust for and it’s only a brave man who would marry them. I asked my ex-boyfriend and he said “Since these girls seem so easy to hang out with and of course their clothes (assets screaming out of tight low-cut blouses) set your heart racing you just want to take them anywhere and live out your fantasies with them. No hang-ups-and so-unlike the proper gharelu (homely) women. I want frolicking not a wife yaar”. So it is the age old syndrome, of Madonna and Magdalene syndrome-good girl versus bad girl syndrome. So these spicy girls fall in the latter and you can have a banging good time with them, but with the good girls you have to be propah. The spicy girls also seem to be leading pleasurable lives, on their own terms which probably attracts the men to them in the short term but is emasculating for them in the long term. Plus they don’t have a halo so more difficult to convince the family they are ideal daughters in law. And also the fear since they are open about their relationships-look at Bipasha doesn’t hide behind the hackneyed “we are just friends”-what will the men do if they were to encounter an ex. So for now it seems the GOOD GIRLS have an edge but not for long, look at Carla Bruni. As for me I believe "good girls go to Heaven and bad girls go everywhere" and I hope I am a spicy girl. Keep smiling, peace and love till next time.

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

Black & White 67


before you


Shape n sound

If you are the type who randomly skips a warm up before a work out, please stop and read this. Yes, sure, where do you have the time? You just have a short scheduled period for your workout and that does not allow you the space for a stretch or two. No, you don’t have the time to waste any calories on tedious knee hugs and neck rolls. But, you better, because warm up stretches are considered the short-term investment, which pays off big time, if it is done right. The best way to warm up is to go into dynamic stretching, experts claim. Why? Because this stretches a muscle at its full range of motion (a body-weight lunge is a great example).

68 April 15-30, 2010

DYNAMIC STRETCHING increases flexibility, improves blood flow, and decreases your risk of injury and your recovery time. In other words: Your workout will feel easier, and you’ll see faster results. Before you jump into a workout, your brain needs to signal your body that it’s time for quick, explosive activity. Dynamic stretching moves kick your nervous system into high gear by calling your coordination into action while raising your heart rate and body temperature. The result: Your muscles respond more effectively during your workout. Now that you’ve got your heart pumping, this phase will turn on weak and underutilised muscles: glutes, abdominals, hip flexors, and lower and upper back muscles. These “core muscles” are responsible for maintaining stability and control in your joints while you move. Forgetting to activate these muscles raises your risk of injury. After this, try to increase the range of motion at your joints, while improving the flexibility in your large muscle groups from head to toe. When your mobility is compromised by stiff muscles, you spend more energy during your workout fighting against your body’s limitations, rather than burning calories.

QUICK WARM UPS Warm-ups, consisting of stretching and flexibility exercises should be performed for a minimum of five to seven minutes before aerobic exercise. The purpose of warm-ups includes: keeping muscles supple, increasing range of motion of joints, enhancing flexibility, improving coordination, increasing body temperature and heart rate, increasing blood flow to muscles and preventing injuries. The right way to stretch is slow and relaxed. Do not bounce. This can actually cause you to pull the muscle you are trying to stretch. You should stretch to the point of “mild tension”. If you overstretch you will also cause damage. Back off if the stretch feels painful. Hold the stretch for a minimum of 15 seconds each, without bouncing. Breathe slowly and naturally. Do not hold your breathe while stretching. Relax the stretch. Stretch one or two more times with each stretch. Try to stretch a little further with each stretch. Again, only to the point of mild tension. Cool downs, consisting of slow walking and stretching, are performed after aerobic exercise for a duration of five to seven minutes. The purpose of cool-downs is to gradually return your heart rate and blood pressure to resting or pre-exercise levels. Black & White 69

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Learning curve

The philosophy of my life

Laila, Omani graduate student of Nizwa University

By Laila Al Gharbi Life is an open book which we can read and understand differently. That depends on a person's approach to life. As an individual, I have my own approach to life. I have selected three aspects because of the great roles that they played in shaping my personality. They are: believing in myself and my abilities, hope and the spirit of giving. I am really proud of these aspects because they give me a good perception toward life in general as it is a gift from Almighty Allah. The first is: believing in myself and my abilities. I believe that God gives me unlimited potentials and abilities that enable me to fulfill my goals. Furthermore, I am always looking for good things within me and polish them to make the best of myself. I found that it is very important to believe in myself and my abilities because it pushes me forward and provides me with determination, dedication and ambition. Therefore, I always look at myself as a bird that can fly further by believing in her abilities to do more, achieve and create more. Believing in myself and my abilities are the starting points to approach my life wisely and effectively. Hope is the second aspect that I cannot do without. Hope always leads me to anticipate the best outcome for myself and others. During the course of life, I have learned that life without hope is like a night without stars. So, I always think positively to make my life enjoyable. Moreover, I have noticed that the more hopeful you are, the more happier you become because hope gives me the courage to challenge my life. Although life is full of problems and risks; it becomes easy because hope gives me enough power to overcome the problems that I face on the path of success. Be hopeful to inspire

other people and invite them to experience the sweetness of life with hope. Last but not the least, the spirit of giving is a fundamental aspect to approach my life because I have been taught this spirit by my mother who is my ideal role model. Also, when I give something to someone; the feedback that I receive makes me happy. Giving is a magical key to open others’ hearts. Furthermore, there are various ways of giving and personally, I used to give love because I always look at my heart as the home of love and I believe that love is a power. I give kindness, I give opportunities to those who really need that to develop themselves, I give time to those who need help, I give a smile to everyone and I give gifts to my loved ones. Give as much as you can and it will be much better if you give with a true love to inspire others positively. All in all, it is really hard to understand the philosophy of life unless we reveal some of its aspects and elements. I approach my life by believing in myself and the abilities to reflect who I am, what can I do and how can I do and what I aim to achieve in my life. Also, I cannot imagine my life without hope because hope provides me with energy and motivation to enjoy my life. As for the spirit of giving, it is the real reason beyond the great life that I have now and also it is what drives me. Indeed, these three aspects helped me to understand my life better as an orphan girl. And it never made me feel sad because an orphan is not the one who has lost both his or her parents-- an orphan is the one who always misses the opportunities that come to him or her, the one who is hopeless. This is my life, an open book for other people to read and learn from positively. 7171 Black Black && White White

WOMEN over


have HIGHER RISK of HEART ATTACKS Before menopause, women have a reduced rate of heart disease compared to men of her age, says a top cardiologist in town. “This protection before menopause is owing to the female hormone estrogen. It is also a fact that women tend to smoke less than men which also reduce the heart attack and stroke risks,” Dr Benny Panakkal, consultant cardiologist and group medical director of Badr Al Samaa Polyclinic, told Black & White. The estrogen or the female sex hormone is associated with higher levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) and lower levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol). THE RISK OF 65 “Researchers have found that in women after 50 years the level of estrogen starts to decline. When they are 65 the risk of women and men for heart attacks equals. Then things are less favourable for women compared to men,” Dr Benny said.


Heart attacks are generally more severe in women and death rate following a heart attack is more in women. In the first year after a heart attack, women are more than 50 percent more likely to die than men. Moreover in the first six years after a heart attack, women are almost twice as likely to have a second heart attack, Dr Benny said. SOME HEART TO HEART TIPS: *If you’re over age 18, have your blood pressure checked annually; over age 45, have your blood cholesterol and blood sugar checked each year; and if you have a family history of heart disease 72 April 15-30, 2010

in a relative prior to the age of 60, especially in a female relative, ask your physician to do these tests at earlier ages and to consider additional tests such as treadmill testing and other heart disease screening tests. *Be aware that the symptoms for women having a heart attack are often different from those of a man, but any of the following symptoms can occur in men and women: CLASSIC SYMPTOMS •Squeezing chest pain or pressure •Shortness of breath •Sweating •Tightness in chest •Pain spreading to shoulders, neck or arm •Feeling of heartburn or indigestion with or without nausea and vomiting •Sudden dizziness or brief loss of consciousness SYMPTOMS MORE LIKELY IN WOMEN •Indigestion or gas-like pain •Dizziness, nausea or vomiting •Unexplained weakness, fatigue •Discomfort/pain between shoulder blades •Recurring chest discomfort •Sense of impending doom

Black & White 73

We don’t require fake black outs! By Priya Arunkumar


We humans are crazy, he said. When we can love each other, every day of our lives, we choose to create one Valentine’s Day to spread the word of love… When we can save energy every day of our life, we create one Earth Hour to shut out lights! Making life easy, the hard way? He grinned. Don’t you all believe there is an easier way to do all things? He laughed. We were having a chat on the recent Earth Hour phenomenon and how many in town ignored the idea. How many hours do you use the net, the man who sat across us, asked me. You don’t use a Blackberry, he added gently. Not an iPhone? I nodded negative. No twitter, no Facebook? You must be the odd one out here. How do you manage when you go out? If you had an iPhone or a Blackberry, it would be a lot easier, don’t you think? I smiled. Well, I use the net for many hours a day. I do research, I browse for information… I tried to explain. Do you know how much a ‘web search’ costs this Planet Earth? Well, no, I said. I am not too sure… You want to take a guess? No, I was not ready to eat my words, I said no again. A search engine is exactly that… an engine, it works on the laws of thermo dynamics, like any other machine, he went on. It means, for every search done, it takes energy to do work and it wastes energy. 74 April 15-30, 2010

Take the most common search engine… It is estimated that Google has more than 200m internet searches globally daily. Such services obviously will have a carbon cost. It is only simple to understand that banks of servers storing billions of web pages require power? So pause for a moment and think about the electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions caused by computers and the internet, he continued. If I remember right, he went on... a recent report by the industry analysts said the global IT industry generated as much greenhouse gas as the world’s airlines - about two per cent of global CO2 emissions! And roughly every hour the Google’s engine burns through 1 million kilowatthours. In simple words, one search has the same energy cost as turning on a 100watt light bulb for an hour! Making it still simpler, why don’t you reduce your searches? I don’t mean to be pretentious, but, we don’t need fake black outs! All we all need is a little tweak here and there… that is all. Well, time to go… he waved at us and walked away. Yes, it is so easy to get silenced. We live in a world where people feel on top of the world to point fingers at others If only we looked at our own lives… If only we could tweak ourselves a lil’ bit… Yes, he is right; we don’t require fake black outs! We can live in a 'enlightened' world…

Black & White fortnightly magazine, Oman  
Black & White fortnightly magazine, Oman  

Issue 12, Apr 15-30, 2010. Oman's first free fortnightly magazine available all over Oman.