The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Oman's political poet

The Guardian profiles the Omani poet Abdullah Al Ryami:

Al Ryami first came to the attention of the authorities in July 2004, after an appearance on the Iranian television station Al-Alam where he cast doubt on the Omani government's willingness to implement democratic reforms. He was immediately put on a media blacklist, with his journalism, poetry and plays all removed from Omani radio, television and newspapers, and appearances as a commentator forbidden.

He continued to speak out, criticising the Omani government in the daily paper Gulf News over the detention and trial of 31 people on charges of plotting a coup, the excessive force used by police against a peaceful demonstration in support of the 31 detainees and the government's prosecution of the former parliamentarian and journalist, Taiba Al Mawali. His arrest came two days before the court sentenced Al Mawali to 18 months in jail.
Another reform-minded Arab you won't hear about much because he doesn't talk in stereotypes and gross generalizations. Via Moorishgirl.