1 Nation, ambassadors of Omani culture

More sports Sunday 22/April/2018 19:30 PM
By: Times News Service
1 Nation, ambassadors of Omani culture

Sharing knowledge is always rewarding. But it needs a tremendous amount of dedication and passion to share knowledge effectively. 1 Nation (Umah Wahida in Arabic) is an organisation that’s built on the foundation of sharing. It is done in English language, for the expatriate residents of Oman.
1 Nation, co-founded by Al Khatib Al Rashdi and Humaid Al Shuaili, has six members and a load of volunteers who dedicate their time to sharing knowledge about Islam and Omani culture with foreign residents and tourists by translating and transcribing written material from Arabic to English. They also host relevant events.
The team’s initiatives aim at educating non-Arabic speakers on various facets of the local culture and religion, with a focus on societal issues. Besides translating books, the team also provides English subtitles for visual content.
The team records informative Islamic lectures in Arabic and translates them to English. One of the recording sessions included the lecture of late Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry to raise awareness about Omani culture and Islam overall. The team managed to print and share 5,000 copies of the speech. “The whole concept is to deliver our cultural messages in a modern, beautiful way,” said Al Khatib. “Translation is an on-going process. Whenever we find informative material, we translate it,” added Humaid.
The team also relies on freelancers who are passionate about writing. Some of the translated or subtitled material is then uploaded onto social media and sharing platforms such as Soundcloud so people can benefit.
“If you missed a lecture on the radio, there’s another opportunity to catch it online,” Humaid explained.
The organisation also hosts entertaining and family-friendly events. One of the events takes place during Ramadan and is attended by more than 500 people from 12 different nationalities, and it carries the same message of sharing knowledge with expatriates, tourists, and others interested in knowing more about Omani culture and the religion. The event brings together foreigners and locals to enjoy Iftar sessions.
The team also holds workshops on social and cultural subjects. “We like to focus on social matters, especially those regarding families, as they raise awareness,” said Humaid.
As for any voluntary organisation, funding can be a challenge as hosting events, paying freelancers to transcribe and translate, as well as printing material costs money, but I Nation is determined to serve the community and give the books for free.
The organisation’s future plans seem quite significant. It plans to release digital copies for people who live outside Oman, as well as publish more books in a number of languages including Swahili and Spanish.
It’s easier to write books from scratch than to translate someone else’s ideas, but the team is determined to share great content with foreigners and help them understand Omani culture and the religion better. “These workshops and translations take time, but we do it all for the sake of sharing knowledge,” said Humaid.
“Sometimes we get beautiful messages and feedback from people, saying that their perspective on Islam has changed. That’s an achievement for us,” added Al Khatib. Their upcoming event will take place during Ramadan on May 21 at the Higher College of Technology (HCT) in Al Khuwair, where expats will get to mingle with locals and learn more about the Sultanate and Islam over Iftar. [email protected]