Meeting focuses on ‘brand Oman’
Muscat, June 29, 2009
Fourteen leading American academics recently held a roundtable discussion with prominent Omanis, with a focus on spreading greater awareness of brand Oman, said a top official of an Oman promotion unit.
The academics also shared their viewpoints on an array of issues surrounding economic development, culture, social affairs and education.
“Culture needs dialogue and dialogue needs culture,” said Sayyid Faisal Al Said, CEO, Oman Brand Management Unit (OBMU) and organiser of the OBMU – Amideast Eye on Oman cultural roundtable discussion held at the Muscat InterContinental Hotel.
“Given the rapid development in technology, countries, regions, peoples and communities are becoming more and more intertwined and interdependent,” said OBMU’s Alya Al Hosni.
“Cultural exchange and dialogue contributes to mutual understanding between societies and peoples and enriches lives. Indeed, understanding other cultures prevents prejudices, provides fresh insights and broadens our horizons. From the feedback received from Omani and American participants, the roundtable discussions were a big hit. We all went away enriched.”
“We all see the world through a particular lens that reflects our understandings, values, beliefs and norms,” said Abeer Al Jasim, general manager, Knowledge Horizon Training Institute and roundtable discussion participant.
“Understanding different cultures requires shifting our lens and broadening perspectives. If our lens is too narrow then perceptions get skewed,” he added.
“As a result, conflicts and tensions arise. But by expanding our cultural lens we can help facilitate understanding, encourage tolerance and promote respect. I was delighted to be involved in the event. It gave the visiting academics a fantastic opportunity to get to know Oman, its culture, history and people a little better.”
Abdullah Al Jufaili of Shell and another roundtable participant was equally upbeat. “People need to realise that culture isn’t a peripheral matter," he said.
"The ideas, ideals and creativity of people are the driving force behind economic and social development and it was fascinating to meet the visiting American academics and discuss a range of social, cultural and educational issues. It was a wonderful evening that benefited everyone involved," Al Jufaili concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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