Salute to the Fathers!

Salute to the fathers, Salute to the Omani fathers from very deep within my heart!

During my course in London, a Danish speech therapist came over to me surprised, asking if I see fathers of young clients in my clinic where I come from. Hearing me proudly say “YES, in fact more fathers than mothers attend therapy sessions with their child” left her gobsmacked! I honestly do not know the source of her surprise or what exactly she meant by that. I can only assume and I will assume; maybe, because Arab men are usually perceived as Macho macho, hence the thought that they would show limited care towards their children? Maybe, she thought about the segregation of genders in my country, hence the surprise that I do actually meet men in my clinic? Other than these two reasons, I found the surprise rather shallow because what I see within the walls of my clinic is by far the most compassionate of relationships. A relationship that is devoid of lies, hypocrisy or personal interests. The all heart relationship between “father and child”!

I do not deny the role of the mother here, I only do not flaunt about it now because it’s the “default” setting if you like, a mother concerned about her child that is. You rarely see otherwise in almost all cultures. However, when the father takes the driving seat, when he runs for his child’s interest for whatever it costs, when the mother is at home and have never even met the therapy behind her child’s improvement, and the father brings the child in for a long-term fortnightly therapy session that could last for years (it happens). That’s the tender heart of a father I’m talking about.  

I’ll leave you with this true story that left me touched, disturbed and impressed in the same split of a second, while taking the case history of a child in clinic.

The Doctor calls me referring a patient with a complicated history of multiple abnormalities. A few minutes later, a gentleman, a lady and the little child are in my clinic. The lady sits on a chair, the child on another chair, sadly I do not have a special chair for children with hypotonia (very weak muscles), their sitting positions are difficult to maintain, someone needs to hold the child or else he’ll lean sideways and could fall down quite instantly. The father kneels on the ground holding his son with his arms, helping him maintain his posture while the child moves, jerks and twitches uncontrollably. 

I started taking the case history, asking the lady pre and post birth questions. I took it for granted (like I assume you all did) that she was the mother. She was apparently the paternal grandmother (She looked really young, it must be the pure heart she has that gave her the glow). After a few questions, I saw a few hesitations with back and forth looks from the lady and her son (the father), as if contemplating whether to trust me and expose the hidden bit or not, and they started… The child had been neglected the care of his mother since birth, or actually the mother has lost this precious son to suit her ego and her heartless family. The story is, after the child had been born, the mother astonished by the amount of physical abnormalities her son has, decided to run away from the hospital, abandoning her son under her family pressure that she will not enter their house with a disabled! The father and his mother were left or rather privileged with the responsibility of taking care of this young boy.

Not only do they care for this child, they show tender love and absolute affection beyond imagination. The grandmother showed repeatedly how blessed she is to have him. The child’s mother on the other hand filed a divorce, got her wish granted, re-married and has a family of her own now. She has never seen her first child after the abandonment in hospital.

I was left repeating “Subhan Allah” all day long!

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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:

Muscat:

Muscat

Muscat

 

Scotland:

Scotland

Scotland

 

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 🙂

One afternoon, @ the beach..

 

 

At the beach, where horizon is your limit..

Exactly 5 years ago..

 I was in this place (The Chedi, Muscat) exactly 5 years ago.

 

 

How much life has changed.

How much we have matured. 

How much we have grown and how much love has grown with us.

 

Life took us through paths of love and despair, together we managed to cherish those of love alone.. AlhamduLilah

Why I hate weddings?

I have something against weddings, we just don’t get along at all. I hate weddings and I dread them just as much! I maybe selfish when I say that, because I’ve had the wedding of my dream, 800+ people attended, everything went smoooooth, well apart from entering the hall pretty late but that’s typical of all weddings I guess?.. The funny thing is that, hating weddings is very very very common, you hardly find anyone over-whelmed when receiving an invitation card. The usual reaction is “Ohhhhh Ahhhhhh…what am I gonna wear?” in an obvious disinterested manner.

Anyway let me state my top 10 list of reasons of my deepest hates for weddings (for me to evaluate and for you reader to judge):

  1. Weddings lost their purpose, they’re not a ceremony of love anymore, they’re a show-off parade or an attempted beauty contest.
  2. The more make-up, the more you fit in! It should be called a cake-up competition. I generally like it natural and simple. I’m usually forced to apply make-up just to “fit in” and I’m no make-up artist.
  3. The gown! Nightmare… you’ve to switch on your utmost memory recall capabilities trying to remember who will you meet in this wedding who has attended a wedding I have attended before wearing the same gown. As complicated as it sounds, it’s very true and extremely annoying. We’re no celebrities we’re allowed to dress in the same gown for as much as we like, you’d think?!
  4. I HATE LOUD MUSIC….It literally pierces my eardrums and keeps echoing in my head all night.
  5. It’s really bad, mean and unethical that with allllll the efforts the bride has made to make sure that everything is under control, you’ll see people complaining of the napkin not matching the stage colour, ridiculous!  Oh not just that, but also comparing and contrasting, not just the stage, tables and theme, but the bride herself. There is always a rating of beauty there..
  6. It drains my wallet. I’ve got to buy a hand-bag for weddings, a 3abaya, sometimes 2 or 3 just for weddings, special gowns and scarves for weddings, shoes for weddings, jewelry and accessories for weddings. It’s a never ending money sucking job!
  7. If you did attend, you go unnoticed. If you did not, you’re blamed and judged a life-time to your guts for not attending.
  8. The most urrrgggghhh! fact is when you’re forced to go to a wedding when you don’t know the bride or the groom, just to represent your family. We’ve become ambassadors!
  9. Time-consuming. I’m a perfectionist, I have to have my scarf swirl in a certain way to be able to go out. I need an hour before to get ready, and an hour when I get back to remove all the stains (like my husband calls it) from my face. Just imagine the wedding finishing at midnight, and you’ve got work the next day. Eyes puffed from lack of sleep.
  10. Finding a car and a companion to and from the wedding is the least of impracticalities, but a big impracticality in itself.