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W E D N E S DAY, S E P T E M B E R 2 8, 2 0 1 1

OMAN

AWG team cooks up a treat on their day out

BRIEFS

45 infiltrators nabbed in Omani territorial waters MUSCAT: ROP's Coast Guard to arrested 45 infiltrators of Asian nationalities at the Omani territorial waters while they were trying to illegally enter the Sultanate. The Coast Guard boats took control of three boats belonging to the infiltrators at the coast of the wilayats of Sohar, Saham, Shinas and arrested all passengers on board. The Coast Guard Command arrested 35 infiltrators last Saturday while attempting to illegally enter the Oman. ROP has called upon citizens and residents to help in combating infiltration by informing the authorities through the emergency line (9999) or reporting to the nearest police station and not to employ these workers or facilitate their access to the Sultanate.

Focus on tourism at Moscow MOSCOW: The Autumn International Travel Exhibition concluded in the Russian capital, Moscow yesterday. The Sultanate took part in the exhibition with a pavilion that attracted many visitors at the exhibition. Specialized tourism companies also familiarised themselves with the tourism details of the Sultanate. Oman Air officially announced, in the Sultanate's pavilion in the exhibition, its direct flights from Moscow to Muscat starting from November 16. The publication and photos that depict the tourism places, archeological sites and the Omani Fankincense were distributed in the pavilion.

LEARNING THE TRICKS: Members of the AWG learn skills from Al Bustan chef Anuraj Nair.– TIMES OF OMAN

Badr presents paper in Sydney Under the supervision of Al Bustan’s chefs, the women of AWG learned how to cook up wonderful delicacies on their day out

SARAH MACDONALD sarah@timesofoman.com MUSCAT: Al Bustan Palace chefs shared some of their skills with 15 members of the American Women’s Group (AWG) yesterday and helped them prepare a gourmet, threecourse lunch. The AWG event, Meet the Chef, lets women access some of Muscat’s finest kitchens, learn some new cooking techniques, and eat delicious food. “How often do you get to cook under these conditions? It’s a treat,” said AWG member Christine Sowers, looking at the view of the sea from the Beach Pavilion Restaurant’s kitchen. Under the supervision of Al Bustan’s charming executive chef, Jean-Luc Amann, and three other

chefs, the women learned how to make a prawn and avocado timbale appetizer, a steamed king fish and vegetable entree, and a light French pastry dessert. Donning aprons and chefs’ hats, the women chopped and diced and stirred, all the while asking the chefs for their advice. Amann, who has been with Al Bustan for over 11 years, went back and forth between the pastry kitchen and the Beach Pavilion speaking with the women and lending a hand. “It’s lovely to see the women with a passion to cook,” he said, his eyes sparkling. Amann said he wants to promote nutritious, fresh food and tries to create menus that are healthy and balanced. He said he especially likes using herbs like Thai basil, lemongrass, and rosemary, and

too. New ideas come to me when I’m with them,” Huda explained. While many of the participants are passionate about cooking, some were there to learn skills to take home. Rani Rozario said her husband loves to cook so she planned on teaching him the recipes. "I've always enjoyed learning, and I’m signing up for every interesting event,” she added. When the cooking lessons were over, the women sat down with Chef Amann to enjoy their feast, and were treated to a visit from a representative of the cosmetic company Nuxe, which sponsors the AWG. The AWG has several other Meet the Chef events planned for the year. For more information visit their website at www.awgoman.com.

avoids using too much oil and salt. Anuraj Nair, head chef at the Beach Pavilion restaurant, said he has participated in several Meet the Chef events and always enjoys them because the women ask a lot of questions and are very interactive. He taught them how to make the appetizer and entree, which were light dishes to fit the season. “The fish pocket is simple and easy to make,” he said, as the women worked around him. Sharing skills Pastry chef Saiful Huda said he really enjoys the events, too, because he can share some basic skills and recipes. He also likes interacting and communicating new ideas with the women. “We can get a few lessons from them,

SYDNEY: A lecture titled 'Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)' was delivered at the University of Sydney as part of the Omani Cultural Days in Sydney. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry and Michael Jeffery, former Governor-General of Australia were present at the lecture. Sayyid Badr presented a working paper titled 'Sultanate & Australia and the Culture of Openness and Tolerance' during which he stressed that tolerance and openness contribute in facilitating trade and economic ties. The activities of the Omani Cultural Days in Sydney are presently underway at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.

Al Nuamani meets UK minister MUSCAT: Gen. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Nuamani, the Royal office minister, received at his office here yesterday Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development of the United Kingdom (UK), who is currently visiting the Sultanate. Gen. Al Nuamani welcomed the British official, who expressed his delight over the visit which reflects the importance attached by the governments of the two countries to enhance the existing cooperation between the Sultanate and the UK. The meeting also reviewed the steps to build the relations binding the two countries in various fields and means of promoting them to serve the common interests of the two friendly countries. They also touched upon a number of issues of common concern, as well as the diplomatic cooperation. – ONA

M U S C AT YOU T H S U M M I T

‘Need to create masterplan to meet Muscat’s urbanisation challenges’ MUSCAT: This week Times of Oman interviewed Peter Oborn, deputy chairman of Aedas Architects Ltd. Peter attended the Muscat Youth Summit 2010 and is back again for this year’s Summit. Excerpts: Tell us about some of the highlights from your participation in MYS 2010. Thirty years had elapsed since I first visited Oman, and I was very excited to have been invited to support the 2010 event. I was particularly excited to have been invited to help facilitate a workshop on the subject of ‘Urbanism’ as I had studied the (then) new town of Ruwi for my Masters dissertation. The workshop itself was terrific and the participants were incredibly engaged with the subject and very optimistic of their future. What struck me particularly was how thoughtful they were about the various topics we covered and how well they seemed to balance the desire for modern facilities with pride of their culture and an awareness of their environment and surroundings. What’s the focus of your MYS workshop? The theme of our workshop this year will be 'Sustainable Cities' and I am delighted to be joined this year by Matt Kitson from Hilson Moran. Matt has designed a very sophisticated tool by the name of SuBET (http://www.hilsonmoran.com/ Services/Sustainability/SuBET/ SuBET.aspx), which we’ll be using with the participants to help create a Sustainable Masterplan to accompany Oman’s Vision 2020.

‘Participants should give back to society’ MUSCAT: Raya Saleh Al Maskari attended Muscat Youth Summit 2010. She recently graduated in Graphic Design from The Scientific College of Design. Her opinion of the Youth Summit:

About 80% of the Omani population already lives in cities and that population is forecast to increase by 500,000 by 2020, almost doubling by 2050. This will obviously create a number of challenges

Tell us about some of the highlights from your participation in MYS 2010. The best part of it was mixing with young people from different countries and backgrounds. The Summit gave me the chance to develop my creative, problem solving and communication skills. It was an outstanding experience. What was the one thing that turned your head at MYS 2010? Four days of new experiences.

Peter Oborn Presenter at MYS 2010 What types of conversations and discussions do you hope will emerge during MYS 2011? About 80% of the Omani population already lives in cities and that population is forecast to increase by 500,000 by 2020, almost doubling by 2050. This will obviously create a number of challenges not just in terms of environmental sustainability, but also in terms of economic and social issues. My hope would be that our workshop will help create a framework that will enable the participants to become more engaged with these issues when they become the leaders of tomorrow. What do you hope will be the takeaway from your workshop?

In the afternoon session, we’re planning to facilitate a session in which the participants will work together to create their vision for Muscat in 2020 together with a masterplan for the greater Muscat area to accompany the government’s Vision 2020. What are your insights from working with young people? What’s unique about working with this generation? I love being surrounded by creative people, and was lucky to have achieved it when I was at Art College. I have been fortunate to find it in my work as well. The great thing about working with this generation is their ambition, their optimism and their energy.

As one gets older, life sometimes seems incredibly complicated but working with this generation reminds you of the things that really matter. What’s your life mantra? To always treat others as I would like to be treated myself and to be curious about everything. Who or what inspires you? Young people, because they make you challenge your preconceptions. What’s something concrete and tangible that you’ve learned in the last three months? It’s important to have a plan but it's more important to know when to change it!

What types of conversations and discussions would you like to see emerge during MYS 2011? I'd like two things: First, to see discussions on global warming, deforestation and alternative energy. Second, to see Summit participants encouraged to give back to their local communities and get involved. What do you hope will be the takeaway from MYS 2011? I hope the Summit encourages the participants to maximize their gifts and talents. How would you describe youth culture in a word? In two words - great potential. Which brands do you think are best connecting with young people today and why? Brand Oman – through the Muscat

Raya Saleh Al Maskari

Youth Summit - is a brand that speaks directly to the youth of Oman. What’s something challenging about the work you do? Being misunderstood. Juggling multiple tasks and time management. What’s your life mantra? Be yourself and make a difference. How has Facebook impacted your life? Facebook has had a huge impact on my life. As an artist, I set-up “Raya Arts” (http://www. facebook.com/pages/RayaArts/148002708568210) on Facebook in August 2010. Today, it has over 1,477 fans - people of different ages, from different countries and beliefs. Fantastic! Who or what inspires you? My family, friends, Facebook fans, members of the Online Arts Zone Group and participating at the Muscat Youth Summit.

MYS & Urban Planning  

Peter Oborn, Deputy Chairman of Aedas Architects Ltd and Raya Al Maskari MYS alumni