Saturday, 31 May 2008


I bought a four-wheel drive vehicle and set about exploring the country. The landscape was wild, primitive, beautiful. I came across small villages where the way of life had changed little since biblical times. I still remember seeing a young girl driving a herd of goats home to her village, just as the sun was setting - it could have been taken from the Old Testament. Arab hospitality is warm and all-embracing.I was invited into even the humblest of homes to partake of coffee, dates and fruit. A refusal to do so would cause the gravest offence. I observed a way of life simple and yet deeply meaningful. There is a warm communality that exists among Arabs, a close- knit tribal togetherness.In addition; there is genuine care and concern for children and the old, and strong family ties.It was a simple life ,largely devoid of consumer goods. The only signs of modern life in these communities were televisions, pick-up vans, refrigerators and the electric light.

In 1985 ,Oman was a country hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world.Newspapers were subject to strict censorship .The main English language daily ‘The Oman Observer’ was published by the Ministry of Information and only published good news , or hagiographic descriptions of the Sultan’s activities..Crime, for example was simply never reported.One could believe that the whole of Oman was entirely crime-free.It was a propaganda sheet .Television news treated world events in a perfunctory way .There was no discussion or analysis of current topics - everything was very superficial. Omanis knew very little of the outside world – and cared even less. The place was a cosy backwater.

ภาพจาก Destination Oman