If I didn’t scout the news headlines and browse local blogs, I would probably have no idea that history is being made in Oman right this moment. Out and about all is as usual, the weekend has come and gone and another working week is now upon us. Many are holding their breath, eager to see what the next few days will bring. Muscat has witnessed peaceful demonstrations throughout last week. A rally was held opposite Majlis Al Shura headquarters a few days ago and then again just yesterday. The demonstrations were noted in all corners of Oman, from Salalah to Sohar, the latest reported today morning in Ibri. Muscat Daily
reports that the teachers of Seeb schools have gone on strike with the aim of bringing attention to the much needed reforms in the educational system of The Sultanate. Their demands also include shortening the school day for students, which currently ends at 1:45pm. The Ministry of Education has already met with many of the teachers on strike to attempt to establish better communication channels.
Sohar on the other hand has seen a pleasant turn of events, the city is now calm and peace prevails. The protestors arrested due to violent clashes earlier have now been released and no further outbreaks of hooliganism have occurred. I have seen very gruesome images of burning buildings, trucks and vandalized property- images that did not register with me those that could have occurred in Oman. On Tuesday the 1st of March I was also witness to numerous cars decorated with Omani flags and his Majesty’s images patrolling the Shatti area with their hazard lights on, honking as they made their way through the traffic.
Today morning Times of Oman carried an article that nicely outlines the main demands of the nations:
Protestors in Muscat are demanding:
- -Political reforms
- -Change in the constitution
- -Greater transparency and accountability
Protestors in Sohar and other towns want:
- More jobs
- Higher Pay
- Free housing for the poor
- Marriage funds to help young people get married
Flipping through the local newspapers one can come across THOUSANDS of jobs being advertised. The Renaissance Group has announced vacancies for waiters, cleaners, laundry men and etc. Likewise, The Zubair Group has advertised 1,300 vacancies in various sections in response to His Majesty’s promise of establishing 50,000 jobs for job seekers in the Sultanate. ROP has announced jobs for 10,000 citizens, some will be trained prior to joining the forces whilst others will be allocated to the promised 15,000 vacancies within the private sector.
It seems as though the whole country is deeply moved by His Majesty’s assertiveness and the desire to fulfill the demands of his people. Never before have measures been taken so swiftly and effectively to unite a nation by their leader. I can only wish for others to follow in these footsteps.