Selected by the Sultan of Oman, the conference promotes cultural understanding with the United States and will focus on water and water management in arid areas.
Texas Tech University and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) have been chosen to host the 2015 Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) conference Nov. 5 at Texas Tech International Cultural Center.
The SQCC is based in Washington, D.C. and promotes mutual cultural understanding between the people of America and Oman. The SQCC sponsors outreach programs, scholarships, lectures, educational resources and cultural partnerships to bring together the culture, history and heritage of Oman and the United States.
The conference was established in 2005 and the host is selected each year by the Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman. Kennesaw State University hosted the conference in 2014.
“Texas Tech is very fortunate to have been selected for this year's Sultan Qaboos Conference,” said Tibor Nagy, vice provost for international affairs. “We will benefit from a shared conference with some of Oman's most respected academic researchers, including high-level officials from its science ministries. This really will be a unique opportunity to both benefit from global experts on some of the most important issues facing our region as well as promote Texas Tech's name in a vital region of the world.”
The title of this year's conference will be “Agriculture in Arid Areas,” which highlights the similarities between the South Plains and Oman, an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The conference will address water management and use by both regions in agricultural and urban areas, agricultural production in arid and semi-arid areas as well as technology used in Omani arid-land agriculture.
“The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is deeply honored to be selected to host this year's Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center annual conference with a focus on agriculture in arid areas,” said David Weindorf, associate professor and B.L. Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
“Our faculty's expertise will correspond well with the theme of the conference relative to water scarcity, drought/salinity stress and soil conservation. Furthermore, this conference affords CASNR the opportunity to strengthen international ties with talented foreign academians whereby both countries will gain knowledge applicable to arid lands.”
In addition to the conference, the Honorable Hunaina Al-Mughairy, the Omani ambassador to the U.S., will attend the conference along with the Omani delegation. She will participate in a panel discussion at the International Cultural Center auditorium at 6 p.m. Nov. 5. She will be joined by former U.S. Ambassador to Oman, the Honorable Frances Cook, and the panel will be moderated by Nagy, a former U.S. ambassador.
“Oman, unlike many of the other countries in the region, is not a recent creation of European powers, but has an illustrious history going back a thousand years,” Nagy said. “It played an important role throughout its history in the Indian Ocean littoral, and continues to be a vital source of stability in a highly chaotic and conflict prone area.”
The conference is open to the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities and admission is free.