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Omani tweep who told the Sohar story

Maitham lost his sleep, went out at night roaming the streets with his digital camera

Sohar tweep Maitham
Image Credit: Sunil K. Vaidya/Gulf News
Maitham's tweets first gave the outside world a true picture of the happenings in Sohar.
Gulf News

Muscat: Amidst the protests and brief mayhem in Sohar, a young medical student unwittingly became the narrator of events through his tweets.

Maitham Al Musawi is a final year medical student. His tweets first gave the outside world a true picture of the happenings in Sohar as Globe Roundabout became epicentre of protests.

A Saham resident, Abdullah Gumlasi, died in police firing as protests turned violent and public and private properties were burnt.

Maitham lost his sleep, went out at night roaming the streets with his digital camera.

He tweeted then 'With every tweet, my heart breaks piece by piece with what I'm witnessing'.

He said that he started tweeting for fun and then when the cyclone hit Oman, he became more active on Twitter.

"Tweeting during cyclone was different from now," he pointed out. He told Gulf News in an interview at the Globe Roundabout that during the cyclone, people just wanted information.

"But now (protests) it was about how people grasp what you say," he said.

"People take sides, some of them were with protesters some of them were with the government people can," he pointed out, adding that his tweets could easily be misinterpreted "You cannot have any control over it (interpretation)."

He said that in the beginning probably he was a bit irresponsible in tweeting about the event. "But as it started going around the world and some being misinterpreted, I realised the impact of my tweets," he said.

He then began to carefully phrase his words. "I wanted to make sure that it was not easily misinterpreted."

Soft-spoken Maitham never thought in his wildest dreams that what happened in Egypt and Bahrain could happen in Oman.

"Our country is a peaceful place and people are happy with what government has given us so far," he said. So the protests shocked him, he said. 

Maitham, who also shoots short films as a hobby, said there was no place for vandalism but if some people had grievances those should be put forward peacefully as the government is willing to listen to them and meet their demands.

While he rued the arson attacks that sullied country's name, the medical student has no problems with peaceful genuine protesters.

He shot some excellent pictures of the protests in Sohar that captured the true picture of the events.

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