Duqm: As Muscat Youth Summit (MYS) participants gathered in Duqm this week to examine and promote development in the area, their efforts and work reflect a global flavour since apart from the Omani students, students from 21 other countries are attending the event.
Students from countries as diverse as Kazakhstan, Tanzania and Germany are attending the MYS. Some of these students are studying at Omani colleges and universities, while others have come to the country just to participate in the event.
"It is a huge opportunity to learn about other cultures and societies. I'd love to do something for my country and want to understand how others are doing something for their society," Asmaa Khalid Anbar, a 22-year-old Kuwaiti student told the Times of Oman.
For the visiting students, the opportunity to learn more about Oman, its developments and its people is a very valuable one.
Marina Constanti, a 23-year-old law student from England, said that earlier Oman used to be just another distant country on the map. "Oman wasn't a place I knew anything about, but when you come here, you get a sense of the country through its people," she said.
The authorities overseeing the march of development in Duqm have high hopes for the city to become an international hub for shipping and industry.
Hence, having international students here for the week is really beneficial, said Haneen Al Aamri, an Omani student from Sultan Qaboos University. She said Oman can learn from their experiences to know what would attract foreigners to work or do business in Duqm.
"We need different people from different places who have different needs. We need to know what they want and how they see the place, to learn what would attract them," Al Aamri explained.
"It's an exciting opportunity for us to engage with these different cultures. Together, we come up with different ideas," she added.
His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said, general manager for marketing and media at the Paiped, which organises MYS, said inviting international youth is an indirect way to promote Oman. The young people who participate in the summit will talk about the country in their home countries, and possibly return in the future.