Staying in step with time
Tahira Fida, a popular artist in Oman, known as much for her individual style as for her efforts in bringing local women artists together on common platforms to showcase their art, made the most of the lockdown period learning new skills.
“Although there are many disadvantages of a lockdown, I was able to utilise this difficult period of time for something useful and joyful. I am a social person, so being away from family and friends was not easy for me.
Therefore, the first thing I thought of was keeping connected with others using the technology such as being active on WhatsApp groups and meeting others using Zoom software, which led to learn new technology and polish my telecommunication skills,” she said, adding that she made efforts to reconnect with school friends whom she has not seen from many years, to revive old memories and laugh. It was a fulfilling experience for her, to enjoy the company of old friends, though physically away, and to treasure the moments they had spent together.
“Practising some hobbies that I have been putting off for a long time was another thing I have been doing to keep myself busy and entertained, such as practising Arabic Calligraphy. For this, I did not need much materials, except some pens and calligraphy papers. I remember, I had taken up two courses in Arabic writing but always delayed practising this art. Right now, I am enjoying going through some scripts and producing my own,” she said.
Cooking was also one of Tahira's hobbies. Spending a few hours in the kitchen was an everyday activity during the lockdown, something for which she otherwise seldom gets enough time due to her busy daily schedules. “I made dishes from around the world to please my family. Sharing delicious food with my family members was a wonderful experience, especially during Ramadan, though I had to accept the side-effect of gaining a little extra weight right now,” Tahira said.
All in all, Tahira says that the pandemic experience, especially the lockdown period of time (which is still partially on) gave her enough time to draw up new plans for herself. This summer, since she would not be travelling, she decided to get abreast with new technology and learn how to use some softwares, such as the craft of making short movies.
“These days, many online courses are available with easy access, and at low prices, to learn many skills in a short time. The world is going techno and I don't want to lag behind. So, let us learn to use new technology for our own benefit,” she asserted.