Viewing cable 05MUSCAT365
Title: INVITING WOMEN LEADERS TO FORUM ON POLITICAL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT3652005-03-02 09:56:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000365 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR G (E.WEIGOLD, K.FRIEDRICH), NEA/PI, NEA/ARPI, 
STATE ALSO FOR INR/B 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL KWMN PHUM PGOV KMPI PINR MU
SUBJECT: INVITING WOMEN LEADERS TO FORUM ON POLITICAL 
PARTICIPATION: OMAN ACCEPTS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 31649 
 
¶1. (SBU) The Sultan's Foreign Policy Advisor Dr. Omar 
al-Zawawi and Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf 
bin Alawi both assured the Ambassador of the delivery and 
acceptance of the invitations to Higher Education Minister 
Dr. Rawya al-Busaidi and oil company executive Ms. Asillah 
al-Harthy to attend the March 8 women leaders forum at the 
Department of State.  The Higher Education Minister's office 
confirmed to the Embassy March 1 that Dr. Rawya will indeed 
attend the forum.  Asillah al-Harthy is currently on leave 
status but her office confirmed March 2 her acceptance of the 
invitation.  Their visa applications should be processed at 
the Embassy by March 6. 
 
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Biographic Backgrounds 
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¶2. (U) Dr. Rawya bint Saud al-Busaidi, Minister of Higher 
Education 
 
On March 8, 2004, Dr. Rawya became the first woman on the 
Arabian Peninsula to head a government ministry when she was 
elevated from her previous position as Under Secretary for 
Higher Education.  She was just the second woman in Omani 
history to attain minister-equivalent rank.  Dr. Rawya's 
post-secondary educational background is in Iraq and the UK, 
culminating in her attaining a Ph.D. from Oxford University 
in 1988.  She has spent her entire professional career in the 
field of education.  Dr. Rawya previously served as Director 
for Academic Affairs at Sultan Qaboos University (which at 
the time was Oman's sole institution of higher education), 
and later became an advisor to the Minister of Education 
before transferring to the Ministry of Higher Education as 
Under Secretary.  In addition to Arabic, Dr. Rawya speaks 
English and Swahili.  She is fond of taking family vacations 
in the United States.  No English interpretation will be 
required. 
 
¶3. (U) Ms. Asillah bint Zahir al-Harthy 
 
One of the leading business women in Oman, Asillah al-Harthy 
is Head of Corporate Affairs at Oman Oil Company, a 
commercial company wholly owned by the Omani government.  A 
graduate of Harvard Business School (1999), she currently 
sits on the Dean's Council of Harvard's Kennedy School of 
Government.  In January, 2005, she was named one of 237 
"Young Global Leaders" at the World Economic Forum in Davos. 
She is a past Board Member (appointed by Sultan Qaboos) of 
the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during which time 
she was the only female member of that council.  She took 
part in the Omani delegation that visited Harvard University 
in April 2004 in honor of Sultan Qaboos' endowment of a 
professorship there.  No English interpretation will be 
required. 
 
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Point of Contact 
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¶4. (U) The Embassy's point of contact for this event is 
Pol/Econ Chief Michael Snowden. 
BALTIMORE