Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We're not sleepy folks!

Nice link sent by 'Anon' to the report on the peaceful protest in Oman a few days ago.

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
About 2,000 Omanis demonstrate demanding higher wages and stop rising prices
By: The Associated Press
Posted: 01/17/2011 12:44 PM | Comments: 1

MUSCAT, Oman - About 2,000 Omanis have staged a rare protest demanding higher wages and salaries and a curb to rising prices and the high cost of living.
The demonstration Monday, a rarity in the sleepy sultanate, was called for by the civil society groups and publicized on websites.
Protesters gathered in the district housing most government ministries under close watch by police. The demonstration ended peacefully.
One demonstrator said the march was a request to Sultan Qaboos to personally intervene against the greed of the merchants and raise government employees salaries including those in the police and the army. He refused to give his name fearing of government reprisal.
Banners held by the demonstrators read "no to high prices" and "no to the merchant greed."

and the great comment:

POSTED BY: jduester
JANUARY 18, 2011 AT 8:31 AM
To describe Oman as a "sleepy sultanate" is highly offensive and does not do credit to one of Arabia's oldest and foremost nation states. Oman has a highly educated population and its government displays a skillful and mature regional policy. I am utterly dismayed at this pejorative language and a considerable lack of professionalism by an AP writer.

Hmmm. Highly offensive is lot of offense. Especially as there are only two words quoted that are "offensive", and one of those is just a plain fact: Oman is a Sultanate.

So its official: We're not sleepy.

Remember, [Thanks Observer!] even England also saw large public protests over taxes and Gov spending cuts recently. There's not necessarily any connection to Tunisia at all.

Any pic links?
Update: Youtube [Thanx Al]:

Picture from an American student hunger strike in 2005 kimthewolf

From The Gulf News

Though the ministry area was deserted when the protest was held at government department as the staff work only up to 2.30pm. the main Sultan Qaboos Highway saw a huge traffic jam of office goers from the private sector heading home. The curious drivers slowed down the traffic, triggering congestion.
"I could see a huge crowd in the ministry area and the traffic was crawling," an expatriate, who wished not to be named, told Gulf News.
Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices.
The police kept track of the protesters even as some joggers continued with their routine. The police did not interfere and the protest ended as peacefully as it had started.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) had no comment to make when Gulf News contacted for details about the protest.
This is not the first time such peaceful protest was held in Oman. Recently some young graduates led a delegation to the Education Ministry, demanding teaching jobs.
Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with the news about the protest.


  1. I believe it was 200 not 2000 demonstrators.

  2. Yup...pretty sure it was 200. Here's more pics: http://alharah.net/alharah/t25556.html

    Site is in Arabic but Google Translate does a pretty good job.

  3. The Rial is pegged to the US dollar, so when the Americans cause inflation by running the printing press, it spreads to countries that use dollars or currencies pegged to the dollar. I think it would be better to peg the Rial to a mix of gold, oil, and related products. Already, when I see the charts for gold, I look at it as the value of gold remaining quite stable, and the USD or other currency fluctuating in terms of gold. For example, a 1 oz. gold piece has always been able to purchase a nice men's suit.

    http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/the-canary-in-the-coal-mine-is-in-southeast-asia/ talks about Laos, where they have enough natural resources to be self sufficent for food, yet their prices are rising. This is a world wide event.

    Finally, 'sleepy' is a good thing. Oman stays out of the international media precisely because newsworthy bad things rarely happen here.

  4. Here today, gone tomorrowJanuary 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Sleepy is accurate - if a protest of a few hundred males makes the news, then that says it all.

  5. @ Here Today, gone tomorrow

    The country has not faced problems like unemployment and high prices earlier. These problems have come up here only recently...

    So should people go out and protest for no reason??Just to prove that we are not sleepy..???

    People protest for being heard , not to prove that they are awake..and have very strong voices...
    Oman is a forward -looking country with a clear vision and people here are responsible and aware.

    So definitely calling Oman as Sleepy is unacceptable.

  6. What about "..Oman has a highly educated population..."?! Sure, some Omani's are highly educated. But based on personal experience I think it is safe to say that the Omani population is in general poorly educated. Further, given the current education system in Oman, it is probably also safe to assume that this 'poor' situation is not going to change anytime soon.

  7. I agree with Objective - I worked in one of the colleges and the biggest battle was to work on the conviction that education is spoon fed and that marks are high to keep the students happy.


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