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Anisa Al Zadjali Hassan Meer Khalid Al Faisali Dr Khalidbin Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali Shaima Mugheiry Mohammed al Mughairi Saud bin Nasser al Hunaini Mohammed Al Ra biAhmed Al Harthy Ali Al Habsi Az zan & Hamad(Rohmi Brothers) Fatma Al Nabhani Habiba al Hinai Haji Shaban Al Balushi Hasan bin Juma A MubsiliKhalid bin Suleiman Al Siya Khamis Al Anbouri Mohsin Al Busa di Nabil Al Busaidi Nasser Al Maska Nizar Said al Shanfari Omar Bin Hel Al Ma’amari Saif Al Aghbari Dr. Adh Al Mawali Yuthar bint Mohammed A Rawahy Dr Badr Al Manthari Bushr Al Abdwuani Haitham Al Sinani Hil Al Siyabi Ibrahim Al Waili Mohab b Ali Bin Talib Al Hanaei Mustafa Sali Barami Tariq Al Barwani Amr Ali H biba Al Tawqi Kamil Al Hinai Majid Al Toky Maliha Al Abri Omar Adli A Sharif Sami bin Khalid Al Zadjali 2011

40 super achievers of the Sultanate


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Anisa Al Zadjali Hassan Meer Khalid Al Faisali Dr Khalidbin Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali Shaima Mugheiry Mohammed al Mughairi Saud bin Nasser al Hunaini Mohammed Al Ra biAhmed Al Harthy Ali Al Habsi Az zan & Hamad(Rohmi Brothers) Fatma Al Nabhani Habiba al Hinai Haji Shaban Al Balushi Hasan bin Juma A MubsiliKhalid bin Suleiman Al Siya Khamis Al Anbouri Mohsin Al Busa di Nabil Al Busaidi Nasser Al Maska Nizar Said al Shanfari Omar Bin Hel Al Ma’amari Saif Al Aghbari Dr. Adh Al Mawali Yuthar bint Mohammed A Rawahy Dr Badr Al Manthari Bushr Al Abdwuani Haitham Al Sinani Hil Al Siyabi Ibrahim Al Waili Mohab b Ali Bin Talib Al Hanaei Mustafa Sali Barami Tariq Al Barwani Amr Ali H biba Al Tawqi Kamil Al Hinai Majid Al Toky Maliha Al Abri Omar Adli A Sharif Sami bin Khalid Al Zadjali 2011

40 super achievers of the Sultanate


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“The human element is the

maker of a renaissance and the builder of a civilization.� His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said


desk FROM THE

TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT

O

ne doesn’t need to

of excellence in human spirit in the

editorial team comprising seasoned

the success journey of each of the

be born as a super

Renaissance age, many Omanis

journalists reviewed a wide base of

40 personalities, the efforts they

hero but unrelenting

have performed par excellence in

probables, shortlisted 40 achievers

have taken to reach the pinnacle of

dedication and focus

their respective domains by showing

and interacted with the select group

success, the difficulties they faced in

can make one a real life hero. It is

their exceptional talent, achieving a

to produce JAWHARAT OMAN –

achieving their goals and the vision

the power of human spirit that makes

feat not attained by any other Omani

40 SUPER ACHIEVERS OF THE

to build on their laurels. It explores

ordinary people do extraordinary

before and becoming the role model

SULTANATE. Though we have taken

the qualities they possess، which

things. The Sultanate of Oman has

for millions of people. It is high time

utmost care to select the best names

have made them stand out from the

been blessed with talented Omanis

we recognize and celebrate the

possible but it was not an easy task

crowd and inspire millions to take

who have raised the bar by mastering

achievements of these extraordinary

to choose just 40 from a wide pool

actions to achieve their goals.

skills to achieve extraordinary feats.

Omanis.

of talented Omanis. Our endeavor has been to showcase achievers

We must salute the builders of the

If we look into the recorded history of

JAWHARAT OMAN – 40 SUPER

from different fields and as a result,

nation for creating an environment

Oman, al-Khalil bin Ahmad al-Farahidi

ACHIEVERS OF THE SULTANATE,

probably, many deserving names

that facilitates the growth and

has been one of the most prominent

the first bilingual (English and Arabic)

have been left out in the publication.

development of an individual. They

Omani names that make every

publication of its kind, showcases

But this doesn’t undermine their

have fostered a sense of belief

Omani proud. For the uninitiated, he

such 40 incredible Omani nationals

accomplishments and they should

and instilled self-confidence in the

was a renowned philologist. His best

on a single platform. These Jewels

not construe that they didn’t deserve

people. Such positivism stimulates

known contributions are Kitab al-

of Oman are stars that have been

to be selected.

people to aim higher and achieve

’Ayn (considered the first dictionary

written about or individuals who are

of the Arabic language), the current

lesser known but have played an

The 40 super achievers, drawn from

standard for Harakat (vowel marks in

important role in bringing glory to

different walks of life, are divided

We

Arabic script), and the invention al-

the Sultanate with their courage of

into five sections – culture, sports,

chronicle of the best talent of Oman

’arud (the study of Arabic prosody).

conviction.

education & science, health and

will contribute towards illuminating

miscellaneous. A reader’s delight,

the power of hope and inspire the

the exclusive publication tracks

best in all of us!

Carrying forward the rich tradition

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Over a period of one year, our

their desirable goals. earnestly

believe

that

this


40 super achievers of the Sultanate

EDITORIAL SUPERVISION AKSHAY BHATNAGAR FATMA AL-ARAIMI SUSMITA DE EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTION KHALFAN AL-RAHBI GHALIB AL-FORI SUSHMITA SARKHEL Editorial Co-ordinator SARA SALIM AL-SADI ART Senior Art Director SANDESH S. RANGNEKAR Sr.Designer SHAMEER MOIDEEN Photographers RAJESH RAJAN MOTASIM AL BALUSHI Illustrations SANDESH S. RANGNEKAR PRODUCTION Production Head GOVINDRAJ RAMESH ADVERTISING & MARKETING Media Consultant FARHEEN AHMED CORPORATE Chief Executive - SANDEEP SEHGAL Executive Vice President - ALPANA ROY Vice President - RAVI RAMAN Senior Business Support Executive RADHA KUMAR Business Support Executive ZUWAINA SAID AL RASHDI DISTRIBUTED by UNITED MEDIA SERVICES LLC No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person or organisation acting or refraining as a result of material in this publication. We accept no responsibility for advertising content. Correspondence should be addressed to UNITED MEDIA SERVICES LLC, PO Box 3305, Ruwi, PC 112, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, TEL: 24700896 Fax +968 24707939 Copyright © 2011 United Press & Publishing LLC


CULTURE

18 hassan meer

22 khalid al faisali

24 khalid bin abdul rahim al zadjali

28 shaima ahmed mohammed al mughairi

30 saud bin nasser al hunaini

SPORTS

contents

16 anisa al zadjali

34 mohammed al rahbi

42 ahmed al harthy

46 ali al habsi

50 hamed al rumhy


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SPORTS

contents

54 fatma nabhani

58 habiba al hinai

60 haji shaban

64 hasan bin juma al mubsili

66 khalid bin suleiman al siyabi

68 khamis al anbouri

70 mohsin al-busaidi

72 nabil al busaidi

76 nasser al maskari

78 nizar said al-shanfari

80 omar bin helal al ma’amari

88 Dr adhra al mawali

92 yuthar al rawahy

HEALTHCARE

50 azaan al rumhy

82 saif al aghbari


96 Dr. badr manthari

98 bushra al abdwuani

100 haitham al sinani

102 hilal al siyabi

104 ibrahim al waili

106 mohab bin ali bin talib al hanaei

108 mustafa salim barami

112 tariq al barwani

118 habiba al tawqi

120 kamil al hinai

124 majid al toqy

126 maliha al abri

128 omar adli al sharif

130 sami bin khalid al zadjali

OTHER SUPER ACHIEVERS

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

contents

116 amr ali


CULTURE

AN INTEGRATED CULTURAL PANEL

The Omani environment has produced a number of talented poets, writers, singers and painters who have received high recognition not only in Oman but in the region and the world as well

I

t you look at the Sultanate

Taghroud, Al Wana, Touq al

Muscat International Book Fair

to assist the Omani artists by

of Oman either from the

Touq, Al Tahlola, Al Tasyif, Al

each year. The fair is getting

providing them with all facilities

north or the south or the

Dawasah, Women’s waila and

more positive response each

that enable Omanis to polish

east or the west,

you

Tayamuniyah; Al Dhahira region

year. There is also a festival for

their skills and follow the major

will easily notice the rich

is known Ayala, Razha, Al Azi,

the Omani poetry each two years.

developments taking place at the

mixture of cultural manifestations

Al Tariq, Al Taghrud, Al Humble,

The festival started in 1998 as a

regional and international levels.

that create a rare mix between

Al Zomar, Women Wailiyah and

replica for the traditional poetry

It also helps them to take part at

tradition and modernity. You will

Talmis.

competitions that was held in

the events organized inside and

the Arab regions many centuries

outside the Sultanate.

enjoy the folk dances, theatrical

ago.

arts, stories, novels, poems and

Al Sharqiah region is known for

songs, which altogether portray

Fasafiyah, Razha, Hmable, Al Azi,

the current picture of Oman.

Al Tariq, AL Taghrud, Alwanh, Sea

The

Oman,

artists and photographers who

songs, Al Madimah, Al Shobani,

which has received the blessing

do their best to showcase the

Omanis are known since ages

Al Maidan, Tchi Sha, Hambora,

of His Majesty the Sultan, is one

unique nature of the Sultanate.

for their interest in culture. The

Bin Abadi, Tanborah, Um Bom,

of the unique cultural projects.

diving journeys used to take

Al Muzainifinah.

The encyclopedia project aims

All of these and other factors

at preparing a comprehensive

make the Sultanate an ideal

them months. When the sailor

Oman has scores of talented encyclopedia

of

complete their journey and come

Muscat is known for some chants

reference book on Oman. It will

haven for creativity in different

back to shore, they bring with

and poems besides Al Houl Houl,

include all relevant aspects of

cultural

them various forms of cultures

Al Qarnqasho, Tayamuniyah and

human beings in Oman. The first

environment has produced a

and dances. Each region in the

Al Hajla. Al Wusta region is known

edition of this encyclopedia is

number of talented poets, writers,

Sultanate has its unique dances

for Al Razha, Al Azi, Al Tariq, Al

expected to be released by the end

singers and painters who have

Taghrud and Alunah. Dhofar is

of 2010. In 2006, Encyclopedia of

received high recognition not

known for Habot, Bara, Al Sharh,

the land of Oman, was issued.

only in Oman but in the region

is

Alrabuba, Gypsy dance, Al Madar

The encyclopedia includes the

and the world as well. We thank

known for Shellah and Alrmesa

, Al Shibaniyah, Ahmed al Kabir,

names of the towns and villages,

them for their dedication and

(Alremasip), Al Holwah, Al Dar, Al

Women dance and Lolwa.

monuments and natural features

hard work and wish them all the

of Oman.

best in their future endeavors to

and art performances. Musandam

governorate

Rowah, Al Sahba, Al Nadba, Al As part of the Sultanate’s in

and Al Azi; Dakhilyah region is

culture, Muscat was selected the

On the other hand, the Youth Art

known for Al Qasfiyah, Al Razha

capital of Arab culture in 2006.

Gallery and the Omani Society

, Al Hamble, Al Azi, Al Tariq, Al

The Sultanate is keen to organize

for Fine Arts make endeavors

jawharatoman2011

The

Omani

raise their names as well as the

Malayah, Al Tuminah, Al Mawlid

12

fields.

name of Oman high in the sky.


VIEWPOINT

Mosaic of vibrant culture

Originality, richness and diversity have long been the most important characteristics of Omani culture His

Majesty

established Renaissance Sultanate.

the a

Sultan

has

comprehensive throughout

The

the

Renaissance

which

(the preservation of) our cultural

capable of hosting a lot of

derived it strength and sustenance

heritage in all its material and

seminars, cultural events, festivals

from its rich historical heritage and

nonmaterial forms and contents.

and literary forums and contributing

its diverse literature and arts.

We give it utmost priority because

to many events at the Gulf, Arab

of its importance and significant

and international levels.

and

authentic

identity

was an overwhelming national phenomenon that has greatly

The dawn of the Renaissance

role in promoting and reviving the

influenced the economic, social

gave a fresh impetus to this

intellectual and artistic life. We are

In order to disseminate the Omani

and cultural aspects of Omani

cultural march which continued

proud of

a wide range of Omani

culture worldwide, the Ministry of

life. It raised the status of Oman

its journey with more enthusiasm

cultural and natural sites which

Heritage and Culture participate

at regional and international levels

and produced a lot of thinkers

are included in World Heritage

in several international forums

and restored the historic glories

and creators. The setting up of an

List. It is a clear indication of the

and cultural events, the latest one

and greatness of Omani civilization.

exclusive Ministry for Culture and

contribution of the Omanis over

being “Oman” exhibition which

Oman is endowed with a rich and

Heritage in 1976 was a remarkable

a period for building civilizations

concluded in April 2010 at the New

vibrant culture which dates back

stride towards preserving and

and connecting them with other

York Museum in Amsterdam, which

centuries and was enriched by a

conserving cultural resources and

cultures.“

attracted thousands of visitors

plethora of writers and historians

heritage sites in Oman. The vision

and heritage sites and ancient

of His Majesty the Sultan was

Therefore, the Ministry of Heritage

Apart from festivals, the Ministry

cities which played a crucial role

the main incentive for promoting

and Culture will function with

has organised Omani cultural

in moulding Omani society and

and diversifying Omani culture

a

and

days and weeks in many Arab and

culture. This culture has expanded

and making it famous world

ambitious

on

foreign countries. The Ministry has

and touched all areas of Omani

over.

In a speech delivered at

creating awareness among the

also taken initiatives to develop the

Originality, richness, and

the 33rd session of the General

people and developing their cultural

Omani culture on a par with other

diversity have long been the

Conference of the United Nations

capabilities on the foundations set

countries and promote the status of

most important characteristics of

Educational, Scientific and Cultural

by the architect of Oman’s modern

Oman at international forums. We

Omani culture. These elements

Organization (UNESCO) to mark

Renaissance.

are proud that we could promote

contributed significantly to give the

its sixtieth anniversary, he said,

Omani society an unambiguous

“We attach greater importance to

life.

HH Sayyid Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said Minister of Culture and Heritage

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from various European countries.

clear,

comprehensive vision

focusing

our culture and project the cultural As part of its plan to help

achievements in our country since

distinguished cultural initiatives,

the blessed Renaissance.

the Ministry of Heritage supports

cultural and intellectual activities

the creative, artistic and literary

have developed and improved

works by Omani writers, especially

considerably through its constant

the young writers. The Ministry has

interaction with the culture of other

printed and published their literary

countries that have ancient culture

and creative works as well as

and history. Our capital Muscat was

manuscripts and Omani historical

one of the prominent cultural cities

and heritage books in various fields

in the Arab world.

of knowledge. The Ministry also

its long history, the Sultanate has

promotes creative works inspired

been and remains to be influential

by Omani heritage and culture.

in the cultural landscape of the

We have rich cultural resources

region and beyond.

Our

Throughout


anisa al zadjali

designer

Power of conviction

Anisa A nisa d designs esigns a allll ttypes ypes o off Oman Omani fashions including including tthe he ttraditional raditional d dresses, ressses wedding dressing dressing a allll a att a affordable ffordable rrates ates and h high quality Besides B Be side si dess being de beeing a gifted gif designer, A An nis isa Al Zadjali Zad a jali is a successful Anisa bu usi sine ness sswo w ma m n. n She is the businesswoman. first fir st Omani Omaanii designer desi to get inte in tern r at rn atio ionall recognition. recogn international It was sh he who wh ho established e taablished Al Uns House es she fforr men’s fo men’ me n’ss and n’ an women’s wom fashion. Anis An i a designs is desiign de g s all ty Anisa types of Omani fa ash shio ions ns inc nclu udi d ng tthe traditional fashions including dr res e se ses, s, wedding wed dding dressing d dresses, all at aaffordable af ford fo rdab ablee rates and high quality. ab S Sh s ek se eks to to expand exp xpan her designs Shee seeks and an d co oll l ec ection n. collection. An nis isaa al Zidjali Zid idja j li sstudied in Al Anisa W Wa d A di All Ka Kabir schoo Wadi school and pursued h he univ un iversiity y study stu herr university at Majan Univ Un iver ersi sity ty College, Colleg University Business Admi Ad minist straati tion. She Sh has plans Administration. to get get Masters Mas aste t rs and PhD degrees in n b usin us ines ess admin business administration and d de esign esi g . gn design. Ac Acco cola lade la dess Accolades An nis i a received rece re ceiv ived ed the World Design Anisa Or rdeer from from m Moscow. Mosco Order Says she, “Alt “A lttho houg u h this ug th re “Although recognition is very ve ry valuable val alua u bl b e for me, m I will only feel fe el satisfied sat a is isfie fied when whe I received reco re co ognit i io ion from our beloved recognition lead le ader er, His Hi Majesty M jest the Sultan Ma leader, aafter af terr which te w ic wh ich h I will w ll feel wi fe that all my goal go alss have hav been bee een accomplished. ac goals I am v ver ery y proud pr d of being be very an Omani and an d en enjo j y such impressive enjoy de eveelo lopm pmen ents in al developments all walks of life unde un derr the the wise wi guidance gui under of His M Ma jest je sty y Su Sultan Qab Majesty Qaboos Bin Said, who wh o iss a source of o inspiration forr us fo u all all iin n term terms of careful

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planning, sound thoughts and determination to turn goals and dreams into reality. Anisa also got a number of shields and medals from the private and public sector organizations. Each of these awards acted as an impetus for her to double her efforts to reach new heights. Participations She participated in 15 exhibitions inside the Sultanate including Muscat 2008, Business magazine show at Intercontinental Beauty Exhibition in Al Bustan Palace Hotel as well as the fashion show at Al Noor Auditorium to mark the Woman’s Day. As for foreign participations, Anisa said that she participated in a number of shows including the Omani Fashion Show in Germany, which was held on the sidelines of the Omani Cultural Week in Berlin. She also participated at the Oman Fashion Show in Libya as part of the Oman Cultural Week in Libya and the Omani Fashion Show in Manchester in collaboration with Student Association in Manchester, the Omani Fashion Show in Leeds to

mark the National Day; the Omani Fashion Show in Geneva, the Omani Fashion Shows in Beijing, on the sidelines of Shanghais Expo. She also participated in the Omani fashion shows organized in Minsk in Belarus to mark the National Day in 2010, Moscow in 2010; Millburn and Tokyo as part of the Omani Cultural Week in Tokyo 2010. Cherished dreams Anisa cherishes the dream of being an internationally renowned name in the field of design and business and that her brand will have strong presence in Europe as this will help her to position Oman in the global map. The biggest dream for her is to get recognition from His Majesty the Sultan and become the ambassador of the Omani fashion arena.

and expand the business of Al Uns House and other businesses to prove to everyone that the Omani woman is capable of playing an active role in building her society.

“The biggest challenge I faced and is still facing is the soaring rent costs and a lack of commercial and industrial land to set up a special factory for garments. There is also a lack of trained human resources,” she said. But she doesn’t baulk at obstacles. She rather seeks to overcome them

Word of thanks Anisa expressed her thanks for all those who contributed to her success, especially her father Moosa al Zadjali and her sister, Mariam. Anisa advises all those who has talents should nurture them and add to their knowledge constantly.

Her biggest dream is to get recognition from His Majesty the Sultan and become the ambassador of the Omani fashion arena


hassan meer

painter

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jawharatoman2011 jawharat toman20 22001111

Poignant strokes

In the turmoil of globalisation, Hassan Meer’s work, portrayed through new forms of art, is very thought provoking


Winner of several awards including the Golden Palm from the second exhibition of the Gulf States, Hassan Meer is an acclaimed Omani artist who has made his presence felt on the global platform. He has exhibited extensively in Oman and abroad for the past 20 years. If there is one word that would describe Hassan Meer, it is “versatile.” Whether through traditional semi-abstract painting, video projections or photography, he has touched upon numerous mediums of expression with élan while capturing the period of Oman’s transition. His resourcefulness in his chosen field is lauded by discerning minds. His work reflects not only his

deep spiritual explorations, but addresses pertinent social issues and the effects of globalisation on the Gulf world. It was January 26, 1972. Muscat was celebrating Id amidst torrential rains. Meer’s family remembers the day vividly for the reason that Hassan Meer was born on this auspicious day in his ancestral home at Muscat. Hailing from a mercantile background, Hassan received a good schooling and was raised in a liberal environment. With a penchant for music, he grew up listening to Cat Stevens, Om Kurthum and Fareed Al-Alatrash of the 60’s and 70’s. His mother, who had a taste for music and art,

gave all her support. In 2000, he completed his Masters in Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, USA. It was at this opportune time that he began his explorations in the medium of video art. The Circle of creativity Meer organized the first exhibition of the “Circle” series in Muscat, together with his peers


in 2000. Promoting and nurturing experimental forms of art within Oman was the main purpose behind such a move. Eventually, it caught global attention and Oman was launched on the global platform of art. The Circle series was exhibited throughout the world with the very purpose of promoting themes related to Omani culture, portraying through new media. So large is the Circle now, of which Meer is the curator, that it includes artists from the Gulf, Lebanon, South Africa, Austria, Japan, Morocco, and Germany. Changing times Prior to discovery of oil, Oman’s mainstay was trading and pearlhunting. Its business was restricted to India and Africa and did not stretch beyond their borders. There was a paradigm shift once oil was discovered. Tall buildings and swanky cars filled up Oman’s landscape. Hassan captured this transition of Oman in his photograph. His self-confidence and vision led the way. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Bait Muzna Gallery in Muscat, Oman, under the title Kan Ya Ma Kan (Once upon a time) had brought together artists who bring

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out the impact of these changes in the social structures; artists dealt with the theme in myriad ways, using video projections, conceptual photography, large scale photographs and composite images. Hassan Meer’s Reflection from the memories was a soulful contribution to this end. The life in Oman in sixties and seventies is well expressed in Hassan Meer’s work, which is a series of photographs inspired by his memories. “When I entered my grandfather’s house a few years ago, I found nothing but broken walls. The emptiness of the house brought me back to the memory of my family. I started creating a series of photographs inspired by the soul of our old house,” reminisced Meer. With nostalgia and pathos for disappearing ways of life, Meer dealt with the theme poignantly. Meer’s work goes beyond the obvious. I‫ ﹼ‬t narrates his questioning of the mortality of man and examines local rituals. Identity, along with nationalism, comes across as a strong conviction of Meer which is the essence of his work. He expresses traditional themes through cutting-edge

contemporary media of video art. Rich cultural and historical heritage are expressed in abstraction. Both Meer’s paintings and photography reveal the connection between modernisation and Oman’s indigenous culture. “Art to me is a language and a medium through which I seek to discover the state of human mind and the contradiction he undergoes in the midst of today’s cultural and civilization conflict. I realize the paramount importance employing new tools and artistic devices that are more capable in portraying and expressing contemporary issues,” says Hassan Meer. He

set the trend of video art which earned appreciation at the Fifth International Cairo Biennale. Once again his vision paved the way for progressive ideas. Today Hassan Meer is a mentor for budding talents through different programmes like Al Fenyatahadeth.

Contemplation and spiritual quest are reflected in Meer’s work of art


khalid al faisali

singer

The Voice of Music The Golden Nightingale, Gulf Star, Omani Song Ambassador, Khalid Al Faisali is known by many names‌ Khalid Bin Juma bin Harib Al Siyabi, more popularly known as Khalid Al Faisali, indeed has a golden voice. Back in 1999, Faisali started singing at the activities of the General Organization for Youth. His artistic debut was in 2008 at the Omani Songs Festival where he mesmerised the audience and was quickly nominated as the Golden Nightingale. Following this Faisali performed in multiple concerts throughout the region including: Muscat Festival, Salalah Tourism Festival, operettas at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Heritage, 3rd Arab forum in Sharjah, Gulf Stars, Gulf Round in Morocco and even at a Graduation ceremony of Omani students in Egypt. However, his most cherished performances were at the Orphan Day celebrations and the GCC Round Conference in Morocco, where he was genuinely astonished to see such a large turn out.

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Faisali claims that the progress of the artist within him should be attributed to his family and close friends, who’ve always supported and stood by him. “I’m particularly indebted to Saeed Al Dhamri (Abu Al Raim), who is now my manager. I would also like to thank poet Osama Badaway and Hamed Nasser Al Ham and composers like Salim Al Maqrashi, Fathi bin Mohsen and Saeed Al Kaabi for giving me the opportunity to sing such beautiful songs,” says he. Referring to the challenges he faced during the initial moments of his career, Faisali says, “No field is exempt from difficulties at the beginning and one of the major obstacles that I faced generally was the lack of support. Society poses one of the hardest challenges, though it is from the society that an artist gets his or her recognition. Frankly speaking, we as Omani artists, get our publicity mainly from outside the Sultanate, because there aren’t many avenues for the growth of an artist. There is no production company in the Sultanate to support Omani artists and adopt him from the very beginning. An already matured and famous artist is adored and respected, but we are not ready to support and help a budding artist to grow.” Faisali aspires to disseminate traditional songs throughout the world in his songs. He had learned playing Oud for four years before beginning his musical career and loves Omani

heritage. Often ignored by other singers, this genre of music holds a lot of potential, believes Faisali. “It’s because of this that I began exploring traditional songs. One simply can’t do justice to these beautiful songs, but the least I can do in this regard is to present these songs to the world in my voice,” says he.The melodies and lyrics of the songs that he sings are derived purely from Omani tradition. Thanks to Faisali that these songs are now resonated across the GCC countries and finally getting the exposure they deserve. Faisali loves the music of George Wassouf and Rashid Al Majid and believes that the reason why there aren’t as many artists like them is because of the lack of support from production companies for emerging artists. “Budding talents have to work hard and find out a production company who can take them under their wing. But the problem is that production companies are not ready to develop these artists.

What they mainly seek is one-hit wonders to help them make a quick buck.” Faisali hopes to set up an association to help artists like them. “We, as Omani artists, are looking forward to setting up an association or a union for Omani artists. If we are united, it will be greatly helpful in reducing so many difficulties we face,” says he.

Faisali hopes to set up an association to help budding artists


khalid bin abdul rahim al zadjali

film director

Director’s cut

Dr Khalid bin Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali had walked that extra mile to develop a film culture in the Sultanate 24

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Little did anyone know that a child, who perched on a balcony rooftop and enjoyed watching Hindi movies, would oneday in his prime, become a key figure in Oman’s film and television fraternity! The process started quite early in life. Khalid bin Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali’s parents were avid watchers of Indian movies in the 60s and 70s. These movies were popular in the region with considerable impact on people’s lifestyle. Khalid’s parents would take him to cinemas where he would watch it for free on the balcony rooftop. “I was enormously affected by the movies that I saw and Vinod Khanna (Indian actor) was my favourite,” reminisces Dr Khalid. His passion for cinema lingered on and in his adolescence, he would sneak out of home with his friends for a matinee show. By 16, he has watched around 300 Indian films and was fairly well-informed about Bollywood. Khalid’s father bought a TV which exposed him to Pakistani, Irani and American movies and

helped him to widen his mental horizon. With a penchant for performing arts, Khalid joined the Government-sponsored Youth Theatre as an actor. It was 1981 and he was still a schoolboy. However, after sometime, Khalid felt constrained being an actor and yearned for going beyond the scope of acting and making it big. He started working as an assistant director in theatres. Later on, Khalid went to Kuwait to study acting, directing and theatre. But once into the course, he realized it focused more on acting and not so much on directing. He approached Oman’s Ministry of Higher Education and got the approval for studying filming in Cairo in Higher Institute of Cinema in 1984. At this point he felt he got what he wanted. He studied bachelor’s degree for five years and the curriculum included editing, acting, scriptwriting with major emphasis on directing. After graduation, Khalid directed


TV serials, of which Alurs (Wedding) and mun taha (Bull Fights) won awards for best TV serials in the Arab region. These four years were a very gruelling time for Khalid. He made many documentary films and TV live programmes, for which the scripts were written by him mostly. He initiated a cinema club in one of his TV programmes which screened films and presented critiques’ viewpoints. By this time, Khalid has earned recognition as a good director even though he was hungry for a big leap and wanted to do more. Post 1994, Khalid went to Rumania for a Phd on the aesthetics of films. His second Phd was from University of Hull, UK in 2002. This time it was on children’s drama. As Khalid was growing as a director, he felt the need to raise awareness among people for good cinema. Though an effort is visible to bring good films through the Muscat Film Festival, Khalid feels there is a definite shortage of manpower, infrastructure, and technicians and it’s a long way to go as the cinema in Oman is still at a nascent stage. “We make 200 short films and documentaries. But it might take a decade

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to be able to make movies. Qualification and experience to make films are not here in Oman,” says he. He felt the need for a cultural club felt strongly. Accordingly, a cultural club was formed in 1998 which eventually became Oman Film Society in 2003. It launched the first Muscat International Film Festival and other programmes and gradually support from Government started percolating. Later, Oman Film Festival was also launched at local level. Khalid Al Zadjali is a busy man now as he has been appointed as the Assistant Director-General of Oman TV producing 4/5 TV serial every year. He has produced and directed the only Omani film Alboom, awarded at an Indian Film Festival. Busy networking with French, Cairo, festival organisers, Khalid is also offering courses in direction and production at Al Bayan College. For promoting the cause of Omani films, Khalid’s efforts are prolific and praiseworthy. Reward for it comes in the form of grants received from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and growing awareness of people in Omani drama, film and theatre.

In Oman, an effort is visible to bring good films through the Muscat Film Festival


shaima ahmed mohammed al mughairi

painter

Paints of Sand and Hope

An artist with unique talent for sand painting, that also at a tender age, Shaima Ahmed Mohammed Al Mughairi brings joy to people around herself and glory to her family

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The 16-year old Omani sand painter Shaima Ahmed Mohammed Al Mughairi has shown an extraordinary talent in the TV show “Arab’s Got Talent.” Her unique relation with the desert inspires her to create pieces of art with sand. Since her third grade, Shaima has shown an amazing interest in drawing with whatever tools in hand. With the support she got from her mother and school in the UAE (where she is currently based) she succeeded to be her family’s miracle girl with her water, oil, wooden paints. Shaima says, “My family and school have provided me with all kinds of support I needed. My mother is always with me. Wherever I participate, she is behind me and that gives me a feeling that I am invincible. My teachers made sure I have time to practice during the school hours.” In the seventh grade, she has chosen the sand to start a new path in her artistic life. Unveiling the new logo of Omantel in 2010 was one of her main participations. She has also participated in almost 15 exhibitions in the UAE and received invitations to participate in international exhibitions. Through her participations she managed to win around 22 awards and says, “I look for more.”

Initially she spent around one hour for each drawing. Now, she is able to draw portraits within 15 to 30 minutes. Through her recent participation in the big TV show, “Arab’s Got Talent,” she amazed the jury by drawing a portrait in less than five minutes! Her love for Art is unlimited but what bothers and saddens her the most is that she can’t keep them with her. “They are sand at the end. I keep photographs only,” she explains. The teenage artist dreams of

becoming one of the best in fine arts and says, “I want to start my own gallery one day. On the other hand, I wish to get my Masters degree and PHD as an architect.” Apart from drawing, Shaima also likes to design invitation cards, photography, Henna drawing, swimming and playing basketball. That doesn’t mean that she pays less attention to her studies, she has also been awarded as an excellent student in the UAE. What more a family can wish for!

In the recent TV show, “Arab’s Got Talent,” Shaima amazed the jury by drawing a portrait in less than five minutes!


saud bin nasser al hunaini

painter

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Art of the Matter

Artist and painter par excellence, Saud bin Nasser Al Hunaini certainly needs no introduction


His name has been synonymous with art for closely two decades and his works have won international acclaim. Saud bin Nasser Al Hunaini is the youngest of the Al Hunaini brothers and one of the most talented artists in Oman today. Hunaini, who has completed his Masters in Art at Warrington University, US, has won multiple awards for his paintings. Perhaps the most prestigious one for him was His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Prize for Cultural Creativity in the field of Fine Arts in 2006. His other accolades also include: first place in the ‘Qaboos Oman’ contest, first place in the GCC Exhibition in Kuwait for two consecutive years as well as the Innovation Award of Omani Society for Fine Arts. Back in 1992, he also bagged first place in GCC Youth’s Art Exhibition held in UAE.

This immensely talented artist was born in a family of artists and he learned drawing from his two brothers Khamis and Abdullah (both renowned artists). Hunaini along with his brothers joined the Youth Art Studio in 1980, which was under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. “His Excellency Yahya bin Mahfouz Al Manthari, who was then the Minister of Education, used to visit the studio constantly. At that time, I was 13 years old,” recalls Saud. “The Ministry would arrange all the educational facilities and arrange visits to exhibitions both within and outside the Sultanate.” Hunaini’s first exhibition in Oman was in 1980 and his first international appearance was in Kuwait just three years later in 1983. Then in 1993 he joined the Omani Society of Fine Arts. Later, in 1995 Hunaini and his brothers organised a series of exhibitions

for three years (1995, 1996 and 1997). Since then Saud has also participated in many other exhibitions abroad including, Europe, US and Australia. Hunaini’s paintings have different styles as well as subjects but the two most striking features are expressionist and realistic. The ones focusing on national

symbols, heritage and landscapes of Oman are mainly realistic while his expressionist paintings delve into a variety of topics related to international problems and world peace. And his love and passion for Omani heritage is amply evident in his works. Says he, “My first painting was that of two forts in Ibra,” says Hunaini. “But a three-dimensional realistic


received from the Omani Society of Fine Art. He says, “The Society confers a great importance to Omani painters and also gives us tools and painting paraphernalia. But the general lack of people’s interest in painting exhibitions is the real problem we face today. Art is a taste. And I, as an artist, know why people are reluctant to attend the art galleries. Omani artists have developed rapidly and their works now span realism, surrealism and experimentalism. However, the public have not received the same opportunities to understand, appreciate and keep abreast of this development. And thus we see a certain disinterest towards art.”

painting portraying Omani heritage is what I consider my best piece of work till date.” As for his inspirations, Hunaini says there have been many. “I was influenced by Rembrandt because of his theories of light and shadow and I learned realism

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from the painting of Leonardo da Vinci. Salvador Dali and his unparalleled views and distinctive surreal pictures have also played a role in influencing my work.” No doubt his works have won the admiration of many art lovers and Hunaini is keen to acknowledge the tremendous support he has

Despite this, Hunaini remains positive about the future of art in Oman as well as his own. Hunaini would like to keep improving his work and create his own signature style and says, “Besides, I also want to document Omani heritage with my paintings and drawings in three dimension.” For that and more, we wish him all the best!

Hunaini remains positive about the future of art in Oman as well as his own


mohammed al rahbi

author

Creative Thoughts Al Rahbi is now working on his new novel, The Master Passed from Here, inspired by the autobiography of Sayyid Said bin Sultan al Yaarubi 34

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Born in 1967, Mohammed al Rahbi, joined Oman newspaper in 1987 as an editor for the culture, art, entertainment, children and readers’ letters sections. He was also the correspondent of Al Hayat newspaper of London. Now a media expert at the office of Diwan of Royal Court Minister, he covers numerous conferences and events in the Sultanate and outside. Also a member of the jury panel at the literary forum, Al Rahbi published a number of articles in Omani and Arab newspapers and magazines. He composed a number of poetry books such as Muscat Gates (1994), What the Wind Has Said, Dar Al Shrouq Cairo (1999) alongside myriad articles under the title Muscat 2000. His play Elegy of A Monster was

staged in 1998. It was also staged at Cairo Festival for Experimental Theatre after it received wide applaud when staged at Muscat Youth Festival. The play was staged more than 20 times till date. H.E. the Director General, another of his play, was also staged as part of the 1st Omani Cultural Week 2001. The Arrow was staged at the opening of the Omani Youth Theatres in September 2001. Al Rahbi authored a travelogue called The perfume of places where he described vividly about the places he visited and the impressions they left in his mind. This book, which is a rare type in Oman, takes its readers in tours around many cities. As for his books Salma Confession and The 40s Confession, Al Rahbi


AWARDS LITERARY FORUM COMPETITION Ranked second for the story Assassination moment Ranked second for the story The Sheppard (1993) Ranked second for the story Ruins of a dream, (1996) Ranked second place in Salalah competition for his story Seasons of Muna, the Seasons of Alienation and Rain (1996) Ranked first for the collection, What the wind has said, 1998. Ranked first for the play H.E the Director General, 1999 Local cultural competition Ranked second at competition organized by the Youth Panel for the story Bin Suhail (1997) Ranked second for his play Elegy of a monster, (1997) Ranked second for his story The Dream, (1998) Ranked for the play Messages to whom this may concern, (1998) Cultural Club competition Ranked first for What the wind has said, 1999 Omani Cultural Week Ranked second for best publication, What the wind has said

Al Rahbi’s book Salma Confession was translated into Russian language after the great success it enjoyed in the Arab region

said, ‘I did not intend to speak about ego. It is rather an attempt to approach a particular stage of human emotion, which I felt was important to document. I approached the issue of privacy in a way that would serve the general purpose only. The difference between the two confessions might seem very marginal. In the 40s Confession, it was an attempt to approach

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the ego to serve the purpose of the story. The story got rave reviews.” It should be mentioned here that Salma Confession was translated into Russian language after the great success it enjoyed in the Arab region. Through his novel Al Khasht, Al Rahbi tried a number of methods,

such as, recounting as in the traditional game. “I divided the novel into 28 chapters, the same number of holes in this traditional game. The game carries the name of the four heroines of the novel. I tried to write in the Omani colloquial language, which is very simple and neutral. The novel is an attempt to utilize new techniques in my writing. It should be noted that these events

in the novel may be shocking to some readers but still they are part of our reality. The heroes and heroines of the novel are normal people like you and me,” added Al Rahbi. As of now, Al Rahbi is working on a new novel called The Master Passed from Here. It is inspired by the autobiography of Sayyid Said bin Sultan al Yaarubi.


SPORTS

FOR THE LOVE OF SPORTS

Omanis enjoyed sports since the early years of the Renaissance with great interest and patronage from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This sector over the past years is making significant strides

The Omani man’s love for sports

4-The Omani Tennis Association

in Muscat. Many Omanis who

Nasser al Maskari also won the

is deep rooted despite the fact

5-The Omani Handball

were studying or working abroad

gold medal of 75 kg category at

that he lacked knowledge on how

Association

practised this sport as well. The

the same competition despite

to practise sports and utilize the

6-The Omani Basketball

Omani

Association

the tough competition by 45

required resources. The Omani

Association

was established in 1978 and

countries from different parts of

man made use of the available

7-The Omani Swimming

joined the Asian Association in

the world. The Sultanate got the

resources, therefore, he excelled

Association

1979 and the FIFA in 1980. The

first place in this competition,

in riding horses and camels long

8-The Omani Equestrian

major achievement made by the

which is an added value for

time ago. Many Omanis were

Association

Omani national football team

the Omani bodybuilding sports

renowned figures in horse riding.

9-The Omani Camel Race

was winning the 19th version

which is still blooming. Haji also

The Omani man also loved sports

Association

of the Gulf Cup which was held

won the gold medal at the world

as he saw sports as a proper

10-The Omani Athlete

in Muscat after winning the final

competition. Al Maskari also won

means to maintain physical and

Association

game versus Saudi Arabia. The

the gold medal of the Arab clubs

mental fitness.

11-The Omani Body Building

team also came first runner up in

competition.

The sports sector has been

Association

the previous two versions of the

accorded with great care and

12-The Omani Shooting

competition.

support by His Majesty Sultan

Association.

Football

Hockey is considered one of the deep rooted sports at the Omani

Horse races are among the most

society as they practised it long

The Omani sports have witnessed

favorite sports by Omanis. The

time ago after they saw some

Renaissance. Many laws and

impressive

and

Omani Equestrian Association is

Asians practise this lovable sport.

regulations were put in place to

intensified

in

also organizing a number of horse

The sport has become common

regularize the establishment of

the regional and international

and carriage races, tent pegging

in areas outside Muscat such as

sports clubs at the different parts

competitions;

the

and shows for the most beautiful

Dhofar governorate and the Al

of the Sultanate. Many sports

support of H.M. the Sultan to

horses. It also participates at the

Batinah region.

complexes and centers were also

sports and sportsmen.

various regional and international

The

established at the various parts of

His Majesty the Sultan also

competitions

endurance

event was the hosting of the 2nd

the Sultanate to help the young

gave royal orders to establish

races. The races are organized

Asian Beach Games 2010 which

Omani men and women practise

Sultan Qaboos Academy for

regularly at the different parts of

attracted a number of renowned

sports. A number of professional

the

the Sultanate.

sportsmen from the different

associations were also set up

Capabilities.

The

such as:

When the popularity of football

sports has made great inroads

organization of the event proved

1-The Omani Football

has become nationwide, many

in 2010 when the international

that Oman has the capabilities

Association

Omani youth were deprived of

body builder Haji bin Shaban

to

2-The Omani Volleyball

the resources and pitches to

al Balushi won the gold medal

world

Association

practise their favorite game. A

in 90 kg competition at Arnold

Omanis should feel proud of the

3-The Omani Hockey

number of sportsmen organized

Classic completion in the U.S.A.

impressive achievements they

Association

the first completion at early 50s

The international body builder

have made in sports.

Qaboos Bin Said since the early

38

years

of

the

blessed

jawharatoman2011

development their

presence

thanks

Development

of

to

Sports

Omani

and

body

building

most

Asian

prominent

countries.

organize

An

sports

efficient

continental

competition.

In

and short,


VIEWPOINT From the dawn of the Blessed Renaissance, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and his government have accorded greater importance to the development of sports in the country. Therefore, this sector has made significant strides during the past 40 years. Several laws and legislations were

Significant Strides The recent Royal orders of His Majesty the Sultan for a study to set up Sultan Qaboos Academy for the sports development is undoubtedly a crucial initiative worth mentioning

enacted to improve the sport organisation. During this time, several clubs came into existence in the wilayats across the Sultanate. The government has given all sorts of supports for these clubs including the help for setting up offices and other facilities. The government has set up sports complexes in Bowshar, Sohar, Nizwa, Salalah, Musandam, Sur, and Ibri and set up many sports federations. The Ministry of Sports came into existence as per the Royal Decree 112/2004 issued on October 10 in 2004. The Ministry was tasked with the responsibility of working for the development of sports in the country. As per Royal Decree No. 81/2007, the law for particular sports federation was enacted. As per the law, they will be working according to the law of international and continental sports federations. This was followed by the first elections for the Board of Directors of various sports federations. In 2009, Omani sports strategies were adopted in which experts from various government agencies and community organizations were involved. The development of sports in our country and the remarkable achievements of our athletes and players has been made possible, thanks to the patronage and care given by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. The recent Royal orders of His Majesty the Sultan for a study, to set up Sultan Qaboos Academy for the sports development, is undoubtedly a crucial initiative.

HE Eng Ali Bin Mas’oud Bin Ali Al Sunaidi Minister of Sports Affairs

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ahmad al harthy

adventure sportsperson

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Need For Speed Perhaps one of the best drivers to hail from the Middle East, Ahmad Al Harthy is increasingly becoming a popular face in the racing circuit


Ahmad Al Harthy’s dalliance with racing began at the local Go-Karting centre when he was just about seven or eight years old. Back then it was just a hobby and although Al Harthy would keenly follow the F1 races on the television, little did he know that one day he too would be racing on the very same tracks. He completed his schooling in Oman and moved to the UK to pursue his undergraduate studies in finance and accounting. In the UK as well he’d never pass up the opportunity to enjoy the sport with his friends. Then one day, Al Harthy received a call from a friend asking him if he’d be interested in participating in a 24 hour race in Oman with his team. “Back then I didn’t think much of it,” says Al Harthy. “I figured I’d racked up enough air miles so I thought I’d as well join them,” he adds light-heartedly. That was his first ever competition and his team performed really well. Al Harthy checked his timings and found out that they were certainly competitive. The following year Al Harthy again got the opportunity to compete and this time his team finished third. Then in 2005, just before he was supposed to start working, Al Harthy got the chance to go and race in Bahrain. “It was really a big deal for me. Participating as a team from Oman really felt good,” he commented. And as expected, they performed brilliantly as a team. Their lap times were incredible and they proved to be great competitors. It was in Bahrain that Al Harthy got spotted. He then joined the Middle East Championship in 2006. It was the first time a formula championship was being represented by an Omani and Al Harthy decided that there was no turning back. Time had come to take the next big leap in racing, it was time to turn professional. Al Harthy says that it was Mohammed Al Wohaibi’s guidance at that stage which was crucial. He suggested Al Harthy go to England and learn the trade there. The concept of an Omani racing team thus began taking shape. Al Harthy moved to England and that’s when Formula Renault began for him. In 2007, he was the first Arab driver ever, to score Championship points and then later on, the first one to stand on a podium. Al Harthy was gaining momentum and showed no signs of slowing down. With every year, he kept getting better. Finally in 2009, he completed Formula Renault as Vice Champion. “It was a great moment for me and the Championship gave me the chance to test my driving against some of the elite drivers. Formula Renault is a stepping stone to bigger racing events and many of the big names in racing have started their careers here, including the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. So it‘s a Championship of a strong pedigree,” says he. Contrary to what it may seem, Al Harthy’s journey


hasn’t been a cakewalk. He had to make some very crucial decisions and being the first ones from the Sultanate to enter a sport like this, Al Harthy knew it was going to be hard and was prepared to face the challenges. And the more challenges he faced, the more motivated he became. “One of the hardest decisions I had to make was when I decided to leave my job as an external auditor with a prestigious audit firm in Oman. But I wanted to pursue my passion for racing whole-heartedly and I didn’t want to go down the line and think ‘What if…?’ It was a calculated risk and so far, it’s been paying off.” Al Harthy’s humility is refreshing. He is quick to admit that he couldn’t have done all this without the tremendous support from his parents, his family and the country. Although his parents aren’t from a sporting background, they have been

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extremely supportive of his career and all his decisions. “It feels great when you get appreciated for what you’re trying to so and when people believe in you, you automatically get motivated to give it your best.” One of the main messages Al Harthy has been trying to get across is that there are a lot of safety measures that are taken while racing. “The whole environment is controlled. We wear protective gear and have six seatbelts strapping us down. It’s not the same on the streets and it’s never safe to speed. I’m focussing on spreading road safety awareness. It is important to remain calm and relaxed on the road. There’s no need to seek out the thrill that speed brings, leave that for the tracks.” Al Harthy is a die-hard sports fan and when he’s not racing or watching football matches, he

can be found playing with his PlayStation (racing, of course!). He hopes to open up the path for aspiring drivers who want to make a mark in the sport and strongly believes that one should believe in what one does. “It’s always important to enjoy what you’re doing. The moment you stop enjoying it, you know it’s time to either get a fresh perspective or you’ve come to the end of the line.” Well, we certainly hope to see more of Ahmad Al Harthy, and hope that he enjoys racing for a long, long time to come!

Al Harthy hopes to open up the path for aspiring drivers who want to make a mark in the sport


ali al habsi

footballer

Guard of Honour

Proud of his Arab roots, Habsi desires to promote Oman’s name internationally

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Ali al Habsi is today a name to reckon with. Watching him playing football can be a delightful experience. “It all started when I played football at my village and enjoyed playing goalkeeper with my colleagues at school,” says Al Habsi. Born in December 30, 1981 at Al-Ainain village of Al-Mudhaibi wilayat of Oman, Ali Al Habsi played first as an attacker with the Stars Team, and became a goalkeeper when he moved to AlMudhaibi club. Studying by day and playing in the evening, Habsi was trained in the art of goalkeeping by his brother Abdel Aziz Al-Habsi, coach of Sultan Qaboos University and AlMudhaibi club. He was, then, chosen for the junior national team. During one of the friendly matches of the team, the goalkeeper coach of the senior national team observed him and admired him for his capabilities and said, “You would be a professional goalkeeper in the English league.” It may not be known to many that the best Gulf goalkeeper and the goalkeeper of Wigan started his career as a fireman at Muscat International

Airport and he retained his job even after he joined the national team. His job as a fireman made him patient and humane and taught him a lot about goalkeeper’s ethics. Al-Habsi started playing with the national team in 2002, he played Gulf Cup Championships of 2003, 2004 and 2007, winning in all the title of best goalkeeper. His participation was crowned when he won the title of Gulf Cup Championships 19 in Oman and was adjudged the best goalkeeper for the fourth time in a row. AlHabsi considers the 19th Gulf Cup as the greatest accomplishment of his life. Professional career Given his prominent performance in the Omani league, Habsi adopted an approach different from his co-players, who opt to move to stronger gulf leagues; he played professionally for the Norwegian Lyn club from 2003 to 2005. In 2004 and 2005, he was elected best goalkeeper for the Norwegian leagues. Al-Habsi is the first Gulf player to play professionally in the English Premier when he was transferred to Bolton in 2006, where he stayed for five full seasons, before


he signed for Wigan. He remained in one of the strongest leagues around the globe ever. His Highness Sultan Qabos bin Said issued his royal orders to grant the goalkeeper of Oman National team an Omani Civil Order of the 4th degree. Ali AlHabsi confirmed that this award is a great honor to any sportsman and is an evidence of the care and attention given by the officials of youth and sports to Omani players. It would increase the zeal of all sportsmen and would be supportive to the national team. This would encourage the players to promote the name of Oman internationally. And that is what Habsi desires, too.

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Habsi aspires to play goalkeeper for one of the major clubs and play with the national team in the world cup. “I will not choose another way other than football after I retire, I will repay my country and my fans by training new and fresh generations; I want to incorporate goalkeepers’ training academy to transfer my expertise to the youth of the Sultanate,” says he.

youth abroad. I always carry with me our country’s flag and prayer rug. My role model and example and inspiration is my dear beloved father, Abdullah bin Harib Al-Habsi, who brought me up on values of integrity, respect, devotion, team work, commitment and punctuality of prayers. I always get the support of my father and mother,” elaborated Ali.

His take on life is very spirited. “Life is full of challenges, which are essential for enjoying life and achieving success and victory. I found it difficult with adjusting to professional way of life, when I played for Lyn. I moved to a very different country with different weather, traditions, customs, life style, football playing style. It required dramatic shift to move from immaturity to professionalism in regard to many elements like food and meals. Family and home sickness were other issues that burdened me. However, all these challenges shaped my motives and drives to success, set an example of Omani

Apart from his love for football, Habsi likes to spend quality leisure time with his family, more so with his daughter, Rinad. He likes travelling and currently lives in Manchester.

TITLES: Even more than best goal keeper and best third Arab player in 2006, the dearest title to him is the nickname “AL-Amin”, by which his brother Anwar called him when he played professionally at Lyn Oslo club.

“I will not choose another way other than football after I retire; I will repay my country and my fans by training new and fresh generations”


azaan & hamed al rumhy

golfer

Double Dash Golfing Brothers-in-Arms

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It is said that children always follow in their parents’ footsteps. And the same holds true for Azaan and Hamed bin Mohammed al Rumhy as well. As youngsters, they started out playing tennis just like their father, an ex-tennis player. And when he began to play golf, they too, would accompany him on the greens and soon themselves became masters of the game.

Azaan (two years older than his brother, Hamed) was the youngest Omani to win the Ras Al Hamra tournament in 2004. He then went on to win the National Open Tennis Tournament in Ghala Wentworth in 2004 as well as 2005. Azaan’s performance immediately captured the praise and appreciation of 41 countries taking part at the Arab Open Golf Competition in Bahrain especially

since he was able to place the ball in the hole with one swing from 200 yards. Hamed’s entry into the golfing world turned heads from day one. His most impressive achievement was winning the bronze at the Arab Golf tournament in 2005 in Egypt. Not even 12 years old, Hamed was the youngest player at the competition and he even went


on to break his brother’s record at the Ras Al Hamra competition by winning at an age just a week younger than him. At the initial stages of their careers, the brothers did face some problems with sponsorships which impeded their participation at international levels. All that turned around with the establishment of the Omani Golf Committee and Golf national team. Now, there’s no looking back for them. When asked about his reasons of choosing golf over tennis, Azaan replied, “Tennis gives you more space to move but golf needs a lot of skill and concentration.” Hamed’s point of view is slightly different however. According to him, “Most sports have certain specifications and requirements

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with respect to pitches or courses, except for golf. Golf courses vary from one place to another which makes every competition a real adventure.” The past few years, the perception of golf as an old people’s sport has dramatically changed, thanks to performances of players like Tiger Woods and Azaan firmly believes that golf shouldn’t be limited to a certain age demographic. They certainly have proved it’s not! Beside their interest in the same sports, both Azaan and Hamed spend their leisure time reading and are always up for some travel. Golf, however, isn’t the only thing in their minds. This ambitious duo hope to establish their own oil and gas company in the near future.

Golf courses vary from one place to another which makes every competition a real adventure


fatma nabhani

Aces High Fatma Al Nabhani, renowned tennis player shares her love for the game and more

tennis player

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For Fatma Al Nabhani playing tennis has been a passion since childhood. Born into a family of highly talented and successful players (her mother and the two older brothers) Fatma fell in love with the sport right from the beginning. Her mother, Hadia Mohammed Mustafa is currently her coach and introduced her to tennis at four. In fact, Fatma strongly attributes her success to all the support she’s been receiving from her family. “I have received a tremendous amount of support from my family,” says Fatma. “In fact without their support I would have never succeeded in the game.” Today, she’s one of the top tennis players in the region and a wellknown face across the sports scene. Fatma won her first title,

the West Asian Championship, at a tender age of nine and then there was no looking back! Her string of achievements include winning the West Asian Championship four times in a row; winning the under-13 category of the Arab Championship three years in a row as well as many other regional and international titles. In fact, her first win internationally was when she was only 13. She has also participated and performed quite well in the four grand slams: Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and Roland Garros. When we met up with Fatma, we were curious to know what a typical day in her life was like and she cleverly summed it up in three words, “Practice! Practice! Practice!” Usually Fatma spends two to three hours in the morning


I really want to try and dispel stereotypes associated with being a sportsperson from an Arab country. That, I think, has been my greatest challenge so far. Just because I’m from the GCC doesn’t mean that I’m any different from a girl my age from any other part of the world. Ultimately, your success depends on how well you play and all the support and encouragement that you receive. It does not depend on where you’re from.”

and in the evening practising and improving her game. But that’s not all. She adds, “I also workout in the gym regularly and it is a vital part of my training. And whenever I get some free time, I try and spend it with my family.” The weekends for Fatma are quiet and she prefers spending time by the sea. “I love the ocean and during the weekends you’ll find me trying out various water

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sports and fishing. It’s a great way to unwind.” Fatma’s success today hasn’t been without certain challenges - specially since she‘s in a sport that hasn‘t been represented by Arab women in the past. “I’m trying to show the tennis world that we, too, can achieve the same amount of success as our Western counterparts and

“So what is it really like to be a girl from the Middle East and play a sport like tennis?” we asked her. “It is not easy,” reflects Fatma. “And some people perhaps do not look at it kindly. But despite everything, I haven’t heard any negative comments from anyone. People have only been kind to me and encouraged and supported me right from the start.” “I think I’m really blessed to have received so much support,”

adds Fatma, beaming, as we ask her about all the support she’s received from her family, friends, Government and fans. “I’m glad that they believe I can achieve results - that’s why they’ve been supporting me. And I hope to continue achieving great results. I know it won’t be easy but I’m ready to work hard. My family and my country is, and will always be, my greatest motivation.” This girl certainly has her eyes on the prize!

“I hope to continue achieving great results. I know it won’t be easy but I’m ready to work hard”


habiba al hinai

sportsperson

Torch bearer Habiba Al Hinai believes tthat hat h her er m major ajor elected a achievement was being sselected ass the only woman in the Gulf ulf tto oc carry arry the Olympic torch for Beijing Olympic Games 2008 She was the first Omani to call for creating an identity for women‘s sports in Oman; therefore it was no strange for Habiba Al Hinai to be the only Gulf woman to carry the Olympic torch for Beijing 2008. It is Habiba al Hinaiyah, who occupies the most senior sports position for women till now. Since childhood, she felt that she had a talent that should be

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nurtured. She loved sports and anything that may help vent out her inner energies. During school years, she loved volleyball, which was a common sport among school girls at that time. After completing her school study, she opted for studying electronic engineering, though she preferred to go for public relations and media. “I therefore went to study electronic engineering although I

prefer direct contact with people rather than with machines and systems. I still cherish a dream to have master’s degree in sports management,” she said. Even though, she was forced to study electronic engineering and take engineering as a career and a means to earn her livelihood, the love for sports remained vivid in her heart. While she volunteered to work in a number

of administrative and media positions in sports fields, she also was a player and supervisor for a number of sports teams. She feels proud that she is dubbed as a ‘Sports activist.’ Back home After completing her university study in 1990, she returned to the Sultanate and looked for sports clubs which she could join. She tried to spread the Net Pole sport,


a renowned English sports but not an Olympic game. ‘At this time, girls were not allowed to take part in the competitions outside the Sultanate. I feel proud that I am the first Omani woman to call for creating national teams for women and take part at the competitions organized outside Oman,’ said she. Despair has no place in her mind. She made a number of visits to officials and media organizations to promote women sports rights. In 1993, the first entity for women sports was created in the Sultanate. ‘I was covering the media events for free for a number of media houses. Despite our efforts, we discovered that the newly created department is not playing its proper role. At this time, I concentrated on volunteering for a number of charity organizations. I was also a

member of the Omani Association for Handicapped and was in charge of handicapped sports,” says Habiba. In 2004, the Ministry of Sports Affairs was created and she was appointed as a member of the Olympic committee. She is also a member of the Omani Volleyball Association. In 2007, she was selected as a deputy chairman of the association. She is in charge of the national volleyball teams, including men, women and handicapped. The major achievement Habiba believes that her major achievement was being selected as the only woman in the Gulf to carry the Olympic torch for Beijing Olympic Games 2008 when the torch crossed the Sultanate. She was nominated for this honor by the Omani Olympic Committee.

Her love for sports does not prejudice her family and social rights. “When my brother died of cancer at the age of 21, I appealed to Allah to grant me a baby boy, whom I would name after my brother. Although he was born premature, he is keeping well today. He is my only son, therefore, I dedicate a lot of time for his care.” Hopes Habiba Al Hinaiyah hopes that women get more right in female sports fields. She encourages every Omani women to demand her rights because without persistent demand, no one will give her this right. She seeks to establish the first website for women sports in Oman in a bid to increase awareness of the importance of sports for women. She also encourages the Omani women to be more involved in sports either as practitioners or as administrators. The Omani

women should seek to occupy senior posts in sports field as it has been the case with other fields. “Woman should break out from fear and hesitance and should work hard to turn their dreams into reality. I wish to see women leaders in the field of sports. Women should not take honorary posts but should rather have strong presence in this vital field,” Habiba concluded.

”I wish to see women leaders in the field of sports. Women should not take honorary posts but should rather have strong presence in this vital field”


haji shaban haban lushi al balushi

uilder body builder

A Different Beat

Haji Shaban Al Balushi is making waves in the arena of bodybuilding 60

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Haji Shaban Al Balushi’s early life was rife with struggles. Due to the unfortunate and untimely demise of his father in 1992, Al Balushi had to cut short his education and focus on taking care of his family. So at a very early age, he found himself fending for his siblings. However, determined to make the most out of life, he enrolled in a technical institution and earned certificates in different trades and soon found himself working for several private companies. His last job was at Crowne Plaza Muscat, where he worked as a bodybuilder and fitness trainer. His career as a bodybuilder started off quite unexpectedly. Says Al Balushi, “Earlier, I didn’t like bodybuilding and didn’t want to have anything to do with it. But one of my close friends, who’s

also a bodybuilder insisted I accompany him during one of his training sessions.” Unfortunately, his first session did not go well. “After completing the training cycle on the first day, I was certain that I would not come again because every inch of my body was in pain,” recalls Al Balushi. “But after one month I became interested in training again and we started bodybuilding exercises. I continued my training till 2001 when I participated in my first championship.” Al Balushi’s first win was at the Oman Bodybuilding Championship wherein he secured third place. He then went on to win the first place in the 65 kg category. His first international championship was in 2003 and he came third in

the 70 kg category. This was just the beginning of Al Balushi’s incredible streak of wins. Some of his other wins include the first position (80 kg category) in 2003, first (Arab Championship in Syria), and first again in the Fujairah classical championship

and UAE championship. A glimpse of this overall wins include: Three championships in 2003, four in 2004, and three in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. An incredible feat indeed! Al Balushi gives the credit of his

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