177 historical sites in Oman to be restored

MUSCAT: His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, hailed the Royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, which call for moderation in facing challenges. In a speech published by Shurafat Al Majlis magazine of the State Council, HH Sayyid Haitham said that His Majesty’s directives are undoubtedly “an approach” that should be followed by everyone in every field to foster the Omani identity and national unity. This can be achieved through “integrated work between the government and civil society institutions”. He also praised the cultural role played by the Sultanate throughout its glorious and bright history.
902372He affirmed that “Oman has been dealing with all nations on the basis of mutual benefit and joint responsibility. It distances itself from the internal and external conflicts and disputes. This makes Oman a cradle for coexistence, moderation, openness, cultural assimilation and human brotherhood”.
HH Sayyid Haitham shed light on the vital role played by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture to promote what have been achieved in a way that preserves the Omani specificity. He said: “Sustainment, Protection and Employment of the Architectural Heritage” programme includes the restoration and maintenance of 177 archaeological monuments, such as castles, forts, towers, fences and archaeological mosques”. HH Sayyid Haitham said that the ministry embraces the visions and goals of His Majesty, making them as its guiding strategies in drawing its working plans.
He further said: “We spread the Omani culture and introduce its civilisation regionally and internationally by participating in international book fairs and encouraging Omani writers and researchers, in addition to conducting cultural festivals.”
HH Sayyid Haitham added that the ministry pays special attention to restoration of castles and forts because of its belief in the role of tangible cultural heritage; as an everlasting incubator for all aspects of heritage and culture.
He also said that the tangible cultural heritage initiatives contribute to the documentation of the intangible cultural heritage, such as the project of the oral history, which includes many studies and research
HH Sayyid Haitham added that the Musical Encyclopedia project contains the re-recording of different sorts of Omani traditional music and the re-recording of Omani traditional songs in a modern way.
He further added that the National Museum aims at disseminating knowledge related to Omani cultural heritage
He said, “The incredible richness of the Omani cultural experience throughout history as His Majesty states has been an important pillar for Omanis and their behaviour. This pillar makes Oman a reputable country which has assumed a prestigious position internationally without compromising its important values.”
902495HH Sayyid Haitham added that throughout its deep-rooted history, Oman has been contributing to the building of the human civilisation. It has played, by virtue of its strategic location, a vital cultural role and interacted with all centres of civilisation. This makes it as one of the most important centres that connects the east and west.
He further said that Oman has practiced cultural globalisation long time ago and dealt with all nations on the basis of mutual benefits and joint responsibilities. It distances itself from the internal and external conflicts and disputes of other states.
This makes Oman a cradle for coexistence, moderation, openness, cultural assimilation and human brotherhood.
The Omani civilisation is deeply rooted in history; this is evident in its tangible heritage.
He added that the ministry spares no effort to consolidate this richness through its various activities. It works on including the Omani tangible and intangible cultural heritage elements on the World Heritage List in order to maintain their pure Omani identity throughout the ages. It has also conducted many research projects in the governorates across the Sultanate.
HH Sayyid Haitham explained that these projects included the recording of testimonies of figures who had lived in a certain stage of the Omani history, in addition to documenting the information and news they provide, which are considered as part of Oman’s history. Then, the ministry published them in specialised publications.
The minister said that the ministry has signed agreements with Omani universities and institutions in friendly countries to undertake specialised archaeological expeditions to explore the historic archaeological sites in Oman. He said that these expeditions are aimed at documenting the findings.
Then, this will be followed by publishing them in research and studies of international periodicals, in addition to the Journal of Oman Studies, which is published periodically by the ministry.
HH Sayyid Haitham added that the ministry also restores the artifacts that are discovered in archaeological sites.
Museums in Oman play an important role in preserving these artifacts; the National Museum is the most important among them. It was opened recently after the completion of renovation works.
This museum showcases the civilisations established in the Omani land throughout history. It also highlights the efforts exerted by the ministry in resorting forts, castles and old villages, which stand as a clear evidence for the long history of the Omani civilisation.
He further added that the Omani Manuscripts House contains more than four thousand manuscripts in different fields of science and knowledge.
The ministry’s specialists maintain these manuscripts through restoring and rebinding them.
The ministry has also been editing and publishing many manuscripts making them accessible to readers, researchers and any interested person. These manuscripts have been converted to electronic formats to make them easily accessible by researchers.
HH Sayyid Haitham added that the ministry has recently published the Omani Encyclopedia, which contains heritage elements related to Oman and its people.
This encyclopedia has become a reference for researchers and those interested in Oman and its civilisation.
In the context of spreading the Omani culture and introducing its civilisation regionally and internationally, HH Sayyid Haitham said the ministry participates in international book fairs to introduce the Omani books.
It also encourages the Omani writers and researchers to investigate the Omani heritage.
In addition to that, the ministry conducts cultural festivals and days to introduce the Omani civilisation’s historical treasures, heritage, customs and traditions to the world. This plays a vital role in consolidating the richness and nobility of the Omani civilisation.
HH Sayyid Haitham said: “In talking about history, heritage and culture, we should talk about the moral component of the Omani people. This component has been contributing to the enrichment of the human civilisation. It was reinforced and consolidated in the glorious era of His Majesty”.
He pointed out that Omanis have created their history, heritage and culture through their interaction with their land. Their commercial and political relations with other peoples around the world have also shaped this history. They embody this culture through the tangible heritage that stands as an evidence for this history and the intangible heritage that is transferred through generations.
HH Sayyid Haitham added that Omanis have passed these values and morals down through the generations and have passed them to other peoples of the world.
In the glorious era of His Majesty, there has been a focus on the human development, education and health, in addition to focusing on the political relations with different nations.
The moral component of the Omani people has been reinforced by knowledge. Their relations with other nations have become stronger.
He said: “We can currently see Omani youth excelling in many fields such as engineering, medicine, commerce, arts and technology. They have become well renowned internationally. Omanis can sustain their contribution to the building of the human civilisation through passing these values and morals down to the generations.
It is also necessary that the current and coming generations know the history and heritage of their ancestors in addition to acquiring new knowledge and sciences. All of which can be achieved by the serious reading”.
HH Sayyid Haitham affirmed that the wise directives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, which call for moderation to face all challenges, are undoubtedly the approach we are following to strengthen our identity and national unity. This can be achieved through the integrative work between government institutions and civil society organisations in this regard. He added that the ministry achieves these goals and visions based on certain strategies, plans and executive programmes at local and international levels.
He said: “We have established national programmes to preserve the cultural heritage and emphasise on the integration of the tangible and intangible heritage.
The ministry is also keen to strengthen the role of the national cultural institutions. It adopts executive programmes, which aim to motivate the community to preserve its heritage and introduce it to the world. This should be done through using various modern technical means in order to ensure the highest quality and effectiveness. Most importantly, culture aims essentially at building and preparing humans; this is what the Ministry is taking into consideration.”
HH Sayyid Haitham pointed out that the tangible heritage, which we see in the castles and forts, and the intangible heritage, which is embodied in the arts and literature, play an important role in maintaining the prestige of the place. It also preserves the purity of human thought and develop the Omanis’ personality.
HH Sayyid Haitham added the Ministry of Heritage and Culture has been taking an extreme care of the restoration of castles and forts. It considers them as a cultural heritage that represents the people who have lived in this part of the world, in addition to representing some political and military events.
Once the restoration is completed, the ministry will carry out cultural activities and events in order to activate the intangible heritage castles and forts, such as Nakhal Castle, Nizwa Castle, Bahla Castle, Dibba Castle and many others.
He explained that the ministry believes that the cultural role of the tangible heritage never ends.
The tangible heritage is an everlasting incubator for all aspects of heritage and culture.
The minister said: “With regard to the collection of intangible cultural heritage, the ministry is fully aware that it is a major national mission. It therefore, carries out several cultural projects, such as symposia that tackle certain aspects like folklore, folk art, folk poetry and folk tales in Oman.
The ministry has also conducted many studies on the intangible cultural heritage, such as research papers presented in the symposia of “Wilayats Throughout History” and many others”.
HH Sayyid Haitham pointed out that since its establishment, the ministry has been keen to publish Omani books. It takes care of the collection, restoration, preservation and editing of the manuscripts.
— ONA