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A Trip to Muscat

July 1, 2010

Connecting our students and programs with others around the world is my personal goal, as well as an institutional objective, so when an opportunity to discuss potential partnerships with the Middle Eastern country of Oman was offered, I eagerly accepted.

In front of the campus clocktower.

The invitation came from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the public research institution in the capital city of Muscat. It was a long but comfortable flight, and my hosts were among the most gracious I have ever encountered. They met me at the airport, and quickly escorted me through customs and then to the hotel.

Over the next five days I got a glimpse into the amazing growth of a university established in 1996 with 500 students, but which now boasts an enrollment of more than 16,000! Although the summer heat had begun, the real warmth was from the greetings I received while visiting the beautiful campus.

l to r: Dr. Samira Mohamed Moosa, Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education; Dr. Thuwayba Al Barwani, Dean of the College of Education; me; Dr. Ali Al-Bemani, Vice-Chancellor of SQU; Dr. Said bin Ali Al-Yahyaee, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Community Service; Dr. Otherine Neisler, Senior Research Consultant, College of Education.

From lunch with the university’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ali bin Saud Al-Bermani, to a talk with College of Education faculty and Dean Thuwayba Al Barawani, to the tour of the Child Study Center and its dynamic head, Dr. Samira Moosa, everyone I encountered was welcoming and open to possible collaborations with Saint Joseph College.

I left Oman with an appreciation for delicious Arabian dates and coffee, the incredible beauty of the country, and the kindness of the people at SQU.

Librarian in the child study resource center.


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