UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000568
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD
ABU DHABI FOR HWECHSEL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KDEM KWMN MU
SUBJECT: BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORKS IN AMERICA AND
Â¶1. The Omani participants in the 2004 MEPI-funded "Business
Internship Program (BIP) for Young Middle Eastern Women"
were guests of honor at a recent dinner celebrating
International Women's Day. Three of the four BIP
participants shared the highlights of the program with the
other guests, including 20 Omani businesswomen. The
participants spoke enthusiastically about the leadership
training that they received and their experiences as interns
with American companies. End summary.
Â¶2. Mrs. Baltimore hosted a dinner to commemorate
International Women's Day (IWD) for the four Omani
participants in the 2004 Business Internship Program for
Young Middle Eastern Women and 20 other Omani businesswomen.
Razan Darwish, a BIP participant who interned at Disney
World stated, "The most interesting part of the internship
was working with the company, seeing it behind the scenes,
and learning about how it grew to be so stable, innovative,
and imaginative." Upon her return to the Ministry of
Tourism, where she is a Tourism Marketing Officer, Ms.
Darwish conducted workshops for colleagues, drawing upon
what she learned from her internship in the Product and
Services, Planning and Development Department at Disney
World. Describing weekly outings with the director of her
department she commented, "They taught me a lot about how to
be an effective leader and helped me to meet people who gave
me ideas about how to develop Oman's tourism sector."
People Working Together
Â¶3. Rahab al-Lawati, an intern with Nike, described her
experience in this way, "It was better than I could have
hoped for. People wanted me to learn, and allowed me to
choose the departments that I would intern in." Rahab
divided her time between the Corporate Responsibility,
Diversity, and Europe, Middle East and Africa departments.
She focused her remarks on the personal insights that she
gained from the experience, describing the sense of
accomplishment she felt from succeeding in a professional
setting in a country far away from home. Rahab also stated
that she was impressed to see the degree to which people
from different backgrounds and races were able to work
together effectively at Nike.
WONDER WOMEN UNITE!
Â¶4. Ms. Darwish remarked that she appreciated the
opportunity to network with the 40 other program
participants. "We are in almost daily contact to discuss
our career objectives and to mentor and support one another.
A local newspaper that published an article on the program
entitled it `Wonder Women.' There couldn't be a more
appropriate title for the women involved in the BIP
program." Ms. Darwish said she is eager to organize a BIP
Alumni meeting in Oman.
Â¶5. Fatma al-Maskery, who interned with Microsoft, spoke
with enthusiasm about the women's networks that exist within
the company. During her internship, she participated in a
Women's Leadership conference and was impressed by how women
at the conference created action plans to address issues of
concern to them. In addition, Ms. al-Maskery credited the
program with helping her to hone her presentation skills,
build her confidence, and increase her effectiveness.
Â¶6. Mayan al-Asfoor, commenting on her experience at
Whirlpool's Government Relations Office in Washington, D.C.,
was struck by the company's use of conference calls to
conduct meetings and the use of work from home programs that
reduce the need for in-person meetings and commuting times.
Ms. al-Asfoor commented, "These work-from-home programs are
amazing, because they help women to be more efficient in
their work and private lives by allowing them to stay at
CUISINE AND CONNECTIONS
Â¶7. The guests, who ranged from senior, award-winning
businesswomen to young entrepreneurs with home-based
companies, were impressed by the quality of the BIP program
and the opportunities for professional growth that it
provided to the participants. Guests shared their questions
and comments on the BIP participants' experiences, and then
moved to dinner, where lively conversations and networking
ensued. One guest commented, "It was a perfect evening. I
learned about this great program, and thank the Embassy for
providing the opportunity to network with other