Oman’s 50th National Day: A blessed past, a promising future

T-Mag Friday 20/November/2020 13:43 PM
By: Gautam Viswanathan
Oman’s 50th National Day: A blessed past, a promising future

Oman’s 50th National Day is a proud and solemn occasion for all of us in the Sultanate, whether we have spent our entire lives here, or have moved to this country from overseas. To commemorate what is one of the most important days in the history of the Sultanate, we spoke to 50 Omanis and expatriates about the country’s journey over the past five decades, and their aspirations for the future.

Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister  of Health

It is a great day for all of us in Oman ….50 years since the Renaissance. Looking back over the last 50 years, what’s been achieved in all our lives is just tremendous. The work towards development of course will continue under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, under the grace of God. I am very proud of what we have achieved so far. All of us in this sector will do our best to look after you, but you need to help us to look after you as well. It can be easy to reach the top, but staying there can be very difficult, unless we continue the work we are doing now, unless we work together and cooperate with each other.

Rashid bin Ahmed Al Shamsi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Social Development
Over the last five decades, Oman has evolved and developed, from a time when schools that were convened under trees, to today’s high-rise buildings in which our sons and daughters enjoy education. This is one of the manifestations of the changes that have occurred over the past 50 years. Many landmarks across the country have also changed. Even society has changed with the variables of the renaissance within fifty years. Oman in 2020 is completely different from Oman in 1970s. Oman has always been beautiful, but today, it has become more beautiful.

Dr Maryam Al Nabhani, Advisor, Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation

November 18 is a day of pride to mark Oman’s modern renaissance, guided by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour. It is an occasion in which we celebrate the joy in the achievement of the state, the framework of a modern country where we enjoy safety and security, and where national unity fuels sustainable development. The 50th National Day marks the continuation of our labour, and the promising progress and new future led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. Going forward, a diversified economy and quality education for all, with diversified streams is a must. Open and smooth communication between various sectors and establishing strong links will help achieve Vision 2040.

Abdul Hakeem Omar Al Ojaili, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Oman Banks Association
Oman’s 50th National Day is an historic milestone in the Sultanate’s renaissance, as it envisions a new chapter in the nation’s development – a new era which underpins the commitment to Oman’s Vision 2040. The next few years are expected to bring a renewed thrust to Oman’s socio-economic environment and will be based on progressive, digitised ways of working. In line with the same, Oman’s banking sector remains strong while supporting the growth of diversified economic activities in the Sultanate.

Shaima Aly, UN Population Fund Communications Officer, GCC – Oman

It is a day when we reinforce our commitments toward the country and pledge to continue taking part in its development process. It is the day when we observe the achievements, and look forward for more accomplishments thanks to the ambitious national development of Oman Vision 2040. Our aspirations for the country is to maintain its continuous and gracious support to the UN agencies working in the Sultanate, being acknowledged as a regional peace-maker, thanks to its conciliatory policy and wise leadership.

Nawras Al Kindi, Programme Associate – United Nations Volunteers, UNICEF Oman
National Day encapsulates a feeling of happiness and pride we’ve carried since we were children. The progress achieved over the past 50 years is so impressive – especially the gains made for children in education, health and overall wellbeing. I am proud to now be in a position to contribute to this journey. I wish to see continued investment in young people because of the huge positive impact this will have on the future development of the nation. The establishment of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth as well as the increased focus on the youth agenda across all institutions in Oman is an affirmation of the importance of investing in young people to ensure future success.

Raid Al Hooti, Senior Director, Muscat Securities Market
November 18, 2020, marks the day of 50 years of glory and development and the graceful continuation of this stupendous history. This momentous occasion represents the march of renaissance that began under the visionary leadership of Late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, and is pledged to continue under the glorious leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. Under this pledge, we enter a renewed era of prosperity and brotherhood and celebrate this great nation’s resilience and remarkable loyalty to its leadership and their vision. We wish all of Oman a happy 50th National Day.

Madhu Singh Jesrani, Secretary, Oman Cricket Association
We are proud to have served Oman for so long, and will continue to do our best to see this country grow and move forward. I would like to wish His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik all the very best on this day, and would like to assure him that we stand ready to serve. On behalf of Oman Cricket, thank you all for supporting us and our contributions to the nation. We will continue to make our national team reach new heights.

Dad Mohammed Al Balushi, Board Member, Oman Cricket Association
This is a day of great joy. Under His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, Oman will shine, and reach even greater heights in the future, with all of us working together to make this happen. I also remember the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour. He brought Oman from the darkness into the light. He was mourned by all in the country, locals and expatriates alike.

Dr Hamed Al Sinawi, Chairman, Oman Alzheimer’s Society
This National Day is a time to mark the transition taking place in the country, and to honour and celebrate all those who have contributed to the development of Oman. In future, I would like to see more advances in using new technology and learning from the developed world while respecting our heritage and social identity as a nation. I hope for more jobs for the younger generation, more Omanis leading the advances in health, education, and the economy, as well as more support for the youth to aspire to their dreams and talents, and improvement in the quality of care provided for the elderly and children with special needs.

Stuart Laing, Chairman, The Anglo-Omani Society

On behalf of the trustees and members of the Anglo-Omani Society, I am delighted to send warm greetings to His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik  and to the Omani people on the occasion of National Day. In the spirit of the close friendship which has existed between Britain and Oman for many generations, the society sends very best wishes for the continued happiness and prosperity of the Sultanate of Oman.

Dr Ahmed Al Hooti, Head of Economic Research, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry
It is an honour for me to serve my country. National Day is a day of pride for all, and on this day, we must pledge do to our best for this land. This year’s National Day is a particularly significant one, because of all the changes that have happened in our country and around the world.  Let us all – Omanis and expats together – help His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik in building a strong economy and a prosperous nation that promises a good future for everyone.

Sultan Al Harrasi, former player, Oman National Football Team

National Day is an occasion that makes us pause from our busy life, and take a step back, and replay the history of our nation. It is a day that motivates us to give more and be part of a bigger community. Regardless of what I do or what any other Omani youth is doing, I truly believe that each of us have our own unique way to give the best to Oman, the country where we grew up learning the history of our grandparents, as well as realising that we have a responsibility to be part of our amazing history.

Dr Hani Al Qadhi, Senior Consultant Trauma Surgeon, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital
This is a very special occasion in the hearts of all Omanis. It is a day on which we remind ourselves of how proud we are to be Omanis, and how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful country. The first National Day celebration I remember, that comes to my mind, was when I was in elementary school. I particularly remember the poetry recital, which also involved a play. Those days, the celebrations would also involve attending events at the Royal Oman Police Stadium, a lot of carnivals, and military parades.

Yuthar Al Rawahy, Founder and Life President, Oman Cancer Association
To see what the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour has achieved is unbelievable. When we started, people wondered why I was talking about this subject. Now, though, people are volunteering, they come to our association, they use our facility, and people don’t feel embarrassed any more. Before, they were afraid to even pronounce the word ‘cancer’. There has been a lot of development in the treatment of cancer in the country, and I am sure His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik is going to continue to develop this further.

Eliot Wright, Director Pathway Programmes, Muscat University
It’s a time for all in Oman to stop and reflect on the progress and achievements the Sultanate has made in the modern era. It’s also a time to celebrate Omani culture and heritage and a happy occasion to spend some time with your family and friends although this year those celebrations may be somewhat muted due to the ongoing pandemic. I would like to see Oman continue its friendly and collaborative approach it plays on the world’s stage. I think now is a time to diversify the economy and embrace new technologies such as renewable energy and digital technology.

Jassim Al Balushi, Deputy Head of  Training and Professional Development, College of Engineering, National University of Science and Technology
We should celebrate all we have achieved so far in this country, as well as renew our commitment towards what we have to do for Oman in the future. We celebrate National Day every year, and on this day, every Omani feels proud of his or her achievements, and proud of being a part of this country. It is also a day to show loyalty and pure love to the country and its leader, His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. Oman is a country with a great history and bright future, God willing. Oman is a mixture of different people, who are united on National Day by a single identity.

Dr Saqib Ali, Head – Department of Information Systems, College of Economic and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University
Oman is a peaceful and beautiful country, its people are humble, kind, respectful and hospitable. I have great wishes and prayers for the wellness and success of Oman and its people. Going forward, we must keep to keep the legacy of this great country alive. Continued investment in nationhood and maintaining the culture and values will make Oman remain unique and stand out among other nations. The country is on the path of modernisation, while keeping the traditional values: being united, strong, and steadfast, while showing faith and discipline.

Dr Syed Mujahid Hussain, Head – Department of Economics and Finance, College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University
National Day is important for people to unite around a special day. It gives them the spirit of a nation and brings patriotism to the citizens of a country. Oman is a wonderful country to live in. I would like to see Oman going through economic diversification, lessen its reliance on petroleum exports and continue to develop its human resources in order to achieve resilience for its economy.

Dr Baby Sam Saamuel, Chairman, Board of Directors of Indian Schools in Oman
I want and wish for Oman stupendous success in every aspect of the country’s growth and wellness parameters. This includes establishing diversified and resilient economy, strong education, innovation and research sector, world-class healthcare, a robust manufacturing sector, and more. As COVID-19 has shown, every nation, while reliant on global partnerships, also needs to be self-sufficient when it comes to essential services and goods. Oman, with a large youth demographic, is sitting on a goldmine of untapped potential – its youth.

Mohammed Zia Ul Haq Siddiqui, Chairman, Pakistan School System, Oman
On the occasion of National Day, I would like to thank our Omani brothers and sisters for being so welcoming and friendly to all of the expatriates who have left their families and their homes behind, to build their lives here.  This is truly a country like no other.Many expats now call Oman their second home, and that is thanks to the efforts of the leadership of this nation.  This country is one of the safest in the world, and a wonderful place to live. The role that Oman has played in shaping our lives is truly, very deep.

Mukund Manohar, President, Indian School Muscat Alumni Association
As an expat who has grown up in Oman, the 50th National Day of Oman is a celebration of the growth and prosperity of Oman and its welcoming and harmonious society. The pandemic has brought the entire country together, Omanis and expats alike. This 50th year should be dedicated to the healthcare professionals and the frontline workers, including the police and armed forces who have spent countless days, weeks and months ensuring the safety of the entire country.

Kai Vacher, Principal, British School Muscat
It is more important than ever that we unite as one to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the coronavirus pandemic. National Day will celebrate our country’s great strength and stability over the past 50 years and let us focus these energies on facing the possibilities ahead of us. As one of our students wrote in her poem about Oman last year, ‘Peace is not a concept but a lifestyle’. She ended her poem with this accolade to Oman: Where every belief stands on pillars of love and respect, like the place it thrives in.

Lamya Al Kiyumi, Board Chair, ABA Board of Directors
With the passing of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, and the emergence of the pandemic that has strongly impacted the global economy, it has been a challenging time. Amidst all this, we have remained positive. We have experienced swift and decisive decision-making from His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. This gives us great hope that we will emerge from this stronger than ever. I pray that we stand united behind him. And I pray for the safety and prosperity of us all, Omanis and expats, and all who make this great land their home.

Dr Sudhir Kumar Shukla, Asst. Professor, College of Engineering, National University of Science and Technology
This day holds a special place in the heart of the Omani people because a visionary leader was born on this day, who changed the fate of the Sultanate and its residents. Oman is a very peaceful country, and people here are very welcoming and respectful. As an educator, I aspire to contribute to society by educating its youth to become responsible citizens and skilled professionals. Moreover, as a scientist, I use science as a tool to serve society and the country. I would like to serve this country by solving critical problems through research and innovation.

Dina Al Khalili, Head of Foundation, Al Jisr Foundation
National Day is an opportunity to be appreciative of our country and its people and it is a time to reflect and find meaningful ways to give back. Let us all build and develop a prosperous present and a promising future that ensures Oman continues to be an oasis of stability and peace. The celebration comes at a time when the Sultanate is making great progress in every field led by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, and inspired by the directives of His Late Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who charted the roadmap of the renaissance and laid down its values.

Laila Al Habsi, geologist
National Day is a day of reflection: to look back at appreciating how far we have come as a nation, thanks to the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, may he rest in peace. I am really excited to witness the growth of the mining industry, I have strong faith in the Oman’s vision for 2040 that His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik is leading.

Moaz Al Saidi, student
Today, we are reaping the fruits of what our ancestors worked hard their whole lives to build for us. The 50th National Day is the pride of the people of Oman, who remain loyal to a renewed renaissance, and are determined to complete the journey under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. We aim to build our homeland with our own hands, and look forward to His Majesty’s interest in youth employment across the private and public sectors, so that we can translate what we have learned into serving our country, and support ourselves and our families.

Anas Al Dheeb, photographer
What is paramount for every Omani to remember on this day is that they are an important part of this country. National Day is a reminder for us to work hard and achieve more, contributing to the development of the country, so that we become positive figures for Oman. It is my wish for all of us to continue to create artistic content that promotes Oman, so that we may continue to make it a tourist, economic and artistic destination that achieves global recognition and raises its profile.

Dr Arshad Wasti, ophthalmologist
I would like to congratulate the country’s residents and citizens on this happy occasion, and wish them well for the future. When we arrived in Oman, on May 15th, 1975 it was a very exciting experience to land at Seeb airport, which opened just a year before I came. I was given nationality by the Oman government in 2007, and I now happily live in this country, with my wife and my children. May there be many more happy occasions to come in future.

Nicholas P Barakat, CEO, Octal
Oman’s 50th National Day is a profound communal recognition of the Sultanate’s prolific progress through the years. Building upon the achievements of the past, which were guided by the wisdom and courage of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, the ongoing transformation of Oman continues with vigour and purpose under His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. We believe in this nation’s trajectory to continue growing on all levels, economically and socially, and are confident in its potential, the foresight of its leader, its rich resources, and the indomitable spirit of its remarkable people.

Marco Belgrado, General Manager, Jawahir Oman
Fifty years of continuous development is more than a reason to celebrate this year. This is an occasion that is close to the heart of every Omani and celebrates half a century of development and building the modern Omani renaissance.

Maimunah Al Shebani, Founder, The Retail Agency
To me, National Day is important because it is a day of reflection. A day we take pride on the significant progress we have made over the last few decades. A day we celebrate our country’s prosperity and a day we celebrate our love for Oman. My aspirations for Oman are that we continue living the foundational values of the country: that we peacefully coexist and thrive, and that Oman reaches greater heights and continues to be admired by people around the world.

Panos Panagis, General Manager and District Director – Oman, Radisson Hotel Group

National Day celebration unites all Omanis under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. It is a way to look at the past and reminisce the successes, and celebrate the future. Under the leadership of His Majesty, the Sultanate will continue its progress and prosper for many years to come. Oman has always been and will remain peaceful country and the true image of hospitality of its people and their traditions.”

Said Al Amri, Executive Assistant Manager, The Chedi Muscat
The National Day of the Sultanate of Oman signifies renaissance and sense of patriotism. It is the day we remember our beloved late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour.This year, the celebration is quite different, as we all come together to reflect on the achievements that we have accomplished as a nation as well as look forward to building a better future together under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. We look at fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the country’s youth as well as the further development of our education system at all levels.

Arvind Venkataraman, Scientific Director, WaterFarmers Aquaponics

Oman has been the focal point of peace in the Middle East, not only from within but also with its socio-political presence amongst neighbours. It stands poised with decades of experience to play a greater role in this world as a keeper and facilitator of peace. The hopes of Oman’s eager youth and the heart of opportunity of industry will look to shape the coming decade propelling Oman to yet again carve itself a niche in the MENA region, this time championing a commitment to sustainability in industry, food security, environment, health and education.

Chuck Martini, Director, Muscat Football Academy

National Day is a fantastic occasion for everyone. It is a time for us to spend time with our families, and be thankful for the giant strides it has taken over the years. It has become an amazing place to live for both locals, as well as the expats who cross the seas to come here.I never imagined that I would be based here for so long, and I am glad to still call Oman my home. My children have been raised with the fine Omani values, and I am happy to say this is a great place we love living in.

Firas Rashid, Director of Sales and Marketing, Kempinski Muscat
National Day is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be possible to mark this occasion with everyone, but we hope that we can soon welcome people from across the GCC and beyond world to celebrate such occasions with us. Our congratulations to His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik on this day. Long may he continue to spread Oman’s message of peace, friendliness and hospitality to the world.

Marco Parsiegla, CEO, Amouage
Amouage was born thanks to the vision of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour to carry the name of the Sultanate across the globe, and after more than 35 years, Amouage continues to strive to fulfil this vision and be Oman’s ambassador to the world. As we embark on a new chapter, we are looking forward to a bright and prosperous future under the new leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.

Badar Al Dhuhli, Acting Head, Dept. of Tourism and Management, Oman Tourism College
The anniversary of the glorious day of November 18th is dear and close to the heart of each and every Omani living in this blessed land. This day represents our journey into the modern renaissance that has enveloped the whole country, from the north in Musandam to the south in Dhofar. This National Day marks the beginning of wider horizons and broader aspirations for Oman and all its people. We can look forward to a brighter future and our continued journey forwards, to fulfil the long-term Oman Vision 2040, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.

Alena Dique, founder and coordinator, UNCTAD Youth Action Hub Oman
National Day adorns a great sense of pride and gratitude towards the Sultanate of Oman. It’s a time to count our blessings and reflect on the economic, developmental and cultural achievements accomplished in Oman as well as look forward towards a glorious future. The Sultanate is on its way to achieving Vision 2040 in line with the UN Agenda 2030. Moving forward, the ongoing economic diversification will further boost our strategic position globally, improve overall performance and build economies of scale as a continuously growing nation.

 Khamis Nasser Al Shuaibi, General Manager, Shared Services, Oman Oil Marketing Company
Oman’s National Day celebration is an immense occasion to us and for our country. Honouring the legacy of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, may he rest in peace, and the renewed renaissance under the rule of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, we will continue to give our best and contribute to the growth and prosperity of Oman and its people. I believe the Sultanate has a bright future ahead of it, and I am thrilled to see what the future holds for our country and to be a part of it.

Gerald Chevasson, General Manager, W Hotel Muscat
We’re thrilled to be here today celebrating such an immense milestone for the Sultanate. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we share the nation’s joy in celebrating how far the country has come over the years. Happy 50th National Day, Oman! We’re privileged to be operating in this beautiful country and I have no doubt that as we continue to establish our place in the hospitality industry, we will grow alongside Oman and its kind people. I wish the country strength and happiness and I look forward to playing our part as the nation’s coming decades unfold.

Nabil Al Zadjali, General Manager, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
We are buoyed by both the legacy of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, and the words and actions of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, which promise to further guide Oman in the new phase of its remarkable journey. Built in 1985 to host the world’s most notable dignitaries and having been part of Oman’s rich history for the last 35 years, Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel is committed to working in alignment with the government to develop Oman and elevate the local community as we look to the future.

Samer Gerges, Director of Sales and Marketing, JW Marriott Muscat
We are delighted to be joining the Omani people to celebrate the Sultanate’s 50th National Day. With many elements of Oman’s rich history incorporated in our design and service ethos, its story is embedded into our own, and we are proud to be playing our role in Oman’s as we move forward. We are here to make a meaningful impact by creating new and memorable experiences for a growing number of visitors. As we look towards the future, we are dedicated to enriching the Sultanate’s story under the wise guidance of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.

Said Mohamed Al Masoudi, Chief Executive Officer, Sohar Aluminium

On this day, Omani citizens and residents will proudly rejoice and reflect on the wonderful milestones and achievements our nation has witnessed and celebrated in the past five decades. We are confident, going forward, in the realisation of the Vision 2040 goals and targets, which includes rapid increase in the contribution from non-oil and gas sectors, widespread adoption of the fourth industrial revolution, focus on innovation and R&D, and empowering small and medium enterprises.

Solomon MU, Legal advocate, Salalah
This National Day,  families and friends can’t invite their close friends to join them in celebration. Regardless of its size, to celebrate in large numbers is of course not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, because of the risk it carries. However, it is no doubt that this year’s National Day, as always, is an important one in all our lives as it have paved the way for us to recollect and remember the past sacrifice and the patriotism of our nation.

Ahmed Mohammed Al Ghafri, Chief Support Officer, Mazoon Dairy Company
This is a significant moment in which Omanis express and share their pride, loyalty, and aspirations. They celebrate the renaissance and show their commitment towards a brighter future built together, with belief rooted in the Sultanate’s leadership, and the promise of a brighter future. The recent Royal directives and decrees have created an obvious sense of optimism, in that the government is pursuing a new way of management. The Sultanate has all the success factors to overcome the challenges we face, if we focus on creating the right environment for opportunities.

Dr P Mohamed Ali, Co-founder, Galfar Engineering, Co-founder and Pro Chancellor, National University
Sincere greeting to His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik and the Royal Family, and the people of Oman, on the occasion of National Day. I am very fortunate to have enjoyed Omani hospitality for so many years, and witness the continuous development of the country since 1970. Taking part in Oman’s development, I have witnessed of growth across the economic, infrastructure, healthcare, and education sectors, to mention a few. I would like to salute the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, the architect of modern Oman who transformed the country.

Salim bin Marhoon Al Badi, senior legal nursing consultant, Saham Hospital

We now live in safety and reassurance, in a country across which we can travel without worry or fear. Ours is a sovereign state founded on laws that protect everyone and apply to all without discrimination. This occasion is a source of pride and grandeur for every Omani who belongs to this dear country, as we are today reaping the fruits of the blessed renaissance that began under the leadership of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour. All of us, on this day, renew our loyalty to His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik[email protected]