While doing research in Oman for my next publication, I suddenly received a WhatsApp message from Farha al-Kindy in Rome. I’ve known Farha for a long time. In Whispers of Oman, published in 2015, she describes her fascination with helping fishing communities with an emphasis on coastal women. She even did research on this topic.
She then said: “The life of a woman in Oman is changing. These projects have a major impact on the coastal women. When three or four women understand what they have learned, they can pass on their knowledge. That was the intention to help them.”
In 2019, Farha became the owner of Sea Delight Oman.fish products, a small fishing processing plant including ready-to-eat fish products.
“Her visit to Rome was at the invitation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to support coastal women of Oman,” she texted.
“The program started in 2020 and included team building, communication, and women empowerment. The trip in Rome from May 7 till May 13 was meant to learn more about the fishing industry with topics such as the type and use of equipment, the use of technology in fish handling to add value.”
( click on thumbnail to enlarge the pictures )
More than 20 women aged 29 to 40 from Al Mussanah have benefited from the visit. Al Mussanah is a town and province in the Batinah region of Northern Oman and has its own port. “My role was an intermediary between the FAO and the group. I expressed their expectations that they had during the trip in terms of what they could see and where to go for similar products and their processing that Sea Delight is also working on.”
“The trip was very helpful for all of us,” Farha confirmed. “We have received many new ideas and solutions to problems and challenges we face, such as marketing and selling our products. There was much talk about regulating the import and export of frozen fish and fish products from Italy or European countries to Oman. But it also gave a perspective on the future of Sea Delight in Al Mussanah. One of the participants who has 120 outlets in Italy has shown interest in our products and can therefore become a distributor for Sea Delight Oman in Italy.
By reading Farha’s messages, I can only respect her perseverance all the years of knowing her and her passion for empowering the role coastal women can play in the national economy of Oman with this article as expression.
Pictures courtesy of Farha al-Kindi