Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's hot in Oman.

Sup, folks.

I'm writing this from Ibri, Oman, where I've been since last Sunday-ish. (Surely, y'all remember me blogging about my parents' giving me their blessings to go to Oman?)

That stuff aside, OMAN IS HOT!!!!!!! Like, yesterday at around 7:30pm, it was 116 degrees F (46.7 C). Right now, at 4:30pm, it's 118 F (47.8 C) I didn't think it'd be this hot. Not sure why. I mean, I thought, was told, and expected Jordan to be crazy hot, but that was nothing. In Jordan, I'd need a jacket by evening time. June was much cooler than July, but July was still nothing like the mid-June here in Ibri. We landed in Muscat around 11pm, and IT WAS HOT AS HELL!

So this first little journal or whatever was to say that it's really, REALLY, really hot in Oman. When the wind blows, you feel like flames of hellfire are being thrown into your face. Nothing could've prepared me this. It's so hot that most shops are closed, especially around the afternoon time, and no one here walks outside. No one. Because the heat kills.

Also, at the Muscat airport, there were so many Pakistanis, many of them Pashtuns. There are other South Asians as well, and these immigrants can be spotted by their South Asian-style clothing. Men. I haven't been outside much, and women typically aren't seen outside here, but on the way home the other day in the bus, I saw a South Asian woman walking through the gates to her house.

It breaks my heart to see these people, not just the South Asian ones but also the Arabs/Omanis, who sit in their shops or outside their shops in this heat, trying miserably hard to make a living and most of them probably just barely surviving. It makes you hate this world, and hopefully we all already hate poverty and injustice. Why do people have to go through such hell to live? It's so unfair. And then for the immigrants, most of them are forced to leave their families and other loved ones behind to have jobs outside their homes and communities, and most likely to be discriminated against, ostracized, and otherwise hated and treated brutally - as we know happens in the Gulf with South Asian (and other?) migrant laborers.

I'll write in more detail later - about how we got here, what all happened in Muscat, what's been going on here so far, how this experience is different from my Jordan one, what Omani society is like as far as my little observations are concerned, and, of course, more things about HOW OMAN IS HOT AS HELL.

Peace be on you, crazy-ass world.


  1. There are a lot of middle and upper-middle class, professional class, etc., SA women who are working (and typically with family) or whose husbands are working in Oman. But the men you see out in the street walking around in shalwar qameez or lungi, laacha, or what have you out in the heat are typically blue collar workers, manual laborers, "mazdoors" etc., who do not make a high enough salary to sponsor their families. The middle class women don't go out in the heat, but shop early mornings and in the evenings, and usually have cars. I don't know about who is working in Ibri. There is a lot more poverty among nationals in Oman (and also KSA) than in other GCC countries, so you see Omani road side fruit sellers, taxi drivers (taxi driving was actually nationalized), petrol pump workers, etc. out in the heat while in other GCC countries these jobs would be filled by Nepalese, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians. It is hard to see those men...they are so brave to leave home to earn for their families.

    1. Thanks, Fatima! I imagine one of the most difficult, most painful things for migrant workers (whether international ones or domestic ones) is not having their families with them and not being able to sponsor their families to be with them. The restaurant that caters our daily lunch is run by a Bengali, and it's just so heartbreaking to watch them working so hard and being this far from their family. You feel like just buying things from their store (they've a small bakery and candies and other stuff too in the restaurant) to help them out the little you can.

      Also, dude!!! Ibri is, like, totally under construction ALL freaking over! It's ... an interesting sight all over town!

    2. I wonder if it is 49% owned by the BD man, and 51% by an Omani sponsor and business partner...but more likely it is fully owned by an Omani and the BD employees have a fixed monthly salary and are under the owners sponsorship as employees. So if you bought all the baked goods, it doesn't really do anything for the employees, it just supports the Omani sponsor's business, if that makes sense. I guess you could leave the waitstaff tips or something? There are so many who one's heart goes out to. Some stuff you could do is buy a bunch of shampoo, soap, and phone cards and donate them to a construction site...those men make a very slow salary, so items like that eat up their salary and it is helpful. Or if your school building has a cleaner, you could gift him some money or a high value phone card and a watch or something like that as a departure gift. Off to read your new posts!


Dare to opine :)

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