“Vitamin W”

Wasta” is one of the first Arabic words I learned when I first came to Oman 3 years and 9 months ago. (I stole the image above from a blogger in Bahrain.)  People are always joking about having wasta and getting ahead as a result of “someone influential they know helping them out”.  Susan Mubarak, a Salalah based journalist for Muscat Daily, has written a brilliant article today on this serious problem here in Oman and around the Arab world.  Check it out.  Seriously.  Vitamin W: Oman’s Hidden Force

2 responses to ““Vitamin W”

  1. Hi Andy,
    My fiance and I are looking at Oman EFL/ESL university positions and doing research about living and teaching in Oman. Your blog has been a treasure trove of information and links and pictures–and it seems like you’re one of the VERY few expats blogging regularly that lives and teaches in Oman.

    I was wondering if you would write up a post about what you would pack if you’re a ‘newbie’ coming to Oman? I just finished a contract in China, and before that five years in Korea . . . so I have some ideas but would appreciate it if you, a veteran of Oman, would offer your insights.

    Also, I’ve been reading through your posts and haven’t seen much on culture shock and cultural taboos . . . would you consider writing up some common culture shock situations/things that expats coming to Oman/Middle East generally run into? I wrote down the title of the book you recommended in one post–argh, the name escapes me right now (it’s on a post-it somewhere in the chaos that is my desk right now)–but first person experience is always great, and your views are more up to date too especially considering how fast the ME is changing with everything going on.

    Anyways, I’ll be starting up a new blog for Oman once I’ve confirmed and signed for a job . . . I’ve also got a few other blogs that you might like to check out: kimchiicecream.wordpress.com, kimchiicecream.blogspot.com, and eflteacherlearner.wordpress.com (I haven’t been posting on this one regularly but plan to renew my blogging discipline for writing about EFL/ESL).

    Well, thus endeth this comment-novella.

    Please keep up the VALUABLE blogging that you’re doing!


  2. Hi, Jason!
    Thanks for the encouraging words. I often think about the person thinking of coming to Oman when writing my blog so I’m glad to see you’ve benefited a bit from it. We seem to have a lot in common in terms of teaching experience: a number of years in South Korea, a short contract in China and now thoughts of coming to Oman!
    I’ve noted your suggestions for upcoming blogposts and will start working on them.
    Your blog, http://serenityinchina.wordpress.com/ is fantastic. I love the photos and commentary! Keep it up! I’ll have to give your blogs from South Korea a look as soon as I can.
    Let me know if you do indeed make more concrete plans in coming to Oman. I think you and your fiance would really love it here! 🙂

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