Archive For The “Blog” Category
COVID-19 Locks-down London / UK as death toll exceeds twenty six thousand. Making the UK as of midnight on the 29th April 2020, the 4th worst effected country in terms of deaths. Video footage of London (Harrow, Holborn, Westminster and Trafalgar) in a state of Lockdown. All recorded on the 13th April 2020 using various cameras and techniques.
Oman takes unprecedented proactive and positive action to protect Heritage and Tourism Industry
The Sultanate of Oman is to be applauded for the quick-thinking and unprecedented proactive and positive steps in suspending the country’s international tourism activities. Thereby protecting the tourism industry and their citizens, in particular the elderly population, who (not forgetting Oman’s National Museum), are the living embodiment of the nation’s culture and heritage.
From the 15th March for a period of 30 days, the countries international tourism industry will effectively be suspended, along with a number of other measures, as reported in the Oman Daily Observer. The farsighted and responsible steps were instigated by The Supreme Committee, which was formed by the government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and presents a timely opportunity for the Ministry of Tourism to assess the viability of the tourism industry and what associated or additional services may be needed to make the industry future-proof and sustainable.
This period of transition provides those companies within Oman, an opportunity to reassess their working practices and offerings, to include further services and checks that ensure all tourist entering Oman – including persons on business, migrant workers, residents and citizens – a safe environment in what is possibly the world’s healthiest and secure country to holiday, work and live.
The Supreme Committee actions to the worldwide issue is typical of the Omani government vigilance of its elders, citizens and visitors alike. The country’s capacity and care for others is clear to see in their openness and tolerance to people of all nations and it is with this care and planning that once the current challenge passes and further health checks and precautions are in place, the project Oman Life Stories will continue apace.
So you won’t believe what just happened!
As usual, I decided on this trip to bed-down under the stars in Al Whahaba for a night. I had my bottled-water-shower and having heard some heavy groaning in the distance, coming out of the dark and not wanting to be a part of what sounded like a private matter, I had just locked myself in the jeep to sleep. Sound really travels in the desert.
Then there was a loud banging on the side of the jeep. Scared the c**p out of me. It was a bedu from Bangladesh. After some hand-signal communications, it turned out he need to use my battery powered light see to help a camel give birth, as it was in distress with a difficult birth. So he grabbed the light and raced across the sands – with me in hot pursuit of my light – where his friend from Pakistan was working on the mother. When I finally caught up, started trying to help. Then it occurred to me; I should be taking photos! I have only my mobile phone and the back of the jeep is loaded with gear!
I’m told I was lucky to witness such a thing, but believe me, it was a bit worrying at times. I’ll spare you the details…
Will they make it through the night?
When the whole gruesomely beautiful experience was over, we parted and I headed off back on the long walk in the dark to the jeep.
Then I heard (loose translation); ‘hold up! Where the heck are you going?’ You know that whole thing about blokes not wanting to ask directions? Could have cost me some discomfort and maybe more. Well, is was dark! The way I was going, well they would have found the jeep anyway. It’s fitted with a tracker.
Some 1750 meters away in the dark, having started heading back in the wrong direction, I was guided by one of the new fathers back to my starting point and went through my bedding down procedure again. What a night!
From the pages of; taSauwur Sultanate of Oman
8th March 1992, AI-Ashkara; 350km from the capital area, approximately four and a half hours drive, with tarmac roads all the way. I headed along ‘Route 23’ to Sur, then turned right after 280km (3hrs), onto Route 35, then followed the road to AI-Ashkara. There I met Thbit Hamad Hassan, who teaches English at Ras Qumayla Primary School, and his friend Mohamed Salim, who showed me around the town.
That was almost 28 years ago.
Today I met him again and what a day we had…
The whole story to be told in the publication and exhibition of Oman Life Stories…