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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ARAB TIMES, MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010


                          High note
           Cezary’s Picks
             Sweden, country of tolerance

Music of ‘spiritual’
silence and peace
       By Cezary Owerkowicz                like shrines, theaters, academies, uni-
     Special to the Arab Times             versities, libraries and so on. In most
                                           cases it is their patronage of art, edu-
I  am sending my best greetings to
   my friends in Kuwait on the occa-
sion of the Holy month of Ramadan.
                                           cation and science, more than mili-
                                           tary or political achievements that
                                           their names live on.
Ramadan Kareem. I wish the holy               The Gustavian Opera was commis-
month brings you good health and           sioned by King Gustav III, a strong
helps you reflect on life.                 adherent of the ideal of enlightened
   Quite often people react for special    absolutism and as such was a great
events with the exclamatory ‘WOW!’         patron of the arts. Construction
However, at times when the feeling is      began in 1770 and the theater inaugu-
too overwhelming and the beauty or         rated in 1782. The building was very
other qualities of the object you are      imposing with its central Corinthian
beholding is far beyond what is            tetra-style portico supporting four
expected, the reaction is just silence.    statues and topped by the royal
Silence comes with respect.                crown. The four-tiered auditorium
Meaningful silence, of course, is like     was oval in shape and had excellent
that.                                      acoustics and sight lines. The sump-
   While I was in Northern Europe, I       tuous foyer contained medallions and
chanced upon such beautiful cre-           pilasters.
ations of God that made me speech-            However, the royal theatre was the
less. In the last two weeks, I traveled    place where the king met his fate.
to Scandinavian countries and              During a masquerade in March,
enjoyed the wonderful natural beauty       1792, he was shot by his assassin and
of the place. The landscapes are filled    he breathed his last 7 days later. The
with an almost spiritual silence. I        event inspired the famous opera by
have already told you about my expe-       Giuseppe Verdi ‘Un Ballo on
riences in Norway and Finland. And         Maschera’ (The Masquerade Ball).
the two remaining countries at the         However, the murdered king’s son,
bottom of the                              Gustav IV Adolf, wasn’t a fan of
Peninsula       are                        opera and never liked to attend the
Sweden         and                         performances.
Denmark.                                      King Oscar II built and opened the
   S w e d e s ,                           new opera building. It is a majestic
Scandinavians in                           neo-classical building with a magnifi-
general, have a                            cent gold foyer and elegant marbled
brave Viking tra-                          staircase leading to a three-tiered audi-
dition. Vikings                            torium, which was smaller than the
were born travel-                          Old Theatre. It presently seats 1,200
ers. They discov-      Owerkowicz          people. The opera was inaugurated
ered new lands                             with the original, native Swedish                                                                          Dr Sabah Al-Momin feeding bottle milk to cloned ‘Naeemi’ sheep.
(including America, far before             opera composed by Franz Berwalds.
Columbus did it). They were very           It, however, had a typical Italian
good fighters and artful merchants.        sounding title: ‘Estrella de Soria’.
Their exploits of the sea can be wit-         That theatre has a tradition: most                                                         Pioneers of Kuwait
nessed in their museums: from              productions are sung in the original
ancient Viking ships to the huge           languages with Swedish subtitles.
Royal Vasa ship carrying 64 canons.
A Swedish King built it during the
                                              Nowadays, the opera also serves
                                           the Swedish society as the University
                                                                                                                                                            First female scientist in Kuwait
war with Poland. For Poland’s good         College of Opera. Opera Department
luck, this mighty ship putatively a        educates singers, tutors and opera
symbol of military glory, sank on a
voyage from Stockholm.
   The heart of Sweden, Stockholm,
                                           directors. It integrates vocal and
                                           musical study with physical and dra-
                                           matic training.
                                              NB: Let me remind you that we
                                                                                       Dr Sabah, a modern role model
is a wonderful city made of innumer-       hosted in Kuwait several Swedish            This is the fourth in a series of articles         tee the animal will survive.                       tions for local problems.                            dreams.
able islands, with rich tradition,         artists of international acclaim.           on Dr Sabah H. Al-Momin, a Kuwaiti                    When Dr Sabah performed it successful-             As project manager she has been leading              More than in any other times in human
including architecture and music.          Among them was a professional male          pioneer in genetic engineering – Editor            ly it made a sensation because it was the          her team in developing and applying DNA              history faith is needed in a world of fast
NB: Musical instruments and sculp-         choir, Orphei Drangar.                                                                         first cloning experiment ever tried in the         fingerprinting in Zubaid, a priced fish              changes that make people bewildered,
                                                                                                        ❑      ❑      ❑                   region.                                            north of the Arabian Gulf, and the DNA               afraid and uncertain.
tured figures of musicians adorned                      Ensembles
Vasa Royal flagship as can be seen in                                                                By Lidia Qattan                         She divided the forming embryo (when            and fingerprinting of Shrimp in the Gulf                Dr Sabah’s message of faith is particu-
                                              One of the top ranking and best-                                                            of about eight cells or little more) into four     region to improve the quality and stock              larly needed in Kuwait to overshadow the
the museum. Nowadays music only            known ensembles in the world is                      Special to the Arab Times
serves peace there.                                                                                                                       parts and inseminated the surrogate moth-          preservation.                                        widespread fear and uncertainty that is
                                           ABBA. They shot to fame after win-                                                             er, who survived and brought forth the
   Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
Orchestra is new when seen from the
light of the country’s long history. It
                                           ning the Eurovision Song Contest in
                                           1974 which sold a total 380 million
                                                                                       A    fter the liberation while her people
                                                                                            returned home, Dr Sabah started work-
                                                                                       ing on her thesis (“Production of
                                                                                                                                          desired result.
                                                                                                                                             Dr Sabah Al-Momin’s success in her
                                                                                                                                                                                                Other projects involve the development
                                                                                                                                                                                             of specific DNA probes. For instance of the
                                                                                                                                                                                             Brucella’s fingerprinting, a microbe affect-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  crippling the nation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dr Sabah Al-Momin is part of the young
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  generation; she grew up at a time of phe-
                                           records. It has made them the second-                                                          first cloning experiment got people with           ing animals, especially sheep with the so
was founded in 1902 as the                 most successful group ever, after           Recombinant Rubella Virus Antigens”)                                                                                                                       nomenal changes in her country when the
Stockholm Concert Society. (For me                                                     determined to cover the loss of timing             prized animals enthusiastically seeking to         called Maltese fever or Brucellosis that can         spirit of her people was buoyant and eager
                                           ‘The Beatles.’ They continued to sell                                                          clone their animals, but when she present-         also infect humans.
it is somehow equal to Kuwait              2 to 3 million records every year.          forced on her by the invasion.                                                                                                                             for change; eager for a new life, for a new
Chamber Philharmonic established                                                          That same year (1991) she was back              ed them with the photos of the whole pro-                               Train                           era in their country.
                                           They are still remembered for their                                                            cedure and the risk involved for the animal,
for the classical music concert sea-       musical ‘Mamma Mia’.                        home with her PhD in Genetic                                                                                                                                  Molded by hardship when the oil rev-
                                                                                       Engineering, she was the first female sci-         they quickly changed their mind.                      By the simple investigation of the DNA
son). The orchestra became a perma-           Concerts accidentally take place at                                                                                                            in a blood sample it is now possible to              enues entered the equation of their econo-
nent ensemble in 1914 and since                                                        entist in Kuwait, if not in the Middle East           Incidentally after that operation she                                                                my the people knew exactly how to take
                                           the Stockholm City Hall, the place of                                                          became a vegetarian.                               quickly disclose the presence of this
1926 it moved to the Stockholm             the royal banquets during the Nobel         to graduate in this field.                                                                                                                                 advantage of new possibilities and created
Concert Hall. Since 1937, it has also      Prize ceremonies. I know it from a             At the Kuwait Institute for Scientific                              Course                            To enhance the production of prized ani-          a golden era, in which even the fine arts
been serving as the Swedish Radio          personal experience. In 1970, I had         Research (KISR) she started working                   Yet more enthusiastic in her work she                                                                made their début and prospered.
Orchestra, broadcasting regular con-                                                   right-away – participating in establishing                                                            mals, especially of the Naeemi sheep, Dr
                                           the great opportunity of playing                                                               sought to deepen her knowledge and in              Sabah established the genetics and Embryo               As long as faith in people was alive and
certs from their home. The philhar-        Chopin one evening there. I can’t           specialized laboratories in the field, train-      September that year (1994) she took anoth-                                                              vibrant, Kuwait was a beacon of culture
monic acquired its royal name in                                                       ing fresh graduates the basics (practically                                                           transfer laboratories, to train young gradu-
                                           judge my own concert but the banquet                                                           er training course in Embryo micro-manip-          ates for embryo manipulation and transfer.           and achievements, a shining example
1992 when it began to enjoy the            was perfect. The corovode (pageant)         the a.b.c.) of genetic engineering, dealing                             ulator application and                                                             envied by others.
patronage of the Royal Family.                                                         with local problems and finding solutions                                                                Also part of her job is giving courses on
                                           of waiters dressed in tuxedos stepped                                                                               use at Niko Co, in            molecular biology techniques and DNA                    From the eighties, terrorists attacks in
   The orchestra participates annually     down from two oppositely placed             for them.                                                               Japan.                                                                             Kuwait shattered that feeling of security
in the Nobel Prize ceremony, which                                                                                                                                                           fingerprinting.
                                           staircases in total darkness. Flames in                       Projects                                                 At her return from            Apparently women are more enthusias-              people had been enjoying.
is an international event. It also takes   the darkness were dancing as small                                                                                  Japan she set to estab-                                                               As the bug of uncertainty began to gain
part in the Polar Prize for Music cel-                                                    She became a project leader and the                                                                tic than men in this field, for most of her
                                           volcanoes, giving the effect of Arctic      principle investigator of several scientific                            lish    the      Genetic      students are women.                                  a hold on the nation, it changed people’s
ebration, which is a respectable,          light. It was extremely impressive.                                                                                 E n g i n e e r i n g                                                              way of thinking and their behavior and that
important regional event. Other than                                                   projects, the first of which was the manip-                                                              To those who think genetic engineering
                                              Scandinavia appreciates modesty,         ulation of sheep embryo invitro to improve                              Department at the             is too difficult, she constantly reminds             affected the whole tenor of life in the coun-
regular concert seasons, it also organ-    sincerity and a friendly attitude to life                                                                           KISR, with the collab-                                                             try.
izes two annual festivals: the                                                         the reproduction of prized local animals,                                                             them that nothing is impossible, that they
                                           and nature. Be it animals, humans or        “the Naeemi sheep.”                                                     oration of her col-           can make it if they put their mind to it.               The Iraqi invasion was the coup de
Stockholm International Composer           plants.                                                                                                             league, a young scien-                                                             grace, the final blow that triggered the
Festival and Composer Weekend,                                                            Unlike those of Australian and other               Lidia Qattan                                       Her main objective is to inculcate self-
                                              Sweden is a country of tolerance.        sheep producing more than one lamb per                                  tist specialized in a         confidence in her trainees to develop their          transformation.
held in May, focusing on a contem-         As far as I know many people fleeing                                                                                branch related to                                                                     Dr Sabah saw it happening, she herself
porary Swedish composer.                                                               year and often have twins, the Naeemi’s                                                               full potentials, while nurturing the faith in
                                           different kinds of oppression in their      reproduction is limited to once a year, sel-       genetic engineering.                               a purpose that spurs their enthusiasm.               became affected by the same bug but strug-
   Royal Swedish Opera has a much          native lands found in Sweden not                                                                  The new department involves a lot of                                                                 gled to regain a hold on her belief.
longer tradition. Its building lies in                                                 dom it produces twins.                                                                                   Faith is a formidable tool; it transforms
                                           only an asylum but also an equal,              In 1994, from April to July Dr Sabah            work, but it gives her the subtle satisfaction     the individual’s outlook on life and unlocks            Her personal struggle is reflected in her
the center of Stockholm, on the            honest chance to live, study and                                                               of accomplishment that makes her happy,                                                                 whole endeavor that makes her a living
Eastern side of Gustav Adolf Torg                                                      was in Australia for a course in IDF                                                                  potentials he or she is not even aware of.
                                           work. Everyone knows it, and this           (Invitro Fertilization) at the CSIRO.              enthusiastic and creative.                            Faith created great civilization, it              example of a faith in an objective. In her
(Square). The opera was founded by         aspect of Sweden is widely appreciat-                                                             Working in close cooperation with the                                                                work and through her dedication to her job
King Gustav III and its first ever per-                                                   Embryo manipulation and transfer in                                                                enabled humanity to reach for the stars, it
                                           ed. I’ve seen people of different cul-      sheep and mice is a delicate and complex           Agricultural, Fishery and Animal Welfare           is the secret of every successful individual         she found the redemption of her soul and
formance was given as far back as          tures and races there and they all                                                             Authority many projects have become fea-                                                                the freedom of her spirit.
1773. This was also the first native                                                   operation involving (GA) general anesthe-                                                             and of the greatness of every nation. It is by
                                           looked happy.                                                                                  sible, especially those dealing with solu-
speaking opera performance in                                                          sia; it is a risky procedure with no guaran-                                                          faith that humanity reaches the impossible                        To be continued
                                              I am writing about this in the
Sweden. (Opera then was mainly per-        beginning of Ramadan as a reminder
formed in Italian language, recog-         for myself and a proposal for reflec-                                                          disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of   hotel, i.e. name of the hotel, street and street     presented personally by the applicants.
nized for a long time as ‘the only lan-    tion for you. Are we always steadfast                                                          a family emergency at home. The Embassy of         no., zip code and city                                  Information on visa requirements and appli-
guage of opera’.)
   The first performances were given
                                           in our principles that we proclaim?
                                           Aren’t we demanding patience,
                                                                                                   click                                  Canada encourages all Canadian citizens to
                                                                                                                                          register online through the Government of
                                                                                                                                                                                                medical travel insurance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                The processing time is 3 working days for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cation forms can also be found on our website:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         All information is also
at the Royal Palace. The first opera       understanding and tolerance from                                                               Canada Travel Website at         Kuwaiti nationals.                                   provided by an automatic answering service
house was built and opened in 1782.        others? But have we ever thought                                                                  The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi pro-             Please be advised that non-Kuwaiti appli-         which can be reached by phone at 252 08 27
The building served the whole centu-       about how much we give to others                                 Embassies                     vides visa and immigration services to resi-       cants might be asked to provide additional doc-      ext. 15 (for English) and ext. 14 (for Arabic).
ry and at the end of the 19th century                                                                                                     dents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested    uments and that the processing time takes a             Please also note that the Embassy will nei-
                                           these things?                                          Continued from Page 26                                                                     minimum of ten to fourteen days.
was replaced by a new one. Both                                                                                                           in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada                                                           ther issue nor accept Tax Free Forms for claim-
                                              Ramadan Kareem!                                                                             are invited to visit the website of the Canadian      The Embassy of the Federal Republic of            ing tax refund for items bought in Germany
buildings were called ‘The Royal
Opera’ officially, however unofficial-                   ❑ ❑ ❑                         of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel     Embassy to the UAE at               Germany will only accept visa applications which     and exported to Kuwait. Before checking in
                                             Editor’s Note: Cezary Owerko-             St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our web-                     ❑        ❑        ❑                are handed in personally by the applicant or         your luggage and leaving Germany, kindly
ly they were known and recognized                                                      site at                                                                             through an approved travel agency. Visa applica-
                                           wicz is the chairman of the Kuwait                                                                                                                                                                     approach the customs office at the airport or at
as ‘The Gustavian Opera’ and ‘The                                                         The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30        German Embassy visa notice: The                    tions handed in by messengers, service staff (e.g.   the border and have your tax free forms
Oscarian Opera’, after the names of        Chamber of Philharmonia and tal-
                                           ented pianist. He regularly organis-        at 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular         Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany         drivers) and third persons cannot be accepted.       stamped there.
their royal founders. Shortly they are     es concerts by well-known musi-             Services for Canadian Citizens are provided        in Kuwait would like to inform the general            Please note that the German Embassy exclu-                       ❑        ❑       ❑
called the ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Opera.          cians for the benefit of music lovers       from 09:00 until 12:00 Sunday through              public that the papers required for applying for   sively works together with the following travel
            Immortalized                   and to widen the knowledge of               Wednesday.                                         a visa are the following:                          agencies: Aamar Travel & Tourism (Tel:               Registration of Sri Lankans: All Sri
                                           music     in Kuwait.     His e-mail            Canada offers a registration service for all       2 application forms filled in completely        2622627/8), Al-Qabas Travel (Tel: 22488777),         Lankans residing in Kuwait are kindly request-
  NB: Sometimes royal names are            address is: cowerkowicz @yahoo.-            Canadians travelling or living abroad. This           2 recent photos with a white background         Universal Travel (Tel: 22415830/2/4) and Al-         ed to register with the Embassy. For more
immortalized through the names of          com and cowerkowicz@hotmail.-               service is provided so that Consular Officials        signed passport, valid for at least another 6   Rabiah Travel (Tel: 22429991/2/3).                   information you may contact Ms Fareen, Ms
historical buildings and institutions      com                                         can contact and assist Canadians in an emer-       months                                                Visa applications presented by any other          Shahira, Ms Ayesha on 25339140, 25339137,
                                                                                       gency in a foreign country, such as a natural         hotel reservation with full address of the      travel agency will be refused and can only be        25339142.