Thursday, 10 October 2013

This blog is following on from my blog yesterday regarding the broken air conditioner.
I gave my son some money and asked him to bring a man from the repair shop to have a look at the air conditioner. He called me later on the phone at work and said that a new motor was needed. I agreed, Ascander gave the man the money and off he went to get the motor. I got home from work just after 1 pm and they were still trying to get the air con to work.

There was lots of banging and shouting, so I left them and Ascander to get on with it. I had something to eat and then nodded off on the sofa for an hour. I woke at four to find they were still at it. I was a little concerned....I mean how long does it take to fit a motor in an air conditioner??

I went out to the garden where they were working and it was there that I was told that the motor was broken. I told the man to go back to the shop and change it. He said he had tried but the man would not give the money back, or change it for a working one. I was looking at this man thinking that he had to be no more than 16 years old- either he knew a secret about skincare that I didn't, or I was now involved in child labour. I told him to get in the car and that we would go together to get the money back and then buy a new one. He then started calling me "mama" and asking me not to go to the shop. He told me that he was doing the job without his boss knowing and the man, where he got the motor, was a friend of his boss, who is also the boy's father. He was afraid of a beating from his dad. Anyway, I bundled him, his workmate, and Ascander in the car along with the broken motor. He made me promise that I was not driving him to the dodgy man, his father or the police station. Reluctantly I promised. 

Anyway to cut a long story short, I ended up buying a new motor- I had now spent 30 rial for a ten rial job (£48). It is now about 10 pm, and they had been at it since 9am. He fits the motor and then Ascander comes in and says it’s a Chinese motor and the wires are not the same- if he wires it up the motor will blow up. Now the first motor was also Chinese and so I put two and two together and work out that the first motor was not damaged and that this lad had wired it up and blown the thing himself. I' m getting a little pissed off now and told him to sort it and that he does not leave this house until he has- he wanted to come back today to finish it off- Yeah right as if he going to come back to the menopausal woman's house! He sent for another man and he came to try- he would not do it as it was Chinese. Finally another man came and fitted it and then the cheeky fucker asked me to pay him for the installation. I refused told the lad that he had to pay him. This is where Ascander said....."Mum do you know how old that man is?" No I said. Ascander then told me he was 15.

The air conditioner was now working and the lad wanted to speak to me. I went out to the garden and he said “I am sorry mama”. I had a lump in my throat and I just wanted to take the lad in, give him a good meal and let him play Xbox like kids his age should be doing. I was angry that his was dishonest to his dad and boss. I told him the only person that suffered from this was me as I had to pay for two motors.                 

The last thing he said to Ascander as he showed him out the gate was "I'm never going to do this again"
didn't sleep too well last night thinking about the whole thing. I am glad I didn't tell his father, I would not be able to forgive myself he was beaten because of this- I also feel stupid for letting him get away with it. I hope he really did learn from this yesterday and that it was a learning experience for him that he will never forget. It certainly was for me!

Wakey wakey rise and shine

Not been very good at getting to sleep at night and I usually get to bed about 1am. My maid wakes me at 6am in the morning just to make sure I am up for work. So this morning, as always, I hear her open the door and come in. I see her and say "OK. I'm up" She then rattles on Telugu (her language, which I don't understand.) I say "OK" (I'm not a morning person) and she takes my electric fan and walks off.

 I get up, go to the kitchen and turn the coffee machine on, go back to the bathroom and clean my teeth. I then go pour my coffee and head back to the lounge. I sit down and look at the clock and see that it is 4:02am.

Oh for craps sake

 At six, when she does come in to wake me, I find out that she'd only gone back to bed and that she had only come in to get the  fan. She saw me awake and was telling me that her air conditioner had stopped cooling. DAMMIT! And to finally crap on my bad start to the day, when I went to the kitchen to get a second coffee- she'd only turned the bloody coffee machine off (thinking she'd turning it on). AC now fixed and I am now learning the Telugu language. 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Eid al-Adha عيد الأضحى‎ ʿīd al-aḍḥā, "festival of the sacrifice")

Well it’s that time of the year again.

People are running around buying new clothes for themselves and their family members. The streets are full of cars, and stock will be running thin in the supermarket.


What is Eid al-Adha - At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). This year it will fall on Tuesday, 15th October.

During Hajj, Muslims remember the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham (PBUH. The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, cow, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat or their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

The above was taken from

So what happens on the morning of Eid. Our house is probably not the best of example of any Eid holiday. We are a small family of three and most families here in Oman consist of between 4-10 children, sometimes more, their partners and their children. Most families gather in their family home and generations of women and children all share in the preparation of cooking.

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Nadhem and Ascander attend the Mosque. Prayers are followed by phones calls to Yemen to offer Eid greetings. Meanwhile...I am in the kitchen cooking the poor goat that was sacrificed that morning. Nadhem usually brings one of his Yemeni friends to do this. I have nothing to do with the chopping or packaging of the said goat.

Now lets talk about the goat. In the past the goat has lived in our garden for a few days. During that time I have bonded with him, named him and grown very fond of the dear little fellow. I hope during the night that he has jumped the wall and headed off to pastures new. On the morning of the slaughter - I have been known to jump in the car and drive around town until it is all over.


Nadhem, Ascander and Graham

Dora and Graham

Tanoor- The Omani way- Please watch the following clip (English subtitles)

My Eid Tanoor Photos:-

Preparing the meat for the tanoor

Happy people


Large metal poles used to pull the meat out of the tannor

Pulling the meat out


Yummy meat

On the last day of Eid some people make this-
Kebabs, kabobs (mishwee) Yummy yum yum

Eid Yemen style is a little different. We cook the meat the same way as we cook a roast  back in the UK but with lots of spices  on it. A large pot of Yemeni  saloonah  and delicious zurbian.


Yemeni  saloonah


After three days of meat all I really want to eat is.........

Eid Mubarak everyone.