Impressions from Muscat: one of the most tolerant places in the Arab peninsula, kind people with good english skills. You can see they are trying hard to pull the tourists to Oman, building new facilities, being tolerant to foreigners…BUT…I couldn’t help being sad and offended by how women are supressed, restricted, hidden behind black burqas, even the face hidden behind a black veil, making it impossible to breath in the 40C while men breath freely, walk freely, act freely…how men stare at a bare arm and hair as if it is an interesting object, as if they don’t have these body parts themselves, how still in this century men make rules and women follow, and they are not able to share life equally and how hipocracy is nerveracking…it is in the words of a taxi driver in white traditional dress “I go to Thailand a lot, I go to bars to have a drink…etc etc.. thanks for talking to me, thanks for not being afraid I am a man..” me: “why would I be afraid to talk to a man? are we not all human?!”
Going back to my lovely Amsterdam tonight, appreciating freedom of speech, freedom to dress as you like, act as you like, civilized society, bare arms, bare legs, beautiful faces not hidden behind veils, hair flowing over our shoulders, smiling to each other, talking to each other, kissing, hugging as you wish, being equal, being human…. Long live secularism! Long live human freedom!