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University of Buraimi: An Academic dystopia
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These days his major problems are age and health. I doubt he takes much part in daily decisions anymore. Crying or Very sad

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
These days his major problems are age and health. I doubt he takes much part in daily decisions anymore. Crying or Very sad

VS


I'm inclined to agree with you and think this may be part of the explanation for what has been happening this past year. I really think the interregnum could be a period of unrest and uncertainty when it finally arrives, hopefully not too soon.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, many have been worried about that question for some years. Have you seen this article:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/aug/14/heart-mysterious-oman/

But then we were also worried about the transfers of power in Bahrain when Sheikh Issa died and the UAE when Sheikh Zayed died... and both of them made the change smoothly, but they did have official crown princes.

May HE live forever...

VS
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SirAristede



Joined: 26 May 2014
Posts: 83
Location: Salmiya, Al 'Āşimah, Kuwait

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a well-balanced and authored piece, VS. I enjoyed reading it since it gives a perspective of a nation that remains relatively stable despite the chaos and strife around it. However, loyalty seems to be solely held toward Sultan Qaboos, which could create unseen problems in the event of his death.

Several points stood out to me:

Quote:
One of the distinctive features of the Omani Spring is how starkly it exposed the generation gap between older Omanis, who remember the country’s severe poverty when Sultan Qaboos took power, and the youth, who have grown up with the expectation of plenty. Alongside a constitutional monarchy and an independent legislature, for example, the 2011 protesters also demanded lower utility bills and longer paid holidays. But this has made it easier for the government to neutralize pressure for reforms. “We lost a lot of supporters,” Said al-Hashmi, the human rights activist, told me. “It’s too hard to continue the struggle when you are offered a job and benefits.”


and

Quote:
Economists estimate that 50,000 jobs must be created every year just to keep pace with population growth. Most worrisome, oil reserves are dwindling, and the cost of extraction soaring...“It is estimated we have fifteen to twenty years,”....“Technology has helped us get more, but what happens when the oil dries up? I can’t see what we’re doing about it.”


The problems in Oman are indicative of a society that grew suddenly from newly-discovered resources and became immensely wealthy, practically overnight. (Which is the same problem in all of the GCC states). However, Oman needs to develop solid plans to avoid Bahrain's difficulties, the difficulties of a state quickly realizing its oil will soon be gone. Oman's 15-20 years aren't as far off as they seem. With the Sultan's declining health and lack of an heir apparent, the confusion caused by the Sultan's death could lead to unprecedented rancor.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of the later development in Oman, they managed to avoid some of the negatives that one saw/sees in Kuwait or Saudi. I don't see things ever turning into a Bahrain situation because there isn't an oppressed majority of one sect being lorded over by a minority group. (similar to Iraq) While there is a certain amount of jealousy between interior Omanis, Baluchis, Zanzibaris, et al, none of them are oppressed like the Shia in Bahrain.

Jobs have been an issue for so long with no answers. I have articles from the early 90s where they were already worrying about positions for the children in school and SQU. Also back then they were expecting the oil to be gone in 20 years... and it keeps being pushed forward. But the rising population and costs will overwhelm the income too...

VS
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
) While there is a certain amount of jealousy between interior Omanis, Baluchis, Zanzibaris, et al, none of them are oppressed like the Shia in Bahrain.

True, but they are generally denied the opportunities given to other Omanis in terms of jobs and post-grad scholarships. In some ways this incentivizes them to create their own opportunities and in particular I see hard-working Baluchis emerging as a driving force.

Also back then they were expecting the oil to be gone in 20 years... and it keeps being pushed forward. But the rising population and costs will overwhelm the income too...

The estimates were reasonable back then, it's the technology that has advanced and allowed the extraction of more difficult oil reserves. The problem is that it's nowhere near as profitable and heavily dependent on western expertise.

I think the main problem is the dependence on ex-pat labour/expertise and the resulting outwards flow of cash from the country. The Shura have just proposed that ex-pat remittances should be taxed because of this, the Ministry have rejected the proposal at the moment. Omanisation is the dream but won't work at the unskilled level because the spoilt generations don't want that kind of work ("it's demeaning to us") and the high level skills are beyond their capabilities as of yet.

The Sultan is caught between a rock and a hard place.

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a.anas



Joined: 24 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Sudan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:09 am    Post subject: share your experience in UOB or other institutions Reply with quote

it would be interesting to see what other teachers think of their teaching experience in an institution in the gulf in general and UOB in particular. So, please could you give us a sense of what it was/is like for you to teach and live in the gulf?
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balqis



Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 171

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Education in the Gulf is not real.
It resembles enforced practicing of magic by a trained physician, the physician being here a teacher, who cannot teach in the Gulf, but needs to affect teaching.
In the desert, in the scorching heat, people devoid of water and shelter sometimes start seeing images, that look like melted lead, and their shapes resemble those of water pools and oases. But you only see them in your imagination, there is nothing to them but heated air. You walk towards them in hope and craving, but you never reach them, they disperse.
Such is the phenomenology of Gulf education - that of Fata Morgana, mirages in the dazzling sunshine. It is a subject for an artist - painter and a story teller - rather than scientist, I am afraid. European lenses must be left over where they belong to - i.e. in Europe, when one comes to khaleeje to ''teach''.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 465
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

balqis

How sad that you think of the East(Middle) in these ' detrimental' terms and ways. Sincerely hope that one day it will all change; not in your lifetime or mine, but it will change.
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

balqis wrote:
Education in the Gulf is not real.
It resembles enforced practicing of magic by a trained physician, the physician being here a teacher, who cannot teach in the Gulf, but needs to affect teaching.
In the desert, in the scorching heat, people devoid of water and shelter sometimes start seeing images, that look like melted lead, and their shapes resemble those of water pools and oases. But you only see them in your imagination, there is nothing to them but heated air. You walk towards them in hope and craving, but you never reach them, they disperse.
Such is the phenomenology of Gulf education - that of Fata Morgana, mirages in the dazzling sunshine. It is a subject for an artist - painter and a story teller - rather than scientist, I am afraid. European lenses must be left over where they belong to - i.e. in Europe, when one comes to khaleeje to ''teach''.


No doubt the perspective of the ever-present drunks that seem to inhabit the trenches of the middle east jobs.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 465
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy money, easy life, non-committal students,some shoddy teachers and PARADISE all round! Shocked

What more do you want out of life? Rolling Eyes
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a.anas



Joined: 24 Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Sudan

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, the worst part was the thought that i was being complicit in perpetuating a farce. The director of the center of foundation studies feeds every prospective teacher the line that UOB is new and as such it is bound to have some problems. while this statement is true, what is cunningly left out of account is the fact that not much has changed since its launch. I would have stayed in UOB and tried to make some contribution if it were not for the discovery that the problems stem from deliberate and profit-driven practices.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 465
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how many teachers will be returning to UOB in August/September 2014?

I know at least 4 who will be returning, plus couple of Asians, Africans, SA, US.

I spoke to someone who used to work there, and that person couldn't understand why some new teachers were so vehement in their dislike for UOB. Oh well, it takes all sorts to make the world!
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CANDLES wrote:
So how many teachers will be returning to UOB in August/September 2014?

I know at least 4 who will be returning, plus couple of Asians, Africans, SA, US.

I spoke to someone who used to work there, and that person couldn't understand why some new teachers were so vehement in their dislike for UOB. Oh well, it takes all sorts to make the world!


I think the past tense is crucial here. Teachers who used to work in Oman cannot understand how dramatically it as changed in the last year, and not for the better.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 465
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we all did, but as I said some of them will be returning to Oman, and specially to UOB in August.
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