Omar Salama

Chess isn’t everything. But it may well lead to a lot.

I have run into Omar Salama. He is not in Fredericia to play chess, nor is his children. As the only person in Europe recognized by FIDE to educate FIDE international arbiters he is here to teach a group of 27 people from the Nordic Countries.

Omar lives in Iceland, but he is born in Egypt. A chess player, he then went to Iceland to participate in a tournament. And now you think: There he met an Icelandic chess player, married and settled down. So not true. She was Czech! Apart from that, it is pretty accurate.

Omar has worked a lot with chess on Iceland. Apart from working with arbiters he among other things has been vice president for The Icelandic Chess Federation.

He has trained children, and know the kids in the Icelandic group well and like to hang out with them. They train with him twice a week, 80 children, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Omar has also taught chess in the kindergarten, where they even had a visit by the Icelandic President.

Not related to chess Omar has taught Arabic at University of Icaland, as well as worked with NGO´s in Africa. A new experience for him is sending travel groups to countries like Jordan and Namibia.

It actually began as a joke. A friend asked Omar to help with a trip, and it ended with a group of 45 people. Today Omar has his own Travel Agency, and he tells there is quite an interest for traveling in the Middle East, in spite of the unrest the region has experienced in recent years.

There you see! You never know where a chess will lead you.