MBI Al Jaber Foundation’s Continuing Support For Connecting Cultures: Euro-Arab Dialogue in the Omani Desert
|Euro-Arab Dialogue in the Omani Desert
Connecting Cultures, established in 2004, is a unique educational initiative that seeks to promote face-to-face dialogue between young people from both the western and Arab worlds via short wilderness journeys in the desert of Oman. The MBI Al Jaber Foundation which has provided support to Connecting Cultures since 2005, again gave support to their three desert journeys taking place from December 2013 to February 2014.
While much of current dialogue concerning the Arab World focusses upon on-going conflict affecting the region, Connecting Cultures facilitates its own Euro-Arab dialogue in the Omani desert. Through wilderness expeditions, the Connecting Cultures initiative focusses upon enhancing cultural awareness, and promoting mutual and environmental understanding. During this winter’s expeditions, future political and social leaders from 9 European and 6 Arab nations gathered together with the aim “of increasing mutual understanding and finding shared values”. And one of the participants, Domhnall O’Sullivan, tells us that it worked – “From the moment the group met in Muscat, through the sometimes physical journey through the Omani desert, until the final send-off after Mutrah Souq, the atmosphere was not one of distrust but one of unqualified openness, respect and curiosity about the others”. Each participant returned home inspired by their experience “with an increased understanding of each other”.
Connecting Cultures acknowledges that “it is only thanks to the continuing support of organisations such as the MBI Al Jaber Foundation that has allowed us to continue to undertake expeditions …”. The MBI Al Jaber Foundation is committed to forging links between the Middle East and the wider world through educational and cultural activity. Our inspiration is drawn from our Patron, MBI Al Jaber, who believes that individuals can make a difference, and that education is the key to a better future of the world.
For more information on Oman Expeditions, Connecting Cultures, please go to: www.omandesertexpeditions.com
For further information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations