Depression among Students

The International Tourism Congress: An Overview
Engorgement:The Cabbage Cure
Mind Over Matter
SQU Library Device Gets US Patent
News Update
Depression among
Department of Public
Relations and Information
Sultan Qaboos University
Issue 310
View Point
The Impact of Counselling
Mohamed Salem Al Ghailani
Editorial Supervision
Santhosh Muthalath
Senior Editor
Sara Al Gheilani
Nasebah Al Muharrami
Ahlam Al Wahaibi
Design & Layout
Photography Dept., CET
Salim Al Sudairi
Psychological counselling service is an integral component of any educational
institution. It helps students or employees manage their difficulties and transform personal problems into their own personal growth. Counselling service
helps a person gain understanding and insight into any difficulties that he or
she may be experiencing, to develop emotional resilience and put into effect
real change, enabling the person to fulfil one’s academic and personal potential. Counselling is a very important ingredient in shaping students’ behavior and performance. Students with various problems in schools need to be
listened to. A specialist in counselling psychology can help to normalize your
experience and place it in context, bring objectivity, critical distance, and experience of dealing with problems of all kinds. This often leads to seeing a problem in a new way, and feeling more able to get to grips with it.
The Student Counselling Centre at SQU, recently conducted an awareness
campaign to spread the importance of psychological counselling and to make
the students and the university community understand how psychological
counselling is different from psychiatric treatment offered in medical centers
or hospitals. Psychologists work to help people understand the nature of difficulties they may be dealing with, develop insight and skills to minimize and
manage the impact of problems.
Through the campaign, the counsellors at the Student Counselling Centre,
spread information on various services offered by the Center which include individual counselling, group counselling, seminars and workshops, and so on.
The workshops and seminars help students build skills to respond to the demands of life at university. Group counselling or open agenda group sessions
can be an effective form of help for a range of problems, providing an opportunity to explore how you relate to others and benefit from their experiences
and support. Groups can provide an opportunity to explore how you relate to
others, to see yourself through their eyes, and to benefit from their experiences
and support while offering them your own.
Counsellors try to develop confidential relationships with students to help
them resolve and cope with problems and challenges. They have a friendly
and professional approach in the whole process of helping the learners, because they give it time and keep following up the students to assess the progress. Student Counselling is a choice, which all universities need to embrace.
Horizon invites contributions from SQU members of staff and faculty. Contributions in the form of
articles, news, travelogues, stories of unique and interesting experiences, encounters, etc., are welcome. Contributions may be edited for the sake of clarity and length. Please send your contributions
to preferably, as MSWord attachments. Authors will be suitably credited.
The views and opinions expressed in the articles published in this newsletter are those of the authors
and are not to be construed as the official views of the publication. Horizon is published three times a
month by the Department of Public Relations and Information, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50,
P.C. 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Phone: +968 24141045
20 March 2015
Fax: +968 24413 391
News Round Up
“A Stronger UN for
a Better World”
As a part of the cultural activities on the sidelines of the 20th Muscat International Book Fair, a lecture was held at Sultan Qaboos University in
the College of Arts and Social Sciences entitled “The 70th anniversary of
the United Nations: a stronger United Nations for a better world” . The
lecture was delivered by Maher Nasser, Director of Outreach Division in
the United Nations, in the presence of H.E Dr. Abdul Monaim Al-Hasani,
Minister of Information, and H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, Vice Chancellor of SQU.
Mr. Maher said: “We are here to talk about the role that the United Nations had played and the challenges that the humanity facing today, which
no country can face independently or without the cooperation of other
countries, therefore, we decided our slogan for this year: a stronger United
Nations for a better world”. The United Nations was established for several objectives, such as to find peaceful ways to resolve problems, achieve
justice and peace among all, realize the principle of equality, find solutions
for many social and economic issues around all the world, as well as to
set human rights and ensure the public freedoms. All these objectives set
out in the Charter of the United Nations, which was founded in 1945, and
includes 193 countries.
The United Nations were able to solve and avoid many of the challenges
and other problems, and many of the indicators related to poverty, the
provision of drinking water, reduction in mortality rate, education, provide
means of communications, all these data emphasize the role of the United
Nations. Mr. Maher concluded the lecture by saying that technology has
significantly contributed to solve many issues and challenges facing the
world, and a better future can be achieved through peace, prosperity and
progress of peoples and nations.
Doha Institute, SQU
Explore Ties
An official delegation from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar,
consisting of Abderrahim Benhadda, Associate Dean and Professor of History at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Malik Habayeb,
Dean’s Office Manager at the School of Public Administration and Development Economics, visited Sultan Qaboos University, to explore avenues
for academic and research collaboration between the two institutions.
The delegation was received by Dr. Abdullah Al Kindi, Dean of the College
of Arts & Social Sciences at SQU, and other officials. The two sides explored
the possibilities of opening up collaboration through exchange of students
and faculty members, and joint research in social sciences, humanities and
economics. ​​The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) is an independent
institute for learning and research in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, Public Administration and Development Economics.
20 March 2015
Bioethics Forum Discusses
Various Topics
The First International Bioethics Conference, organized by the Oman
National Bioethics Committee, in collaboration with Sultan Qaboos
University, the Research Council (TRC), and UNESCO, addressed various topics related to bioethics. The opening ceremony of the conference
was held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdulmalik bin Abdullah bin Ali al-Khalili, Minister of Justice. The conference was designed
to offer a platform for exchange of information and knowledge about
bioethics and for networking. The three day conference addressed various topics related to bioethics including ethical perspective of womb
transplant, embryonic and stem cell research; present challenges facing Islamic bioethics and its future perspectives; end of life and related
issues; challenges of premarital medical examination; and, Islamic jurisprudence ruling related to Ebola outbreak. The conference also discussed challenges faced by the National Bioethics Committee in establishing rules and drawing up legislation in the Sultanate.
Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice
Chancellor of SQU, and Chairman of the National Bioethics Committee, Oman, said that developments in science and technology have
made profound changes in biomedical research as well as health care
that have contributed positively to humankind. However, the emerging advances in medical and health care, science and technology have
created new challenges for health workers and biomedical researchers.
The conference will promote the exchange of knowledge and experience, training opportunities and research activities among regional and
international bioethics professionals”, he said.
Prof. Stefano Semplici, Chairperson of the Bureau of the International
Bioethics Committee, said that though bioethics is obviously about science, it encompasses several dimensions which provide human life
with its fundamental goals and meaning. “We deal with crucial aspects
and opportunities of the unprecedented pace of scientific development. At the same time we consider them not only through technical
perspectives, but also as a challenge for our values, lifestyles, the values of our traditions and the universal normative framework of human
rights. This is where the specific roles of ethics, together with education
and culture, comes into consideration”, he observed. Congratulating
the conference organizers, Prof. Stefano Semplici said: “By deciding to
bring together experts from different regions and cultures of the world,
the Oman National Committee of Bioethics offers a striking example of
how to develop bioethics at the global level”.
Dr. Mohammed Ali Al Bar from International Medical Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, gave a talk on behalf of the conference participants.
Sheikh Dr. Kahlan Bin Nabhan Al Kharusi, Assistant Grand Mufti of the
Sultanate, and international experts in bioethics including Prof. Abdallah Daar, delivered keynote speeches at the conference. Around 60 people from Oman and abroad, including Islamic scholars and scientists
and physicians specialized in this field, attended the conference.
among Students
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually
short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those
who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people
with depression. A study that investigated the prevalence of depressive
symptoms among students at Sultan Qaboos University, indicates that
the tendency for depression might be a common health problem among
college students in Oman attending primary health care facilities. The
researchers from the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health
at Sultan Qaboos University, led by Dr. Zakiya Al Busaidi conducted a
cross-sectional study among Omani students attending the students’ clinic of SQU. A total of 481 students (243 males and 238 females) participated
in the study.
The results of this study show that 27.6% of the sample endorsed propensity towards emotional distress in the form of depression. This figure
largely falls within the international rate from similar population. This
study underscores the view that subclinical depression is high in such
populations. Studies from other countries showed a wide variety of rates
ranging between 10% and 44%. This variation has been explained to be
due to cultural differences, differences in the healthcare system, and differences in the population and the tools used in the study. Moreover, the
rate is higher when compared to a community study conducted on school
students in Oman. This difference could indicate that university life has
factors which might contribute to stress and trigger maladjustment that
expresses as depression.
Most students who join university in Oman are leaving their homes for
the first time. This might subject them to loss of the traditional social support and supervision in addition to residing with other students and peer
relationships. Moreover, there is a change in the style of learning from
what the students are used to in school. These changes may act as risk
factors to depression in university students in Oman. The other factor
that could contribute to the present observation is the fact that it was selfselecting cohort who, for various reasons was seeking consultation in a
medical setting. Further studies to explore such confounders are needed.
The study showed no significant difference in the rate of depression between males and females, which is contrary to the well-known notion
that depression is more common in women in general. Moreover, the
findings of this study support the results of the previously mentioned
20 March 2015
national survey including Omani adolescents where the rates of depression were found to be similar across gender. Similar results were shown
in international studies on university students and were explained to be
due to female students being able to express themselves better and being
more confident. In addition, there is an indication that women are outperforming males in academic performance.
The question could be that newly found confidence in females would be
related to their lower score in indices of depression. Another explanation
could be that the majority of female students reside, due to sociological
reason, at university hostels adjacent to the college. In SQU, males student are left to fend on their own and the university, being the one national university, draws student population from different corners of Oman.
Poor sleep was highly reported by depressed subjects in this study. Sleep
disturbance is extremely common in university students. As indicated by
the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, disturbance in sleep is
usually accompanied by undesirable daytime consequences; decreased
levels of motivation, performance, concentration, attention, and humor,
as well as increased fatigue and somnolence. Such changes are expected to have undesirable effects on the students’ academic performance.
Hence, the association between insufficient sleep duration and lower university grades is understandable. Information about the characteristics
of the individual student’s sleep habits might be useful for counseling
students on how to cope best with the problem.
In summary, the researchers found that depression is common in SQU
students with no preponderance between males and females. The results
of this study originally appeared in Oman Medical Journal ( Jul 2011
issue). Along with Dr. Zakiya Al Busaidi, Kamlesh Bhargava, Aida AlIsmaily,Hadia Al-Lawati, Rahma Al-Kindi, Mohammad Al-Shafaee, and
Abdullah Al-Maniri participated in this research project. In the second
phase, researchers completed a study on the socio-demographic factors
and the effect of depression on the academic performance among medical
students At SQU. The results will be published soon. Dr. Zakia Al Busaidi
said that now they are preparing for a follow up research which seeks to
investigate the help seeking behavior of SQU medical students suffering
from depression. “The departments of Family Medicine & Public Health
and Behavioural Medicine at the College of medicine & Health Sciences,
and the Student Counselling Centre at SQU have plans to collaborate to
provide better medical and counselling services to the students with psychological problems”, Dr. Zakiya said.
Mind Over Matter
The Cabbage Cure
By: Mrs. Harshita Prabhakaran
Maternal and Child Health Department
College of Nursing, SQU
A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from mothers breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three.-Grantly Dick-Read
decreasing tissue congestion by dilating local capillaries and improving the
blood flow in the area,” the green cabbage plant contains a high concentration of sulphur.
Breast engorgement is the painful overfilling of the breasts with milk. This
is a common physiological problem for lactating mothers that is caused by
the sudden increase in the volume of the breast milk due to lymphatic and
vascular congestion with interstitial edema during the first two weeks of
breastfeeding. The reason why engorgement occurs in the first two weeks
postpartum is that the mother and her baby are adjusting to the process of
demand and supply: i.e. if the milk production is increased too rapidly this
may exceed the capacity of the breast alveoli to store it. If the milk is not
removed the distention can lead to capillary blood circulation occlusion and
reduce the cellular activity.
Steps to apply cabbage on engorged breast
Peel off the large green cabbage leaves and wash and dry them. Remove
the core and gently peel individual leaves away from the center of the head
pulling outward. Leaves can be chilled in the refrigerator. Cool compresses
tend to relieve swelling more effectively than warm compresses.
Engorgement of the breasts is associated with severe pain, nipple tenderness, fissures of the nipple and infection which can all result in subsequent
cessation of breast feeding. Overfilled breasts can easily become very swollen and painful, leading to severe engorgement. Engorgement can make it
difficult for the baby to breastfeed effectively. A hard areola makes it challenging for the baby to latch on deeply, which can lead to painful nipples
and a low milk supply. Breast engorgement can be characterized by low
grade fever and absence of systemic symptoms. The breasts feel warm to
touch and appear shiny and it can be quite painful for some women when
the breasts become hard. Throughout the world, breast engorgement is one
of the main reasons why women stop breastfeeding or suffer from a reduced /short duration of breast feeding.
For centuries cabbage has been used to treat swelling and bruising of the
skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been used to treat joint pain due
to arthritis and sports injuries. It is high in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium Cabbage leaves act as a diuretic, and they contain
powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Cabbage juice is rich in lactic acid,
a known anti-bacterial. Applied to the skin, these compounds are remarkably effective at relieving swelling and the pain associated with it.
The common green cabbage (Brassica capitata) is used for engorgement
therapy. Cabbage is known to contain sinigrin (allylisothiocyanate) rapine,
mustard oil, magnesium, oxylate and sulphur heterosides. Herbalists believe that cabbage has both antibiotic and anti-irritant properties. It helps in
Just before use, crush the veins in the leaf with a rolling pin (or similar
object), or slice off the tops of the “veins” with a sharp knife. Drape several
leaves over each breast. Use enough to cover all the engorged tissue, including any swollen tissue under your arms. Leave the compress on until the
leaves become wilted, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Repeat application of cabbage leaves three or four times (about every 4 to 6
hours) per 24 hours, until engorgement subsides (usually in 1 or 2 days). If
the engorgement is severe, compresses can be used as often as needed. This
therapy is effective because the cabbage leaves absorb some of the fluid
from the glands within the breast area, thereby reducing the fullness in the
Some important things to remember: Leaving the leaves on longer does not
make them absorb more fluid. The smell in the breast area is from the cabbage leaf being placed on your skin. Wash your breasts off with warm soapy
water after use. Don’t wash the nipples with soap, especially if you have
dry cracked skin on the nipples.
Sulphur Helps
The effect of cabbage leaves on breast engorgement and duration of breastfeeding was assessed by the “Cochrane Pregnancy and Chilbirth Group’.
They reviewed the literature and concluded that the use of cabbage leaves
may help women to keep breastfeeding after birth. It’s not entirely clear
why cabbage leaves would reduce breast engorgement, but the green cabbage plant contains a high concentration of sulphur, which is known to reduce swelling and inflammation in all tissues. Cabbage leaves supposedly
help reduce milk supply and decrease the discomfort of breast engorgement.
20 March 2015
News Update
SQU Library Device
Gets US Patent
SQU got the first patent registered in the
US Patent Office for the invention of an
automatic book prop used in the field of
libraries by Yaqoub bin Saif Al Habsi from
the main library at the university. Yaqoub
bin Saif al Habsi, a staff at the Loan Department of the main Library of SQU said that
the invention is mechanical book prop for
libraries, in particular to the bookshelves
in libraries, adding that this prop includes
a rechargeable battery.
Al Habsi said that when a book is removed
from the shelf, an electrical circuit automatically opens and the prop moves
in a straight to reposition the book in the rack, and thus close the gaps arising between the remaining books and when a researcher likes to borrow a
book, the circuit is closed and cannot put back the book to the shelf again,
this means that the device keeps the books in their places according to their
serial number, and this is the second function of the device.
Big Turnout for Career Fair
The hundreds of graduates and students who attended The 16th Edition of the SQU Career & Training Opportunities Fair (2015), organized
by the Center for Career Guidance at Sultan Qaboos University, found
a broad assortment of employers seeking to fill hundreds of career and
training positions. The three day event was opened under the patronage
of H.E.Abdullah bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower. As many as
60 prospective employers, both from the public and private sectors, participated in the event. The Minister of Manpower, congratulated SQU for
organizing such a big career fair with great participation of employers and
jobseekers and extended all support from the ministry to this endeavor.
The Career Fair aims to provide jobs and training opportunities for SQU
students and graduates in order to enhance their abilities, develop their
skills, and prepare them for the labor market. The Fair is considered to be
an excellent opportunity for students who are in the stage of choosing their
academic specializations to be exposed to the most demanded ones in the
Omani labor market and the career paths associated with them. The fair,
also, helps the participating institutions to accelerate their Omanisation
plans through direct contact with more than 3000 graduates with diverse
in educational backgrounds.
SQU Career & Training Opportunities Fair 2015, received around 15,000
visitors from all over Oman. The total number of vacancies reported by the
participating employers was 1647. The number of training opportunities
this year was 1006. According to information from the Centre for Career
Guidance at SQU, all participating organizations were carefully chosen according to certain criteria such as the availability of outstanding quality
and quantity of offered jobs and training opportunities. This year, the Fair
gained special attention due to the presence of the Entrepreneurship Corner which seeks to encourage Omani youth to start their own businesses
and be self-employed.
Analytical Services Lab
The Central Analytical and Applied Research Unit (CAARU) at Sultan
Qaboos University, was officially opened recently under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor. The unit
which is under College of Science Dean’s office has established itself
on the basis of having expertise in the field of advanced instrumentation and developing the capabilities with the most cutting edge technologies.
Ahlam Al-Azkawi, Head of CAARU, said that the idea of the unit
was first proposed in 2004 with an aim of centralizing the different
instruments in College of Science that could be for multidisciplinary
use. Since then, the college has purchased new instrumentations and
replaced the old ones to cover the general research and industry demand. To insure proper operation and good maintenance of the instruments, the College has also identified some technical staff from
each contributing department to be well trained and dedicated to instrumentation and analysis. CAARU was officially integrated in the
university structure in December 2012 and all instrumentation was
physically moved to the new location in College of Science new building by end of 2013 with well-trained dedicated staff. CAARU consists of over 16 instrumentations covering different type of analysis
from different field of sciences and 10 application specialist assisted
by 5 qualified technical staff. CAARU is having its own expert team to
guide research projects and help with the selection of the instruments,
analysis and interpretation.
CAARU provides different services and consultancy to undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers within and outside SQU. CAARU
services have also expanded further to include industry, public and
private sectors. Some of the instruments are even utilized for diagnostic purposes by providing services to SQUH and Ministry of
Health. “Usually all clinical cases submitted to CAARU are critical
cases where the routine laboratory procedures fail to give diagnosis”,
Ahlam Al Azkawi said.
Saif Al Mamari, Application Specialist at CAARU and the Material
Sciences team leader said that most of industrial samples we receive
at CAARU are from oil field companies. “We have gained the trust of
the private sector in providing quality analysis and we insure data
not to be released to customer unless crossed checked with different
instrumentations to have confirmative results”.
For the past few years CAARU received various samples from different the colleges of SQU, different academic institutes around Oman;
and several companies and ministries. At the end of the visit to the
lab facility, H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, said: “I’m impressed with
the preparation of CAARU, the unit is serving the university and the
nation with many analysis. I wish to see the unit expands to become
a National Unit”.
20 March 2015
The International Tourism
Congress: An Overview
As a result of long-term collaborations, the VII International Tourism Congress (ITC 14) was co-organized by the Tourism Department, College of Arts
and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman and the
School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria,
Portugal, from the 2nd to the 4th of December 2014. Being hosted in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, it was the first time the congress was held outside
its original base in Peniche, Leiria, Portugal. The ITC 14 organizing team
was keen to maintain the congress’ usual theme “the Image and Sustainability of Tourist Destinations”, as well as its focal aim “to present and discuss national and international experiences about tourism competitiveness,
customers’ experience, destination image and branding, sustainability and
tourism marketing”.
The conference also featured seven world-class keynote speakers who presented, over the congress duration, their valuable views on different tourism aspects. Professor Jafar Jafari (University of Wisconsin-Stout, USA) argued that “A nice place to live is a nice place to visit”. Professor Eduardo
Fayos-Sola (President of the Ulysses Foundation, Spain) talked about “The
future of tourism destinations: progress and development on a less travelled
road”. Professor Maged Negm (Vice-president, Helwan University, Egypt)
and Professor João Paulo Jorge (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal) addressed the audience about the new approaches of “Heritage tourism”, and
“Coastal tourism” respectively. On the second day, Professor Adele Ladkin
(Bournemouth University, UK) spoke on “Sustainable tourism destinations:
a human resource perspective”. Mr. Abdul Wahed Al Farsi (Acting Chief
Communications Officer, Omran, Oman) highlighted the role of “Omran as
a catalyst for tourism projects in Oman”. Finally, Professor Metin Kozak
(The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China) focused on “The future of
tourism marketing and management: moving from current issues to future
More than ninety delegates from 23 different countries enriched the con-
ference by presenting 102 papers, which were classified under seven main
themes: Sustainable tourism and development; Tourism marketing and destination image; Tourism economics and management; Tourism education
and training; Tourism experience management; and Innovation and new
trends. In addition, there was also an Arabic language track. The ITC 14
attracted a wide variety of attendees including under- and post-graduate
students, entrepreneurs, developers, policy and decision makers, and tourism professionals who attended the presentations to share their knowledge
and experience with the academic delegates.
Seven papers received honorable mention certificates, while Annalisa Stacchini and Andrea Guizzardi (University of Bologna, Italy) received the best
paper award for their article entitled “Demand-driven regional tourist clusters: a new methodology for analyzing competitiveness of international
tourist destinations from satisfaction statements”.
Thirty of the conference full papers are planned to be published in three regional and international journals namely: the European Journal of Tourism,
Hospitality and Recreation; the College of Arts and Social Sciences Journal
(Sultan Qaboos University); and the Faulty of Tourism and Hotels, Helwan
University Journal. The other papers will be fully published in the conference proceedings to be issued by the end of 2015.
To enhance delegates’ experience of the Omani tourism, a sightseeing tour
was organized on the third day for conference attendees to explore Muscat.
The city tour gave the participants the impression that tourism is progressing rapidly in the Sultanate of Oman. In prospect, the VIII International
Tourism Congress will be held on 25-27 November 2015 at Peniche, Portugal.
(On behalf of the Conference Steering Committee, this report was prepared
by Dr. Galal Afifi, Department of Tourism, College of Arts & Social Sciences,
Sultan Qaboos University.)
20 March 2015
Straight Talk
H.E. Paola Amadei
H.E. Paola Amadei is the Ambassador of Italy to the Sultanate of Oman.
Prior to taking up the assignment in Oman, she has served in Brussels
at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union (20072012) as a First Counsellor, Head of the Trade Policy Unit and Delegate
to the Council of the European Union for Transatlantic Relations. She
was dealing with the negotiations in the WTO and the EU bilateral negotiation (USA, Canada, Gulf Cooperation Council, Japan, China, India, Mercosur, Korea). H.E. Paola Amadei holds a Master’s Degree in
Political Science (With Honors) from the University of Rome, “La Sapienza” and a Master’s Degree in High European Political Studies from
The College of Europe in Bruges, 1992. Since H.E. Paola Amadei took
over as the Ambassador of Italy in Muscat on 24 September 2012, she
has made great efforts to strengthen the links between various higher
educational institutions in Italy and Sultan Qaboos University. H.E.
Paola Amadei is a good friend of SQU. During her latest visit to SQU,
after the Embassy handed over a set of Italian books to the SQU Library,
H.E. Paola Amadei spoke to Horizon about the Embassy’s relations with
SQU and various activities organised to boost the ties.
Horizon: Your excellency has been a
good friend and a frequent visitor to SQU.
What is the purpoe of your present visit to
H.E. Paola: The scope of my meeting
with H.H. Sayyidah Dr. Mona bint Fahad
Al Said, SQU Assistatnt Vice Chancellor
for International Cooperation, was the delivery of numerous masterpieces of Italian
literature donated by the Italian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the University. These books will
form the nucleus of an Italian literary section within the library of SQU. The initiative is linked to the introduction of the Italian language course launched last October
at the SQU that is seeing the participation
of many committed Omani students.
Horizon: How would you comment on
the introduction of Italian langauge course
at the premier higher educational instituion in Oman?
H.E. Paola: Italian is one of the most
studied and most spoken languages in the
world: not only in the European Union but
also in the United States, Canada, Latin
America, North Africa and Horn of Africa,
Australia, because of the communities of
Italian origins present in those countries.
Many of the terms of music, art, design,
are in the Italian language. The “demand”
for Italian is growing, due to the love for
the most distinctive aspects of the Italian
culture: from music to visual arts, from
architecture to the Italian style and the
“Made in Italy”, or simply because it is a
beautiful, melodious language. For me, the
launching of the Italian langauge course at
SQU is a dream come true. I think it is an
excellent outcome. After the launch of the
Italian course and the creation of an Italian
literary section within the library of SQU
we strongly hope that the cooperation
with the SQU in this field will continue.
Horizon: Apart from the launch of Italian
langauge course at the College of Arts &
Social Sciences, what are the other major
outcomes in terms of cooperation between
the Italy and SQU, or in broader perspective between Italy and Oman?
H.E. Paola: After the launch of the Italian
language course at the SQU, a number of
new initiatives are on the way to promote
this language in the Sultanate of Oman.
There are more and more Omanis who
speak Italian or who would like to learn
it. More and more delegations from eminent Italian universities show interest in
the Sultanate of Oman. Works are always
underway to finalize new agreements
aimed to enhance academic exchanges and
cooperation between Italian and Omani
Universities and, of course, the study of
the Italian language in Oman and Arabic
in Italy. I am sure that the knowledge of
the Italian language will contribute significantly to bring a greater number of Omani
students to our universities where they
can excel at the Italian language and at the
same time attend major courses in various
disciplines of interest to them.
20 March 2015