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Speaking of disrespecting foreigners....
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Chiselpoint



Joined: 05 Dec 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:40 am    Post subject: Speaking of disrespecting foreigners.... Reply with quote

Let’s say I was running one of these schools. Say I was the dean at a college where my faculty was overwhelmingly expatriates. A college where Indians and Filipinos a sprinkling of other nationalities make up about 95% of the foundation faculty, and the entirety of the post-foundation faculty as well as then IT department (well, except for the Omani supervisor in the corner office playing Angry Birds).

You know what I would do? I would respect what they bring to my school. I would respect that we couldn't make our school work without their expertise.

You know what I would not do? I would not shut the canteen down during Ramadan. Even if I were the piety poster-boy, I would understand that the majority of people here do not fast. I would not think that sending a few leaflets out saying that you-should-do-as-the-locals-do is a satisfactory substitute for water when it’s 45 degrees outside.

Instead, I would try to look beyond myself, and appreciate that expatriates – who are Hindu or Christian or (gasp!!) non-believers – don’t practice my religion, and want a damn glass of water during the work day. I would understand the arrogance and lack of common courtesy inherent in asking others to abide by my practices. It's not like anyone's demanding I go to Easter services, right?

I might ask them to keep it in the canteen, but hey, they wouldn’t mind. And they would be appreciative not only of my basic empathy and consideration, but also in the knowledge that my repeated public exhortations to respect one another’s beliefs and practices is a genuine call for unity and goodwill, rather than some code-word for Omanis getting everything they want, always.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4871
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Speaking of disrespecting foreigners.... Reply with quote

Chiselpoint wrote:
You know what I would not do? I would not shut the canteen down during Ramadan. Even if I were the piety poster-boy, I would understand that the majority of people here do not fast. I would not think that sending a few leaflets out saying that you-should-do-as-the-locals-do is a satisfactory substitute for water when it’s 45 degrees outside.

I've taught through two hot Ramadan periods in the region. We (non-Muslims) simply packed bottled water, juice or a thermos full of coffee/tea, or whatever in our backpacks or tote bags. Out of respect for my colleagues, whenever I became thirsty, I headed to an empty classroom or office and discreetly drank my water out of sight of others. This is a no-brainer. Besides, the workdays are short during Ramadan, so no one should feel put out for having to make a small adjustment to their daily routine.
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omanoman



Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no brainer is right............
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SirAristede



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering that Oman is a Muslim nation, I'm not surprised by any action that curtails food service or consumption during Ramadan. I think it's culturally-intolerant to expect them to cater to non-Muslims during that time. It's a choice to work in Arab nations and if one prefers a less restrictive environment there are other options. During Ramadan, just pack a sandwich, a juice box, and keep it moving. Mafi mushkila... Rolling Eyes
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 162
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't expect them to 'serve' food. Quite happy to 'pack a sandwich, a juice box.....and keep it moving'???!!! What does this mean-I eat it in the toilet or something? At least provide a 'place' -the canteen being the obvious choice, where non-muslims and of course muslims who are pregnant or menstruating can go and eat/ relax -quite simple to use curtains or blinds to make into a contained and private space that means we ain't sitting at our desks eating/ drinking in full view of those who are fasting...
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Sleepwalker



Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Reading the screen

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Kuwait, we were allocated a room for eating and another for (gasp) smoking. Here it depends on the place.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 162
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately nobody at the MOM colleges or the ministry have the sense to do this....
Idea
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MuscatGary



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirAristede wrote:
Considering that Oman is a Muslim nation, I'm not surprised by any action that curtails food service or consumption during Ramadan. I think it's culturally-intolerant to expect them to cater to non-Muslims during that time.


A brilliant argument for the constitutionally Christian UK and many other countries to become less culturally tolerant of others. Tolerance cuts both ways. Not forgetting the sheer hypocrisy, Seeb airport was full of Omanis escaping Ramadan yesterday. I personally know of four who have gone to Thailand where they can still have a beer and chat up girls.
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pooroldedgar



Joined: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come to think of it, I haven't seen the Omani teachers here the past few days...
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16128
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was never a problem at any of my employers in the Gulf. At SQU, we brought any food/drink we needed, and the Muslims knew that if the door to our office was closed, they best knock... and that we were probably eating or drinking. Not a problem...

At the later private college, there was a room set aside for us. At HCT in the UAE, the faculty lounge stayed open for coffee, tea, and sodas, but we had to bring our own food. The student canteen closed. When the female students were not fasting, they joined us teachers in the faculty lounge - this was the only time of the year that they did this. Often they would take their drink and sit and drink it on the stairs with their friends. At KU, we arranged one of the rooms and the Muslims knew the situation...

It was never a problem. Rolling Eyes To be honest, I find religion as, if not more, intrusive in America where Christianity is pushed down all of our throats in spite of the Constitutional separation.

VS
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MuscatGary



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
This was never a problem at any of my employers in the Gulf. At SQU, we brought any food/drink we needed, and the Muslims knew that if the door to our office was closed, they best knock... and that we were probably eating or drinking. Not a problem...

At the later private college, there was a room set aside for us. At HCT in the UAE, the faculty lounge stayed open for coffee, tea, and sodas, but we had to bring our own food. The student canteen closed. When the female students were not fasting, they joined us teachers in the faculty lounge - this was the only time of the year that they did this. Often they would take their drink and sit and drink it on the stairs with their friends. At KU, we arranged one of the rooms and the Muslims knew the situation...VS


This has been the case for the last few years at my College in Oman but this year the canteen is closed, the hot water heater in the common room has been removed and the water dispensers turned off. It's ok for the Omanis, they haven't been seen. This all reinforces my point that the country is changing.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16128
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you can say that your employer changed, not sure how far that can be generalized. The question is how would management respond if a couple of teachers went to management and politely requested a room to use for breaks. That said, it won't surprise me if Oman turns more conservative because the older generations of Omanis are getting upset with how the young people are acting. (same as the teachers are complaining of...) Modernity is not always a good thing.

Personally I'm not one of those who is constantly drinking something so it was never a big deal for me. I would have a small bottle of water in my bag... and if I was far from my office or the break room... I just visited a bathroom and took a drink.

VS
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MuscatGary



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
While you can say that your employer changed, not sure how far that can be generalized. The question is how would management respond if a couple of teachers went to management and politely requested a room to use for breaks. The management are Omani, they're nowhere to be seen.
Personally I'm not one of those who is constantly drinking something so it was never a big deal for me. I would have a small bottle of water in my bag... and if I was far from my office or the break room... I just visited a bathroom and took a drink. Teachers (actually nobody) should have to go the toilet to drink water. It's disgusting,
VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12873
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear MuscatGary,

"Teachers (actually nobody) should have to go the toilet to drink water. It's disgusting . . .

I should think so - if one's drinking it from the bowl.

Regards,
John
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MuscatGary



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear MuscatGary,

"Teachers (actually nobody) should have to go the toilet to drink water. It's disgusting . . .

I should think so - if one's drinking it from the bowl.


LOL but seriously it's disgusting for anybody to feel compelled to eat or drink inside a toilet. It would be particularly so where I work as it's usually full of ants, beetles, cockroaches....not to mention flooded by water from the cleaning water pipe although that's not happening while the Omanis are away.
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