Eight Omani women building ‘bridges’ with British forces

Energy Tuesday 23/October/2018 22:38 PM
By: Times News Service
Eight Omani women building ‘bridges’ with British forces

Muscat: Eight Omani women are helping to build relationships between the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the British forces during Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (Swift Sword 3) this month.
The ladies are acting as interpreters and language teachers for the military headquarters, during the largest joint deployment of UK personnel for 17 years.
Rafaah Al Mahrazi, 24, said: “I’m enjoying it so much, it doesn’t feel like work.”
She added: “I’m looking forward to communicating more and hearing the Brits speak the Arabic I’ve taught them. It makes me feel very proud.”
The women, along with regional advisors from the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit (DCSU) have designed the course, focusing on the Omani Arabic dialect, to help British personnel communicate with their Omani counterparts.
The course has now seen hundreds of people learn Arabic basics. Captain Rachel Farnham, 29, who works at the DCSU, said: “I’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of the interpreters who have worked tirelessly to help us work better with our Omani partners.”
The ladies’ employment coincides with a great celebration of Omani women. The Omani Women’s Day, which falls on 17th October, is a celebration of the role women play in the Sultanate of Oman and their achievements.
Rasha Al Bahrani, who holds a degree in English Literature and Language, said: “I feel inspired to go and learn more English after working here. I want to improve and better myself.”
The women come from a variety of backgrounds and have studied all over the world including Oman, New Zealand and the UK.
After their experience translating for the military the women aspire to fulfill a range of challenging roles, such as financial accounting and chemical engineering.
Sabrah Al Zakwani hopes to continue her study in geology after the exercise: “I’ve been applying for training relating to my degree in geology, particularly field work.” -ONA