No stigma at­tached: Chi­nese in Oman feel safe amid nCoV fears

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

As Chi­nese health of­fi­cials and cit­i­zens strug­gle to con­tain the Novel Coron­avirus (2019-nCoV) out­break in their coun­try, those in other coun­tries are re­port­ing a wave of anti-Chi­nese sen­ti­ment. How­ever, Omani hospitalit­y and friend­li­ness re­mains un­de­terred in th­ese times.

BBC in a report re­cently stated that anti-Asian racism has been re­ported in the UK and else­where, and French Asians have com­plained of abuse on pub­lic trans­port and so­cial me­dia.

Chi­nese cit­i­zens that Mus­cat Daily spoke to said there is no such wave in Oman.

“As a Chi­nese ex­pa­tri­ate who has lived in Oman for over two years, I feel com­fort­able and have not faced any racist be­hav­iour. I did not ex­pe­ri­ence any kind of dis­crim­i­na­tion; on the con­trary Omani people and other res­i­dents here are very friendly and kind,” said Li Ze­jian, a Chi­nese res­i­dent based in Mus­cat.

An­other Chi­nese woman based in Oman said she was sad­dened to hear the dis­crim­i­na­tion re­ports on fel­low coun­try­men in other coun­tries. “I heard about the sit­u­a­tion in other coun­tries. There is no such prob­lem in Oman. We thank Oman for what it is,” M Jjing, said.

The fear that gripped the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in Canada dur­ing the SARS out­break in Toronto has resur­faced. The SARS out­break hit Toronto fi­nan­cially, as tourism dropped and people stayed home. Chi­nese-owned and Chi­na­town busi­nesses were hit es­pe­cially hard, and saw a loss of in­come es­ti­mated at be­tween 40 per cent and 80 per cent, the

BBC report stated “The harm was se­ri­ous,” Justin Kong, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Toronto chap­ter of the Chi­nese Cana­dian Na­tional Coun­cil, told the BBC. “A loss of in­come, a loss of jobs, people los­ing their liveli­hood, los­ing their homes. Fac­ing stigma at school, at the work­place.”

Y Yan, a sales ex­ec­u­tive in one of the shop­ping cen­tres in Mus­cat, said, “People in Oman are very kind to us. There has not been any report of racism or dis­crim­i­na­tion at any place in Oman. Cit­i­zens and res­i­dents are very con­sid­er­ate and un­der­stand­ing and have shown im­mense calm. This can hap­pen any­where in the world. We feel safe in Oman.”

Ma Jing from the Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Club of Oman, said, “I want to thank the people of Oman for their tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing. My friends have con­sciously ad­hered to self-iso­la­tion af­ter re­turn­ing from China for 14 days. I hope that ev­ery­one can give China a lit­tle time. I be­lieve that our coun­try and gov­ern­ment will def­i­nitely solve the prob­lem as soon as pos­si­ble.”

I want to thank the people of Oman for their tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing.

Ma Jing

(AFP)

China is fac­ing deep­en­ing iso­la­tion in var­i­ous coun­tries over its coron­avirus epi­demic as the death toll soared

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