Gonnu Rewind 3 – The Wakeup Call! Reply

Continuing from the same theme of last week of GONNU Storms – ‘When The Storms Came In!’ and ‘The Aftermath’ of last three weeks…..(sent from Zanzibar Tanzania whilst on leave there – if you want copies, please let me know!)

As had appeared in The Oman Daily Observer of Wednesday June 27, 2007


The Wake Up Call!

My cynical sceptical friend had read my article last week, and was all comments. He called me and asked me if I had returned from my leave, if I were feeling any guilty and remorse in leaving my family behind, and as he put it ‘missing all the fun and action part?’ I asked him how he could define it as ‘fun’, and he retorted that in a way, it was, but one had to look in deep to find out. I did not want to delve in details, so I had just left it at that – at least for now. I may want to take it up with him at a more convenient and opportune moment in the future.

Then he shocked me – he said to me – you know M? This is a wake up call. We really need to soul-search and self-analyse what we are doing wrong, unfair and unethical for such things to happen to us after decades of quiet, peace and self-preservation. There is something very wrong that we have done or still doing to get the wrath and anger of nature to fall on us like this – and this had never happened before.

So I retorted back fast. Come on, you are putting too much on this thing. This is a result of our own actions of not taking care of nature, and as a result of global warming and climate change. We are not alone in this, the whole of the rest of the world are in the same circuits and scenarios. No, no – he insisted – you got it all wrong. That could be true too – but it is not that alone.

There are so many things wrong and unethical we do to each other, liking being cruel and mean to each other. We favour those we like, and discriminate and disfavour those we do not like, though we are all one as one family, but we do not see that way. He went on – we trample on rights and dues of others simply because we do not like them, or what they represent. We have become mean, greedy, and materialistic and have forgotten our Lord and the teachings of the Great Prophet (PBUH). In our homes are orphans who are treated as young houseboys and housemaids, instead as being our own children.

Rights and privileges are revoked at a press of a button. There are pensioners who cannot get a Baizas out of their pensions – because they had taken loans before they were ‘forced’ to go on retirement, and their new salary are not even enough to pay off the monthly loan installments.

How do you expect these peoples to live? On water alone? Even that water has to be paid for, and if you do not pay in time will be mercilessly be disconnected, baby in house or not! He went on – if you are poor and weak, the full force of the law will be applied to you, but if you are rich and famous, all mercies and exceptions can be expected – even if you are in a better position to pay off loans taken and when you had gone broke and bust. The Banks after making so much profits, will make all the compassion and exceptions for the rich and famous, even if they could still pay. But if you are weak and unknown, the full force of the laws will be applied to you without any exception mercy or compassion.

You may be a local professional and experienced person and have fallen on hard and difficult times, but no job offer will be made to you because of ‘your age’ – though there are much much older expatriates professionals and consultants still working there in high and famous places. What do you do – he asked me – if you cannot get work as a professional person and your salary has been frozen by the Banks with orders from high up with no mercy and compassion? Beg, borrow or steal? Think about it, M – he implored. I am thinking – I retorted – I am thinking.

Then he went on – when such poor peoples cry out in vain, pain and hurt and there is nobody – simply nobody – and they cry out to our Lord – what do you think will happen next? Or we have fully been involved or participated in bringing calamities and disasters to others – do you think the Lord will spare us?? There are so much cries of despair, anger and hurt. That is true and definite. And yet we hear it is still not over, there are still more dangers and impending disasters to come!

We forget the teachings of our Religion. We act as if we cannot fall dead at any moment and be held accountable for all our sins committed by our actions and or inactions. We think we shall live forever and nothing will touch or reach us, and then we see how very wrong we are. We have now seen how it is to live without shelter, water and food. We have seen that in TV News in other countries, but we thought these would never happen to us. We have been proved wrong, this time and maybe more times in the future too. What do we know can or will happen next to us? Do we know on such things?

The poor man who worked plus 25 years and cannot touch a Baiza of his pensionable salary, whilst the Banks and all that goes with it get richer and richer with more profits and they still threatening and harming those poor and weak ones more only who have fallen on bad times and cannot pay even if they had wanted to? Or in the past had paid regularly, but now cannot continue to do so on falling on bad times and conditions beyond their control?

They want now to work, but are denied the chance and opportunity – though they are our very own? Or we give chances and opportunities to those we like, even if they do not deserve such or are not capable to do what is required to be done – and deny those who are capable and can just because we do not like them and discriminate against them for who they are more than anything else?? Think on it M! Please think!

I am thinking – I am thinking – I cried out. At least let me say it to all others too. UI hope they read, listen and hear. I hope we self analyse ourselves. I hope we soul-search ourselves. Until the next round, all I can do is pray and hope. Trust me. I hear you very well my good friend…… Take Care. Allah Protect and Preserve us all – Amin Amen


Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany


Images For Presentation Purposes Only!


Gonnu Rewind 2 – The Aftermath! This Too Shall Pass! Reply

Gonnu Rewind 2

June 20, 2007.

The Aftermath!

(Or This Too Shall Pass!)

Continuing from the same theme of last week of ‘When The Storms Came In!’ – Gonnu hit Oman on June 6th 2010.

My cynical skeptical friend had always insisted in the past to get a copy of my articles in my column. In actual fact, I remember at one time when I was just writing that he had wanted me to send to him my articles before they were published in my column every Wednesday! This I categorically and affirmatively refused to entertain! I asked him why he wanted to do this, he just replied ‘so I can give you my personal frank and honest views and feedbacks before you send in the article formally’! So I told him a straight NO, unless you are working for the esteemed paper in ‘private position’.

This seemed to work and rub him badly, and I could see he was desperately struggling to remain courteous and polite to me and in questioning my sanity and integrity in asking me such a question to him! So we agreed in default for me to send him my article, though I did rub it in too by the mere fact that he could afford to buy the paper at least on a Wednesday. Then he retorted to me – I am forwarding these articles of yours to prominent and high profile personalities and actually I am doing a great honour and privilege to you – sad you do not realize it! I did not know how but as I did not want to delve into details, I decided it was better to go quiet and just leave it at that!

Normally my good friend never comments on my articles – unless as he cynically and sarcastically said to me (I seem to have this great affect on him, I do not know why?) – he said to me – unless I have something to comment – either good positive or just bad negative! If I have nothing to send in it means that your articles are ‘just that okay or as normal your stuff’. A reliable friend of mine tells him that person is actually all praises and complimentary for your articles – but that is beyond your earshot. He says ding thinks if you ‘hear the praises, it will go into your head, and it will spoil things’. Or as he says complimenting the Chef too much, and then he looses his touch and all the praised dishes come out all wrong in one form or the other!

So last week being still away from the country and with limited access to the Internet, I was doubly surprised to find his irate and aggressive note that I had missed sending him my article ‘When The Storms Came In’! He got a copy forwarded to him from someone else, and that seemed to anger and annoy him the more. The more he said because the article was very good, and it did a great deed in consoling and comforting those who were adversely affected by the storm! As he was ‘one of the victims’, he wanted to know direct and straight from me why I had missed him out in the circulation list. Actually, I had deleted many from this list, including some still unconvinced adversaries amongst friends and relatives. He had thought that he was now in the shortened list – and this seemed to work him up all the more!

I usually give my good reliable friend a day or two to cool down, and when I send him my replies he seems to be more receptive and positive. But this time this too had failed, where in the past it had worked out somehow and eventually. So I sent him my answers to his questions and queries with what he said Readers might want to know (or his excuse for him wanting to know?). So I did the necessary thing, and sending him the answers!

* * *

Out of the two brothers’ graves, one was marked out and well maintained – with an inscription of the death the poor man had died. His late son and my late father had told me – my father had died in hospital, I think I will go the same way. And he did! I thought it was running in the family when it was my turn to be admitted in the hospital, but it seemed this time I was let go free, perhaps till another time? The other grave was all shrubs, the farm where the grave was had been sold off to a local, and he did not care about a graveyard that did not belong to him, especially from Arabs from another land!

So I had asked the new owners if they would not mind me paying for the place to look decent, and they had replied affirmatively to go ahead and do this! This was the other brother who did not want to stay in the smaller barren island, but as fate and destiny would have it, it was the same place that both had been buried and the first place they had both seen first after leaving the shores of Quriyaat (Hail Al Ghaaf) in Oman.

My friend wanted to know if I had a premonition of disaster, and what he was reading between the lines in my articles – especially the few weeks before the storms and all the rumours circulating at the time on the in-coming dangers, and peoples had just written them off – only to come true in another format? I assured him I was as naïve and ignorant as he probably was! But I must admit that the visits and prayers at the ancestral burial grounds and the next day having a very bad dream of my angry ancestors that ‘we forgot them here’ did shake me up badly due to their coincidences, if nothing else. Peoples who left their country in dark days of history to look for a better life else where, and to be buried and forgotten in foreign lands, and reversal of history with the enlightment and renaissance for their offsprings to return to the Motherland with the heeding of the call to return.

History had made its mark with all that went good and bad with it. Together with fate and destiny that went along with it. It was all and still our duty to realize and remember, as we pass it on to our children and grandchildren – and great grandchildren to generations to come. It is our duty to keep them informed, and to preserve our beloved nation in its great history. Its heritage, culture, customs and traditions and to preserve all these, whilst we move forward in the global village with all its modernity and advancement – and we copy and emulate only those parts that are good and decent and avoid all others not needed and unnecessary!

This for the benefit of the nation and the future generations. For the storms now – This too shall pass and as time is a great healer! Allah Protect and Preserve us all – Amin (Amen).


Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany

God Help Preserve and Protect Our Beloved Land – Amin Amen!







Gonnu Rewind 1 – When The Storms Came In! Reply



When The Storms Came In!

June 6, 2007.

At a certain time, it comes to all of us in our lives when you just have to be brave and courageous and in doing the right thing to accept the outcome and your fate!

And to count your blessings on the greater things that you still have with you – like your own saved lives and your continued health and fitness, and the will and determination to survive and still succeed. That is more important than material things lost and destroyed, by the fury and wrath on nature falling upon us. Instead of pondering on how much wastage has occurred and the need now, to buy new material things like New Television sets and other needed replacement equipment etc.

It may be difficult for some of us to accept these things now because of the denial effect that some of us may be still experiencing now.

But in life one has not to look at your own situation only in isolation, but those others too whom you have left behind, like those families who lost loved ones too in the disaster in addition to material losses. Of course it is not compensation, solace and consolation either – but the truth remains paramount and revealing that you may be in a bad situation, but certainly there are others worse off than you – for example misplaced and without a home and shelter, or food and water too.

The beauty of human beings is that we can all come together as one close knit family when disaster strikes, and to make us soul-search and self analyse ourselves. We may have been watching Television and films, and read newspapers of disasters that have been affecting other peoples without a twinge of feelings and remorse, and thinking that these things will never reach us because we are ‘far away and immune, and protected’ from such things in life. Then we realize that these things too can happen to us, and that makes us all care and feel for each other as one Global Family. As they say, one cannot realize the value of food until the time you have experienced hunger and famine. Similarly, water until you has experienced pangs of thirst and want! Then you appreciate what is water and what is food. And what is warmth and shelter! And what the lack of is all about!
* * *
The small single engined Cessna planned tossed and turned as the strong winds and rain hit it. It was flying quite low for convenience and comfort, maybe more to escape the thrust and force of the wind and storm than anything else was. It was usual for such a situation for the pilot to push the plane above the thundering storm wet clouds but perhaps the pilot it was better to fly it at low attitudes for a better reason too. After all the Pilot knows best in such things than the rest of us, and it is best to leave things to such experts and competent professionals. What do the rest of us know than just to be carried on board as passengers?

The pilot before taking casually remarked on the safety features of the small plane. He was so used and fed up talking to passengers who kept talking to themselves rather than listening to the pilot. As usual when a real emergency would occur, there would be panic and crisis in the air, and hopefully peoples would know what to do then? He kept urging the passenger to move forward to concentrate on sitting on the front seats, instead of staying at the tail.

He again insisted – it is for your own safety and in order to balance the plane. Everybody looked at each other; there were no takers to move forward. He looked at me – maybe I was a more agreeable figure or he liked to see the heavier one passenger move forward. I had no way of knowing, and I did not want to be disagreeable anyway. So I moved to the seat next to him, where the co-pilot would normally sit. But he showed me the seat behind him, that seat is to be left vacant if the co-pilot was not to fly.
I remembered those films when the single pilot of the plane got a heart attack, and slumped on the controls.

There was no Air Hostess on board who like in the other films could be guided from the control tower to land the jet. Do not worry, the coach would say. This plane can land itself if need be! Or what would happen if the single propeller engine cocked out? I asked the pilot in my younger days when I was still flying in the same route, but now age and maturity has set in and you do not fret and worry about such things. If it happens it happens, there is nothing you can do about such things. You just have to accept your outcome and fate – that is all! It is not a question of being fatalistic; it is more of being sensible and reasonable.

Than the person behind you asks – Are you from these parts, or are you a visitor? So you tell him. Then he guesses – Are you from Muscat in Oman? You reply affirmatively. You ask how did you guess? He replies – because this island has many peoples who left to return to Oman, though there are many families still that have been left or stayed behind. Then he tells you something you know already. You just nod in agreement. Yes, the Omani Arabs had named the island as She-Island-With-Nothing or She-barren-island.

It was recorded in History too. They called it Mafia Island, about 100 miles from the City of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. The Germans – the first occupiers Colonial Power had annexed it away from the Zanzibar Islands, the ex Sultan dynasty and the British next in line Colonial Power did not raise an issue. Forgot its barren island capacity? Besides the Germans did not like the name of Mafia, it perhaps reminded them of something more uglier nearer at home in Italy, the Mafia Clan.

So they mapped and called it by the name of an island quite near the place. The locals kept calling it by the same name of Chole, but history had recorded it by the name the disinterested Omanis gave it. The rest was history. Mafia Island to this day.

History too was the fight between the two brothers on the boat from Oman. The Elder brother wanted to land and settle there, the younger one tried to discourage him at best and failed miserably. His mind was made up. He wanted to start his life at this barren island, not the bigger islands or Coastal places the majority of the Omani Arabs were settling.

There are pioneers and volunteers all over history records, and the big brother had made his decision. This is the place he wanted. Years later, he too brought his son from Oman with his first wife and son and daughter. The two brothers were still not talking to each other. It took the marriage of their children first cousins to seal the difference and partnership. 2 years later the only married at 16 mother gave birth to her first son – and the Author of this column. That is history for you!

The man behind then told him of the storms and winds in Oman. Before that, he thought it was all rumours. So the bad news was really true? The man said he saw it all in the beamed dish of Oman TV too at the hotel. The Author called home, all the Mobiles and GSM were not working. He felt bad and guilty he had left the place to come on a Holiday, and the storms and winds striked later when he was not at home. His conscience pricked him. He will try to call again later……. Allah Preserve and Protect us all – Amin.


Majid Said Nasser Al Suleimany

Images For Demonstration Purposes Only!