Goodbye; Reader’s Digest! Reply

For Sunday February 24th 2013

 Between Us Only!

Goodbye; Reader’s Digest!

Back to normal issues again – simply because this head needs time to recuperate from banging it against brick unmovable solid walls! Besides – like I always say too – what is the use when people just continue to ignore, sideline and marginalise you – hoping that you may just evaporate and disappear from near them and view! Anyway….!

Introduction – Reader’s Digest is a bestselling monthly American general interest family magazine – and that was founded in 1922. Global editions of Reader’s Digest reach an additional 40 million people in more than 70 countries – with 49 editions in 21 languages. It has a global circulation of 10.5 million – making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world. It is also published in Braille digital, audio, and a version in large type called Reader’s Digest Large Print. The magazine is compact – with its pages roughly half the size of most American magazines’. Reader’s Digest – RD – has now filed for Chapter 11 in USA – that is – Bankruptcy Protection.

When I was a young boy and developing the Reading habit, I used to save my pocket money to buy it. My colleagues used to go and buy comic like Beano, Dandy and others instead – or buy chocolates and sweets instead. The Indian Ismaili sect school that we attended from Class 1 to Form 6 – reading was something most encouraged upon. Thus home works like The Best Book I Have Read; The Book I Remember Most- or like in my case My Most Vivid Dream – which won me a National Prize and awarded by no one else but the great man Aga Khan himself in my secondary school!

Last week I was forced to go and collect my books that have been lying idle and stagnant in the bookshops – with one branch already closed down – and left one that is now concentrating more on cheap novels (price), magazines, sweets and chocolates instead!

It is a very sad state of affairs when ‘literacy gets a kick’ this way – with the cutting price of people buying books at Omani Rials 5 at the maximum! And this more for novels and poems – and not the serious-make-you-think books like mine. You can forgive people with dire stress and concentration on loans repayments – school and college fees for their children – utilities payments of electricity and water – and putting food on the table!

Readers Digest 2

Images Reader’s Digest – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

It makes you wonder that even now with the minimum wages to be increased – people have already started grumblings of that not being enough even still! Like my late father used to say to us – when we the children used to complain at family gatherings at least once every Friday week! He used to say – this stomach is the cause of all our problems – it is never satisfied – everyday wants more and more! Till it will kill us one day – and it included in the process!

The people in the bookshops used to tell me – we are keeping your books only because you are a local Author – and we need to encourage and support you! Normally we keep books for a month – and if not moving – we take them out from the stocks! That is why our business is concentrated on those Suppliers that are giving credit facilities – and with promises to take back their stocks if not fast moving!

Reader's Digest 1

Images Reader’s Digest – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

The painful part is the tease, arrogance, condescending and patronising attitudes! They tell the bookshop guys – tell M to reduce the price to 5 Rials – and I will buy 2 books! How nice. kind and gracious of you! Thanks anyway – as the American slang goes – I will take a rain check! The book to publish itself costs far more than that! Then there is the airfreight all the way from USA – the bookshop’s commissions – and your little space overhead – just half an inch to the ceiling – tongue in cheek speaking!

Readers Digest 3

Images Reader’s Digest – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

When I was working in Salalah for a period of 9 months – I used to stay in a flat all alone – and as Madam was working in Muscat! So were the children! Next to my flat was an Iraqi couple – ran away pre Saddam time! So one day he stopped me in front of my flat door – and asked me point blank – if I was Omani? I was thinking of all rude answers to give him back – when the poor man must have seen my face turn red and blue! An Indian good friend told me – Mr. M – we can read you like a book! How ironic!

The poor man explained himself – he said to me – Sorry brother for asking – but I see every day in front of your door more than 3 newspapers! It is strange – because in the offices I see people reading only one newspaper per day! You know us in Iraq – we may not have bread or much food – but we surely would not go out without a newspaper! Or at least 2 to 3 to get different views, outlooks and perspectives! Newspapers are our food too!

Reader’s Digest! I am sorry I have been concentrating so much in writing my books and memoirs – I did not give you my full attention. I stopped buying you after the Iraq invasion – not only you – but also Times, Newsweek and others. Imagine I used to write even to Newsweek long before I even thought of becoming an Author!

Over 12 years ago before George Bush Jnr. Was elected – this is what I had said! Quote – NEWSWEEK sums it all up with its preoccupation, concentration and emphasis on the background and ethnicity of Sen. Joseph Lieberman. If I were an American citizen I would ask, “What’s the big deal–he is American, isn’t he?” But perhaps we in the Arab and Islamic world should be worried. The United States is selling its heart and soul to the Jews in order to win votes. What next? – unquote!

Several years later my direct bosses – both Westerners – and as when leaving – were saying to me about their true ethnicity – they just told me – We thought you were with us? I curtly replied – I am with no one but myself only! My own interests are always first and foremost most important and paramount – nothing else is! I guess that is why my career life took a great dive – just like the Egyptian pilot had moved the jet to the depths of the Pacific ocean!

This article is dedicated especially to Late Sheikh Essa bin Mohamed Al Zedjali – who died on February 21st 2013 – a great entrepreneur genius enterprising founding literary person – and a son of the land! May you rest in eternal peace – Amin!

Late Sh Essa Al Zedjali

Late Sheikh Essa Mohamed Al Zedjali – PBUH

Wishing at the same time my nephew Khalid Mohamed Said Nasser Al Suleimany and his wife a happy peaceful loving lasting marriage – Amin!

Take Care!

By Majid Al Suleimany

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