Reference ID: 05MUSCAT568

Created: 2005-04-06 13:45

Released: 2011-08-30 01:44

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Origin: Embassy Muscat


This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000568

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD

(CWHITTLESEY,PAGNEW)

ABU DHABI FOR HWECHSEL

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: KPAO KDEM KWMN MU

SUBJECT:  BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORKS IN AMERICA AND

OMAN

 

 

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SUMMARY

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1. The Omani participants in the 2004 MEPI-funded "Business

Internship Program (BIP) for Young Middle Eastern Women"

were guests of honor at a recent dinner celebrating

International Women's Day.  Three of the four BIP

participants shared the highlights of the program with the

other guests, including 20 Omani businesswomen.  The

participants spoke enthusiastically about the leadership

training that they received and their experiences as interns

with American companies.  End summary.

 

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Growing Professionally

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2. Mrs. Baltimore hosted a dinner to commemorate

International Women's Day (IWD) for the four Omani

participants in the 2004 Business Internship Program for

Young Middle Eastern Women and 20 other Omani businesswomen.

Razan Darwish, a BIP participant who interned at Disney

World stated, "The most interesting part of the internship

was working with the company, seeing it behind the scenes,

and learning about how it grew to be so stable, innovative,

and imaginative."  Upon her return to the Ministry of

Tourism, where she is a Tourism Marketing Officer, Ms.

Darwish conducted workshops for colleagues, drawing upon

what she learned from her internship in the Product and

Services, Planning and Development Department at Disney

World.  Describing weekly outings with the director of her

department she commented, "They taught me a lot about how to

be an effective leader and helped me to meet people who gave

me ideas about how to develop Oman's tourism sector."

 

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People Working Together

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3. Rahab al-Lawati, an intern with Nike, described her

experience in this way, "It was better than I could have

hoped for. People wanted me to learn, and allowed me to

choose the departments that I would intern in."  Rahab

divided her time between the Corporate Responsibility,

Diversity, and Europe, Middle East and Africa departments.

She focused her remarks on the personal insights that she

gained from the experience, describing the sense of

accomplishment she felt from succeeding in a professional

setting in a country far away from home.  Rahab also stated

that she was impressed to see the degree to which people

from different backgrounds and races were able to work

together effectively at Nike.

 

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WONDER WOMEN UNITE!

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4.   Ms. Darwish remarked that she appreciated the

opportunity to network with the 40 other program

participants.  "We are in almost daily contact to discuss

our career objectives and to mentor and support one another.

A local newspaper that published an article on the program

entitled it `Wonder Women.'  There couldn't be a more

appropriate title for the women involved in the BIP

program."  Ms. Darwish said she is eager to organize a BIP

Alumni meeting in Oman.

 

5.  Fatma al-Maskery, who interned with Microsoft, spoke

with enthusiasm about the women's networks that exist within

the company.  During her internship, she participated in a

Women's Leadership conference and was impressed by how women

at the conference created action plans to address issues of

concern to them.  In addition, Ms. al-Maskery credited the

program with helping her to hone her presentation skills,

build her confidence, and increase her effectiveness.

 

6.   Mayan al-Asfoor, commenting on her experience at

Whirlpool's Government Relations Office in Washington, D.C.,

was struck by the company's use of conference calls to

conduct meetings and the use of work from home programs that

reduce the need for in-person meetings and commuting times.

Ms. al-Asfoor commented, "These work-from-home programs are

amazing, because they help women to be more efficient in

their work and private lives by allowing them to stay at

home."

 

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CUISINE AND CONNECTIONS

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7.  The guests, who ranged from senior, award-winning

businesswomen to young entrepreneurs with home-based

companies, were impressed by the quality of the BIP program

and the opportunities for professional growth that it

provided to the participants.  Guests shared their questions

and comments on the BIP participants' experiences, and then

moved to dinner, where lively conversations and networking

ensued.  One guest commented, "It was a perfect evening.  I

learned about this great program, and thank the Embassy for

providing the opportunity to network with other

businesswomen."

 

BALTIMORE