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Media helped to promote reason and avoid extremism

 Dr Abdulla Nasser Al Harrasi, Minister of Information, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Oman Arabic daily newspaper in Muscat on Wednesday. — ONA
Dr Abdulla Nasser Al Harrasi, Minister of Information, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Oman Arabic daily newspaper in Muscat on Wednesday. — ONA

Oman Arabic newspaper chronicled the modern Omani Renaissance and helped to shape Omani identity, said Dr Abdullah bin Nasser al Harrasi, Minister of Information, while launching the 50th anniversary celebration of the nation’s second oldest broadsheet.

Dr Abdullah said the newspaper recorded achievements made throughout the march of the Sultanate of Oman—the nation, the state and society—over half a century. The paper “symbolises the book of life in the march of modern Omani renaissance. Over the the past five decades, Oman Daily’s role was not limited to monitoring achievements and presenting them to society, but rather establishing social awareness, building a patriotic spirit that was essential at the start of the country’s renaissance and contributing to the evolution of an ‘enlightenment discourse’ for shaping Omani identity,” the minister said.

The minister was speaking at the event held in the presence of officials, journalists, intellectuals, present and former employees of the newspaper at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OECE) on Wednesday.

Dr Abdullah said that newspapers around the world have become accustomed to marking their milestones by giving a pause during which they contemplate their accomplishments.

The minister pointed out that daily action in the media provides no room for celebration outside the columns of the paper, be it in print or online. The true celebration of journalism stems from a resolve to achieve more progress and realise success in all aspects of the profession, he said.

"We celebrate Oman as a country and a newspaper simultaneously. A country with all that has been achieved during the past decades and the way you see it today, full of progress and prosperity. As a newspaper it was professionally able to monitor profound changes for future generations to know the efforts of the ancestors. Thus the newspaper becomes a comprehensive national archive for the entire Omani life," he said.

"If everyone is talking today about the strength of Omani society and its distance from terrorism, we cannot overlook the role of the media in promoting reason and appreciation of all ideas and opinions without extremism in thought or speech. This represents the Holy Quranic idea of ‘speak kindly to people’.”

Regarding the challenges facing the press, Dr Al Harrasi said, "We see in all these transformations and challenges facing the modern press great opportunities to live a new glory that is no less than its predecessor, and to present its sublime messages for a wider and deeper impact. The Oman newspaper strives to invest in these transformations through an integrated development vision".

The minister unveiled a postal stamp on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Oman Daily newspaper. He also opened an exhibition, which displayed the evolution of the newspaper. The event included a video on the newspaper's history.


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