Friday, March 8, 2013

Protest breaks out in front of Opera House in Muscat and in Sohar

A protest broke out in front of the royal Opera House tonight. At about 9:30 pm around 50 to 100 Omanis had gathered from what I saw from the car window.  A large organized police presence was felt and doing the best they could directing traffic on SQ Highway despite the gawking of those driving by.  It was said the number of demonstrators increased to several hundred by midnight and that some people from the ever busy the Jawharet complex had walked over and joined in.  

Demonstrators were voicing their outrage in regard to the Jason Moran concert held at the Royal Opera House at the end of February in which a member of the music group recited a few suras from the Holy Quran which is not considered religiously suitable.  The outrage has been festering in online forums and the like for the last week. The Royal Opera House has since issued a statement of apology. And, it seems no offense was intended by Mr. Moran or by members of his group. The Royal Opera House Muscat opened in 2011. It is an exquisite complex in the Qurum area.    

 Later, it was relayed  that people in Sohar were protesting also, but I did not see it and cannot comment. It is illegal to gather in groups of more than ten with out prior permission  in Oman as far as I know, and several Omanis are serving time for participating in such 'meet-ups' as reported by the media. However,   people here are gathering for the reason of upholding religious values.  Omani opinions vary on the issue.

Source: Sablat Oman

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