It’s really hard to put into words just how it feels to be a blogger here in Oman while threats continue to be placed in the papers about what can happen to bloggers if they write something that those in authority might interpret as “rumors” or “damaging”. While I might not be able to find the words, some more eloquent writers have done a decent job of summing up the mood among many here.
First there’s Nick Smith who runs the often entertaining and amusing “Wordsmith” Column for Muscat Daily. I’ve really come to admire his writing style and his common sense approach to things. He wrote this insightful piece on “Freedom of Speech” yesterday on Monday, June 18th:
I really loved the whole article and I couldn’t agree more with the last 4 sentences in that piece. Thanks for sharing this Mr. Smith!
As always, Susan makes some compelling arguments and skillfully transforms the readers’ thoughts into print as we follow her through her article. I find it rather interesting that the article, when printed, was first titled “War on Bloggers” but is now titled “Warn on Bloggers” on the on-line edition. I’m sure there’s quite an interesting back story to how that came about. (Turns out this was just a typo on their part and the online version now reads “War on Bloggers”!)
Anyway, thanks again to the Muscat Daily team for doing an outstanding job on reporting the true scene here in the Sultanate. There’s a reason I look for your paper first on the shelf and I usually only make due with the others after MD has been sold out. (There always seem to be plenty of the other publications available on the shelves…) Compare these fair and balanced reportings from Muscat Daily with this shameful piece from the Oman Tribune from yesterday (June 18th) titled “Negative Writing Bane of Society, Say Citizens”.