Viewing cable 04MUSCAT2251
Title: OMAN ONLINE: DRUG USE, WORK IN IRAQ, AND HINDUS IN OMAN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04MUSCAT22512004-12-26 02:27:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 002251 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), NEA/P 
(FFINVER), IIP/G/NEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO SOCI MU
SUBJECT: OMAN ONLINE: DRUG USE, WORK IN IRAQ, AND HINDUS IN OMAN 
 
¶1. Summary:  The Omani Internet chat room "Sablat al-Arab" -- or 
simply "Al-Sablah" -- is the liveliest and most comprehensive 
Arabic-language forum for political and social discourse in the 
country, touching on issues and personalities rarely addressed in 
the conventional media.  While not totally free, nor wholly 
reflective of Omani public opinion, Al-Sablah nevertheless offers 
a worthwhile window into the hot topics and unvarnished views of 
the day.  This edition of Oman Online contains the following 
topics: 
 
--- Drug use/trafficking in Oman 
--- Ministry of Manpower Warns against Iraq 
--- Hindus in Oman 
 
End summary. 
 
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High On Oman 
------------ 
 
¶2. Al-Sablah members expressed concern that the government may 
not be doing enough to control drug trafficking in Oman.  One 
member stated, "We wonder what steps the government is taking to 
control drug trafficking and use."  Another urged the government 
to "initiate a media campaign to warn the public of the dangers 
of drug use and explain how one becomes addicted."  Still another 
wrote, "There should be strategies to treat drug addicts."  Other 
participants stated that the drug problem in Oman is not hard 
drugs, but the use of household items to get high.  One Al-Sablah 
subscriber commented, "The use of things like medicine, perfumes, 
creams, and body lotions to escape reality is of most concern 
here in Oman." 
 
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No To Jobs In Iraq 
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¶3. The Ministry of Manpower recently published notices in the 
major dailies warning Omanis that the high level of violence in 
Iraq made it inadvisable to travel to that country in search of 
employment.  An Al-Sablah subscriber commented on the notice, "We 
appreciate the Ministry's deep concern for our lives, but we ask 
ourselves why are many Omanis attracted to the offers of work in 
Iraq."  Some members doubted that any Omanis would be willing to 
go to Iraq, while others stated, "Traveling to Iraq would be an 
act of infidels."  According to one participant, "Anyone that 
goes to Iraq to work with coalition forces should be ashamed of 
himself for supporting the crusaders against Muslims."  Others 
supported the announcement writing, "Any step taken by the 
Ministry to save the lives of Omanis should be supported." 
 
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Integrating Hindus 
------------------ 
 
¶4. Al-Sablah also raised the issue of Hindu expatriates in Oman. 
"How can we allow ourselves to live with Hindus and permit them 
to build temples in our country?" asked one participant.  Another 
subscriber stated, "Hindus are not loyal to their own 
communities.  If they were, they would not have emigrated to our 
shores.  If they obtain Omani nationality, they will not be loyal 
to this country."  However, a majority of the participants 
expressed sympathy for Hindu expatriates by stating, "These 
people left India a long time ago.  They have integrated 
themselves into Omani society."  Another member wrote, "In most 
regions you will find Hindus and Omanis coming together to 
celebrate weddings and mourn at funerals.  Surely, they are part 
of this society."  Other writers commented, "Hindus are very 
efficient and hardworking.  Their shops are open from the early 
morning to late at night, and you do not have to worry about them 
cheating you." 
 
BALTIMORE