The ‘Sealed Fates’ in Life!

The ‘Sealed Fates’ In Life!

Workers 1

For Sunday September 15th 2013

Between Us Only!

The ‘Sealed Fates’ in Life!

After more than 10 years from the last time I had visited – this week I had the pleasure and the privilege to visit again The Oman Daily Observer Offices and meet some of my new and the usual old friends there!

In my first visit I was being interviewed for the start of the ‘infamous’ Between Us Only! column. It is a wonder and strange thing to notice that many of the people we meet nowadays seem to have so aged – and so tired and forlorn – as if they have learnt to ‘give up and just accept their fate’ – and that there is simply nothing that they can do now to look at things anew and afresh – change their path – but to go on as before! Nothing has changed that much! Human nature and habits are just like that – and nothing has gone amiss!

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Images Workers – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

I look at the newspaper delivery boy. I ask him how many years he has been doing the same job – day in and day out – and whether he has any other plans for his remaining days on earth – and he retorts – sadly and sarcastically – what else can I do but sell newspapers? He continues – Even I had to learn how to drive a motorcycle first before I could do the job! I have had my hands broken twice by a car hitting me from behind – because the way people drive – they just cannot accept a motor cycle to occupy the ‘space of a car’ in front of them! So the many cases when he had to pull sharply right – for safety’s sake!

I had my hair cut at the saloon. Here is another profession. All he knows is to cut hair – since a young man at 16. 30 years later he is still cutting hair – but not in his country – but in a different country! Even here he has to fight to keep his job – with constant checks and inspections. Yet they still want the jobs for their own young men – but there are no takers! Though you would think that people would be happy that there is someone out there that is ‘willing and keen’ to do the job even! The same case for the sandwich (shawarma) boy! The drivers – especially the heavy duty ones! The mechanics! The Municipality cleaners! You name it!

But it is not only the expatriates – it is the locals too! The same clerks, PROs, the secretaries, the bank staff, the drilling jobs, the stewards and stewardess, the airline crews – you name it! Not all of them can get ‘lucky breaks’ in life – like the admin clerk I know who looked that smart, intelligent and promising – and picked out to go for an academic course overseas – takes engineering – and becomes an Engineering Director! Those he left have also moved forward – but the luckier ones to an officer or supervisor level at the most! Suppose the said clerk had refused to go for the course – would he have remained in the same lots – or would still fate tempt him to a faster lane – in another route? Your guess is as good as mine!

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Images Workers – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

My Literature Teacher in Secondary School in Tanzania – that pretty Miss F – then and probably is still – told me – M – Life is like a drama. You are given a role in it – and all you can do is play your role well! She had a thing for me – she liked me a lot! Years later after I had left the place – she had returned back home to Goa India! I was just wondering out loud what she would be doing back at returning home – even if married now – if not only as a Teacher?

I had then a working peer sitting opposite me in the oil company. Every pay day he would come to my office and lament – this salary is just not enough! Smart I would retort – Be thankful – there are people out there receiving far less in life – and some not at all. He even suggested we go into business together – but the idea of business just scared me then!

I should have stayed with my gut feelings – and had never gone into business – and end going bust! But my friend made it – he became rich and successful! Those he left behind? Of course they moved up too – 2 or 3 job levels up! The great man has even offered jobs to the same peoples – even those who were ‘more senior to him’ at the job front!

What do you say to the ‘bus driver’ who has ended up to be a President of a country – after entering politics? Or the boat man? Or Great Late Margaret Thatcher – drawing attention to herself – ‘that she was just a shopkeeper’s daughter’!

Yet still – in one of my local flights in that distant place – I had met the ex President – no longer in high position – though there were 1 or 2 people ‘still looking after him’. Maybe I was staring at him too much – so he smiled and came over to me! Believe me – him coming to me? I think I was bumbling and getting confused – because this was the same ‘personality’ that we stood on the road sides cheering as his motorcade went past! Now we were in the same flight – all the seats were economy class! So many cases like him – no longer in high offices of power! Simple people back again!

The other day in the Masjid I went to greet this great ex high profile personality – now just a simple person!. So I said to him – I guess you will not remember me? But you had given our family a good and great picnic meal one time! I tried to remind him. The good tired forlorn man looked at me with sad eyes – You remember a meal? I did greater things to others – they do not even bother to even speak to me – let alone come and greet me like you did. So I should say Thank You – Not you!

As the Brits say – that is how the cookie crumbles! Or the great words of Miss F – and there is nothing more that you can do about it! You are telling me? Remember me? I did try – but sometimes you just have to accept that ‘your fate is sealed in life’ – if even moving to writing as a substitute – can be called that too!

Take Care!

By: Majid Al-Suleimany

Date – September 13th 2013

Your views most welcome!

My New Book – Wipe My Tears!

My New Book – Wipe My Tears!

Full Book Cover – FYI!

More info at

Full Fin Cover

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. Carol Burnett


Majid Al Suleimany

The Telegraph Is No More!

For Thursday – July 18th 2013.

Between Us Only!

The Telegraph Is No More!

Where we  used to live as kids was this island off the main coast of Tanzania called Mafia – from the famous Omani Arabic word of ‘She Without’ – or locally known as Chole before the emigrating Omanis had named it as such! The reason was they were comparing this island with the bigger islands of what was once The Sultanate of Zanzibar – comprising the islands of Unguja and Pemba – and several others – and the eastern coasts of Africa – from Somalia to Mozambique as now! Mafia island is about 120 kilometres south of the commercial capital city of Tanzania named Dar es Salaam – the city of peace – by Sultan Majid – the Zanzibar ruler then!

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Images – Telegrams – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

I was watching the mixed emotions of India closing down The Telegraph services as no more longer feasible and economical with the advent of the Internet, SMS and mobile phones (GSMs)! It reminded me of my youth days – where the only communication at the time with the outside world was the telegraph services – and even the radio to radio services sometimes did not work when there was bad weather and storms – which frequently hit the island! It would rain continuously day in and day out – for even 2 to 3 weeks unending and incessantly! My late father was a business person – shop keeper and transporter – and also as a plantation farmer – and many articles in my columns have been about this as kids!

In one of the funny anecdotes in India was this man sending a telegram to his son in UK – and it took 2 days to reach him there. The son was retorting to the father – why did you not send me an email – or a SMS message instead? And the father replying that ‘old habits die hard – and I just did not think about it then’! In the olden days when you received a telegraph it was usually associated with bad news – that is why people dreaded most when one received a telegram! Though sometimes came in good news – like it is a boy! Or a girl!

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Images – Telegrams – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

In the place – there was this mysterious and weird strange Omani called ‘The Bedouin’! Nobody knew who gave him or ‘framed him’ that name – except it stuck until his dying day when it was said loud for all to hear that Mr. Bedouin had died! He was a loner – a mysterious and keep to himself individual – and he used to scare some of us that he had magical and bewitching powers! He went to Africa alone – leaving all his family behind!

It was rumoured that he had ‘magical powers’ and he could fly at night all the way to our home town Hayll Al Ghaaf in Quriyaat – though originally our grandparents came from Manah! One day I teased him ‘to teach me to fly with him’ – and he retorted that ‘you need to be really brave to be able to achieve such a feat’ – when I teased him – M being M even as a boy! – that I wanted to see his magic carpet he flew at night times!

Seriously though,  he would fly more during dates harvest times – and what he showed us was real fresh dates – but everyone was scared to ‘try them’ – and this made him more sad, lonely and miserable! I have not seen the dates myself – but my late elder brother – born in Oman – swore he did – and even ate some! Our poor late mother warned us to keep away from the person – but poor late dad with the usual S tribe sense of humour and wit – thought it all funny!

Bedouin Carpet

(Mysterious) Unidnetified Flying Object seen! 

Coming to the point – one day this Bedouin came to the family shop – and called out loud – Said Nasser? (my father!) – Come out here! I have bad news to tell you! As most people had already discounted him already – anyway my father invited him in! But the man insisted for my father to come out to be seen visibly clear! Then he told my father – Your Mother yesterday night had died in Oman – Allah Preserve our soul! He repeated the message twice!

Telegram B

Images – Telegrams – For Demonstration Purposes Only!

My late father – I could see his face turn all the colours – but there was still denial. Then he said to my father – If you don believe me – please mark the time and day. 40 days later the letter arrived from Oman – and it was all true and correct! At the time was the joke our late father had received an Express Telegram from Oman – but the joke died soon afterwards when the letter came! The letter was the confirmation that we needed to take the person more seriously – even if we refused to accept the ripening dates he brought back!

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Images – Mafia Island.

Another incident I remembered as a boy of 10 then in that island of Mafia, was losing the money for the telegram my late father was sending to the Income Tax department in the capital – thus a very important document! I was scared to tell my father – so I begged the Post Official ‘that I will pay him one day’ – but please send the telegram for now! When I told him why I was so scared to tell my father the truth – he sent the telegram as requested – but he accompanied trembling me to my father to get the money – and ‘not to scare your children that much – old man’! The money was never found – and even after frequent retracing of my steps from home to the Post Office per se!

Years later, when in the oil company as a young man – until the 1980s – we used to still use telegraphic messages and telegrams! As a HR Officer, I could send messages to especially UK – but also to The Netherlands and USA – Houston! And also receive messages! During duty week times,  I was able to get to read all the telexes that came in for the company – even confidential and oil related – and the ‘coded’ ones too! The power was calling the concerned parties for action – for 3 days every 3 months you got to act as the MD of the Company! Just imagine – all the power and so associated and related – just because of telegraphic messages then!

In the UK as a student then in the 1970s, you could dictate a telegram by the phone! So I was sending this telegram to our relatives in Dar es Salaam – Tanzania – but later we found out it was sent to Jerusalaam in Palestine instead! The pun was taken out as the message was very important at the time!

Like they say in life all good things do not last – and they have to end one day! But ‘the Bedouin story’ beats all odds and everything the telegram did – or was able to do! First of all – there were no telegrams then in the home town – and how, where and how you will address it – even if there were? Just imagine!

Take Care! Ramadhan Kareem!

By Majid Al Suleimany

New Book – Between Us Only! The Sequel – 3!

New Book – Between Us Only! The Sequel – 3!

The Book Extended Description

 BOOK 3 - ID 4153263

Between Us Only! The Sequel – Three! has been adapted from Majid Al Suleimany’s successful newspaper columns in The Oman Daily Observer. Utilizing the very best work from the columns he penned over the past four years, Al Suleimany touches on a wide variety of vital and riveting topics. The subject matter will be of interest to everyone from teenagers to grandparents, and from humble clerks to CEOs.

 Between Us Only! The Sequel – Three! focuses on the study of humanity, human needs, human interaction, society, and economics, as well as other areas. In fact, the author covers all socio-economic-political aspects of society, with an emphasis on working environments such as office space.

The author also addresses society as a whole, and the dire repercussions and consequences of bad ideas and thoughts that can be harmful to society in the broadest sense. Though many topics apply to Oman and GCC countries, the collection of columns organized by Al Suleimany offer a universal appeal because, in his view, society and family are quite similar.

According to the author, “We have the same needs, worries, concerns and fears—as well as what we like and do not like. This is because the human being is essentially the same—regardless of race, creed, religion, color, ancestry, and ethnicity!”

 The book will encourage soul-searching, deep analysis, and a quest to make the world a better place. It has been penned directly from the heart of the author to the reader. It carries many emotional personal family stories and encounters—including work experiences as a highly-qualified human resources management consultant.

 The book moves quickly, advancing without boundaries, and is careful never to get bogged down in politics. While critical, the writings are also realistic and practical, and stress the need in society for change in a way that will foster more patience, tolerance, and understanding.

 Yet Between Us Only! The Sequel – Three! is not without controversy. For readers who wish to study Arabic (and Islamic) approaches to the Middle East, the West, and other religions, the book makes excellent references relating to the post-September 11 world. The increases in religious fundamentalism and radicalization in society, and the fact that many youngsters are on board with these aspects, are also taken to task.

 The author, through his writings, offers up a tome that is part prayer and part preaching, desperately hoping for a change in the world that will produce a new and more positive direction. “Live and let live in peace, harmony, and co-existence,” is Al Suleimany’s mantra.