Oman celebrates 40th Renaissance Day today
Fri, 23 July 2010
The nation salutes and congratulates His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on the 40th anniversary of the Blessed Renaissance, resulting in all-round enviable development in Oman.
Indeed, one of Arab Gulf region’s great and exciting stories in the past 40 years has been Oman’s transformation from a simple less developed country into a modern, industrialised, and knowledge-based economy.
With the dawn of the Blessed Renaissance 40 years ago, hope and optimism came to Oman and its citizens. Four core values — namely peace, stability, security and welfare — have since characterised Oman’s development plans.
Oman has put in place a world-class infrastructure in terms of roads, flyovers, hospitals, schools, universities, ports, airports, industrial estates, transport and communication.
The success of the Omani experiment in pursuing economic development, social and political empowerment, within the framework of keeping its Arab and Islamic values intact, has earned for the Sultanate a special place in the comity of nations.
On the 40th Renaissance Day, the nation salutes His Majesty who has shaped the destiny of Oman with wisdom and foresight, presenting a successful development model with a blend of modernisation and heritage.
This is a fruit of his emphasis on the need to strike a judicious balance between the needs of rapid economic development and the wisdom of protecting the environment, heritage and cultural values.
His Majesty the Sultan’s statement, in one of his interviews to Ahmed al Jarallah, Editor-in-Chief of Kuwait’s Al Siyasa newspaper (April 26, 2008), that "countries without spiritual values are empty nations and there is nothing more important than the spiritual side in building nations", is indeed a guiding principle in the human development programme he has followed in Oman.
The establishment of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in 2001 further shows that in guiding Oman’s development, His Majesty the Sultan attaches importance to the temporal as well as spiritual aspects of human life.
Under his dynamic and wise leadership, Oman has achieved amazing progress in all spheres of life in the past 40 years. In particular, Oman’s measured approach to modernisation is a model for other nations. In today’s Oman, the citizens enjoy free education and free healthcare, besides scholarships for higher education and training. Similarly, Oman’s progress in information and communication technology is praiseworthy. There is now Internet access in schools across the Sultanate. Internet penetration is increasing by the day. Broadband adoption is on the rise. Web access on mobile phones is allowing people to access literally anytime, anywhere.
Today, the people in Oman do bank transactions online, book airline tickets online and pay their bills online. Oman is committed to making a digital society as part of its economic diversification plan.
In addition to oil, other sources of income such as agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and other modern sectors of the economy have gained a respectable position in the country’s economic diversification programme. Flow of investment has led to the launch of many huge projects geared towards reducing heavy dependence on oil.
Adhering to the unique Omani concept and practice of Open Public Parliament, His Majesty the Sultan always makes sure that he is nearest to his people. During his annual meet-the-people tours, he has been going to his people in every nook and corner of the country.
Over the years of his reign, Oman has gradually and steadily been broadening the base of peoples’ participation, as he promised to them in his first speech.
His Majesty the Sultan has always held the view that “our people are our greatest asset”. That explains why he attached top priority to human development and launched a long-term programme of Omanisation, which involves extensive educational and vocational training programmes.
The Sultanate’s achievements in the health sector, in particular, have been spectacular. In a relatively short span of 40 years, the Sultanate’s healthcare sector has been appreciated by the people of Oman and recognised by the international community.
Through its five-year health development plans, the country is constantly improving its health care infrastructure, creating new institutions and new programmes to match world standards in health care.
The Sultanate today stands out as an oasis of peace, security and stability in the world, thanks to the wise policies of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos over the past 40 years of the Blessed Renaissance. His Majesty the Sultan has put in practice what he has been advocating — that issues can be resolved amicably through dialogue.
In his speech to the Council of Oman’s annual session on November 4, 2002, His Majesty the Sultan said, “Our foreign policy is familiar to all. We are always on the side of right, justice and peace, and we call for peaceful coexistence between nations and understanding between civilisations.”
The Sultanate has consistently backed Middle East peace efforts since they began in the late 1970s. It supports every sincere, positive initiative to lift the blockade of the Palestinian people and establishment of their state with Jerusalem Al Quds as the capital.
Oman enjoys excellent relations with all its neighbours, and with the rest of the world. The Sultanate’s move to build the International Centre for Dialogue among Civilisations in Al Rabua, Lebanon, last year is an example that Oman believes in building a platform for dialogue among different regions of the world and to build bridges among civilisations