I was thinking it might be nice to change my normal writing routine for this passport challenge and take you with me while I’m exploring Oman. The first thing I did was watching this movie about Oman and also part 2. It’s a very positive movie about Oman. It looks like it is a modern country with high goals in research and development, good human and women rights and beautiful landscapes. I must admit I’m skeptical, Oman is an Arab country and therefor it’s hard to believe that human and women rights are valued. I don’t want to offend anyone, I know this is very short sighted of me. At this point I’m very curious what this journey will teach me and I hope I’m wrong.
In the south-west of Oman a site was discovered holding stone tools that belong to the Nubian Complex. So far this was only found in north-east Africa. This means human have lived in Oman (or what we now know as Oman) for a very long time. It also gives us information about how and when people migrated from Africa to the rest of the world. Maybe I should learn more about this ancient migration thing. I’ve seen it mentioned before and I know long time ago all the continents where connected to each other, but I know very little of it and it might be interesting. Oman was influenced by the Persian dynasties until the country accepted Islam as their religion. It was 1 of the first countries that came in contact and accepted Islam. As like christians, Islam had it’s ambassadors as well. (I never thought about that before, but now I think of it, it makes sense. It’s kind of weird to realize how little I know). From 1507 -1650 Oman was ruled by the Portugese, followed by the Ottoman. In 1741 a leader of an Omani tribe took over and he was the first of the sultan family that still is in charge. Oman becomes a powerful empire with a peak in the 19th century. For those who want a more in depth read about Omans history here is a link.
Qaboos Bin Said is now the sultan of Oman. He came in charge in 1970 and put a lot of effort in making Oman a modern country where life is good for it’s inhabitants. Many health and education facilities where created, everyone is allowed to vote at the age of 21, women can participate in society, even in the government. It looks like that movie I watched is telling the truth. That makes me happy, although the praise to the sultan in the video makes me feel uncomfortable, but that could be a cultural thing. And then I read this article about human rights in Oman. It’s not all sunshine. Freedom of speech is such an important thing in my world, it’s also a much discussed subject in my world. It’s a difficult subject, I don’t think the world gets better if everybody can speak their mind without considering other peoples feelings and values, I also don’t think it’s good if people aren’t allowed to say they don’t approve to rules and opinions.
I’ve read a short folk tale about a princess who doesn’t speak. Her father says the man who makes her speak can marry her. Gorgeous looking men with all kinds of skill come over, but the princess never speaks, until that 1 man that doesn’t look so hansom and doesn’t have impressive skills appears. He wins the heart of the princess by being kind to all people around him.
Above video is of a dance that is on the Unesco list. I love how Unesco tries to also keep traditions alive. Here you can find a youtube playlist with more Omani music. I don’t know if you have ever heard of an artist named Gaslampkiller, but he could turn this into something I would like.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done an excursion and brought home a souvenir. I went to Ras Al Jinz, a turtle reserve. 5 of the 7 sea turtle species can be found here and this is 1 of the places they lay their eggs. The centre creates awareness of human treats against the turtles and you can book an excursion at night to watch the turtles nesting. That would be very special to see for real.
I cooked a chicken dish with egg and cheese bread as a sidedish. It’s probably me, but I had some difficulty understanding the recipe, therefor I adjusted it a little. I first baked the chicken and onion and then let it simmer with tomato and spices for about half an hour. The dough of the bread is very sticky indeed. I couldn’t split it. I took my baking tray and spread out the dough on that to make 1 big bread and baked it in the oven. The bread was a little too thick and not well done in the middle. Warm cheese is a thing I always love and that made it still tasty, but it wasn’t my best cooking.