“Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization” Book Discussion

On December 8, 2015, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center hosted a book launch luncheon and discussion for Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernization by Linda Pappas Funsch.

  

Oman Reborn traces the narrative of a little-known and relatively stable Arab country whose history of independence, legacy of interaction with diverse cultures, and enlightened modern leadership have transformed it in less than fifty years from an isolated potentate to a stable, dynamic, and largely optimistic country. At the heart of this fascinating story is Oman’s sultan, Qaboos bin Said, friend to both East and West, whose unique leadership style has resulted in both domestic and foreign policy achievements during his more than four decades in office.

The author, Linda Pappas Funsch, is a specialist in modern Middle East studies and Islamic history. She has studied, worked, and traveled extensively throughout the region. A freelance writer, consultant, and educator for more than forty years, she lectures frequently about Oman at scholarly symposia and institutions such as the World Bank, the World Affairs Council, and Georgetown University.

Funsch was re-introduced to the Sultanate through the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Annual Malone Oman Cultural Immersion Program in 2006, 32 years after her first visit. After the National Council study visit she published a series of articles about Oman in the Frederick News-Post. Funsch has subsequently served as a scholarly escort as well as a lecturing specialist at pre-departure orientations for this annual Council cultural program in Oman.

  1. Watch the book discussion on YouTube

Malone Fellow Linda Pappas Funsch on Oman

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ 2006 Malone Oman delegation spent time aboard a traditional Arab sailing dhow, fashioned from wood and crafted by hand in the manner of Omani shipwrights and mariners of yesteryear.

In 2006, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Malone Fellow and Model Arab League advisor Professor Linda Pappas Funsch contributed a series of stories to the Frederick News-Post drawn from her experiences participating in the National Council Malone Fellowship Oman Cultural Immersion Program. Her seven-part series, “Oman Rediscovered,” explored various dynamics of the Sultanate’s culture, economy, international relations, and modernization since her first visit in 1974.

Malone Fellow Linda Pappas Funsch on Lebanon

Professor Linda Pappas Funsch (far right) and a student delegation from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations visits the remains of the great forest of cedars of Lebanon, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From June 21-July 3, 2012, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in partnership with the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation, organized and escorted ten students on a study visit to Lebanon. The delegation was led by National Council Malone Fellow and Model Arab League advisor Professor Linda Pappas Funsch, who lived in Beirut for three years in the 1970s while working for the Ford Foundation. Professor Funsch contributed several stories about this summer’s visit to the Frederick News-Post, which can be access through the link below.

Linda Pappas Funsch, “Lebanon,” The Frederick News-Post, 2012.

Professor Funsch previously contributed a series of stories to the Frederick News-Post on Oman drawn from her experiences participating in the National Council Malone Fellowship Oman Cultural Immersion Program.

Linda Pappas Funsch, “Oman Rediscovered,” The Frederick News-Post, 2006.