A Short Story! Are You A Prawn? 1

Are You A Prawn?

By Majid Al Suleimany

August 20th 2015

I had posted the below poster in the Social Media and it received unbelievable overwhelming positive responses – and I wished I had received similar at least with my Books Postings at least!


A long time ago when my sister was alive – I visited Tanzania on holidays! My late sister PBUH Allah Rahmah had invited me for lunch! Guess what was on the menu –all prawns and lobsters – coconut rice and grilled barbequed lobsters and prawns – and with the coconut curry lobsters! She found me not partaking the food with the zeal she had expected to emanate from me – as she knew that I do like my food!

I told her – My sister you forgot that I do not eat sea food except fish only? She was devastated – and she lamented that she had gone very early in the morning that day to buy the prawns and lobsters that had costed her quite a lot for a widowed at home woman! In the end she ordered for me just plain chicken curry from a nearby restaurant – and I ate with the rice!



When I was a student in UK in the early 1970s – there was a Big Students Annual Party thrown up by Shell International – the parent company of Petroleum Development Oman PDO which had sent me for the course in UK! Everybody was enjoying themselves with the lobsters and prawn infested dinner with exception of you know who- who got served separately with chicken legs instead!

At a Departmental party years later – my Top Boss who simply hated me as a person and my guts was boasting loudly – already top drunk – that only ‘poofs and sissies’ he knows do not eat prawns, crabs and lobsters – that were the main menu! So indirectly he may have known that I do not eat these things – and perhaps to make me sad and miserable?


So from that day onwards, I always gave an excuse not to attend any more parties from his side! Ironically – and what they say – what goes around; comes around – because many had ‘food poisoning’ from the lobsters I gather – and had to go for treatment at the Medical clinic – except the Host who seemed more protected by the alcohol!

A Big Joke after the weekend in the Offices! I understand that is why Her Majesty The Queen never partakes sea food on her travels abroad!

prawns 2

At this party above – a good Indian friend volunteered an ‘explanation’ as to why I do not eat lobsters etc.! He used reincarnation theology being himself a Hindu person – though top drunk too – that perhaps in my past life I was a lobster – so how can you eat your own kind? That is cannibalism – he asserted! Though I wanted to challenge him if he was sure of ‘lobsters not eating lobsters theory’ – but I thought better of it – and went just quiet! What about ‘big lobsters’ eating ‘smaller ones’? I could Google eat – but who really cares? Certainly not I!

At a family gathering one day my son in law Ali pinned me down to offer a ‘logical explanation’ as to why I ‘do not eat lobsters, prawns and crabs’ – his nickname being Ali The Fisherman! These things upset them more! Despite I do not eat ‘these things’ I do buy and allow them to be cooked for visitors – and guess what the topic will turn to when I do not partake the stuff – every time even if they have heard of it before! So I sarcastically and cynically retort – finish the dinner – and I will tell you why! Oh – they say in disgust – because they have heard of it before!

If you like lobsters, prawns and crabs – may I suggest you do not read The Addendum? J !

But frankly – it is true the poster that – Some people are like prawns! No guts, no spine and a head full of shit! But market value is always high! (Or are proud and conceited! Like I always say after the Offices environments – it is in Families where people most misbehave and conduct themselves badly! And behave just like prawns!

I hope you have enjoyed the article. If you have – please let The Chief Editor and The CEO of Oman Daily Observer – observerfeatures@gmail.com – editorobserver@gmail.com – know that ‘you miss my Columns – Between Us Only! That used to run every Sunday and Wednesday before being abruptly ended more than 2 years ago- when I criticised The Egyptian Army murdering in cold blood their own peoples demonstrating for reinstalling Morsi as elected President of Egypt! And the support they got from some GCC countries! I am not Egyptian – nor Pro or Anti Morsi- but a human being observing my faith and as with human feelings and concerns!

How many Omanis can write like this? Allah Kareem! God Is Great! Ameen! Amen!

Take Care!

Best wishes and regards,

Majid Al Suleimany

August 20th 2015


Repeat – Please do not read if you like lobsters, prawns and crabs!

In the island of Mafia aka Chole -100 miles from Dar es Salaam – Commercial Capital of Tanzania – my late Father PBUH Allah Rahmah – he liked sea food like crabs, prawns and lobsters! If you see how they are cooked still alive – you will never eat one again!

So they put these large crabs still alive and deadly – into a big boiling hot pot! They cover the pot with a tin cover and lay a big stone on top of it! You can hear the ‘tap’ tap – tap – tap as they ‘try to get out’ – open the cover please! We are being steamed hot alive here! The taping goes on for a long while – because they have a life of their own!

One day ‘one strong crab’ managed to push the lid and stone away! Our African house boy pushed it back in – and put a larger stone more on the lid! It took more than 5 minutes of incessant tapping to end!

How can you eat  these things – after this? I ask you!

After all, they look so ugly and terrible – like Big Insects! L !

P.S. You were warned not to come here! Have a Smile! Take Care!

Expatriate Casual Workers! Reply

Municipal 1

Municipal 1

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For Sunday September 1st 2013

Between Us Only!

Expatriate Casual Workers!

I was reading this news headline (Muscat Daily August 29th 2013) titled ‘Municipality faces shortfall of workers’ – ‘Many decide to leave because of new contract system’! It seemed that many of the workers are now going to get reduced salaries and without allowances – and those who used to get up to OMR 260 per month – depending on their grades – are now going to get average of 150 per month!
Frankly and honestly speaking, sometimes the mind just boggles who actually makes such decisions that subsequently leads to such results and consequences – and whether the decisions were well thought and considered before thoroughly prior to make such random and hasty decisions?

In an article I had written on the same subject – over 10 years ago – I had said – These jobs (Municipality Cleaners) would be the last jobs to be Omanised – and even far after the last Expatriate CEO and Manager have left the country! These casual jobs have better future prospects than even the Management ones of their peers.

I went on – At 3 a.m. they are still cleaning the streets – whilst the rest of us all are snoring deeply in our beds!
Some years back – I was travelling one night at 4 am to pick a visitor at Muscat Airport – and I nearly witnessed a ‘nasty road accident’ – when one of the Cleaners had moved towards half of the road to pick up a tissue left on the road – and the poor man was nearly run over by a speeding car – even at this late hour in the empty road. I do not know what the rush was in for?
There are no takers for these jobs.

I am frankly convinced that our youth would prefer to live ‘on social welfare’ – as a worst case scenario – then go and do these jobs!

A long time ago some people had come to deliver a washing machine to my villa in Qorum. This is what I had written in my article – quote – The Angry Driver – He (the young Omani youngster) nearly ran over me as he was reversing the truck fast as I was guiding him through the gate. I asked him what gives? Or should I call the Police? He broke down saying that this job (truck driver) was the only job he could get!

So I asked him – Forgive me Son! What qualifications do you have? He said he did not even finish his final secondary school! Madam wife was annoyed why I was getting involved – when I told him bluntly that he should thank his ‘lucky stars’ that he got a job!

The Omani young boy turned to his Indian peers saying in their lingo – These rich people look down on us – because we are poor! Yes I live in Qorum – thanks to my Oil Company – but I am certainly not rich!

I could not hold back my laughter – because he did not know that I studied in Tanzania in Indian Schools from Class 1 Primary to High School! At young age I could even write my name – and my father’s – in Hindi – and embarrassing the boy even further!

At another occasion in another place there was an elder Omani with some Indian workers. When he saw me ‘he was guiding the other workers’ – and I had thought that he was the ‘foreman’ – but he had elected himself for the position. The real foreman (Indian) soon put ‘the show off’ man ‘right back to his position’!

When I studied in UK I stayed in a house belonging to a Pakistani. He came to UK and though had some certificates ended as a bus driver! He had saved enough to be able to get himself a house in the end! Even if after a shift – if there was no other driver in the other shifts – or not turning up – as in many cases – especially in weekends and immediately afterwards – he would volunteer – and he used to get double rate for going extra shift! His local peers had all their monies go into bars and girl friends!

We should also remember – in conclusion – that the basic salaries for Omani Youth had gone up. This is a wrong time to reduce their salaries (expatriates) human beings as they are in ‘comparing and contrasting’!

As a Human Resources Professional of over 35 years – and Management Consultant, Expert and Advisor for over 12 years – I think a review is in order – under all the aforementioned – and with due and sincere apologies!

Take Care!

By: Majid Al-Suleimany