Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I'll be home for Christmas

(photos are from various places in Oman taken between 2008 - present)

In one week on Thursday I will be on my way back home to Oman.  I've been so lucky and blessed to be able to call Oman my home.  I've got so much love for that country.  We moved there when I was 5 and have only ever moved away for 2 years before moving back.  The Middle East has a way of grabbing hold onto your heart and not ever really letting go.  Not many people have heard of Oman which always surprises me because it's quite a big country and is a large producer of oil and gas. I couldn't have asked for a better childhood growing up there.

  • Oman is an Asian country, which adorns the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Forming a part of southwest Asia, it stands bordered by United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest.
  • Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world and has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744.
  • Oman gained independence from the Portuguese empire in 1651.
  • Oman produced around 860,000 barrels of oil per day last year, most of which were exported.
  • In November 2010, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) listed Oman, from among 135 countries worldwide, as the nation most-improved during the preceding 40 years.
  • Omani men wear the long robes known as dishdashas
  • In the highlands there are raised irrigation systems, carrying water from mountain streams, which are over two thousand years old. The Aflaj Irrigation Systems are on the World Heritage List
  • In Oman, Frankincense trees only grow in the wild

The 'winter' season is probably my favorite time in Oman.  I say 'winter' in inverted commas because it really isn't winter by European standards.  In Oman there are only two seasons really; a hot season and a less hot season.  I've only ever had 3 winters where I can remember being cold.  All the winters I can remember have been spent in Oman and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But for the moment I'm still in France with 3 more exams to go.  As of next Monday I will be freed from exams and getting ready to pack up and spend some much needed time in the warmth with my family.  What are your plans for the winter? What's the most unusual Christmas you've had?

Hope you are all keeping in good spirits

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