Friday, 25 June 2010

Princess Susan of Oman

One real-life American princess, is Susan Al Said of Oman. Just posting this for my American readers, lol, and for C. BTW, this article is not mine but is from

Princess Susan Al Said from the Sultanate of Oman weighs every word she utters. And discreetly watches my notepad as I take down notes. "You have to be aware of your responsibilities being a part of the royal family," she smiles.
An American by birth and an Omanese by marriage, the princess makes this identity transformation into royalty, into a culture that we are given to believe is the antithesis of all that is American. And the image that people in most parts of the world carry about the "enclosed world" of Arab women isn't quite the whole picture, says Susan. "There is enough room for women to be educated and empowered in Oman. We even have three women ministers."
Despite being busy with "business and family responsibilities", Susan has constantly tried to help Omanese women find their identity. She runs an art gallery, Bait Muzna Gallery in Muscat, which gives the pride of place to women artistes. "I have done a few paintings myself," says Susan. Of course, it's also important for an Omani woman to be respectably dressed and be modest. "One has to remember that it's a society where traditions are still upheld, which can't change all of a sudden." Not that things such as dress code are thrust on women. "But women choose to dress modestly," says Susan. "You in India also have such an elegant, traditional dress, don't you?"

The fact that Susan was a well-travelled person helped in the process of acclimatisation into Oman, a country in which she has lived for 21 years now. "The more you travel and broaden your horizon, the easier it is to step out of your preconceived notions of what other countries and cultures are like."But what really matters at the end of the day is "openness of heart, a sharing spirit. It doesn't matter if you are a princess or an ordinary person," smiles Susan, her dragonfly brooch studded with precious stones firmly in place over her black headscarf.


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