Well there was quite the pa-lava over the weekend with the US Embassy sending out a warning, and then the UK Embassy getting on board and sending one out as well on Friday morning. Not really a lot happened in the end. On Thursday night, the ROP moved in and shut down the Embassy road with a roadblock at either end of it, thus preventing people to actually get to the US Embassy and then start their protest.
Friday morning saw a much larger presence of the ROP along with a bunch of trucks that were ones I've not seen before: heavy duty dark blue SUV's with all the windows covered in metal mesh grills as well as the hoods (bonnets) of the trucks as well.
But the angry mob never materialized, just a peaceful group of men holding signs written in Arabic. No idea what they said but they were not blocking any roads, were not chanting or throwing anything, they were just pissed off and making their displeasure known peacefully.
It seems the chaps down in Salalah were a little more prepared to march, and Dhofari Gucci shared a picture of the protest down there on her blog.
It's good to see that Omani's are not as ready to start throwing stones and rioting as, say, those in Egypt, Yemen or any of the rest of the countries in which violence is going on as a result of "that film". Perhaps that's a nod towards the Imams in the mosques here, who may have helped people realise that this entire thing is stupid. I don't know, it might have just been too hot.
7 people have lost their lives over these protests so far, 7. That is quite simply ridiculous. It's a stupid film made by a guy who clearly had an agenda and has managed to evoke this much of a reaction in people. People insult people every day, it doesnt mean you have to go and start burning flags and generally start breaking stuff. I'll also note it seems to be predominantly (in the news films from around the middle east) young men who are the most incensed. Quite why they are holding the US Embassies around the world accountable, I'm not really sure. I didn't see a mass outpouring of thanks and flowers and chocolates and what not when the latest 2 Fast 2 Furious movie was released (also made in America) and played to packed houses across the region for weeks and weeks - so why the flag burning and general need to throw stuff at the American Embassies now then?
Ridiculous, I hope it all ends soon and no one else gets hurt, let alone killed. The British Embassy has advised that again today it may be that a protest may start from 3pm on Embassy road - if it was anything like yesterday, I say let them: they were not harming anyone or causing any nuisance.