Chris Allen’s journal dispatches from the Middle East country of Oman are an unusual and very welcome addition to Unheralded.fish.
Allen is a professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he has taught since August 1996. In addition to his teaching duties, he is the general manager of UNO Television and a board member and past-president of the Omaha Press Club.
In 2011-12, Chris and his wife, Elaine, lived in Muscat, Oman, where he taught at Sultan Qaboos University on a one-year Fulbright Award.
Returning to Oman in 2015, Allen says, is like going home, which is hot (106 isn’t uncommon). He says his biggest surprise upon returning is how dramatically the country has developed in three short years.
Oman contains many treasures and it’s an explorer’s paradise. For example, Allen writes about witnessing sea turtles lay eggs on a soft, sandy beach. Check it out in the blog headlined “From Near Death to New Life.”
“The sand moved. A flipper flung sand back onto the mound, then another and then a third. The sand shifted. We realized we were watching a female sea turtle cover the eggs she had just laid.
“This is something you see only in documentaries on TV. But we were there.”
Allen was also at the University of North Dakota, where he was an associate professor in the School of Journalism from January 1987 to August 1992; he directed the news at KFJM Radio at UND and worked at KRNT Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, from 1979-1982.
Currently, he is in Oman, where he is leading a group of 14 of his students on an approximately two-week, fact-finding tour of the Middle Eastern country that has had a formal relationship with the United States since the 1830s.
Allen, who grew up in Oskaloosa, Iowa, holds bachelor’s of arts and master’s of science degrees from Iowa State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.
He and his wife, Elaine, have two children, Sarah, 33, and Joe, 26.
So, to the Allens, here’s a hearty welcome to the Fish!