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Controversial 'sexual orientation' in Oman article published by 'the Week'

in OMAN, 06/09/2013

The article, The Outsiders' published by 'the Week' on August 29, 2013 gives a very revealing and descriptive recount of the 'gay' scene here in the Sultanante. I find it surprising such an article was published here due to the social and cultural norms.

However, feedback on local Omani forums have mostly decried the article with some asking to shut down 'the Week' and to deport the author. Others have said the article was shockingly offensive, that it is marketing such behaviors to Omanis, and for god to forgive the journalist.  Everyone seems to be talking about it. The Majlis Shura has now picked up the matter.

See Article Text Below. (It seems it may be blocked online but circulating in print. Please read on only for mature readers not easily offended by such issues and used to free speech.)

When Haitham (name changed on request) had his first same-sex encounter with his cousin, he was only about eight years old. It was only a few fleeting moments on a camping trip with some family members close to his native village just outside Muscat. “But those few moments continued to haunt my memory for the longest time,” said the 23 year old.

He spent the next nine years of his life wondering about that night and the recurring feelings he tried hard to bury under his externally happy demeanour. “I did not know what to make of it. My friends and I shared many passions like cars and football. But I just couldn’t share their enthusiasm for the opposite sex and that was eating away at my insides. I couldn’t talk to anyone about the fact that I, in fact, liked men.”

That was the last encounter Haitham had till he turned 17 years old when he started activ-ely seeking others like him. “Till then I thought there was something wrong with me. But then I could tell there were other people that I met and knew who were definitely going through the same thing. We never talked about it since it would be absolutely unimaginable to do that but it gave me heart that I wasn’t alone,” he said. His cousin went on to get married and Haitham said, that experience, to him was merely a sexual encounter. “Since there weren’t any girls around, he fooled around with me. But that chance encounter helped me eventually recognise who I was.”

You may download the full text of the aryicle at the foot of this page or see related news here.   

Attachments: The Outsiders
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