Omani Women’s Day (October 17) is a day of inspiration for all women.
With equal support in education and opportunity that has been developed strategically by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos right at the beginning of Oman’s Renaissance in 1970, women today are looking more at challenging themselves.
The Observer met up with women who are making it happen, women who are ambitious and who want to contribute to the nation.
Al Janab Sayyida Basma al Said, a psychologist and founder of Whispers of Serenity, considers promoting mental health as one of her causes.
According to her, it is a privilege to have a day dedicated to the women of Oman. “We should be thankful that we have this opportunity. A lot of us don’t acknowledge the opportunity that we have and we tend to think we need more. We need to appreciate where we are today. We need to think about tomorrow.
“We need to think how we can expand in Oman and outside in different ways, not just the traditional way. We have ambassadors, ministers and doctors, but now we hear about Omani women climbing mountains and sailing. Omani women are doing different activities that we did not hear about earlier. That is an accomplishment.”
“We just need to have that one thing which is very important. That is self-esteem,” she says.
Rudhaina al Hajri was inspired by her father who loved history.
Today she is the Director of Al Saaidia Museum.
We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, may God preserve him and protect him for his generous generosity to the Omani woman, the most notable of which is the celebration of Omani Women’s Day.
Since Renaissance, His Majesty the Sultan has emphasised the place of women in society and what they can achieve. Omani women have an important role in community-building and development.
Women have played a key role in the development.
She is very much in the public field, contributing sustainable development because Renaissance gave women a leading role in the country’s development.
Dr Ameera al Raidan was in Suhar to celebrate Omani Women’s Day on Friday.
For her, the day is an opportunity to share thoughts on how a woman can be a leader with support from family, parents and society.
She was inspired by “brilliant ladies who were with me on the stage”. “What intrigued me was when they shared about how life was in the past.
They were women with leadership qualities.
Women had to manage the family and its needs when their husbands were away on long voyages.
They would be gone for months and the women took on the role of mother, father and caregiver.
There were other women for whom it was handicrafts, food, frankincense and perfumeries that gave the path of independence to support families.”
From media to communications and now bringing out the best in her children, Buthaina al Zedjali is trying to find ways to help autistic children.
She is the Deputy CEO at ‘My Book and Me’. To her, Omani Women’s Day is a reminder of what women achieve on a daily basis — from the simplest of tasks to the more complex decisions we take as mothers, daughters, sisters and professionals.
“I prefer to view women as active members of their communities and as human beings who work hand-in-hand in all key areas — social, economic, political — and continue to raise the bar in improving the world.”
Whether you are a woman or a man, our efforts should be towards a more conscious and solution-based society rather than focusing on differences of the two genders.
Shadiya al Ismaily is an international designer the co-founder of Deema.
Her art is inspired by the heritage of Oman.
But she was not always a designer.
She was in the field of finance, working in the Ministry of Finance, and later Petroleum Development of Oman.
She feels women have the strength to achieve what they want.
Passion is important whether you are a businesswoman or a housewife.
Be passionate about your children, what you want them to be and planning their future as well.
According to her, a woman should be dedicated to work, challenge herself, be herself (not copy others) and collaborate (help each other). Lubna al Balushi is a multilingual poet who has just published her collection of 54 poems in German.
She writes in Arabic, German, English and Baloch.
She sees Omani women as jewels. “The strength of an Omani woman is in being full of love, passion and confidence.
She stands up for herself, follows her heart and dreams.”
“My challenge has been to challenge myself. It may seem tough but I have managed it through self-motivation and encouragement from those who have believed in me.”
Sana al Humaidi received all the support from her teacher and parents to pursue her passion: art.
She is showcasing her collection of
paintings at the Ministry of Tourism to mark Omani Women’s Day.
A remarkable series in her collection is the ‘Woman Behind the Window’. Of the 15, only five are left.
Others have been all sold.
According to her, women in the past used to spend most of their time within the house.
Their lives revolved around the family and their needs.
Her outlook on the world was through her window.
Women today are out there, achieving their dreams and contributing to society at large.
They are ministers, doctors, teachers and mothers.
Ask her what the strength of a woman is and she replies: emotions.