Sunday, April 02, 2023 | Ramadan 10, 1444 H
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Sri Lankan expat bids goodbye after 40 years

Namiq Azhar Mohideen
Namiq Azhar Mohideen

A Sri Lankan expatriate resident in the Sultanate of Oman since 1982 is leaving the country after working here and serving the nation for 40 years.

Namiq Azhar Mohideen was instrumental in developing the Sri Lankan community in the Sultanate of Oman and was part of a team of volunteers instrumental towards carrying out several development works at the Lankan Embassy.

His ability to speak many languages especially French and being in the tourism and hospitality industry helped him to find employment in the Sultanate of Oman.

Upon settling in Colombo, Namiq plans to buy a land with a house in the hill country and promote tourism for Omanis who love to visit Sri Lanka. “This will be a very good foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka and I am certain this will turn out to be a money spinner. I am confident the venture will be a success since Omanis and expatriates especially from the Indian subcontinent prefer to visit Sri Lanka,” he says.

Namiq first landed in Muscat on September 17, 1982 by a UTA French Airlines and joined Waleed Catering Services Co LLC, a joint venture with a French catering chain called SHRM Middle East.

Over the last four decades he served the country and his last assignment was for Nibra Group of Companies as their Business Development Manager. Namiq recalls the early years of his career when he also worked for a French catering company named Wacasco, Seeb Novotel Hotel from 1991 to 1993.

He recalls how during the 1980s, mere basic facilities like accommodation were in tents that had a fan blowing hot air due to extreme summer. Infrastructure development was yet to take off and there were no fly overs, roads were single carriageway and public transport were pickups driven by Omanis with seats at the back and the roads were deserted by 9 pm.

In 1993, he was later offered to work in the oil and gas industry which was a new challenge as he was able to comprehend the industry and maintain his employment until his retirement in 2021.

For the Sri Lankan community he initially joined as a club member of the Social Club and later became an Executive Committee member involving himself in many social activities, such as Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Christmas and organising Muslim festivals. He was also able to represent the Muslim Committee at Sri Lanka Independence Day celebrations organised by the Sri Lanka Embassy.

Namiq admits that “it is not easy to say goodbye after spending 40 long years in this beautiful and blessed country and may the Almighty bless the Sultanate of Oman and her citizens.”

Originally hailing from Colombo, Namiq studied at the famous school for Rugby and played for Isipathana College, the national school for boys located in Colombo. He is also confident to use his advantage of speaking languages such as English, French, Arabic, Hindi, Malayalam and German including native language Sinhala and Tamil.

His father was a businessman who was into gems and jewellery business in Colombo while his paternal grandmother was of Yemeni origin from Aden. Namiq and his spouse Noor Izlima Shuhaib, a trained beautician, will leave for their homeland later this week.

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