A ‘good news’ story of Middle East

931033MUSCAT: In her book, Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization, author Linda Pappas Funsch tells a “good news” story of the Middle East. This book is a broad survey of the Sultanate of Oman, a country that is not well known outside the Middle East. Professor Funsch traces Oman’s history of independence, its legacy of interaction with diverse cultures, and the enlightened modern leadership that has transformed the country in less than fifty years from an isolated, underdeveloped state to a modern, dynamic and optimistic country.
At the heart of this fascinating story of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, friend to both East and West, whose unique leadership style has resulted in both domestic and foreign policy achievements. Beloved of his people for forty six years, Professor Funsch analyses many of the qualities and characteristics of His Majesty’s rule that have resulted in such extraordinary success.
Exploring Oman from a historical perspective, Professor Funsch examines how Oman has been selective in its development programme, blending tradition and modernisation to achieve what is now acknowledged as the Renaissance. Accounts of the author’s own observations and experiences over the course of more than forty years visiting Oman add rich layers of depth, texture, and personality to this compelling story.
Linda Pappas Funsch has spent her entire professional life exploring the nuances of Middle Eastern history and culture. Her journey has included extensive study, travel and residency throughout the region, from Morocco to Oman. Following undergraduate study in the United States as well as in Egypt — at the American University in Cairo — she was awarded an MA in Modern Middle East studies at New York University.
Professor Funsch has served as editor of The Arab World magazine, consultant for the League of Arab States at the United Nations, project specialist for the Ford Foundation, both in New York and in Beirut, Lebanon and US Director of the American Research Center in Egypt. She has published many articles on Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Yemen. She has taught at the university level in the United States on a variety of subjects relating to Middle East and Islamic history and culture. She has visited Oman on many occasions, leading delegations of students, teachers and US military officers for intensive cultural immersion study tours. Professor Funsch’s current research interest focuses on the role of Omani women in national development.