Muscat: Three young Omani researchers returned to the Sultanate recently after participating in the 58th London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) that was held at Imperial College London from July 27 until August 10 this year.
Hajer Al Kabi, a Computer Science major at the Rustaq College of Applied Sciences, and Rashid Al Badi and Mouayed Al Harrasi, both Mechatronics Engineering majors at Sohar University, had the opportunity to interact with their peers, i.e. other young researchers from 65 countries.
Their participation at the 58th LIYSF, which was sponsored by The Research Council (TRC) and the British Council, along with the Zubair Corporation and Al Habib & Company, was their first such experience of attending a scientific event abroad.
Speaking about her experience, Al Kabi said, “The greatest achievement for me was presenting my research in front of international students and many scientists, which made me feel proud of my country and gave me extra self-confidence. Making new friends from all over the world, exchanging of viewpoints and having the chance to know more about the other cultures, helped me in widening my outlook.”
She added that one of her unforgettable experiences at the forum was visiting the Rothamsted Research Centre and being introduced to things that were outside her major. “It was so great to know the opportunities they are offering to PhD students over there.”
“I would like to thank TRC and the sponsors who gave us the chance to participate in such a major event. Taking part in the forum was an unforgettable experience,” Al Kabi stated.
For Al Badi, the participation in the forum increased his scientific knowledge and inspired him to search for new information.
“I gained many benefits through developing contacts and learning about the cultures of other countries. Thanks to TRC and sponsors for their support and to my project mentor Dr. Ghassan Al Kindi as well,” he said.
Al Harrasi believes that engineering information, research projects ideas and the experiences he gathered in London could improve his abilities, knowledge and skills as an engineering student. “I could develop my communication and decision-making skills. I am thankful for TRC, sponsors and Dr. Ghassan Al Kindi who gave me a chance to represent my country at such a global event,” Al
Amna Al Sinani, marketing specialist at TRC and the project manager for this participation, said she had enjoyed running this project greatly, from the very early stages with the event organisers and sponsors, to the event conclusion, seeing the three Omani students benefit and enjoy their time in London, making new friends beyond borders and getting exposed to the latest science discoveries. “We hope to make this as an annual participation and would like to invite generous sponsors to approach TRC for next year’s forum,” she added.
Hayyan Ali Malallah Al Lawati, managing director at the Al Habib & Company, said, “It gives us great pleasure to be part of this initiative, and to avail the opportunity for our future scientists and researchers to be part of the London International Youth Science Forum. We are glad that the students were able to attend lectures, visit various museums, and research centres, as well us interact with other students from different cultures. We hope that the visit would give them further push to pursue higher goals in their lives and widen their horizons to realise future achievements for our beloved country. We thank TRC for their efforts in making the visit a success, and we look forward to future collaborations,” he added.
Zuwaina Al Mamariya, deputy project manager at the British Council explained the fund provided to participating students to attend the 58th LIYSF are part of the next generation projects that are adopted by the British Council for encouraging youth to exchange experiences with scientists and specialists from different countries of the world, especially in the United Kingdom.
Sharifa Al Hootiya, deputy director of Human Resources at Zubair Corporation, stressed on the Zubair Corporation’s attention to supporting and empowering the Omani youth in order to promote their capacities to represent the Sultanate at global events as part of the organisation’s social responsibility programme.