Report By Alaa H Ridha: Oman

Sponsored by the Arabian Advance Systems, I was invited to attend the SLA –AGC chapter conference in Oman. I was honored to represent Kuwait University and LIS department. The trip was very interesting starting from day one until the minute I left Oman. It was my first time to attend a conference related to the field of library and information science. It was also my first visit to Oman. The airplane took off on time, arrived Muscat International Airport at night.

The next day was the opening of the conference and Exhibition. Arriving on time, I easily passed the registration to the main theater where the opening ceremony was held. During those few hours of the morning, I had already met people from Lebanon, Qatar and UAE. The girls were from different disciplines including IT, cataloging and reference services. We were attending the workshops together and the discussions we had among ourselves were really interesting. Socializing with people in the field had opened my mind to so many challenges and opportunities exist for librarians and information specialists.

The products presentations at the expo were great in introducing the new tools and products available by different information suppliers and vendors. Most products were demonstrated online. Questions/Answers sessions were also included after each presentation.

In the evening, there were two social activities for conference attendees including Old Souk (Matrah) and sea trip. I have met Ms. Souad Al-Ateeqi, the head of Al-Babtain library and we went Souk Matrah, which was one of the oldest markets in Oman.The second day of the conference was also very interesting. We had two papers presented by two dear colleagues, Sakina Al-alawi and Fadhel Hussain. Both did a great job and made us all proud of their excellent performance.

There was also a group lunch where I was able to meet more female librarians working in GCC. The election was scheduled in the afternoon; I had attended the session where Dr. Sultan Al-Dhaihani introduced the new SLA elected president Mr. Mohamed Ghali.  In the evening, we had the closing dinner. I was announced as the winner of the SLA Student Award. Special Thanks goes to Prof. Sajjad ur Rahman for his support. I still recall Dr. Al-Dhaihani voice calling me to proceed to the stage.

The last day of the conference, I had a chance to gather with Ms. Tahani Kalendar, Ms. Souad Al-Ateeqi, Dr. Jamal Al-Alawi and Muhammad Bo-Abbas for lunch. We had an amazing time. Special thanks to Dr. Jamal Al-Alawi for his invitation.

I went Oman with high expectations, all turned to be met (Al-Hamd lel Allah). I encourage my classmates to participate in those events for the purpose of interacting with people in the field and getting exposed to new development.


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