Rembrandt Visits Oman

29 07 2009

Gulf News has an article titled “Rembrandt show to draw Omanis and Dutch closer”. Basically, it is about a month-long (Ramadhan long) exhibition of Rembrandt’s original paintings at the Grand Hyatt from 10 am to 12 midnight, non-stop.

Expect more of such images, Its titled The Jewish Bride

Expect more of such images, It's titled "The Jewish Bride"

“A hundred original works of Dutch artist Rembrandt will be displayed for the first time anywhere in the Middle East or North Africa (Mena) region when the Grand Hyatt Muscat hosts an exhibition during Ramadan.

“Rembrandt’s original paintings and etchings have travelled world over but this is the first time they are being brought to the Middle East,” the Dutch ambassador to Oman, Stefan van Wersch, said.”

It opens on the 19th of August.

“Al Salmi Library, a family enterprise, is bearing the cost of the Rembrandt exhibition. The total expenses involve 600,000 Omani riyals (Dh5.7 million) plus the insurance cost.

“They are obviously insured and would be well guarded during the month-long exhibition,” said Shaikh Abdullah Al Salami, chairman of Al Salmi Library.

“It is being held for the first time in the region and only in Muscat.”

“The Grand Hyatt Muscat would be transformed completely to look like a Dutch palace,” revealed Ashok

This is not what it looks - The Return of the Prodigial Son

This is not what it looks - "The Return of the Prodigial Son"

Suvarna, CEO of NPA Events, who are managing the exhibition.
The Royal Oman Police will take over security of the exhibits once concerned agencies from the Netherlands hand it over for the exhibition in Muscat.

Entry for the show will be free from 10am to midnight during Ramadan.”

Now since Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salmi has mentioned twice about the security measures and about the paintings’ insurance, it seems security was a hurdle in bringing the multi-multi-million dollar paintings to the region.

This all shall be followed by a reciprocal 7-month event in Amsterdam, featuring something of Oman. Wonder how they pulled ‘that’ off!!

NSFW - I don't think this one'll be there (click to enlarge) - "Bath Seba"

Now since the age of consent in Denmark hovers around the 15-year-old mark, and hash is almost-legal, I’m sure bringing Omanis and the Dutch closer will be all for the good! Atleast no one will be ‘robbed‘ in Thai hotels, that’ll happen in Dutch hotels!

I’m sure the “unclothed art is art, totally fit for viewing” theory shall be useless here, so I think the exhibition shall be kiddo-safe, however I have no idea on how to keep an exhibition safe from a kiddo. And I don’t think a Rembrandt exhibition is the place for a kiddo, especially if they’ve decked out the hotel “in the style of a Dutch Palace”. What does that mean? Is the Dutch foortbaarl team going to be there? I’m sure they live in a castle!

-TFK





Omanmobile.com

23 07 2009

Something fishy is going on. I could call it something sharky, but then that’d be bad humor (for those who understand it).

Apparently, Oman Mobile’s 2ndary domain name is having some, umm, err, technical issues. Seems a group of dudes/gals has pwned them and taken over the http://www.omanmobile.com/ domain with a customized page.

My last visit to the .com comain was a good 3/4 months ago. I’ve a bookmark on the http://www.omanmobile.om/en page, and go there directly. At the time of my visit (and as per my coworkers), the .com domain was redirecting to the .om domain fine until 3-4 days ago. And now this.

A quick search of Google’s cache shows that their cache has the hacked page (if it is indeed a genuine hack, as it seems). The cache was updated 22nd July. Dunno if oman mobile are doing something to get it back, or what is delaying them.

Pending fixing of the issue by them, this is what the wessite looks like right now:

As usual, Google Translate has tonnes of gibberish Engrish:

Civil ropes::.
.:: .:: والجندي في الساحة ::. The soldier on the ground::.
.:: والتهكير للعباقرة .:: The genius of Althecer ::. ::.
.:: تباً للعالم أجمع .:: Woe to the world ::. ::.
.:: مجرمون بلا جريمه وذنبنا كلمة .:: Crime and criminals without a word surely we ::. ::.
.:: ( HACKER .:: (HACKER ) ) ::. ::.
.:: دع التفكير . . . . وتمتع بالدلآآآآآخه .:: Let the thought…. And enjoy Baldlaaaaakh ::. ::.
.:: وراء كل غضبة هكر دمعة ضحيه ::. .:: Behind all the tears of outrage هكر victim::.
ولا تنسى هذا المثل : : Do not forget this example::
.:: .:: عيش نذل تموت مرتآآآآآآآآح ::. Live Rascally Mrtaaaaaaaah die::.
.:: إننا ل ا ندعي الذكاء ولكن نسعى لتحطيم الأذكياء ::. .:: We are for a claim, but we are intelligent and smart to break::.
.:: نعشق الموت لكي لا تعشقنا الحياة ::. .:: Love death so as not to Tahqna life::.
.:: فدخلنا مدارس الهكر لنعاقب الحقرآآآآآء ::. .:: Vdechlna الهكر schools to punish Alhakraaaaae::.
.:: .:: للتهور جنوون وللقياده فنوون ولتهكير فريقٌ مجنوون Jnoon of recklessly and for the leadership team Vnwon and Thecer Mjnoon ::. ::.
.:: الــيــوم يــومـــك يــا بــطــل ::. .:: Today the day you, hero::.

HaCkEd By : HaCkEd By:
& &
Fbi تحياتي Fbi Greetings

بو نورة نــاصر فــــلاح Bo Nora Nasser Al Falah
xiv@hotm4il.com xiv@hotm4il.com
Mr.FBi Mr.FBi
FBi@hotmail.it FBi@hotmail.it


Any one knows what’s going on??

-FK





Vegetables, Steam and In-laws

22 07 2009

As I departed in the immortal words of Arnold, with a resolution of “I’ll be back”, little did I know that my solid confidence and regards for the Queen to uphold my blog and keep the visitors coming would be brought crashing on by her solitary post with all its tartiness in effect. The detrimental effect of having the amount of unique visitors drop from 40-something to a measly 10 for the last 4 days shows how tempered and generally non-tarty-minded my readers are (all 4 of them; the rest 36 are, I think, accidental Stumblers).

Anyway, the in-laws are still in, with an impending travel date finalized. Things are fine (and those two sentences are not related, mind you) and going well.

The atrociously weird post heading brings me to the vegetable market in WadiKabir next, where a bulldozer was spotted digging up the floor and wrecking general havoc. At the risk of upsetting dear wife, I managed to stop the car and get a peek and saw these great large trenches and deep pits all dug up, which proclaimed a “they’re resetting the drainage system” comment from an elder, after which they’ll have to re-do the flooring with new tiling. No signs of any accelerated work, nor are hordes of little dark workers being dumped; no urgency to completion, not even regular speed, as there has been no work in evidence for 3-4 days now (based on when I manage to drive by there). I did take some pics, but currently don’t have the mechanism to make them reach this pc, so that’s all pended for a later update.

Humidity and heat in the atmosphere elicited a comment from a 10-year old who pompously stated that it was so hot because of all the steam in the air. Trust good ol’ brain-farted me, who spent a good 10-minutes explaining to him the difference between humidity and steam, only for him to remark, in the manner of all 10-year olds, “I know!”, leaving me feeling pretty uncomfortable. Sadly, I avoided a 10-year old kid for the rest of our excursion trip.

Otherwise things are going on. Life goes on and the dents you try to make are pretty soon popped out by the pressure of everyday events. The huge dent put in by MJ with his death and memorial and all has already started filling in, where you can spend 3/4 hours on the telly without seeing an MJ story. QoT’s rant on Joe Jackson’s mug notwithstanding, the key players in the children’s money custody drama to emerge are more busy with lawyers and stuff than ever, who shall be ignore by the media until something untoward happens, such is the twisted demand of the viewing masses.

The Renissance Day holiday has been announced on Saturday, the 25th. All talks of the govt joining the Islamic Holiday of Israa’ wal Me’raaj and Renaissance Day have evaporated with only 2 discrete off days in 2 consecutive weeks. Good thing though that the extended weekend shall bring more people out of their houses if the current overcast condition prevail till Saturday, as it did Monday.

Stay In Peace.

-FK





Who me?

16 07 2009

I was supposed to write here? wtf? Oh, hiya all. My name is the Queen of Tarts and I’m quite Tarty in that respect. I was checkin’ out my old stuff and discovered a finely honed talent of mine that is the inability to throw away old stuff. I don’ frikkin’ wanna be like those old dodgers on Opera who’ve gotten these whole warehouses o’ stuff in them there 3 room houses. Ugh!

Anyz, here what I think I look like

I like me more tarty than that

I like me more tarty than that

Of course I’m not a redhead. I’m beach blond.

Last night, returning from a footy, there standing in front of me, in all his grimy glory was a playa from the match. The bastard had managed to catch my eye and was “mistakin y’ all for a friend o’ mine, nevermind you”. Pompous ass. It was high mighty fine time for a chunder but somehow I stopped meself and decided to give him a gobful. That turned out the right thing to do, as the playa was a mighty wuss, running away without a single word to say to me!!! LOL! Poor thing must’ve gotten all his gonads in hyperdrive on seeing a sheila, turned out all his bluster and grace was as useful as tits on a bull for all I saw, wonder what they  feed these players nowadays, musta been all them drugs.

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Police refuse to take mugshots of Joe Jackson, they say their lenses crack

Wacko Jacko splenidified all of us mere mortals in his memorial service. I know FK likes MJ so I won’t go in my Morpheous-stance on the matter. On the other hand, if I had a dad as evil looking as joe jackson, I’d probably throw an acid dish on his face as well as mine. Jacko did the latter, forgot the former. I think this is the same reason all of MJ’s siblings have their plastic surgeons on speed dial, their pops’ face. Damn if he ain’t ugly.

I know this blog is s’posed to be be all neat and clean and shit, and that I’m supposed to do some political post too, but whateva. I mean weve got a Pompous Ass as the Prime Minister whose head is inserted somewhere where the sun regularly shines, that place gets so much outing. I’ll marry the person who does something and removes the PA from where he is right now.

Formula 1 is all frickked up. Looks like them dead beats governin the sport kno they’re about to die, so they decide to mess with the FOTA’s head. I bet they’re snikkering over all this over a coldie in whatever manor they hold their orgies parties in.

Gotta stop yabberin’. don’t stop readin’ what FK writes coz of me. ignore me. I’m just an ashtrayon a motorbike! 🙂

Bye.

-The Queen ‘O’ Tarts





Kill ’em Infidels!! The Fatwas

12 07 2009

(from Part 1)

The prevalent attitude of the Saudi ruling family pertain to something like “do what you want to do, just let us do what we want to do. If you interfere in what we want to do, you get snapped”. Consider it a zero-tolerance, mutual existence governance. In order to defer the responsibility of running the country, the govt has many councils and committees who act almost-independently, working to keep the country running, while the Saud family do what they do best. This manifests itself as a collection of organizations that are one another’s peers and have their own fields of activity, working independently, sometimes overlapping. Conflicts are often resolved on a case-to-case basis, often with the intervention of a Saud family member, since no governing rule exists. Placeholding rules are there, but they are precisely that, placeholders.

This has given the CPVPV (and other councils/committees) a very free hand to do whatever they want to do. And since the CPVPV has learnt which toes not to step on, they run pretty much scot free. The fatwas they decide to get implemented, they do themselves, since they have their own force, no police co-op required. And since words are cheap, they say pretty much whatever they want to. Add to this mix the cold-war with the al-Azhar university to become the official voice of Islam, and you have a plothera of fatwas, left and right. Below are some of the more wonderfully stupid samplings. Note: I do NOT follow, believe, nor promote these in any way. Sources might be biased. Make your own decisions.

Shias are infidels. The scholars are definitely infidels, the people, unknown.

...unislamic pic unrelated...

All Shias are infidels

Pokemon is haraam.

Saudi Women must cover one eye.

Pet animals are a threat to morality

OK to slap wives

Pigeon-breeding forbidden: act of sodomites

Soccer is forbidden.

Mice are to be exterminated: Mickey Mouse is haraam

Travelling haraam during Swine ‘flu

International Jihad haraam

Women-only health clubs haraam (arabic)

Women cannot go online without a male guardian

Women can hit back: outrage over fatwa

Cheating on non-Muslim wives/women okay

Islamic banking unIslamic (okay, this one is from Pakistan)

and so on…

I’m sure if there are any reader from the Kingdom, they’ll attest to the day-to-day challenges and issues that arise out of a simple inconvenience of following rules and regulations that are quite unique in the Islamic world. True, that following the Islamic law to the spirit is not very prevalent in the current world scenario, but there are places where that does happen, and it does not look anything like what SA has going on.

The ruling hierarchy in SA most often than not turns a blind eye on these rulings. In individual cases, their acts can overrule the religious fatwa (such as the release of the film produced by a Prince, support for soccer, traveling to the USA during swine flu season etc), but not vice versa. Also, they have the luxury of getting fatwas issues, such as fatwas against a few writers who were critical of the Saudi regime. After all, they are the rulers, right.

But the religious faction is all set to exercise its ruling rights too. Sweeping powers to issue laws and get them implemented does get to the head after a while. Currently, the Saud family has managed to curb the need-to-rule of the religious fraternity, but this need has previously, and again shall rise. The religion-fuelled activities in the wake of 9/11 led to some activity which was squashed. Something might gel them again. Think of it as two balloons with equal length strings in the same hand, both trying to occupy the same place and constantly bumping into one another.

The Saud family’s bump is currently stronger.

-FK





In-Laws

7 07 2009

Summer is in full swing. July has started off with its wet-heat, with lower tempuratures than June but higher-sweat levels. This invariably means tha majority of outdoor activities are a no-no, except for maybe a dip in the big ol’ sea. Summer also means vacations, visits, meeting relatives and get-togethers. Case in hand, my in-laws are visiting.

My in-laws are also family relatives. Thus, there is a prior style/method of meeting/interacting with them. That, I feel, has changed. How, I don’t know, but it has. And then there’s a bit of the cultural aspects of the whole thing. I’ve lived in Oman my whole wee life. They’ve never lived out of their native country. Recently, some job-opportunities have them moving to Oman, but the current hols are before they get into their jobs (yes, both of ’em). So they’re in their style, I’m in my swing. And the poor li’l wifey is in a swinyle (swing+style, duh). She had a whole year to get into the swing, but now she is getting back into the style, old habits die hard, kinda thingy. But it’s all swell. Makes me laugh with the (not really) poor Gori Wife.

inlaws and outlaws are different - outlaws are wanted

pic ... umm.. err.. unrelated

So, our li’l place is all noisy and full. Our usual family-of-four has temporarily swollen to 10 people. The oldest one is my mum’s 70-year-old aunt. The youngest is my sister’s 1-and-a-half year old son. It’s a free-for-all ruckus, and a fun one at that.

So, I’ll be off for a li’l time. I have a few posts in the scheduled queue, which should come out if WordPress doesn’t go all snarky on me. I’ll also be handing over the reins to our very own Queen of Tarts (who we first met here). She does have a blog, but in all of her mighty twisted-ness, she don’t let me to link to it!! I think she has links with Kelley!!! Both are from down under, from wayy out there and have an affinity for things sharp and dangerous!!

So here, to me, off for a bit of in-law-management. Wish me luck!

-FK





Dubai 2020

5 07 2009

After the recent villian-esque media reporting on Dubai, a move from Dubai was on the cards. Again, I was expecting something like a regional tournament or something like their tennis cup or golf cup, but Sheikh Maktoum has upped the ante by announcing the start of investigation of Dubai hosting the 2020 Olympics.

Pic unrelated

Pic unrelated

Whilst a wee bit ambititous, Dubai can certainly pull it off. The other interested parties are places like Doha, Kuala Lampur, Delhi & Cape Town. What strikes is that all these cities are kinda “2nd-grade citizens” in ther international fraternity of cities. These are all cities (and countries) who have something to prove. So with Dubai entering the race, it just makes it a bit difficult for the rest to get a winning bod. Dubai certainly has the bits and pieces to make it happen.

I’m more interested in the cultural part. Apart from well-developed facilities, perfectly working systems and events, proper security, a large part of Olympic success is fans screaming for their team to win, people lining up for tickets, audiences all along the marathon route, face-painted screaming tourists arriving for the event, media frenzy and a general spread of the Olympic Spirit everywhere. Is this possible in Dubai? Has this happened in Dubai? To the most part, no. To a smaller, localized extent, yes. Can they develop it? Dunno. They can pay people to line the roads, they can force people to attend the events and all that, but Dubai does not have the manpower resources that China had at its disposal.

And what about our quaint li’l village downtown? Maybe we’ll get to see an extra influx of visitors coming here and spending some dough,  perking up the businesses a bit, buying overpriced items from Shatti! 🙂 Maybe Oman can even sell some extra resources to Dubai, some cultural performances, some extra electricity kinda.

-FK