Muscat: At the Bait Al Baranda Museum, the walls and even the floor was covered in vibrantly colourful works of art, all made by children, a sign of the upcoming talent the Omani arts community can look forward to.
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The art was part of an exhibition that opened yesterday at the museum in Muttrah to mark the end of the annual summer art programme for children, which ran for the past two weeks. Children from all over Muscat, and some from as far away as Egypt, descended on the museum to learn new art skills, such as working with gypsum, painting, making art from felt, and using buttons in crafts. Now in its eighth year, the programme is proving to be more successful than ever.
"There's more interest, both from parents and children themselves, to participate in art events. They've expressed the wish to make it a monthly event. As Muscat Municipality, we have to play a role in introducing such activities, and I think art is a big one, to nurture kids," said Malik Al Hinai, director of Bait Al Baranda.
Khalid Mohammed Bahram, assistant head of Muscat Municipality, who presented the children with certificates of participation, said it's important to have activities for children when they're not at school and it helps improve their artistic abilities.
"It was a short period so they need more time to learn other things, but you can see what they have achieved till now and hopefully in the future, we'll do more things like this," Bahram said.
Khalid Mohammed Al Balushi attended the opening of the exhibition to support his three daughters, Maather, 14, Malak, 12, and Meera, 7, who all participated in the workshop.
He was impressed not only by Bait Al Baranda's programme for children, which gives them something creative and beneficial to do during their summer holidays, but also by his daughters' works of art.
"I'm surprised a lot by their talent and am grateful to God," Al Balushi said.
Marwa Rageh, an Egyptian citizen who was visiting Oman with her family for a holiday, enrolled her two children in the art programme because it gave them something useful and educative to do, and also because her children really enjoy creative activities like drawing and painting.
"It's very important for them. Their talent is visible when they're practising these crafts," she explained.
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