Prof. Osman Mahgoub Gaafar came to Oman in the summer of 1989 to teach at Sultan Qaboos University. Over the years, he became a favorite teacher for students in the College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences at SQU; an established researcher in animal sciences; and a beloved colleague to the staff of the college and the university at large. However, not many people knows the fact that Prof. Osman is an ardent lover of art and a painter. Prof. Osman’s relationship with the kind and hospitable people of Oman and the beautiful nature of the country formed a large part of his inspiration, as much as the memories from his hometown, Albarkal in the Northern State of Sudan.
Over the last 30 years of his life and career, Prof. Osman taught and supervised many students, many of whom rose to prominent positions in government and private sector, and took part in research. However, despite the rigorous academic surroundings, he continued to pursue his passion for art and painting, acknowledging how it brightened his life and made it more enjoyable. He always encouraged his children to follow their artistic endeavors with the belief that “art is for everyone”.
After completing three decade long successful and productive teaching and research career at SQU, Prof. Osman is retiring from his service at SQU on 30 June 2019. On this occasion, the College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences hosted an exhibition of around 30 paintings in watercolor and acrylic mediums and calligraphy by Prof. Osman. The exhibition titled “Art is for everyone” is being held from 16 to 18 of April 2019 at the foyer of the College. The event was opened under the patronage of Sayyed Dr. Fahad Bin Aljulanda Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Innovation Development Department of The Research Council.
Prof. Osman said that his passion for art was identified and honed by his art teachers in the schools in Sudan where he studied. “I am really indebted to those great art instructors who started honing my skills in art from my first day at school in 1959. Painting and Arabic calligraphy have always remained as my passion which helped me to stay cool and happy and increase the quality of my life. I mostly use watercolor and acrylic mediums. I follow classicism, realism and abstract art”, he said.
According to Prof. Osman, the exhibition is a tribute to the beautiful Oman and its beautiful people. “The paintings reflect different facets of my life and interactions with the people of Oman. The subject include the rural Omani people, their day-to-day activities for livelihood and entertainment and their culture. Since I am an animal scientist, I have been fascinated by the relationship between humans and animals”, he said. His passion for human-animal relationship is reflected in many of his works exhibited at the College. Works such as “Livestock auction in Al Dakhliya”, “Omani Shepherd”, “Al Arda Camel Race”, “Baheeda and her friend” all portray the influence of animals including horses, sheep and camel on the life of the rural life in Oman.
Prof. Osman follows the classical Dutch school of art and masters like Rembrandt. He said “this exhibition is a dedication to those years in living in the country that became a second home to him and his family.