Between Scotland and Muscat

Between Scotland and Muscat my adulthood life is divided.. Let me do the calculation:

  • 2001 – 2005: Scotland, ages 17 – 21
  • 2006: Muscat
  • 2007: Scotland again
  • 2008 – 2009: Muscat

Since I’m coming to a close balance of years between the two cities, or the two worlds actually, I thought I owe those two lovely places a fair comparison review.. before one of them over-rides the other and now that both worlds are still fresh and ever gorgeous in memory!

Muscat: this is my home town, that’s where I spent “most” of my childhood (there was a lil bit of Salalah and Nizwa in between). Muscat is the capital of Oman, a country in the politically overwhelming Middle East but dwelled in peace, just like a steady boat on a tsunami! It’s a vibrant city, sitting in between gigantic mountains, overlooking the coast on it’s east and the desert on it’s west. The city is a fair balance between untouched nature, preserved culture and conservative modernity!

Scotland: My youth, my college years are spent in the marvellous city of Edinburgh. I need not write about where Scotland is or where it sits, it’s well known to the most ignorant. It’s a beautiful place to live; very diverse and cosmopolitan. Boosting with multi-nationals, yet the natives manage to maintain their ever friendly character to all. Where nature and modernity go hand in hand, you’ve got a line of high street shops on your left, and a magnificant view of majestic Edinburgh castle sitting right on top of a green mountain on your right.   

About my life in Muscat:

  1. Peaceful, Safe, Secure…
  2. Close family bonds, great most of the time but can get over the board at times
  3. Limited independency, not that I mind. It’s good to have company!
  4. Extravagant lifestyle. Maid, car, bigger house
  5. Cheap, everything is affordable.
  6. You’re locked-in the society, I call it extreme social pressure. Weddings, funerals, invitations, visits….etc!
  7. Better working hours, you’re home by 2.00 pm!
  8. Not very pleasant weather! The winter is good, average around 25 degrees.
  9. Having the sun shine on you all year long is a bliss sometimes. Winter and Summer day times do not vary much (Summer sunset @ 7pm, Winter sunset @ 5pm) 
  10. Limited outdoor activities. But that’s Ok, we have enough social gatherings to attend
  11. Culture, tradition and religion that parallels my own. I do not feel outcast
  12. You’re pampered everywhere. Someone pumps your car up with petrol at the station, your groceries are brought to your car. You get your car washed for free while you shop (Free car wash at City Centre now!)

About my life in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen):

  1. Ultimate independency. Time is mine, place is mine. I decide where I want to go, when I want to go
  2. I look different, I feel different. It was home but it didn’t always feel home
  3. Better weather, well, unpredictable though
  4. Winter times are so depressing, Sunset at 3.30. Compromised by beautiful summers, sunset @ 10pm!
  5. Practical lifestyle, I wear what I want, no judgments thrown my way
  6. Where your feet are your primary mode of transport. Very central, your everyday needs are a few steps away
  7. Expensive..
  8. More time spent by myself. Not always a bad thing, I loved the tranquility
  9. Nightlife is not as safe. Drunk zombies, racist remarks
  10. No shopping after 5! Come’on, so un-cool
  11. There is always some new place to visit, new town to go to, a park hidden between the bushes!
  12. No Halal food everywhere, you discover the vegeterian side of you and learn to love oily burgers at dodgy places, just because they’re Halal


Here is a photographic touch of the two places I dearly hold in my soul, heart and mind:









If you were given the choice, where would you live? Or if you’ve lived in either of them or in similar cities, how was/is it?

Would like to know 🙂



  1. GH said,

    July 11, 2009 at 12:34 am

    My views about Glasgow are almost the same. Life is good and time flies quite fast.

  2. Solace said,

    July 11, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I would love to visit both, but unfortunately I have never been to either.

  3. Shahrazad said,

    July 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    GH, Glasgow is a beautiful city. Times does fly, before you realise it, it’s already time to leave the country that was home for many years.

    Solace, both places are lovely, I hope you get the chance to visit them one day 🙂

  4. Um Muhanad said,

    August 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    For me, my whole life i have been in Oman which i thank god for safety and secure here.. but at the same time i wish i have studied abroad for few years to know how independent can u be and learn new stuff.. Now i try to convince my husband to accept any offers for him to work outside, but he feels he wants to be here only 😀

  5. Um Muhanad said,

    August 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    and by teh way nice photos in both places they look amazing 🙂

  6. Rayyan said,

    August 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I like living out of Oman.. but I also like to be able to visit Oman more often.. I like to have my own world/space!

  7. Shahrazad said,

    August 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Um Muhannad, some people cannot easily live outside their comfort zone! I wonder why you never came when I was there, although we had many plans 😦

    Rayyan, we speak the same language 🙂

  8. Sumera said,

    August 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    being a born and bred Glaswegian – home is home after all. I instantly feel at home when I go back. I would like to live abroad – have visited the UAE but never lived there. Might do one day insh’allah.

    • Shahrazad said,

      August 28, 2009 at 12:16 am

      Yuppeee, someone from Scotland found my post 😀

      I am quite familiar with Glasgow, it is a beautiful place, a great place for shopping I must add! However, Edinburgh being quieter suited me more. A wodni layk ta bee stabbed ta deth ya knuu (haha, nei bother I’m just remembering the usual fights between Glaswegian and Edin-buggers like you might like to call’em, eh? ;))

  9. Essence Oman said,

    September 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I think it is similar to what you described. and like you, I still would pick muscat 🙂

    I love it when i go to a place , knowing no one at all but ending knowing atleast half of the place sister, cousin, mother, aunts or friends.
    I enjoy the small world in omani community, things go and come back.
    I enjoy the fact that if i had a car accident and fainted, im secure cause i know some one will drive me to the hospital, another will call the police and another will take care of my car. (this happened to me and till today i could not find those people and thank them)

    feeling safe is an amazing thing but having independence, great weather and control of your life completely is another great thing i miss about living abroad.

  10. Shahrazad said,

    September 2, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for dropping in Essence Oman (I like your nickname!). From your comment, I gather you have/had also lived between Scotland and Muscat?

    true… there is no such thing as “hiding” in Oman, you’re bound to meet someone you know anywhere you go, haha! Very small community, everyone knows everyone literally!

    Oh really? It happened to my brother (Malik) too. Someone we do not know at the scene of the accident rushed him to hospital, he had brain damage so time was crucial. God only knows what could have happened if he was left to bleed at the scene. Allah Kareem and people who lend a hand are great, may Allah reward them! Now we shouldn’t complain if there’s traffic because of an accident, everyone wants to help (or only see sometimes :p)

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