Monday, July 23, 2012

Ramadhan Kareem!

Ramadhan kareem! As the first week of Ramadhan is now well underway and, I'm sure, you're all still very "enthusiastic" about fasting, spare a thought for your more northerly brothers and sisters who, in the case of the UK, have to endure 18 hour days right now .... surrounded by indfidels like me supping my coffee and having lunch! Talk about stress! You've got it so easy out there!!

With respect to the meaning of fasting and my experience of seeing so many who fast for all the wrong reasons, the message in the picture at the top of this thread says it all for me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Oman's drug problem - action at last

I first came to Oman in 1995 and even back then I found the drugs problem amongst young men to be frightening. There was no awareness of the dangers and problems drugs cause and the attitude of these young guys was to "have a good time" and not think about tomorrrow. I saw several friends of mine be systematically destroyed by drugs to the point where they could not cope any longer. Two of my friends died. There was no support system for people addicted to drugs. They became "outsiders" in society.

I've just read in the latest edition of The Week that the drug problem in Oman is finally being addressed (Issue 487 - Cover Story) by the proposed provision of 50 beds at an Amerat detoxification clinic and the conversion of a section of Ibn Sina Hospital into a rehabilitation centre. A good start, but not enough. The drugs problem in Oman is large. Unemployment, boredom, a feeling of not achieveing anything all contribute to young guys (and, most likely, women) falling into a drugs habit which they cannot get out of. The ROP response to drugs trafficking, focussing on high profile cases but not having a comprehensive approach, does not help either. But at least this is a start.

Perhaps the next step would be for the Omani Government to fully recognise the HIV problem they have on their hands and tackle this with some seriousness.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A British Summer

The view outside my widnow on a lovely summer's day in the UK
I understand it is hot in Oman right now. OK, well that's a bit of a foregone conclusion really as it is basically hot there every year in the summer. Well I wish you could send some sunshine and heat over here to the UK. No doubt those vaguely interested in the tennis at Wimbledon have been watching the miserable conditions at the tournament.

Since the first week in April (yes ... April) it has been raining virtually every day, except for a brief respite in late May of about a week. Yesterday, and we're talking July here, the mercury reached the dizzy heights of 14 degC. midsummer and it is colder than an average november day in London!! The Diamond Jubilee celebrations were a cold, rainy and miserable affair (and that's not even taking into account the fact that the organisers wheeling out relics such as Paul McCartney, Elton John and Cliff Richard), Wimbledon is a mess, the cricket is washed out and I cannot see anything changing before the Olympics.

What a summer!!!

Sorry.....that's a lie; there's been no summer, just a slow progression from early spring to late autumn.