Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Free Concert Tickets & blogger Muawiya Al Rawahi 'released'

Thanks to our friends at HiFM, I have 2 free tickets for some lucky reader of Muscat Confidential to see the incredible Snow Patrol next month! It's not just ol' Muscat Mutterer that gives you free stuff you know!

- Alive Entertainment & HiFM present award-winning band live on 11 March 2012
- Tickets from RO 25

Alive Entertainment, in collaboration with HiFM, today announced that best-selling international indie rock band, Snow Patrol, will be performing live in Muscat for one night only on 11 March at the Intercontinental Hotel Gardens.

This is the first time in Muscat and in the Gulf for the band, which has performed for live audiences across the world. The five-piece band originally hails from Northern Ireland and has seen international success with their era-defining hits. The band will showcase material from their current album Fallen Empires, as well as performing their hits from their acclaimed albums Final Straw, Eyes Open and A Hundred Million Suns.

With demand for tickets expected to be high, register your interest online at where you’ll be kept informed of ticket release dates. On the night, fans can get up close to the action in the fan pit for RO 50 per person, or be part of the fantastic atmosphere with a general admission ticket at RO 25.

Gordon Mackenzie, managing director, Alive Entertainment, said:
“We are so excited to be bringing Snow Patrol to Muscat for the first time. Quite simply they are an amazing live act: they will be performing all their best-known hits plus material from their new album Fallen Empires. This is sure to be one concert you don’t want to miss.

Darren Shortt, Station Manager, HIFM, said:
“This is a great event that will certainly rock the capital. With James Blunt and Snow Patrol in Muscat so far in 2012, it’s set to be an awesome year for gigs!”

Muscat will be rockin' out on March 11th. And YOU can be a part of it! Simply win those 2 free tickets. Note they are not just tickets to the show, but they also get you and a friend into the VIP 'Fan Pit' right in front of the stage, together valued at 100 R.O.! [That's US$260 folks]

OK. So how do I enter to win the free VIP tickets?
All you have to do is send me some decent photo's of Blue Ruins City in Al Sawadi. The first reader to send me some good pics will win the free tickets! Please make sure to let me know if you want photo credit, and any photos may end up published here on Muscat Confidential. What are you waiting for? Get snapping!!

meanwhile, in other news:
It appears the previous post's story on blogger Muawiya Al Rawahi's 'arrest' is somewhat resolved: he's out of where ever he was, and it seems he was not arrested at all! Read the nice report from Gulf News.

Muscat: Controversial Omani blogger Muawiyah Al Rawahi was released on Monday night after a 10-day detention.

"Yes I am out and in good health," Al Rawahi told Gulf News over telephone on Tuesday night. In reply to a question, he said that he is not yet ready to say anything. "I am just out, give me some time and I will talk all about it," he said, adding that he had gone to the security agencies on his own and was not captured as is being speculated on the social media and micro-blogging site Twitter.

He refused to talk any further about his detention or release.

Since his release, Al Rawahi has posted two posts in Arabic in which he has apologised for his earlier post that may have hurt people. He stressed in his post that he was not apologising under any duress. "I regret that I let down many [people], and I regret that I let down myself," he wrote.

Muawiyah, aka 'Sid', left a comment on the previous post too. There is some disagreement between him and pro-Government forum commentator "Mti" about whether or not Oman has freedom of speech or not. As Mti points out, 'freedom of speech' is covered by the Basic Law of Oman:

Freedom of speech [or freedom of expressing oneself in any mode] is enshrined in the basic law. In fact it is on of the tenets. Using it constructively is one thing, abusing it is another. There is always a line drawn not be crossed [it is something embeded in the Arabic culture not to trample on others dignity] in expressing oneself. The issue at hand is the delusional individual wrote posts that insulted others. Society just ignored him for what he is and for what he wrote.

"Article (31) Freedom of the press, printing and publication is guaranteed in accordance with the conditions and circumstances defined by the Law. It is prohibited to print or publish material that leads to public discord, violates the security of the State or abuses a person’s dignity and his rights." [blog comment, Mti]

I've posted about this before. Article 31 is typical Omani double-speak legislation, purporting to make something 'legal' while simultaneously making the actual thing effectively illegal, in this case by constraining the 'right' of free speech to be allowed only if it's legal, and insulting people or criticising the Government is illegal.

Thus, the so-called right to speak freely in Oman is subject to those broad qualifications above, and if you are not allowed to be offensive (to anybody) that is not, IMHO, 'free speech' at all. Almost anything of interest will offend somebody. It is intrinsic to true free speech that you have the right to offend. The right to free speech is, after all, only an issue in the first place when people say things somebody finds offensive.

In the case of Oman, you are free to say anything you like only as long as everyone agrees with you (including the Government). That is not free speech.

On this issue I think people should start with 'On Liberty' by British Philosopher John Stuart Mill. One of his main arguments deals directly with the illogicality of restrictions as contained within Oman's Article 31 and the rather vague 'something embedded in the Arabic culture' argument of Mti.

Photo: John Stuart Mill, 19th Century English Philosopher, demonstrated the fallacy of commentator Mti's arguments against free speech back in 1859.

To quote Wikipedia:
On Liberty involves an impassioned defense of free speech. Mill argues that free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth. He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons. First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open exchange of ideas. Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. It is not enough for Mill that one simply has an unexamined belief that happens to be true; one must understand why the belief in question is the true one.

Perhaps the most memorable point made by Mill in this work, and his basis for liberty, is that "over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign". Mill is compelled to make this assertion in opposition to what he calls the "tyranny of the majority", wherein through control of etiquette and morality, society is an unelected power that can do horrific things. Mill's work could be considered a reaction to this social control by the majority and his advocacy of individual decision-making over the self. The famous Harm Principle, or the principle of liberty, is also articulated in this work: the state or any other social body has no right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others, crucially, the individual's own physical or moral harm is not justification for constriction of their liberty.

It is important to emphasise that Mill did not consider giving offence to constitute "harm"; an action could not be restricted because it violated the conventions or morals of a given society.

I think the anti-free speech high horse brigade in Oman's circles of bureaucratic power could start by reading some decent 19th Century philosophy.

And is Mti himself in breach of Article 31 by calling Sid "delusional"? Isn't that an insult, and therefore illegal?


  1. I tried to write a comment but it became a post
    then a msg of thanx

    Keep blogging


    they should start a (Tag) thing for blogger

    keep blooging

  3. " And is Mti himself in breach of Article 31 by calling Sid "delusional"? Isn't that an insult, and therefore illegal?"

    who is MTI?
    A blogger

    I searched MTI Oman and found no one

    any way I left a comment in my second best female blogger in Oman Nadia.

    I asked them in the to places if i am allowed to write what happened and they said
    it it is really what happened no one can stop you from saying what you believe" he said and the story ended

    Hope that you can read arabic other wise find ask openly all kinds of questions that you think you might think I have to clarify it.

    All Friends Asking Question and I keep telling the same story ( which is boring and full of laptopness, which made it real form me.

    I don't know you one day a Stranger appeared in face book claiming that he is some one who is ( Firs class relative).

    His name was Ahmed Ahmed

    And his blogger link.

    I asked many times that they give me a chance to apologize in my blog.

    I am not proud at all with what I wrote. It was a big fall for a small writer and small writers doesn't get better from A fall like this. I will keep blogging. I am not proud to what happened and losing 10 days of my life. It doesn't even worth it to have a police ticket.

    I am just proud with one thing. Ahmed Ahmed who I told you about, who published on his own responsibly so I find yout that this ( Ahmed Ahmed) was right. He is a first class or what ever relative. An online person changed a lot of things in my first crime in my life.

    When I came out my first plan is to sue ( أرفع قضية ) against this guy. If his claim was wrong I will

    sue him and SQUH then it turned out that Ahmed Ahmed is my biological Father, and my friend right now hopefully for ever.

    This is the only thing I am proud of as aproonliner

    I made my 50 old retired dad to write for me? as a blogger? my father is writing ( online) He finally understand what is this to us ( Bloggers ) and I Under stood when I saw him for the first time, after one year I will be from the ( over 30) being crazy is not allowed now.

    what i really need to say AMt is that the story is not in the إطار of ( Happened or not) the story is in if we are free or net.

    I think this is the debate
    the useful one some times :)

    نادية ترجمي لي هذي فقط: دار رأسي من الإنجليزي.

    ممكن تخبري الدراجون معاوية يعتذر جالس يعلق تعليقات طويلة وتوضحي له إنه رأسي بطي ولازم يمشي ببطء ..
    الشيء الثاني من لديه أسئلة
    يرسلها لبريدي وأعدكم
    أجيبها علنا بوضوح


    ألم أقل لك أنني أصبحت حرا
    يا صديقة

  4. nice.Deswal Engineers provides manufacturers and suppliers Road tankers manufacturing.

  5. UD,

    You made it clear here below.

    Quote “Postscript correction: It is reported that the blogger was not arrested, at least not for blogging, but may have been taken to Oman's Psychiatric Hospital instead for evaluation.” Unquote UD.

    Medical professionals can sure give him help in whatever is ailing him.


  6. UD,

    Yes I called him delusional. It is a fact NOT hearsay. It is not an insult but a medical condition. An insult is when you tarnish someone’s good name. In this case I just referred to a medical condition an individual is suffering from. You don’t need to go far to establish that fact. Read his long post in Arabic here
    He talks of depression/insomnia/self hate/suicide attempts/unseen enemies etc. mind you this is his own confession in public. Reread his post carefully and you sure will evaluate him as I did.


  7. تو انته موه جالس تقول؟

    المهم صاحبي وضحت لك والشيمة لا تطلب توضيح ثاني

    وتروم تسوي اسم كما الخلق بعدين تتكلم
    ما بلانا في عمان غير غير المعرفين ..

  8. هو صاه جالس يشرحلهم انك انته مريض بالهذيان و الازم عوين تتعالج وانك كذاب عور..... كله ذا تبقبقيق عسب العنجريزي ما ياخذ فكره غلط انه في حد يسجن في عمان لانه كتب فكره جات في راسه

  9. the paper owned by the family connected with Blue City is talking "Customer care key to keep sales rolling in " ....what happened!
    Thats What I (said)

  10. If you want to find MTi, check
    He's as delusional (about Oman) as he claims the aforementioned blogger is....


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...