In the height of being stressed about one of my closest friends risking his life in a wadi during hurricane PHET the news on OmanTV broke up the usual footage of danger and destruction with a segment on how to cook Omani Halwa (traditional desert). Sitting in a sheesha cafe with floating plastic chairs (I wasn't smoking sheesha Umm Qahtan, no worries!) while people outside floundered in their non-four wheel drives as a floodgate was opened due to its limited capacity, watching pictures of sunnny arial veiws of Omani forts and a montage of the Sultan smiling, I felt reassured that everything would be ok if the woman's batch of halwa turned out.
I am serious. I DID find it reasuring. I am one of those 'think-too much people'. Mundane and ridiculous ironies are my mental crux.
All in all, I think they did a decent job of reporting the coverage on the Arabic segments (they brought in English, Indian, Philipino, and other language presenters to warn of the danger and storm direction). BUT LONG AGO learnt not to DEPEND on one form of media, newspapers, TV, blogs, internet, youtube, facebook, gossip, ect. But if you didn't know about this, you were probably only seeing Arabic, switched the chanel before the English and other-language blurps every so often, and saw only forts and halwa and Arabic reporting. Facebook group PHET seemed easier for English audiences to access and use. While one had electricity of course. I was alarmed when one english blogger informed me they had only heard of the hurricane through my blog. I wondered if they knew how to use Oman's media sources and news/radio stations.
I like OmanTV. I may be the only one, but I found the halwa cooking session to be very soothing while the indian staff at the sheesha cafe ran out to the coffee shop dressed in black plastic garbage bag rain gear to get my dinner for me and friends lost their belongings in Qurayat. It took my mind off what we'd have to deal with in the morning, and the Omani mindset it gave to me was pretty much like the British during the blitz, get on with it. "So this is how you grow your cabbages, while the Nazis zap you" par example.
I phone Omani friend A and asked, how are you out in Qurayat?
A: oh, alhamdulilah good, salaamz to you and thanks for asking.
M later tells me A's villa was submerged and she lost everything. But "all praise be to Allah" she got on with it as if nothing had happened, and we were sending our regular friday "juma mubarak" texts.
If anyone wants to donate "decent" furniture and appliances or a TV you don't need to A, let me know via this blog.
I love you OmanTV. I wish you were better organized for other people out there who haven't figured you out yet.
***I don't depend on OmanTV for accurate news. Or on any one person or media for that matter. That is always a mistake, even in so-called free media countries. All media is owned by some commercial or political interest, or it is biased (like my blog:D).***