Women’s Day special: Exploring nature – combining profession and passion

Laila al Habsi speaks Russian and can translate the language into Arabic and English because she studied in Russia, but in the process she also fell in love with the oldest and deepest lake on earth and so became the first Arab woman to take a dive in it.

At its deepest point Baikal Lake  is 1,642 meters deep.  She is a geologist, but as a student she had become used to drinking the pure water of Baikal and now here she was swimming underneath the ice slabs where at times she could even see people walk over the ice slabs – it was winter in Siberia.

“In Oman I am used to diving in a wet dive suit. There we have to do it with a dry suit.  It was my birthday gift.  It was freezing on the top and slightly warmer underneath.  We could see the people walk on top.

The lake’s age is estimated at 25-30 million years and to swim in it must have been magical!  Laila is also enchanted with nature. Her next adventure is lined up to be Pacific Ring of Fire.

She works in Suhar and has a passion for photography and loves metals – yes she is working with gold.

What according to her is the strength of a woman – “Mind over matter.  I think women are put into boxes and those boxes.  Those boxes are based on our limitations and fears we put in ourselves or what the society put in ourselves.  We also have to understand that we also have the power to step out of it any time we want.

As a child she loved playing with mud and when she grew up she decided it is going to be geology for her.  The best thing about Oman’s geology she likes?

“Oman’s Ophiolites!  It does not happen in many countries – but it happened in Oman.  It is one of a kind.”