Leaflets for Expatriates
Expatriate employees have good reason to be thankful to the faceless bureaucrats at the US Dept of State. In a further part of the Sultanate’s attempt to be removed from lowly Tier 3 of the US State Dept's Country categories on Human Trafficking, the Government is (apparently) finally issuing 'leaflets' to the poor manual workers and domestic staff here. See the article in the hard-hitting journalistic triumph that is The Times of Oman
This of course comes on the heels of the ‘Conference to Raise Awareness on Human Trafficking’ I blogged about earlier. The real reason for all this activity is the US Congress has yet to ratify the Free Trade Agreement with Oman, and they are certainly loath to do so (now they are Democratically controlled) for a country that is still officially considered to exploit vulnerable foreign workers.
Of course, the article doesn’t explain how the poor workers are to be given these leaflets. Nor does the article mention the illegality of employers confiscating people’s passports (which is still common practice here). But I guess it's progress!
Naughty Health Clubs, Massage Parlours OK
The ROP and Dhofar have closed 19 health clubs for not properly segregating men and women. more Times of Oman.
Sheikh Salim bin Aufait Al Shanfari, chairman of Dhofar Municipality, said the municipality in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had set terms and conditions for health clubs operating in the governorate including allocation of separate entry points for men and women among others.Hmmm. Naughty naughty. Of course, the Thai [generally real], Russian [the expensive - ie white girl with big breasts - happy ending] and Chineese [ie cheaper asian smaller breasts happy ending] massage parlours are still doing a roaring trade. Excellent!
News definitely NOT in the News
After the republishing of the infamous cartoons in Denmark (the real ones, not the extra bad ones the Imam's invented, naturally), in response to the busted death plot against the cartoonist by 3 Muslims, the 'net is awash with vitriol and calls for everything from boycotts to further assassinations. The usual riots occurred in Pakistan, plus we saw Sudan & Yemen blocking entry to all Danes, etc etc.
And not a peep reported in the Omani media. I guess one of the benefits of a state controlled media. I'd wager the local Immams have not been saying anything official either.