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The Omani oasis of peace

Article - November 14, 2012
Oman today offers a unique symbiosis of some of the finest and most advanced civilizations of the world
The intimidating effects of political disruptions never assumed seismic proportions in Oman. It would be an understatement to say that the sultanate skirted what the Western media so enthusiastically hailed as ‘Arab Spring’. The contagion, in fact, was tamed, captivated and stripped of its thunder in Oman. The sultanate quickly seized the opportunity to push forward some of the pending reforms, brought in several administrative changes and created new economic opportunities for the sons and daughters of this soil.

The Renaissance thus assumed a new dimension, gained a new height and took a giant leap forward towards the next level of excellence. H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said once again, in a display of astuteness, showed that even disruptions can offer opportunities for growth and development. The air in the sultanate got permeated with the fragrance of sweeping and effective changes.

Oman’s aspirations and the demands of its countrymen have always been perceptibly different from those of their regional brethren — both in terms of essence and character. The aspiration of this nation was to seek improvement of the lives of citizens and not to radicalize the society or the administration, but to purge it of all that may potentially derail the nation off its path of continuous development.

Four decades of relentless development have not only created a prosperous and wealthy Oman but also a new generation of emancipated, proud and an empowered population. The emancipated and proud nationals of the country, the children of the Renaissance, are contented with the adroitness of their monarch and they feel blessed.

Forty-two years ago, when the sultanate, led by its young and visionary ruler H.M. Sultan Qaboos initiated the Renaissance to take an inward looking nation to the threshold of the 21st century, little did the world imagine that so onerous a task could be achieved so fluently in such a record time.

There is no debate on the fact that Oman today stands head over shoulders above the rest of other Gulf and North African countries in terms of stability, both political and economic, peacefulness, and in availability of amenities — civic, health care, financial etc. And according to acclaimed international indexes, Oman occupies the top position in the entire Gulf region as the best place to live in and do business.

One of the principal cornerstones of the sultanate’s stability lies in its unique foreign policy, which is marked by balancing interests, tolerance toward differences, and a determined search for mutual benefits. While others in the Middle East were busy pursuing policies driven by ideology and short-term gains, Oman pursued its own course, holding on to the belief that peaceful co-existence is critical to the holistic, long-term goals of security and prosperity. The country had been an extremely reliable broker of peace in the past — a benefactor of global security.

The vision and dynamism of H.M. Sultan Qaboos portrayed a certain idea of Oman and engaged all his energy in the restoration of its past glories on the foundations of its legacy to achieve the best of the modern Western and Eastern civilizations.