Viewing cable 05MUSCAT568
Title: BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORKS IN AMERICA AND

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT5682005-04-06 13:45:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MUSCAT 000568 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD 
(CWHITTLESEY,PAGNEW) 
ABU DHABI FOR HWECHSEL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO KDEM KWMN MU
SUBJECT:  BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORKS IN AMERICA AND 
OMAN 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶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. 
 
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Growing Professionally 
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¶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." 
 
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People Working Together 
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¶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. 
 
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WONDER WOMEN UNITE! 
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¶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. 
 
¶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. 
 
¶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 
home." 
 
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CUISINE AND CONNECTIONS 
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¶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 
businesswomen." 
 
BALTIMORE