Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman is celebrating World Radio Day, which falls on 13 February every year.
In an interview with Radio the Sultanate of Oman (Oman Radio), Dr. Abdullah Nasser Al Harassi, Minister of Information, affirmed that Oman Radio has developed wide-ranging experience since its inception in 1970.
The minister valued Oman Radio’s broadcasting tenure, describing it as “great and rich experience, both in terms of technical performance and artistic media content”.
He noted that Oman Radio’s role recently merged well with other forms of media like television, the press and the Internet.
Dr. Abdullah said, “Omani media combined both freedom and responsibility and this sets its message aside.”
He added that media in Oman boasts a level of freedom that empowers people “to express what they believe is good for the nation and future generations”. In this context, he said that Omani social and cultural history was built on solid foundations of diverse opinions.
Dr. Abdullah spoke about “Al Shabab Radio” or (Youth Radio) and the content that serves the largest segment of the population in Oman, thanks to the radio service’s innovative programmes that respond to the aspirations of youth and encompass their interests, like technology, sports and science, among other fields.
The minister also touched on the Ministry of Information’s plans, which, he said, envisage that “the future of Omani society be based on sound knowledge and proper media fundamentals, and that this future be built on strong foundations of awareness.”
The minister pointed out that the role of Omani media has been crucial to spreading awareness about Oman Vision 2040.
Omani media, he said, played major roles, both in the period of preparations for Oman Vision 2040 and through the stages of its implementation. The media elaborated on the Vision’s different programmes. This resulted in raising awareness and confidence in the Vision’s outputs and programmes, he observed.
Dr. Abdullah stressed that radio was once a means of communicating with the world, long before the advent of the Internet and its use as a gateway for following up global events. He added that Omani radio stations kept pace with the developments of the modern age and the opportunities it offered to users.
In this context, the minister underlined the project of “digital TV and radio broadcasting” and he referred to the utilization of the Internet through various channels, including "Ayn platform", "podcasts" and "Omani Audio Book"—which, he asserted, have all contributed to the propagation of knowledge about Omani civilization and the publication of Omani books.
The Minister of Information said that the media is making good progress and that the projects undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman in this aspect are marked by deep-rootedness. In this respect, he referred to Oman Arabic daily and its cultural supplement, which, he said, is one of the media platforms being developed by the Ministry of Information. The supplement has been well received, both in Oman and abroad, he added.
The minister also hailed the progress made by Nizwa magazine, which, he said, imparts knowledge in many ways. He noted that some Omani scholarly articles published in Nizwa Magazine have been translated into English and later published in other newspapers like Oman Daily Observer. This, he said, gave mileage to Omani writers at the international level.
Speaking about Muscat International Book Fair, which will open on 22 February, Dr. Abdullah said that this year’s edition of the book fair will be distinguished for the diversity of its cultural events.
The Governorate of South Al Batinah will be the guest of honour for the book fair, said the minister, who expressed the confidence that this 27th edition of the book fair will constitute a unique cultural extravaganza and an arena for upgrading the knowledge of youth and society at large.
Winding up his comments at the conclusion of the interview, the minister underscored the significance of advocating logical thinking as a means of overcoming challenges. He affirmed that “Omani media is embarked on engendering these very values through which Man makes progress in various parts of the world”.