Monday, December 06, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 1, 1443 H
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22°C / 22°C

A cyclone that taught us otherwise
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Nature is the best teacher in the world. Nature proves it over and over again.

Prior to Shaheen it was yet another system that had us fear the month of June. Then a cyclone passes through Al Batinah after more than 100 years.

We looked out for the inundation but the flash floods proved even more disastrous.

Goes on to prove that no matter how much ever one thinks is ready for life there can always be a twist of surprise. In Shaheen’s case it was also the amount of water that flooded homes and roads which wreaked havoc, but as it subsided people came out to prove they are not done yet. This time there was another flow - people poured out from different parts of the country to join hands in the recovery process along with the official relief operators.

Till then people might have had their differences but not anymore as this huge task of cleaning up to come back to normalcy stood out as a common cause - a task they took with full confidence.

During the rain and flooding these are the same people who went through panic and anxiety. They lost immensely and for some even their family members. In distress of that night they still came out when the rains stopped to pick up the pieces.

The beauty of Oman is that people who may not have known each other were working shoulder to shoulder. The scars are not just on land but also on the minds of the ones who had endured the night hours with Shaheen lashed down. People tell us about how children cried in fear at night but there they were when the sun came out like butterflies giggling and playing with anything they could find that could float. The water that was a terror at night now was a playground. And as water subsided, they wanted to help the elders from cleaning to distributing relief. They saluted with fascination at the men in uniform carried out their duties earnestly and appeared as heroes.

The children have so much to store as memories for a life time but hopefully not the anguish they and the elders went through the previous night.

The children’s enthusiasm has been infectious as soon the joy could be seen spreading through the social media. The healing pictures of the young ones were what everyone needed.

Shaheen proved that together we can rebuild and recover. There was no time to wait and spend time to recover from the shock. The loss will be assessed and lifestyle will be revived, but there is something that will go down in history - a tropical cyclone which came since June of 1890, a cyclone named Shaheen which swept away houses and left behind steps. The cyclone which brought into life some of the wadis that people were not aware of. Obviously they had not flown for over 100 years.

The shovels have become symbolic of the zest that made people bounce back to take responsibility of preparing for tomorrow as the sun shines and they proved they might be beaten but not broken.

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