The Center for Development Research (ZEF) in partnership with the University of Bonn’s Islamic Society (IHV Bonn) hosted a cultural evening on the Influence of Oman on the Coast of East Africa on May 24, 2017. The event was led by ZEF’s junior researcher Marwa Abdel Hamid Shumo in partnership with the Omani doodles artist Amira Al Musalmi who travelled from Oman to take part in the event.
The event participants received an introduction jam session on the history of Oman through the lens of the late German traveller and photographer Hermann Burchardt who was one of the very few Westerners who visited and documented the life and culture of the people of Oman during the early 20th century. The introduction also followed the migration of the Omanis across the Indian Ocean and the settlements they formed along the Coast of East Africa. Following the history introduction, the event participants received an insight into the modern Omani arts scene and how it is influenced by the multicultures of the people of Oman.
Artist Amira Al Musalmi introduced the participants to doodle arts and during the hands-on session, she instructed them on how to create a doodle art piece inspired by the Swahili culture including the architecture, food and clothing.
During the event, the participants got the opportunity to try Swahili snacks including samosa and pakora and received a Swahili themed goodie, bag made out of the Swahili fabric Kitingi that is well known to the people of Oman. The Swahili goodie bag included some Swahili & Omani favours as well as a lot of brouchers and prints related to tourism in Oman.
The event that aimed to introduce the German public to the influence the Omanis had on the Coast of East Africa and the culture that the Omanis carried along when they returned back to their native home was sponsored by a generous contribution from the German Omani Association in partnership with the Embassy of Oman in Berlin.
© all photos Marwa Shumo