HM Accession – Rare Video!
The Oman Daily Observer of Sunday November 14th 2010,
Between Us Only!
Forty Years On!
A – The Grants.
The recent Royal Grants of our His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to the Nation – May Allah Give him long life and health – Amin – has once again reiterated as comes from HM belief in the importance of caring for the citizens – who are the base and goal of the development progress – as outlined by HM The Sultan since the dawn of the blessed Renaissance. I as a proud citizen of this blessed Nation am particularly impressed and really touched by taking care more of those more in need of help, support and assistance than the others – especially in the difficult and hard times now.
B – The Appreciations
As a good USA CEO once old friend had said to me – I wish you a Happy Eid and a Happy 40th National Day (in advance). All Omanis should be very proud of what has been accomplished over the past 40 years. It has been inspiring for me to have witnessed such a big part of this true renaissance (Estate Development Company).
Another good friend of mine – this time a British CEO had said to me – The greatest honour and privilege is for me to be in Oman and see the Renaissance for myself – and being able to raise the bar and in developing and progressing our Omani potentials and prospects – and thankfully we have quite good resources within us in the Company (Telecoms).
Still another very good friend a British CEO had said to me – Dear Majid – Thank you for your kind good wishes. I have been blessed to work with great people for the last 10 years. Words cannot express my appreciation at receiving this honor. I also remember my happy years in The Company, during the 80s, when I had the pleasure of working with you. With Kind Regards and Best Wishes (Oil Company)
C – The Family History.
With just the basic necessities and the clothes on our backs and a few possessions with us, we boarded the ship that would take us to safer waters. To another place – another city – but in the other side of the country – more safer than here! As we boarded, there were sneers and retorts on port and on deck – Let them go back to their homes! The Swahili Revolution Taarab song was blaring loudly – And those? Let them return to their homes! My late Father was now very visibly upset – and we had to do our very best to calm him down – lest we should end up in more troubles! We are going – I said loud to myself more. So why all the fuss and all the commotions?
We are going to start life all over again – from scratch. Start to reread the Alphabet – as the lingo said! As we landed at the place, there were boos and outcries – Why did they let these go? Some fat cats here – with lots and lots of blood in them! We disembarked peacefully – looking for a place to stay. The Masjid built by the Omanis there was a good place to start. Till we got a sailing boat – to return to the other island we left years back ‘to join the others together in the bigger islands – where it all happened – massacred in cold blood – thousands of us!
D – The Announcement. Change has come!
Father says excitedly! He was listening to The BBC News in Arabic! He was ecstatically and blissfully a happy man. The son has taken the Renaissance – he proudly boasts. The ship has sailed home! Others come in the house. They ask. Can we go back home now? Will they take us back now? Or there are still problems? It is too early – Late Father implores – still too early to tell – more to himself! It took more than a year to find out …After he sailed off secretly from Mombasa – another country port of embarkation. Soon after he says in his letter – You all! Now come! Change has Come!
But I could not come still yet! I was required to do The National Service of the country. All the graduates had to do it. No way out! I then join The ESSO American Oil Company. I talk to The American CEO in confidence. I really want to leave – but I do not know how. We devise a plan. Same time my Late Father now arranges something with his contacts. I soon leave via Nairobi Kenya for Pakistan (Karachi) to Muscat – as on a United Nations Refugee Programme orchestrated by funding from the Late Rulers of UAE – Peace be upon them – Amin. I had a very good job and high prospects – but the memories are too terrible to remain and just forget! That is how life is! How the cookie crumbles!
E – The Trip. (From The Book – Short Takes – Between Us Only!)
When we arrived in Karachi, on my route to start a new life in Oman from the country I was born (Zanzibar in East Africa), the plane was already 2 hours too late in departing from Nairobi Airport in Kenya. As a result we missed the connecting flight to Muscat, it had left without us. There was no other flight till next week after that. Despite our pleas, the Airline refused to help as we were only about 15 from the same connection. There was another flight to Abu Dhabi in 3 days time, so we were accommodated in an International hotel near the Airport. As my English was ‘better’ than the others in the group, I ended being the de facto leader and spokesman of the group!
The Airline had told us they could not assign the tickets to any other Airline except theirs and their flights only! When I asked how we would then travel to Muscat, they replied you can take a car from Abu Dhabi and it can take you to Oman. What they did not tell us that we had to eventually hire a Land Rover 109 pickup, and it would take almost the whole day through rugged terrain via Buraimi to reach Muscat. It was 1972 anyway! Nothing you could do about it!
When we reached the unmarked border, we got our passports stamped through. But just as we were getting into our pickup, there came this old looking ‘Omani type person’. He was trying to ask us if we were interested to change our passports for an UAE one (Abu Dhabi). He asked me if I was educated, and I said Yes. So he said – You can get a very good job in Abu Dhabi if you had this!. I said No thanks, my (late) Father is waiting for me in Muscat. That did not shake him, but I was firm anyway!
When I arrived in Muscat, I got a job in the Army as an Officer Cadet – but I soon realized that the Army disciplined life was not for me being an outspoken forthright person who does not shirk or is scared to express his mind – especially if annoyed and disturbed. So I joined this Oil Company instead. I ended being a rank of a Senior Supervisor in Human Resources at the end of Early Voluntary Retirement. Those who joined the Army came out as Colonels and Lieutant General and better off too, but that is life for you! You make your choices in life, and you end up having to bear the consequences too! Whether losses or gains and fruits!
THE REST IS HISTORY… Happy Eid Mubarak and 40th National Day Greetings Take Care!
By Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany
Between Us Only Column – The Oman Daily Observer.