Whispers of Oman loud and clear
Kaushalendra Singh –
‘Whispers of Oman’ is based on the achievements made by the Sultanate post 1970. The women of the country gratefully took the opportunities the country offered to them to develop their skills and pursue things they were good at. ‘Whispers of Oman’ is a tribute to their achievements
Maria Dekeersmaeker from Belgium has fallen in love with Salalah. After writing two books on Dhofar titled ‘The DNA of Salalah-Dhofar’ (2011) and ‘Treasure Chest Salalah-Dhofar’ (2012), Maria has come out with her third book ‘Whispers of Oman’.
All her works are well researched and well received both by the expatriate and local communities. A freelance journalist Maria can be spotted in Salalah at the events where themes related to women are involved.
“My research for the books — ‘The DNA of Salalah-Dhofar,’ and ‘Treasure Chest’ and the blog magazine, https://alarba.wordpress.com gave me an opportunity to meet with people in the Sultanate of Oman and listen to their stories.”
“Stories — mainly from women whom I met by chance or even those who were brought to me by other women — became the backbone of ‘The Whispers of Oman.’ Women as well as men have shared their thoughts and they have been given due representation in the book,” said Maria.
‘Whispers of Oman’, according to her, is based on the achievements made by the Sultanate post 1970 “the women of the country gratefully took the opportunities the country offered to them to develop their skills and pursue things they were good at. ‘Whispers of Oman’ is a tribute to their achievements. The choice of the portraits is mine.”
Maria finds her achievement in carefully bringing all the collected information together, as “Every whisper in my ear touched my heart and soul and became a precious diamond in my writings. I hope you enjoy reading ‘Whispers of Oman,’ like I enjoyed writing it.”
With 94 pages and 42 portraits, ‘Whispers of Oman,’ has lots of pictures. It is available in Muscat and Salalah, in Al Batra bookshop and Family bookshop, as an e-book is on the way. A well travelled woman Maria has journeyed extensively through Europe and China. She has written many articles in several magazines and journals throughout Europe. She is a winner of International Journalism Award in Italy.
In 2008 she came out with her first novel ‘The Earth has Fever,’ based on an actual theme. “My writings have also put me on the road to the Sultanate of Oman, to Salalah in Dhofar, the Southern governorate. Still the place and the country inspires me to write books,” she said when asked if she is planning yet another book on Oman.
When asked why Salalah is so close to her heart, Maria quips, “because it defines the very meaning of the nature in its totality.
If you ask me what I like the most in Salalah, then I have to say, the nature, the culture, the history and the people. That is why I wrote the ‘DNA of Salalah-Dhofar’ and ‘Treasure Chest’. By being in Salalah I got an opportunity to make a structure in all the aspects of life.”
A keen photographer, Maria is especially attracted to heritage and culture of Salalah. “If you ask me which places do I like the most then I would say, the archaeological sites Al Baleed and Sumhuram, because of their still hidden mysteries and stories.
The nature, Razat mountain for example, where you can sit and watch the sunset playing with seven hills and the villages on the hills. The Khareef Festival venues of Salalah and Taqah do have their own appeal.”
“During the festival you get to know local people and taste the local food. And I am always happy with the painting and photo exhibitions of contemporary artists displayed at the Omani Society for Fine Arts.
This all brought me to the book ‘Whispers of Oman’ and of course there is the Khareef, when the mountains turn into a paradise full of greenery and flowers. During this period magic is in the air,” says Maria.