Tolerance of Omanis Vs. Intolerance of Expats Here

I have better things to do in my life than sit around and answer questions every time I post something on the activities of the church in Oman.  Omanis have almost always been respectful and tolerant.  It is the expats who can’t bear anything even remotely “religious”.  I am seriously thinking about canceling this blog because of this. 

When I was in Canada considering taking a job here in Oman, I knew nothing about Oman.  I was a bit hesitant to come, not knowing if there was a church to attend or what life would be like here.  This was one of the many reasons I decided to start a blog in Oman.  I wanted westerners to know that there is nothing to fear about coming to Oman; that it is a wonderfully tolerant land with some great people and a lovely place to raise your children.  I’ve met more than a few people in church (and out) who told me they were encouraged to come to Oman specifically because of my blog.  Now it seems that people (almost always atheist expats) want to put words in my mouth and twist my intentions as if I am doing something malicious.  When they start to involve my family, they have gone too far.

36 responses to “Tolerance of Omanis Vs. Intolerance of Expats Here

  1. Hi Andy
    You will never be able to keep folk happy and people will always try and twist what you have to say, especially if you are serving Christ. Look what the Pharisees said about Jesus. Keep blogging about Oman and the church and pray for those who are causing upset.
    Be blessed my friend.
    Alan & Susan.

    • Hi Alan (& Susan!),
      You’re right, I know. I just need to develop thicker skin. If my own family loves to twist my words, how much more should I expect it from strangers. Thanks & God bless!

  2. Dear Andy,
    Your blog with pictures have been nothing but helpful. I confidently drove to SIfah twice recently, very confident thanks to your pictures 🙂
    So I’m shell shocked that you’d even think of stop blogging about places you’ve been! Please don’t!

    • Nikhil,
      Thanks. Glad I could help you out in getting to Sifah. Sometimes I just don’t like the attention this blog has given me. I’m actually a very shy person and so there are times I wish I had remained anonymous. All the best to you!

  3. I saw his blog this morning and was a little put out by it. My guess is he’s trying to be sensationalist to garner more attention. Don’t worry yourself with it and carry on with your own thing. Merry Christmas Andy.

    • Sythe,
      Thanks for mentioning that. I wasn’t sure if I was being overly defensive but I didn’t appreciate the hints about my family. If there has ever been a day where I regret starting a blog, it has been today. I appreciate your kind words, all the more coming from a blogger I check out daily! I hope you and your famiy have a very Merry Christmas as well! 🙂 Thanks again!

  4. I was saddened to read that blog too. Although the blogger tries to portray himself as a crusader against religion a la Christopher Hitchens, he doesn’t have an ounce of his wit, courage or veracity. As an athiest expat, I would like to add that I have more in common with a compassionate, yet religious, human being such as yourself, than a narrow minded biggot like the blogger. You sir are a Christian in the truest form – compassionate to all, bravely stand up for what you believe in, and most admirably, turn the other cheek.

    Please continue to blog, I know that it’s a great source of entertainment and comfort for many here, regardless of their religious convictions.

    • Anon,
      Thanks a lot. It’s appreciated. Although I must admit that I don’t always turn the other cheek! But then I believe that God is not done with me yet! 🙂 Cheers!

  5. Maaan ,that’d be completely sucky if you stopped blogging! Among all the blogs of people blogging in Oman yours is the only one I follow regularly …. and I do enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy your take on how things are changing here perpetually ,especially when I’m away from home and miss it all the more ….
    Religious intolerance is something I think Indians have been hardwired to work around ,so I usually make a joke of it ,but at times ,especially stuff like that article on mjd’s ,just makes me sad.

    • Thanks, Antony. Well I don’t intend to stop blogging anytime soon. Just a momentary thought. It comes and goes. The truth is I really enjoy writing and if it serves anyone else out there, I consider that a bonus!

  6. Cmon Andy
    why always so negative
    Atheists are just usually stubbornly harsh in their positions but at least that proves they are interested in what you say or do
    The so called tolerance most of times is just laziness and lack of interest and I have witnessed that in Oman
    As you are a prominent blogger, you must be ready to pay the price

    • Balqis,
      Always so negative?! haha! Au contraire! Never been happier or more positive. 🙂 I think you on the other hand have a very negative attitude towards true Omani tolerance which you so cynically assume is “laziness” or “lack of interest”! As a “blogger”, I am not ready to “pay a price” for expressing my viewpoints. As a Christian, however, I am ready to pay the price IF God so wills (but not only if my enemies will it to be). 🙂

  7. Andy,
    I am not sure which blog you are referring to but don’t worry too much. You have always been kind and supportive to me and all the other bloggers in Oman so it’s a bit shocking when someone does not treat you with equal courtesy but it’s their loss..

    • mota,
      It was a blogpost that was pulled down (respectfully) by the blogger just as soon as I asked him so that’s all “water under the bridge” now. Thanks! 🙂

  8. Hi Andy. I enjoy reading your blog about Oman!

  9. Andy, there is a saying that goes somethin like ‘People throw stones only at a fruit laden tree’ and another one ‘The howling dogs don’t stop the moon from shining bright at night’. Don’t let anything stop your light from shining through either !

  10. Your blog and your family is a blessing to all 70,000+ (2.5%) Christians in Oman. Be strong and courageous! (Deuteronomy 31:6).

  11. Andy, you’ll never be able to please everyone. Your blog is great and even for those of us who are Muslim and living in Oman, it’s really interesting to see what takes place in churches in our country. Insight into the Christian world of Oman is rare, so keep doing what you’re doing. You’re not offending anyone. If people don’t want to read your blog, no one’s forcing them to.

    • Susan,
      Words of wisdom. So true. We never will be able to please everyone. I appreciate your kind words and I also appreciate the depth and insights in your newspaper articles and blog. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment, Susan! It truly is appreciated.

  12. The internet provides an anonymous platform for those who would not air their view in person, you shouldn’t have to change because of the few ungrateful people out there. I like your blog and it was one of the sites I used as research before deciding to come here.

  13. My husband and I don’t live in Oman anymore but we love reading your blog. The photos of the Opera House were amazing! I particularly enjoy the Christian things that you put up and seeing what is going on with the PCO. I hope that you don’t get any more comments that make you think twice about doing your blog because for every negative comment there will be hundreds of people who disagree with it. Keep on going!

    • Hi, Sue!
      The sad thing about changing from 11am service in Ghala to 9am is that we are often unaware of the going-ons of the 11am congregation. I was quite surprised to hear that you and Paul no longer live in Oman! I’m glad you enjoyed the pics of the Opera House and that you enjoy seeing the latest news regarding the PCO. Thanks for your lovely comment. Many blessings to you, Paul and the entire family! 🙂

  14. The thought of Atheists reminded me of this video!


    • Nikhil,
      Haha. You know, this comedy would have been just as funny without the vulgarity. Comedians today kid themselves into thinking that they HAVE to curse to get some laughs. Anyway, interesting clip!

  15. Hey Andy, a little late but I just wanted to say that your blog is appreciated. Keep on rockin and rollin and wondering wwjd 🙂

    Merry Christmas!


    • Angry,
      Thanks so much. Your comment is appreciated, and more importantly, YOU are appreciated! 🙂 (Belated) Merry Christmas to you as well. All the best throughout 2012!

  16. hi andy,
    Your blog is one of the reasons that I’m checking my email every day…
    So plz keep going…
    Kisses to your family

  17. You can never please everyone, Andy. There will definitely challenges. But don’t let this hinder your work for Christ and others. Will the bad outweigh the good?

    “Just filter the comments that’s posted in your blog. You can delete the bad ones.. LOL!” – joke…

    keep up the good work and God bless you and your family. I’ll see you in church.


  18. bebekoha (Laddie),
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, by the way, I do filter my comments. You should see the ones I don’t post, haha! 🙂 Interesting blog(s) you got there! They’ve been added to my bloglist! I enjoyed reading “15 interesting facts” you posted about yourself! See you around Muscat/church. God bless, sister!

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