French language conference held at University of Nizwa

NIZWA, Oct 24 – The University of Nizwa hosted a high profile academic from Saudi Arabia recently, as the Department of Foreign Languages, French Section conducted their annual Latifa (French/Arabic Translation Group) Language Conference.
Dr Abdullah Al Ghamdi, Director of Research at King Abdullaziz University with a PhD in French Literature, is the head of a renowned research facility which has 36 research chairs, implements around 200 research and consultancy contracts annually, and employs more than 5,000 researchers and consultants, every year.
Dr Al Ghamdi presented an informative and according to the Head of the French Language Section, Dr Djamila Gabruck, “very interesting paper,” on the topic of Saudi Arabian Female Writers.
She explained, “He made us aware that Saudi female novelists are among the most prolific on the Arabic cultural scene, which was quite a surprise.”
He also indicated that “between 2001 and 2009, Saudis women published more than 340 novels.” Before expressing his support for the standard of their writing, saying, “The female literature of Saudi Arabia is in no way inferior to that of any other Arab country.”
Ali Manoubi, Lecturer in Translation, Director of Latifa, and the conference organiser, was another presenter, offering a paper on the “Maydan”, which is both a type of poetry writing, a sort of a poetic joust, in which the protagonists engage each other in a battle of the best rhymes. He demonstrated how a poet will hide a riddle within the verses and then offered an example, and in asking the students to solve the riddle, created a humorous and interactive presentation.
“It was a real boost for our students, here in the French Language Section, to have as eminent a person as Dr Al Ghamdi here.” said Dr Khalfan al Harrasi, Head of Foreign Languages, “We have an excellent academic team here, but visitors from other institutions, and especially one as eminent as he is, ensure that our students are hearing another voice, another message, reinforcing their prior and current learning. There can be no doubt either, that our excellent academic team must feel immense satisfaction with their efforts, not only here, with the Latifa Conference, but throughout the entire last 12 months.”
Dr Ghamdi also met briefly with the Chancellor of the University of Nizwa, Dr Ahmed al Rawahi, and his Vice-Chancellors for Academic Affairs, and Research and Post-Graduate Studies, to discuss future collaborations on academic research and publications, and exchanged gifts at the culmination of the discussions.

Ray Petersen