Outward Bound Oman consists of eighteen full time staff, led by manager Mark Evans. The team is supported, when required, by experienced Outward Bound Instructors from schools overseas.
Mark Evans is the general manager of Outward Bound Oman. He has lived in the Arabian Gulf for 21 years, teaching at St Christopher’s School in Bahrain, the British School in Riyadh, and the British School in Muscat. In addition to 22 years experience as a teacher, Mark has a wealth of experience when it comes to working with young people out of doors, having worked for Outward Bound in Scotland and East Africa, and leading challenging overseas expeditions for the educational charity British Exploring, based at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Mark has sat on a number of advisory panels, and had an input into the development of British Standards document 8848, guidelines that set the safety standard for the Outdoor Education industry in the UK.
He was awarded the MBE in 2011 for his work in using expeditions to promote greater cultural understanding between young people from the Arab and western world (see www.universityofthedesert.com)
Mark has lived in Oman for twelve years, and through a 55 day solo kayak journey from Musandam to Yemen, and a 28 day journey through the Empty Quarter, knows the country intimately. He has published three books, and has lectured several times at the Royal Geographical Society, The Explorers Club in New York, the National Geographic stores in London and Singapore, and twice at the Daily Telegraph Adventure Travel show.
Mohamed Al-Zadjali is the training manager for Outward Bound Oman. He greatly enjoys the outdoor environment and finds pleasure in being able to introduce people to activities and good experiences in the diverse terrain that Oman’s environment offers.
Mohammed has experience in instructing educational and life skills courses in the outdoors for school groups, and was a tour guide for more than four years where he acquired a good knowledge of Oman’s mountains, wadis, deserts and coastal areas, as well as developing an interest in different cultures and an appreciation for cross-cultural understanding. Mohammed enjoys playing and watching football, and sleeps more comfortably in a tent then in a bed. Mohammed has undertaken three periods of training and observation at Outward Bound schools in the UK, South Africa, and Singapore. He is a qualified Wilderness First Responder; having completed a four day course in Oman with the UK based company Expedition Medicine.
Salwa Al-Balushi is our Administrative Operations Manager and, as the voice of Outward Bound Oman, when you call it will be Salwa who answers the phone! Amongst many jobs, she liaises with schools and colleges, does presentations to parents and teachers about Outward Bound, organises the participant databases, oversees the accounts, manages the office and most importantly keeps us all sane.
Prior to joining Outward Bound Salwa worked at the American Embassy in Muscat for five years, in the General Services department. She and her husband have three children who, are already getting excited about coming on an Outward Bound Oman course.
Sultan Al Jabri, newly appointed Operations Manager, worked in the tourism industry for a number of years, before joining Outward Bound Oman. I greatly enjoy all outdoor activities, camping, and desert driving 4x4 - especially Jeep Wranglers. I also enjoy meeting new people and making friends. I am studying part-time at gulf college doing business management.
I joined Outward Bound Oman because, through my previous work experience, I came to realize that I greatly enjoy teaching and guiding people, as Outward Bound Oman works very closely with people, giving them opportunities for self-development, I knew that I would find this work very rewarding. I look forward to leading people through new experience in settings that help them to learn more about themselves and others.
Malinka van der Gaauw - is our Coomunications Manager. She is from the UK but has spent most of her life living overseas. Professionally, she has run a department of political risk analysts, set up and run a nursery in Baku, Azerbaijan, organized OBOs Connecting Cultures programme and still runs communications for Muscat's junior rugby club.
Having grown up riding horses in rural England, she's most at home in the great outdoors and loves nothing better than a breezy beach ride to blow the cobwebs away. She's looking forward to helping OBO promote its courses far and wide, as "there's no better way to enjoy the physical splendour of Oman and the challenges of nature than on an OBO course".
Mohamed Al-Touqi, was born in the Congo and lived most of his life in Kenya. He studied Applied Information Technology at the German University in Oman for about 4 years, but was always interested in doing something that would help me contribute to the society. He likes playing football and is a huge Manchester United Fan. He also has a passion for swimming and during his school years he participated in a number of competitions. Having lived in Africa for about 15 years and visiting different places around the world he has learned to appreciate the beauty of nature, diverse wildlife and enjoy the natural environment.
After coming back to Oman in 2008 and interacting with the local people, learning the culture and exploring different regions he realized that Oman has so much to offer to its people.
“I joined Outward Bound because of this opportunity to discover and explore my own country. I believe that it is essential for the young people today to learn how to be content with life, and appreciate and enjoy God’s creation. By joining Outward Bound Oman I will be able to contribute positively towards the development of young people by helping them engage in different activities outdoors and thus help them discover themselves.”
Crispino Kennedy Fernandes, known to us all as Keneddy, is one of the key members of the OB Oman team. Born in Goa in India, Kennedy, who is 39 years old and has one son, has been working in Oman for 12 years. Prior to joining OB Oman, his most recent job was head of housekeeping at one of Oman's premiere tourism locations, The View, near Al Hamra, a luxury tourist campsite. This role was ideal preparation for his current job with us, which is to run the equipment and food stores, making sure that all of our gear is thoroughly prepared, cleaned and repaired, ensuring that our Instructors have all they need to do their jobs in the field.
Sokayna El Haddad joins us all the way from Morocco. She has a Master's Degree in translation and communication studies from King Fahd School in Tangier. After finishing her studies, she spent most of her weekends hiking and exploring the beautiful Rif Mountrains in North-West Morocco. In addition to her passion for hiking and camping, she enjoys learning languages and making friends from all over the world.
Sokayna was a participant in a Connecting Cultures expedition in December 2011. This enriching experience moticated her to learn more about the cutural and natural beauty of Oman. She is really excited to be a member of the Outward Bound Team, and meet young spirits who are eager to learn and interact in an inspiring enviroment.
Sultan Al Hasni has joined our team of instructors; he comes from a background of working at Muscat Aiport and Sultan Qaboos Port, so has lots of experience dealing with people from all over the world.
He has wide personal experience in the fields of camping, fishing, playing football and swimming. He has travelled to most parts of Oman, one of his favorites being Ras Madrakah - It has beautiful fine sand which is considered a haven from for tourists from both inside as well as outside of Oman.
"As the night draws clear across this vast desert land, the nature speaks for itself. The echoes of the air breeze whisper and we all surrender to an amazing comfort. Not only do I enjoy the fantastic outdoor experience, but it has become an integral part of my life." Well said Sultan - we agree!
Adil Al Sawafi joined the team at the beginning of August as a PRO, for which he has considerable experience, having worked with the Brazilian Embassy, as well as Siemens for the past 5 years. He enjoys sports, mainly swimming, and body- building. The latter he used to great effect when he acted as bodyguard to the Brazilian Ambassador in Muscat. His main passion is finding out what issues people have and helping them overcome this in whatever way he can, which is what brought him to Outward Bound Oman; he is super-efficient at navigating his way through the challenges of government paperwork, and has quickly established himself as an important member of the OB team. No-one in the office is going to challenge him at a game of arm wrestling, but we do welcome Adil with open arms – we’re passionate about getting our PRO work done on time!
One of the newest members of the Outward Bound Team – Anisa Al Raisi is an enthusiast for extreme sports. She first started exploring the extreme outdoors a few years ago in Austria while studying for her Masters in Tourism and Leisure Management, focusing on Sports Tourism and Health Tourism. She enjoys travelling and exploring the outdoors, and can be found downhill biking on some of Switzerland’s mountains, paragliding over it’s peaks, diving into breathtakingly cold Austrian canyons and visiting some of Europe’s rope parks – her favourite way to kill time! If you really want to see her in action, pop down to Azaiba beach in Muscat when the wind is blowing, and you'll find her out there with her fellow fanatical Kite Surfers.
Abdullah al Harthy, our latest addition to the instructor team, was born and raised in the beautiful southern town of Salalah, and spent his youth camping and exploring the Samhan mountains, moving to Muscat at the end of his studies when he was 24.
He has a good attention to detail, and worked for several years as warehouse manager for a company in the heart of the Omani Desert, and he enjoyed nothing more than setting off from the compound, on his day off, to explore and camp in the wilds.
Abdullah spends most of his valuable spare time camping and exploring different areas around Oman; he also enjoys swimming.
More recently, he was a tour guide for many visitors to Oman, and we look forward to having him as a valuable addition to the team, where we can benefit from and he will be able to share his desert experiences.
Hussain Al Hassni
, is a welcome addition to our growing team of instructors. Having worked at Muscat Duty Free for over 7 years, he has a wealth of experience on dealing with different people from all walks of life. His leadership potential was rightly recognised by his previous employers, and he was quickly promoted to a position of responsibility. Despite being so young, through having to manage others, Hussain is well placed to share with other young Omani’s the key life skills needed to not only enter, but succeed in the world of work
Hussain speaks a variety of languages in addition to Arabic and English. He is an extremely social person, and enjoys interacting with new people; his hobbies include travel, adventure and fishing, at least two of which he’ll experience on a weekly basis through his work with Outward Bound Oman
My name is Georgy, but I am also known as George, and I come from Goa, which is a well-known place in southern India known for its tourism and beautiful beaches. My main interests are sports, especially football, and my main hobby is to play football. Before coming to Oman, I was working as a Storekeeper in a hotel in Goa, and have joined the Outward Bound Oman team in the same capacity, to assist in the stores, and to help maintain all of the equipment before it goes out and when it returns from courses. As Outward Bound Oman is now so busy, with over 100 courses each year, the turnaround time for equipment and vehicles is sometimes quite short, so a big part of my job is to be organised and plan ahead to make sure everything runs smoothly even when time is tight. Even though I have only been in Oman for a few weeks, I am enjoying the country, and am really happy to become a member of the team.
Mohammed Al Shibli
My name is Mohammed Al Shibli, and I am the newest instructor recruit at Outward Bound Oman, having joined them in September 2015. I have recently graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Sohar University, however Environmental volunteering, and just helping out my community has always been my first love. I am a very active member in the Youth for Public Transportation Committee, as well as the Sohar Battery Collection Campaign. Whilst I was studying, I also did a lot of acting on stage, and travelled the world.
During the Summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to go on an Outward Bound Skills for Life Course in Jabal Akhdar sponsored by NBO. Whilst on this course, not only did I learn the necessary skills to help me succeed in life, I fell in love with the Outdoors. When I spotted the opening for an Instructor on their Social Media accounts, I jumped at the chance to hand in my CV to become an instructor at a worthy NGO that is supporting the Youth of Oman in obtaining their goals for a successful career. I am sure that having the Outward Bound Skills for Life certificate attached to my CV helped me secure this amazing position, and I am really looking forward to helping the Youth of Oman reach their potential!
Alia Al Hashmi
My name is Alia Al Hashmi and I’m 23 years old. I joined Outward Bound in 2016 after graduating in International Communications from Nizwa College of Applied Sciences. It was a fun, interesting and challenging course that allows students to follows a variety of career options.
I’m a very patient, hard working person who enjoys meeting new people, especially those from different cultures. I also enjoy travelling as it makes you better know yourself and others. I would like to visit Europe one day, specifically Italy - one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.
I am a sporty person - swimming is one of my favourite hobbies. One day I would like to try all kinds of extreme sports. Away from sports, I have a passion for photography, I like taking pictures of people and nature, I also like reading. The only chance I get to sit alone and feel peace is when I read.