How much can happen in one job? I ask the question because where I currently work has seen teachers ask: how can tomorrow top that?
Since I arrived in Oman I have experienced sackings, resignations, arguments galore, public weeping, histrionics, strikes and now revolutions; and this is just the college where I teach English.
Add to this a public noticeboard where teachers names have been written for public consumption in the main college square. Names of teachers may have appeared in Arabic or English and were written by disaffected students to whom some grief over marking or teaching was alleged.
Yesterday morning events reached their peak when the Dean of the college was frog marched out of the college by Omani students. Finally, at high noon, all teachers were informed that they should leave the college immediately otherwise we would remain confined to barracks as it were. This has already happened elsewhere in a nearby town so we were not about to dismiss the possibility. We all quietly left en masse.
This morning, and with some trepidation, we returned to work. Lessons were attended by teachers alone. Everyone else is on strike. Such are the effects of the Middle East cultural tsunami.
There will be some in England who will see this from a particular religious context. This is because they know hardly anything about what is happening out here. What has happened has more to do with nationalism and Omanization than it has to do with anything else.
From an Omani point of view, and this view is not held by everyone, there are simply too many foreigners in their country. Of course, events which have unfolded since the uprising in Tunisia has given permission and empowerment to Omani students who, until now, did not appear to feel that they had a voice. Now they do.
Schools out, in Oman.
Definition of term, Omanization: