It looks like some pretty simple issue was keeping gnome-phone-manager from working with non-Nokia phones. And it should all be fixed in 0.20!
As an added bonus, you should be able to send and receive text messages with international characters. It's only lightly tested, and there's not really any ways to calculate the length of the message using gnokii. So whether your super long message in Arabic will work is anyone's guess. Stick to short messages.
Tom, I also had some vivid dreams recently. One was about being the owner of Aston Villa, and the "Philadelphia" basket-ball team (yeah, I know they're the Sixers), I kept waking up in a black cab somewhere near a park on the East Coast of the US thinking I should go back to England to check if I really owned that team. I need to stop the crack before going to bed, bad trip.