Noora Al Balushi
BSc Applied Geosciences '12 (GUtech)
After spending her childhood in the UK, Noora and her family returned to Oman to an environment that combined the native Arab culture, a deep East African presence, and the ancient presence of the Baluch and the Lawatis in her hometown of Muscat. This multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society led to many questions in regards to heritage and cultural representation, as well as understanding what constituted ‘Omani Identity’. Her undergrad in Applied Geosciences has also paved the way to her current interest in human-geography and the understanding of space. In 2014, she worked in a project with Dr. Gösta Hoffmann on the oral historical documentation of the experiences of local communities that were affected by the 1945 Makran Tsunami. This work was then published by the UNESCO in a booklet titled ‘Remembering the 1945 Makran Tsunami’. Her undergrad at the German University of Technology in Oman created a platform for intercultural dialogue between Oman and Germany through which she spent a significant amount of time in Germany exploring topics of politics and cross-cultural understandings which resulted in interning at the President’s office at the German Parliament in Fall 2015. Her journey in understanding the connection between people, space, heritage and the question of cultural representation in diverse environments led to the decision of starting a MA in Museum and Exhibition Studies at UIC at a time that coincides with the ‘Museum Boom’ currently witnessed in the Gulf Region.