12. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said built Oman slowly but steadily, while keeping a striking, unique balance between modernity and tradition keeping Omani character and flavour intact while introducing it to the modern world.
As part of an ongoing quest to research and document Omani identity as exemplified in oral and written heritage (proverbs) and modern traditions (WhatsApp messages), I continue analysing Omani proverbs and modern tales.
Over the past few weeks, I have followed, with great curiosity, the Omani teachers' protests, started a little more than a month ago, over serious concerns with mainly teacher salaries, quality of education, and quality of teacher incentives.
I had to take a breather this past summer. The decision to pause and reflect was brought about by personal concerns that had to become the focal point of my immediate attention.
I declare this week ‘Support Omani Small Business’ week. I am as much guilty as anybody else of ignoring small businesses, but I try my best, at least once a week, to stop buying groceries and school or office supplies from big chains such as Carrefour or Al Meera (previously named Safeer) and other hypermarkets. Instead, I shop at small fruit and vegetable stores scattered in my neighbourhood and at local bookstores like Al Fiker Center and Al Manara Bookstore, all owned by hard-working Omanis.