Two Oman-born expats – one, a successful businessman, and the other, a UFC fighter and budding entrepreneur herself – talk about their love for the country that they now call home.
Sahara Hamayon, a Spanish-Pakistani UFC fighter, entrepreneur, globetrotter and a proud TCK who was born and raised in Oman, talks about her love affair with the country.
I like to classify myself as an Omani by heart. I may have mixed roots and I will always embrace it but my love for Oman knows no bounds.
My answer to anyone who asks me why I have such a passion for this country is simple: it’s the people here who make this country what it is. A small situation that I’d like to talk about is how I was helped when I had a flat tyre when travelling on the Muscat Expressway.
I remember a man stopping his car to help me. He was with his wife, and was travelling to the airport for their honeymoon. But, he took the time to help me – and in the process also got his dishdasha dirty.
That’s how helpful and sweet the people are here in Oman.
I do travel a lot for training, competitions, and also for work. But, every time I head out of the country, I realise that I don’t particularly enjoy spending time away from Oman. I miss the smiling faces, the welcoming words, and the company of my friends here.
Even when I head to my hometown in Barcelona, I feel out of place and lonely. I think the 28 years of my life here have made me feel that I am indeed an Omani girl – there’s no other rational explanation to this.
So, if I were ever in a situation wherein I would have to leave Oman, I think I would have a heavy feeling in my heart. At this point, I cannot even visualise the situation. It would be like ripping apart a huge part of my life.
And that’s why I think I would want to reside in Oman for as long as I can. This is home.
Zechariah Varughese, a 25-year-old Indian expat and entrepreneur in the Sultanate talks about how Oman stacks up as a peaceful place to live when compared with other GCC countries.
A lot of TCKs like me will talk about how Oman is a wonderful place to live. But there’s more to it than just that. For me, this country will always be home because this is where our family business started.
In short, this is where we have invested all our time, money, and resources. My father came to this country roughly 28-years ago, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Now, I am the one carrying forward the torch.
Of course, me being born and brought up here also has its perks, as I have a lot of emotional support from friends – both expats and locals – in my work life. And the fact that Oman, as a country, is quite welcoming to new business ideas helps too.
I’ve scouted almost all GCC countries for travel and business purposes, but none has come as close to Oman in terms of the local support – be it in your work or your personal life.
Most people in the UAE or Saudi Arabia travel to countries such as Georgia or Thailand when the going gets tough. But here in Oman, we just pack our bags and head to the mountains for a night out.
Oman’s call is one that stays with you forever. Sadly, only those who have left the country will know that.