Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak! News. Belated 'Ask an Omani' on Polygamy

Yes, it's Ramadan (and luckily in line with Saudi and Iran too!). The office is always so beautifully quiet in the afternoons at this time, sometimes I wish it could be Ramadan all year...

For a local summary of Ramadan and what it means, I recommend Dhofari Gucci's post today.

We've also had our first 2 official H1N1 deaths, although (as pointed out by Muscat Mutterer) Dhofari Gucci reported 2 deaths some time ago as being due to H1N1, this was subsequently denied by the Ministry of Health as the young woman refered to by DG tested negative. So officially, only 2 deaths so far, and both people with existing heath issues. So keep washing hands, etc, etc.


Oman Air new plane almost ready
Oman Air are finally getting FAT [Factory acceptance testing] completed for their brand new Airbus A332 plane. Here's a pic of it in the air ripped from plane spotter central commandJet Photos. Presumably they will have already fixed the dicky airspeed system...

Photo: Oman Air's new A332 flys in the blue sky of France

Ministry of Tourism change tack in the battle for Capital Area Yacht Club
The MoT have apparently changed their mind about wanting to grab the beautiful bay currenly occupied by CAYC for yet another OMRAAN Integrated Tourism Development. Now the MoT are apparently saying they want it to be turned into a public beach, due to the high demand. Of course, that the high demand for public beaches may be related to the many public beaches already requisitioned by MoT in the first place.

A key driver for the continued MoT pressure seems to be the repeated attempts to shanghai the current CAYC members off to the next door Marina Al Bandar, and thus boost the marina's profitability... But I must be mistaken: how could there be a connection between the actions of public officals at the Ministry of Tourism and the profitability of the Marina?

Blue City takeover attempt
No updates on the attempt - supposedly by investment brokers in the UAE - to buy the Blue City bonds at a hefty discount, so we must assume they were not successful in getting control, at least not yet.

Belated "Ask an Omani" - Polygamy
I also neglected to post the latest in our "Ask an Omani" segment on time last week, so here it is (although, I know, she already posted it on her own website ages ago). Remember, if you have any questions, email me here at Muscat Condifential.

My Second Wife… NEXT!

The Qur’an states that a man can marry up to four wives. There are many restrictions and conditions for polygamy in Islam. However, here I will talk about polygamy that has been taken out of its religious context into –my favorite of all – the cultural context. Yes, there is a difference.

Polygamy in Oman is, well, acceptable by most men and rejected by most women. You might find the practice common to some families and rejected by others. Personally, I would love it if it were illegal. But –and that’s a big but – you cannot ask to change God’s laws. So, how do we women manage to work around that? Well, women really don’t, or better.. they can’t other than ask for divorce. So, let me tell you what happens in this culture.

Many men, here, believe that it is their religious right to marry more than one despite their wives feelings. What some do –many of them- is marry a second wife in secret. The whole thing goes on for months or even years. Some men dare to take money from their first wives to pay the expenses to marry the second one. Build a new house under their names, dowry, wedding expenses.. etc. Once the scandal is out, the woman either tries to divorce the husband or lives with him for her kids’ sake.

Why do men marry more than one? Well… because they want to. Some of the excuses that you might hear is… “There are too many unmarried women in the country and we just want to do a good deed”, or “I felt sorry for the girl, she was unmarried”, or “just because –the only honest one”. So, how do first wives feel…. Hurt, stabbed in the back, regret, and all other emotions that go in your head once you find out that someone cheated on you!


  1. What I liked about the Omani their simplicity and their men rather more sensitive if you tell them the truth. What I mean their women are tougher. This resulted from my own experiences and observations, unfortunately the minute I speak Arabic they are changed people for both.

    Smartly enough I learned to listen many times not to approach knowing how social and ice breaker of a person and female I’m. I don't need to tell what I heard of both men and women talking. Forget the Omani staring because where ever you see such, it is noticeable with the Omani as they have larger pupil or un-healthy eyes which is genetic over there. Why I’m mentioning this. I felt in the short period I spent there. I advocated the danger of more than one wife and relative marriages.

    What made me sad and unfortunate that the Gulf hire many wrong people in the education field and foreigners whether they are Arab or other nationalities’ are not that loyal to speed with today improvements? Why do you think the lack of education is drowning too? Because we concentrate on sexual issues rather morality and values. You can read my response with reality link so I don’t repeat myself. This issue might not get many responses for now!?. Some Muslim males think because it is Ramadan and another religious game too. I'm trying to get them express their truth in such month....

    I never was asked for HIV test till I came to Oman? What does this tell you? It is not because the country is developed (I hope), but it is because the many travels to Thailand bringing such and the country is already saturated with that. This leads to another scary subject in Oman. The health, education and justice department should make a new law not to let any Omani to marry 2’s to reduce such: Religious cover up for sexual desires.

    Why don’t the male all over the world whom they are still the majority in control or power learn how to preserve their needs for one year or be satisfied with one woman? I will assure you the down size of HIV, diseased children and happier families and wives. To my male opponent I ask this: How about I have the same desire,, so why can’t I marry 2-3-4 men….It is easy today with DNA testing to know who is the father. It was claimed in the past or ignorance of today scholars answering: The Quran, hadiths, prevent women of such SO, we know who is the father. I think I resolved the issue and to be fair I don’t mind seeing women marrying equal to the man who makes such excuse.

    By the way, I don’t understand people doing such. I’m not against any other people choices whether 2-3 4- wives if there is a legitimate cause or gays, lesbians as much as I’m against double standard in any form whether it is the Omani or else. Look at lately the American or European scandals of top government leaders’ discoveries which make mostly men a disgrace to their fellowship. May be they should covert to Islam to make it legitimatize...

  2. So let me get this straight. You can marry a new chick but don't tell the old wrinkly but you can take her dosh so she pays for the new wife! You don't get the hassle or expense of divorce either. Sounds good to me,where do I sign?

  3. Ahhh... polygamy. It's at the top of my list of 'Post Ideas' for my blog. I know so much about it, have watched it happen again and again to close relatives and friends, and could probably write a book about it, but I need to summarize my thoughts into one decent-sized post.

    Truth be told, I have seen over 20 polygamy cases in my close network of family/friends, yet NONE of these cases are justified Islamically. Islam allows more than one wife under specific conditions (example, if first wife is sick and needs care, if she cannot have children, or if she agrees to it completely, or if a man's brother dies usually he feels obliged to marry his brother's wife to protect her and keep the kids in the family, etc)

    Nothing in Islam justifies marrying a second wife just because you feel like it. In this aspect, Omani men are losers. And I think polygamy is more common in Dhofar than in any other part of Oman.

  4. I knew one of those 'secret second wives'....not a good situation. She lived in a tiny apartment...and he visited for sex only.


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