Kafa/Enough! Oman Campaign

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kafa/Enough! Oman Campaign's manager/creator, Torey Beth Jackson for my column and here it is for you. If you're one of those who haven't heard of them, all you have to do is join in their Facebook group, take the Twitter survey or simply follow their blog.

(1)What inspired you to start the campaign?

Torey: During my study in Oman, the very first thing I was warned about was that the traffic situation in Oman wasn't exactly desirable. I was told that the accident rate for Oman's population was disproportionately high and that being in an accident was a very real risk to our safety. I made a mental note of it but it bad driving was never really a problem with me- both of my host parents were very safe drivers and we never had accidents. Even though I witnessed quite a few accidents in my stay in Oman, it never occurred to me to do something about it there and then. I guess I was so lost in the sheer beauty of Oman and the time of my life that I was having to realize that bad driving could affect me at any moment. It wasn't until I lost a very close friend in a car accident that I decided to do something, because suddenly, it was so real to me. It never, ever occurred to me that this could happen to me and to my circle of friends, and I was so devastated. I think the only word to describe how I felt is an Arabic word, and that's masdouma. Shocked. I decided to honor a great friend by starting a campaign to prevent this from happening to others; to prevent unnecessary deaths as well as utter heartbreak and sorrow that always follows the loss of someone in your life.

(2)How was the feedback you received at first?

Torey: At first, feedback was painfully small, albeit strong. I had support from good friends from the Facebook group's baby days, but it wasn't until very recently that support increased. And when we did get support, it poured in dramatically. Our group size doubled in about four days and comments were pouring in. This was so refreshing to see, because clearly, others agree something needs to be done about this.

(3)What is the exact aim of wanting to raise awareness about safe driving?
Torey: What this campaign is aiming to do is to spread the message of how important it is to drive safely. Driving is a complicated task, which many don't realize. Your actions while driving affect those driving around you, and it's so important to follow the "rules of the road" per se. Basically, I want to tell the whole of Oman- from down in Dhofar to the farthest point of Musandam and everywhere in between- that driving safely and correctly is so important, and may even save your life or the lives of others if an accident ever occurred. This has gone on for too long, and we have lost so many lives because drivers think it's okay to speed or talk on their cellphones while driving or overtake when they're not supposed to, etc. These deaths are so preventable, and they've got to stop. Everyone in Oman, young and old, needs to know how important it is to be responsible behind the wheel.

(4)What are you future plans for this campaign?

Torey: I plan to continue this campaign for as long as possible. In the beginning days, we had a long name: Society for Bettering Oman's Traffic Conditions, but in the past weeks, we've been totally revamping everything. We decided to change our name to the Enough! Oman Campaign, or in Arabic, حملة كفى! عُمان, as in we've had enough of bad driving in Oman. We are gaining a range of supporters quite swiftly these days, and we're currently branching out to other social networking sites other than our Facebook group. We created an online campaign blog where we post traffic tips as well as updates about the campaign. We are currently trying to decide if we should expand to Twitter by surveying our support group. I plan to keep growing our campaign and spreading the word about us and our message, and hopefully in the future, we may be able to organize an event, such as an awareness walk. In the meantime, we're working on gaining supporters from all over Oman, as well as the support of local businesses. Together, we can all work together to prevent deaths and spread the message of the importance of driving safely.

(5)Do you have any words you’d like to say to those who drive recklessly?

Torey: What do I have to say to reckless drivers?
It is never worth your life. Talking on your cellphone, speeding, overtaking illegally, or participating in a very popular thing among youth- drag racing- all of these things are not worth your life. Your calls can wait, you can be late, you can be patient, you can stay away from foolish things, because the people around you that love you are going to miss you terribly if something tragic as a death happened. It's never worth your life to do anything like those things. I remember when I got my license in the United States, the judge in the courtroom told us not to speed if we were late for something, because our loved ones would rather be late than dead. Keep this in mind. It's not worth your life. And I'd like if reckless drivers kept in mind that their actions affect others around you. Speeding, overtaking, anything like this- you are not only putting your life at risk, but others too. I am 100% sure that if you harmed or even killed someone because you were driving recklessly, you wouldn't be able to live with the guilt- that if I had done something differently, they'd be alive today. Keep it all in mind, and drive safely, please. For your sake and for others.


Rei said...

alright i confess am insane in driving -.- i get busted by -at least- 3 radars a day which got me grounded few times ... so sure i'll TRY to drive carefully .. someday =3

Squinty said...

I wish the campaign helps Oman, honestly. =)

I see a lot of accidents weekly because of someone not caring what or who is around him/her. They usually bump into cars, poles, pavements,... etc.

Till this day, what upsets me the most are people who drive as if they own the road. They jump from lane to lane without indicators AND drive either REALLY fast or REALLY slow... I really think the Omanis who say "Indians don't know how to drive!" should look at themselves and how THEY drive! -_-

Anonymous said...

can i get the number of the person running the Kafa Campaign

Anonymous said...

would it be possible to get the number of the person running the Kafa Campaign now.....