Saturday, February 05, 2005

Nancy, Elissa, and the day I almost got arrested

What a weekend!

Went to the Nancy Ajram concert Thursday night, which went quite well despite beginning over an hour and a half late. It was scheduled for 10 but she came on stage at 11.35. It was nice of the organizers to put Nancy first and Jawad second. We left right after Nancy ended. Jawad started after 1am. I enjoyed it even though I didn't know half the songs. Some people thought she was overdressed; but I don't go for that Renee Zellweger look anyhow.

For some reason dancing wasn't allowed at the concert. The organizers were running all over the place telling people who dance to sit down. And cameras weren't allowed, so I have no pictures to show of the concert except for a couple bad blurred ones from my phone. A woman behind me had a camera and when she refused to give it to one of the staff they immediately had around 5 policewomen and a couple of policemen on her threatening to take her unless she gives the camera. 7 police for one lousy camera? How little did I know.


Friday we went to the Elissa beach concert. We arrived at 3 and when we got to the beach it turned out they didn't have a family section. The organizers had opted for separate men and women's sections. I asked the guy at the barrier, why isn't there a section where families can enjoy the concert together instead of being separated. He said that's how it is and we have to split up. I said I'd rather not so we'll watch the concert from further back. Then I made a comment that basically said you guys either organize brilliantly or you screw up like this. Apparently, the gentleman was not pleased. He shouted back at me that I was disrespectful to him. I said he has disrespectful to me too. I turned around and walked away. A few minutes later a policeman came and said I wasn't far enough. I turned to walk again and flicked my wrist as if to say "I'm going". Next thing I know the most senior policeguy in the place was demanding to see my ID card and threatening to arrest me if I don't cooperate. Flashback to the night before, if they can have 7 policemen to take a camera from a woman, why can't they have a whole squad for me for not giving my ID when ordered to do so?

Lesson no. 1: When a policeman asks for your card, you give it to him.

Apparently the law is you can't ask for an explanation. The explanation comes after you surrendered your ID. In this case, however, the guy was a man of few words. He had no time to explain to me. He said I'd find out why when I go to the special police station, which they had set up at the beach after concert.

So the concert went fine. Elissa was cool- what little we could see of her from our place way back behind the crowds. She wasn't too happy about the parachutists who kept falling out of the sky during her concert distracting her audience. But she sang for an hour and a half and all were please except me, as I had a pending matter of arrest on my mind.

After the concert we went to the station and had to wait for his malevonance, the magnanimous, to appear and tell me what I'm being charged with. As I am sure you understand, the guy was extremely busy so he didn't show up till two hours later. In the meantime I was entertained by a steady stream of people. A guy was arrested for public drunkeness. Another was accused of taking pictures of girls with his phone. Another was supposedly trying to grab a girl, though he swears she had asked him to help her jump a barrier.

All these people went home before me. My crime was too heinous to allow my release. The dude finally showed up two hours later just as the lights at the beach were switched off and the flag was being lowered. I asked what I've done. "You don't like the organization, ha?" was the guy's reply. It turned out the guy who I had said I was disrespectful, was a member of the organizing committee, and I had hurt his feelings with my words, so he went to the police and said that I had insulted him and the organization and said some words which could not repeated too. He even convinced the policeman who was with him at the barrier to say that I had disrespected the police too.

Long story short, I had to sign a personal declaration (ta3ahud) that I will always be respectful to police and security folks and talk with them in an "appropriate manner".

Lesson 2: The organization is always perfect. Saying that it isn't is a crime.

When I got home I told my dad that I was almost got arrested and told him the story. He replied: "what made you go there in the first place."

Lesson 3: Next time it might be better to stay at home. Even if you don't go looking for trouble, trouble can always find you.

Oh, and just as the police were finishing up with me a real security situation occurred. Apparently, a group of hooligans leaving the concert crossed the street to the brand new Al Maha gas station and proceeded to clean up the shelves, leaving the entire store empty, and apparently neglected to pay for the items too.


Wardat_il'7leej said...

Potatoes potato, when you comment about something and hope that they would improve, you are considered insulting, yet when you apple-polish its ok as long as egos are stroked

That person should have taken your comment as something that can allow him/organization to improve in the coming years instead of making a big deal and start up on the childish behavior. I don’t really know the extent of the conversation you had with him, but I can see that its wasn’t the appropriate reaction.

and thats my 10bzs :(

Najah said...

u lala. this is shameful. Cleaning the shelves!

Kamakazy said...

Muscati, never be rude to a police man or a security guy, they always get the upper hand in any situation...

its silly the way organizers can not take criticism from anyone except their boss or from someone of a higher rank than them... this answers my question to why Muscat Festival is on a down slide...

but you could almost understand why they do what they do (get it? neither did i) like for example, not bringing a camera to the concert or not dancing... i am sure they got soooooo many issued to deal with in the last concert that they just banned it... like boys taking a video off girls dancing... if the girl is dancing in public, doesnt she know that they can be seen by over 1,000 people??? doesnt she know that someone might be holding a camera???

just reading about it, going to a concert sitting down... just cracks me up... LOolz...

btw, your fathers words reminds me of what my father would say if i was in your situation...

i feel sorry for JAWAD starting at 1AM, isnt that a bit too late?

note below... make sure you dont let that official see your blog... he will ask for more than your ID...

Balqis said...

Don't do that again: lesson#1, my friends taught me since my first trip there, never complain with ROP or in a public place, cause they're hidden everywhere and consequences might be terrible.
In case they jail you, don't worry i'll organise a committee or alert HRW :S

muscati said...

But I didn't even comlain to a police man. It was some bozo from Muscat Municipality. And not one person I know who works in MM had heard of the guy when I told them his name. Imagine a guy who goes to complain to the police because he didn't like someone's attitude. What a mama's boy.

Anyhow. If I ever disappear off the blog for a few days, call Amnesty International ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Muscati, I love your blog, some amazing writing here!

I am amazed that this has happened to an Omani guy, I have been threatened out of the country by some prick, cos I didn't want to accept a drink from a pissed up omani, I should have by rights taken the drink and poured it on his bloody head.

Sad mentality if a guy from the organising committee can't accept critisism, I agree he is a complete tosspot, Mamas boy!

I have the number of amnesty international ready..... good luck mate!

Kazablanka said...

can someone kill nancy 3ajram for me? I can't stand her. Nice blog muscati =)

SoMe1 said...

LOOOOOOOOL! Muscati had to sign a ta3ahod! LOL! now that's funny..

Err.. sorry for what happened to you..

Why do women always get around bitching with the police though ? :p


omera said...

just out fo curiosity is there anyone who can help me to get labour clearances so that i can employ some skilled workers ,u see my company is very close to bancrupcy and i feel very guilty for my poor omani sponsor,ive followed every proceedure to get labour clearances but nothing happens,is there anyone out there in Gods name who can give me a hand im realy desparate to save my sponsors company,but please dont waste ur time on advising me to follow proceedures unless im supposed to do something more which im not aware of ,but i have noticed that all the big comanies aroun seem to have no problems in getting skilled foreign workers,

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