Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me? (Don Van Vliet)

Mabrook time (congratulations) to the clever ones of the family (that would be the chuldrun). Our amazing fruit of the loom have been doing really well lately so it's time for a cheer and hearty hurrah!!

Adam has landed a job as an audio-visual techie for an events company, Keegan has past his master of arts degree with an excellent grade and now eyes up a higher degree praps, Jade has started her nursing course in Palmerston North, and Samantha continues to work hard at Vic and be brave in Wellington where she had a 4.3 size earthquake a few days ago. A rumble, she says, but still scarey given what's happened in Christchurch.

Obviously the news from this part of the world is about Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Sudan and now Oman and even Saudi Arabia are experiencing some difficult times.

Just to expand on my earlier post of reassurance: here is a news item from The Guardian on the Oman protests.
Riot police have clashed with pro-democracy demonstrators in the seaside town of Sohar, [see my map on the previous post]. At least one person was killed as security forces fired teargas and rubber bullets.

Oman's state-run news agency said protesters set fire to cars, houses, a police station and the governor's residence.

It marked the first serious confrontation with protesters seeking to open up the ruling system of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The sultan has tried to quell the unrest by replacing six cabinet members and boosting the minimum wage by more than 40%.

"We want new faces in the government and we have a long list of social reforms," said Habiba al-Hanay, a 45-year-old civil servant. Omanis are not seeking to oust the country's ruler, al-Hanay said. "We just hope he will hear us and make changes," she added, noting that unemployment is high and education is poor in the country, which only has one university.

As I wrote on that previous post - there is no need to be concerned for our safety in Al Ain. Although we are only an hour away from Sohar it is a vastly different country. The border controls are extremely tight (everyday many Omanis travel the short distance to work in Al Ain and then return at night), and the border itself is heavily protected against illegal Omani immigration.

So please know that we are safe and sound!

Love and peace - Wozza

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