Nizwa, Dec 5 - A traditional recital greeting by Sultan al Hinai opened the inaugural German Festival at the University of Nizwa’s Birkat Al Mouz campus on Tuesday. Thomas Schneider, German Ambassador to Oman, stunned and delighted the hundreds of students, guests and faculty, by welcoming them in flawless Arabic, creating a wonderful impression, and making a great start to the day. He was then invited, along with the Chancellor of the University, Dr Ahmed Khalfan al Rawahi, to sign his name on a memento ‘Berlin Wall.”
The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr Ghassan Shater, also welcomed the many guests and participants across two venues at what was a
wonderfully attended, bright and attractive event. Attendance was boosted by a group of German students from Sultan Qaboos University along with their course manager, Andrea Wenke.
Entertainment took the form of an immaculately presented Goethe poem, a presentation on subtitling German movies in Arabic, which was praised by the Head of German Section Dr Khaireddin Abdulhadi as “excellent examples of their current priorities for the course, in linking their educational and linguistic objectives to societal and employability requirements.”
A musical interlude was provided by Tammy Monono, and a group of students and faculty, while a quiz, a Jola Dance, and a film were also featured, while the food stalls around the hall were busy distributing German sandwiches, sweets and breads.
Tanja Kaschinski-Arafeh, one of the organisers explained that they had, “wanted to do something like this for some time but getting an appropriate time on the academic calendar had always challenged their good intentions. This year the student group is particularly active and enthusiastic, and I guess we were all just a little more motivated. Of course, the presence of the German Ambassador too is a significant validation of our event, and the way other institutions and businesses have supported us is very satisfying.”
Sultan Qaboos University, the Goethe Institute, the Hueber Publishing House, the National Museum, and the German Bakery all took stands showing various wares, while several institutional special interest groups were also represented.
Kempinski Hotel Muscat stand enthralled the visitors with luxurious, elegant, and typically exquisite European decor the Kempinski brand has become renowned for. Certainly, Frederic Krueger, Director of Sales and Marketing, and Christina Kraus, Human Resources Manager of Kempinski were kept busy. The presence of the German Ambassador lent a certain gravitas and esteem to the event, but it was, the happy faces that will have most pleased the organizers, and ensured that their inaugural festival will be just the first of many.