Our cohort of ten British students currently studying in Oman as part of The Society's Arabic Language Scheme are nearing the end of their time in the Sultanate with only a few weeks left of study. Nevertheless, they were able to organise a meeting with the newly appointed British Ambassador to Oman, Dr Liane Saunders, before their return to the UK.
We were invited to the British Embassy in Muscat to talk to the Ambassador about Omani-British relations as well as our own experiences so far in Oman. We also heard about Dr Saunders’ wide-ranging career in diplomacy in the Middle East; it was particularly interesting to hear them speak about one of their career highlights, which was their time as a negotiator for the Kurdish peace process in northern Iraq.
In addition to speaking to the Ambassador, we were able to talk to other members of the team at the British Embassy to understand more about what a career in diplomacy entails and how the Embassy functions on a day-to-day basis. We were also kindly given a comprehensive tour of the Embassy building and grounds which I am sure was a particular highlight for several of the students.
Having already spent several weeks in Oman so far, it was very interesting to learn more about the special relationship that the UK enjoys with Oman. Considering what we have learned during our time here about Oman Vision 2040, the Ambassador’s insights were fascinating regarding what role Britain can play in helping Oman to achieve their vision.
I am very grateful for the Ambassador’s hospitality at the Embassy and all of us thoroughly enjoyed our time there. It truly felt like a taste of home! I found the visit very insightful and it shone a light on a career path about which many of us knew very little about. After our visit, I am certain that very exciting things lie ahead within the strong British-Omani relationship in the future.
By Alex Thomas, 2023 Arabic Language Scheme student
Applications for our next Arabic Language Scheme are now open:
Want to improve your Arabic while exploring the fascinating country of Oman? The Society sends 10 British students to Oman each year via our Arabic Language Scheme. The next scheme will run 30 June - 22 August 2024 and applications are now open (deadline 31 October 2023). Find out more and apply here.