Hello everyone and Al-salam Aleikom,
I am Amani Basheer from Sudan. I’m the Director of the Shikan Museum in Elobied, the capital of North Kordofan State which is located in west Sudan. This is my first time in the United Kingdom and at the British Museum.
Although I was not able to join the International Training Program when it first started on the 3rd of August, luckily the British Museum solved all difficulties and I finally arrived in the United Kingdom in September. For that I would like to thank the British Museum for their tremendous efforts for helping me to get my Visa and special thanks to; Neal Spencer, Claire Messenger and Emma Croft.
I would like to say that the British Museum is unique, distinct and one of the only museums in the world that provides organized intensive training courses to help practitioners achieve higher levels in their various specialties, which of course creates a platform for overseas cultural exchange.
Therefore I would like to deeply express my appreciation for giving me this opportunity and nominating me as a participant at the International Training Programme. I believe that my experience and skills will evolve after the completion of this programme, and indeed it is a pleasure to be here in the United Kingdom.
When I first arrived in the UK I started my programme at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which is one of the International Training Programme’s UK Partner museums. There I first met other participants from the ITP: Asmaa from Egypt and Ameena from Oman, and also Liam McNamara, Assistant Keeper for Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the Ashmolean.
The programme in oxford was very exciting and interesting. We visited lots of departments and sections in the Ashmolean Museum such as; Collection management, Storage, Conservation, Galleries, Database, Registration, Education, Libraries research, and the Griffith Institute. We also visited some Oxford Colleges and went for a tour of the Pitt Rivers Museum.
We also saw a lot of interesting things in Oxford, as on Monday the 8th of September several streets were closed in the center of Oxford for the St Giles Fair. The fair is organized by the Oxford City Council with the London and Home Counties section of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain. The street is closed to traffic for two days for this traditional fair, so we had an enjoyable time, playing, dancing and taking a lot of photos.
On our last day at the Ashmolean Museum we said goodbye to our new friends and Liam McNamara gave us books as gifts. He is friendly, kind and polite – we will never forget him.
Thank you very much
Amani Basheer / Sudan