Features – Muscat Daily https://www.muscatdaily.com An Apex Media Publication Wed, 07 Jun 2023 13:17:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.muscatdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/favicon.png Features – Muscat Daily https://www.muscatdaily.com 32 32 B.I.G weekend in Muscat https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/07/korean-boy-band-b-i-g-to-perform-concert-at-ocec-in-muscat-on-june-9/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/07/korean-boy-band-b-i-g-to-perform-concert-at-ocec-in-muscat-on-june-9/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2023 13:17:04 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=47779 Popular Korean boy band B.I.G (Boys In Groove) are set to perform at Madinat al Irfan Theatre (OCEC), on Friday (June 9) as part of their current regional tour

Clad in oversized trousers and shirts, and adorned with ear-piercings and lipgloss the Korean ‘B.I.G boys’ are all set to set to take the Gen Z in Muscat by storm as they unleash their K-pop hysteria at the Madinat al Irfan Theatre, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday (June 9) evening.

If you are one of those hooked onto K-pop – the latest music craze that not only offers young music lovers the world over a fresh, alien genre – and if you appreciate the smooth, ivory complexions of the boy band members synonymous with their smooth renditions, you cannot possibly miss encountering their magic in Oman, which is part of their regional tour. The band reportedly heads out to Kuwait for another concert on June 12.

Members of this popular Korean boy band – B.I.G (Boys In Groove) – include J-Hoon, lead dancer and lead vocalist, Gunmin, leader, main dancer and vocalist, Heedo, main rapper , and Jinseok, main vocalist and the youngest. Two of the initial band members, Benji – main vocalist, and Minpyo – main rapper, are not part of the group now.

B.I.G had been formed in year 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, under GH Entertainment. They debuted on July 9, 2014, with their first digital single ‘Hello’ which became an instant hit because of its high praising lyrics in good regard of South Korea. Subsequently, other singles like ‘Are You Ready?’ soon built up their popularity.

In 2014, B.I.G were appointed ambassadors of the 2014 ‘Love Life while Walking Overnight’ campaign and the 2014 Lifeline campaign. In 2016, the group became ambassadors for the National Unification Advisory Council and were subsequently appointed ambassadors for the Korea Youth Association.

With a dedicated fan base in the Middle East and a growing presence in Japan, B.I.G has delighted audiences in various countries, including a special performance for the Prince of Saudi Arabia. Despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic, B.I.G remains committed to its fans, eager to continue sharing their love for music. The Muscat concert is also expected to consolidate their popularity in the Arab world since a large number of K-pop fans exist in Oman, too.

This concert has been jointly organised by the Korean Embassy and the Korea-Arab Society which aims to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges while upholding mutual cultural ties and heritage between Korea and 22 Arab countries.

The highlights include performances by talented musicians from Arab countries, including Mustafa Waad, from Iraq, and Anas Marzi, from Morocco. The two-hour concert is slated to begin at 8 pm.

Arabic K-pop

The Muscat concert will incorporate a blend of Korean and Arabic titles including popular songs such as ‘La Bezzaf ’and ‘LM3ALLEM.’

B.I.G had released their seventh single – Illusion – in both, Korean and Arabic, making them the first K-pop group to release a song in Arabic. This was released before a mini-concert in Abu Dhabi, as part of the ‘Korea Festival 2019’.

The band had also released a coronavirus-inspired song in Arabic, titled ‘Corona Song’ aimed to empower and encourage those struggling during the pandemic.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/07/korean-boy-band-b-i-g-to-perform-concert-at-ocec-in-muscat-on-june-9/feed/ 0
Build muscles but streamline your protein intake, say Omani bodybuilders https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/06/build-muscles-but-regulate-your-protein-intake-say-omani-bodybuilders/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/06/build-muscles-but-regulate-your-protein-intake-say-omani-bodybuilders/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2023 07:16:52 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=47678 Protein (found in every cell and tissue in the body) has many vital roles, the key role being supporting, repairing and maintaining muscle growth. The moot question is, how much protein do you need to build muscle?

If you’re on the muscle building bandwagon, protein is the focus of your daily diet… but how much is just right for you?

Will your youthful indulgence in protein to build muscle ensure that you stay fit and fine for long or will it take a toll on your physique in the long run when your fitness regimens decline? Such concerns often disturb youth who are into shaping up in their late teens and early twenties.

Research indicates that consuming less protein than the body needs is linked to decreased muscle mass. In contrast, increased protein intakes may help increase strength and lean body mass when paired with resistance exercise.

Protein is made up of amino acids that act as building blocks for cells and tissues in the body. There are 20 amino acids that combine to form proteins.

While some can be synthesised by the human body, others cannot. The nine amino acids that the body cannot make are called ‘essential amino acids’ and these must be obtained through diet.

When a person eats protein, it is digested and broken down into amino acids, which are involved in many processes in the body, including tissue growth and repair, immune function, and energy production.

protein 2

“The recommended dietary allowance for active adults is 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight, but new research suggests a little more (1.2-1.7g) in combination with physical activity is ideal. I would recommend consuming a combination of natural proteins – mainly white meats (chicken, fish) for lower cholesterol, fat and sodium levels – with protein supplements,” says Al Warith al Harthy, bodybuilding coach.

Accomplished bodybuilder Bilarab Moosa al Salami added, “Youngsters intending to build muscle along with their exercise programme need to consume around 500g t0 750g of protein a day to develop a good body. This can be possible by including 150g chicken, 5-8 eggs, and 180-200g beef, besides ISO protein shakes once a day.”

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most healthy adults over 19 years old should get between 10-35% of their daily calories from protein. (One gramme of protein provides 4 calories.) This means that a person who eats 2,000 calories per day would need to consume between 50 and 175g of protein per day.

The current RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of 0.8g per kg of body weight for protein is based on the amount required to maintain nitrogen balance and prevent muscle loss. However, extending these recommendations to active individuals who are looking to build muscle may not be appropriate.

When it comes to building muscle mass, the ideal amount of daily protein a person should consume varies depending on several factors, including age, gender, activity level, health, and other variables.

Here is what the latest research says:

One 2020 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrition Reviews found that protein intakes ranging from 0.5 to 3.5g per kg of body weight can support increases in lean body mass. In particular, researchers noted that gradually increasing protein take, even by as little as 0.1g per kg of body weight per day, can help maintain or increase muscle mass.

Another 2022 meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine concluded that higher protein intakes of around 1.5g per kg of body weight daily paired with resistance training are required for optimal effects on muscle strength.

Researchers noted that the benefits of increased protein intake on strength and muscle mass appear to plateau at 1.5 to 1.6g per kg of body weight per day.

Best protein sources

Animal-based protein sources:

Lean meats



Fish and seafood

Dairy products

Whey protein powders.

Plant-based protein sources:






Soy products

Plant-based protein powders

How much is too much?

Doctors generally agree that healthy adults can safely tolerate a long-term protein intake of up to 2g per kg of body weight per day without any side effects. However, some groups of people, such as healthy, well-trained athletes, may tolerate up to 3.5g per kg of body weight.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/06/06/build-muscles-but-regulate-your-protein-intake-say-omani-bodybuilders/feed/ 0
How green is your wadi? https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/31/some-wadis-in-muscat-adorned-with-leafy-boughs-serve-many-purposes/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/31/some-wadis-in-muscat-adorned-with-leafy-boughs-serve-many-purposes/#respond Wed, 31 May 2023 14:57:12 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=47405 Some wadis in Muscat are adorned with leafy boughs that serve many environment purposes

Look around the wadis that form a network across the length and breadth of the capital to take rain water to the Arabian Sea, one can find these home to a variety of entities – from elevated drain sumps and oases for driving instructors to camp as students practice ‘drum tests’, to feeding locales for pigeons and cricket pitches for weekend revelry.

The most fascinating aspect of some sections of these wadis in the capital, however, is the presence of trees/shrubs which make them come alive in green splendour and offer a pleasing sight for pedestrians as well as motorists. After all, the magic of leafy boughs, that invite birds, bees, and butterflies, is more welcome than the rugged stretches of sand and gravel.

wadis 2

According to a popular Indian botanist in Muscat, Dr Zulfikar Ali, who has been studying as well as imparting education on horticulture and environment issues, there are many numerous indigenous plants, shrubs and trees found in and around many wadis which should not be removed from wadis as they have deep fibrous roots and serve many purposes like binding soil, preventing soil erosion, providing sweet smelling flowers and good quality nectar, as well as serving as food for gulf-dominant animals.

Some of the popular shrubs include salt bush, bougainvillea, Barbados’ pride, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, while trees include Indian almond, tulip tree, thorn tree, Ghaf, rain trees which are salt and drought resistant. These trees spread their pods with winds and are easily cultivated to prevent soil erosion. Neem trees are also very popular as they stay green and fresh all through the year and can be grown where nothing else can be grown.

There are other varieties like Tamarix aphylla which are salt, wind and drought resistant, zizyphus spina-christi, that is native to the gulf and seen lining most wadis, and Manila tamarind which needs minimal water to grow.

“All the trees mentioned are indigenous trees, except Neem, and should never be removed as, besides preventing soil erosion, they also help the economy,” Dr Ali said, explaining that most of the flower bearing indigenous trees provide good quality nectar which is used for the production of honey – like prosopis honey, sumor honey – which facilitate production of world renowned honey in the gulf.”

wadis 4

Popular plants

Sun plantations

Trailing Gazania



Salt bush


Caesal Pimia (Barbados’ pride)

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis


Prosopis Juliflora

Prosopis cineraria (Ghaf)

Thespesia (Tulip tree)

Albizia lebbek (Rain tree)

Azadiracta indica (Neem tree)

Tamarix aphylla (Athel)

Pithecellobium dulce (Manila tamarind)

Zizyphus spina-christi (Christ thorn tree)

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/31/some-wadis-in-muscat-adorned-with-leafy-boughs-serve-many-purposes/feed/ 0
Indian expatriate classical singer enthrals Muscat https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/27/dr-vandana-jyotirmayee-enthrals-audience-in-muscat-with-sufi-renditions/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/27/dr-vandana-jyotirmayee-enthrals-audience-in-muscat-with-sufi-renditions/#respond Sat, 27 May 2023 14:53:58 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=47143 Dr Vandana Jyotirmayee, Hindustani classical singer and professor at University of Technology and Applied Sciences, enthrals the audience with Sufi renditions at a concert in Muscat last week

Dama dam mast Qalandar‘ (Every breath for the ecstasy of Qalandar)…the mesmerising essence of this spiritual Sufi qawwali written in the honour of the most revered 12th century Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif, filled the Jabrin Ballroom of hotel Intercontinental Muscat on May 19, as Dr Vandana Jyotirmayee, Hindustani classical singer, held an elite audience captive with her soulful renditions at a unique concert.

With many immortal renditions, from traditional classical to more soul-stirring ghazals, including the popular nazm – Aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar (Thoughts about you haunted me all night long), Dr Vandana, who is a professor at University of Technology and Applied Sciences, enthralled the audience which comprised music lovers, high level dignitaries as well as faculty members and students of various educational institutions in Oman. She has been attached with the Ministry of Education in the sultanate for more than one and a half decades.

“Music is the language of the soul, that beyond doubt, heals us. Songs and soulful renditions transform emotions into tearful smiles,” says Dr Vandana, adding, “‘Music is one of the finest gifts by the Almighty to human beings. It has the power to elevate you to a meditative state, to submerge you in the depth of varied emotions, and transform your inner being.”

Dr Vandana was accompanied on stage by India’s talented musicians – the world famous tabla player Shreedhara Sureshwara Chari, a disciple of Ustad Allarakha Khan Qureishi, and mandolin and guitar player Amar Sangam Das, a disciple of the grand maestro Pandit U Srinivas – called the ‘Mozart of Indian classical music’. On the keyboards was a local musician, Cherry Abraham, who teaches at Muscat’s popular Harmony Music Institute.

The evening of ghazals and Sufi songs was a classical treat for those who appreciate Hindustani classical music and the confidence and grace with which Dr Vandana delivered every rendition kept the audience gripped and begging for more with several ‘once more’ requests.

Dr Vandana had completed her music training in the best Hindustani classical ‘gharanas’ (derived from the word ‘ghar’ or ‘house’ from where a particular style of music originated) from age six. She has trained with the Gwalior gharana, Kirana gharana and Gaya gharana building up a sound repertoire of varied renditions over the past few decades.

sufi renditions

At the event, Dr Vandana was felicitated by the chief guest, H E Amit Narang, Ambassador of India, who also honoured the accompanists on stage. The overall mood was one of bliss as the accomplished singer’s music had the ability to transcend all other virtues and unleash general feeling of well being and tranquility.

About the healing power of music, Dr Vandana said, “It’s a respite from the daily mundane routine that music is. It’s power had been recognised by the famous Indian scientist J C Bose who experimented with plants and demonstrated how plants, that were exposed to soulful music, responded to it, and showed better growth than those that were not.”

“The swaras (notes) have a healing power and this power is godly. The seven notes of music are so powerful that these pervade the whole universe. Music has a magic, which is unique and inexplicable,” she asserted.

Dr Vandana, who has held concerts in many other countries, besides India, is the daughter of Dr Urmila Singh, a recipient of many awards, including one presented by the first prime minister of India, late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

“As the heart yearns for more renditions from Dr Vandana, who enraptured us in her superb singing, I, too, recall the legendary English poet, William Wordsworth’s words – ‘The music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more’. Truly, this line from, Wordsworth ‘The Solitary Reaper’ captures the unforgettable impression left in our hearts by Dr Vandana,” said Amita Sanghavi, English Language lecturer, Sultan Qaboos University, who was among the audience.

“Indeed, the memory of the overwhelming ecstasy felt on hearing her sing Sufi music transcended us to a sublime state where one heals as one feels unified with the divine,” she added.

Concert renditions

Dama dam mast kalandar

Chhaap tilak sab chheeni

Tu maane ya na maane dildaara

Ae ri sakhi moray piya ghar aaye


Hangama hai kyon barpa

Kabhi kaha na kisi se tere fasaane ko

Humri atariya pe aao re

Aapki yaad aati rahi raat bhar

(With inputs from Amita Sanghavi)

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/27/dr-vandana-jyotirmayee-enthrals-audience-in-muscat-with-sufi-renditions/feed/ 0
India’s ‘Moon Man’ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/25/indias-moon-man/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/25/indias-moon-man/#respond Thu, 25 May 2023 08:11:06 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=47110 Muscat – In the vast expanse of the cosmos, where celestial bodies drift across unfathomable distances, the Moon and Mars stand as distant neighbours, separated by thousands of light years from the Earth. Yet, in the intricate tapestry of the universe, their allure and mystery have always remained close to the heart of one man – Mylswamy Annadurai, a space scientist, affectionately known as India’s ‘Moon Man’.

Hailing from the ancient land of Tamil Nadu in India, Annadurai is an esteemed aerospace engineer who has left an indelible mark on the annals of space exploration. Throughout his illustrious career, he has held numerous esteemed positions within the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an organisation at the forefront of scientific advancements and technological marvels.

With a mind attuned to the wonders of the cosmos, Annadurai has dedicated his life to unraveling the mysteries that lie beyond our blue planet. The Moon Man’s unwavering commitment to scientific exploratio

n has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of India’s space endeavours. Yet, amidst the grandeur of his accomplishments, Annadurai, like the wise star, remains a humble custodian of knowledge, always striving to inspire the next generation of dreamers and visionaries.

Muscat Daily caught up with the Moon Man for a down-to-earth chat and found that his story was a testament to the relentless pursuit of mankind to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

Life’s lessons

I have always been fascinated by the universe, dark skies, moon and stars ever since I was a boy. I come from a humble background in Tamil Nadu like other scientists at ISRO.

The vast universe is fascinating and it teaches us to be humble as man is not even a particle in that scale – the very knowledge of that can get one grounded.

We need to engage people right from childhood to be aware of the vastness of the universe and the solutions that lie beyond human comprehension. This will make humanity more responsible. Initially, we faced a lot of challenges but now our government is really serious on sending missions to the Moon or Mars.

Space tourism

Our mission Mangalayam concluded a few years back found that the planet Mars is not dead. This is the nearest planet to Earth that has a probability of human survival. It has been showing the processes of losing its atmosphere, and perhaps, indicates the future of the Earth.

Mars may be good for life as it shows similar conditions that can be generated for human survival. With the vision and confidence of even Elon Musk, we can assume that soon space tourism will take off and soon man would set up a colony there. Akin to the historic migrations across continents, this time it will be through planets.

Chandrayan III, Aditya-L1

We had a sad failure of our mission a few years back – basically, there were multiple engines that should have worked in unison, but unfortunately, did not. We had no choice but to destroy it, and sadly, we could not get any images. In a few weeks time, we will embark on Chandarayan III and hopefully have appropriate information for a successful launch. We also have lined up Aditya-L1 to study the sun.

Legendary landing on Moon

Though there are many controversies regarding the first landing on the Moon, I don’t think, it could’ve been staged. The first landing was more of a victory for a country, not for science, as America was more focussed on being a leading global power. There have been some serious questions about the moon landing (like the fluttering US flag) and all have been logically and practically explained by the scientists. Also the samples that were brought from the moon showcase a different dimension.

Now, NASA is planning a big project to the moon called ‘Back to the Moon’ in which modern technology can make a difference. The years ahead will see more breakthroughs.


The attention has now shifted to Mars. We had a launch in 2008 and were surprised to encounter water – this was also verified by the US mission in 2009. We have also seen water resources in the Moon, in the poles predominantly, in the form of ice where the Sun does not reach. In a span of last 60 years there must have been some massive changes and we need to find them out. With modern technology and remote sensors we can easily find more details about the surface, depths, and terrain.


If you consider the human being across the globe, you would find, that definitely life did not begin from one place on Earth. Similarly, I believe, that immediately after the so-called ‘Big Bang’, there must have been other big bangs that released gases, and with infinite time different constellations in the universe were created. So vast is this universe that there are mathematically huge probabilities that varied forms of life could exist.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/25/indias-moon-man/feed/ 0
Joint action – Arthritis Awareness Month https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/23/joint-action-arthritis-awareness-month/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/23/joint-action-arthritis-awareness-month/#respond Tue, 23 May 2023 11:20:12 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=46970 Arthritis can happen to anyone at any age. It is a prevalent health concern worldwide, including in Oman. And the month of May is observed as Arthritis Awareness Month to raise awareness about this condition.

If you find it difficult to hold onto your morning coffee mug for long or find it extremely painful when getting up from a chair, or notice a redness/swelling in any of your joints that lasts more than a day, you could be suffering from arthritis, a degenerative condition that affects millions worldwide every year.

In Oman, various organisations, healthcare professionals, and advocacy groups come together to spread awareness through informative campaigns, events, and fundraisers. These initiatives aim to promote early diagnosis, provide resources and support, advocate for research, and improve access to quality care.

Arthritis prevalence and statistics

According to Ministry of Health, the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in Oman was 8.4 per thousand adults. About 1 in 4 adults (23.7%) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Arthritis is more common in women (23.5%) compared with men (18.1%), more common among adults with fair/poor health (40.5%) compared with those who have excellent/very good health (15.4%), and less common among adults who meet physical activity recommendations (18.1%) compared with adults who are insufficiently active or inactive (23.1% and 23.6%, respectively). 

Dr Biswajit Dutta Baruah, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at KIMS Oman hospital, said that the most common type of arthritis in Oman is osteoarthritis, which is often associated with aging and ‘wear and tear’ of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common, followed by gouty and psoriatic arthritis, with differential symptoms, he said.

Dr Biswajit believes that arthritis can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. “It can make it difficult to perform daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting dressed. Arthritis can also lead to depression, anxiety, and social isolation.”

Dr Akshay, specialist orthopaedic surgeon at Apollo Hospital, explained, “Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, although it most commonly affects joints in the spine, hands, hips and knees. Most people consider osteoarthritis to be inevitable during one’s lifetime, but proper clinical management and treatment can help stall, if not reverse, the impact of this deteriorating condition.”

“The most common symptoms of arthritis are grating or cracking sensation on movement, exaggerated pain in winter season, overall loss in flexibility, not able to sit cross legs, difficulty in forward bending and generalised swelling,” he added.

Dr Kalyan Srungavarapu, orthopaedic surgeon at Aster Royal hospital, said, “Although osteoarthritis is more common in older people, many young people in their teens, 20s and 30s can still suffer with the condition.”

“Being overweight, poor posture, leading a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, joint injury or having a family history are the main causes of osteoarthritis in young people,” Dr Kalyan explained.

Treatment options

Dr Ranjan Babu, specialistorthopaedician at Badr Al Samaa Hospital, said that there is no cure for arthritis but there are treatments to manage the condition. “Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical therapy can help to improve joint function, reduce pain, and increase strength and flexibility. Sometimes corticosteroid injections directly into the affected joint can provide short-term pain relief and reduce inflammation.”

Dietary changes

Dr Biswajit suggests to avoid processed food, red meat, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as it can worsen arthritis symptoms. “Diet plays an important role in alleviating symptoms but there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet for arthritis. Some of the best foods for arthritis are whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Also, Omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy fats found in fish have anti-inflammatory properties.”

Dr Ranjan adds, “Dietary changes may not cure arthritis or replace medical treatments but they can help managing inflammation, reducing pain, and improving overall joint health.”

Self care is the best care

According to Dr Baruah, self care is an important part of managing arthritis. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and listen to your body, he says. But,

Dr Ranjan believes that prevention is better than cure.

“Arthritis can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints, particularly the weight-bearing joints like the hips, knees, and ankles. Also, regular physical activity helps keep the joints flexible, strengthens the muscles around the joints, and improves overall joint function,” Dr Ranjan says, adding, “Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling can be gentle on the joints while providing numerous benefits.”

Exercise is the key

Dr Kalyan believes that it is important to find the right type of exercise for your body. He suggested three types of exercises that combine to make up a good fitness programme. “First is the range of movement which helps to improve strength and flexibility and promotes good posture; try swimming, tai chi and golf. Second is strengthening — this will help build the muscles, which in turn provide better support for your joints; try weight training. Third is aerobic — this raises your heartbeat, which helps to improve your level of fitness by strengthening your heart; some of the best forms of aerobic exercise are brisk walking, cycling and tennis.”

Dr Kalyan urges people with osteoarthritis to engage in moderate exercise programs because excessive exercise might cause further pain and joint degeneration.

Hospital awareness campaigns

Dr Biswajit stated, “KIMS Oman Hospital runs a campaign to raise awareness about arthritis in the month of May. The campaign is aimed to  raise awareness about arthritis and help people understand the condition so that they can get the help they need. The hospital believes that everyone deserves to live a healthy and active life, regardless of their health condition.”

Dr Ranjan disclosed that they also share patient stories and testimonials through social media to create an impactful awareness. “People will be able to connect better and understand the impact of arthritis by learning about others. And Badr Al Samaa Group of Hospitals have one-on-one counselling sessions with the patients who are at risk. We have also introduced discounted screening packages to encourage people for preventive health screening,” he added.

Dr Akshay also stated that Apollo Hospitals organise campaigns and screening for arthritis during the winter months when arthritis is much more prevalent.

(Contributed by Deeba Parween)

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/23/joint-action-arthritis-awareness-month/feed/ 0
Oman Exploration – a new experience for tourists https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/20/oman-exploration-a-new-experience-for-tourists-in-oman/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/20/oman-exploration-a-new-experience-for-tourists-in-oman/#respond Sat, 20 May 2023 09:57:14 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=46809 With an aim to promote domestic tourism and showcase Oman’s unique attractions to tourists, two enterprising youth – Abdullah Khamis al Farsi and his brother Mohammed – hailing from Sur, started a project called Oman Exploration two months ago. The aim of the project is to provide quick trips around Oman for tourists.

Abdullah and Mohammed, who have got quite a grip on what tourists seek during their trips to Oman, have devised concise trips with all the trappings of Arabia’s lures, to give visitors a feel of the life, culture and pulse of the sultanate with a few days. Trips can be customised to suit the needs and time frame available to different tourist groups of various sizes.

The trips include activities like camping, hiking and swimming in picturesque locations such as Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, visits to Al Ayjah Lighthouse, hiking to the highest spot above the popular Sur bridge and opportunities to watch colourful sunsets. Initially, all this is being offered in the wilayat of Sur.

Speaking to Muscat Daily, Abdullah said, “We offers experienced drivers who take tourists to cities as well as off-road adventures, camping outdoors that is facilitated by tents carried on the car roof, opportunities to savour local food and music, as well as the service of knowledgeable Omani guides who give visitors insights about places/events and hidden stories behind various cultural observances in Sur.

Abdullah disclosed, “We’ve shot films of the tourist trips and posted them on social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, to which many tourists responded from different parts of the world.” Hence, they succeed to facilitate trips of tourist groups from many countries, including UK, India and South Africa.

“We also organise visits to Bedouin settlements where tourists can experience their lifestyle, visit a camel farm, drink fresh milk, learn about Bedouin customs, and enjoy traditional food. At the end of the day, we organise a dinner and a simple outdoor party, which goes on till midnight,” Mohammed said.

In March, the brothers set off on a trip across the sultanate in their cars to promote tourism. Their plan is to drive through all the governorates of Oman and shoot films of the picturesque places and nature on the way.

“We are now camping in the wilayat of Sur, in South Sharqiyah,” said Abdullah. “The trip aims to promote tourism and document traditions and customs, besides addressing the need to preserve the environment.”

They carry along in their camper vehicle kitchen utensils, a small oven, a gas cylinder, a small refrigerator, and other necessities. They have also installed solar panels on the roof of the van for electricity at night.

The brothers camp at different spot for a few days, shooting videos of each place and documenting facts regarding hiking, swimming, fishing, climbing mountains, discovering caves and valleys, which can facilitate tourists.

Giving details about the sites, they revealed, that ‘Ezbah’ is a name given to a place where the Badawi tribe keep their camels. It is a secluded place characterised by tranquility and provides a good environment for adventure tourists. The traditional ‘Ezbah’ is located with an open tent with Bedouin hospitality.

Also, Fatah Al Khair is an air museum dedicated to the shipbuilding traditions of the city of Sur. Built over 70 years ago, the wooden fishing vessel has strong historical significance about a bygone era. It was brought back to Yemen, restored and grounded on dry land, and said to be hand-built without any nails. Fatah Al Khair is located in Al Qanjah Boat Yard within the Sur Maritime Museum.

There are other destinations of interest, like the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve which is a big draw for tourists who wish to see the fascinating nesting turtles.

The Farsi brothers say they have experience a lot during their trips around Oman and wish to share all that with tourists. Initially accepting small groups, since they can accommodate around three tourist in each car, they hope to soon expand their business to take bigger groups around Oman, those willing to tag on with their own four-wheel-drive cars.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/20/oman-exploration-a-new-experience-for-tourists-in-oman/feed/ 0
Sharing the past…and pasta https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/16/sharing-the-past-and-pasta/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/16/sharing-the-past-and-pasta/#respond Tue, 16 May 2023 13:22:00 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=46688 Muscat – Oman and Italy have shared a long-standing relationship that is cordial, economically beneficial, culturally vibrant, and politically deep-rooted in mutual trust.

Taking over as the new ambassador of Italy to Oman, H E Pierluigi D’Elia has a series of cultural, business-related, and people-to-people contact events lined up. This in view of the fact that the two countries have a long-standing relationship based on mutual respect, cultural exchanges and economic ties, he said.

Both nations have a history of trade and co-operation dating back to centuries. In recent times, Italy and Oman have continued to strengthen their relationship through diplomatic dialogue and collaboration in various fields, such as energy, infrastructure and art. The appointment of a new ambassador signals a commitment to further strengthening these ties and exploring new avenues for collaboration. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with H E Pierluigi D’Elia:

As the new Italian ambassador, what are your top priorities?

I am looking forward to boosting the political, economic, cultural ties of both countries. We live in a world of global and regional challenges, and unprecedented change. So, it’s important to strengthen the Omani-Italian friendship in order to tackle these challenges together. I’m also talking about climate change, the need to boost trade and investment,and all the action that we do to promote stability and peace in the region. So, my top priority will be to have more exchanges between our people, our politicians, and our businesses.

What is the strength of the Italian population in Oman?

After the pandemic, the numbers have gone down. Yet, we do have a very lively community of approximately 300 Italians living in Oman.

What about Omanis who have visited Italy – are the numbers significant?

We had a remarkable increase in visa issues in the beginning of the year. In the very first month of 2023, approximately 1,000 visas were issued for citizens from Oman. The main reason to visit Italy is tourism. But we also issued some for business purposes. There are a lot of sectors which we are looking at in order to increase cooperation and increase mutual benefits. For example, manufacturing, food, transformation, renewable energy, and green hydrogen and the tourism sector. Italy is one of the biggest economies in the world and part of the European Union, which is the largest single market, trade bloc and investor. So, there are a lot of opportunities there as Italy is a leader in recycling, biotech, pharmaceuticals, machinery, automotive, food, design, films, and fashion.

Are you planning any specific cultural exchanges in fashion, food, films?

We share so many important commonalities including a very rich culture and history. And one proof of our cooperation in the culture sector. For example, our archaeological missions in Oman – we have like nine archaeological missions here. As far as design, filmmaking and fashion is concerned, there are many avenues for collaboration. March 9 was celebrated as Italian Design Day recently and it was a huge hit.

Could you elaborate on the nine archaeological missions in Oman?

It’s about researching the rich history of Oman at archaeological sites. We have several universities doing research here to discover more about the rich history of Oman.

Is the number of Italian tourists visiting Oman good enough?
In the first part of the year, we already had more than 20,000 Italians visiting Oman. This is very significant, compared to last year. So my impression is that more and more Italians are looking forward to visiting this beautiful country.

Any events lined up for 2023?

We have our National Day coming up in June, and in October we celebrate our language week where we propagate several courses of the Italian language. In November, we will have Italian Cuisine Week on the theme Wellness With Good Taste.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/16/sharing-the-past-and-pasta/feed/ 0
Maintain balance between mental and physical fitness, says Omani fitness trainer https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/15/maintain-balance-between-mental-and-physical-fitness-says-omani-trainer/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/15/maintain-balance-between-mental-and-physical-fitness-says-omani-trainer/#respond Mon, 15 May 2023 14:45:32 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=46619 Fitness is all about striking a perfect balance between mental and physical well being, says Nageeb al Khaldi, an HSE professional and personal trainer, who likens the brain to a ‘king’ and body parts to ‘soldiers’. The ultimate goal is making the king strong, he says

Have you given up fitness activity after a few weeks of earnest pursuance? Do other commitments occasionally force you to shift fitness to the back burner? Has a mentally taxing day at work often made you shelf your fitness routine though it involved no physical exhaustion whatsoever?

Fitness is a combination of mental and physical well being, and when the two exist in perfect harmony, one experiences good heatlh, says Nageeb al Khaldi, a fitness freak who has also been training numerous people in Oman who struggle to keep their fitness commitments alive in the face of pressures of the daily grind.

“Mental fatigue often forces individuals to give up their fitness commitments, though they are not physically tired,” says Khaldi, adding that one needs to devise ways to tackle mental fatigue so that it does not interfere with one’s physical activities that are very important for all round good health.

“My personal preference is such, straight after work I love to go to the gym and workout to release my negative energy. I take it all out in the gym and when I go home, I am fully refreshed and filled with only positive energy. I make sure to plan to workout five days a week and take two days off as my body would need rest to recover. That also depends on the specific sport that a person is doing,” he asserts.

Distinguishing between mental and physical fatigue, Khaldi says, “Mental fatigue is when a person is mentally tired, depending on how much work did he put in office. Work in finance can be mentally taxing as it involves concentration and focusing on writing reports, etc. That would make a person feel mentally tired and he might want to sleep. It can also be induced by other stresses of life.

“Physical fatigue, on the other hand, is when a person does physical work, moving his body to achieve a task. It applies on those involved in hard manual labour in building/construction or maintenance works, especially technicians and engineers.

Despite the clear distinction between physical and mental fatigue, confusion often arises due to the tendency for the brain to command the body to sleep when it is mentally tired. However, there are alternative methods to refresh the mind, and sports can serve as a powerful example.

Although the thought of hitting the gym after a long day may seem daunting, the benefits of exercise for refreshing the mind and boosting energy levels cannot be overstated. Once an individual overcomes the initial hurdle of getting to the gym and warming up, they will likely notice a surge of energy and mental clarity. By incorporating regular workouts into one’s routine, it is possible to refresh the brain and increase productivity while enjoying the benefits of physical fitness.

Asked if it is okay for one to workout when mentally tired, Khaldi said, one must first evaluate whether one has indulged in any physical activity. If not, then fatigue relates to mental strain. And physical workouts are beneficial to get rid of mental fatigue because when you workout you hit two birds with one stone – you refresh your brain and at the same time you improve your physical health.

Admitting that mental fatigue does affect physical performance, he, however, asserted that one needs to make a start somewhere. “Your brain is like a ‘king’ and your body parts are ‘soldiers’. With a strong king you have strong soldiers and with a weak king you have weak soldiers. So, it is important to keep the king strong.”

Khaldi further asserts, that it is important to tell oneself that one has chosen to go to the gym to refresh the brain as well as build a healthier, stronger physique.

To those sitting for a very long time in front of a computer in the office, Khaldi says, it can affect your body and make your muscles weak, besides causing spine-related injuries. Hence, taking up any type of sports that works the muscles would be the ideal exercise to make up for it. Spending at least 45 minutes in a gym is also enough to activate the muscles, he said.

“We normally make time for everything – work, family, friends, and so on, but we don’t set aside 45 minutes a day for fitness though it provides positive outcomes,” Khaldi said, adding that the choice of fitness activities is contingent upon personal preference and the enjoyment derived from various physical pursuits.

Some individuals may prefer running or martial arts, others may opt for gym workouts or engaging in team sports. Ultimately, any form of physical activity can be beneficial for promoting wellness and achieving fitness goals.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/15/maintain-balance-between-mental-and-physical-fitness-says-omani-trainer/feed/ 0
TAISM students participate in VEX Robotics World Championship https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/10/taism-students-participate-in-vex-robotics-world-championship/ https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/10/taism-students-participate-in-vex-robotics-world-championship/#respond Wed, 10 May 2023 15:30:24 +0000 https://www.muscatdaily.com/?p=46446 Six High School students from TAISM attend the VEX Robotics World Championship (April 24-May 5) in Dallas, Texas, becoming the first team from the sultanate to attend the prestigious event

This year, for the very first time, the largest robotics championship in the world welcomed a team from the Sultanate of Oman – Six High School students of The American International School of Muscat.

TAISM’s VEX Robotics Competition team was made of high school students passionate about technology, robotics and computer science. The group worked together to design, build, and programme a robot that could quickly and efficiently solve specific challenges.

The VEX Robotics Competition prepares students to become future innovators with a great majority of participants reporting an increased interest in STEM subject areas and pursuing STEM-related careers in future. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship in April every year.

“As an experienced robotics mentor, I’ve seen firsthand the engineering skill and leadership expertise that students gain by participating in the VEX Robotics Competition,” says Dan Mantz, CEO of The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation which manages the VEX Robotics Competition. “It’s an experience that will stay with them long after their school days are over, offering a new appreciation for STEM and laying a strong foundation of critical problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

robotics 2

At TAISM, students apply what they’ve learned about STEM in the classroom every week to build semi-autonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition, like communication, project management, time management, and teamwork.

TAISM’s Robotics team meets after school wherein students learn about electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer-aided machining, web design, and materials fabrication.

Jason Tiefel, Computer Science Teacher at TAISM who has been spearheading Robotics Education in the school, said, “Competing at the Vex Robotics World Championship is a monumental achievement, especially for a first year team, and I could not be more proud of the students for their skills, grit and determination.

“Vex matches require teams to strategise with partner teams that they just met, so the social skills are as important as the engineering and programming skills. The TAISM students faced all challenges with the calm, collaborative approach of a much more seasoned team. What is most exciting is that all they’ve achieved this year is just a first step in building a community of robotics in Oman.”

“Since 1998, our mission has been to develop ethical, responsible, and globally conscious life-long learners,” added Kevin Schafer, director at TAISM. “Robotics education is just one part of our duty to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist, and to teach them to adapt and lead in an ever-changing world. We look forward to engaging with education partners here in Oman as we lead the way in building a hub for Robotics events, learning and competitions in the sultanate.”

(TAISM has organised an open house for other schools to participate on May 29. Interested schools may contact TAISM to attend this open house as well as other collaborative events by emailing info@taism.com)

robotics 3

Jason Teifel, advisor TAISM Robotics Club, shares key insights on Robotics education:

What is your opinion about robotics education in shaping young minds and preparing them to think critically, strategise and solve problems, which would be helpful in their careers?

I do think all schools, to the extent that they are able, should offer robotics opportunities to their students. While robotics does foster a certain kind of critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving that can be useful in future career paths, I am personally passionate about supporting it for two reasons – it brings joy and provides another space for students to find others with similar interests. Our school offers many opportunities for students to find a sense of belonging – the football pitch, art studios, black box theater, science labs, etc. A robotics programme will find those students that may not have other platforms to shine, and I can’t think of a more important reason than that to invest our time, attention and money.

What role could TAISM play in propagating Robotics Education in other schools in the sultanate and in facilitating competitions and extra-curricular interactions among the student community?

TAISM is looking to create a community around robotics competition in Oman and beyond. We are the event partner for Vex Robotics in Oman, which brings a responsibility to lead the charge in supporting schools to get teams started. We are planning to host events that will allow our students to connect and collaborate with others beyond their school walls. Our first goal is to host a tournament for the 2023-2024 season that would qualify a team to travel to the Vex Robotics World Championship in Dallas, TX. Our team attended the worlds this year, as the first team from Oman to enter the competition, and we are ready to share our knowledge to help create the next phase of competition.

https://www.muscatdaily.com/2023/05/10/taism-students-participate-in-vex-robotics-world-championship/feed/ 0