BYU relations with Oman taking shape

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    By Kerstin Lundgren

    Mr. Abdullah, chairman of municipalities in Oman, came to BYU campus this weekend.

    His visit was not only to discuss BYU’s field experience in Oman with S. Kent Brown, professor of ancient scripture, but also to visit his son Ahmed Abdullah Ibrahim, a freshman at BYU.

    Ibrahim came to BYU fall semester because of his father’s contact with Brown.

    “This is a good place to study with good majors,” Ibrahim said. The people here are always smiling and very friendly, he said.

    Mr. Abdullah was also impressed with BYU.

    “It is different from what I expected, especially the BYU campus,” he said.

    He thought the university was located in an isolated place. “It is in the middle of a city,” Abdullah said.

    When Ibrahim decided to attend BYU, Abdullah was very agreeable. Both the Mormon culture and the Muslim culture are very conservative, Abdullah said.

    “We believe in many of the same things, like we do not drink alcohol,” Ibrahim said.

    Abdullah was accompanied with his son and Brown.

    Brown plans to go with a group of BYU professors and graduate students to Oman winter semester to do field research.

    A group of BYU botanists, archaeologists, and geologists will work in partnership with the local university, Sultan Rabooz.

    Oman is a country where little research has been done, Brown said.

    “Certain plants grow there that do not grow anywhere else,” he said.

    The rock formations on the coast are unique to Oman also, Brown said. Geologists will study the geology of these unusual formations winter semester.

    BYU’s relationship with Oman has just begun, Brown said.

    Abdullah said although this was his first visit here, it certainly would not be his last.

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