I have been packing and shipping boxes back to the USA in preparation for a new cycle in the adventure of living and working in Colorado once again. Day by day I have had some wonderful conversations over the last few weeks with people with whom I have heart connections, spanning eight years of work in the Sultanate of Oman. Some of these people are coworkers at college and others are shop keepers or cleaners etc. All of these connections are important to me and have helped shape my everyday life here and I trust uplifted their experience of meeting another “expat.”
Here are some of my photos and I trust this photo essay will say more to you about life in the Middle East than what could be said with words by me or in any news report originating from this part of the world.
Shipping boxes found in Muscat, Oman
Men buying fish just caught in Barka, Oman
Women strolling along shore near Qantab, Oman
Father and daughter at the beach in Seeb, Oman
Cleaners at the International Maritime College Oman from India
At a local supermarket a few days ago I had a brief but meaningful encounter with a manager from Syria and his coworker from Lebanon. One of them asked me how long I had been living in Oman and I replied “just over eight years.” The manager spoke to his friend in Arabic and then explained to me that there is a saying in their culture that once you have lived in the Arab world for more than 40 days you are considered a brother. I am thankful I have been included in a most gracious way by so many “everyday people” in what might be described as “everyday life” here…in some ways far removed from the tragedies striking fear and upset in this and other parts of the world.
I think the spiritual message is clear and growing stronger no matter what happens: we have a choice as to how we govern our own minds, hearts and bodies regardless of how political, religious or scientific systems rise and fall. I know I intend to keep safe these heart connections with the Arab world so that the attunement current of Life can continue to reshape our human consciousness so that true patterns of love that never faileth can emerge.
-John Patrick Flood