The Business of Books! 2

Between Us Only!

 The Business of Books!

The Business of Books!

Last week I was very much distressed, saddened and unhappy to hear of the closures of two major bookshops in Oman – one famous one that had been operating for a long time in Oman – and always in support of Omani Writers, Authors and Artists – and the other one an International one – an offshoot of their closing down internationally.

As some of you might know too, I ventured into writing more as a hobby and at an early age and ingrown desire as from a young student decades back. It was not planned – but came into being more by accident, default and inadvertently after the fall of my Consultancy business – and not being employed or with any projects after opting for voluntary early retirement in my oil company then! I had never ever imagined I will have more than three columns to write – 5 books authored – all in English – and two in Arab Management issues and aspects – and several websites of my own too! As an Omani Author –and just starting budding one – there is nothing so hurtful and painful than getting your books being returned to you!

Although, it is also a decline as a measure of shifting retail channels as books move away from being sold in bookstores to online and big box retail sales –  it is also a sign of the rise of e-books. The business of books has evolved greatly to such an extent that people no longer buy physical books but the trend set and the in thing now – just like music was a victim years back – is to download Electronic Books eBooks using Amazon Kindle, Nook, iPads, Androids etc.

Originally though it took off slowly, the eBooks business has been growing steadily to such an extent of now damaging physical books – hard and soft copies of original books. It is the same case of people downloading music straight from the Internet rather than buying CDs, LPs and Videos. Now it is the turn of books – in such development, progression and in modernity.

In the USA alone, the 4.4% decline in overall physical book sales across the industry (in other words, book retail stores dropped more than 12% and discount stores rose 11% leaving a shortfall in the overall books sold) was more than made up for by the electronic books sales. So in terms of the number of books sold – reading is on the rise in America. That won’t save the book stores – but doesn’t mean the book itself is going extinct.

It is the change in direction of how people prefer to buy books nowadays – and those  ompanies and authors that fail to catch into the new type of business that will become its main victims and in being out of touch and extinct.

In Oman (I guess also in GCC) few locals are actual readers of serious books – with few exceptions of cookbooks, novels, poems, children books and picture books. There is also this element. Publishing books in Oman is a very expensive exercise as I saw myself with my first book Between Us Only! I was lucky to get the MB Group sponsor me for this.

Then there is also the issue of getting permission and censorships for the books – the process is long and tiresome – and riddled with red tape and bureaucracies too! Though in my book, all the articles had already appeared in the esteemed newspaper – itself being a Governmental newspaper. Until the intervention of the esteemed newspaper, the book was lying idle – as they did not have English fluent officers to vet the book – and the lady at the other end kept asking me ‘Why don’t you translate it all in Arabic – it will be easier to get permission that way’. I had then made a silent vow to publish my next books outside – Canada and USA

However, airfreight charges are quite high – even if publication costs are far cheaper.  Unfortunately, generally speaking – few of us the locals are intellectual enough and into the habit of reading. This habit needs to be encouraged – especially starting with the students. The artificial limit cut-off price set by many locals for a book is at Omani Rials Five to Seven at the most (USA Dollars 15 to 21)  – and that does not even cover the freight charges alone – unless you buy in big bulk and can wait for surface mail with all the risks involved in such transportation – mainly in wear and tear aspects..

I remember reading this about His Majesty – he is so much occupied and busy that he does not have the time to read books – a hobby he likes a lot to do  – just like I do personally! When I was working in one major town in Oman, I used to order more than three newspapers daily to my flat. Next door to me was an Iraqi family – he was amazed to see me reading a lot – because he too was ordering so many newspapers. He told me – In Iraq we read a lot of newspapers and books – even to the extent of cutting down on breakfast and meals to be able to buy them – that habit they never let go even after the invasion and all the wars!

Then like I have said so many times before – there is a real great need to be more supportive of local talents, innovation, human resources development – especially to Writers, Authors and Artists. Admittedly, the business maybe slow, risky and long-pained – but can be fruitful and steady with the right encouragement, support and focus. We owe it to our nation, future generations and history – to encourage and motivate us all into this honorable business of reading – and writing! A nation that does not read has no future in this modern world.

Take Care!  Happy 4th July Greetings!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Suffocation From The Inside! Reply

Suffocation From The Inside!

 Or Inside Suffocation Kills!

 At least one time or the other in our career life we must have heard the ‘despair and desperate cry’ – sadly he is suffocating (killing) the Company from inside!  Have we sat and wondered what it all means? 

A – The Film – Inside Job!

I was watching this film – Inside Job – and it reminded me of my June 2005 article
titled – Suffocation From The Inside!. For the full article – please go here in my website.

Inside Job is a documentary film about the world financial crisis of 2008 and originating from USA. The film describes “the systemic corruption then in the United States by the financial services industry and the consequences of that systemic corruption”.

The film focuses on changes in the financial industry in the decade leading up to the crisis – and the political movement toward deregulation. And how the development of complex trading such as the derivative market allowed for large increases in risk taking that circumvented older regulations that were intended to control the system risk A major theme is the pressure from the financial industry on the political process to avoid regulation – and the ways that it is exerted.

The film ends by contending that despite recent financial regulations, the underlying system has not changed much – rather the remaining banks are only bigger – while all the incentives remain the same. Importantly too, not a single top executive has been prosecuted for their role in the global financial meltdown.

B – The Column Article – Suffocation From The Inside!

 The problems in many establishments are that personal and informal relationships have transcended the normal formal ones to such an extent that it is not what you have or know
that is important – but whom you know and what strings that you can pull. One can ask – where are the professionalisms, principles, transparencies, accountabilities and ethics? We have also seen in real life the wanton destruction, malaise, decadence and the wastages when the Top Guy so misbehaves.

 Some CEOs are still on their seats despite continuous episode after episode of gross errors
of judgment, erratic, absurd, abrupt, unprofessional, unethical and weird behaviors and dealings to his own staff, customers, clients and the stakeholders. Those subordinates that had tied to made a point or stand out and stress these wrong things have in themselves been victimised. But he still reigns supreme – a great force to be reckoned with – just like the Dictator reigning supreme.

 He always uses internal politics to divide and separate his own Team – just like that of the
General shooting at his own troops. The worst-case scenario is when he has very poor outlooks, assessments, stereotyping and perceptions of a certain group or an individual he does not like. He always sides with the Aggressor (or Guilty Party) against the real victim or at right person!

 Meanwhile, his company had dwindled to minimal proportions unimaginable, and what was from a great force to be reckoned with in the past. With very dissatisfied, unhappy disenchanted and disfranchised staff on board – still looking outside – but have still not got the relief and break yet!

 You will find out that in many cases the owners and the stake holders do not ‘want to rock
the boat’ any further – and either are very optimistic creatures or you can call them as ‘wishful thinkers’ –  not having the guts and courage to remove these figures and put in new blood and
enterprise on board as a difference. Perhaps they have they given up – and are just waiting for the final news of the death of the sick and ailing company.

 Some of the Senior Directors and Managers behave like schoolchildren in ‘personality clashes
syndromes’. In-fights, envies, jealousies, finger-pointing, accusations and double accusations are the order of day – the norm rather than the odd – the usual rather than the different and controversial.

 To such style of Management – please grow up and act your age.  Take your roles, responsibilities and what is required from you more seriously.  There is nothing permanent or for granted – or a surety in life. Importantly, do not suffocate that establishment from within!


By: –

Majid Al Suleimany.

The Full Article – Inside Suffocation Kills! Reply

The Full Article – Inside Suffocation Kills!

From The Book – A Cry For Help! – By Majid Al
Suleimany –

 See also Introduction comments in The Book – D.01 and D.02

At least one time or the other in our career life we must have heard the despair and desperate cry – sadly he is suffocating (killing) the Company from inside!  Have we sat and wondered what it all means?  How can one suffocate anything from within?  We usually visualize any
suffocation to come and be made from outside, how can it be made from within? Looks more like a misnomer, just like saying that ‘you are suffocating yourself on your own’ – and that it is not somebody from outside ‘who is doing it to you instead!’

The problems in many establishments are that personal and informal relationships have
transcended the normal formal ones to the extent that it is not what you have or know that is important – but whom you know and what strings that you can pull. He has been there and is still there to prevail and stay – whether you like it or not – and there is simply nothing you can do about it. Simply nothing! Better to accept it, and go along, or just move out – if such an
opportunity may arise!

 Look at this example.  A CEO is still on his seat despite continuous episode after episode of gross errors of judgement, erratic, absurd, abrupt, unprofessional, unethical and weird behaviors and dealings to his own Staff inside first – let alone customers and clients next!  Many of the Directors and Managers below him that had made a point to stand out and stress these things have in themselves been victims and passed and gone from the place, but he still reigns supreme – a great force to be reckoned with – like the Dictator reigning supreme – though he may look polite and gentlemanly when things are running smoothly – but quite
the opposite when they are not – or when pressures have been built that he can no longer cope with!.

 Personally I have  the lowest of contempt, disdain,esteem and respect for one  CEO that  uses internal politics to divide and separatehis own  Team – like that of the General shooting at his own troops. The worst case scenario is when he has very poor outlooks, assessments and perceptions of a certain group that is in that place – and that actually deserves better attention and treatment than what they get now.

 Or that CEO and his kind who take sides and defend the person who is the Aggressor or at fault against someone because of the simple reason that you do not like that person because of his origins – or because though he speaks and defends the truth – but it is against your friends or what you think they will give you instead of the other – even if the victim is the son of the land. We have seen in real life the wanton destruction, malaise, decadence and the wastages when the Top Guy behaves like this in just siding with the Aggressor (or Guilty Party) against the real victim or at right person!

 Some of the establishments survive by continuous telling lies and fibs to the unsuspecting, susceptible and gullible readers and clients and customers. Lies repeated over and over again start to get a resemblance of truth. Some of the most silly and absurd notices are put,  materials that carry no real weight, importance or significance – but to create an image and a perception that is shallow deep and does not really exist – but just to hoodwink and fool any gullible and susceptible reader that things are going fine and okay – when the real truth
are that not only invoices are not paid – but even staff salaries are an issue and a problem.

 But then despite all these – what about the CEO who is still reigning supreme, his company
(establishment) had dwindled to minimal proportions unimaginable, and what was a great force to be reckoned with, has taken that beating to become almost extinct?  Or no longer trusted, respected and esteemed? From a promising enterprise, to fall to dismal spheres to close sector by sector by day until barely surviving.  What is the problem here?  And very dissatisfied, unhappy disenchanted and disfranchised staff on board – still looking outside – but have still not got the relief and break yet?

 Don’t the owners and the stake holders know and recognize what is going on and why keep this dismal figure still on running the show? What is it that they are scared or afraid of? Some skeletons in the wardrobes? Some embarrassing secrets that may be revealed? It makes you really think hard and wonder – what is it all about here? It is all a mystery why such things are allowed to continue! Don’t you agree with me?

 You will find out that in many cases the owners and the stake holders do not ‘want to rock
the boat’ any further and either are very optimistic creatures or you can call them as wishful thinkers not having the guts and courage to remove these figures and put in new blood and enterprise on board as a difference.

 Or have they given up, and are just waiting for the final news of the death of the sick and
ailing company, just like the cancer patient waiting for his or her death.  Or are you very optimistic that some miracle and magic will happen to recover the sick patient?  Or you just do not care anymore, because you have cautioned and pillowed yourself to accept the worst? The worst case scenario – just like the prisoner on death row who knows his time has come up,
and that last meal is the ‘signal that it is all over’ – and there is simply nothing you can do about it?

 Where are the professionalisms, principles and ethics? Everywhere it is cut-downs, except the
perks and privileges of the elite Management grades, especially the CEO? For the rest it is – cut, cut, cut and No, No!

Then you have the great  ‘personality clashes’ syndrome.  Senior Directors and Managers behave like school children (not even College) and especially in Boys’ school (nowadays even Girls’ school).  In-fights, envies, jealousies, finger-pointings, accusations and double accusations are the order of day – the norm rather than the odd, the usual rather than the different and controversial. Outside the family, people most misbehave at the workplace – I always say it!

 If you ask the Management Team and The Board, they know all about it – but nobody lifts a
finger to do anything.  Either it is due to personal relationships with the culprit or lack of interests and will to do anything.  The same goes for the other stake holders, you would think and imagine that something different will happen here – but sadly and tragically nothing will.

 It is just like the Captain of a Ship seeing his ship being moved to the rocks (the Titanic) by
his younger assistants in their in-fights and duels not caring where the ship was moving to.  Would the Captain let his ship sink?  What if the quarrels and the in-fights between the Captain and one aspiring ‘high flying’ assistant perceived to be a threat to the Captain himself?  Maybe too he is the chosen one, the favourite of the top brass and the major stake-holders. He is our boy; he looks after our interests and well being! Would the Assistant Captain look the other way (it is not my baby, it is the Captain who should do it) whilst the ship moves into dangerous and troubled waters (the rocks, the icebergs – you name it).

 Sorry for the metaphor comparison – but this is exactly what is happening in some of the
establishments.  You can never imagine the way some of those supposed to be in Management and Leadership behave in some of the establishments – just like kids in school.  Or can you imagine – like running prestigious big state of the art establishments, like it was a shop selling just sandwiches and samosas?

 To such style of Management – grow up and act your age.  Take your roles, responsibilities and what is required to you more seriously.  Do not take things for granted because sometimes when you least expect it, action may be taken to remove you from your disruptive and destroying roles.  There is nothing permanent or for a surety in life. Importantly, do not suffocate that establishment from within – you have been warned…………!!! Do not kill the goose that lays golden eggs. Have some conscience, principles, professionalism, accountabilities and ethics prick you! And for the stake holders – please now wake up from the slumber, do something now, before it is too late for everyone!

 ** This article had appeared on June 29th 2005 in same column and in my book, but with some minor changes and amendments  – keep remembering 6 years ago – but still applies and relevant!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany – June 21s 2011.

The Silent Treatment! Reply

Between Us Only!

 The Silent Treatment!


“Okay, let’s star with something you have in common.” “We’re both not talking to each other.”

‘I haven’t spoken to you for five days and you don’t seem the least bit bothered!

Please Take Me Away From This Prison! Have you heard of The Silent  Treatment? Psychologists say – Silent treatment from a spouse can ruin relationships! It is one of the most destructive behaviours in a relationship – they add!

I do not know if you my Reader remember the episodes of Mr. Angry here in my column? Mr. Angry used to be my strongest adversary and great opposer of my writings – until we made up and ended as amicable friends!

Anyway, I heard that Mr. Angry was very sick and ill in bed at home. So I called him. The gruff voice at the other end asked me to repeat myself who I was? Then he got to me – You are calling me now? After all the time I have been sick in bed and for over a month? You did not come even to visit me at the hospital where they had admitted me when I had collapsed at home! I got what they say to me – as a mild heart attack! And they had to do bypass surgery on me too!

I apologised profusely. I said I am very sorry please forgive me – but I too was sick with acute case of diabetic and depression! That got to him! So I said to him – Can I come home and visit? He teased me – I am sorry but I have to ask permission first from the wife – if you can be allowed to come and visit me? For a minute I was silent – and then I broke into guffaws and laughter. That cheered him greatly! Got you – did I not? He chided me!


As I was getting out from Mr. Angry’s house, he insisted to accompany me to the front door in his wheel chair. I told him he did not need to do so – it was alright but he insisted! Anyway it is a sure way of seeing you get out of my house – how do I know if you silently creep upstairs to the master bedroom? Forgot that Great Madam is a great fan and reader of yours? Did you not see the dress up and make up she made because she knew you were coming to visit?

In such situations I remain silent – because I do not know what to say. Then he said to the wife – actually as I am just outside the door – You did not bring ‘mabungo’ (tropical fruit type found in East Africa) juice to M! Please get him one!  As the wife was leaving to get me the juice – Mr. Angry handed me a small scribbled piece of paper.

He said to me – Read it afterwards please – hide it for now! I think the wife must have noticed my perplexed lost looks – because she asked – what gives? I tried to put on as much a straight face as I could – and walked into my battered old car. In all my life I had never kept a car more than 3 years – this one is 8 years old. Talk of times catching up with someone!

I had put the note in my dishdasha and had said nothing to anyone the whole day. The episodes and sagas were really getting into me being very emotionally dried up and getting my glucose levels rising – with also sweating and headaches. I was very worried why the wife had not left us to speak alone man to man – and why this hiding scribbled handwritten note to me now? Why did she say – For over a month – only today he speaks to anyone?

I then looked at the note – then I remembered that Mr. Angry though was speaking to me in the Swahili language but he came to Oman at an early age – and does not know to write the lingo. The note was in Arabic – and in a very stressed poor writing that I needed three other people to decipher it for me! It just read – Please Take Me Away From This Prison!


Calling a home a prison? Having lost his business there in Tanzania ending up in bankruptcies and the mistake – if one can call that – and of opting for a huge lump sum from his pension from what he started his business – Mr. Angry returned to Oman. Usually the traffic is the  other way for those born there and going into pensions or business here. He was a wanted
man from his business associates and debtors – and undelivered goods, services and  promises. Rumours were also that he had got married to a very young pretty lass there – younger than his eldest daughter – and the woman was heavily pregnant when he had run away! Leaving her to face all the music all alone!

We have all heard of the statement – No vengeance like a woman (spurned) scorned! Although luckily for him he did not sell off his villa here and was able to return – but the head elder wife had never forgiven – the part more of taking all the money away – and likely more because Mr. Angry had decided to get married to a second wife behind the back of his first wife and without her permission’ too!

Mr. Angry – I wish I can help you – but I myself am swimming in troubled waters – and I have to try hard to keep my head above the water for now. But I promise you this – I will write about you – and hopefully the good wife will one day come to her senses that now you have
grandchildren – and money or wealth is not everything! Like the East Africans like to say – Humanity is better than (material) things! We make mistakes and errors of judgment in life – but forgiveness is divine – as is going for the high road!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

Dealing With Difficult Bosses! Reply

At My Workplace!

 Dealing With Difficult Bosses!

 A Study Case of the Few Bad Apples (Fish) and the Laws of the Jungle and in Survival!

  Dealing With Difficult Bosses!

In real life work environments, one might have to deal with many bosses and peoples from different nationalities, cultures, ethnicities, social backgrounds and cultures. In a few cases, one may not be able to get along with
some of the bosses too – however hard one had tried! It is not a question of doing ones work wrongly – or is performance and attitude related – but merely ‘a simple chemistry’ issue at the workplace!

Certainly if the bosses had the absolute power and authority – they could terminate one with immediate effect from the company services. Either they do not have the power to do so – or maybe they are more worried of the image and reputation of the company – as in many cases such terminated staff become your ambassador to the outside world – and in many  cases even straight to your competition!

In some cases, those outside the establishment may even consider some of the bosses as really good, nice, decent and pragmatic peoples – but at the work front – they are completely different peoples! Reminds one of all that glitters is not gold – or the Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jackyl story!

Some of the bosses tend to tell complete lies and fibs to the Top Management and expect their subordinates to go along with them to support them in hiding the truth – and in telling such lies and deceits. They try to push the dirt under the
carpet – and expect others to go along to support them. Of course, there is a difference between being a Team Member Player and being part of a Team in telling lies and fibs – and acting dramas, soap operas and roles that are not fit for one’s position and profession.

What they forget is that one day you will be found out and be exposed – and heads will start to roll in apportioning blames and finding scape goats – which could by default and inadvertently be you even who went along –  even if not openly and by design. The top notches always tend to protect each other as best, as they can!

 Another type of boss is the one who takes the hard work one has put in by the assistant – and the boss changes a few bits here and there – makes it to look as if it was him that did the works alone by himself.

For me personally the worst boss is the one who does not have confidence in himself or herself – and will tend to dress you down, scream and shout at you even in front of your subordinates, customers and clients and draws a very bad picture and image of the company. I always say – what are Offices for if not to talk calmly, rationally and cooly? These bosses believe in being ugly and strong is to insult and ridicule staff – especially in front of others. It makes them tick anf feel strong and great in this way. They also tend not to defend and support staff especially when they need it most when things have gone wrong!

 And then the usual acts and charades of some of them talking in loud acting high profile role person – when real  delivery and input is almost negligible. They are good actors that have fooled peoples including Top Brasses for too long – and still continue to do so. It makes you to be amazed how these peoples have survived for too long in their positions – and even to be promoted and to be considered as high-fliers and high potential indispensable Staff.

 Then there are those bosses who always survive on spies, gossips and rumours to such an extent that you end the loser and the victim if you do not play along!  Sometimes you find out too late to do anything- and may even jeopardize and cause you not to just progress – but even lose your job too.

What for? Is it really warranted and is there a need to go to all these extremes just to gain popularity and being on top, to cause so much harm and disasters to others. And are you not afraid of the maxim – what goes around, comes around? Or of your God too, whatever religion you are – there is simply no religion that allows you to do bad things to others? And when are we going to learn that it is just not worth it.

 And do not forget that in some places still there the mini-dictators, semi-dictators autocratic (and cruel) Managers and CEOs especially in some Companies (sad to say too) who treat their Staff very badly and crudely too. That is how bad things are nowadays – and everybody has jumped on the bandwagon to terrorise and bully the workers into fright and submission and surrender. What these CEOs forget is that these ‘frightened and scared’ peoples can destroy and suffocate the business from inside, by throwing subtle hints, directions and point outs to the sympathetic listening customers ‘with our plight and situation’ per se!

Of course, the worst cases scenarios are also fraud, corruption, and bribery and sexual harassment cases! Unless you have real credible proof and evidence – it is best to leave these aspects alone! Because circumstantial and your word against him will put you in a very weak position always!

 Treat your Staff better and kinder, more sympathetically, understandingly, and compassionately. They hurt and bleed too. They also bleed – and get pained. It is your responsibility as the boss to do all these under job professionalism, ethics, accountabilities, transparencies – and your moral, social, psychological duty to do so!.

 Take Care!

 By: –  Majid Al Suleimany. 

Live and Let Live! – Rising Islamophobia! Reply

Between Us Only!

Live and Let Live! – Rising Islamophobia!

Oman Observer Link –

Live and Let Live! – Rising Islamophobia!

I watch the news and see what is unfolding before us. I have noticed this – many people have very strong comments, rigid views, outlooks, bias, prejudices, perceptions stereotyping and wrong opinions on many things – but the worst part is that they think they are always right, perfect, ethical and correct – and want to impose them on others.

There is a saying that those in glass houses should not throw stones – and in reality it takes two to tango!

Increasing Rising Islamophobia – According to Wikipedia and although the term is widely recognized and used, it has not been without much controversy in itself and the use of the word. Islamophobia is prejudice against, hatred or fear of Islam or Muslims. The term seems to date back to the late 1980s – but came into common usage after the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States

Islamophobia as the “dread or hatred of Islam and therefore, to the fear and dislike of all Muslims,” stating that it also refers to the practice of discriminating against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social, and public life of the nation. It includes the perception that Islam has no values in common with other cultures, is inferior to the West and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion

A perceived trend of increasing “Islamophobia” during the 2000s has been attributed by some
commentators to the September 11 attacks, while others associate it with the rapidly growing Muslims populations in the Western world, especially in Western Europe, due to both  Immigration and high fertility rate

In May 2002, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), a European Union watchdog, released a report entitled “Summary report on Islamophobia in the EU after 11 September 2001”, which described an increase in Islamophobia-related incidents in European member states post 9/11.

More Worrying News

– USA Republican Presidential Hopefuls – see what they say!

 v  Newt Gingrich compares NYC Islamic community centre to “Nazis” putting a “sign next to the Holocaust museum”

v  Herman Cain: If I’m President I Won’t Appoint Muslim Judges or Cabinet Members

When asked if he would be comfortable appointing a Muslim to be a federal judge or a member of his cabinet, Cain confidently replied: – “No, I will not” Although he’s unlikely to apologize, since he said “I feel the way I feel,” might a clarification of this statement be in order?

Interestingly he himself is black and still being discriminated themselves in USA despite Obama a half black himself being USA President – the ironies of ironies! Just to show how down under Islam has fallen in USA!

USA Right Wing Watch reports that US Christian bigot Pat Robertson has once again attacked Muslims, by comparing them to Nazis. “Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say we don’t want to live under Nazi Germany?” Robertson asked. “But oh it’s bigoted if we speak out against a force that is slowly but surely trying to exercise domination over the world.”

UK warned against Rising Islamophobia. Islamophobia is on the rise in Britain with a total of 762 confirmed Islamophobic offences reported in London alone since April 2009, says a British Muslim council.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told the council’s Annual General Assembly (AGB) in Birmingham on Sunday that “robust action” is needed to counter Islamophobic attacks including assaults on Muslims, vandalizing mosques and desecrating graves, the daily The

v   Britain’s largest Muslim organization is urging “robust action” against Islamophobic attacks as more violence and hate crimes remain unreported in the country.

v   The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is worried over the “ethnic profiling” of Muslims as they are 42 times more likely to be stopped and detained by the police under the Terrorism

v   In an address to the council’s AGM in Birmingham, MCB secretary general Farooq Murad will say crimes targeted at Muslims including violent assaults, death threats and desecration
of graves need to be tackled.

v   MCB secretary-general Farooq Murad said that minorities in the UK are 42 times more likely to be targeted under the Terrorism Act.

v   He challenged the “ethnic profiling” of British Muslim community, calling for anti-Muslim crimes to be monitored more evidently to encourage communities to report crimes to the police.

v  In all my books there are cautionary tales and articles on Changes – and their coming in – and how everyone including some of the ‘invited guests’ need to change and conform together with the majority!

What Does Our Religion Teach Us?

Our Religion clearly tells us that we must sort all of our own problems within ourselves – amicably, peacefully and harmoniously. We are told to respect, adhere, be loyal and be faithful to those in authority – and those in authority have but to follow the teachings and examples of our Great Prophet, our books, The History, and Stories narrated to us. I for one like the way some of the new-born-Christians like to think when problems arise – what would Jesus (Prophet Issa) do in such an occasion or situation?

We need to think like that to solve many of our problems that we have now – that are not only getting bigger by the day, but are even spilling over – and causing more divisions, splits, disasters, malaise and destructions. The losers are everybody. We must think and act for ourselves – not listen, obey, copy or emulate those that pretend to be our so-called friends and well-wishers

A great Arab President had said – Arab blood is not cheap! Friends of yesterday can be our enemies of today – and enemies of yesterday our friends of today! – with this ever changing
friendships, alliances and agendas in the world nowadays!. We must not forget these words today! Time to wake up from the deep sleep and slumber – future generations and history are watching us now!

Take Care!

By – Majid Al Suleimany

At My Workplace! – Decision Making! – When You Have To Make Tough Decisions! 1

At My Workplace!

Decision Making!

When You Have To Make Tough Decisions!

This Is A True Study Case in A Management Course For (Tough) Decision Makers!

In whatever position in the echelon levels in an establishment, you will be required at one time or the other to make really very hard, painful, complex, tough and difficult decisions – some that may test your very own competencies, abilities, talents, skills, professionalism and ethics.

In one case or the other, you may have just to go by your gut feelings – and keep your fingers crossed that you had made the right decision. Only the results and consequences will confirm either way on your decision capability. Some people have been known to even lose their jobs, standing and reputation as a result of the decisions that they have made – either directly or by default and inadvertently!

The decision may also even cause a heavy loss, standing, reputation, image or danger to the company in its very own existence and survival – let alone in its growth and prosperity. That is when ‘heads will roll – and scapegoats found in apportioning the blame – especially in the ‘blame culture’ environments nowadays!

The story given below gives us an insight into DECISION MAKING. A group of children were playing near two railway tracks, one still in use while the other was disused. Only one child played on the disused track, the rest on the operational track. The train came, and you were just beside the track interchange. You could make the train change its course to the disused track and saved most of the kids. However, that would also mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed. Or would you rather let the train go its way?

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice only one child. You might think the same way, I guess. Exactly, I thought the same way initially because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was rational decision most people would make, morally and emotionally.

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place? Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was. The child who chose not to play with the rest on the operational track was sidelined. And in the case he was sacrificed, no one would shed a tear for him.

The person who wrote the story said he would not try to change the course of the train because he believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they should have run away if they heard the train’s sirens. If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track! Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe.

If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people to save these few kids. While we are all aware that life is full of tough decisions that need to be made, we may not realize that hasty decisions may not always be the right one.

This kind of dilemma happens around us everyday. In the office, community, in politics and especially in a democratic society, the minority is often sacrificed for the interest of the majority, no matter how foolish or ignorant the majority are, and how farsighted and knowledgeable the minority are.

Remember that

What’s right isn’t always popular… and what’s popular isn’t always right. Everybody makes mistakes; that’s why they put erasers on pencils.

Remember also

That sometimes we tend to favour someone not because he is capable or is actually right, but simply because we like that person. The person who suffers is the one who knows his job well in and out, but we simply do not like the guy or his guts.

Next time you decide, please remember all these!

By – Majid Al Suleimany

Crocodile Tears! Reply

Between Us Only!

 Crocodile Tears!

Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) are a false or insincere display of emotions such as a  hypocrite crying fake tears of grief. The expression comes from an ancient anecdote that  crocodiles weep in order to lure their prey, or that they cry for the victims they are eating!

One of the most famous children stories in East Africa in the Swahili language is titled Crocodile Tears! I forgot the name of the crocodile – but it happens in the Rufiji river in the south of the country of Tanzania – famous of the biggest crocodiles that you ever saw in your life! I think there are crocodiles and alligators of various kinds all  over the world – but the African one is surely the biggest – and most vile and fearsome too!

In that small island that we grew up as kids called Mafia – aka as Chole – we did not have crocodiles as far as I know –  though there were some small alligators and some big lizards too – and of the course the big pythons too that could stretch to even 12 feet and more. One of the most morbid lucid cases I ever saw in my life and I will never forget is to  see one of the missing local babies devoured in whole by this python – as the local women had a habit of leaving their babies on a mat whilst they farmed nearby.

Perhaps you are guessing and thinking  loudly that I am going to give you a folk story column today just on crocodiles  etc – rest assured that it will not be so – and those who know me well will vouch for me that I usually bring in  these examples just to make a point.

The idea of this topic got on to me after this incident a few days back with desolation and depression possibly setting in – and eating my dinner with the greatest of  sadness and unhappiness. The good wife was seen to mutter – what gives?– And with a tear or two leaving the face! Perhaps also too many beatings and bad news lately hitting me!

I was intrigued last week to find a peer columnist writing about ‘the stroke that  broke the camel’s back’ – and I thought to myself that there must be a message somewhere out there – but I could not  find any – tongue in cheek speaking!

Now coming to ‘crocodile tears’ the folk story really intrigued me. The elder storyteller was telling the children seated  near him why the crocodile cried – and usually after having eaten up its prey. It was also said that the crocodile started  shedding tears even as it moved to entrap its prey! So the story goes on – the crocodile narrates to itself loudly about how the struggling animal tries to get out of its entrapment – its futile struggles and fights – but the crocodile has always a stump ace card – it drags its victims to the under currents or bottom of the river in drowning it – before it  devours it! As the crocodile eats its prey, it recalls its prey struggles and fights for its life – and is crying profusely as it  devours its victim!

Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) are a false or insincere display of emotions such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of  grief . In some countries of the world, you can actually hire usually old women to cry the loudest in funerals – and they do it for the money only – simply and smugly put!

One prominent use of the expression is by  Shakespeare  in Othello Act IV, Scene i

O devil, devil! – If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,
– Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. – Out of my sight!

In real life, we meet so many of these characters who behind the scene have been largely instrumental in their devious and evil plans in planning, carrying out and executing your downfall and demise – but in front of you will pretend to be sincere, caring and feeling friends – concerned and caring about you – and ‘crocodile tearing’ you in the process. That is the depth of human deceit, betrayals and let-down – the decadence, malaise and the decay that go with it too!

All they do is fool themselves only at the most – because our Creator sees through them – and remembering the adage – what goes around; comes around! It is just a matter of time – and if not you then someone very close to you!

Take Care!

P.S. All my articles are now posted at my new website –

By Majid Al Suleimany

 June 9th 2011


Assertiveness At The Job Front! 2

At My Work Place!

Every Wednesday in The Oman Daily Observer Features Weekend

This Week Article – Assertiveness At The Job Front!

There is no ‘I’ in Hunter!

  • Are you capable of making tough job decisions? Remaining and being Assertive? Saying No Affirmatively? Stop being docile and weak?

One of the comedy series that I like to watch is ‘Mumbai Calling!’ There are others copying but none like this one! It is very funny and pokes fun at an Indian Calling Centre trying to serve its mainly non-Indian based customers (and those on visit to India) and the clash in culture, customs, habits, values and traditions. The ironical part is that they had brought over a British Lady in addition ‘to manage and look after things’ – though the Indian guy there is quite capable by himself to do so – though he too is British born!

Trust the British Lady Manager to find it ‘all wrong the polite and docile way’ they deal with their customers – that are mainly mean, patronizing, condescending and demeaning – and even aggressive and insulting.. The Call Centre is all locally staffed – and they stand all these whilst trying to remain cool, collected, nice and pleasing as Call Centres are supposed to.

I know this from personal experiences from my own daughter who used to come home crying everyday – but then the Centre is not in India and its customers are all mainly local – and they feel it all okay for personal affronts and taking out their frustrations and insults on a front line poor girl than directed at the establishment.

Anyway, the British Lady Manager is very disappointed that her Staff are not ‘assertive and affirmative’ enough in dealing with their customers – a perspective perhaps different if the Centre was at home and manned by their own peoples – this in itself is very insightful! So she calls a Staff Meeting to talk about Assertiveness – despite protestations from her deputies that think it was unneeded and was against the home culture.

She starts her lecture by saying that ‘she is a hunter, and she hunts her preys for food – and that in between the word of Assertiveness is the letter I (Me!). Forgetting that she is addressing Staff that are mainly vegetarian – and there is no hunting or meat in their diets. She tries to encourage in Play Act for one Staff to terminate another who comes from the same home town – and he breaks down that he cannot do it – and if he goes – he will go too. He tries on the boy (next story) to stand up to his Mother to say he does not like her food (a thing which is not on even at home – as a Mother is a Mother anywhere in the world)!

The meeting soon falls apart – where some are seen to be running out to vomit because they had just been made to behave and act differently – and also to have a change in their food diet! Then the talk moves to arranged marriages and her attempt mainly to push one of the young boys to stand up to his parents because he was being forced into an arranged marriage. That is where the boy standing up to his parents is all confused and lost – and is heard muttering that there is an I in Hunter (instead of Assertive) – and his Father corrects him that he is mistaken because there is no I in Hunter!

Live Example – I remember this too myself in the early 1980s in my last Oil Company where we had a similar Manager who had wanted us also Omanis to be more ‘assertive, affirmative – and less docile’ – his own words. So we went for the Lecture. What do we lose? Just to get two days off Office work – and where there are a lot of breaks – and coffee, tea and snacks served too – with a ‘free’ lunch on top!

The Lecturer started first by asking each one of us to stand up in the class and introduce ourselves – and also to add this part ‘Why do I think my boss sent me for this course?’.So when it came to my part and after having introduced myself I added – Frankly I do not know why my boss had sent me for this course. If I have anything on my mind, I talk to him frankly about it – and follow up by an Email write up. I stand my ground – and I let no one push me around – and especially if I know I am right, correct, professional and ethical – not only him as my boss but even his boss too. Then he asked me – Then why are you in this course? I said – Ask my boss, not me! He then told me I could go – but the girls in the class wanted me to stay – so you can make us laugh – they said to me in unison!

There is nothing wrong in being assertive especially at the work place – and learning to say No at the same time. Indeed we could do more with all these – it is the imposition and style being introduced that is all wrong! There is also this old adage – if there is a thing working for you – let it grow and prosper – and do not spoil things for yourself. Or the famous ones – Let sleeping dogs lie – or still – Never trouble ‘trouble’ till it troubles you!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany


Assertiveness – what is it?

Constantly feel like a doormat? Do your superiors make unreasonable demands that you just can’t say “no” to? Then it’s
time to get assertive.

 What is it?

Assertiveness is a way of expressing your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in a direct, honest, and appropriate way. An assertive person effectively influences, listens, and negotiates so that others choose to cooperate willingly. It does not mean being aggressive, nor does it mean you will get your own way all the time. But it should help prevent you being burdened with other people’s problems and responsibilities.

Assert yourself

If you tend to panic, hide under your desk or fly off the handle at the first whiff of a problem, you probably need to take heed of these tips and assert yourself in the office.

  • Be clear about what you want to say: Make direct statements that take responsibility for what you say,
    i.e. use ‘I’ rather than ‘s/he’ or ‘everyone thinks.’
  • Get straight to the point: Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by colleagues or trying to
    soften the blow.
  • Be prepared to compromise: Remember that other people have rights too don’t become the office
  • Use suitable facial expressions: Maintain good eye contact and keep your voice firm but pleasant.
    By keeping calm and attentive you will make the other person more ready to
  • Listen: Let      people know you have heard what they said. This doesn’t mean you have to
    agree with them.
  • Ask for time to think, if necessary: There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need time to make a
  • Don’t apologise unless there is a good reason to do so: Don’t say ‘sorry’ merely because the other
    person is unlikely to be pleased with what you are saying. It is better to      give reasons rather than excuses for what you want to do.
  • Learn to say no to unreasonable requests: Use the word “no” and offer an explanation if you choose  to. Do not apologize and do not make up excuses. Paraphrase the other person’s point of view. This will let he/she know that you hear and understand the request.

Often you can get assertiveness training within the workplace or at a local evening class. Ask your boss or contact your local careers centre for more information

Developing an assertive style isn’t easy. Constant practice is necessary. The following eight steps should help, however.

Listen to yourself. Are you speaking in an assertive manner? Are you too passive or too aggressive?

Keep a record of your assertiveness. Record each day those situations in which you found yourself responding assertively, those in which you blew it, and those you avoided altogether so that you would not have to act assertively.

Reflect on a particular situation. Review how you handled a specific situation—for example, seeing an employee come in late after numerous warnings. Did you ignore the behavior once again, did you lose your temper, or did you
call the employee into your office and speak calmly to determine the cause of the tardiness?

Review your replies. Think about what you specifically said. While you might generally have communicated in an assertive manner, did you lose it during your conversation and slip briefly into a passive or aggressive style? If so, what
do you think prompted the lapse?

Consider alternative responses. Ask yourself how you could have handled the situation better. Could you have dealt with it more to your advantage?

Imagine yourself handling the situation in a new way. Try out new responses to situations. Be assertive, but be as natural as you can. At this point, it may be helpful to model yourself after someone who has handled a similar
situation well.

Do it. Be aware of the feedback you receive, both verbal and nonverbal. Did you accomplish your goals?

Be aware of feedback. Continue to adapt your behavior to achieve your desired interpersonal goals. Ask colleagues and peers, “How am I doing?”

The best managers are open and direct communicators, able to express their feelings, needs, and wants to others. Managers tend to get results when they unambiguously communicate their goals and objectives. Energy is often wasted
defending and attacking, when in reality, goal-oriented behavior usually works

Those who have this assertiveness knack are comfortable with themselves, and others are likely to be comfortable with them—at least, they aren’t likely to feel threatened by them. They won’t try put-downs, verbal attacks, or exploitation. Rather, they communicate in a straightforward manner. A healthy self- respect grows between assertive managers and their staff. Openness begets trust and builds confidence.


If you agree with praise, don’t be afraid to say so. “Thank you. I was pleased with the work myself.” If you don’t feel the praise was justified, don’t argue—just thank the person.

Make a refusal brief and clear but not abrupt. “I would rather not. . . .”

Don’t make excuses. They will just backfire on you. Besides, making excuses is non-assertive behavior.

Keep in mind that a request isn’t a command. If a request is being made, then you have the right to say no.

Life A Mess? Why Blame Your Job? Reply

Life A Mess? Why Blame Your Job?

By SiliconIndia,

Tuesday, 07 June 2011, 04:25 Hrs Bangalore:

When life is at a crossroad where the conflict between life and your job deepens, who do you blame for? When your options are shrunk to your job, your family and yourself; who do you blame the mess in life for? Most people blame their jobs first, family second and themselves last. According to a new study by Elizabeth M. Poposki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, revealed that sixty-four percent of those surveyed blamed their work first for the conflicts in life.

The study mainly focused on the individual incidents of work-family conflict and explored day-to-day experiences in attributing this type of blame. While twenty-two percent blamed only their family role, five percent blamed external factors other than work or family for the conflict, and only six percent blamed themselves for the conflict. However, interestingly there were no gender differences in how blame was assigned.

People who chose external sources as the reason for life conflicts rather than blaming the conflict on themselves are likely to suffer from anger and frustration following the conflict. The researcher feels that anger and frustration at work are closely related to many negative workplace outcomes and preventing those will greatly help both the employee and the employer.

The order in which events were scheduled plays a big role while it comes to the reactions to the work-family conflict as the second event, whether work or family related, was more likely to be blamed than the first. However, according to another survey by some psychologists at the Wright State University found that people who are unhappy with their life are unlikely to find satisfaction in their work.

There is a positive relationship between job satisfaction and life satisfaction and revealed that the two are closely linked. It’s said that nearly 90 percent of American mothers and 95 percent of American fathers report work-family conflict. Being at a crucial phase where the middle-class Indian families are given the freedom to dream big as the country is emerging itself to be a leader, family-work conflict is a big challenge to the smooth go.

The new age demands the educational and career aspirations of women while being introduced to the ‘dual-earning couple’ situation. This has resulted in radical changes in the Indian family environment where the normal function patter, activities, responsibilities and commitments have a different meaning.

So it’s high time that we seek options to tackle such conflicts so that a healthy work-life balance is maintained. Often we are faced with such tough situations where we wonder who do we blame it for. So, who do you blame? and if you say you can successfully prevent such a situation, how you manage your wok-life balance?