Peace be with you!
I came to Oman in 2013 to serve as the Associate Director at Al Amana Centre. Before coming to Oman, I served as a pastor of churches in Schenectady, NY and Queens, NYC for ten years in the Reformed Church in America. Now I have the privilege of being the Executive Director and to continue the work that brought be here many years ago. There have been many changes over the years, both in Oman and within our Centre, but one thing has remained the same: our commitment to peace, reconciliation, and the value of each human being.
As I begin my new role of Executive Director, I am eager to work with our current and expanding team of staff, consultants, and volunteers to creatively work for understanding, justice, reconciliation, and peace between people of different faith traditions, and within faith traditions.
Academically, I am currently a PhD student at University of Winchester, where I am working on a thesis on Muslim and Christian theologies of reconciliation. I also earned an MA in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation from Winchester in 2018.
My family and I live in Muscat, Oman but we try to visit the U.S. each summer to connect with supporting churches, institutions, and donors. When I get the chance, I like to run, read, and SCUBA dive.
I am an ordained pastor with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. I have had the pleasure to work for peace and reconciliation with people of faith for almost two decades. For the last four years in the beautiful country of Oman, with Al Amana Centre. I began my work at Al Amana Centre in 2016 as the Executive Director. In March 2021, I moved over to my current position where I can develop our programs, strategy, fundraising and partner relationships remotely from Finland. The COVID-19 pandemics have changed the way of working for many, the Al Amana Centre included. As a lot of work has moved online, especially the work of relating to people across a wide geographic expanse, it is now possible for me to spend most of my time in Finland and continue my work with Al Amana Centre from here. It is exciting for me that Al Amana Centre has been able to respond in timely and effective manners to the pandemics situation globally and we are searching more and more for ways to respond to the needs of people of faith globally. I pray you will journey with us on the path of reconciliation and peace.
I am proud father of two children and in my freetime I am searching for the world’s best dates (which are definitely coming from Oman), drinking lots of coffee, playing golf and skiing.
Oman is an incredible country – a desert filled with life and diversity. It is also a safe place to learn about engaging persons of other religious traditions in a way that challenges us to think more deeply about our own tradition and faith. Al Amana Centre is unique in many ways, and I am excited to join the team.
Prior to joining Al Amana Centre, I spent nearly fifteen years in Dhaka, Bangladesh where I served on the faculty of the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh, as both the Director of Academics and the Dean of Research and Resource Development (2001-2017). As I transitioned to Al Amana Center, I had the opportunity to hold a position as Scholar-in-Residence at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan (2017-2018).
I am doctoral candidate at Gonzaga University. Under the mentorship of Father David Burrell, my research is inquiring into the ways Muslims, Christians, and Hindus in Bangladesh are learning together though experiences of interreligious dialogue, modeled after the practice of Scriptural Reasoning. When I am not in the office, I enjoy fly fishing, trekking, skiing, snorkeling, and hanging out my wife, Melissa, and our three children in the wild places of Oman. When we we are not in Oman our home is in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state.
I am Catherine Armstrong. I am from the southern part of India I have been living in Oman since 1994. My husband, Armstrong works with Majan University College, as head of the post graduate centre. We have two boys Joshua (13 years) and Andrew (9 years).
After a fifteen year stint with Oman Hotels and Tourism Company as a finance and accounting professional, I had taken a sabbatical. Since January 2017 I have resumed my career as Controller at the Al Amana Centre. I have a Bachelors degree in Commerce and a Masters degree in Business Administration.
I am thrilled to join Al Amana Centre in work that promotes diverse peoples learning to live together and love each other. I am passionate about social development that integrates and promotes ecumenical and interfaith collaborations.
I moved to Oman with my family in 2018. Previously we lived in Bangladesh for 15 years, where 2 of our 3 children were born.
I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Development. Before we moved to Bangladesh I worked with people who struggle with homelessness and mental health issues in Grand Rapids, MI, USA. While living in the capital city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, I volunteered for schools, development organizations, libraries, and the Church.
From our first visit in 2016, Oman intrigued me for the diverse cultures present. Oman is a natural playground that I enjoy exploring with Jeff, my husband, and our children. I especially enjoy hiking the rugged mountains and wadis, and snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kite-boarding in the ocean.
I am an Omani Arabic teacher with more than 10 years of experience in teaching Arabic for non native speakers. I have worked with different students from all over the world. I teach both Omani dialect and MSA and I have been working with AAC for more than 7 years.
I also run cultural programs allowing people to explore the cultural aspects of Omani culture and I consult with Al Amana staff on various projects.
I worked at Al Amana Centre between 2014 and 2017 where we used to joke that I was the only member of staff who actually had a PhD (in Chemistry). From there I moved to Vietnam where I joined a volunteer led church which has a mixture of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox members. I enjoyed sharing and learning about different traditions and continue to be part of a virtual apologetics book club.
During my time in Oman, I produced and circulated the Al Amana Newsletter and have continued that task ever since. I’m now back in the UK, living in the North East of England very close to the North York Moors National Park, the North Sea and a lot of sheep.
I like walking, yoga, cooking and upcycling.
Hello all, my name is Robbie Bendelius and I hail from the U.S. and specifically the state of New York. I am a senior at Fordham University majoring in History and Theology with minors in Arabic and Orthodox Christian Studies. The Al Amana Centre is something I’ve known about for a while and I am extremely happy to be working with them this summer and hopefully longer to foster the growth of the centre as well as my own personal growth. As a new volunteer for Al Amana, while I have been interested in interfaith work for several years, I have not seen it in action, particularly on such an international scale. I hope to eventually pursue a career in the field of interfaith relations and this is a wonderful place for me to do meaningful deep work that directly benefits people.
Rev Ken Bradsell, Board Chair, Reformed Church in America
Venerable Cannon Bill Schwartz, Vice-Chair, Anglican Communion
Mrs. Bridget Ganguly, Treasurer
Rev. Dr. Jeff Japinga, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Ms. Rachel Renihan, Protestant Church in Oman