My 2014

24 Dec 2014
POSTED BY Y Magazine

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the past 12 months. We asked some notable people in Oman to tell us about their 2014. Interviews by Kate Ginn and Deeba Hasan.



 

Sayyida Basma Al Said
Founder of Whispers of Serenity wellness centre, mental health counsellor and psychotherapist
Sayyid-Basma-Al-Said

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. I have enjoyed 2014 and seeing my three kids grow and getting closer as a family. My sisters are back from abroad and I am delighted to have them back in Oman but most of all I am really happy that we did this big event called “Not Alone” in order to create awareness about mental health, together with a video, and we started working on a child abuse hotline initiative. These have been some very happy moments from 2014.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. Looking forward, I think I would love to see more people carrying out initiatives which give back to the society but most of all I want to see His Majesty the Sultan back in Oman because without him we feel like a family which is missing its most important member.

 

Greg Young
Chief Executive Ooredoo

Greg-Young

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. The rebranding of Nawras to Ooredoo was a huge task for myself and the Nawras team, culminating in October, when we launched the new brand to the overwhelming support of the community, our customers and stakeholders.
The Nawras brand had 10 years of wonderful history and customer loyalty. The whole team worked very hard to ensure a successful transition and a memorable launch.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. Fully bringing alive our new brand and delivering against our brand promise, as we inspire our customers and #OurOman, with new services, delivered with our renowned customer service under the banner of community and corporate social responsibility. Ooredoo. Be Inspired.

 

Heather Duncan
Blogger (www.theduncanadventures.com)

Heather-Duncan

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. 2014 couldn’t have started any better as my husband, Colin, and I welcomed our first baby together, Spencer. Through the space of one short year we have watched this little guy change from a tiny baby to a walking talking little person with a huge personality. He inspires me to do many things in life and keep blogging and taking pictures for him to look back on later in life.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. For the New Year, I am looking forward to my blog site, The Duncan Adventures growing. I want to continue to appreciate and take inspiration from the sweetest things in life, like my beautiful boy and the amazing country that we live in. You can’t put a price on things like that.

 

Marius Wolmarans
General Manager, Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat

MariousRB-hotel

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. My highlight for 2014 can only be the great success of “The Box Appeal” (an initiative to distribute donated essential items to Muscat’s migrant workers, which Y Magazine supported this year). The response we had from the local community, schools and businesses was overwhelming. From having achieved 850 boxes in 2013, we set ourselves a target of 1,500 boxes for 2014. We could never imagine that we would smash this target. As a community we can all be proud that we made a difference to the lives of more than 2,500 migrant workers.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. Always a very difficult one to answer both professionally and personally. Professionally, I am looking forward to another exciting year in tourism. Hopefully we can put all the uncertainty of the ban on alcohol and shisha behind us early in the year. Oman continues to grow as a destination of choice, and the wrong decision on these topics can severely harm our image. Let’s just hope that the right decision is made and that we can have another great year!

 

Nada al Moosa
Founder of Omani Paws, animal welfare charity

Omani-paws

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. It has to be starting Omani Paws in January this year. It was a passion that simply grew. We had no idea what we could do as a charity, how much we could help the animals and where we would get the money. But everything just happened and I’m very pleased with what we have achieved over the year. We have helped more than 80 animals (dogs and cats), whether it’s getting them treatment, rehomed, foster homes or sent abroad. It has been hard work. We only have five core members and while this is my full-time work, the other volunteers have other jobs and families. The best thing is that we are achieving what we set out
to do and that is to help the animals of Oman.

Q. What are you most
looking forward to in 2015?
A. We want to raise more awareness of Omani Paws and animal welfare over the next year, and how people can help us. I am Omani and many Omanis do not respect other creatures. We are trying to educate the children so they learn to care for animals from a young age. Things are changing. We are getting calls from Omanis now about an injured dog or cat, which is a start. Instead of walking by, they are stopping. Rather than depending on us for help all the time, I would like them to take the initiative and rescue the animal and give it a home or take it to the vets for treatment. I want them to just step up as a human and do their part. That is my hope for the next year.

 

Gailani
Artist

Crazy-art-guy

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. My most memorable professional moment in 2014 was getting a standing ovation by over 500 students and faculty members of Al Musanna College of Technology. This was at the completion of a live painting show on stage that I choreographed to music and had two other artists painting on a single canvas. We were painting to the theme of “Rising above hurdles of life” and it was the first time in Oman that three artists were painting jointly on one canvas on stage. We had rehearsed it prior to going on stage and the choreography had the canvas flipped upside down and in unique positions to symbolise the hurdles of life. We were quite nervous and anxious of how it was going to be received, but when the crowd stood to their feet cheering it was truly an overwhelming moment. It made the hair at the back of my neck stand on end, as it was the first time we as artists received such instant gratification – and it left us feeling like a rock stars.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. What I’m most looking forward to is completing and exhibiting my collection titled “#Disconnect”, which is a series of faces painted in an Andy Warhol tribute-style that I have been working on for over a year-and-a-half. This is very dear project to me as it’s a comment on the impact of social media. My entire statement for the exhibition is that “in this wired world of selfies and Instagram, how well do we know the person beyond that image?” It seems the more connected we are technology-wise, the more disconnected we have become on the human side. “#Disconnect” has truly been a labour of love and a long time coming, and it’s scheduled to be exhibited this February 2015 – fingers crossed!

 

Rebecca Elfverson
Head of Costume, Hair and Makeup at Royal Opera House Muscat

Rebecca-Elverson

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. This year, a highlight was being asked to preside on the assessment panel for the final year fashion students at the Higher College of Technology in Muscat.
This was a great honour and allowed me to both reflect on where I began my training in fashion and how it has aided my direction and influence in both that field and within the theatrical and operatic industries over many years. It also allowed me to impart some experience and guidance to the students alongside my esteemed fellow panel members from within the arts and fashion industries.
Women in education and employment are issues I hold dear and wish to encourage in this area, in both study and work. I hope that I can help in any way as both a spokesperson and an advocate.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. What I look forward to in the New Year is taking some more time to enjoy and explore my natural surroundings and the beauty this country offers. I wish to learn more about life in Oman’s villages, particularly the national and tribal dress, and artistic traditions throughout the Sultanate.

 

Abdullah al Mahmoodi
Chief Manager, Event & Promotion Marketing, at Bank Sohar

Bank-Sohar

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. 2014, you could say, was a year of great new challenges, as I’m handling events as part of my work. I have organised many events during the year and thanks to God, I have a great team in my department who make me proud. We have had great success, which is reflected in achieving objectives in my work. My most memorable moment personally was when I joined the Cancer Awareness Walkathon, which took place on October 28 at the Qurum National Park and witnessed a large attendance and participation. My family joined me on the walk. I feel the best moment in 2014 is being given the gift of life and sharing with others to support Oman Cancer Association with this great event. I would like to applaud them for their continuous efforts to educate the community on cancer, as well as providing support to people and their families who suffer the ill effects of the disease.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. I hope to have new challenges, new travel and new fun. The important thing I’m planning to do is move to my new house and I hope it will be completed in time.

 

Aftab Patel
CEO, Al Omaniya Financial Services

Aftab-Patel

Q. What was your most memorable moment in 2014 (either personally or professionally)?
A. Personally, I am really happy because my younger daughter Hanan has graduated from Newcastle University in the UK and has also got accepted to the London School of Economics for her post-graduate. Professionally, I am delighted because the European Assembly in Oxford, UK, has awarded us the best performing company. This is the first international award for us, which we are all extremely happy about and very proud.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
A. For 2015, I am really hoping that His Majesty The Sultan comes back to the country in good health and continues to rule Oman. I am also looking forward to the oil prices going back to what they were like at the beginning of 2014 so that the people of Oman continue to live in peace and flourish.


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