Dr George Leslie, who was a Muscat-resident doctor for nearly 20 years, has been selected to be the 'Peace Commissioner' in the County of Wexford in Ireland, a coveted title that a resident can aspire for.
Dr Leslie is the first non-Irish citizen to be appointed to this position and he received the confirmation of his appointment from Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice.
Speaking to the Observer from Dublin, Dr George said the recognition is a privilege and “great honour” and is a commitment.
"It’s a really huge honour for me and also for my family. Besides being the Peace Ambassador, I never fail to speak to my Irish colleagues about Sultanate of Oman, it's people, their warmth and, love," said Dr George.
Dr Leslie, having spent twenty years in Oman with his family, keeps fond memories of the country.
"The Sultanate of Oman is where I worked as a doctor in General Practice, it is where my children schooled, and it is where I got many life-long friends. Oman is the place that taught me humanity and humbleness and I can never forget my close Omani friends there."
A renowned social worker and a doctor at the Slaney Medical Centre, Leslie is passionate about the history of Oman as well as Ireland. He spends much time in understanding history and becoming the peace ambassador is the culmination of his passion for society and humanity.
"I think I can give back to the people who have made me feel welcome over the last two decades and be a part of the change that we want to see in the world," he adds.
It was his love for Ireland during his family holidays there from the Sultanate of Oman that made him settle down in the Republic of Ireland. When he was living there in 1998 with an Irish host, a fatherly figure, he got to know much about the culture, tradition, struggles of the forefathers and heritage of the country.
"I met many good people everywhere around the world but here in particular. I talk at length about Oman and the touristic as well as investment opportunities in Oman. I'm pretty sure many of my Irish friends are going to visit the Sultanate of Oman once the pandemic is over”
Dr George said he values the appointment of peace commissioner because it enables him to contribute even more to his community outside of his role as a general practitioner.
"More than a medical doctor I can now do something for people in the community,” he said. He said being a peace commissioner will assist him in organising initiatives for young people, especially with regard to drug or alcohol awareness events.