Newspapers in Oman
In Oman, the spread of newspapers is small (29 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). There are five daily newspapers with a combined edition of about 70,000 copies, three of which are in Arabic and two in English. The largest are Arabic al-Watan (‘The Nation’, edition: about 32,000 copies) and English-speaking Oman Daily Observer (about 22,000 copies). The political debate in the newspapers is relatively limited.
The radio is state-owned and broadcasts since 1971 over Muskat (Radio Oman) and the Zufar area in the southwest (Radio Salala); State Oman Television has been broadcasting in a channel since 1974. There are 621 radio and 563 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
According to ANIMALERTS, the state religion ibadism (an Islamic orientation) greatly affects the Omani culture. Ibadic Islam encourages neither singing nor dancing nor depictions. For generations, however, the Arab Bedouin people have performed sword dances and the country’s many sailors have their own songs.
Despite Islam’s dismissive attitude to images, there is also a tradition of underground visual art in Oman. Otherwise, the country’s art has mainly been expressed in the design of utensils, not least imaginatively decorated daggers and ornamented houses and pots. There is also a prominent gold and silver forge.
In recent years, Western mass culture has reached the country and now exists in parallel with traditional culture. Modern Omani literature has also emerged, including a number of younger female writers.
Yemen rebels receive care
50 wounded Hire Belts from Yemen are received in Musqat for care. This is done after an agreement between the rebel movement and the Yemeni government side, which is supported by Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries. The evacuation to Oman is regarded as a confidence-building measure ahead of the UN’s planned peace talks in Sweden to end the war that has raged in Yemen for almost four years. Oman, like Kuwait, takes on a mediator role in Yemen.
Foreign guest workers are getting fewer
There are just over two million foreign nationals in Oman. That is a decrease of 43,000 since last year, but they still account for 44 percent of the country’s total population, writes the Oman Times. The newspaper has reported a few days earlier that 370 guest workers have been arrested. Most of those arrested come from Asian countries and are said to have violated Oman’s visa rules.
Surprising visit to Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Oman and meets Sultan Qabus. The two countries do not have diplomatic relations and it is believed to be over 20 years since they last had high-level contacts. During the year, Netanyahu let him understand that he envisions that Israel’s path to peace with the Palestinians can go through improved relations with Arab countries. After the Oman meeting, it is said that the peace issue has been discussed. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is also reported to have visited Oman during the week.
New protection rules for guest workers
12th of August
The Ministry of Labor is introducing a new regulatory framework to protect migrant workers. Among other things, it should be easier for guest workers to receive outstanding wages, even if the employer claims that the employees do not show up at work.
Continued reorganization of the labor market
The stop for new work permits in 87 industries is extended by another six months. In the first six months of the reorganization policy, 32,000 people have been offered jobs that would otherwise have gone to foreign nationals, a Department of Labor official told Gulf News.
New work permits are stopped
A six-month long stop for new work permits is introduced. The ban affects 87 industries, including sales, media jobs and IT services. The intention is to create more employment for the country’s own citizens.