On October 29th 2013, the conference "Oman and the Indian Ocean: Interaction and Exchange" was held at the University of Chicago. The event, co-sponsored by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, brought scholars from the U.S. and abroad together to share their knowledge on Oman and the Indian Ocean region.
Distinguished attendees included Her Excellency Ambassador Hunaina Al Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and Board Chair of SQCC and His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sultanate of Oman, and His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Al Hassan, Minister's Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman.
Professor Fred Donner, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Her Excellency Ambassador Al Mughairy and His Excellency Dr. Al Sunaidy addressed the audience with welcoming remarks. The morning session of the conference included a panel centered on Oman’s history and cultural heritage in which His Excellency Ambassador Al Hassan delivered a panel presentation. Concluding the first session was a panel on maritime trade in the Indian Ocean region. The afternoon session of the conference opened with a panel on the circulation of ideas and people in the Indian Ocean followed by a final panel on Ibadi thought.