Nice place Tillerman and what a lovely clip the Oman government has posted to Youtube.Here are 2 more clips that the Oman government did not produce.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn_BIGVh2Fshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYtd2GsXoIEI hope that when you are in Oman that you blog in support of your fellow bloggers in Oman that currently rot in jail because they criticised the Sultan or attempted to promote democracy via social media.I hope you also blog about women's rights in Oman. Are you aware that Omani women can not leave their own country without permission from either their husband or father and if they have neither they must seek permission from the state. Males rights to exit and enter Oman are not so proscribed. It is of course illegal for a Omani women to marry a non-muslim man, and she can be raped quite legally by her husband if he so desires and can also disciplined if she requires it. Be assured Tillerman, women are very much second class citizens in Oman with poorer Omani women having in reality about the some worth as chattels. Better not let your wife know that little detail as you plan your trip eh ;)I am glad you are not gay Tillerman as homosexuality is illegal in Oman and there are currently many gay men in jail serving out their 5 year sentences with arrests still occurring as we speak.I hope you are against the union movement too Tillerman because it is illegal in Oman to hold union meetings without the governments approval, which must be obtained at least a month in advance before the planned meeting date. A nation that is essentially a dictatorship, or an absolute monarchy if we want to be polite, with a sham parliament that has no other powers than consultative ones. Where the Sultan has total power over all branches of government. Where the legislature , the executive, and the judiciary answer only to him. He can make what laws he chooses and carry them out howsoever he wishes.The list of abuses and human rights issue is endless and continuing but as long as the sailing is good who cares, right?Oman is set to run out of oil by around 2020 and it is looking to establish itself as a tourist spot. In my opinion if you want my tourist dollars do not pay lip service to social progress, actually do something about it. Hand power to the people via a proper functioning parliament and proper elections not sham ones. Give women the same rights as men. Why should they be treated like property? If you can answer a single thing I have written here Tillerman answer me that one. Why should women in Oman be treated so unfairly, why should their lives be so brutal?Sadly none of these things will happen in Oman and the imprisonments and torture of those that oppose the Sultanate will continue unabated.One can only speculate why this venue was chosen by ILCA.Sloan.
http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=143403It seems to my mind that Oman is a poor choice for such an event.We have many first world nations that accord their citizens the rights you and I both enjoy Tilerman, that could host the worlds. I do not care if Oman attempts to pay lip service to progress and human rights particularly those of women and those who seek democracy, because the reality is that it is insincere and nothing but a pretence.I find it the height of hypocrisy to live in a nation such as the United States or Great Britain where you enjoy hard won freedom and then travel to and support nations that persecute many of their citizens and rule in much the same way as Saddam Hussein did for example.Where will the next worlds be, Iran or maybe Pakistan?Sloan
Luckily for you and I Tillerman we can blog without fear or favor.Shame the same can not be said for the Omani citizens currently in custody.But hey, they knew the law and they chose to break it, right? So they deserve all they get.I have a good mind to go to Oman for the worlds, and whilst there report on some of the issues that exist there and after my arrest let Jeff Martin resolve it. I can be expected to change my dress to suit the local religious customs but should I also be aware when traveling to a Laser event for heavens sake that, just by espousing democratic sentiments to local people it could see me being arrested.What if I am gay and want to enjoy sex with my partner whilst at this "resort"? It is illegal and if reported and proven would result in lengthy jail time. Should Jeff Martin also be warning any gay, lesbian or bisexual laser sailors attending to refrain from engaging in any sexual activity with their partner, even kissing due to its illegality? Or would it actually be illegal for an organization based in the UK to warn people that just by being gay they should not attend for their own safety?The ILCA has a duty of care to issue guidelines for what can and can not be posted online, what is acceptable dress, what is acceptable sexual behavior whilst there by competitors, and so on, and he better include something in there about not insulting the Sultan or the state because that can buy you some hefty jail time in Oman.I doubt that if I was to attend a regatta in Newport and while chatting I said to someone that Obama was an idiot or worse, that it would lead to my arrest. I have given this event and venue much thought and I have come to the conclusion that it is hypocritical to attend this regatta if you have strong views on freedom and human rights and even more specifically women's rights. I have now spoken to a number of Omani women online about this issue and 4 of the 5 said by attending I am supporting a regime that pays little more than lip service to their rights.You just make sure that you stay at the resort and keep your interactions with real Omanis to a minimum and have a good time.Lucky you, winning the genetic lottery as you have done. You ended up in the womb of someone that lived in a country that values human freedom, individual rights and equality. I would rather be a valley girl hanging out at the mall than be my husbands possession in a country where my rights are determined by a bunch of misogynistic religious men with medieval views. By attending this regatta you are saying you are ok with that. With all due respect, I had a higher opinion of you than that, but alas it seems I was mistaken.http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/06/10/oman-arrests-of-rights-activists-continue/Sloan.
I am going to leave this issue here. I think it says a whole lot about the state of our nation and indeed the United Kingdom too that we now think Oman an acceptable venue.We have watched our own freedoms be slowly eroded and we are now numb to the suffering of others, as long as we can not see it. Be assured that out at Al-Mussanah Sports City you will not see any suffering and you can have a great time. Enjoy!Sloan.
Anon/Sloan, you say you can blog without fear or favor. Thanks for finally identifying yourself. Otherwise you wouldn't have been a credible observor. And thanks for your links provided. I like the SA link especially, which contains my sentiments:It's unethical to sail in a regatta that charges more for beer than the pub across the road does, and then bans you from bringing your own beer in your own esky through their gates to drink on your own boat.Stupid cultures thrive only in isolation. As a political person, I have a hope that all who race there enjoy as much gay and straight open sex and boozing as possible.As a sailor, I still have to say that a good wind over navigable waters is a horrible thing to waste.
My hope is that at least one of the Masters World Championship Fleets in Oman (we are broken down by age) is won by an openly gay sailor. That would be almost as good as Jesse Owens winning the 100 meters as Hitler watched at the 1936 Olympics.
I have read these posts with some interest as I am on the list to go to the worlds. I was even considering doing both the open and the masters as it looks like a venue that I might enjoy.Another club member at my sailing club who normally does the masters worlds told me he is not sure if he will attend because of concerns he has with Oman as a venue and I have given this a bit of thought too, well a lot really, but can not make up my mind whether to go or not.I saw that post on Sailing Anarchy that "Sloan" wrote a while back and had hoped we would see a real discussion but that never occurred.He does make some good points but life is too short for me to care about politics. It is not like I can change anything but I would like to support womens rights and human rights. My wife jokingly refers to me as the feminist of our family lol.I do understand that Oman is trying to change and good on them, but I do feel uncomfortable traveling to a country that has Sharia law and punishes people for things that they can not help like being gay.I do have a question for anyone that might know if someone could help me out. I was thinking of going to this worlds with my wife but she will fly in by herself and spend only about 10 days in Oman with me if I do both open and masters as it is too long for her to be away. We do not have a marriage certificate and we never married legally. We have been together for many many years now and that is as good as married in my view but I have just been reading about Oman and also Dubai which is similiar I have been told and a marriage certificate is sometimes required to share a room in a hotel.I rang the hotel at Mussanah a few weeks ago and finally spoke to a man who said please do bring your marriage certificate just in case. I said I do not have one as I am not married in a legal sense but am married in a common law sense. He said best to get a new certificate if I lost it haha. I could not get him to understand the situation at all. I finally just said can I share a room with a girl I am not married to and he hung up on me.Sorry for long post but does anyone know if you need to be married to share a room in Oman. I do not want to have book 2 rooms.
I have one more question for your readers if I may presume on them. My nationality is Aussie but I am half Jewish. I travel on an Australian passport but this issue is of some concern for me nevertheless as my uncle who lives 6 months in Israel and 6 months in Sydney most years told me about this problem.My question is: If you are from Israel how do you compete in the worlds in Oman? Israeli passport holders are not allowed to enter the country.I checked more than a month ago and it seems if you have an Israeli passport you will be refused entry to Oman. I am guessing that why is there are no applications to attend from Israel for either the open s or masters. Just checked on the Aussie government website for travel to Oman and according to it and I will quote it: If a traveller's passport contains evidence of entry to Israel, or another country's border crossing points with Israel, entry will be denied. I was in Jerusalem about 14 months ago. I might have to get a new blank passport, god what a pain in the @$@.... Going to ring up foreign affairs dept now to check on this. It doesnt seem right.
Strange world. Sloan objects to Oman's policies and says we shouldn't visit it. Oman objects to Israel's policies and won't let Israelis visit it. But ILCA has 3 places for Israel allocated at the Laser Masters Worlds.For what it's worth I just found multiple travel websites that say that an Israeli stamp in your passport is not a problem for entering Oman. But you should certainly check with the relevant authorities.
The initial comments on this thread kind of distracted me from the first thought I had when I saw this video...Isn't it really lame?