Oscar de la Renta, the Star I’ll Never Interview

Oscar de la Renta

When I created the list of “Stars I’d Love To Interview,” I didn’t contemplate how I’d mark the passing of one. So, now, as I mourn the loss of the incredible Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta, I have decided that italicizing is the best option. After all, Italics are used to emphasize a point and while he’s no longer with us, there were quite a few things the great Oscar de la Renta helped us understand through continual emphasis, like the idea that his job as a designer was to make women feel their best.

When I envision the interview with Oscar de la Renta that never happened, I picture us sitting side by side, like friends. This man had an aura that from afar could communicate how humble and grateful he was to be where he was. He not only made women feel beautiful, but he reminded us day after day that no dream is too grand, regardless of where you come from.

Because I’ll never get a chance to sit down with him and get him to share his own story, I’ve decided to do what my journalistic heart yearns to do: I’ve compiled some of his biography.

They say our life is the story we tell the world, the message we leave behind. If this is the case, there is no doubt in my mind that Oscar de la Renta will surpass the test of time.

Oscar de la Renta was born on July 22, 1932 and was raised alongside six sisters in a middle-class home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At age 18, he left the Dominican Republic to study art at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. While he originally dreamed of becoming a painter, he was quickly consumed by the mesmerizing world of fashion. His talent for the arts and his ability to create an impressive fashion sketch landed him an apprenticeship with Spain’s most renowned couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga.

In 1961, while on vacation in Paris, he was hired for his first fashion job at Lanvin-Castillo. Two years later, he moved to New York and formed part of the American design house Elizabeth Arden. He began his own label in 1965.

Oscar de la Renta became a popular choice amongst American first ladies , from Nancy Reagan in the 1980s and then Hillary Clinton in 1997 and Laura Bush in 2005. Furthermore, stars like Sarah Jessica Parker have donned his designs.

The legendary Oscar de la Renta died on October 20, 2014, but not without leaving incredible words, designs and a story of passion and perseverance behind to inspire.

Mr. Oscar de la Renta, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for inspiring me to dream big.

“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness.” – Oscar de la Renta

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My First Literary Rejection And Other Things

Carrie Bradshaw

I don’t like the places my mind has been going to lately.

There are days when I am completely sure of who I am, and I love this woman. Then, there are days when I say things like, What the heck am I doing? I don’t just ponder this question in regards to my career, but also in regards to my personal life. I wonder if I’ll ever meet a man who wants the things I want. I wonder if I’m being foolish for believing some of the things I believe now. Then, I tell myself not to worry. Things will fall into place all on their own. I’m just here for the ride, so to speak.

When I speak to my friends, it’s clear that I’m not alone. Others have doubts, too. Doubts are normal. Doubts are a sign that we have feelings, that we care about our dreams and others. Doubts are a sign that we are alive. Maybe doubts exist to keep us humble. Still, I’m not a big fan of doubts. I’m not sure anyone is.

Just the other day, I found myself wondering if anyone was even looking at the novel pitches I’d been sending. I kept reciting the same prayer, God, please let someone see in my work what I see in it. 

But there are days when doubt my work. I doubt my voice, the story, the characters, everything. A few days ago, I mentioned joining NaNoWriMo and on Sunday, after receiving my first rejection letter, I thought to myself, Maybe I should stop writing novels, period. Maybe I should focus on other kinds of writing, more along the lines of freelancing. Then, as quickly as those thoughts rushed in, a response followed, My dream is to be an author, and I am not giving up on that dream despite how hard it gets. It will all be worth it.

I’ve noted that my first rejection isn’t a bad thing. That rejection means someone read my pitch and part of my story. Sure, she didn’t think she’d be the right agent for it, but someone read it, and if she did, so will others. Now, I just have to be patient. While that’s easier said than done, I know that keeping busy helps. So, in the meantime, I’m working on other goals. I’ve started pitching magazines again, but this time, with the article pasted on the email. (Go hard or go home!)

I’m no stranger to rejection. I’ve experienced it various times in the workplace, but this is different. This is leading to something greater. This is my greatest dream.

My first literary rejection took me back to J.K. Rowling and the likes. She didn’t give up even after multiple rejections, and look where she is now! I can’t see this novel not getting picked up, but if it doesn’t, I will do what many authors before me have done when they don’t get published right away – I’ll keep writing. And I’ll also recite my favorite J.K. Rowling quote, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.”

How do you work your way out of a funk when you’re in one?

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‘The Book of Life’ Press Conference Featuring Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, then you know I met Channing Tatum on Saturday.

I was invited through LatinTRENDS to attend a press conference for the animated film The Book of Life, starring Channing Tatum. Needless to say, I am grateful to the LatinTRENDS family (everyone from CEO Juan Guillen to Web Editor Shelley Mendoza to Editor Maria Luna and everyone else in between) for the doors they’ve helped me open.

In The Book of Life, Joaquin, the boisterous character Channing Tatum plays, is forced to recognize that to be a hero one must truly be selfless. To this point, I asked Channing if there has ever been a point in his career when he has been selfish. “Selfless or selfish?” he asked.

“Selfish…and perhaps learned to be selfless afterwards?” I added.

“Actually, when I was going to do Jump Street, I had just worked with Chris Pratt, and I looked at him when I was about to go do Jump Street. I looked at Chris Pratt and I go, Man, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m about to go do a movie I think you’d be way better for,” Channing chuckled. “I guess that was my selfish, because I went and did the movie.”

When it comes to being selfless, it has taken Channing around three to four years to learn that as an actor, “You are not the story. The story is the story. The movie is the story.” While a lot of young actors tend to worry only about themselves, Channing suggests looking at the storyline as a whole and thinking of yourself (the actor) as just a part of it. This, in turn, will result in your best work.

Furthermore, he revealed that he loves to be an actor because he loves stories – something most, if not all, artists can relate to.

Channing Tatum

Minutes into the press conference, one journalist asked Channing how he felt about the part of the storyline where Manolo’s father tries to sway him in one direction.  When it comes to parenthood, he confessed he doesn’t have it all figured out and is certain he’ll learn with time.

When asked if he’d purposely do more animated films for his daughter to watch, he quipped that her greatest punishment will be Step Up. He doesn’t feel pressured to stick to one type of film. So long as the film ties into his vision, he’s up for it. When asked if his wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, ever disagrees with the roles he plays, he says he and his wife have been together for 10 years and while at first it was hard, they’ve gotten used to each other’s work. He revealed that she’s pretty cool while he does things on film most wives wouldn’t want their husbands to do in real life. Likewise, though he still feels odd while watching her kiss another man, he would never limit the work she does. Perhaps their mutual respect, understanding, support and love is the equation that has led to such a long-lasting relationship.

The Book of Life is a 20th Century Fox film and premieres this Friday, October 17th.

The Evolution of a Brand

The Write Woman

Dear readers,

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to hone in on what it is I wish to accomplish through this blog. At one point, I even entertained the idea of deleting it, not because the inspiration wasn’t there, but because I felt like I had no sense of direction. A million ideas would rise, yet none would thrive.

Lately, I’ve been doing better at embracing the journey and worrying less about the destination. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but I do know that I am growing, and as I grow, so does this brand. Maybe, just maybe, that’s how small brands turn into big brands.

As I’ve contemplated what’s next, I’ve set my focal point on what I hope to achieve through The Write Woman: I’d love for The Write Woman to be the haven you turn to when your life is in disarray, when you’re having boy problems, when you’re thinking about quitting the job that no longer makes you happy, when you need inspiration to chase your dreams, when you’re looking to embrace who you are notwithstanding the judgment of others, when you’re ready to vicariously attend an event or celebrity interview or when you’re simply up for an adventure.

I’d like for you to recognize a part of yourself in my writing, to feel as though we’re friends – even if we haven’t yet met. I want The Write Woman to be your companion in the morning as you head to work. I’d like to be there on the mellow weekend nights when you choose to stay in with a glass of wine.

With that being said, there are a few things I’m thinking of incorporating into this blog, and I’d like your input:

Muse Mondays will consist of an array of interviews covering artists from all walks of life. I want to interview writers, poets, actors, singers, musicians. Some of these people will be from New York, others won’t be. Some interviews will be all video, others will be all writing. I want to improve my skills as an entertainment journalist, and I believe this will help me and fellow artists.

Throughout the week I want to share more of what’s going on in my life. Remember I mentioned I work with a bunch of characters? Well, aside from being pretty cool, many of them are also pretty funny. I’ll likely change their names though (privacy reasons). I also want to keep you updated on my querying process (so far, no response, by the way, but staying optimistic). Oh, and then there’s my take on the law of attraction. I want to delve further into spirituality. Have you ever meditated? I’ll be taking you on all the events I attend (with better pictures and hopefully videos, too!). I want to discuss things like Emma Watson’s latest speech on how feminism is as much an issue concerning men as it is about women. There’s just so much to discuss!

Friday Favorites will be a series of links I believe will inspire you in various ways. I’ll link to some of my favorite blog posts, as well as miscellaneous articles regarding topics I think will interest you.

What do you think of my ideas? What would you like to see?

I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you and, in turn, hear more about yours!

Thanks for reading!

Your friend,

The Write Woman

Distance, Loss, Nostalgia

Birds In Flight

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. I guess the passing of a loved one has that effect  – it highlights what once was and will never again be.

In the past, my coping mechanism through testing times was to cut people off. So, when a person upset me or when a fling dismantled, I knew better than to keep that person around. Doing so would only highlight my mistakes, my foolishness. It would serve as a reminder of my imperfections, of my irrevocable errors. I was so naive back then, so infantile. To think that I could control things, that I could feign perfection wasn’t only insane, but limiting.

It was precisely one of those people I once cut off who recently came to the forefront.

He was never my boyfriend per say, but we did have a thing – not serious enough to be dubbed a fling – but a thing nonetheless. Anyhow, classifications are insignificant in this instance (or probably in every instance). What matters most, as I look back, is how the people who were in my life when he was in, too, made me feel.

It was the summer of 2003. I had started high school just a few months before (Insane to think that that was around a decade ago!), and it was the first time in a long time I’d be returning to the motherland: the Dominican Republic. I was traveling with my grandmother and my sisters. This trip was bound to be a little different, because instead of spending the entirety of my vacation in Santiago de los Caballeros, as I typically did when I visited, I’d be spending two weeks in Cotuí with my little sister’s father’s side of the family.

At first, I wasn’t too sure about staying. I didn’t know my sister’s family, and I wasn’t sure I’d feel comfortable. As I debated between staying or asking to leave with my other sister – who had called our grandmother to pick her up shortly after being dropped off, giving up on our adventure mere hours into it – I caught a glimpse of an alluring man getting off a motorcycle.

I observed his darks eyes, his brunette mane, and his facial hair as he walked over to his mother, an elegant woman. I was under the impression that he – my sister’s cousin – was much older than me. Whether it had something to do with his appearance or his aura, I’ll never know, but I was drawn to him in a way I’d never been drawn to anyone. Needless to say, my internal debate was resolved. I was staying…because staying would be undoubtedly electrifying.

Little did I know that the summer of 2003 would shape up to be an unforgettable summer, and not just because of the aforementioned fare lad, but because his cousins, all boys around my age, and their friends, were a lot of fun. His family was dynamic, opinionated, and always entertaining. So much so, that even rainy days were a blast. When we were weren’t gathered around telling stories (because that’s what people in the Dominican Republic do when it’s raining and/or there’s no electricity), we were off sightseeing, horseback riding, visiting plantain plantations, or dabbling in some exertion.

My little sister and I wound up prolonging our stay a week longer than we’d anticipated.

When the time came to depart, I felt a pang I was unfamiliar with. I wasn’t sure what it was I felt, but I was certain that if anyone would understand, Nenena (my aunt, a woman who loved me unconditionally, and came closest to a godmother) would. Sure enough, when I expressed my ache and how much I missed this guy and his family, Nenena hugged me and whispered something like, Ay personas que tienen ese efecto. (There are people who have that effect on us.)

I’m filled with sadness as I recant these memories, because the woman who said those words, the woman who taught me a thing or two about the power others have to make me feel, my beloved Nenena, passed away a few years ago, and this week, the mother of two of my sister’s cousins, passed away. By the time anyone suspected something was direly wrong, it was too late. The cancer had spread. Within a week of the somber diagnosis, she was gone.

I’ve since reached out to my little sister’s father’s side of the family, and I’ve expressed my solace. I’ve realized through their words and mine, that our moments together were full of love and joy, and maybe that’s as “perfect” as moments can get.

I’m no longer concerned with keeping things neat and tidy. I’m much more concerned with following my heart, even when it appears at first glance like my heart is leading me somewhere I’ve already been.

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A Pivotal Moment

Geraldine Estevez

There’s this saying, “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”

For the past four years, through the ups and downs, despite trying to convince myself otherwise, my mind always wanders to the same place.

In August, I stopped fighting this feeling. I decided to let my heart be my GPS, and in doing so, I unleashed a chain of events. In just weeks, my life began to change…for better. I am now surrounded by amazing people; some of whom I believe are in my life to bring a particular message. I don’t believe this is coincidental, but a realization of what I included on my vision board. I want love to abound in all aspects of my life, and I’ve already begun to experience this.

It’s incredible what happens when you open up your mind and your heart.

I’m at a pivotal moment in my life. I know this to be true because I am working on an array of goals at once, and if they come true, one by one, within a given timeframe, my life will change drastically. The thought of this alone stirs something inside me! It excites me…and frightens me simultaneously. And isn’t that what dreaming should feel like? Your dreams should be SO BIG, they scare you. Otherwise, you aren’t dreaming big enough.

There are moments, like last night, when I start to worry. I hate to use this word, but that’s fear…fear of the unknown, of the uncertain. I know what I want (though I also know that can change), but I don’t know exactly how to make it happen. I know there are steps I can take, but I also know it’s going to take more than just those steps. Not knowing how has been my greatest source of tension throughout these years of contemplating the same decision. So much so, that I’m still not ready to reveal exactly what that decision is. But chances are, if you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you can guess.

If When this happens for me, I’m going to share it with you, because there is no doubt in my mind that it will inspire you beyond words. You thought me quitting my job was brave! Ha!

In the meantime, I want to encourage you – and this is as much advice for you as it is a reminder to myself – to hold on tight to your dreams, no matter how improbable they seem. But don’t just be a dreamer. Take the actions your dreams demand, and don’t be afraid to mess up. More importantly, as you move forward and aim for a particular goal, don’t forget to appreciate the journey and the amazing people you’re bound to share it with.

(Speaking of amazing people, my friend, talented graphic designer Franklin Gomez created the incredible edit you see above. You can check out more of his work here.)

The Stars I’d Love To Interview


Remember the tenth fun fact I shared about myself in this post? It went something like this: When I was in kindergarten, my mother would wrap sandwiches in aluminum foil for me to have for lunch. After I’d eat the sandwiches, I’d mold the aluminum foil into a microphone. Then I’d go on to host my own talk show in the playground while classmates stared in amusement and often participated. Furthermore, I’d walk everywhere with a book in hand, so by the time I was in the second or third grade, I knew I wanted to be an author. I guess I always knew what I wanted to do. My calling was always there, yet it took some time for me to uncover…

I’m not sure whether to write that I want to be an entertainment journalist or that I am an entertainment journalist. Truth be told, I’m on my way to building the career of my dreams.

I’ve interviewed former Disney actress Adrienne Bailon, VH1 Single Ladies’ Denise Vasi, former Aventura member Henry Santos, and others, including, most recently, Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall (I’m still in disbelief about that one! I love her!).

While I won’t judge my success on the names I can list, as I find that stars really are just likes us, I will say that I have a mental list of who I’d love to interview…for various reasons, reasons I’ll share as each interview comes to fruition. And in my mission to entice the universe to conspire in my favor, I’ve decided to share this list with you, in alphabetical order, you know, just in case for future reference.

Also, I’ll be updating this post as names come to mind and as I am able to start crossing them off, or should I say checking them off? Wink, wink.

Alicia Keys, singer-songwriter

Angie Martinez, radio personality

Anthony Santos, singer-songwriter

Bárbara Mori, actress

Catherine Siachoque, actress

Chayanne, singer, actor, composer

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actor

Gabriel Macht, actor

Gaby Espino, actress, model

Halle Berry, actress

Jay Z, rapper, business mogul

Jencarlos Canela, actor, singer

Jennifer Lopez, singer, actress, businesswoman

Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress

Kanye West, rapper

Katy Perry, singer-songwriter

Kerry Washington, actress

Marc Anthony, singer-songwriter

Nicole Scherzinger, singer-songwriter

Oprah, talk show host, producer, philanthropist

 Oscar De La Renta, fashion designer

Prince Royce, singer-songwriter

Rihanna, singer-songwriter

Robert Downey, Jr., actor

Romeo Santos, singer-songwriter

Roselyn Sanchez, actress

Sam Smith, singer-songwriter

Sarah Jessica Parker, actress

Shakira, singer-songwriter

Sia, singer-songwriter

Will Smith, actor

William Levy, actor, model

Zoe Saldaña, actress

Have you ever made a list of the goals you’d like to accomplish? If so, has that list been helpful? Share below!

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The Purpose Of Life

Life's Purpose

Saturday night, I met an array of interesting people. Among the crowd, there was a man who, when I asked if he’d ever been in love before, plainly said, “That shit hurts.” I giggled at the idea that a man could be so candid about his feelings, that a man could, in a sense, be vulnerable enough to share something so personal.

“I’m traumatized. You have any idea what it’s like to give someone your all?” he added.

I sure do, and I can relate, but as a male friend (I keep running into insightful men!) said recently, “Love is worth it all.”

If we live in fear, and limit our experiences for the sake of avoiding pain, we’re depriving ourselves of the greatest experiences life has to offer. So whereas before I scurried at the sight of pain, I now appreciate it as much as I do happiness, because pain has taught me things about myself, about others, and about life I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Moreover, pain reminds me that I care that deeply about someone, and when I contemplate how amazing it feels to love (and I don’t just mean romantically), the ache is well worth it.

The brigade of fascinating people continued when I met the alluring young man a friend of mine is currently talking to. He donned a seemingly tailored suit and spoke softly, yet confidently. I was captivated not by his appearance, but by his presence. At just 26 years old, he has an old soul, one that demands attention. Within minutes of meeting, we were engaged in conversation. I’m not sure how we landed on the topic, but it might’ve had something to do with the fact that I no longer shy away from revealing that I don’t want children. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it tends to spark interesting dialogue.

Upon my revelation, the refined man said something that irked me, a phrase very similar to others I’ve heard in the past: “I guarantee you you’ll change your mind by the time you’re 30.” He then went on to say that he believes procreation is the purpose of life. “We are here to pass down our genes, to pass down what we know.”

To this point, I asked, So then does that mean that a person who can’t bear children has no purpose?

His eyes widened, but his tone didn’t escalate. He mentioned adoption and a broader idea of passing on knowledge. While it would’ve been easy to jump to conclusions, after listening to him for a while, I realized his views weren’t limited to the traditional perception of parenting. He spoke of parenting in the sense of teaching and inspiring others.

He was surprised when I said the following: I don’t believe we were put on this earth for the purpose of procreation. If you look back in history, there have been various authors, which I can’t name off the top of my head – Elizabeth Gilbert being a modern example – who have chosen to be childfree and have passed down their knowledge through their writing. That is what I aim to do through my writing. I want to inspire and empower women of all ages. I want to start an organization for poor children. So while I don’t intend to be a mother in the physiological sense of the word, I do intend to mother.

That conversation tagged along with me into the following day. I was feeling a little down, because there are times when I wonder if my heart is leading me astray, but then, after speaking with a friend of mine, the one who feels like her clock is ticking, I realized, I have nothing to worry about. In response to the conversation I had with the alluring man, my friend said, “Some people are parents and spread no wisdom and if they spread something, it’s bad examples to follow. I think artists spread their knowledge better than some parents. As long as you’re true to yourself and your wants, nothing else should matter.”

I don’t want to sit around waiting for the feeling of motherhood to find me. I’m okay with the idea that it might eventually, but I’m also at peace with the possibility that it might not. For now, I’d rather focus on my dreams, on the things that fill me with love and hope, so that I can radiate the same onto others.

Just a couple of days ago, a coworker told me that her daughter is also a writer and that she hopes to teach her daughter to be as confident as I am. The beauty in her statement is that she acknowledged that confidence has to, in part, be taught. Like so many other things, it shouldn’t simply be expected. Perhaps it is part of my purpose to teach women how to believe in themselves. Maybe we all have a different purpose, and for some that includes having children, while for others it does not. Deep down inside though, I believe that maybe, just maybe, the purpose of life is to learn how to love.

Have you ever pondered the purpose of life, or is that too big of a question for you to think about? Do you know what your purpose is? Share below!

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Waitressing And What I Learned About Myself That Surprised Me

New York City

Have you ever experienced many changes at once? I am nervous and excited about what’s to come, but more importantly, I’m thrilled by the changes I see presently flourishing. I am changing, and I love the woman I am becoming. She is stronger, wiser, and more open-minded. She is more herself than she’s ever been, and that has taken a great deal of courage.

Weeks ago, I started waitressing, and when things didn’t turn out as “easy” as I envisioned, my energy began to falter. I dreaded going to work, and I complained about everything. In just a matter of days, I’d let go of the attitude I had going in: I’m doing this temporarily for a greater goal. More importantly, I’d forgotten to enjoy the journey. Despite how many times I’d said it to others and to myself, it wasn’t till a friend said, “Enjoy the journey as much as the goal. Love the people, love what you do, love where you are now,” that I realized my mistake – I had focused so much on the future, that I was forgetting to see the beauty of now.

In a matter of days, my perspective shifted. See, the thing is, even if your work isn’t so great, when you’re working with amazing people (I kid you not! I will be sharing more on my coworkers soon!), it is easy to surpass what’s insignificant in the long run. What matters isn’t the little tasks that annoy me or the fact that sometimes my coworkers [understandably] lose their tempers, but the relationships that I am building, the friendships that are teaching me something new about others and myself, the people I am meeting, and the endless opportunities that abound.

If I am to be completely honest, I’ve shocked even myself when I said these words out loud: I enjoy waitressing much more than I enjoyed working at an advertising agency. Sure, it’s tough physically, but I spend my days interacting with others as opposed to in front of a computer screen, and to me, as a writer, that in itself is heaven on earth. The more people I meet, the more inspired I become. I’ve noticed that it is no coincidence that I want to (apart from publishing my first novel) wholeheartedly pursue a career in entertainment journalism – I love meeting people and getting to know their stories. Simply put, I love stories.

The other day, as I thanked LatinTRENDS‘ web editor, Shelley Mendoza, for allowing me the opportunity to interview Kim Cattrall, I said, I can’t believe I get to attend these events, interview artists, and in exchange, all I’m expected to do is write about it. It’s what I love on top of what I love! Waitressing is more of that. The plates are heavy, serving makes me tense, but God, I love meeting and interacting with people!

Have you ever been a waiter or waitress? What was your experience like? Any cool stories? Let me know in the comments section below!

My New Business Cards

Business Cards

As you all know by now, a few months ago, I rebranded. While The PR Woman had similar colors and a similar feel, there was no way I could keep those business cards. I took some time to decide which route I wanted to take in terms of design and recently decided.

I know some people disapprove of business cards with images, but I find them much more fun and memorable. Furthermore, they match my personality, and that’s probably what matters most.

A couple of days ago, I read a post somewhere about taking a picture of the person handing you the business card holding their own business card so you can remember who gave you a business card. Wouldn’t it make more sense to include a photograph? Now, don’t get me wrong, I know this doesn’t go with every business card, but I’m a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and an entertainment journalist, so the portfolio design by Moo seemed perfect. I selected the luxe cards, because I’ve held them before, and the material feels incredible. I chose five images, and which one I hand out will depend on the conversation I have with the person.

I’m relieved to finally have my business cards. Being a waitress and not having any was nerve-wracking. I meet tons of people each day. You never know! Ready to order yours? If you’re new to Moo.com, use this code for free shipping: Q8S5KW.

Do you have any questions regarding the process? Let me know below or send me a tweet @TheWriteWoman.