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Humanity First


Lakshmi Kothaneth -

In 2008, Lubna al Balushi began to write poetry. Can you imagine going abroad to learn a foreign language and coming back as a poet writing in that language?

Well, that is the story of Lubna al Balushi who won a scholarship to attend the Goethe Institute in Freiburg on Southwest Germany after learning German at the Goethe Institute in Oman. What started off as a class assignment quickly became a passion.

Lubna writes poetry in Arabic, Baloch, English and German but she says she is most comfortable writing in German. Starting from that one poem, she soon had a collection of over 20 poems and had about 54 poems by the time her work titled, ‘Schonheit des Herzens’, was first published. The multilingual poet still feels she is more comfortable writing poem in German although she had written poems while a student but had never imagined that she would be a published poet in the near future.

Meanwhile in 2012, two people met at a train station in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Saskia Stauble had been singing since a little girl, and began by singing in choirs and theatres at the age of six. She soon began to write lyrics and compose melodies and no matter where she travelled or worked, music kept pulling at her.

The person she met at the train station was Michael Odermatt, who had set his eyes on a Grand Piano for the first time in a music store when he was just six.

The awe for the great instrument continued and he became a student, training eight years in classical music education. But there was a time when he heard a song on the radio, he would immediately sit at the piano and play the entire song.

His vision became clearer to give something back to the world and had been looking for the right people to convey the message and as faith would have it, this was when he met Saskia. The duo became the Dust of Soul creating music from the heart with the philosophy of respect, passion and love to the world. Saskia became the singer ‘Dusty’ and Michael became the pianist ‘MiKey’ together became known as the Dust of Soul.

The trio have come together to present to the people an evening of Omani and Swiss cultures along with an exchange of stories through music and poetry. The program is called ‘Humanity First’ and their objective is to bring together humanity through the arts and build a bridge between uniting the Arab and the European worlds.

“We are showcasing a real example of an Arab country and giving positive prospects to the European world. This is more illustrated in my poetry collection – ‘Face from the Land of Tolerance, Oman,’ as I am creating a visual of the journey into the beauty of Oman to depict Oman and the Omanis with their dreams, love, thoughts and pride. This brings us back to the theme – ‘Humanity First’.”

The collection is an amalgamation of tourist-y visions, indirect marketing and historical ambiance of the Sultanate.

Lubna’s poems and Dust of Soul’s music will come together on a common platform on October 14, 2017 from 7 to 9 pm.

“It is more than just a collaboration. It is based on friendship and feels like family. We have the same intentions in our hearts – our love to the world. We will be performing our own work, but the meaning of the each of our songs is connected to the poetry that will be read by Lubna al Balushi,” said Saskia and Michael.

Some of the titles of Lubna’s poems are The son of the desert, My camels, Get-together, The fish, Little Sailor, Little Goats, Doors, Razeen, Laughing from heart, The wish bridge and Jewels.

In other words, the trio will be showcasing an evening celebrating emotions and feelings.

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