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Embark on an unforgettable ‘Arabian Adventure in Oman’ in 2024

Linda Pappas Funsch, a distinguished career educator and expert in modern Middle Eastern history and Islamic studies, is set to embark on her next captivating journey titled the ‘Arabian Adventure in Oman.’ Linda, a freelance writer, consultant, and author, holds a deep-rooted connection with the Sultanate of Oman, having first visited the country in 1974.

Scheduled to take place from January 18 to February 2, 2024, the ‘Arabian Adventure in Oman’ study visit is been arranged by Zahara Tours, a renowned organisation that has been honoured with the ‘Oman Award for Excellence in Tourism’ a remarkable six times.

This carefully curated programme will encompass a plethora of fascinating highlights, including visits to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Sultan Armed Forces Museum, SQU, Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), local and international art galleries, archaeological sites such as Al Baleed, Samharam, Wubar, and the Unesco-listed frankincense trees and ancient trade routes at Wadi Dawkah.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to explore the Oman Across Ages Museum, and Al Hoota Caves, and immerse themselves in the vibrant local markets of Muscat, Sinaw, and Nizwa, among many other exciting experiences.

With her unwavering dedication to promoting cultural understanding, Linda was honoured in 2019 with a research fellowship from the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington, DC. Her upcoming book, scheduled for publication later in 2023, will shed light on the pivotal role of Omani women in national development, further contributing to her extensive body of work.

Having led numerous ‘learning on location’ study visits to the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Oman, Linda attracts a diverse group of participants seeking an enriching educational experience.


In the ‘Arabian Adventure’ held in 2023, approximately 13 guests took part and primarily comprised adult students from the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Frederick Community College in Maryland. This multidisciplinary programme of Middle East and Islamic Studies has been flourishing for over two decades, fostering a diverse and intellectually stimulating environment.

The 2023 ‘Arabian Adventure’ participants showcased an impressive blend of personal and professional backgrounds, representing three major Abrahamic traditions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Notable members included Karen, a professor of law, Rukhsana, a radiologist, Linda, a marine botanist, Donna, a US Navy veteran, Ellen, a chemist, and Dana, a clinical social worker, among others. Adding a refreshing and youthful perspective to the group was Christina, a practicing pharmacist, accompanied by her two daughters, Julia, a medical resident, and Jessica, an organic farmer.

Linda, who has a wealth of experience in escorting visitors to Oman, is delighted to welcome back Toni and John, a couple who joined her on the previous learning adventure in 2023. Toni, a retired teacher and community volunteer, and John, a mechanical engineer, are eager to embark on yet another captivating journey through Oman.

The forthcoming ‘Arabian Adventure in Oman’ study visit for early 2024 promises to be an exceptional exploration of Oman’s captivating landscapes, rich heritage, and vibrant culture. The 2024 itinerary will include the enchanting city of Salalah and the Governorate of Dhofar, ensuring participants a comprehensive and unforgettable experience.

Linda’s extensive teaching career spans several colleges and universities, with her current position at Frederick Community College in Maryland. A highly regarded speaker, she frequently graces scholarly symposia across the United States, sharing her knowledge and expertise.

Her commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding is exemplified through her ‘learning on location’ study visits, which have catered to both laymen and senior US military officers from CENTCOM, offering unique insights into the Middle East.

Her acclaimed book, ‘Oman Reborn: Balancing Tradition and Modernisation’, has even been translated into Arabic, further showcasing her expertise and admiration for Oman's rich culture.

For further information or inquiries regarding the study visit, interested individuals can contact Linda directly at lindafunsch@gmail.com.

Source: Oman Observer