Monday, November 23, 2009

UN Follow-up Part 1. Questions about the real Oman

OK Team, as a follow up to the earlier post, here are some more specific questions from the UN researchers, asking about how they could aid Oman.

Photo [from Google Earth]: Oman from space. How can the UN best help the people of this place?

Can you help answer their questions? Is there any data on these issues, or others, available on line? Where can one find out about mentally handicapped children in Oman? Are there any women's shelters? Etc. I think the focus should be on collecting facts and data (or the absence of same) in these key areas.

On reflection, perhaps the first think the team could offer is an independent report into such things, where data collection is the focus...

Dear Dragon,


Concerning the traditional fisheries, are there any plans being made that you know of to revive the fish-population?
- What happens to handicapped children in the small villages and with the Bedouin nomads? Are they being ignored?
- What is the main Omani attitude concerning education? Is there any [need] for [of] compulsory education for the Bedouin people?


  1. I've no doubt like many developing countries there are weak area that could benefit from aid. However,as has been alluded to, this would mean opening up and admitting there is a problem and I can't see that happening.

    Perhaps the aid money could go to buying a carpet, the worlds biggest so that more of such matters can be brushed under it!

  2. I can try to answer your question on the situation of children with special abilities and needs in Oman (apparently we can't use the word 'handicapped' anymore. There are 19 centres for children with special abilities and needs in Oman (as well as a bunch of other centres in the Muscat area). That's it. They're in the major towns. Until last year, these centre were not supported by the government (SHAME ON THEM), but by Bahwan. He paid for everything including the mini salaries of the volunteers who worked there. The centres are 'supervised' by the Ministry of Social Development, but during 2006 when I was able to interview a very senior person in the Ministry, what they informed me is that the government doesn't support such centres. In Dhofar alone we have 3 of these centres, and one centre for the blind. That's it. A lot of companies and the wealthy in Muscat give charity but the main fund is in Muscat, and thus most of the money is distributed among the centres in Muscat. Salalah often gets neglected. The centre for the blind in Salalah is in terrible shape. Just a small example is that they spent 3 bloody years asking for a blind-friendly computer/typewriter, etc. The manager (also blind) has to go around to companies practically begging for funds to keep the centre running. It's awful, and I've been there several times.

    In a developed town like Salalah, even intelligent well-educated people still think it's shameful to have a handicapped child.

    So, I hate to think how it's dealt with in small villages and remote areas in the mountains or desert. As far as I know, there are no services provided in remote areas for children with special abilities & needs.

    Even in Salalah (population 150,000?) we have that one centre for children . The volunteers are NOT experiences. And many of the children are autistic. None of them seem to understand that you cannot shout at a child with autism! You simply can't! They have to be treated in a very special way. Does the government care? No! Once a week a physiotherapist comes from the hospital to work with the kids. That's about it. It's beyond frustrating, but at least we do have a centre. What about the remote villages? Tiny communities in the mountains? I hate to think. And yes the number of handicapped chidlren in Oman is HIGH because of inter-marriage (especially in Salalah).

    I hope that helps to answer your question.

  3. Bahwan (Saud and probably Suhail) are amazing - good business people and good deed doers.

  4. OK, Nadia has given us great insight into the handicapped child care problem in Oman. We basically have a government that is not responsible to the people and doesn't give a d*man about the social problems.

    But what is the solution?

  5. Nice article by the National about the rise in suicides by subcontinent workers in Oman. It seems the blood money system is tempting poor workers to kill themselves by 'accident' to enable their families to get the money...

    This is something the UN should consider too.


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